Thursday, June 30, 2005

Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day 2005

This is the quickest update I made in Batangbaler. The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Celebration happened just this morning. The oldest picture here was taken at 8:00 this morning and the newest just one hour ago. The last part of the event was the opening of the restored watchtower at Sitio Castillo and i decided to post the pictures right away since i will pass by our internet lab at ASCOT on the way back anyway. I don't know where the people involved are having their lunch now but i'm hungry and i think i deserve an invitation.

As usual I arrived late and missed the wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Church.

The peeps walking to the Baler Park where the main program will take place.

The whole program happened under the rain. I bet this kids are required to be there.

Sen. Edgardo Angara with the delagates from Philippines and Spain.

Why are we friends? Things explained in these posters at the park grounds.

The teachers in their Filipiniana dress.

After the program, the exhibit at the Museo was opened. The place was newly renovated but still as hot as hell.

The old pictures are still blockbusters.

There's also an exhibit of Aurora pictures. It was commissioned by Senator Angara and were taken by famous photographers from the country. Here two locals are enjoying the Romy Vitug photos.

View from the second floor.

Next stop, Dikaloyungan where a new historical marker about the Putok sa Dikaloyungan (click on the link to read the story by Olag Selaznog) will be unveiled.

Spot Ka Ending.

Spot Ka Faming.

Ka Ending: " ay dala-dalawa pala ang ninunu ku ditu ay!"

This place was constructed in just seven days. This is what the marker says: Dikaloyungan. Sa pook na ito noong 3 Setyembre 1897 nagpunit ng sedula ang mga katipunerong kinabibilangan nina Teodorico Luna Novicio, Antero Amatorio, Norberto Valenzuela, Isabelo Palispis at iba pa at lumagda sa isang manipestong nagpapahayag ng kanilang pagsalungat sa kapangyarihan ng España. Sa pangyayaring ito nagsimula ang himagsikang Filipino sa distrito ng Prinsipe (Aurora ngayon). Nagsilbi rin itong himpilan ng kilusang rebolusyonaryo sa Baler.

The restored watchtower at the Chapel of Sitio Castillo in Baler.

The Angaras with the kids.

More kids. This place is overflowing with children.

My barkadas.

Inside the watchtower.

The Governor taking orders from the kids: "Bola ng basketball, bola ng volleyball, scrabble..anu pa?"

Here are some articles about the event:
from Manila Times:
The roots of Filipino-Spanish friendship By Augusto V. De Viana
from Manila Bulletin: Discussion on RP-Spain ties held today as prelude to ‘Siege of Baler’ observance by Ariel Avendaño


Pwera pasma! Yesterday i was both chilling and perspiring at the same time for 24 hours because of flu. I already missed two related events, the 3rd Phillipine Spanish Conference-Workshop held at ASCOT and the evening cultural presentation at the municipal plaza. Luckily, my fever was gone this morning and i was able to go out and take pictures. I was partly drenched in rain and i'm getting hot again. Please pray for my early recovery. Don't worry about the pictures of the events i missed, i have sources. Adios Amigos!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


This old photo of Baler was taken only last Sunday. I thought my photoshop skills were getting rusty so I tried to practice on turning a new picture into an old one. The hardest part was removing loads of dangling wires and some remnants of the May 2004 election. This row of houses are located along Angara street starting from the Quezon Hiway going to Brgy. Buhangin. This is the original picture:


BB Stats January - June 2005

Monthly Stats
Average unique visitors per month: 3,584
Average visits per month : 5,994
Average monthly pageviews: 49,939
Average monthly hits: 336,431

Daily Stats
Average visits: 200
Average page visits: 2,842
Hits: 12,769

unique visitors - first time visit to the website or first time a computer connects to the batangbaler server.
visits - counts each time the homepage was visited
pageviews - counts each time any page in the website was visited
hits - counts everytime a file on the website is accessed, including pages, images, database etc.Also includes access to guestbook and messageboard.

Last weekend's downtime of the BB website was again due to excess bandwidth (size of file access allowed per month which is 5GB in the case of Batangbaler). I requested the hosting company for additional bandwidth on Friday (June 24) before the site went down. Unfortunately, the request was activated only this Monday (June 27). To solve this problem I upgraded BB's account to four times the current bandwidth allocation (from 5 to 20GB) and also increased the file storage (from 800MB to 900MB). Of course it means increase in monthly payments but the problem of excess bandwith every month will be solved. As a result of this upgrade, the one-year hosting payment that is supposed to last until June next year will only cover payments up to January.
We'll deal with it when the time comes. In the meantime, enjoy your Batangbaler Experience.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Hot Topics on the Board

If you're not a member or a regular browser of the BB messageboard, these are some of the hot topics:

1. Hello Garci - starts with the use of the Hello Garci ringtone and snowballs into discussions on wiretapping, GMA and all things related to the latest issue about the Gloriagate scandal.

2. Outstanding Balerians - what it takes to be an outstanding Balerian

3. Aurora National Science High School - Divided into topics for the different batches of ANSHS

5. Buhay FL - Remembering and celebrating the fast learner class.

Most topics at the messageboard are open to everyone. Some requires registration before you can reply. To register click here.

Friday, June 24, 2005


I shot these last night. I took almost two dozen shots while tinkering with the camera settings and these two are the best of the worst. Some even came out totally black. These two shots have exposures of 10 seconds.

Baler By Night

Baler turns into a completely different beast as night sets in. This is a preview of my planned night pictures of Baler. Of course it will come after Baler By Day and after I find out how to properly take nightshots.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Busy, busy, busy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Return to the Falls

One of the very first set of pictures I posted on the first version of Batangbaler was a trip to Ditumabo Falls on May 2001. It was not my first visit but going there was such an experience that everytime seems to be the first. The last such trip for me was on 2002. I don't know what the government officials in San Luis were thinking but instead of developing the place into what could probably be the best tourist destination in Aurora, they decided to turn it into an electric generator. They're currently doing their thing there now and it looks ugly. The waterfall is still there, as majestic as before but the thrill of the journey is lost forever.

See the old pictures. Then see these. Then Compare.

One of the metal pipes that will be used for the Ditumabo Hydroelectric Power Plant was washed out and crushed like a tin can during the December typhoons.

The small dam two kilometers from the waterfall.

To the right of the dam (shown above) is this building that will house the turbines and generators of the power plant.

Pipes as wide as drums snake through the trail.

The Baby Falls, or what's left of it.

If you ignore the constructions, there are still beautiful sights to behold.

This one you can't ignore.

This used to be the old log located near the "Mother Falls".

Warning signs, littering not allowed but bulldozing okay.

The pipes goes here.

Some remaining swimming spots.

The shower falls, a sign that the big one is just around the corner.

The newly constructed dam.

What a beauty.

The dam turned what was once a slippery and rocky obstacle to the the falls into a clear and sparkling pool for swimming.

Ahh.. still there, what's the problem?

And that big round boulder is still there. No problemo.

Just to give you the scale of the thing.

This thing is actually discouraged by the tourist guides.

And look, now there's a beach.

Quick, click this picture to get the wallpaper.

The big picture.

Ok. Thank you! Come again!