Tuesday, February 28, 2006

SEAir Flies to Baler

Regular flights between Manila and Baler, Aurora started on February 17, this was a landmark event for a province that has been carrying out frenzied efforts to break out from remoteness and isolation.

Under an agreement with SEAIR, an airline with a solid record of domestic service, Genesis Transport Sea Air will charter and make available 19-seat planes on an ongoing basis.

The service will initially offer two flights per week, with departures at 8:00 am every Monday and Friday from the Manila Domestic terminal. The flights from Baler Airport back to Manila will be at 9:30 am on Mondays and Fridays. One way fare has been set at P2,500, inclusive of VAT, passenger insurance and other charges.

from aurora.ph
Click here for more details.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement

Monday, February 27, 2006

In the News

from abs-cbn interactive: RP-Japan highway to boost trade. "Trade and commerce will be boosted in Northern Luzon with the rehabilitation this year of a mountain roadway to be financed under the Philippine-Japan Highway Project.""When completed, the road project linking Baler, Aurora to San Jose City in Nueva Ecija and the rest of Luzon will lessen travel time by an hour".

Read complete news.

from inq7.net: Mayor not yet cleared of slay. "The Department of Justice has ordered a new investigation on the possible link of Mayor Jaime Ylarde of Dingalan, Aurora, to the 2005 murder of a local publisher. In a three-page resolution, Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco referred to the National Bureau of Investigation and the police the “further investigation of the possible involvement of Ylarde, as well as of other persons,” in the murder of Starline Times Recorder publisher Philip Agustin."

Read complete news

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bb. Aurora - Swimsuit Edition

While the country is still in a State of National Emergency, here are the swimsuit pictures of the Bb. Aurora 2006 candidates. Click here or the photo below to go to the gallery.

Trees keep falling in Aurora forests

from inq7.net: Trees keep falling in Aurora forests. "ILLEGAL LOGGING activities have remained rampant and unchecked in at least two Aurora towns even on the heels of killer landslides in 2004, a Catholic priest told the Inquirer on Wednesday.Fr. Antonio Evangelista, of the St. Patrick Parish in Dingalan town, said it was through the efforts of the parish pastoral council that policemen and foresters from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources seized 2,221 board feet or 34 pieces of logs loaded in a truck in Barangay Paltic on Monday.Evangelista said the logs were hauled by boat from Barangay Dinakapinisan in San Luis town."

Read the complete news

Friday, February 24, 2006

Siempre Aurora!

The first batch of pictures of the booths and galleries of the Siempre Aurora! Trade Fair and the Aurora Tourism and Investment Galleries are now online.Click here or the picture below to go to the photo gallery. More to come.

Aurora Day 2006 - More Parade Photos

More parade pictures are uploaded at the photo gallery. I took the parade pictures at Burgos St., in front of the two houses that burned yesterday. The houses are visible in some pictures. Click on the image below to visit the gallery.

Burgos Street Fire

The fire happened yesterday (February 23) at around 12:00 noon at Burgos St. near the corner of San Luis St. (three streets directly in front of Baler Church). Two houses burned down, one is the Delos Santos residence and the other one on its right. I have no info about the cause of the fire but it happened during a brownout. Firemen from the four central Aurora towns and the local residents helped in putting out the fire and preventing it from further spreading. No one was hurt.

Aurora Day Photos on Aurora.ph

Check out the photos of the 27th Aurora Foundation Day Anniversary at aurora.ph. and while you're at it, also check out the new photo gallery. I see some of my pictures there although they are not credited. No prob for me. The more the merrier.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Photo Gallery Advisory

For your viewing pleasure, new photo sets are now posted on the Batangbaler Photo Gallery. The direct link is http://www.batangbaler.net/photos/. Pictures are posted in separate albums and categories.

To those complaining that the pictures are not clear enough, BB pictures have never been more clear and crisp than now. The pictures displayed in the gallery are not in their original sizes. To view the bigger and clearer versions, just click on the pictures and a new window will open displaying the photos in their full 480-pixel glory. If you're interested in acquiring the original copies of the pictures which are as big as 30X20 inches, just contact me at the email address listed on the ho0mepage.

DoJ drops case vs Dingalan mayor over journalist's death

from inq7.net: DoJ drops case vs Dingalan mayor over journalist's death. "HE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has dismissed for lack of evidence a case against a town mayor in Aurora province for murder of a journalist last year, according to a resolution issued by the DoJ.

The department instead recommended that the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police investigate further the "possible" role of Dingalan Mayor Jaime Ylarde in the death of Philip Agustin but would pursue the case against three others, Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco said in the three-page document.

"There is not enough evidence to establish whether or not Mayor Ylarde is involved in the killing of Agustin," Velasco said.

Read the complete news.

Travel on Baler-Bongabong Road Banned

from inq7.net: Travel on landslide-prone highway banned. "The Department of Public Works and Highways continued to enforce the travel ban along the Aurora side of the Bongabon (Nueva Ecija)-Baler Highway as mild rains hit the area.Ramon Aquino, DPWH director in Central Luzon, said they were issuing the advice early to prevent loss of lives along the highway’s 61.2-km landslide-prone sections.“Definitely, travel is not allowed,” said Aquino.Various hills there have been left bare by the landslides in 2004 and 2005 and some concrete portions of the road have eroded grounds underneath, he said on Tuesday.The Villa Maria segment in Maria Aurora town is particularly dangerous as two rivers bound the area. Floodwaters and mountain debris washed out the bridge there in December 2004, killing five people, three of whom were DPWH personnel clearing the road."

"Aquino said commuters should take the safer Pantabangan-Canili Road on their way to Aurora."

Read the complete news

my comment: The Canili-Pantabanga road...safe? ha ha ha!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Aurora Day 2006 - Parade

Pictures of the Aurora Day Parade on February 19 are on the photo gallery. Just click the picture below to go to the gallery.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

17 Central Luzon villages 'high-risk' to landslaides. Nine in Aurora

from inq7.net: 17 Central Luzon villages 'high-risk' . "At least 17 upland villages in three Central Luzon provinces are at "high-risk" to landslides, according to the chief geologist of the regional Mines and Geosciences Bureau here.

Orlando Pineda identified the highly vulnerable communities as Paltic, Caragsacan, Tanawan and Davil-Davilan in Dingalan town, Dimanayat and Diteki in San Luis town, Villa Maria in Maria Aurora town, Amper and Dinadiawan in Dipaculao town, all in Aurora; Labi in Bongabon town, Sawmill, South Poblacion, Malinao and Pantoc in Gabaldon town, all in Nueva Ecija; and Maamot, Sula and Lubigan in San Jose town in Tarlac."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Kagey's Pixes Now Up!

Kage's pictures of the 10th Aurora Surfing Cup are "slowly being uploaded" now uploaded. Check it out.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bb. Aurora 2006

Ms. Abbie Shiela Misola Teh from Casiguran is this year's Bb. Aurora.

First runner-up is Nissan Pascua from Dipaculao (left) and Second Runner-Up is Ms. Jennifer Mendoza from San Luis (right). More pictures next yearssss.

Friday, February 17, 2006

10th Aurora Surfing Cup Complete Results

Here's the complete results of the surfing cup, shamelessly copied from Kage's blog.

Men's Open:
Champion: Dionisio "Dodo" Espejon, SI
1st Runner-up: Alex "Al-Al"Comandante, SI
2nd Runner-up: Bonifacio "Arkipo" Figuron, SI
3rd Runner-up: Edmund "Django" Mendoza, BA

Junior Division:
Champion: Zaldy Coldura, SI
1st Runner-up: Joe Henry "Pakits" Tena, BA
2nd Runner-up: Joseph "Badok" Antipasado, SI
3rd Runner-up: Jefferson "Jeff" Dela Torre, BA

Wahine/Menehune Division:
Champion: Nildie Blancada, SI
1st Runner-up: Aubrey Namoro, BA
2nd Runner-up: Ella Namoro, BA
3rd Runner-up: Vangie Mendoza, BA


I know you peeps are waiting for more pictures especially the Bb. Aurora pixes. I have them in my CF card waiting to be liberated. But i have tons of other things to do besides taking photos and blogging so you need to calm yourselves for a while. I'll TRY to do the BB Swimsuit Edition today if i get lucky and find a few minutes of free time. And off to the next event I go.....

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

BB Fundraising Update

Great thanks to the early donors for the BB fundraising. The cash plus the pledges I received now adds up to a little more than 50% of the target. Thanks to Rubio Ruidera and Mr. & Mrs. Ador and Cora Del Prado, Kohne A. Bitong and Mayor Ariel Bitong, and Mr. Ric Atienza for your early replies.

For more info on how you can help, click here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Result of the 10th Aurora Surfing Cup

The 10th Aurora Surfing Cup ended yesterday and the awarding was held last night. PSF President Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. and Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo led the awarding ceremonies. The top winners in the Open Category are:

Champion - Dionisio Espejon (1) - Siargao
1st Runner-Up - Alex Commandante (4) - Siargao
2nd Runner-Up - Bonifacio Figuron (2) - Siargao
4th Runner-Up - Edmund Mendoza (6) - Baler

The numbers after their names are their current PSF rankings. Other winners will be posted soon. Don't change your channel.

In the meantime, here are more pictures from the event. Enjoy!

Note: I moved the pictures to the photo gallery. Just click here or the picture above to jump to the gallery. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Surf Action

"Jawa! walang signal dito sa pipe!"

10th Aurora Surfing Cup Pictures

Here's some pictures from the event. Enjoy!

I moved the pictures to the photo gallery for your viewing pleasure. Just click here or the picture above to go to the gallery.

Dinalungan Mayor Suspended

from The Journal Online: Aurora Mayor Suspended. "The Sandiganbayan suspended for 90 days Dinalungan Mayor Marilyn Marquez for alleged graft in connection with the awarding of bangus fry concession to an unregistered cooperative.

Councilors Pedro Sambas and FelixAcosta filed the charges against Marquez in 2000 which was elevated to the Sandiganbayan on Oct. 4, 2005. The aldermen said Marquez violated the SB resolution which awarded the bangus fry concession to Nipoo Irrigators Association. The concession was awarded to a cooperative which was not registered in Dinalungan."

Read the complete news.


Note: News by Mamer Bañez, a Baler-based reporter.

2006 sees Philippine Surf Circuit start in February

from surfersvillage.com's Global surf News: 2006 sees Philippine Surf Circuit start in February."Last year saw Congressman Pichay's promise to promote local surfing come to fruition. The Philippine Surfing Federation (PSF), launched the first ever surf circuit in the country in February of 2005. The circuit traveled to some of the country's choicest surf spots, uplifting the image of Philippine surfing both locally and internationally. In the end, the top twelve Filipino surfers were named based on a point system that was used throughout the year.

Each leg of last year's tour brought new adventures and experiences to everyone involved. There were some contest upsets as top surfers fell to dark horses in their heats. There were also hallmark moments and unbelievable heats as the level of the local surfers kept rising throughout the year. If you missed the action and excitement of last year's tour, make up for it this year! Buoyed by the success of the 2005 Philippine Surf Circuit, the Philippine Surf Federation is gearing up once again to bring the surf, sun and stoke to the country's surf spots.

It begins on February in Baler, Aurora known as one of the first surf communities in the country. Past the scenic Sierra Madre Mountains, lies Cemento Reef, a reef break known to challenge even the best local surfers. Afterwards the circuit will take a very short break. Not to worry, it will resume in May with a special All Women's Competition held at the famous Cloud 9 break of Siargao. Last year saw the first-ever women's competition, a landmark event in the local surf scene.

Read the complete story.


Note: This article was written by Kage Gozun who has a photo site here and a blog here. Kage is now in Baler with her bazooka camera.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Aurora Day 2006 Update

The Aurora Day 2006 schedule was updated. The Aurora Skateboarding Cup was moved to February 11 from February 12, and the Awarding Ceremonies for the Surfing and Skateboarding Cup was combined and rescheduled on February 12 at the beach.

Chartered airplane crash-lands in Aurora

from abs-cbn interactice: Chartered airplane crash-lands in Aurora. "Four persons were declared safe after a chartered Duke-B60 crash-landed at the Dilasag airstrip in the province of Aurora at 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Air Transportation Office said. The chartered plane owned by Pateco was piloted by Capt. Felix Endaya and Capt. Ludivico de la Cruz. Transportation office chief Nilo C. Jatico said the aircraft took off from Manila at around 6:30 a.m. One of the pilots said that when the aircraft touched down, its right wheel hit a soft spot on the runway, damaging the aircraft. He blamed bad weather for the crash."

Note: If i'm not mistaken, PATECO is that big logging and veneer company in Dilasag.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ernie Herminigildo

This is a bad news. Mr. Ernie Herminigildo was found dead last night at the apartment in Zabali where he lives. There's an unverified reportThe police reported that he was murdered. Mr. Herminigildo was a teacher at Baler National High School and was one of the active persons in the cultural "scene" of the province. He also taught at Mount Carmel College. He was the person behind most of these sabutan creations admired in cultural shows inside and outside the province. He was the director of the Araw ng Aurora presentation during the Best of Central Luzon Showcase at Marilao, Bulacan last October 2005. Before his untimely death, he was busy coordinating the Street Dancing Festival for this year's Aurora Day Celebration.

10th Aurora Surfing Cup

I'll try to blog the events leading to the Aurora Day Celebration. Today is the first day of the 10th Aurora Surfing Cup, the first leg of the 2006 Philippine Surfing Circuit. Scheduled events today are the registration and the welcome dinner and briefing of the competitors. I haven't checked the venue yet. It's been raining since morning. There's also a beach bazaar at Labasin.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Aurora Day 2006

Updated as of February 10, 2006

Here's the almost final schedule of the 27th Foundation Anniversary of Aurora Province.

Date: February 8-19, 2006
This year's theme: "Aurora: Lalawigang Itinatag ng Galing at Sipag"

February 8 - 11
7:AM daily - 10th Aurora Surfing Cup (Sabang Beach and Cemento Beach)

February 11
4:00 PM - Aurora Skateboarding Cup (Baler Municipal Plaza)

February 12
7:00 PM - Awards Night - 10th Aurora Surfing Cup and Aurora Skateboarding Cup (Sabang Beach)

February 13

7:00 AM - Opening Ceremonies/Araw ng mga Kawani/Inter-Agency Fun Games (Capitol Grounds)

February 14
4:00 AM - Dayana para kay Doña Aurora (Baler Poblacion)
7:00 AM - Drum & Lyre/CAT-1 Competition (Capitol Grounds)
6:00 PM - Opening of Acoustic Nights at the Park/AHRROA Chowfest (Quezon Park)
Sabutan Fashion Show (Quezon Park)

February 15
8:00 AM - Araw ng Magsasaka at Kooperatiba (Capitol Grounds)
10:00 AM - Opening of the Trade Fair/Tourism and Investment Gallery/
CLDS Genealogy Exhibit (Capitol Grounds/Museo De Baler - Genealogy Exhibit)
1:00 PM - Aurora Cooperative Forum (SP Session Hall)
PGS-DA Technology Demonstrations (Capitol Grounds)
2:00 PM - Best of the Municipalities: Dingalan, Casiguran & Maria Aurora Presentations
(Capitol Grounds)
6:00 PM - Acoustic Nights at the Park/ AHRROA Chowfest (Quezon Park)
7:00 PM - SMB All Star Basketball Exhibition Games (tentative) (Dr. Juan C. Angara Sports

February 16
8:00 AM - TESDA Skills Olympics (Baler Municipal Plaza)
8:00 AM - First Aurora Dog Show (Capitol Grounds)
2:00 PM - Best of the Municipalities: San Luis, Dinalungan and Dilasag Presentations (Capitol Grounds)
6:00 PM - Acoustic Nights at the Park/AHRROA Chowfest (Quezon Park)
8:00 PM - Inter-Municipality Tuklas Talino (Capitol Grounds)

February 17
8:00 AM - SEAIR Inaugural Flight (Dr. Juan C. Angara Airport - San Isidro)
10:00 AM - Launch of BFAR III Projects in Aurora Province/Inauguration of Aurora Brackishwater Marine Aquaculture Technology Center (ASCOT Zabali Campus)
1:00 PM - Awarding Ceremony of TESDA Skills Olympics
2:00 PM - Best of the Municipalities: Baler and Dipaculao Presentations (Capitol Grounds)
6:00 PM Launch of BAC-AYOS KA! (Provincial Youth Development Program) (Dr. Juan C. Angara Sports Complex)
6:00 PM - Acoustic Nights at the Park/AHRROA Chowfest (Quezon Park)
8:00 PM - Binibining Aurora (Capitol Grounds)

February 18
9:00 AM - 2nd Governor's Cup (Shootfest) (Aurora Trading Center)
11:00 AM - Karansa 2006 (Street Dance Competition) (Quezon Highway/Capitol Grounds)
6:00 PM - Acoustic Nights at the Park/AHRROA Chowfest (Quezon Park)
6:00 PM - Gabi ng Paggunita kay Doña Aurora (Quezon Park)

February 19
7:00 AM - Mass (Baler Central School)
9:00 AM - Paraqda ng Lalawigan (Baler Central School to Capitol Grounds)
10:30 AM - Anniversary Program
12:00 NN - Luncheon with the Governor (invitational)
3:00 PM - Inauguration of Integrated Rice Processing Mill Complex (tentative) (Brgy. Reserva)
6:00 PM - Acoustic Nights at the Park/AHRROA Chowfest (Quezon Park)
7:00 PM - Beach Party & Fireworks Display (Baywatch Tower Area, Sabang Beach)
8:00 PM - Governor's Ball (Capitol Grounds)

Wanted: Sponsors 2006

Batangbaler is again in begging mode. As of my last check, the BB piggybank has only 99 pesos, good for only half a day of hosting. It means that if the fund chest is not refilled by March 1, BB will close shop. Usually, the fund drains around June of every year. Actually I have already paid for hosting until June but I had to upgrade to a higher hosting package since the one I paid for can't handle the traffic. End result: the dreaded "This Website Have Exceeded It's Bandwidth Limit" message every last week of the month. In order to avoid this, I quadrupled BB's hosting plan. And the money I paid for one year turned out to be good only for 8 months. that's why i'm into begging mode this early. The domain registration however, will not expire until June.

Q. Why do I need to have Batangbaler hosted when i'm using a free blogging service - blogger.com?
A. I'm just using Blogger for convinience and I first used it for emergency purposes (2004 flashflood). Then i got stuck. I'm currently into migration mode, and this February or March, BB will switch to Wordpress. I use blogger only to publish my blogs. The images (which eats up about 80% of bandwidth) still needs to be hosted. The guestbook, messageboard, chatroom, email client, and photo gallery are also hosted on the BB server - which is located somewhere in New Jersey.

Q. Why not ask the help of local politicians?
A. Ha ha ha, nice joke!

So I'm calling the usual Batangbaler benefactors and some new ones, to please help me with this problem. I need at least 15k to keep this website running for a year - most of it to be used for hosting and domain registration and about 1% for beer and sisig. If you're in Manila or somewhere with a Unionbank or Metrobank branch you can email me for instructions on how you can deposit directly to BB's hosting company so that you can be sure that your donation will be used for it's real intention. If you're from the US or other parts of the country, you have to send me your donation first and trust me that I will use only 1% of it for cervesa negra. My email address is batangbaler at gmail dot com or josephisdead at yahoo dot com.

I would like to thank all the BB sponsors who keeps on filling the piggybank. Without you Batangbaler is dead a long long time ago. And to all regular visitors of this blog - don't change your channel. Thank you very much.

Now back to regular programming.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Residents fear more floods

from journal.com.ph: Residents fear more floods. "Residents of the lone district of Aurora expressed fears that the destruction brought about by natural calamities their province, particularly Dingalan, faces would be aggravated by massive illegal logging and forest denudation.

Recently, Save Aurora Movement (SAM) urged DENR Secretary Mike Defensor, on leave, to investigate the illegal logging activities which they believed triggered the massive landslide and flash floods at the height of continuous rains last week.

The flash flood left one person dead, three missing and 150 families rendered homeless."

Read the complete news.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Edelio Alday

Last week I was sort of watching the comedy-news show Wazzup Wazzup on Studio 23 when a news caught my attention: "Dating Magbabalot Pumasa ng CPA Exam sa Amerika". The guy is Edelio Alday who, according to Vhong Navarro, is from Ding-galan, Aurora. Mr. Alday passed the said exam after working in Saudi Arabia. The news was short and there was no video clip or picture of Mr. Alday shown. The next day I Googled for his name and this is what i got, the list of passers for the Board of Accountacy in Oregon. Edelio Alday was first on the list since it is in alphabetical order. However, there are no other info about him.

Maybe a BB reader from Dingalan can verify this.

Update: The internets surely is a great thing. Here's some takes on Edelio Alday, from the comments section:

e.d. aragon said: "
Mr. Edelio Alday is a true blue Auroran. He was 1 year ahead of me in Wesleyan University-Phils. Cabanatuan. He was Batch '96 and passed the Phil. CPA board exam on the same year. We are glad that our colleage in the profession, our Kababayan, and my schoolmate who also worked here in Saudi Arabia passed the CPA board in Oregon. Thanks for the info."

anonymous said: "More information about Mr. Edelio Alday:
1. Valedictorian - Elementary 1988
2. Valedictorian - High School 1992
3. Magna Cum Laude - College 1996
4. Passed Phil. CPA Exam - 1996
5. Bachelor of Laws - 2 years in Arellano Law School
6. Currently working in Saudi Arabia as a Senior Internal Auditor - 2001 till to date.
7. Took US CPA Exam in the State of Oregon, USA from Nov. 14-17, 2005 and passed all the 4 sections, one of only 66 passers (only Filipino) in that State out of thousands of takers worldwide. In the entire USA, approximately 100,000 takers. US CPA Exam is the most prestigious exam in the World, a dream to take for every CPA anywhere in the World. A certified US CPA can work anywhere in the planet. Mr. Edelio Alday is one of just 1% passers in USA (1% passer for one-time sitting). Mr. Alday undertook a rigorous 7-month self-review mixing with ever demanding work, most of the time he has to go abroad (USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa). He has an extraordinary character, an epitome of a true Filipino, never gives up, with superb discipline, with strong belief in the power of prayer. He is the first Auroran who made it. Governor Angara invited him to attend next year's aurora day to receive an award.
8. Mr. Alday started humbly, he is trully a balot, barbecue, day-old and pandesal vendor during his elementary and high school days to support his family and his study.
9. Mr. Alday is still a bachelor, 30 years old.
10. Born in Dingalan, Aurora, 8 July 1975."

from another anonymous poster: "Mr. Alday should serve as a model to every student. During his college days as I still remember because he was my classmate, he has just one pair of pants and one uniform for almost two (2) years. He managed to complete his studies because he was a consistent academic scholar from 1st year to 4th year, meaning he has to maintain a sort of 1.25-1.5 grades. For all his accounting subjects, he almost got a grade of 1.0 for all accounting subjects. I have seen the sacrifices and suffering of Mr. Alday. But now, he has a 3-storey building, huge grocery and hardware stores, owns several parcels of land, and the most important of all, he has sent all his nephews and niece to College, one is now a full-pledged criminoligist; one is currently reviewing for May CPA exam; one will graduate this coming March (BSAccountancy); next year one will graduate; one more will enroll this month. Mr. Alday, envisions to put up his foundation to send to school less-fortunate bright kids.

Mr. Alday is actually my bestfriend till to-date."

If you want to congratulate Mr. Alday personally, his email address is egaduralexsedlex at yahoo dot com