Thursday, December 29, 2005

Casiguran Flash Flood

Note: the two local radio stations in Baler, DZRH-FM and DZJO-FM, are reporting the following information:

  1. The non-stop rains this week caused a major flash flood in Casiguran, Aurora. The entire Poblacion and most low-lying barangays are now under water with some areas under 5 to 10 feet of water. Some barangays in Dilasag and Dinalungan are also affected. Most rivers in the area have overflowed their banks. About 100 to 200 families are now in the different evacuation areas in Casiguran particularly Ermita Church, MCC building and the municipal hall. The road to Dicadi is unpassable and the area is currently isolated.
  2. There are also reports of minor floodings in Maria Aurora, San Luis (San Isidro area) , Baler (Pingit, Kinalapan and Sitio Pulo in Zabali) and Dingalan.
  3. Baler-Bongabong road is unpassable because of high water levels in Villa river. Canili-Pantabangan road is currently unpassable on account of a landslide near Brgy. Wenceslao in Ma. Aurora. The Maria Aurora mayor and the DPWH chief already dispatched heavy-equipment vehicles to clear the slide.
  4. Although the Aguang and Kinalapan rivers have overflowed, Baler experienced only minor floods in some area on account of recent flood control projects of the government and the opening of the Sabangan area so that waters going through the Pudok area can flow directly to the sea. (Thanks also to the rain for taking a break last night.)
  5. The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council and the different local government agencies are now on heightened alert and currently doing what they can to help the affected Aurorans.
Please note the date and time of this post. Some developments might have happened while this is being posted.

Reporters of DZRH Baler are constantly updating their mother station. DZRH can be heard online. Just go to and click on the DZRH link. You should have Windows Media Player to stream the broadcast.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Elevated Alert

Baler is now on elevated status with regards to floodings. Two days of non-stop rains caused the swelling of the Kinalapan ang Aguang rivers. Local radio stations are reporting minor floodings in Pingit, Sitio Pulo in Zabali and othet parts of the town. Local government disaster agencies are now in action and advising residents in low lying areas to evacuate while it is still daytime and the waters are still low. Road to Casiguran and other northern towns are closed and passengers are stranded at the Baler Sports Complex. There's an unverified news that a passenger jeepney on the way to Casiguran was covered with landslide. No news yet if the Baler-Bongabong and Canili-Pantabangan roads are still passable. There's still electricity and the rain is still going on.

NPA, AFP Trade Accusations in Baler Fire

from ABS-CBN Interactive: NPA, AFP trade accusations in Baler fire. "Fire gutted the headquarters of a nongovernment organization in Barangay Buhangin in Baler, Aurora, at 4 a.m. on December 25, the military reported on Tuesday. The fire destroyed the headquarters of the Bahay Talakayan para sa Rekonstruksyon at Ikauunlad ng Sambayanan, or Bataris. Damage was estimated at P1 million. Lt. Col. Joselito Kakilala, battalion commander of the 48th Infantry Division, reported that a group of suspected New People’s Army guerillas allegedly planned the fire although some quarters blame the military for the blaze. read more.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Aurora Travel Journal - In German

This looks like a great read - if you know German. It's an account of a travel or expedition in Dinalungan and Baler. the pictures are great, just click on them to open the bigger versions.

If you really want to read it, these tranlation websites might be useful: babelfish (just copy the url or web address of the site and choose German to English translation. It translated the entire page and the resulting English version is understandable but hard to read.). Google translate (do the same step as babelfish. I think this tool translates better but it only translated the first two paragraphs of the page. Check out the Google english version of the website.)

Aurora Catholic Group's Dorm Burned

from Aurora Catholic Group's Dorm Burned. "Three men believed to be government soldiers burned the women's dormitory of a Catholic church's training institute in Baler town, Aurora province on Christmas Day, reports received by the Inquirer said. Alfonso van Zijl, executive director of the Bataris (Bahay Talakayan para sa Rekonstruksyon at Ikauunlad ng Sambayanan) based in Barangay Buhangin, said the fire that broke out at about 4 a.m. destroyed the institute's wooden sleeping quarters and burned two motorcycles. He estimated the losses at almost P1 million." read more.

Dingalan Housing Program Launched

from Manila Times Internet Edition: Dingalan housing program launched. "The groundbreaking for the immediate construction of 100 housing units in typhoon-ravaged Dingalan, Aurora, began Saturday through the initiative of Sen. Edgardo Angara. An initial 900 housing units will be built in Dingalan for the resettlement of those whose homes were destroyed by the typhoon. Most of the destroyed houses were built near rivers." read more

Friday, December 23, 2005

NPA's Attack Globe Cellsite in Dinalungan

from the Mindanao Daily Mirror: NPAs attack Globe cell site anew. Suspected communist guerillas attacked yet another Globe telecommunications tower in the province of Aurora Monday, the 22nd on the Ayala-owned company since July. Police reports said the attack occurred 12:05 a.m. when about 20 New People’s Army strafed the Globe cell site compound in Poblacion Zone 1 village in Dinalungan town. read more.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Surf Report

Rimat Ti Aminian Surfing Invitational at La Union wrapped-up last Dec. 17 and 4 BalerBoys are in the winner's list, Argie Hugo (2nd Runner-up Open Division), Jeff Dela Torre (2nd Runner-up Junior Division), Allan Derecho (3rd Runner-up Junior Division) and Allen De Vera (Champion, Grommet Division - the kids division). For a complete list of the winners, visit surfpinoy.

The La Union surfing competition was also the last leg of the inaugural Phillipine Surfing Circuit. From surfpinoy: " The circuit was created to determine the Top 12 Filipino Surfers for the year. Each time a surfer (from the open division) reaches the finals he will a get points depending on how he placed for a certain leg. These points are then tallied at the end of the circuit to determine which 12 waveriders make it to the prestigious list." Three Balerboys made it to the Top 12: Argie Hugo (#3), Edmund Mendoza (#6) and Joel Faraon (#7). Click here to see the complete list

Kage has pixes of the event.

Congratulations to all the winners! See you next year in Baler!



I have closeup shots of these surfer dudes in my busted PC at home. I'll post them as soon as i can get the junk to run again. In the meantime, heres something for reference: Argie Hugo is 4th from left, Edmund Mendoza is 3rd and Joel Faraon is 6th. Badgirl must be jumping for joy.

I want! I Want!

The Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) Giga Pack is more than a portable version of Playstation. It's a portable entertainment center with MP3 and MP4 Download and play capabilities. This nearly pocketable portable has a built-in, bright, high-resolution 4.3 inch (diagonal) Color TFT LCD widescreen (for 16:9 perspective), built-in Stereo speakers, and amazing connectivity. Etc..etc..etc..

The Xbox 360 sets a new pace for digital entertainment. More than just a cutting-edge game system, Xbox 360 also integrates high-definition video, DVD movie playback, digital music, photos, and online connectivity into one sleek, small tower.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wanted: Anesthesiologist in Aurora

from Wanted: Anesthesiologist in Aurora. "Despite a regular search, this province has had no anesthesiologist in the last 10 years, limiting the access of pregnant women and other patients to life-saving surgical operations.

“The item has always been opened but there has always been no takers,” Dr. Norma Palmero, provincial health officer, told the Inquirer.

An anesthesiologist specializes in administering anesthesia, a drug that makes a patient numb to pain during surgery. An anesthetist used to do that work here until the Department of Health made it a policy to assign that task to an anesthesiologist, she said." read more.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Law and Order

Some Aurora related legal cases:

People vs Silva: "That on September 3, 1996 at around 10:00 o’clock in the evening, purposely sought to better accomplish their criminal design, at Sitio Diaboyo, Barangay Ditumabo, San Luis, Aurora, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, conspiring and confederating together and helping one another, with intent to kill and with treachery and evident premeditation and use of superior strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and use personal violence upon the person of one Manuel Ceriales after abducting him and his brother Edmund Ceriales and while his feet were both tied with a rope and his hands tied at his back, by stabbing and beheading him causing his instantaneous death; that the accused also commenced the commission of the crime of murder upon the person of Edmund Ceriales directly by overt acts by also tying his two feet and his hands at his back with intent to kill, but the said accused did not perform all the acts of execution which should have produced the crime of Murder as a consequence, by reason of causes other than their own spontaneous desistance, that is, said Edmund Ceriales was able to escape while the accused were about to kill his brother Manuel Ceriales." read more.

G.R. No. 160341: "On April 16, 1997, petitioner Exequiel Senoja, Fidel Senoja, Jose Calica, and Miguel Lumasac were drinking gin in the hut of Crisanto Reguyal in Barangay Zarah, San Luis, Aurora. An angry Leon Lumasac suddenly arrived at the said place, holding a bolo in his right hand and looking for his brother Miguel. Petitioner and Jose tried to pacify Leon. But when petitioner approached Leon, the latter tried to hack him so he embraced Leon and Jose took Leon’s bolo." read more.

Ubongen vs Ubongen: "According to the complainant, the respondent was legally married to Dionisio F. Dela Cruz. She thereafter contracted a subsequent marriage with one Benjamin N. Ubongen on August 18, 1993 knowing that the latter was married to Ruth Notada Ubongen with seven children. The complainant added that the entire community where she resides was aware that she lived with Dionisio F. Dela Cruz in a single abode prior to the celebration of her second marriage. The complainant prayed that the respondent be preventively suspended and thereafter dismissed from the service “with prejudice,” and attached the respective marriage contracts alluded to." read more.

datamined from


from Adrian Ayalin's Lagalag blog: "It’s been a year now since the first of the three strong typhoons hit the country. And it is a great relief for me to find out that the town of Dingalan in Aurora Province is slowly getting back to its feet. Just a few weeks ago, my team went back to Dingalan to see how the town has recovered from its worst nightmares named Violeta, Winnie and Yoyong. (Actually, typhoon Yoyong did not bring as much rain but it was a supertyphoon, and the winds were just as scary.) read more.

Fabricated Resolution Basis for Lifting Logging Ban

from Manila Times Internet Edition: Fabricated resolution basis
for lifting of logging ban:

CASIGURAN, Aurora: A municipal councilor has alleged that a fabricated resolution was used to justify the lifting of the logging ban in this town.

In a briefing in Quezon City, Councilor Joel Torre denied that the council passed and approved Resolution 021-2005 requesting President Arroyo to lift the logging ban in Casiguran and Aurora.

“The minutes of the meeting of March 21, 2005, regular session shows there was no such approved resolution. The lifting of the logging ban was not also included in our agenda so how come there was such a resolution?” he asked.

Torre said the document was fabricated to justify the lifting of the moratorium by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, allowing the Industries Development Corp. to continue its logging operation in August 2005.

Mayor Reynaldo Bitong of Casiguran said he only learned about the “fake” resolution from the energy department’s evaluation team that assessed the logging activities of IDC to determine whether its logging permit would be reinstated.

In December last year, President Arroyo declared a total logging ban nationwide after a series of landslides and flash floods hit Aurora, Quezon and parts of Nueva Ecija, killing 1,600 people and displacing more than 53,000 families.

Bitong noted that the corporation started its operation in August 2005 but applied for a mayor’s permit only in September.

He refused to issue a permit since the company allegedly failed to submit a multipartite agreement with the local government and nongovernment organizations endorsing its logging operation. The firm also reportedly failed to provide the mayor a rehabilitation plan and a budget for its implementation.

Bitong faces a civil case after the firm filed a petition for mandamus with application for a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Judge Corazon Soluren of Branch 96 of the Baler Regional Trial Court issued a 20-day TRO dated December 2, preventing him from stopping logging operations in Casiguran.

Of the 57,069-hectare logging area, 70 percent is in Casiguran, while the remaining hectares are in the towns of Dinalungan and Dilasag in Aurora.

Environment Secretary Mic­hael Defensor said the IDC was allowed to operate because of its “satisfactory” performance. He claimed his approval had the consent of NGOs, like Tanggol Kalikasan, but the group denied the secretary’s claims.

The Manila Times tried to contact Defensor for his comment on the allegedly fake resolution but he was available. -- Ronnie E. Calumpita


from NORDIS weekly: Env’t group backs Casiguran mayor decision not to grant permit to logging firm. Environmental groups in Aurora province backed Casiguran town Mayor Reynaldo Bitong, who was issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by Regional Trial Court Branch 96 Judge Corazon Soluren, in the Petition for Mandamus by the logging company Industries Development Corporation (IDC). read more.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Attention Amazon Users

The BB website stats reveals that more than 40% of its visitors are from North America. If you're one those visitors, this message is for you. If you're into online shopping and uses, you can help Batangbaler by using the newly installed Amazon searcbox on the right sidebar instead of going directly to the site. By using the searchbox, a small percentage of the price of the item you buy on Amazon will go to Batangbaler (ranges from 4% to 7% of the gross price). This way you can help BB earn some income for use on the website expenses and to buy beer and pulutan for the webmaster (that's me). I also included some recommended products on the lower part of the sidebar. Most of them are Baler and Philippine related. I will change them occasionally and you can purchase one if you're interested. I will also put recommended products directly on my posts. Like this:

I can't believe that Weng-Wengs's movie is available on Amazon. Weng-Weng was my Favorite when I was in elementary, and this movie predates Mini-me and Austin Powers by a good two decades. Here's a take from my new favorite blog: "For your Height Only is classic camp: so bad, it’s good. Dr. Van Curler, the inventor of the N-Bomb, is kidnapped by syndicate ringleader Mr. Giant. Agent double O (Weng Weng) is assigned to save the scientist, and the world, from doom. He is aided by the voluptuous Irma Alegre, who gets killed in the cross fire. There are lots of derivative gadgets and gizmos copied from James Bond flicks but this is more ingenious. They attach an empty can of mini-fire extinguisher to Weng Weng’s body as a personal propeller rocket, and turn a cheap black Bumbay umbrella into a parachute. If Bruce Lee is famous for his flying kick, Weng Weng has his four foot-kick that directly targets the opponent’s groin."

I'm putting this DVD on my wishlist.

Ay syempre, wag kalilimutang pindutin at bisitahin ang mga patalastas sa itaas at ibaba ng batangbaler. Makakatulong din kayo sa fundraising ni kidlat (ako) pag ginawa ninyo ito. (Tinagalog ko dahil bawal mag promote na kagaya nito he he he).

Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat!

News Alert

from abs-cbn news: Timber company threatens 5 protected areas. "At least five protected areas within a timberland face destruction after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources lifted the suspension of logging in three towns in Aurora. Fr. Jose Talaban of Quezon Prelature, whose religious jurisdiction covers Aurora, said that under the law, protected areas like watershed, waterfalls and landscape must be spared from logging and other kinds of development activities. The DENR violated the law, he said." read more.

from Tempo Online: Man arrested after killing businesswoman. "CABANATUAN CITY – A man was arrested by police shortly after he shot to death a businesswoman in full view of the public here on Wednesday afternoon. Police Superintendent Jesus Gordon Descanzo, city police chief, said the suspect, Pepito Gonzales, of Barangay Buhangin, Baler, Aurora, was placed behind bars for the fatal shooting of Carmen Concepcion Macatiag, 52, of Mossessgeld Street, Magsaysay Norte, Cabanatuan City." read more.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Guess Where?

Do you know where in Baler is this place?


Villa Aurora, December 8, 2005. A car being towed by a DPWH bulldozer across the river. The next day the river was ten times bigger.

The DPWH announced that the Baler-Bongabong road will be closed from December 15 to 22. Labi bridge will be repaired. So if you're planning to go home to Baler on those dates, the only option is the Canili-Pantabangan road.

The annual Provincial Athletic Meet (aka Division Meet) started yesterday here in Baler without the delegates from Casiguran, Dinalungan and Dilasag. They were stranded because the one week non-stop rains flooded most of the rivers in the Dicadi area and caused some landslides along the Baler-Casiguran road. The delegates arrived only yesterday afternoon.


This news is sad, and ironically...funny:

"For resident 68-year-old Norma Vilar, a pensioner for at least five years now, it has been a long wait for her pension fund to be released to her automated teller machine account. Last August, her pension money stopped. Upon verification at the regional branch here, she said she was told she has to file an affidavit or certification “that she is still alive."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

North Flood

from Floods, landslides isolate 3 Aurora towns . Strong monsoon rains over Aurora province since Monday have triggered landslides and caused rivers to overflow, isolating three northern towns here, reports from local officials said. read more.

Old news: 600-km ecotourism trail under way in the Sierra Madre. "The Sierra Madre Mountains, the country's longest mountain range and one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, is being primed to become the top ecohistorical tourism destination in the Philippines."

"One such place is the Baler-Palanan trail whose coastline is noted for waves ideal for surfing."


Mmm... i wonder if the logging concessions along Sierra Madre will be included in the package.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New Civil Engineers

Congratulations to the 6 new civil engineers from ASCOT, especially Engr. Renee Alcantara who ranked 18 with 90.7 grade and surfer boy Engr. Rommel "Okoy" Rojo.

SEA Games Gold Medalist From Aurora?

I received an unverified message that Glen Llamador, who represented the country in the men's team arnis competition in the recently concluded SEA Games, is from Dipaculao, Aurora. Their 3-member team won a gold medal. Anyone who can verify this?

Here's the link to the news about the arnis team.

Update: Confirmed. Glen Llamador is from Dipaculao.

La Union Surfing

If you're into surfing action, the last leg of the 2005 Philippines Surfing Circuit will be on December 13-17 at San Juan, LaUnion. This is where the Top 12 surfers of the year will be announced. We're expecting 4 or 5 Balerboys to be on the list.

for more info visit surfpinoy.

Monday, December 05, 2005

New Bridge In Town

This new bridge is called Duungan Bridge 2 and is located at Brgy. Buhangin, just in front of A.V. Mijares Elementary School. It goes to the beach just after the PNP headquarters. It was inaugurated last August.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Relatively Speaking

I received this email from Mr. Pablo Pantalunan of Maryland USA:

Hello, I came across your website and I found it very interesting, beautiful places and pictures about baler. I came to realized that my ancestors from my father side was from Baler. My father’s name is Elias Pantalunan, unfortunately he passed away in the late 60’s. We are living in Roxas, Isabela prior to his death. According to my mother, my grandparent’s name are Nemecio Pantalunan and Josefa Aquino Pantalunan. My father has sibling’s named Raquel, Miriam, Nemecio Jr. and Florida. After college in 1988 I migrated to the United States to join my mother’s side of the family. I am happily married and blessed with three healthy sons. Presently, I am working in pharmaceuticals for the last thirteen years. Kung sakaling nakikilala mo ang mga taong nabanggit ko, ay kung maaari lamang ay pakisabi sa kanila na gusto ko silang makilala. Maraming salamat at maligayang pasko at manigong bagong taon sa inyong lahat.

Pablo P. Pantalunan

Mr. Pantalunan's full contact info is available on request. Just email me at batangbaler at gmail dot com
Link to Mr. Pantalunan's post at Barangay BB.

Friday, December 02, 2005

When Was The Last Time You Checked For Lice?

Wallpaper Donation

This wonderful Batang Aurora wallpaper was emailed to me by Janette of Dipaculao. She is in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.