Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Aurora @ Best of Central Luzon Showcase

In support of "I Love Philippines, Byahe Na!" domestic travel advocacy campaign of the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Provincial Government of Aurora through the Provincial Tourism Office is participating in the forthcoming Best of Central Luzon Showcase on October 1-15, 2005 at SM City Marilao, Bulacan.

The Best of Central Luzon Showcase is a 2-week tourism and trade promotion activity to be participated in by the 7 procinces of Central Luzon (Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales,), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Clark Development Corporation (CDC). It is highlighted by a regional travel mart, trade fair, food festival, and the Araw ng Lalawigan, where each participating province is given the chance to showcase its cultural offerings.

The Araw ng Aurora is scheduled on October 2, 2005 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM at the SM City ePlaza Marilao, Bulacan. There will be a special cultural presentation hosted by the province.

October 1: Street Dance Festival - Winning street dancers of Baler and SanLuis will participate in the Parade and Dance Exhibition (1:00 PM Marilao Town Proper to SM City Marilao)

October 2: Araw ng Aurora - Day-long cultural performances at the main activity areas. (10:ooam to 7:00 pm, ePlaza, SM City Marilao)

October 1 - 15: Travel Mart - A curated exhibit will have a section on Aurora; flyers and brochures on Aurora and available tour packages will be distributed. (2nd Level, SM City Marilao)

October 1-15: Travel Trade Expo - Local producers will occupy the Aurora booth; Proposed product selection includes sabutan fashion and home accessories, coco-wine and wood-based furniture. (2nd Level)


Don't miss this event if you're somewhere near SM City Marilao on October 2. Marilao, Bulacan is just 30 minutes away from Manila. There are FX vans at SM City North Edsa going to Marilao. I will be going with the 400 plus delegates from Aurora. I will not perform on stage, i'll just take pictures. I saw the rehearsals of the presentations and it's better than any fiesta production in Baler. The Provincial Government is really bent on making this presentation a special one. There will be performances of the best street dancing kids in Aurora, a Comedia de Baler, the Pangkat Kawayan, a dramatization of the Siege of Baler with John Arcilla, Fashion Show, Folk Dances and lots of other performances. See you there!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Social Justice

There's an ongoing exhibit at the Museo De Baler (Quezon Park) about Pres. Manuel L. Quezon and his Social Justice program. It was probably opened last August 19 but I only saw it last week. It's titled Justice For All which reminded me of the Metallica album. The text on one panel says:

President Manuel L. Quezon beleived in the worth and significance of the common man. This belief is at the heart of his campaign for social justice which he championed throughout his presidency.

President Quezon sought to achieve social justice by protecting the rights of laborers through legislation and personal projects, and by creating more jobs for the common man. He believed that work is the measure of a man therefore man must be allowed to improve his lot and the government must help him. He empowered the disenfranchised: women were given the right to vote, tenants a chance to own land, laborers protection from ill working conditions. He put in place an effective educational system and provided the poor with knowledge and skills to better themselves.

He strove to protect our country from dangerous class wars, a danger that persists to this day. He envisioned a country united despite diferences in social class and creed, and a time when this campaign for social justice would no loger be necessary. He appealed to each Filipino's moral impulse to protect his fellowman.

This exhibit traces one man's efforts to ensure justice for all and to unite them all under one nation. Let it be a testament. Let it be a lesson to all generations.

Here are some pictures:

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Angaras

From the official website of the House of Representatives, this is the info page of our lone Congressman, Juan Edgardo M. Angara. Includes profiles, Committees, and house bills he sponsored and authored. Very informative.

Ang Sen. Edgardo Angara, or one of his staff is blogging.Check out the EDJA blog. The description reads: "This is an independent News and Articles Blog for Edgardo Angara and does not necessarily reflect the official stand of Edgardo Angara."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Martial Law

Here's a soundclip of Ferdinand Marcos declaring Martial Law.

Both picture and audioclip were taken from this ThinkQuest article titled The Philippines Under Martial Law.

Here's also an article by MLQ3

Proclamation 1081 and Martial Law. from countrystudies. Check this directory about the Philippines.

Martial Law in Retrospect. From

Here's the Google search result page for "Martial Law Philippines"

2 feared dead in landslide in Aurora town

from 2 feared dead in landslide in Aurora town: Government soldiers and volunteers resumed on Tuesday the search for the bodies of two persons believed to have died from a landslide in Dipaculao, Aurora, on Sunday. The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) in Aurora also mobilized additional earth-moving equipment to sift through the mounds of mud, rocks and logs at Sitio Dinapindingan, Barangay Dinadiawan in Dipaculao, to find Arceli Gallego, 56, and Reynaldo Valenzuela, 45, police reports said.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Found: Logging Photos

Technorati pointed me to this loads of photos of logging operations in Casiguran. Posted by a certain "casiguranin" from the pioneering Aurora online group casiguran dot com. It was posted more than a year ago and I must have been in Pluto then because I failed to see it. Anyway, better late than later :-).


from abs-cbn interactive:abs-cbn interactive: possible landslides and flash floods especially in Aurora and Quezon as the tropical depression is expected to affect these provinces that were badly hit by natural disasters in November and December last year owing to continuous rains. Labuyo, which is expected to affect Metro Manila, would be 130 kilometers north-northeast of Legazpi City Tuesday afternoon and 80 kilometers southwest of Baler, Aurora, by Wednesday afternoon.

from The Manila Bulletin Online:3 Aurora towns still isolated by floods and landslides. The northern towns of Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag, this province have been isolated since Friday when some sections of the Baler-Casiguran Road were blocked by landslides triggered by continuous downpour.


I was watching the news on TV this morning and Labuyo, the typhoon, was on the headline. They specifically mentioned Aurora and advised us to prepare for this one because the typhoon might cause another round of flash flood. Or a section of the Sierra Madre might collapse ang bury the whole province (my idea). I bet news crews from ABS-CBN and GMA7 are now rushing to Baler to meet Labuyo and to be on location in case mother nature decides to drown us again.

We already have electricity since Sunday night. Someone drowned in Maria and another one was covered with landslide in Dipaculao.

Monday, September 19, 2005

All I Want For Christmas!

The ipod Unano. This is cool. Someone please give me one this Christmas :-)


from Manila Bulletin:Blackout hits Aurora even as vital road is still closed. Landslides triggered by floods cause collapse of electric posts

Guess What?

Any idea what these things are?

Saturday, September 17, 2005


xandro at kanisushi blog listed the top 5 scenic roads in the Philippines, and No. 1 on the list is the Baler-Bonagabong road. (personally: not anymore!)

Still proud of MLQ3 as a relative and kababayan, despite all his confessions in a personal reflection. Now that's what a real astig! is all about.

Check out this photo. "In what seems destined to become one of the most joked about photos of the month, a well-known Reuters photographer on Wednesday captured President George W. Bush scribbling a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a session at the United Nations. On the note is a message revolving around the need to take a "bathroom break."

and finally,
A Tongue-eating bug found in fish:
"The 3.5cm creature had grabbed onto the fish's tongue and slowly ate away at it until only a stub was left. It then latched onto the stub and became the fish's "replacement tongue" ".

On The Way to Dicaloyungan

On the way to Dicaloyungan today I took these pictures. For months I was hoping that the rainy season would come because of too much heat. Seeing these and with last year's floods still fresh in my memory, I realized that I wouldn't mind being too hot until December. I take back my wish.

And it's raining here again as I type this.

Kinalapan River to the left.

To the right.

A view of the boats docked near the Kinalapan bridge.

Everytime there's a heavy rain, the shallow canal on the side of this road would overflow and make a crossing bringing along lots of gravel and stuff.

Clean and Green.

The Dicaloyungan River. On a normal day this would only be a trickle.

Rock fall.

Baler this morning, under a pall of gloom.

Deja Vu

It was raining here for a week because of a low pressure area somewhere in Luzon. No typhoon, but the non-stop rains caused some minor floodings and we have no electricity since yesterday. I'm here at ASCOT and were running on generator power. On the way here I saw that Kinalapan and Dikaloyungan rivers are flooded, and there were some rockfalls and overflows on the roads. Someone told me that last night, the local disaster council was preparing to evacuate the residents of Obligacion, just in case situations turn to worse. They have trucks and firetrucks there waiting last night. I don't know if they evacuated, but luckily the rain stopped around midnight last night. The sky is still cloudy and i hope the sun would come out because we need to have our clothes dried :-). The Baler-Bongabong road is unpassable and there are lots of stranded vehicles there, according to the news. I don't know if the Canili Road is passable. I'll post some pictures later.

Here are some news from the net:

From Tempo Online: "First, the 50-kilometer-long Baler-Bongabon Road (BBR), a vital road network linking Aurora to the rest of Central Luzon, has been rendered impassable to all kinds of vehicles since Monday due to the week-long downpour that hit the eastern province. Now, the entire Aurora province is without electricity. As of yesterday, Barangay Villa in Maria Aurora, in Aurora province, has been closed to traffic, after the bridge spanning the Villa River had been washed out by floodwaters. Newshen Grace Sansano, reporting in Baler from the stricken side of Aurora via cellphone, said that several electric posts of the Aurora electric cooperative (Aurelco) were felled by several landslides caused by the cascading floodwaters. The office of civil defense here was unable to provide immediate details as to the extent of the damage although search-and-rescue missions were mapped out yesterday. (Magtanggol C. Vilar)"

from Manila Bulletin: Hundreds stranded on vital road in Aurora & Nueva Ecija: 50-kilometer stretch impassable due to floods spawned by heavy rains.



from DENR allows resumption of Aurora logging. "The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has lifted the suspension order on a timber company in Aurora, signaling the resumption of logging operations there after an eight-month nationwide ban following last year’s deadly landslides. Ricardo Calderon, forestry chief of the DENR in Central Luzon, confirmed on Thursday the permission given to the Industries Development Corp. (IDC) to resume operations. The firm, based in Casiguran, Aurora, holds two DENR-issued integrated forest management agreements (Ifma) over 48,877 hectares, which expires in December 2025, and over 9,466 hectares, which ends in October 2007."

these paragraphs from the same news are disturbing: "The clamor to reopen the IDC came from the municipal councils of Dilasag and Casiguran, which passed separate resolutions asking President Macapagal-Arroyo to allow “selective logging” in their areas. The provincial board, on the other hand, passed in April Resolution No. 39 to air its desire to “create job employment opportunities in the wood-based industry through the implementation of sustainable forest management strategies.”

Couple that with the fact that the provincial government is not against LEGAL logging and only after the illegal ones, one wonders on which side our government officials are on.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


This morning with Else (left) and Donnel (right) at the Museo De Baler, posing with the man. There's this exhibit there titled "Justice For All" - all about MLQ's social justice program during his presidency. Lots of great pictures. And I noticed the Museum has updates, i'll post more pixes later.

This is the first time I used the new image upload feature of blogspot. I'll see if this can reduce bandwidth on BB. (update: hey they shrunk my picture, i think i'll use my own server.)

Casiguranin Diary

Great find courtesy of the new Google Blogsearch. Check out a snip from one entry:

Logging has been operating for the last 50 years and will continue, basedo on its permit, until 2032. That means thse who were born this year cannot do anything until their 27th birthday. At the average lifespan of 80, those 53 years old now will not live to see that year when IDC will finally expire its rights over Casiguran forests. The Martial Law babies will have retired by then or are senior citizens already. That will make 80 years of logging which is equivalent to a lifetime. For decades, the natural resources has been virtually owned by few families or businessmen. These businessmen have just ensured a fortune for their great grandchildren.
Read more..


Google just launched another project from their lab, Blogsearch. It searches blog entries of your chosen topic. I road tested it and searched for blog entries about Baler, Aurora and found lots of blogs about my favorite town. Here are the links to some searches:

Baler, Aurora
Aurora Province
Casiguran, Aurora

Check out blogsearch for more...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Something About Roads

Out of Topic: Coconets

This is the first of my out of topic (not Baler or Aurora related) posts here at BB. I will be regularly posting interesting sites and info that I regularly encounter in this great information ukay-ukay called the internet. Enjoy!

I received this on my email from a guy named Sherwin from Coco Tech:

"Did you know that the Philippines’ coconut geotextile ( a.k.a. coconet) for soil erosion control has been chosen as one of the 12 finalists in Newsweek and BBC’s (British Broadcasting Corporation) World’s World Challenge?

The World Challenge is basically a competition/search designed at identifying groups or individuals all over the world whose projects have contributed great impact at grass roots level.

A documentary about Philippine Coconut geotextile or coconet industry will be shown on the BBC World cable channel on September 24 around 8:30 GMT and will also be featured in the August 29 special issue of Newsweek.

“The World Challenge” already offers a tremendous exposure and publicity to our flourishing Philippine coconut geotextile industry and to our Philippine coconut fiber exporters. But it would be great liberation for our country, which has been getting very bad publicity nowadays, to win this prestigious competition.

To vote, please open and click the picture of Philippine coconet.

Please help us campaign for more voters by forwarding this message to your co-worker, friends and relatives.


You can here to vote and check more info about coconets.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Wish We Were Here

Not Boracay. Somewhere closer. I can get there from Baler and back with 500 bucks. Time is what i really need. This is Casapsapan Bay in Casiguran. Photo by: Ferdie Delos Reyes, Provincial Tourism Office.


Tricycle (Sabang, Baler, Aurora)

Hole (Ermita, Baler, Aurora)

Gradient (San Joaquin, Ma. Aurora, Aurora)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Remainder 2

By the way, there was a Coco-sabutan festival thingy during the Baler Fiesta. I just wasn't able to cover it because my dayjob interfered. They had this streetdancing thing and booth contest. This is the best i can share, the booths blocked by the Bb. Baler candidates. Photos by Ped Arcillo.

Remainder 1

While 99 percent of Baler were enjoying the Fiesta week, some of us were working. The opening of the ASCOT-Fundeso Training Dorm at Dicaloyungan. In the photo from left: ASCOT President Dr. Romeo S. Cabanilla, Sen. Edgardo J. Angara and his wife, Hon. Ryulchiro Yamazaki (Ambassador of Japan), Hon. Lim Kheng Hua (Ambassador of Singapore), Dr. Eusebio Angara of ASCOT, Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Hon. Jesus Quintana from Spain, and Baler Mayor Arthur Angara. This was on August 18. The next day, August 19 we were in the same place again with two more Ambassadors, Hon. Axel Raimund Weishaupt of Germany and Hon. Peter Beckingham from the United Kingdom. I was the event photographer and the ambassador of Suklayin.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Check this site, you'll find something interesting.

And this is more surprising.