San Nicolas and Santa Teresita: Historic and Folkloric Notes about some of its Barrios

Exploring forgotten stories about the barrios of San Nicolas and Santa Teresita.

Balandis: the Slanted Houses Along a Road in Cuenca/Alitagtag

Exploring this quaint area in Cuenca and Alitagtag where the houses are slanted away from the road.

Mataasnakahoy: Historical and Folkloric Trivia about some of Its Barrios

Revisiting obscure barrio histories of the barrios of the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy.

An Old Tourist Spot in Taal Called the Pansipit Fishery

A throwback to a by-gone era, when tourists around Luzon visited this resort in Taal and Lemery.

The Hitchhiker who Gets on at the Zigzag in Cuenca Batangas Lipa

A tall tale familiar to all who drive through this curving road in Cuenca. Is it really a tall tale, though?

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28 September 2014

Statistical Evidence on Deaths on or close to a Person’s Birthday

Image credit:
All of us know at least someone who died close to his or her birthday. My own mother passed away just eleven days short of her 67th birthday. I am fine. She died in 1992.

During the wake or interment rites for somebody who died close to his or her birthday, it is common to hear someone mention knowing somebody he or she knows who likewise died on a date close to the his or her birthday.

Whatever we hear about any possible correlation between birthdays and death, however, is often shrouded in superstition. One version I heard is that older people tend to die just before their birthdays while the younger ones rather tend to leave the earthly plane just after.

26 September 2014

Sizzling Lomi: Innovation in Presenting Lipa’s Favourite Food

Lipa-style lomi is so ubiquitous in the city where it was invented that it takes a bit of spunk to open a lomi house. Every lomi house has its own clique of loyal patrons; albeit there are those who think it something of a sport to hop from one house to another.

The point of all the moving around, but naturally, is to discover the city’s next hot lomi; and to do so means to gain bragging rights among friends. This is how quickly a lomi house’s repute can level up or be destroyed by word of mouth in this city where this noodly dish is as much a social as it is a culinary event.

The lomi is the lomi, however. Basically, it is noodles swimming in a bowl of hot thick broth or caldo, as it is known locally. How one lomi house gains competitive advantage over another is a subject almost fit for a doctoral dissertation.

24 September 2014

A Different Kind of Senior Moment

So maybe it was my fault. Or maybe not! Maybe it was the fault of my earphones.

So once again, I race ahead of the story. It really goes like this.

I went to the supermarket yesterday to replenish the fridge; and wanted to be back in time to cook lunch. The basket counter had a few people lined up before it; so I decided to find another cashier where the queue was not so discouraging.

There was this one close to the entrance to the supermarket which just had one elderly lady having her purchases punched in and a youngish Air Force soldier in camouflage fatigues behind her.

20 September 2014

Commenting on the PUJ Routing Experiment in Lipa City

Earlier this week, traffic enforcers in Lipa City began distributing slips of paper to drivers of Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) saying that there would be an experimental rerouting of PUJs starting yesterday.

I went uptown this morning and saw the experiment first-hand for the first time. I come into the city from the west, so I only saw how the Batangas-, Lemery- and Mataas-na-Kahoy-bound jeepneys were rerouted.

These were made to turn back for the return trip at the rotunda in front of UCPB or just past the Redemptorist Church. There was a bit of a build-up as vehicles slowed down to turn at the rotunda; but for a Saturday morning, it was not bad at all.

18 September 2014

Beware the Coming of October, Weather-wise

Courtesy of Google Earth, with
weather overlay.
In this country of ours where the Christmas carols start playing as soon as the so-called -ber months set in, it is frequently overlooked that the last quarter of the year – October and November, in particular – is the most perilous for this country weather-wise.

More weather disturbances spawn in the Western Pacific in June and July, traditionally regarded as the height of the rainy season in the country. By August, the number begins to taper down.

Thus, the usual thinking is that the worst of the typhoon season has passed and everyone begins to look forward to the holiday season, especially with the carols playing incessantly over the radio and even inside the malls.

16 September 2014

Ilonggo, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a from a Batangueño’s Point of View

Graphic saved from Google Earth.
Due to my continuing fascination with the Batangueño dialect, I have been doing some readings on Philippine languages over the Internet. My current readings have taken me momentarily away from the subject I have been attempting to research. However, I am also starting to better understand things that were only vaguely familiar to me in the past.

Before we go any further, allow me to clarify this myth perpetuated by Social Science books and taught to elementary and high school students all around the country. That is, that the Philippines has Filipino and English as national languages and a great number of dialects spoken around the country.

These so-called dialects, in fact, are recognised by linguistic experts as distinct languages, something that my former boss, the late Br. Rafael Donato, loved to point out. The erroneous use of the word dialect in lieu of languages apparently began during the American occupation and was perpetuated by writers of local textbooks.

14 September 2014

Did Vice Ganda Finally Name Ex-Boyfriend in GGV Episode?

Image captured from video on
This is supposed to be an open secret, anyway; but something that comedic superstar Vice Ganda has never publicly admitted. It has been public knowledge for sometime that he had college basketball star for a boyfriend; and that the star had graduated and moved on to a PBA club.

This became public in an episode of Gandang Gabi Vice when the supposed boyfriend called during taping and the call was patched onto a public address system and broadcast to the entire nation. But since Vice refused to name the caller, ostensibly to protect his reputation, he also inadvertently started a name game.

In one episode of the noontime variety show “It’s Showtime,” host Billy Crawford went mischievously gaga over one guest performer from the ‘madlang people’ whose nickname was RR.

10 September 2014

The Mystery of the Filipino Ailment Called ‘Pasma’

A man suspects his wife of having an affair; so he hires a private detective to follow her. In no time at all, the detective confirms that the man’s wife is, indeed, carrying on an illicit affair with a good-looking younger man.

Rather than confront his wife, the man decides to hatch a plan. He will catch his wife in the act with the other man and put an end to the affair with his shotgun.

One day he follows his wife to a motel where she is to meet her lover. Sure that they have checked in, he leaves his car with his shotgun and follows them to their room. He is about to open the door to the room when he has a brainstorm.

07 September 2014

Notes on the 2014 Peace Cup Final

I travelled to the 2014 Peace Cup final with a few of the guys I play Sunday football with. Good experience, especially for the younger lads who were watching the Azkals for the first time; but bad result.

There were one or two complaints about the weather. No it was fine! But I had asked all of them to purchase raincoats just in case. Since when has weather ever been predictable? At any rate, here are a few notes about the match.


No, it was not bad at all! Although, in typical Pinoy fashion, Rizal Memorial started to fill up after the game had started. Nothing like the World Cup qualifiers when even the bleachers behind the goals were occupied; but a decent-sized football crowd nonetheless.

05 September 2014

Why Do Batangueños Say ‘Ano Ga’ While Other Tagalogs Say ‘Ano Ba?’

Originally from the post "Batangas Signs" here on Life So Mundane.

I had written in a previous article that I have always found the Batangueño stereotype ‘ala eh’ not only annoying but also so totally inaccurate. We Batangueños do have a propensity to use the words ‘ala’ and ‘eh’ liberally; but seldom together as the stereotype has always suggested.

Be that as it may, that is just probably what other ethnicities notice about us as a people. Fair is fair because we do also have our own stereotypes of other cultures.

When I was in high school, there used to be this popular shirt with ‘Batangueño De La Salle’ printed in front and then the question “Ano ga?” at the back. The latter, I believe, is generally more descriptive of us Batangueños as a people than the exaggerated and derogatory ‘ala eh’ ever will be.

03 September 2014

Philippine Azkals Rip Chinese-Taipei in Rain-Interrupted Peace Cup Match

Photo captured from the AFC Hub
on Youtube.
What is it about short football tournaments at the Rizal Memorial Stadium that they seem to attract thunderstorms and torrential rains like sugar does ants? There was almost an air of inevitability when the skies opened up just before second half kick-off in the 2014 Philippine Peace Cup match between the Azkals and Chinese-Taipei; and for both teams to be called in for a lengthy interruption with roughly half an hour remaining in the match.

So long, as a matter of fact, that ABS-CBN Sports+Action was able to insert and finish the entire 9 o’clock news before the match was resumed. Not to mention give Azkals fans a chance to sneak a peek at how Gilas was doing against Puerto Rico in the World Cup.

A lot of good the interruption did for the Azkals, however, as it allowed the team to regain focus after a less than assured start to the second half.