Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Aurora Volunteers

Between typhoon Yoyong and Christmas the Batangbaler people managed to formalize a group and incorporate a non-profit organization called Volunteers for Aurora Province, Inc. aka Aurora Volunteers. Under the name, we successfully completed part 2 of our relief operation on December 26, this time with a certified doctor and some instant nurses and pharmacists to set up a one-day clinic at San Isidro, San Luis Aurora one of the worst flooded barangay in Central Aurora. We managed to give medical services to more than 80 persons and give relief foods and used clothings to more than 100 families. We also gave infant products and milks to about 30 kiddies and raffled off 5 blankets or banigs.

Then off we go to Sitio Tirung somewhere in Obligacion, Baler, Aurora. We gave about 100 bags of relief goods, infant and children products, blankets, towels, used shoes and sandals.

We also gave 30 bags of goods to our contact in Pingit for distribution the next day.

Part 3 of our operation will be on December 30 or 31 at Brgy. Villa and Dimani.

San Isidro, San Luis, Aurora Operation

The guys and the goods at the take-off point, Rizal St, Baler, Aurora

Aurora Volunteers Forever, arrival at San Isidro

The house of the Daguman's (thanks to them) volunteered their balcony for our medical mission. Dr. Ana Consuelo (of Kalinga) consulting with her first patient.

Alvin and Juvy doing a quick inventory of the medicines.

Smart kid Ennielle distributing stubs for the infant goods

Kapuso Rommel checking blood pressure. Thank God they taught him how to do BP check before he shifted course.

Leny doing the peptalk.

Giving out the goodies

Ennielle doing a therapeutic rap performance. Actually he's raffling off some blankets

On the way to Tirung.


Thank you to the following people, groups and offices for your donation and help with our small operation. May the Lord and the world be as good to you in your own time of need.

Smart Communications (through Ennielle Sinsay and Ivan Alvarez)
Mapua students (through Juvy Teneza)

PLDT East Avenue (through Ennielle)
LTO East Avenue (through Lei Cenon)
Singles For Christ (through Ayie Pimentel)
UST students (through Ayie Pimentel)
Unionbank employees (through Tina Laroza)
Marilyn Aratea
Jan Xavier Lumasac
Mervin Rubio and Family
Bon Borreo
Anna Barbaca Lorenzo
Direk Dominic Zapata (the more reason we should watch Mulawin and Nuts Entertainment)
Maru Pineda
Joshua De Guzman
Mia Santos
Gaius De Asis (NKI)
Rochelle and Mike
Joseph Ganata (RCBC)
Benjou Elgincolin
Jonh Fier
Gay Avellano
Gerry Teneza
Alvin Camcam
Jerome Tinio and family
Ymay Calugtong
Russielle Rada
Emil Ruidera
Anita & Luis Ruidera
Shella & Michael Lee
Jaymee David
Arthur & Jocelyn David
Joseph Querijero
Joan Querijero
Mrs. Rosie Espinosa and Family
Munting Sambayanang Kristiano ng Baler
Vanmarvill Construction
Dr. Ana Consuelo

And to all those who requested not to be mentioned and those we forgot to mention, our deepest thanks.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To All!

Buhangin, Baler, Aurora

Paltic, Dingalan Aurora

Baler, Aurora

Thanks to the Provincial Government of Aurora for the pictures.


Villa Aurora Video

This is an aerial shot of the part of Baler-Bongabong Road leading to Villa Aurora. This is a 60 second streaming video and can be viewed using Windows Media Player or other apps. Just click on the link or right-click and choose Save Target As..

Video courtesy of the Provincial Government of Aurora through DPWH and the Provincial Tourism Office.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Adios Villa Aurora!

Villa Aurora before:

photo by: Olin Duaso

photo by: Kidlat

Villa Aurora now:

photo courtesy of Provincial Government of Aurora

photo courtesy of Provincial Government of Aurora

Batangbaler through Volunteers for Aurora is still accepting donations. Please scroll down the page or click here for info.

Adios Panday

Da King during his campaign sortie in Baler. April 27, 2004.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Help Is Still Needed

"After the initial outburst of concern and support and assistance, it's when the news dwindles on the front pages that help is that much more needed." - MLQ3

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Call Continues...

Our call for help is not yet over. We are still accepting donations for the people of Aurora affected by the series of floods and typhoons in the past weeks. For those who want to help and want it fast and without bureaucratic ilks, were it. We're accepting help in form of foods, clothing, medicines and money. Please contact the following if you're in the Manila area:

Rommel Espinosa - 09208603048
Jerome Tinio - 09178429675
Enyel Sinsay - 09192476157
Ayie Pimentel - 09275102081
Ella Friginal - 09194993163

For those who are in other parts of the world, you may send your donations to your relatives in Manila or through:

Rachelle V. Friginal
Bank of the Philippine Island
MRT Ayala Branch
Account Number: 5556 1434 22

If you want to send money via Western Union, you can send it direct to Baler through:

Joseph T. Gonzales
Baler, Aurora
plese SMS or call +639215413720 or email for the MTCN no.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Metz checking the relief goods the morning after the arrival at Baler. Their house at Gloria Street became the temporary headquarters of the Aurora Volunteers.

The River at Dimanagsag in Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora grew to about 20 times in width and flooded the residences near the river up to a meter deep. The roads were nearly wiped out. This picture was taken one week after the flood.

The brothers Sinsay handing out relief goods to residents of Dimanagsag in Calabuanan.

One of the most devastated areas in Baler is Sitio Gabgab in Buhangin. One week after the flood, the area is still covered in mud and some pockets of water still remains. The November 30 flood hit them at midnight and covered most of the houses up to the roof. Most of them spent the rest of the night on their roof until they were rescued by boats in the morning.

Handing out relief goods to Gabgab residents.

The flood washed out some of the riverside residences at Sitio Puduk in Buhangin. The bridge where this photo was taken almost collapsed when half of the foundation was washed out by the water. For days it was unpassable to heavy vehicles.

The other side of Pudok River.


The Manila Times. Angara: Allegations baseless. Sen. Edgardo Angara today denounced as baseless and false allegations that his family profited from illegal loggers operating in Aurora and Quezon. 9 big loggers identified. SENSING "all talk but no action" from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, environmentalists in Aurora and Quezon challenged her to immediately cancel the permits of at least nine big logging companies in the two provinces where hundreds of people died from massive floods and landslides blamed on the rampant cutting of trees. Task Force Aurora given a week to repair damaged roads. Task Force Aurora of the Department of Public Works and Highways was given one week or until December 15 to finish the rehabilitation of damaged roads in Aurora province, it was learned Wednesday.

Sweet Relief

The respond to our cry for help was overwhelming and the Baler Volunteers or Aurora Volunteers (organized for this project only) were flooded not with water but a torrent of clothes, rice, sardines and instant noodles. From the bunch they were able to repack about 350 packs of relief foods and more than 200 bags of clothes. Without any help from any politicians, they were able to bring the goods to Baler on rented vehicles. On Monday, with the help of more volunteers from baler and the Munting Sambayanang Kristiyano peeps as coordinators we were able to distribute the good to Digisit, Dimanagsag (Calabuanan), Sitios Tabon and Gabgab and the affected barangays of Buhangin. Surprisingly, after a week and with lots of relief goods coming to Baler on helicopters and from different politicians and civic organizations, some of the areas we visited mentioned that we were the first to come to them for help. Maybe the officials are still labeling the bags with their names, that's why there's a delay. We were even told that we should get a permit or coordinate with them first before we do our thing. We just ignored them and went on with our unlabeled goods and with shy volunteers who wouldn't even mention their names.

And it is not yet over. The group is still receiving anything from kind hearted people like YOU! There are still many people who needs YOUR help! Just scroll down from here for the list of people to contact.

And for those of you who already gave something - Thank you!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

'Legal' Logging also to Blame

Here's something from Jarius Bondoc of Philippine Star. "I once went fishing with two retired Air Force sergeants in what we thought was a quiet, sleepy cove an hour from Baler, Aurora’s capital. From lush treetops a flock of hornbills suddenly took flight in fright. Moments later came the grating whirr of a chainsaw, followed by timber falling one by one, then thick smoke. Whoever it was apparently was burning a path for his booty. My companion couldn’t contain himself and yelled, "You S-O-B, what you’re doing is wrong." Came an unmistakable crack from a rifle and a splash in the water a foot from our boat. We sped back to town to report the incident to authorities. No action; orders from the top most likely to ignore such complaints. Everyday too along Quezon’s coast, one would spot barges tugging floating logs. Again, official inaction."


Magandang araw po uli.

Isang madali uli at generator pa kami at malapit nang maubus ang krudo. Hindi masyadong malupit ang bagyong Yoyong pero todong paghahanda ang ginawa ng mga taga Baler. Kami rin ay sa kumbento sa simbahan nagpalipas ng gabi at baka nga magkatutuu ang mga kumakalat na text na magkakatidal wave. Di ako masyadong mapapaniwalain peru sabi ko nung isang linggo imposible namang bumaha ng magkasunud. Anu nga at magkasunud ngang bumaha. Kaya nagbakwet na rin kami at nangyayari na dito ang imposible. Sa Buhangin kami nakatira at naging ilog ang harap ng bahay namin nung dalawang baha. Kaya maigi nang mag-ingat. Marami kami sa Carmel, at sa simbahan. May mga lumikas din sa Munisipyo saka sa ASCOT sa Dikaloyungan. Malakas din si Yoyong pero di masyadong maulan kagaya nung dalawang bagyo. Mga sanga lang ng puno ang nagkalat sa daan kinabukasan. Walang baha.

Di po madaanan ang Baler-Bongabong Road. Ang Canili-Pantabangan ay passable din pero sa Brgy. Puduk may damage ang pundasyong ng tulay kaya light vehicles lang ang pwedeng dumaan kaya ang mga luluwas ay pupunta pa sa Maria para dun sumakay. Ang Villa Aurora daw po ay na wash out kasama yung tulay. Marami ang namatay pero di pa eksaktong mabilang. Kasama sa namatay si Engr. Suril na tinangay ng agos ng ilog nang bumagsak yung tulay na tinakbuhan nila. Tatlong linggo na po ditong walang kuryente at siguradong matatagalan pa bago magkakuryente.

Maaraw na po ngayun dito sa Baler. Ang Dingalan ay sobrang nasalanta. Mahigit isang daan ang patay. Marami po tayung kababayang nagagailangan ng tulong. Kung gusto po ninyong magbigay ay kontakin lamang ang mga nakalista sa ibabang post. Sila na po ang bahala sa pagdadala dito sa Baler ng kung anu mang maibibgay ninyo.

Sigi po.

Joseph Gonzales

Thursday, December 02, 2004

sort of a cry for help

Magandang Araw po sa lahat.

Ang ating mga kababayan po sa Aurora ay nangangailangan ng tulong in the form of food, clothing and medicine. Badly hit by two typhoons in a matter of days, a lot of families have already left their homes and properties.

According to Mrs. Yolly Angara of DSWD Baler, one of the hardest hit is Brgy. Buhangin, while residents of Brgy. Sabang have also been evacuated to the Municipal Hall. As for other areas, Villa Aurora was said to have been completely washed out by the rain and is now erased in the map. The total number of casualties is still undetermined.

Currently, Baler is expecting a supply of food from the DSWD regional office in Pampanga. A truck is supposed to pick up the supply today and is expected to reach the town tomorrow.

However, with the incoming typhoon "Yoyong" expected to hit Aurora (again) tonight, we fear that the next ration of food is not to be expected soon.

With the blessing of our grandmaster Kidlat AKA Batangbaler, a group of volunteers, mostly active members of who are based here in Manila, took the initiative to organize some sort of a relief mission for our kababayans, under the name AURORA VOLUNTEERS.

We are gathering food - canned goods, noodles, rice, etc., used clothes and medicine, or anything that you want to give our kababayans. The plan is to bring these items to Baler and other areas on Sunday, December 5.

We are hoping that you would join us in this cause. We don't discourage you from sending your donations to television stations and other groups as we all have the same goals, but the idea is to make sure that our kababayans will receive help and assistance. The group assures you that whatever you give will go directly to our own kababayans in Aurora.

You probably have received a text message about this but for those who want to help, you may contact any of these volunteers:

Rommel Espinosa - 09208603048
Jerome Tinio - 09178429675
Enyel Sinsay - 09192476157
Ayie Pimentel - 09275102081
Ella Friginal - 09194993163

For those who are in other parts of the world, you may send your donations to your relatives in Manila or through:

Rachelle V. Friginal
Bank of the Philippine Island
MRT Ayala Branch
Account Number: 5556 1434 22

Along with the donations, we continue to ask you to please pray for the safety of our families and friends in Aurora. Right now, it's the only contribution that we could give.

Thank you all in advance and may God bless us all.

posted by: Ella Friginal

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

NPA rebels kill 8 troops on 'Winnie' rescue mission--Army

from NPA rebels kill 8 troops on 'Winnie' rescue mission--Army. "The soldiers were on their way to conduct rescue mission when ambushed by the communist rebels. This act is condemnable," Army spokesman Major Bartolome Bacarro said.

I posted this because one of the soldier who was killed in the ambush was from Baler - Eric Angara from Buhangin.


Hi there. So, we're still alive. This is still Batangbaler. I just redirected the mainsite to this blog because i can update this more easily. We will go back to to normal programming when things go to, well, normal.

Here are the links to the batangbaler pages:


Here's the news about the typhoon.

Click here for more internet news updates about the floods. It's a sad fact that Baler only becomes front page news when disaster strikes.

I'll post a quick rundown after this. We're running low on diesel and the generator could shutdown anytime.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Update . World Vision prepares typhoon relief response . As the storm devastation mounted in the province of Aurora, located northeast of Luzon, World Vision's regional team led by Food Security Coordinator Cesar Bautista geared up for relief operations to help victims. 'Unding', 'Violeta' death toll reaches 87. ... It was earlier reported the President would visit Bicol and Aurora provinces, but Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman has announced the trip to Baler may be ...

Thursday, November 25, 2004

More News

from 2 TYPHOONS Violent 'Violeta,' 'Unding' leave 171 dead or missing.

Aurora deaths

The death toll in the flashfloods and landslides spawned by Violeta in at least three towns in Aurora rose to 24. Officials have declared the province under a state of calamity.

Mayor Jaime Ylarde of Dingalan town said the number of fatalities was expected to increase as more bodies pinned by logs and debris were being recovered on Wednesday in his town.

Board Member Sherwin Taay said the provincial board declared Aurora under a state of calamity.

The fatality count rose after the four Dingalan victims who were taken to a hospital in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija province, died on Tuesday night, Ylarde said. At least two more bodies were recovered in the town on Wednesday.

Worst hit

Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said the initial list showed that at least 18 people -- 15 in Dingalan, two in Ma. Aurora town and one in San Luis town -- died.

Reports said more than 4,000 people had sought refuge at the Dingalan municipal hall, elementary and high school buildings and churches.

Except for the worst hit village of Paltik, electricity had been restored in Dingalan's 11 villages on Tuesday night, Ylarde said.

The only road linking Dingalan to Nueva Ecija remained blocked by rocks and soil, but personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways began clearing the debris.

The municipal board placed the town under a state of calamity.

Illegal logging

Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Luzon blamed massive deforestation and illegal logging in the town for the flashfloods and landslides.

Regidor de Leon, DENR regional executive director, said a case for illegal logging had been filed against Jackson Padiernos on Sept. 26, 2001. Padiernos is a son of former Dingalan Mayor Zenaida Padiernos.

De Leon said a court in Cabanatuan had denied the younger Padiernos' motion to dismiss the case.

The DENR seized Padiernos' truck and its cargo of 11,155.31 board feet of lumber when he could not show permits for tree cutting and hauling, De Leon said.

But Padiernos' sister, Dingalan councilor Mahalla Cabanquil, said her brother was only an accessory in the case. The prime suspect, Cabanquil said, was a certain Gatdula.

De Leon said the DENR had not issued a timber licensing agreement, an integrated forestry management agreement or other permits in Dingalan.

The environmental watchdog Multi-Sectoral Group of Aurora stepped up calls for a total log ban in the province.

"In Tuesday's incident, Mother Nature spoke to us. The plunder of the forests must be stopped. It has gotten to a point when lives are killed and are always put in peril," said Joey Estriber, MSAG secretary.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Flood Update

from Scores dead or missing after ‘Unding,’ ‘Violeta’ . Public works crews went about the slow task of clearing roads cut off by landslides and restoring power and telecommunications facilities in Aurora and Nueva Ecija provinces a day after a tropical depression brought death and destruction to the two northern provinces.


Here are some internet reports about the typhoon and flash floods that hit Aurora. I will tell my story later. We're okay here. There's still no electricity and i was able to post this because we have a generator here where i work:

from inquirer: New storm lashes Aurora; 18 killed. Reports from Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said 15 people were killed in Barangay Paltik in Dingalan. The other towns affected were Ma. Aurora and Baler, the capital. Eighteen people were reported killed on Tuesday in flash floods that struck three towns in Aurora province at the height of Typhoon "Violeta," reports reaching the provincial disaster coordinating council said.

from Manila Bulletin:
‘Violeta’ follows ‘Unding’; death toll rises to 65. Tropical depression “Violeta” hit Aurora province yesterday, killing 16, on the heels of typhoon “Unding” which left 49 dead, for a total of 65 deaths from the two storms which hit the country in close succession.

from Philippine Star. Flashfloods kill 16 in Aurora. Violeta (international code Merbok) crashed into the east coast of Luzon, just days after Typhoon "Unding" left 29 dead. The storm dumped heavy rains that unleashed flashfloods, sweeping away residents and homes in the towns of Dingalan and San Luis in Aurora. Some 2,000 families were forced to flee to evacuation centers, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said.

from abs-cbn news.
17 reported dead in Aurora flash flood. At least 17 people were reported dead due to flash floods and a landslide that hit some towns in Aurora Province about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, DZMM reported. The report said the sudden rise of water, brought by torrential rains due to Typhoon Unding, has swept away a still-unconfirmed number of people.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Friday, November 12, 2004


The United States vs Manuel Querijero, et al. from

Nicolas Galledos, a witness for the Government, testified that in the months of May and June, 1898, while, he, in company with Lucio Quezon, Pedro Quezon, and Serviliano Gomez, were coming from Nueva Ecija to Baler, in the Province of Tayabas, with certain effects which they had bought in San Isidro, they were attacked by a band of armed men under the leadership of Sergeant Carias. In the attacking party were the two appellants. They were taken toward the Malupa River, the property which they had was taken from them, and they were all released except Lucio Quezon and Pedro Quezon, father and son. The attack took place in Baler, where most of the parties lived. A few days afterwards news was received in Baler that Pedro Quezon and Lucio Quezon had been killed by the two appellants. The witness was asked if the persons in the attacking party were agents of the Government, policemen, or soldiers, and answered, no, they were private persons, but that Sergeant Carias had been a sergeant of the civil guard.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Akaw Bloggers

i-write-here by teng. About her trying to stay thin and eventually disappear.
irwinpulp. Mostly song lyrics
balisawsaw by Tikbalang. About eating sandwich without the bread.
meltedsakebottles. by me. My onlike bookmark.

Anymore out there?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Akaw Invasion!

The lineup:

ORGASM ADDICTS - One of the homebands of the Manila-based music collective called In Diss Corner. Regularly plays in different rock digs in and out of Manila, Mayrics, Freedom Bar etc. They have an EP and currently working on their first album. NU107 plays their originals. AKAW connection: Raygan or Kangker or Conquer, a pure Balerian in the Palispis vein formed the band with his friends after his Baler-inspired and Music Museum-regular band Bhonog Fever dissolved.

PENTAVIA - Pentavia formerly known as soultribe was formed on the eve of the millennium. It is composed of Chico Gonzales on Drums, Andrei Agulto on Bass, Jesse and Joks Reyes on guitars while Vlad Pullarca does the vocals. Pentavia was coined as the groups name because of their vision of flight, they were five hungry souls yearning to fly combined with shrieking guitar riffs and pounding drum beats which filled their moods, Pentavia was born. Pentavia means five in flight or five wings symbolizing man’s limitless boundaries. Akaw connection: Rambo or Boyet de Guzman usually sits-in as the drummer.

GINGER - Ginger is the new incarnation of Baler's "most popular" band Badfish. Plays reggae and ska covers and originals in vein with their guitarist's surfing inclination. Akaw connection: 100% pure Akaw, Alvin Morada on vocals, surfing champ Okoy Rojo on lead guitar, skate boi Toytoy Porqueriño on rhythm, G.A. Francia on bass and Robert Flores on Drums.

ENSLAVE - the band formerly known as 13th Underground, formerly known as Underground Chicken Sound. The winner of the My Generation 3 song competition. These kids, some of them are still technically young enough to legally drink beer, are infected with hardcore music. They have been playing since first year high school and are now using their college spare time honing their musical skills. Akaw connection: Most or all members are from Baler.

BHONOG FEVER - 90's almost famous band composed of three Balerians and one San Luis dude, they made a career out of Eric Friginal's old compositions. Used to play at Freedom Bar and Music Museum. Original songs used Baler stories and words and usually referenced Baler legends like Tata Penong, Tantul and Pitimini. They disbanded before CD-burner became popular relagating their originals to molding cassette tapes and into oblivion. This gig will be their comeback act.

KWAK-KWAK - Chosen because of longevity and their persistence not to change probably one of the baddest band names in the history of music. Composed of college students from ASCOT and MCC. The band is into hardcore music. Fronted by Ino Guerrero.

This gig is a tribute to all Baler bands and musicians who almost made it especially to Pinoytubo, who managed to release an album during the rock explosion of the 90's. Unfortunately their music was too far ahead of their times (insert sarcastic giggle here), and to Boyboy Ferreras, still the best guitarist in Aurora, who had his fifteen minutes of fame when he became the guitarist of April Boys Bingo and Jimmy.

See you on November 19!!

Monday, November 08, 2004

In the meantime...

In the meantime, try this website. It's about Baler, as experienced by foreigners. Great pictures. "He's German, I'm Brazilian, we met in Spain.. and now we're here in the Philippines" that's Julia giving us a geography lesson.

Monday, October 25, 2004


The 4th Bays Inn Surfing Challenge
October 29 - 31
Bays Inn Resort and Restaurant
Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora

(this is an unpaid advertisement)

a fundraising gig for the AKAW INVASION show
October 30, 2004
Tita Guding's Restaurant
Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora

8:00 PM
featuring acoustic sets by: Ginger (former Badfish), KwakKwak, Bhonog Fever and other bands
presented by: batangbaler

October 30, 2004
Tita Gudings (sabay ng AKAWSTIK JAM)

Mayric's Music Bar, España Road (in front of UST), Manila
featuring Baler bands: Orgasm Addicts, Bhonog Fever, Enslave, Ginger & Kwak Kwak. + guest band.

November 19, 2004
8:00 PM Entrance: 50 bucks

John Arcilla

I posted this on my other blog. Just a shoutout for my homie John Arcilla. Our kababayan played a role in Reymond Red's Anino, 2000 Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm winner for short film, probably the greatest international award for a Filipino film. He played the anino in this 10 minute flick. The short was acquired by atomfilms a few years ago and it can be viewed online. Link here

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Pol Mangilog

Pol Mangilog's Aurora photo gallery. I think these are the network TV guys who visited the place last Baler Fiesta. I could be wrong.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Surfing Report

If you're wondering whatever happened to those Balerboys who joined the 10th Siargao Surfing Cup last month - well, they all lost, he he.

Check out these galleries for details. Look for the siargao 2004 links:


Yet another Baler photo gallery


the shutteraddict blog has some great photos of Baler. Check it out.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Kage's Blog

From Kage's blog entry about Baler: "Baler, in the province of Aurora, is one of the more popular surf breaks in Luzon. It is an 8-hour bus ride or 5-hour private car drive from Manila and home to one of the most fun set of local surfers I have come across. They have a two fiestas each year -- the Suman Festival in February and the Coco Sabutan Festival in August. Both are equally enjoyable to be at."

Friday, October 15, 2004

Dito Po Sa Baler 2

May mga balikbayan akong nakasama at walang ginawa kundi magturungko ng kanilang mga kamag-anak at kamag-aral. Sinamahan ko at nag-reunion silang magkakaklase. Wala silang ginawa kundi sulingatin at sariwain ang saya ng kabataan nila. Naliligo daw sila sa ilog na hubo't hubad, wala raw malisya at pagkatapos ay nagdadagtuan (wala raw katapusang saya). Mga babae raw ang naghuhulog sa lusong ng mga lipak-lipak na kamoteng-kahoy at mga lalake ang mga tagabayu.

Sinariwa nila ang kanilang mga kinakain, ang tanghalian daw nila kadalasan ay kanin, pinigang niyog at saging, masaya na raw silang kumakain. Sabi nung isa, "Akkaw, kinekempel-kempel pa natin yung kanin tapus isasawsaw sa baguung sabay higup ng kinunut (inuhaw na isda na sasabawan ng mainit na tubig, wiwisikan ng asin at pipig-an ng kidya).

Ang hinahangaan ko sa kanila ay hindi sila nalulungkot sa pag-alala ng malungkot na gunitang ito. Ay anu kaya kung ganito ang ipakain sa mga kabataan ngay-un? Sabi ni Tessie, "Hinde na kakainin ng mga bata iyang ganyan, nasanay na sila sa masasarap, karne ng karne, sa mga anak ko lang hindi puwede ang walang ulam."

Iba na ang mga bata sa kasalukuyan,nag iba rin baga ang taste bud? O talagang wala laang noon mapagpipilian? Sigaw nung isa kong kinapanayam, "Nuung araw ay mas malala yung ulam naming mga sapsap na gangga butones, matusuk-tusok na ang nguso, ay tuluy laang kumain!"

Pero isa ang nakita ko sa grupong ito, parang lahat sila ang nakatapos at may magagandang puwesto sa lipunan. Tingnan mo, pinagmamalaki nila ang kanilang karanasan, hindi iyon makaiyak sa kanila. Ay ang mga kabataan ngay-un may pagtitiis pa kaya sila? Pinapahalagahan pa kaya nila ang pagkaing iginayak ng kanilang mahal na nanay? O binubulyawan pa ang nanay o di kaya hindi na kakain, basta na lang papasok?

Dito po sa Baler, ang mga karanasan ng pangkat na iyan ay hindi nila ikinahihiya bagkus ay nagsilbing inspirasyon... dahilan din na maabot nila ang kanilang kalalagayan ngay-un sa lipunan.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Joe and the Whale Shark: by Robert Geier

I linked this article during the early days of batangbaler. I'm glad it's still up. Here is it again for those who already forgot about it and to the new arrivals. It's about a kayak adventure near the famous Charlie's Point in Baler and an encounter with a whale shark.

Have a taste: "The shark was swimming towards the river mouth, and it had just been coincidence that we had been between it and it's feeding grounds. We stopped paddling and the shark came up to within a meter of us, swimming past with slow flicks of the tail, mouth open, filtering the water. Paddling around the shark, following it towards the shore I waved to the surfers, indicating the fin and waving them closer to get a better look at this amazing endangered animal. Of course, the surfers, being further away from the shark, and more exposed to attack took one look at the fin I was pointing to and I have never seen surfers paddle so fast. They didn't stop until they were on the beach out of harm's way, and out of hearing as we yelled out to explain that the shark was harmless."

Monday, October 11, 2004

Old Photo

The Baler Municipal Building that was constructed during the term of Mr. Manuel A. Gonzales as a municipal Mayor, circa 1927. I wonder why there's no Gonzales St. in Baler. Mr. Arnold Querijero explained it to me in the old Batangbaler messageboard. It was erased early this year for no reason so the explanation was erased with it.

The photo was from Reminiscence, a story from Olag Stories.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Jeho Bitancor Exhibit in New York

A Fine Arts graduate of the University of the Philippines in 1982, who also attended painting lessons at the Art League of New York in 1997. He is a multi-awarded artist in the Philippines and a Freeman Foundation Asian Artist's Fellowship Awardee of Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, U.S.A. and a silver medalist in the Second Biennial World Children's Exhibition in 1983 in Kanagawa, Japan.

Bitancor has had group shows in the GSIS Art Museum and the National Art Museum of Malaysia and Singapore and many solo shows in the Philippines. He is the founder and current president of Baler Art Group which conducts free art workshop for children in the province of Aurora, Quezon. He represented the Philippines to different art forum in Singapore; Brisbane, Australia; and New Delhi, India. Presently, he is the Art Director and Graphic Designer of Caritas Manila.

His works are on exhibit from 04 to 15 October 2004 at the Philippine Center on 556 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Instant Galleries

Google Images is great for creating instant picture galleries. Check these out:

Aurora Province Gallery
Baler, Aurora Gallery

Casiguran Gallery

The out-of-place pictures are bonus.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Dito Po Sa Baler

Pag-usapan natin ang mga leisure activities o aliwang laro ng mga sinaunang taga-Baler. Nakasama ko ng kaunting saglit si Senador Edgardo Angara sa pagtitingin ng painting exhibit ni Jeho Bitancor at ang mga painting na patungkol sa kultura ng Baler ay nakapagpapagunita sa mambabatas ng kanyang nakaraan.

"Arre, ay bayatu, naglalaro rin ako niyan pag maliwanag ang bu-an. Kami nila Imon (Judge Filemon Tan) at ni Armando. Pati yang bimbim! Nagpipiknik din kami nuun... masaya kami rito sa Baler... Ti-chok nilalaru din, tat-seng at saka shato."

Pero iyang shato ay hindi pa masyadong matanda. May mga kinapanayam akong mga ka-edad ng senador na nagsabi "ak-kaw! Ay kasama namin iyan si Eddie sa pag-ee bayabas sa Ulango, maski sa maga kalokohan..." Talagang tipikal na batang Baler pala ang kinalakhan ng Senador. "Ay awan nga laang kung nakasama namin iyan sa paninilong, di ko tanda!"

Pero nuon wala namang masyadong leisure activities ang mga kabataan. Basta nagsasama-sama, naliligo sa Binilwag o di kaya ay sa Kinalapan o Pinlan na mga hubo, naghaharana, dagtuan, pag maliwanag ang buan naglalaro sa kalsada ng nakapaa pati laang.

Dito po sa Baler, ito ang mga nakaraan...masarap maalala, sabi ng kaibigan kong si Virgie Bihasa-Yoshisaki, "Yung nilaro at ginawa pala natin, iyan din pala ang nilaro at ginawa nung mas matatanda pa sa atin..."

Si Igang Carmen Prades may iba ring karanasan. "Walang koryente nuon, pero may sinehan kala Hunas, pero minsan-minsan laang ang sine... kaya may sine-sinehan kami sa Duongan. Kumut na puti, yung gasera ang tanglaw tinatapat dito yung mga ginupit na mga tau-tauhan, ak-kaw dami namin pag gab-i nakamalag duun! Si Eping ang magsisine, may salita pa, nag-iistorya siya habang ikinikibu-kibo yung mga tau-tauhan, addi may aliwan kami.. wala pa nuon ang adik-adikan.."

Ang simple ng mga aliwang laro ng mga bata nuon hindi katulad ngayon high-tech na! Dito po sa Baler...

The Good Fight

Here's the complete Tagalog translation of Manuel L. Quezon's autobiography The Good Fight. From the MLQ III website

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


I should have opted for Spanish instead of Computer back in college. This article seems interesting if only i can understand it. It's from and about the Siege of Baler. Check out the images, one is a painting of Baler during the time and another has an old picture of the church.

Try translating the article by going to babelfish. Then copy the address of the website in the translate a website box and choose Spanish to English. The result is not quite English but it is understandable.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Wrong Captions

PILMAP. This is an airplane magazine and i remember these peeps visiting last February during the Surfing Cup week. in this issue they listed the best beaches in the country and Baler is included. But some of the pictures have wrong captions. Like the first one with black rocks and captioned as Sabang Beach. There are no rocks like that in Sabang Beach. then there's a picture of the Hernandez resort near Digisit and it was captioned as Chalie's Point. That's a 10 kilometers due north mistake. Charlie's point is located near Reserva and not in Digisit.

Monday, October 04, 2004


I completed a full-circle. After spending most of my computer time figuring out how to customize everything, i'm back to the basic mode. Enough of those tweaks. This is a new blog, I deleted all my previous posts. Here i will specialize only in Baler and Aurora flavored stuff: chismiz, news, seminews, links, etc. About my other interests I created another blog which i named meltedsakebottles. Take a peek.

How's this for a starter?: "Cultural Integrity": Promoting Cultural Survival and Decentralizing Good Forest Governance in Ancestral Domains. the Agta-Dumagat People: Province of Auroram Philippines. It's a PDF file, you will need Acrobat Reader.