Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Manila-Dagupan Railway, What happened?

It's like Pantranco which evaporated from mine own eyes, the Manila-Dagupan Railway was abandoned. How we need to have this railway back hence going to Manila now takes longer than before because of the unforeseen multiplications of vehicles.

I saw some broken rails in Dagupan. Can you give us some info about how and why the railroad was abandoned?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Election 2007 in Pangasinan

Pangasinan is still one of the most registered provinces in the country. According to Comelec, there are 1.3 million registered voters in the province. No wonder why the opposition candidates are hovering and visiting the province first.

The administration candidates were not in slumber, they passed here also coinciding with town fiestas.

Pangasinan is large that if a senatoriable can get a million here, then he/she needs at least 8 million more to win.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Jose Torres Bugallon

Jose Torres Bugallon, great military strategist in the Filipino-American War, was born on August 28, 1873 in Salasa (now Bugallon), Pangasinan to Jose Asas Bugallon. His father came from Baliwag, Bulakan; his mother was of the well-known Gonzales family of Pangasinan.

After elementary schooling in Salasa, he went to San Isidro Nueva Ecija where he completed in 1882 the first and second years of the secondary course under Don Rufino Villaruz. In 1886, he enrolled at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, completed the secondary course and earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1889, with high scholastic ratings.

After his graduation he entered the Seminary of San Carlos with the intention of becoming a priest although his real love was the military. Having passed the validation examination given by the Spanish government in 1892, he went abroad as a pensionado of the government to the world-famed Military Academy at Toledo, Spain where he spent three years of concentrated study in the science of military organization and warfare.

In 1896, he graduated as 2nd Lieutenant. Upon his return to the Philippines that same year, he joined and served with the 70th Infantry Regiment of the Spanish Army. He fought several battles and after the battle of Talisay on May 30, 1897, he was promoted to Captain. He was also awarded the coveted Cross of Maria Cristina and the Red Cross for Military Honor (Cruz Roja del Merito Militar). After the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, and the cessation of hostilities, he obtained his clearance papers.

At that time, General Antonio Luna urgently needed instructors for the training of officers in the European art of warfare at Malolos, Bulacan. Jose joined General Luna's staff as aide-de-camp and recruitment officer for Spanish war veterans. A well-trained military officer, he was very instrumental in the reorganization and discipline of the Filipino Army. This made him an invaluable officer to General Luna.

On February 5, 1899, Bugallon was in command of the heavily defended frontline at La Loma. The American troops under General Arthur MacArthur attacked this defense sector. In the thick of battle, the Filipino forces were outflanked, exposing Torres Bugallon to the superior firepower of the enemy. He was hit by a bullet in the thighs.Upon learning from Lt. Colonel Queri, that Bugallon was wounded, General Luna ordered: "Bugallon wounded. Order forward. He must be saved at all costs. Bugallon is worth 500 Filipino soldiers. He is one of my hopes for future victory."General Luna found him severely wounded and prostrate in a ditch at the side of the road. All that he could utter was "My ...don't expose yourself so much. Don't advance any farther."

For galiantry in action he was honored with the regalia befitting his heroism, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and pinned with a medal worth his military valor. Lt. Colonel Bugallon was withdrawn from the frontlines by Commander Hernando, and General Luna himself, who took him to the Kalookan medical station where he was given first aid by Dr. Jose Luna and Santiago Barcelona. By train, he was rushed by General Luna to Malolos for hospitalization. Somewhere after Lolomboy and nearing the approach to Bocaue, Lt. Colonel Bugallon asked: "Have the reinforcement arrived?" Too weak to keep his strength any longer due to profuse bleeding, he died on the breast of General Antonio Luna, a few hours after he was withdrawn from the battlefield.

Commander Torres Bugallon's death was a great loss to General Antonio Luna who wept unashamedly before the lifeless body of his comrade-at-arms.

Arrangements were made to bury his remains in Bigaa but it was decided later to inter the corpse at the Malolos cemetery. There a tomb with a modest stone slab marked his final resting place.
Though felled in battle, Bugallon with his gallantry under the very superior enemy firepower, surpassed whatever shortcomings he had in Iris military career. He owed a great debt of gratitude to Spain for his training and education. But his decision to renounce his military allegiance and to join the Filipino Army not only for martial laurels but for the bright future of the land of his birth for which he sacrificed his life, made him a hero, a true Filipino.

To perpetuate his memory, a law sponsored in 1921 by Congressman Mauro Navarro of Pangasinan changed the name of Salasa, the hero's birthplace, to Bugallon.

His remains now lie buried in the Sampalok Church in Manila.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Victorio Edades

Made National Artist in Painting in 1976, Victorio C. Edades was the pioneer in modernism in the Philippine art scene. In fact, he is known as the Father of Modern Philippine Painting. A lot of his paintings portrayed the hardships of the working class, using dark and somber colors and bold strokes.

Edades was born on December 23, 1895 in Dagupan, Pangasinan to Hilario Edades and Cecilia Edades. He obtained his early education in barrio schools and went to a high school in Lingayen. In 1919, he left for the United States to study Architecture and Fine Arts at the University of Washington in Seattle. During the summer, he worked in the salmon canneries of Alaska. It was also during his stay in the U.S. that he married American Jean Garrott, with whom he had his only daughter, Joan.

He returned to the Philippines in 1928 and in the same year had his first one-man show at the Philippine Columbian Club. He also came up with two of his most well-known works in that year: The Sketch (also known as The Artist and His Model), and The Builders.

Edades joined the University of Santo Tomas in the 1930�s where he stayed on for three decades and became dean of its Department of Architecture. It was he who introduced the Liberal Arts program which led to a Bachelor�s Degree in Fine Arts, a first in the Philippines since art was only taught in vocational schools then. Edades later formed the Triumvirate of Modern Art with Carlos V. Francisco and Galo B. Ocampo, after they produced a mural for the lobby of the Capitol Theater on Escolta Street. This began the growth of mural painting in the Philippines.

However, it was also during this period that the infamous debate between the modernists and the conservatives, including Ariston Estrada, Ignacio Manlapaz and Fermin Sanchez, took place. This was interrupted by the second World War, but resumed in 1948, with sculptor Guillermo Tolentino and painter Fernando Amorsolo representing the conservatives.

In 1938, Edades, together with Ocampo and Diosdado Lorenzo, established the Atelier of Modern Art in Malate, Manila. This resulted in the formation of the Thirteen Moderns, considered the pioneers of modern art in the Philippines. This group was led by Edades and included Ocampo, Francisco, Lorenzo, Vicente S. Manansala, H. R. Ocampo, Demetrio Diego, Bonifacio Cristobal, Cesar F. Legaspi, Jose Pardo, Arsenio Capili, Ricarte Puruganan, and Anita Magsaysay-Ho.

Aside from this, Edades co-founded the Mindanao Ethnoculture Foundation, which focused on the indigenous culture and heritage of Mindanao. In his last fifty years, the subject of his paintings had also become indigenized.

Edades retired from the UST at the age of 70, and he was bestowed with the degree of Doctor in Fine Arts, Honoris Causa. He then settled in Davao after retirement.

On May 7, 1985, Victorio Edades passed away at the age of 89.

Edades� major works include:

1928 The Sketch, National Museum Collection
1928 The Builders, Cultural Center of the Philippines Collection
1935 Interaction, with Carlos V. Francisco and Galo B. Ocampo
1976 Demoiselles Davao
1979 Kasaysayan, a mural for a Manila bank


1961 Pro Patria Award, given during the Rizal Centennial Celebration
1964 Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award, from the City of Manila

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Villa Verde Trail, San Nicolas

Named after a Spanish Missionarry who used it to bring Catholicism to people in the mountains of northern Luzon. This 27 mile trail runs climbs over 5,000' from Santa Maria to Santa Fe along ridgelines large enough for foot traffic and horses. It terminates to the junction with Route 5 and the Cagayan Valley.

Battle of Villa Verde Trail

After the American landing at Lingayen Gulf on January 9, 1945, Japanese forces of the 'Shobu Group' defended this location, including 10th Recconssaiance Regimen and survivors of the 7th Tank Regiment from the battle of San Manuel. The US Army 32nd Infantry Division's 127th Infantry Regiment advanced along this trail beginning on January 30, 1945. The rough terrain made it impossible for vehicles to support the battle, Igorot laborers were employed to carry supplies and evacuate wounded.

32nd Infantry Division Villa Verde Monument
In 1987 with the help of the veterans of the 32nd and cooperation of the Santa Maria East the monument was restored from March - September 1989. The memorial's brass plaque reads: "Erected by the officers and men of the 32d Infantry Division United States Army in memory of their gallant comrades who were killed along the Villa Verde Trail Januray 30, 1945 - May 28, 1945".


Thursday, February 1, 2007

What happened to Alcala's world records?

ALCALA, Pangasinan (5 May 2006) -- All roads led to Alcala Saturday as people came to witness this town’s attempt to enter its name in the world map by putting up the world’s longest grill and the world’s longest barbecue for the Guinness Book.

Mayor Manuel Collado said after several dry runs, there is no doubt anymore that Alcala has broken the two world records of 32.84 or 107.7 feet for the longest grill and the 1007.56 or 13,305.54 feet for the world’s longest barbecue.

The longer grill record was put up by the residential home Haus Ostertal at St.Wendel Werschweiler Germany as part of its 10th anniversary on May 14, 2004.
Source: PIA

I was impressed and amazed last year by the people of Alcala for the attempt of breaking two world records of the longest grill and the longest barbecue.

I haven't heard any news if it was certified by the Guinness Book. Any news about this? Hopefully you will post some comments here.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Carmen Rosales

Carmen Rosales (born 1918 in Pangasinan) is a famous prewar Filipina actress better known as Mameng and is noted for her skill in acting and sweet voice. Rosales' film debut was in the 1938 movie Ang Kiri which she made a double to Atang dela Rama. When her friend brought her to Quisumbing the man rejected Rosales because the young woman did not have an aura of an actress.

But she became the most famous Filipina actress of the 1940s and 1950s and rivaled Rosa del Rosario at the box-office. She is famous for her sweet voice and recorded numerous songs. Rosales made her first debut in Ang Kiri aka The Flirt under Diwata Pictures. She starred in her first leading role opposite Jose Padilla Jr in Arimunding-Munding 1939.

She became the most bankable star in Sampaguita Pictures and the highest paid actress of the 1940s and 1950s. Her unforgettable roles as a martyr lover of Rogelio dela Rosa in Maalaala Mo Kaya 1954 and a club-singer in Ang Tangi Kong Pag-ibig.

She got her first Famas Award in 1954 via Inspirasyon opposite Van de Leon and a strict auntie in 1960 movie Estela Mondragon.

Rosales is named after Carmen, Rosales in Pangasinan. Rosales is famous in a hacendera role fighting to Alicia Vergel in Pablo Gomez version of MN. Her last appearance is from Inday Badiday's Eye to Eye and refused to appear completely in TV in a minor role.

this article is from wikipedia

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bakit gumagalaw ang buntot ng kalabaw?

"Balong, sama ka sa bukid ipapastol ko ang kalabaw?", paanyaya ni Tiyo Silo.
"O sige pero maglalakad na lang ako."
"Medyo malayo iyong pastulan, sakay na lang tayo sa kalabaw. Sa likod ka, ako ang magda-drive", sambit ni Tiyo Silo.

Inalis ni Tiyo Silo ang tali ng kalabaw sa puno ng mangga. Nakita ko ang mabait na kalabaw na nakangiti dahil alam niya na sa ganitong oras ay dadalhin na naman sa kanyang paboritong lugar upang kumain ng iba't ibang klaseng damo.

Magaan ang loob namin sa kalabaw. Kasali siya sa aming pamilya. Siya ang ginagamit pang-araro sa bukid. Hinihila niya ang kariton na may mabibigat na sako ng palay patungo sa bahay ni Lola Kolasa. Sinasakyan namin ang kariton para pumunta sa bayan at mamalengke. Matiyaga ang kalabaw, kaya pinapakain namin siya ng maigi.

"Tiyo, 'di ko alam umakyat sa kalabaw, paano ako makasasakay?" Dahil ako'y apat na taon pa lamang noon ay binuhat ako ni Tiyo at inilagay sa likod.
"Huwag kang matakot, hawakan mo sa likod", wika ni Tiyo.

Inalagay ni Tiyo Silo ang mga kamay sa likod ng kalabaw na iyong isa ay hawak ang tali at sabay talon sa kalabaw. Ilang saglit ay nakasakay na kami. Lumalakad na si matiyagang kalabaw. Masayang masaya siya.

"Maaaaaaaaaaaak..", sigaw ng kalabaw.

"Aray!", nadama ko ang hampas ng buntot ng kalabaw tatlumpong segundo lang bago kami lumisan. Hinayaan ko iyong unang hampas kasi alam kong gaya ng aso ay nagpapahiwatig ng kagalakan. Ngunit sinundan pa ng napakaraming pagkilos ng buntot ng aming babaeng kalabaw.

"Tiyo, masakit ang hampas ng buntot", habang lasap ko ng kasarapan ng pagsakay.
"Magtiis ka, malapit na tayo".

Nang makarating kami sa pastulan, unang bumaba si Tiyo para ilagay iyong kahoy na doon nakatali. Ipinukpok niya sa lupa at hinayaan ako sa kalabaw. Matindi kong hinawakan ang likod ng hayop dahil ayaw kong mahulog. Gayundin, natatamaan pa rin ako ng buntot.

Natapos na ng pagpukpok si Tiyo at lumakad siya papalapit sa amin. Ibinaba niya ako.

Hinayaan namin ang kalabaw at pumunta kami sa bahay-kubo na kung saan nandoon si Lola Kolasa. Habang nilalasap ko ang simoy ng hangin, nakatingin pa rin ako sa kalabaw. Napansin ko na hanggang ngayon ay gumagalaw pa rin ang buntot.

"Lola, bakit gumagalaw ang buntot ng ating kalabaw?", di ko na mapigilang magtanong.
"Itong Apo ko, kung anu-anong itinatanong", wika ni Lola. "Kasi maraming langaw ang dumadapo sa puwit, kaya ginagamit ang buntot na pamaypay".

May mga pangyayari sa barrio na hindi maaaring kalimutan. Ang pagsakay sa kalabaw na kasama ang hampas ng buntot nito ay walang katapusang karanasan itinatago sa puso.

A smaller breed of Water buffalo, the Carabao, is the national animal of the Philippines.

The carabao (Filipino: kalabaw) or B. bubalus carabanesis is a domesticated subspecies of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalus) found in the Philippines, Guam, and various parts of Southeast Asia. Carabaos are highly associated with farmers, being the farm animal of choice for pulling the plow and the cart used to haul farm produce to the market.

martin nievera

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Carmen Rosales Pangasinan

This barrio probably exceeds all barrios and towns of Pangasinan in popularity in the entire Luzon. It is the terminal of buses and jeeps going to the north; like Ilocos Sur, La Union, Ilocos Norte, ang Benguet: to the south; Pampanga, Manila, Laguna: to the east; Nueva Viscaya, Isabela: and Bayambang, Lingayen to the west.

It is also known for the Carmen-Villasis bridge which was used strategically and built by the Americans to fight against the Japanese.(see left image, 1935 bridge, right image, the present bridge)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nang maubos ang "tansan"

Kinakalawang man o bago ay napakahalaga na marami ka sapagkat nakasalalay dito ang mga oras sa pakikipaglaro sa mga kaibigan o kapitbahay.

Tinatawag naming "tansan" o iyong takip ng bote ng softdrinks o kaya'y beer (sa English, bottle crown). Naging bahagi ng buhay hindi lang ng mga mahilig sa softdrinks gaya ng Royal True Orange, Sprite, Coke, Pepsi Cola, Sarsi, Merienda, Mountain Dew, at San Miguel beer. Ito'y naging laruan ng mga bata noong wala pang "console games".

Paano pinapaglaruan iyong "tansan"? Kung sa kasino ang gamit ay mga "chips"; sa mga bata ay tansan.

Madalas magamit ang tansan na panaya sa "taksing" na kung saan ang bawat manlalaro ay maglalagay ng magkakaparehas ng bilang sa loob ng guhit na bilog sa lupa. Ang mga kasali ay mayroong tig-iisang bato na tinatawag na "pamatok". Maglalagay sila ng guhit na medyo malayo sa bilog. Ihahagis nila ang kani-kanilang pamatok palapitan sa may guhit para malaman kung sino ang mauuna na titira sa mga nakalatag na tansan sa loob ng bilog.

Mula sa guhit, titira ang unang manlalaro at ang lalabas na tansan sa bilog ay kanyang pag-aari. Hihinto lang siya ng pagtira kung walang nailabas. Susundan ito ng ibang mga manlalaro hanggang mailabas lahat ang tansan.

Ginagamit din ang tansan sa "kara krus".

Dahil halos lahat ng bata ay naglalaro nito, madalas maubusan ng tansan sa barrio na kung saan saan na ay naghahanap. Oo, sa basurahan ang bagsakan ng mga bata.

Parang pera ang halaga ng tansan noon. Hindi pa ring maipaliwanag kung bakit kahit kinakalawang ay itinuturing pa ring magandang pampalipas oras.

martin nievera

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bakit pinaghatian ang gagamba?

"Jay, maghahanap tayo ng gagamba bukas para may ipanlaban tayo.", sambit ni Toyong.
"Sige, ihahanda ko ang dalawang kahon ng posporo.", wika ni Jay.
"Sama din ako sa inyo, wala na yata akong gagamba kaya di na ako masaya", bigkas ni Richard.

Kinabukasan ay sumama ako kina Jay, Toyong, at Richard tungo sa Palaris, Asingan. Maaninag sa aming mga mata ang kagalakan sa paglalakad patungo sa kabukiran na may mga puno ng bayabas sa gilid. Habang dumadaan kami sa "tambak" ay inuumpisan na namin ang paghahanap.

Sina Toyong at Jay ay nagtungo sa kanluran na kung saan ay maraming malilit na bayabas at siguradong may mahahanap sila doon. Pumunta naman kami ni Richard sa may mga talahib. Hindi gaanong malayo sa dalawa na napapakinggan namin ang kanilang tinig.

Masarap ang simoy ng hangin sa lugar na iyon ngunit damang-dama namin ang hirap ng pag-apak sa putikan sapagkat katatapos lang ng buhos ng ulan. Gayundin, inalis na namin ang aming tsinelas dahil medyo malalim ang putik.

Una naming hinahanap ay ang saput na iniwan ng gagamba. Ginagamit ng gagamba ang saput sa paglipatlipat ng lugar. Samakatwid, susundan namin ang saput dahil kung saan magwawakas ito ay nandoon ang gagamba.

Sa aming paglipatlipat ng dahon ng talahib na may saput ay biglang.

"Akin ang gagambang iyan!", galit na galit si Toyong.

"Anong iyo, ako ang nakahanap!", sigaw ni Jay.

"Ibigay mo sa akin yan, kung hindi....", sagot ni Toyong. "Ako ang nakahanap ng saput, tinulungan mo lang ako".

Ipinipilit pa rin ni Jay na dahil siya ang nakahanap ng mismong gagamba ay pag-aari niya ito. Nasundan niya ang saput na unang natagpuan ni Toyong.

"Huwag na kayong mag-away. Jay, heto may nahanap ako. Ibigay mo na iyan kay Toyong", mapagbigay na mga salita ni Richard.

Masayang-masaya kaming umuwi. May tig-iisa kaming gagamba.

Gagamba. Isa sa mga laro ng mga Pilipino na di maaring kalimutan. Mayroon tayong iba't ibang kuwento tungkol dito ngunit alam natin ang kagalakan na handog na laro. Isang pampalipas oras ng mga pinoy na sabi nga, "Only In The Philippines".

martin nievera

Monday, January 22, 2007

Life in the old days

"The night came at last and darkness filled the house; except for the tiny needles of light that filtered through the walls from the sky, there was no other illumination. I found the small oil lamp where my father kept it in the bamboo rack under the homemade pillows. I lighted it and went to the kitchen...

We sat on the floor and ate in the twilight with our bare hands. We spread the salted fish on the steaming rice and soaked it with broth from the vegetable pot. When we finished eating my father started washing the polished coconut shells which had been our plates and drinking cups for many generations."
page 11, America is in the Heart

It still amazes me everytime I read the book of Carlos Bulosan. He described what happens in detail and in order. I'm just thankful that I haven't experience that much of the life without electricity though I'd grown up in a "barrio" which was no flourescent light at all and I'm lucky enough not to use coconut shells as plates and cups.

We are now living in century which everything is available within our reach to comfort us, to make things leaner and easier. Bulosan recorded what was life in his generation.

Bonuan blue beach

Bonuan beach in Dagupan City is still one of the great beaches in the province. It was the first choice of tourists in the 70's and 80's. Thousands still visit here especially in the month of April and May.
With "inihaw na bangus" in your menu coupled with "oysters", Bonuan beach will be unforgetable.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Uncomparable Bagoong

Pangasinan produces the best smelly"bagoong" (salted fish paste) in the world. It is always part of the menu of Pangasinenses wether as dip or seasoning for vegetable.

Bagoong started here because of the richness of fish catch from the gulf. According to our forefathers, they decided to preserve the extra fish that were not consumed and sold by putting salt. For that bagoong was born.

Pangasinan's bagoong still is considered as the best because of its aroma and the exotic taste which cannot be compared. The secret of Pangasinan's that differs from other bagoong producers around the country are the old clay jars which the fish is fermented. Those jars contribute to the special taste and aroma which cannot be copied.

The fermentation takes 3-6 months while the boneless fish will take a year. A can of salt is used for two cans of fish.

The fishes used to make bagoong are "dilis" [long-jawed anchovy], small "galunggong" [round scud], "caballas" [striped mackerel], "terong" (similar to anchovy) and "padas" ["siganid" fry].

How I miss eating green mangoes with bagoong!

Francisco Sionil Jose called a Philippine national treasure

Born on December 4, 1924 in Rosales Pangasinan, Philippines, he was introduced to literature in public school and later at the University of Santo Tomas.

While working as a journalist in Manila, he moonlighted writing short stories and eventually novels. In the late fifties Jose founded the Philippine branch of PEN, an international organization of poets, playwrights, and novelists. In 1965 he started his own publishing house SOLIDARIDAD, and a year later he began publishing the remarkable Solidarity, a journal of current affairs, ideas, and arts, still going strong today. Jose wrote in English rather than in his national language Tagalog, or his native language Illocano.

In 1962 he published his first novel The Pretenders. Today his publications include ten novels, five books of short stories, and a book of verse. His works are available in 24 languages and some have recently been published in North America by Random House. He has been awarded numerous fellowships and awards, most notable being the 1980 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts, the most prestigious award of its kind in Asia.
Jose lives and works in Manila where with his wife Teresita and a faithful staff he still runs the Solidardad Publishing House and the Solidarity Bookstore, still considered the best little bookstore in Asia. On occassion he leaves Manila for Japan, US, or Europe, where he finds the peace to write or teach.Random House has recently published Three Filipino Women, Sins, Dusk (Po-on), and Don Vincente (My Brother My Executioner, and Tree) in North America. The last two are in the Modern Library Editions, with the remaining of the five volume Rosales saga to follow.

In June of 2001, Jose was awarded the prestigious title of Philippine's National Artist for Literature in an official ceremony at MalacaƱang.

In March 2002's issue of the Discovery magazine, Jose's book Ermita was rated as one of the top ten English-language novels set in Southeast Asia, along side Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," Graham Greene's "The Quiet American," James Clavell's "King Rat."and others.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mount Paldingan, Binalonan

To claim that there is a mountain in this town is beyond geographic explanation though I can prove to you that the people of Binalonan have embraced and loved the scenic view of it.

Mount Paldingan is located at the northeast part of Binalonan near barangay Santa Catalina about 15 km. from the town proper.

It takes tremendous amount of effort and time to climb this mountain though it doesn't need any hiker's tools to reach the peak. All you need to have is a guide who knows the terrains.

The prize of the adventure is not satisfactory reaching the top but the going down the other side of the mountain where you can find the waterfalls and a river. To quench the thirst and to clean the sweat of the long walk and climb, the clear and fresh water is just what it takes.

image is courtesy of

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cacupangan Cave, Mabini (Part 2)

Here are some more images of Cacupangan Cave.

Cacupangan Cave, Mabini (Part 1)

It is difficult to say something about a place where I haven't gone. I'll let the images above tell you how wonderful is the Cacupangan Cave.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fidel V. Ramos

Second President of the Fifth Republic of the Philippines
Term: June 30, 1992 - June 30, 1998

Fidel Valdes Ramos was raised by his father Narciso Ramos in Lingayen, Pangasinan. The Philippine government awarded the young Fidel Ramos a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy after he passed competitive examinations. Seeing the need to help raise his country from the ruins of war, he pursued further studies in engineering following his graduation from West Point in 1950. He obtained a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois in 1951 while he was still a government scholar.

In 1966, Ramos was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant infantry platoon leader in the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Chief of Staff of the Philippine Civil Action. He then worked his way up to become the commander of the Philippine Constabulary, a paramilitary law enforcement agency that was created by the administration of Ferdinand Marcos.

Ramos is considered the “Father of Philippine Army Special Forces.” Some of the positions that he held in the government were Deputy Chief of Staff for Home Defense of the Armed Forces, and Chief of the Philippine Constabulary. He became known to the public in 1986, when he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He then became the Secretary of National Defense in 1988 under the Aquino administration.

On June 30, 1992, Ramos ascended to the highest office of the land. He led the Partido Lakas Tao, a political party that promised to move power to the people as well as greater control over their livelihood, culture, politics and all aspects of their lives. The former general tried to improve his administration by reducing the number of cabinet-ranked positions, though his good intentions were criticized because the appointed officials retired military officers.
Ramos took positive moves towards his old foes. He granted amnesty to Communist and Muslim rebels, and recognized the Communist Party. Foreign investment, particularly tourism, was also one of his targets for improvement.

He is married to Amelita “Ming” Ramos, with whom he has five daughters. The four-star general was the 12th president of the Philippines.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Gandalf Swords made by a Pozzorubian

One of the main characters in the trilogy Lord of the Rings is Gandalf as you see in the picture. According to the reporters in the video that I previously posted the swords used in the the Lord of the Rings were made in Pozzorubio. It was reported that Gandalf's sword was designed by the same person.

The designer Rodrigo Revote, 44, made the Gandalf swords used by "Frodo" and "Aragorn" in winning the throne of Gondor. His family moved from Pangasinan to his wife’s, Irene, hometown in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, in 1985, with their two children.

The original Flavio (Poe’s main character in Ang Panday) was Servillano Revote, his deceased father who was a blacksmith himself.

Of Carlos Bulosan Part 1 of 2

As I was passing barangay Sto. Nino in Binalonan, I noticed the statue of Carlos Bulosan. Last year the town declared September 11 as Bulosan Day to commemorate his death. Bulosan is noted for his book, America is in the Heart, which dramatically inspires Filipinos and other kindreds of the world to live and survive in the United States of America.

I would not blog him here unless I read his book which brought me back to my childhood days. Here is Bulosan's words in one moment of reality of life in the barrio.

"My father halted the carabao, or water buffalo, and bit the rope. He put his wet hands on his hips and waited patiently for me. When I reached him, I lean against the carabao and gasped for breath. The kind animal turned his head toward me and switched the flies off his back with his long tail."

What a complete description of his experience! His brilliance and simplicity of writing was portrayed.

Why did this book being read by other people aside from Filipinos? You have to read and place yourself in the great mind of Carlos Bulosan.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

San Fabian Beach

San Fabian beach has been one of the most visited places in the early 70's and 80's until the late 90's. Visitors from Isabela, Cagayan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya, Tarlac, La Union, and Benguet usually flock the beach in May 1 or they call it "Pista ng Dagat". The beauty of the beach is exceedingly great that the people who go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag are tempted not to visit San Fabian.

As of today, it is still a place of destination and relaxation.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Butao Spring Resort, San Manuel Pangasinan

I first stepped in the land of San Manuel Pangasinan during the 1992 Regional Secondary Schools Press Conference held in the Mataas na Paaralang Juan C. Laya, which was and still arguably considered the best secondary school in the entire Region I in terms of the facilities and infrustractures.

Journalism was the focus but most of the time I got to hang around with my friends and walked out of the campus. We asked some bystanders in the town, which is 5 minutes walk away from the school, about the best place in the town. They resoundingly replied the word "Butao" .

We rode into the tricycle and traveled some ten minutes east to reach Butao. We went to the what they called the "original Butao".

This is a spring resort which was built in 1985. It is a swimming pool about 500 meters in length and 250 meters wide or shorter. The water starts shallow, which is for children and those who don't know how to swim, going deep to 7 feet. The water flows continously to maintain the hygiene. Around the pool are cottages.

It was the main attraction of eastern Pangasineses in the early late 80's and 90's. Because of hundreds of tourists goes there everyday in the 90's that the "original butao spring resort" couldn't accomodate them anymore, swimming pools were opened nearby. Though the water of these newly built pools are no longer natural or I may say not springing from below but being pumped and with the addition of chlorine.

If you happen to go to San Manuel, just drop by and try the fresh water of this resort.

right image is courtesy of

Monday, January 8, 2007

Tondol Beach, Anda Pangasinan

Tondol Beach, Anda Pangasinan, is two hours away from Dagupan City passing Binmaley, Lingayen, Alaminos, Sual, and Bolinao. From the town proper of Anda, it takes 30 minutes to barangay Tondol.

Tondol Beach offers a long stretch shallow and calm waters. There is a cemented pathway along the shoreline which enables everybody to walk and move further to the other parts of the beach.

morepictures 1.. 2..3
images are courtesy of

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Mapandan Pangasinan

Mapandan was formerly a barrio of Mangaldan. It was before located in the hilly regions of the south where there used to be plenty of "pandan" a native palm whose leaves will add aroma to cooked rice. The leaves also are stripped and woven into mats. That's why they call it Mapandan.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Agno Pangasinan's Umbrella Rocks

"Come with us in Agno Pangasinan", said uncle Danny. "We will go to the beach and see the umbrella rocks".

"Nope, I can't travel that long, I'll just swim here in the river and play with the rocks and sands instead", I replied.

That conversation was 25 years ago. Uncle Danny brought some of their pictures and aghastly said, "Wow beautiful, it is really true about the rocks, I hope I went with you, anyway there are more days ahead, I'll be with you the next time".

Since then I have never stepped in the land of Agno. That was a quarter century ago.

I may never have to go to Agno but I really desire someday, there are quality images that we can look around now because of the digital technology. There are images available online of Agno Pangasinan.

Agno Pangasinan is 28 kilometers away from Alaminos Pangasinan, the home of the Hundred Island National Park. The umbrella rocks are found in Sabangan Norte.

I'll be there. Someday I'll say, "I was there".

image is courtesy of

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Never heard of Velma Veloria before?

I was astonished when I read about Velma Veloria. Her accomplishments deserve to be published in some of the media outlets in our province. I don't understand why there's nothing had picked it up during her years of service as State Representative in the United States. I never even heard and know about her until today.

The following paragraphs are taken from:

The First Filipina American legislator of Washington is from Bani, Pangasinan.

Velma Rosete Veloria was first elected to the Washington State Legislature in 1992. During her 9 years in the legislature she has served on several different committees including, Health Care, Judiciary, Labor and Commerce, State Government, Finance, Rules and Capital Budget. For the past six years she has been a member of the Trade and Economic Development Committee and has been the Democratic Chair of this Committee for the past three years.

Because of her immigrant and working class background, Veloria's work in the legislature and in the broader community revolves around concerns for peace and social justice. In addition to introducing legislation for economic development, women and minority businesses, Veloria has organized and led trade missions to Asia and the Pacific Rim. The mission to the Philippines in 1994 resulted in the Philippine Government opening a trade office in Seattle.

In 1995, accompanied by Gov. Mike Lowry and leaders of the Vietnamese American community, Veloria led the first state trade mission to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam where an agreement was signed to develop and discuss specific project proposals for improving commercial ties between the state of Washington and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Just last year, Veloria participated in an educational and humanitarian mission with other women in the legislative arena to Cuba, that once again instilled in Veloria a quest for better and fairer trade policies with other countries of the world.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Lingayen Gulf Landing

Gulf on northern Luzon, bordering Pangasinan to the south and west, and La Union province to the east. Site of both the Japanese (1941) and American (1945) landings.

Japanese Occupation Landing

Japanese General Homma's 14th Army landings on December 22, 1941 on the eastern side of the gulf, at Agoo, Caba, Santiago and Bauang.

American Liberation Landing

The massive US Army amphibious landing of the 6th Army occurred on January 9, 1945 when 68,000 troops landed on the first day alone and a and a total of 203,608 in subsequent landings along a 20-mile beachhead, stretching from Saul, Lingayen and Dagupan (XIV Corps) to the west, and San Fabian (I Corps) in to the east.

Once ashore MacArthur commanded over 280,000 men,more than Eisenhower in Europe. During the assault group's trip to Lingayen from January 4 - 12th a total of 24 ships were sunk and 67 damaged by kamikazie attacks. Damaged was the USS Mississippi BB-41, and light cruiser USS Colombia. The USS Colorado was accidentally hit by friendly fire and damaged.

Why the Americans chose Lingayen Gulf?

A look at a map of the Philippines shows why Lingayen Gulf was chosen for the initial landings. It offered a ‘protected’ anchorage, well-removed from the heavy concentration of forces and fortifications around Manila Bay, yet connected to Manila some 117 miles away by a river-level valley between two mountain chains. Plus, the roads to Manila lead through lands heavily populated by friendly Filipinos. Lingayen Gulf was, in effect, a perfect ‘back door’ to Manila for its would be liberators.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Diego Silang born in Pangasinan

I was surfing the net and I accidentally landed in the page of Diego Silang Andaya who was one of the Philippine heroes. It caught my attention when I read the lines "..born in Aringay, Pangasinan..."

I have little knowledge of the history of Pangasinan but it is recorded that Aringay was a town of Pangasinan before La Union was formed in 1850, when the colonial government merged the southern town of Ilocos Sur, the northern towns of Pangasinan, and the western towns of Benguet to the east.

Aringay Pangasinan is now the area of Caba or Aringay, La Union.

Tambobong Beach, Dasol, Pangasinan

This located in the Dasol,Pangasinan. The 18 kms distance from the town proper will take about 45 minutes to an hour of rough yet scenic drive. A white sand beach with water that teems with marine life. A favorite site of anglers and scuba divers.

This is a wonderful beach soon to be touched by tourists. The magnificent beauty of this exquisite virgin beach.
Tambobong has a beautiful extensive cream sand beach; great for strolling on. The sand is quite fine but not powder fine and some portions in the water are sandy--good for swimming. The water is crystal clear, very inviting!