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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30 March 2016

Philippine Azkals: Improved Form and Exploiting DPR Korea’s Weaknesses

Image captured from ABS-CBN Sports video on YouTube. Iain Ramsay's winning goal.

That scintillating 3-2 victory of the Philippine Azkals over the much higher ranked DPR Korea has been called by some as miraculous. While I totally understand the exuberance brought on by Iain Ramsay’s added time winner, I believe that the victory was as much due to the Philippines’ improved form as it was to the Koreans’ own shortcomings.

28 March 2016

I’m Annoyed You’re So Dead: The Story of My 2011 HS Football Team

My 2011 high school football team.

When I was offered an executive position late in 2004, among the conditions was that I gave up coaching the school’s football teams. To accept or to decline kept me up nights; but in the end, I decided I would be naïve to decline the opportunity.

26 March 2016

When Passenger Train Service Ran from Calamba to Batangas City

Image credit:  Batangas Railways.  Posted by user Pinai on the Indonesia v the Philippines discussion board on

When I was a small boy back in the sixties, I used to hear of trains that one could take if one wanted to go to Baguio up north or Bicol down south. In Batangas, even then, public train service was already non-existent.

24 March 2016

Etheridge Hits Top Form as Plucky Azkals Limit Uzbeks to Narrow Home Win

Image credit:  Photo captured from video on the AFC Cup on YouTube.

I never doubted for one moment even after last September’s ignominious home shellacking by the Mighty Uzbeks that the Philippine Azkals were very capable of nicking at least a point when the tie swung over 5,772 kilometres to Tashkent.

23 March 2016

The Appearance of the Devil According to the Lipa Marian Visionary

The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City as it looks in the present day.

Anybody who visits the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City will likely immediately sense that it has a feel to it quite distinct from most other churches. Perhaps, it is because of the imposing medieval façade of the church. Or perhaps it is because of the stillness and serenity you just do not get in many other places of worship.

19 March 2016

When 25,000 Batangueños were Massacred by the Japanese in World War II

The Japanese Army on its way to Manila.  Image credit:  Wikipedia.

[Warning: This article contains graphic images.]

My late mother was a maiden in the town of Nasugbu during the Japanese occupation. The Japanese invaders, she used to tell us, were not always the monsters they were portrayed after the war. They became vicious, she used to say, only when the tides of war had changed and defeat started to stare them in the face.

16 March 2016

Batangas Schools Rankings in Licensure Results by Course

Up until the nineties, if a family could afford it, the first consideration when a child was graduating from high school was always which school in Metro Manila. There were colleges and universities in Batangas; but the general perception – whether valid or not, I leave it to the reader to decide – was that these schools could not match up to those in the capital.

12 March 2016

Fernando Air Base: Its World War II Roots

Image credit:  John Tewell on Flickr.  Lipa Airfield seen from the air in WWII.

Many historical accounts have already been written about Fernando Air Base. Thus, or so I thought to myself, if I wrote one at all, it would be one that would avoid the trap of being generic. After all, Fernando Air Base was where I was born and where I spent my formative years. To this day, I have nothing but fondness for this almost 300-hectare military facility.

11 March 2016

The Ten Oldest Higher Education Institutions in Batangas

Image credit:  My Crazy Internet Marketing Expedition.

Why not just do an unqualified list of all schools in the province, you may be thinking of asking. There are just way too many which makes doing such a list impractical in a research sort of way. Hence, this list is limited to institutions of higher education.

09 March 2016

Lucky Shopper from Bauan is one of New Audi Owners

Cita Rodriguez from Pampanga, Mayeth Bacay from Batangas, Gladys Aurin from Laguna, Melody Lumbao from Legazpi, and Reno Donor from Quezon City shopped at the SM Store with their MasterCard and brought home an AUDI A3 during the recent The SM Store and MasterCard promotion.   MasterCard VP Jo-Ann Camacho (left) and The SM Store VP for Marketing  Quennielyn Cua  welcomed the winners and led  the symbolical awarding at  the Audi Edsa-Ortigas Showroom.

Mayeth Bacay from the Municipality of Bauan here in Batangas; Cita Rodriguez from Guagua in Pampanga; Melody Lumbao from Albay, Legaspi City; Gladys Aurin from Los Baños in Laguna; and Reno Donor from Quezon City were the five lucky winners of an AUDI A3 2.0 TDI during the recent The SM Store and MasterCard promotion.

06 March 2016

The Forgotten Military Airfield in Batangas City

Image credit:  War in Air, Defenders of the Philippines.

My late father used to be a pilot in the Philippine Air Force. Naturally, I and my siblings used to hear wartime stories from him. Among these was this famous dogfight over Batangas in 1941 when Filipino pilots using obsolescent American-built aircraft heroically held off the Japanese.

04 March 2016

The American President Given Flying Lessons by the Philippine Air Force

Image credit:  Filipinas Heritage Library.  Eisenhower with PACC pilot trainees.

Or more accurately, by its predecessor, the Philippine Army Air Corps or the PAAC.

Early in 1935, Brig. General Basilio Valdez, the newly appointed Commanding General of the Philippine Constabulary, announced his intention to create a group that would be able to provide air reconnaissance support to the constabulary’s peace and order missions. This group was given the name Philippine Constabulary Air Corps or PCAC.

02 March 2016

Original Locations of Batangas Towns and Cities and How They Changed

Image credit:  Google Earth.  Click to enlarge.

This article shows where the cities of Lipa and Tanauan along with the Municipalities of Bauan, Rosario, San Juan and Taal were once originally located as humble little settlements and how they moved over time.