Saturday, April 30, 2005

More News

It was his 1st and last chopper ride

INQ7 Interactive, Inc. - Philippines
... earthquakes and tsunamis. He also designed the first tsunami marker in Baler, Aurora, that was inaugurated last January. Javier, who was ...

AT 3:00 AM By James B. Reuter, SJ
Philippine Star - Manila,Philippines
On April 28, 1949 - 56 years ago -- Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon was on her way to Baler. With her eldest daughter, Maria Aurora, whom everyone called "Baby". ...

Friday, April 29, 2005


A re-interment . ON THURSDAY, April 28, a Mass will be held in Santo Domingo Church at 10 a.m., prior to the re-interment of Mrs. Aurora Aragon Quezon's remains in the Quezon Memorial Shrine, next to the tomb of her husband. from

MLQ, Doña Aurora 'reunite' at QC shrine.
AFTER nearly three decades of separation, the late President Manuel Luis Quezon will be "reunited" with his wife, the late Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon. from

Sabang Rainbow

Here's my obligatory rainbow shot. Taken from Bay's Inn, Baler.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Island Paradise Adventure Race

Aurora will be the first pitstop of the Island Paradise Adventure Race, A 9-day auto rally through 8 tourist destinations/provinces in Luzon based on a "on-time, all the time" system, featuring 35 teams. Each team shall be composed of 3 persons, one of whom will be required to perform certain physical and mental challenges at the control points and pit stops. The rally proper will be from 7 to 15 May, 2005.

The participants will be in Aurora (Baler) from May 7 to 8. In line with the event, the Provincial Tourism Office of Aurora are preparing cultural presentations, beach party and mini bazaar that will be held on the said dates.

Everyone is invited to witness the event. For more information about the Island Paradise Adventure Race just click here to go to the official website. And here's the DOT press release.


While we're still in kinunut mode, here's anothe Baler delicacy - Katid. According to Poppo Olag, this edible worm is called "shipworm" in English. It looks like an albino earthworm that oozes milk-like secretions. Baler's eternal Best Pulutan are mostly found on tree trunks and branches submerged under freshwater rivers. They say that the taste depends on the the type of wood where they were taken. I have never tasted a katid in my life but there were times that I was almost tempted to sample one just for research purposes. Belinda Bright, the whitest sext star in Philippine showbiz gulped a 4-incher during an Extra Challege shoot in Baler (then still known as Extra Extra). It is easier to prepare than a kinunut. Just put them raw in a bowl including their whitish secretions, squeeze in some kidya and add some siling kutikut and you have a katid special. Pwera Katid!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Photo Exhibit

What's your say on these pictures. I will tell later who is the "artist" who shot the images. This is his first online exhibit.


My favorite stretch of road in Aurora is this part of the highway at San Luis that leads to Ditumabo.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


"Kinunut" is the Balerians way of turning grilled fish into a soup. It's been years since i sampled some and the mere sight of this picture makes me want to go to the market and buy some atulay and kidya to make myself a bowlful. It's easy to prepare even a kindergarten student can do it. Step 1: Get some fresh atulay, buraw, banak or any medium-sized freshwater or saltwater fish. Even galungong is fair game for kinunut. Other ingridients are kidya or kalamansi, asin, vetsin, five or more pieces of siling kutikut (if you like your soup to be extra hot) and boiling water (some say water boiled with a mossy stone from Dibalo is the best). Step 2: Grill the fish on charcoal. When it is cooked, prepare a bowl of hot water, squeeze-in some kidya, put some salt and vetsin and the siling kutikut. Then dunk in the grilled fish. Let the soup seep in the fish for a while. Step 3: Chow down with a newly cooked rice or sinangag.

Photo by Olin.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Postcards from Bazal

Bazal is a barangay in Ma. Aurora located on the mountains. It is where the Ma. Aurora Campus of ASCOT is located. I was there for two days to help setup a satellite internet. I also took some pictures.

It's been years since I last saw a gagambang hari. This one is bigger than a fully-opened hand and the web-strands are extra-strong.

Baler viewed from Bazal

Here's the bigger picture. Click to expand.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Chat Day

Let's have an online meetup tomorrow April 21. Chat hour will start at 8:00 AM (Philippine time) and will end when it ends. I'll log-in the whole day. The batangbaler chatroom is at

Koronang Tinik

Undoubtedly Aurora's favorite flower of the moment, you cannot go 10 meters to any direction without catching a sight of this scentless, small and thorny cousins of the cactus also known as Euphorbia. The Aurorans love for this flower has turned it into a prosperous cottage industry that most say is better than raising hogs. A plant sells for 200 to 500 pesos and they are now exported to other Provinces because Aurora prices are cheaper than any other places. They are so in-demand and prized that most gardens are closely guarded for fear of the KT-robbers now proliferating. Koronant Tinik robbery is so rampant these days that the local government now requires a permit if anyone wanted to transport large numbers of the plant. Bad news for the kalachuchi.

Monday, April 18, 2005


One brownout day, while waiting for the electricity to be restored, i took a stroll at the backwoods of our building. I didn't really walked, I rode a motorbike. Some views look like great wallpapers. Check out the ents.

And here's the baby bird i saw on the roadside. It looks like a rock and it can't fly yet. The mother bird looks like a hawk and kept on circling me.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


It's funny how you never really raise kids, you just watch them grow. This is GJ at 18 months.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Shameless Request

Hey! I need to pay my webhost 617 pesos for excess bandwidth last month. The problem is it needs to be deposited in a Unionbank or Metrobank account and they have no branches here in Baler. The deadline is April 21 or they will shutdown their service to batangbaler. I need someone from Manila who can make an "abono" before the deadline. I'll pay you back. I just need it to be done before the deadline and my next trip to Manila is still unknown.

If you're kind enough, please contact me at batangbaler at gmail dot com and i will send you the payment details. The payment will be deposited directly to the webhost account. Thanks!

More on Sining Silangan

Here are the profiles of the artists who will facilitate the upcoming Sining Silangan '05: Aurora Summer Visual Arts Fest on May 16-22, 2005 at the Baler Central School and Museo de Baler:

Yuan mor'O Ocampo. Yuan is a multi-media artist who is well-known in the Philippine Art scene as one of the pioneers in the practice of performance art. For two decades, he has brought to the fore Philippine art in Asia and Europe and has performed with such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Abramovich and Nielsen. He is the organizer and artistic director of the Philippine International Performance Art Festival and the Live Art Movement Philippines. More recently, he represented the country in the Odense International Art Festival in Denmark in 2004 and in Sydney, Australia, 2005. He studied at the University of the Philippines and in Bandung College of Art in Indonesia. (click here for the Google results on Yuan mor'O Ocampo.)

Soaring High by Noel Pama

Noel Pama. Noel Pama's art practice range from painting, sculpture, mixed media and digital art. As an active member of the Art Association of the Philippines, he has garnered top prizes in national painting competitions, most recent of which are first place in Webgising digital art contest and Best Entry for digital art in the Art Association of the Philippines' annual competition. He now divides his time between family life and art production, managing a design firm of his own. He had his training at the Philippine College of Arts and Trade. (click here for the Google results on Noel Pama)

Siyesta by Jeho Bitancor, 1995

Jeho Bitancor. Jeho is a native of Baler, Aurora. His interest in art started at an early age, a fascination he still pursue at present as a multi-media artist. He is basically a painter and designer who is now engaged in Performance and Installation art. He was awarded several times for his paintings and graphic art works and has represented the country in international art events. He is presently involved in NGO work as a creative consultant for cause-oriented groups. He studied at the University of the Philippines and had a brief training at the Art Students League of New York. He lives and works in Quezon City. (click here for the Google results on Jeho Bitancor.)

Click here for more info about the Aurora Summer Visual Arts Fest.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

ANSHS Batch 19

click on image for the bigger picture

Congratulations to Class '05 of the Aurora National Science High School and to the valedictorian KC Macose. Batch 91 alumnus Jules T. Noveras was the guest speaker. He managed to make a shoutout to BatangBaler during his speech.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Sining Silangan

Click on the image to download the poster

Let your creative juices flow this summer!

Join the

Sining Silangan '05
Aurora Summer Visual Arts Fest
May 16 - 22, 2005
Theme: "Laya ng Diwa'y Pasibulin, Yamang Likas Kalingain"

This event is open to all interested students, out-of-school-youth, and professionals (those engaged in other professions). If you think you've got what it takes to be one of the 50 select participants, just submit 5 of your works (2 old, 3 recent) for screening to: Mrs. Rosanna Querijero, Aurora National Science High School on or before April 29, 2005. An appointed panel will select the participants based on merit. Participants will have the chance to exhibit their works at the Museo De Baler.

For inquiries please contact: Ariel 09202411559 or Joseph 09215413720, or you can email batangbaler at gmail dot com.

A project of the Aurora Provincial Government

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Baler Church

Here's for the Pope.

Monday, April 04, 2005


February 18, 2005. Aurora Day Celebration. Provincial Capitol. Cost: hundreds of thousands of pesos.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Baler View

Here's another one for the weekend. It's a wallpaper so just click on the picture to open the large one. It's a view of Baler taken from the mountains of Dikaloyungan (ASCOT).

And here's the panoramic view. Click the image for the big one. Enjoy.


I changed my mind. Someone offered me a 78" flatscreen lcd television just to continue batangbaler and i couldn't resist the offer. Actually I was just keeping up with the spirit of April Fool's Day. Thanks for making my yesterday, it's been so long since i had this much fun. And for those who posted real concerns for batangbaler's demise, thank you also and sorry for disturbing your day. I never thought that some Aurorans can't really have their day complete without a fix of BB. Your sentiments will be rewarded.

I'm still in "april fool's" mood but these pictures are not doctored in any way. This one shows a great example of recycling, a chamber flower pot. I took this two weeks ago at a garden somewhere in Suklayin.

And you're not a Balerian if you don't know what chi-chok is. It's one of my favorite games when I was a kid. I like it because it needs no equipment to play. It's a cross between football (but without a ball) and 100 meter dash. I didn't know until last week that chichok is now a chocolate brand.