Tuesday, January 31, 2006


from lagalag, Adrian Ayalin's blog.

Lone Fatality. A wife, a mother, and three children – all before the bag containing the body of Joel Tan, the lone fatality of three days of heavy rains in Dingalan brought by an active low pressure area.

Joel drowned Wednesday January 25 after being swept by a strong river current towards Dingalan Bay. His body was found two days later, along a cove in a nearby barangay.

At the time of the accident, Joel was carrying his nine-year old son Biboy. The kid miraculously survived after clinging onto a tree trunk.

read the complete entry

Classic Baler

I'm doing a project for the Aurora Day celebration and Mrs. Mesina gave me a sackful of photos to be scanned. Here's a couple of samples.

This one looks like a procession in front of Baler Church. It was taken from the belltower of the church looking southeast. The street is the current San Luis St. and the area with a circular concrete is the front yard of the old municipio.

This one is another picture taken from the belltower of the Baler Church. The street is the current Rizal St. and the basketball court is where the present MCC basketball court is still located.

I'm guessing that these two picture were taken in the 1950's.

The project i'm doing by the way is a short documentary about Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon. If you have pictures or information that you can share, just email it to me at batangbaler at gmail dot com or post it at the comments area. Deadline is next week.

More Flood News

from Manila Bulletin Online: Aurora towns swamped by floods as deep as 10 ft: "Low-lying villages in Baler, Ma. Aurora, Dingalan and three northern towns of Dinalungan, Dilasag and Casiguran were swamped with floodwaters, which buried communities under 10 feet of water."

from journal.com.ph: 3 die in Ecija, Aurora floods: "AT least three persons died while thousands of families remained encamped in different evacuations centers in Region 2, and 3 particularly in Nueva Ecija and Aurora provinces."

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Aurora Flashflood Reports

from inq7.net: 2 killed, 170,000 people displaced by floods in Luzon . "Flooding in the towns of Dingalan, Dipaculao, and Baler in Aurora province have subsided but all roads leading to the province remain closed to traffic due to landslides"

from The Manila Times Online: Off-season floods leave one dead. "Although floodwaters in Dingalan, Dipaculao and Baler in Aurora had subsided, roads leading to the province were blocked by debris from landslides."

from M&C News: Man drowns, thousands evacuated in flooding in Philippines. "Joel Tan, 35, drowned late Thursday after he was swept by flashfloods in Dingalan town in Aurora province, 150 kilometres north of Manila."

from balita.ph: 1 missing, thousands displaced as flashfloods hit.

from inq7.net: Aurora folk cope with life after tragedy.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Flashflood 2006

The floods came early this year. Here's some snips from inq7.net. The italicized parts are my additions.

"In Aurora province, heavy rains have submerged all 24 villages in Casiguran town under two to eight feet of floodwaters, and triggered landslides that isolated the northern parts of the province, Gov. Bellaflor Castillo-Angara told the Inquirer by phone. The flood, the second to hit Casiguran in three weeks, has forced 25 families to evacuate to the town hall. Four rivers that cut through the town have overflowed."

The last flash flood that hit Casiguran was on December 27-28, 2005. Mayor Bitong of Casiguran said in a radio interview yesterday that this one is worse. He said that the cause of the frequent floods is the logging operation in the area. The Dicadi (Dinalungan-Casiguran-Dilasag) area is now isolated again and the roads are still unpassable.

"In Baler, the capital town of Aurora, floodwaters in Barangays Buhangin and Cabcab rose up to seven feet on Wednesday night, forcing residents there to flee to high grounds. The water began subsiding on Thursday."

That Cabcab is Sitio Gabgab in Buhangin. Other areas affected in Baler were Brgy. Obligacion, some parts of Calabuanan, Brgy. Pingit, Sitio Kinalapan, Bognoyas (Buhangin-near the cemetery), Puduk and Binilwag (Monrio), Pulo (Zabali), some parts of Duungan (Burgos St. near TESDA) and Reserva. AV Mijares Elementary School was also flooded. A portion of the riprap wall in Kinalapan River also gave in and part of the overflow bridge in Dicaloyungan was damaged.

"Floodwaters in Diteki and San Isidro villages in San Luis reached up to four feet."

San Isidro was heavily flooded - again. Other flooded areas in San Luis are Ditumabo and Real. A person was electrocuted in San Isidro.

"Angara said that while landslides cut off the road network to Casiguran, Dinalungan and Dilasag towns, central Aurora continued to be accessible through the Pantabangan-Canili Road via Nueva Ecija. The Bongabon (Nueva Ecija)-Baler Road was not passable."

The Pantabangan-Canili Road is "hardly" passable.

"Rampaging waters washed away the steel bridge in Dibacong in Casiguran and a temporary bridge in Villa, Ma. Aurora."

The Cabituculan area in Ma. Aurora was also flooded - for the first time.

There were also reports of flooding in Dingalan. A person was also reported missing in Dingalan.

from inq7.net: ‘Agaton’ brings rains, landslides to villages
from journal online: Floods hit 26 villages in Aurora, Ecija


Landslide warning devices installed in Aurora

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


After many chismis and fake news about a bus falling of a cliff somewhere in the Sierra Madre, it finally happened. A D'Liner bus rolled of a road in Ditailen, Ma. Aurora, Aurora yesterday morning after hitting a tricycle. There was no fatality but most of the passengers suffered broken bones, bumps, bruises, minor and major wounds. Passengers in critical conditions were airlifted to Cabanatuan. The accident happened around 8:45 am when the driver of the D'Liner bus on the way to Maria Aurora from Cabanatuan was managing a steep incline in Ditailen. The the driver tried to avoid a tricycle that cut into the bus lane. The tricycle was hit and the bus rolled over fell off a ravine. The tricycle driver is now in critical condition.

Last January 3, there was a mistaken report that a D'Liner bus fell of the cliff along the Maria Aurora - Pantabangan road.

This is what a D'Liner bus looks like:

Update: Here's the ABS-CBN News online report.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Trade Prods C. Luzon Provinces to Trade Aurora Products

from sun.star Pampanga: Trade prods C. Luzon provinces to trade Aurora products. "The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging businessmen in Central Luzon to look into the three major opportunities found from the abundant resources in Aurora province. Blesilda Lantayona, DTI 3 regional director, announced that Aurora province currently offers three major potential business projects for interested investors, companies and funding institutions geared towards turning Aurora into a producer of these consumer products. According to Lantayona, these projects are the proposed seaweed culture and production project; the expansion of the small-scale coco wine production project, both in Casiguran town; and the virgin coconut oil production project in San Luis town."

Friday, January 20, 2006


This pictureses are lying in the leftover bin of the BB server and need to be put to use. Part 4 of the Behind the Scenes series of the Best of Central Luzon coverage. October 2, 2005, Marilao, Bulacan.

All these seats were taken.

The Aurora media delegation. All three of them.

The crowd. Third from left is Board Member Zeny Querijero.

Board Members Butch Bautista, Pedro Ong Jr. and Ben Mata.

Hmm. The store name is familiar.

The Governor (in pink) and other province officials.

The holding area.

Lookes like a port terminal.

Waiting for the bus home.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


This is a video of a Komedya de Baler being performed at SM City in Marilao, Bulacan. Link to the Google video.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

In Case You Missed It

Now Showing:Villa Aurora, December 30, 2004. Link to Google video.
Next Picture: Komedya ng Buhangin

I'm thinking of 5 to 10 minute video programs to be posted on Google Video. Are you willing to shell out 1$ for an almost-professional video program about Baler and Aurora? This is a survey. Comments needed.

It's Friendster Time!

Make new friends:

The 689 friendster members who claim Baler, Aurora as their hometown. Hmm... i know a buch of them.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Why Most Bb. Aurora Winners are from Dingalan?

from the BB messageboard:

"After a long month of critical evaluations on who shall be sent to Bb. Aurora 2006, finally a decision was made.This year we are sending Bb. Paltic 2004 winner Ms. Josephine Racho,who was supposed to compete in Bb. Dingalan 2004 which due the recent calamities was not able to be stage.At present she is a freshman student of Nueva Ecija University of Science in Technology,and an allumnus of St. Patrick Academy were she graduated as one of the top ten students.In October 2004 she competed in the Supermodel of the World-Philippines which was participated by 400 aspiring models around the country,furtunately she made it as one of the 30 semifinalist.Last October 2005 she competed in Miss COED 2005 were she landed as first runner-up.At present she is having her training under the Pageant Enthusiats Guild of the Philippines representative,the same agency that trained Precious Lara Quigaman,Miss International 2005.Josephine or Jo is 19 years old and measures 33-23-36,and stands tall at 5'8..After Bb. Aurora she is hope to compete in the regional finals of Miss Philippines-Earth in 2007."

All Apologies

Apologies for not posting too much these days. I'm currently migrating the blog to wordpress and doing it real slow. The culprits are my chronic laziness and the turtle-speed of the internet connection here in the mountains.

Here's some news: The Baler-Casiguran road is now open. It became unpassable after the December 29 flood and for weeks you can only go to and from the North by boat. If you want to travel by land you need to take a bus to Dinadiawan, ride a tricycle across a river and board another bus waiting on the other side. Now buses and trucks can go all the way to Dilasag from Baler. And Baler-Bongabong road is now also passable.

PSF Surfing Circuit 2006

Here's the tentative sked of this year's PSF surfing Circuit. via the surfpinoy blog.

8-11 February 10th Aurora Cup
(Baler, Aurora)

2-6 May 2nd Siargao Girls International Surfing Invitational
(Siargao Island)

2nd week of August Pagudpud
No event title yet

23-26 September 8th Siargao National Surfing Cup
(Siargao Island)

27 September - 01 October 12th Siargao International Surfing Cup
(Siargao Island)

5-8 October Eastern Samar Surfing Crown
(Guiuan, Eastern Samar)

18-21 October Catanduanes Governor's Cup
(Puraran, Catanduanes)

2nd week of November 4th Lanuza Surfing Festival
(Lanuza, Surigao del Sur)

29 November - 02 December Rimat Ti Amianan Surfing Invitational
(San Juan, La Union)

the keyword is tentative.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Daughter of murdered publisher decries slow pace of justice

from inq7.net: "The daughter of slain publisher Philip Agustin has appealed for swift justice, saying the Department of Justice has still not issued a resolution in its preliminary investigation of her father's murder in Dingalan, Aurora on May 10 last year. "Ang bagal. Inabot na ng pitong buwan (It's been slow. It has taken seven months now)," Rosebelle Cruz said by phone on Friday as she decried that no one, including the alleged mastermind Mayor Jaime Ylarde, has been charged." read more.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


from the bulatlat website: Soldiers Burned Our Buildings Last Christmas’. And so this is Christmas, and what have the soldiers done? Burn the buildings of a learning center in Baler, Aurora province, said its staff. Days before Christmas, the staff of a local learning center went home for the holidays but were forced to cut short their vacation after learning that their buildings were burned ― on the early morning of Christmas Day no less. According to them, this is clearly the handiwork of soldiers based there. In the past, the local learning center was accused of being a terrorist organization.

Related info here.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Click Generation

Yet another blog experiment: The Click Generation. A bloglinks for stuff i find on the internet. Click on and spread the news

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Where on Earth is Dimadimalangat?

taken from aurora.ph

A visitor of the Aurora Province website noticed this a long time ago. In the description of the Provincial seal, the mountain on the left side of the inside image (near the sun with 8 rays) is described as "Dima-Dimalangat Reef in Baler - Symbolizing the Capital Town of the Province". If you're from Baler and have been to the beach at least once, you would know that Dimadimalangat Reef, or lukso-lukso should be located on the right side and jutting out of Digisit mountain and not on the right left as shown in the seal. That mountain should be the San Ildefonso point in Casiguran to be geographically correct. And where are the "Rice Field and Palay that stands for agricultural sector and self-sufficiency of the province in terms of rice production". All I can see is a green wall.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Welcome 2006

Howdy! I went out of Baler for a while. I just returned yesterday. The only passable road to Aurora is in a really bad condition. The road is in a comma and about to die. Going home is not a trip...it's a torture. I hope that the planned construction project will push through this year. There was a buzz at the Cabanatuan central terminal yesterday that a D' Liner bus fell off a cliff in the Canili-Pantabangan road and more than 30 people were killed. I later learned that it was even reported on local radio. It turned out to be a chismis. Whatever happened to fact-checking? Last December 29, Mike Enriquez reported on Channel 7's 24 Oras that Baler is "lubog sa baha". I wonder if they're source is the same person who reported the bus accident.

Casiguran is still not accessible by land. The only way there is via sea. A "pump boat" was reported missing the other day but it was later found by Navy helicopters. All passengers were safe (from Channel 7).

Here's the inq7.net's news about the recent flooding in Casiguran.

Wassup with BB this year?

I'm currently rewiewing all of last year's BB posts. I'm planning to come up with a Batangbaler's Best of 2005. I'm also in the process of migrating BB to Wordpress and hosting the posts in it's own server instead of piggybacking on blogspot. Target date is before 2010 :-).

I will also revive the Batangbaler Videos. Hopefully BB can come up with original videos or short clips to be hosted on Google Videos. I tried posting a sample video last week and it's now live. Check out a low-fi 4-minute vid of Villa Aurora a month after the 2004 disaster.


Thanks to Banot and Donna Costa and to Ate Gay Avellano for my Christmas gifts/pasalubong.


On the wedding of BB regular Connie Bayudan last December 27 and for the upcoming wedding of Enod Buen. Spread the Balerian genes!