Category Archives: People

The Aurora Inter-Organizational Alliance – USA

Aurora Inter-Organizational Alliance Officers
Aurora Inter-Organizational Alliance Officers

(AIOA-USA’s officers.Standing from left to right: Andy Leander, Atty. Terry Herrera, Roland Protesta, Ezer Teh, Primo Teh, Efren Padua, Dante Rubio. Seating from left to right: Jennifer Duaso-Faustino, Doris Pena-Herrera, Alegria Querijero-Wong, Dr. Belen G. Guerrero, Violeta Morada-Ferraren, Lucy Gonzales-Entac, Merle Francisco-Manalac and Cely Ruidera-Antonis)

I got acquainted with Mr. Dante Rubio via Facebook. Mr. Rubio is a former Board Member of Aurora Province and is now based in the USA. He is the President of an umbrella organization of Auroranians in the USA, the Aurora Inter-Organizational Alliance – USA. I asked him for some info about AIOA-USA. Here’s his message:

The Aurora Inter-Organizational Alliance-USA was brought about by a clamor to put up an umbrella organization for Auroranians in the US- which will serve as a venue- where we can vent out our longings and yearnings, and consequently, bring meaning to our exilic life here in the US. The association was preceded by a series of frustrations aimed at putting up a similar organization for Auroranians, but fizzled out to oblivion for unclear reason.

On its third year now, the AIOA-USA is bent on making an impact on the lives of, not only our members here, but to the people of Aurora. We realize we have to take advantage of the blessings of this great country and share it with the less fortunate of our kababayans. We dream to contribute to the development of our beloved province specially in the area of education, environment, tourism and hopefully, with God’s grace contribute to the living standards of the poor, by embarking on something that will provide economic impact on the province poor population. Last year we started to make our advocacy a reality by distributing used computers to the different schools located in the outskirts, like Cemento, Pingit, Obligacion in Baler, Dimanayat, Dikapinisan, Ditumabo in San Luis; Diome, Dikildit, Ditailen in Maria to name a few, and the rest of the towns getting their equitable share. We have distributed used clothings and other second hand stuffs, so that those who have practically nothing can have something to cover their body during those cold nights in the outback. These are continuing projects which we hope to continue for as long as we can sustain. The organizationis doing its fair share here in promoting tourism-by way of our press releases that saw print in Fil-Am newspapers- in the equally majestic Aurora known also for its pristine beaches, ctystal clear rivers, awesome waterfalls, breattaking mountain view and the giant waves that mesmerize many. Continue reading The Aurora Inter-Organizational Alliance – USA

Caledian and Suklayin

Google Earth - Caledian and Suklayin in Arayat, Pampanga
Google Earth - Caledian and Suklayin in Arayat, Pampanga

Young people of Baler wouldn’t probably know where Caledian is. They would know Suklayin which is one of the big Barangays of the town and where the provincial seat of government is located. Caledian is now just a Sitio of Bgy. Suklayin. It probably got its name from “Kalye Diyan” (the street over there). It has no formal geographical boundary but it’s located along the Quezon highway somewhere between Gloria Street and the Provincial Capitol. The original Suklayin starts at the curve of the highway where the old DPWH (BPH) used to be located and ends at the boundary with San Luis, the place we call Welcome. We live in Caledian since I was a child so i have many fond memories of the place, but that’s another story.

The Google Earth picture above is of Caledian and Suklayin – in Arayat, Pampanga. Coincidence? Not really. That place used to be the farm of Manuel L. Quezon. I first read about a place in Arayat called Caledian from Manuel L. Quezon III’s column in the Inquirer where he wrote about his grandfathers’ farm called “Caleidan”. I wondered if there was a connection with the Caledian here in Baler. It turned out that Pres. Quezon and Mrs. Quezon named it after the place here in Baler, where they also had farms. They loved their hometown so much they made an “avatar” of it in a place that’s nearer to Manila. Of course they also brought in some Balerians to stay in the place to make it more authentic.

Poppo Olag, a retired US navy now living in the USA, read my short note here at Batangbaler and emailed me this:

You bet, the name of the Quezon’s Hacienda in Arayat were not only Kaledian but on the other side was Suklayin. We lived in the farm from 1940 until the outbreak of World War II. Tata Manuel was in charge of Kaledian Farm, while Mang Tomas Ranillo was in charge of Suklayin Farm. Tatay was in charge of the construction of Mt. Arayat National Park. Nonong and I used to climb the Ratilis tree at the back of their house. That was the good old days. We walked back to Baler from Arayat in 1942 when everything quieted down. And, where we settled down? Back to Suklayin!

So it turned out that there’s also a place beside Caledian in Arayat called Suklayin. And those places retained the names until now. So what happened to the farm in Arayat? The family of Manuel L. Quezon, being a champion of social justice and a trailblazer of agrarian reform, redistributed the land to its tenants and farmworkers. Which was also what he did in Baler. When he was president, he ordered a cadastral survey of Baler and gave two portions of lands to each family, a small lot at the Poblacion and a bigger track of land at the outskirts of the town. Most of the lands their family owned in Baler were also given away. Almost a century later, he is still remembered for those unselfish acts. I wonder how we will remember those who are now more into taking than giving.

The Art of Johann L. Bitancor

Jose Johann L. Bitancor
Jose Johann L. Bitancor

Before devoting himself full-time into painting, Jose Johann L. Bitancor has been a seasoned Visualizer/Graphic designer in the Philippines. As a designer, his practice ranged from exhibition designs to Advertising and Promotional materials for several Communications and Marketing Firms.

Upon his migration to the U.S. in 2003, he sought to further increase his knowledge and enrolled at the University of Memphis in 2004, during which he was also granted a scholarship at the Memphis College of Art in 2006. Very recently, his longtime passion for sculpture produced several works in wood. Coupled with relentless experimentation with materials, his works now include textural abstractions based on everyday life’s experiences.

A graduate of Fine Arts from Far Eastern University in 1996, Bitancor has exhibited his works in 50th Manila F.A.M.E. International-October 2009, World Trade Center, Manila, Philippines, Fiesta Resort Guam, Tumon Guam-November 12- 14, 2009 and Art in the Park, Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village Makati-Feb. 27, 2010 among others.

He was an active member of the Baler Art Group and 901 based in Memphis Tennessee.

Johann’s website:

More of Johann’s artworks:

Jose Johann L. Bitancor
Jose Johann L. Bitancor
Jose Johann L. Bitancor
Jose Johann L. Bitancor

Continue reading The Art of Johann L. Bitancor


You might want to check out these exhibits.

Art in the Park
Art in the Park

Art in the Park. February 27, 2010. 2pm to 11pm. Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati City. The art fair will feature works by Balerian brothers Jeho and Johann Bitancor.

Korea - Philippine Art Exhibit 2010
Korea - Philippine Art Exhibit 2010

Korea-Philippine Art Exhibit 2010. GSIS Museo ng Sining, Pasay City. Exhibit opening on February 26, 2010 at 6:00 PM. Among the Philippine artists who will have their artworks in the exhibit are Roy Buen and Vincent Christopher Gonzales from Baler.

Baler, Aurora: The Exhibit. Bulwagan ng Dangal, UP Diliman’s University Heritage Museum. February 15 – March 31. The exhibit is “is largely an ethnographic exhibit that foregrounds the town of Baler in Aurora, Quezon. Curated by Prof. Rubén D.F. Defeo.”

For the exhibit, the siege of Baler is chosen because of its impact in the life of the people of Baler. A major area of the Bulwagan simulates the Baler church interior where the action took place. A looped version of the documentary film on the siege of Baler entitled Los Ultimos de Filipinos is screened on a set schedule everyday of the exhibit.

The exhibit also presents the community of Ilongot through vintage photographs of this fast vanishing traditions.

A special segment of the exhibit focuses on the various creative ways where Baler is depicted in art. A formal presentation, this section features diverse artworks that portray musings on Baler by artists from the UP College of Fine Arts like Leo Abaya and Denes Dasco. The installative sitework of Junyee uses coco coir and other materials extracted from the coconut tree, thus providing an apt preview of the current state of industries in Baler. (

Vargas Collects History. “To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth, the University of the Philippines Jorge B. Vargas Museum presents a satellite exhibition that creates a dialogue with Bulwagan ng Dangal’s exhibition on President Manuel L. Quezon and his origins, the humble town of Baler, and explores the history of the collecting practice of Vargas.” Memorabilia Exhibition opens February 23 at the 3F Galleries of The Vargas Museum (

Binibining Aurora 2010 Candidates

The candidates of the Binibining Aurora 2010. The Talent Night will be on February 15 at the Capitol Grounds and the Coronation Night will be on February 17 at the Sentro Baler (Baler Sports Complex).

Leona Paula Santicruz
Leona Paula Santicruz

Candidate No. 1 – Ms. Leona Paula Ranillo Santicruz from San Luis.

Ms. Jamie Galban Gonzales
Ms. Jamie Galban Gonzales

Candidate No. 2 – Ms. Jamie Galban Gonzales from Baler

Continue reading Binibining Aurora 2010 Candidates

May 2010 Election – List of Aurora Candidates

Here’s the list of all local candidates for the May 2010 elections. Thanks to Comelec for the info.

Update: * – indicates incumbent officials

Congressional and Provincial Positions

For Congressman, Lone District of Aurora
1. Angara, Juan Edgardo Manalang (LDP) *
2. Manalo, Teofilo Belen (Independent)

For Provincial Governor
1. Castillo, Bellaflor-Angara (LDP)*
2. Dela Cruz, Ruben Tud (PDP-Laban)
3. Tangson, Mariano Calderon (NP)

For Provincial Vice Governor
1. Noveras, Gerardo Angala (LP)*
2. Tolentino, Danilo Amansec (LDP) (incumbent Board Member)

For Provincial Board Member – First District (Dingalan, Maria Aurora, Baler, San Luis)
1. Abordo, Oliver Ian Angara (LDP) (incumbent San Luis Councilor)
2. Bautista, Philip Butch Molina (LDP)
3. Dinamling, Aizalea Adangla (PDP-Laban)
4. Gagarin, Jose Lumabao (Independent)
5. Ong, Pedro Jr. Montes (NP)*
6. Padua, Oscar Wenceslao (LDP)*
7. Pimentel, Cesar Bihasa (LDP)
8. Porqueriño, Marietta Galban (NP)

For Provincial Board Member – Second District (Dipaculao, Dinalungan, Casiguran, Dilasag)
1. Alipio, Ruben Jr. Soriano (LDP)
2. Cabauatan, Jose Sr. Blanche (LDP)*
3. Marzan, Honorio Jr. Macanas (NP)
4. Miran, Pablo Galolo (NP)
5.Pascua, Renato Villena (LDP)*
6. Tubera, Tito Castro (LP)
7. Valin, Denia Peña (LDP)*
8. Villar, Dante Cordial (NP)

List of municipal candidates after the jump.
Continue reading May 2010 Election – List of Aurora Candidates

Ang mga Likha ni Tya Rosa

Tya Rosa with Metz Espinosa
Tya Rosa with Metz Espinosa

Narito ang ilang mga larawan kuha sa art exhibit ni Mam Rose Querijero o Tya Rosa na ginanap mula October 10 hanggang 20 sa ilalim ng bahay ni Doña Aurora Quezon sa harapan ng Simbahan ng Baler. Si Tya Rosa ay ang kasalukuyang High School Social Studies Supervisor ng DepEd Aurora at maliban sa pagpipinta siya rin ay isang manunulat, makata, historian, at guro sa kolehiyo.

Click here to view the pictures

Jeho Bitancor’s unBOUNDed exhibit @ Blanc Makati Until September 18

Jeho Bitancor’s “unBOUNDed” Will be on view until September 18, 2009 at blanc Makati. blanc is located at Crown Tower, 107 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. For more information, please call or sms 752-0032 / 0920-9276436, email or visit,

Jeho Bitancor
Jeho Bitancor

by Jeho Bitancor

How does space as a phenomenon translate to embodied articulations of personal and social significance?

Referencing my condition as a migrant, I had to grapple with this problematic and contemplate on other questions whether the space to locate our bodies constricting or liberating or both? If so, how does it manifest? Is it of our own choosing and creation, or is it imposed and inherited?

My inquiry was triggered by the tension I had to negotiate as a transient body constantly relocating itself, from the “periphery” to the “center”, and from the west coast to Midwest to east coast in barely two years. This would mean adapting to new circumstances and unfamiliar grounds. Or better yet, enduring/enjoying shifting working conditions; from a huge garage space in California, to a freezing open patio in Memphis, to a claustrophobic basement apartment in Jersey City, and finally to a decent studio space in the suburbs of Central New Jersey.

It is while working in a spare space in Jersey City measuring less than 7 X 5 ft in floor area that I have come to question the nature of my existence. Does the space I occupy define me or is it in defining myself that I inhabited it? Similarly, is the decision to be “in” the space and adhere to the condition it entails a result of my own volition alone or a product of inherited values historically ingrained within my psyche? It can be both in my case for there are a number of reasons that may be politically in/correct or even romantic. It can be the notion of growing artistically/ intellectually and recognizing my battle as a post-colonial subject, while at the same time grazing at my enemy’s pasture for which I am not yet guilty of.

For this exhibition, I have focused on subjects that are apparently social in context and navigating through issues that affect me. For me, there is no dividing line clearly delineating the personal to societal. I believe that personal experiences transcend to if not a direct result of the workings of society.

Age-old issues of vulnerability, conformity, dislocation, bondage, greed, identity and struggle are presented in various reconfigurations and re-contextualization. Utilizing as a device objects that contain figures or figures that resemble objects, the works allude to feelings of entrapment, enclosure and imprisonment. Others served as shelter and recluse, echoing the duality and manifold definition of inhabiting and identifying with a space.

info taken from blanc art space multiply page