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.