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 June 2016

Douglas MacArthur’s May-December Secret Affair with a Filipina

Image credit:  Wikipedia and Konted's Make My Day 2.

…or maybe February or March is more descriptive. But I get ahead of the story…

Most Filipinos will remember Douglas MacArthur from History lessons for the immortal vow “I shall return.” This sentence concluded a short statement he made to reporters before he was whisked away to Australia, leaving behind American and Filipino troops to face surrender to the Japanese in 1942.

28 June 2016

The Founding of Pueblos or Towns by the Agustinians in 16th Century Batangas

Ruins of the St. Martin de Tours Church in San Nicolas, Batangas
Previous Chapter

(Part V of a Batangas Historical Series)

The awarding of Bonbon as a repartimiento to Martin de Goite by Miguel López de Legaspi in 1571 was just one of many, for indeed, it was Felipe II himself, King of Spain, who willed it so. It was the king’s wishes for the western islands, as the Philippines were then called, to be colonised and the lands divided among those who worked to conquer them.

23 June 2016

Comparing Batangas City, Lipa and Tanauan in Terms of Population and Competitiveness

Image credit:  Google Earth Street View.

This article attempts to profile the three cities of the Province of Batangas, i.e. Batangas City, Lipa and Tanauan, based on demographics and competitiveness. This article is published for no other purpose than the information of the reader. The data published here has been taken from the official web sites of the Philippine Statistics Authority as well as the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index.

22 June 2016

Glimpses of Bonbon (Early Batangas) at the Dawn of the Spanish Colonial Era

Taal Lake, which used to be called Bonbon.

Previous Chapter

(Part IV of a Batangas Historical Series)

Just over a year after first sighting the bay of Balayan in an exploratory voyage from Panay to Luzon, Martin de Goite was rewarded by Miguel López de Legazpi, first Spanish governor of the Philippines, for his services to the Crown of Spain with a repartimiento of 8,000 natives in the area of the lake and river of Bonbon. This we now know to be the present day Taal Lake area.

21 June 2016

Shop and Make Art Winners Awarded on Lipa City’s 69th Foundation Day

The winners of SM Lipa’s Shop and Make Art contest were awarded together with SM Lipa’s assistant Mall Manager John Mauhay Jr (extreme right).  Beside Mr. Mauhay is the contest first placer, – Romark Joseph Laco. At the center is the daughter of the second placer Krista Kayla Dimasaca; while the third placer (second from the left) is Patricia Camille Goli. 

The winners of the recently concluded “Shop and Make Art” arts and crafts contest were awarded and presented to the shoppers of SM Lipa last 20 June 2016, Monday, at the Events Centre of SM City Lipa during the city’s 69th Founding Anniversary.

20 June 2016

The Evolution of the DLSL Emblem

The first emblem used the coconut tree as a prominent symbol.

The picture above shows the first De La Salle Lipa emblem worn by students on their left breast pockets when the school first opened in 1962. Of this I am certain because I have seen pictures of this emblem in the school yearbook still called Sabre at the time.

17 June 2016

Bonbon in Present Day Batangas the First Colonial Estate in Luzon Rewarded to de Goite

Image credit:  The Philippines.

Previous Chapter

(Part III of a Batangas Historical Series)

After leaving the coast of Tulay early one day around the third week of May in the year 1570, Martin de Goite and his expeditionary party to explore Luzon pushed on and arrived in Manila Bay in the afternoon of the same day. His instructions from the governor, Miguel López de Legazpi, were to make peace and win friends in Manila.

14 June 2016

Lipa City’s Traffic and Congestion Explained in Numbers

The road widening project in Lipa City at least from poblacion and westwards to where I live was undertaken between 2010 and 2012, if memory serves me right. Initially, the wide highways were a sight to behold; and travel time uptown to the city proper was reasonably reduced.

12 June 2016

Batangas Population Statistics (2015 Figures)

This article contains population figures for the Province of Batangas as per the national census undertaken by the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2015 and released in 2016. The total population for the province is pegged at 2.38M. The full statistical figures by city and municipality is provided in tabular form below. The numbers are sorted in descending order from most to least populous.

Not surprisingly, the most populous localities are the three cities of Lipa, Batangas and Tanauan along with the municipality of  Sto. Tomas.  The small island municipality of Tingloy is the least populated.

Philippines 2015 Population & Growth Rate by Region and Province

The Philippine population as of 1 August 2015 was 100,981,437.  This official figure comes from the national count or census undertaken by the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2015.  This page contains the population and growth rate breakdown by region and province. At the bottom of the page, the total population is given along with the national growth rate.

11 June 2016

De Goite Brings Peace to Warring Natives from Balayan and Nearby Tulayan

Image credit: Trans-Pacific Project.

(Part II of a Batangas Historical Series)

←  Previous Chapter

“These people declare war among themselves at the slightest provocation, or with none whatever. All those who have not made a treaty of peace with them, or drawn blood with them, are considered as enemies. Privateering and robbery have a natural attraction for them. Whenever the occasion presents itself, they rob one another, even if they be neighbours or relatives; and when they see and meet one another in the open fields at nightfall, they rob and seize one another.1

08 June 2016

Kinky Pre-Hispanic Sexual Devices Filipinos Used According to Antonio Pigafetta

Pre-Hispanic Filipinos. By Boxer Codex -,

And on the lighter side after researching tons upon tons of historical documents (okay this part is an exaggeration)…

Those among you who did not snore through Philippine History lessons may remember Antonio Pigafetta as the chronicler who accompanied Ferdinand Magellan on an exploratory voyage half a world away from Spain to the Far East to find the lands of spices.

06 June 2016

The 1570 First Spanish Expeditionary Excursion into Batangas

Miguel López de Legaspi.  Image credit: By Celestí Sadurní i Deop (1830-1896) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
(Part I of a Batangas Historical Series)

History tells us that Fernão de Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellan), the Portuguese explorer who sailed under the flag of Castile (Spain) in search of the Spice Islands, arrived in the Philippines in 1521. The age of conquest, however, did not really begin until almost half a century later in 1565 when an expedition led by Miguel López de Legaspi, acting on orders from Felipe II, King of Spain, arrived in the country.

03 June 2016

Archbishop’s Communique Explains Why the Vatican Has Reversed Decree Declaring Lipa Apparitions Supernatural

Image of Mary Mediatrix of all Grace at the Carmelite Convent in Lipa City.

In a communique dated 31 May 2016, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles informed the faithful of the reasons why the Vatican has reversed a September 2015 decree issued by the same archbishop declaring the 1948 alleged Marian apparition in the city of Lipa to the Carmelite novice Teresa Castillo as “exhibiting supernatural character and worthy of belief.”