Nothing to do in Baler this weekend? Watch the 1st StokedInc. Philippine Wahine Classic, happening on October 5-6, 2013 at the Aliya Surf Resort, Baler Beach. From the event page: “The goal of The Philippine Wahine Classic is to encourage and empower the female population who has fallen in love with the sport of surfing and the lifestyle that is synonymous with it. We encourage all our surfing wahines to join us for this great weekend, whether to compete or not, to show support for your fellow lady sliders!”
Wahine is the Hawaiian word for woman and the word used to describe a female surfer.
Relatives of former Aurora Governor Edgardo “Eddie” L. Ong announced his passing yesterday, October 2, 2013, at the age of 61 due to liver failure. His remains will be brought to Baler today, October 3, for a two-day wake at the Provincial Capitol.
“Gov Eddie” was the Vice Governor of Aurora province from 1987 until 1991 when he succeeded as Governor due to the death of then Governor Eunice Guerrero-Cucueco. He was later elected as Governor on 1992 and served three full terms until 2001.
Born on July 25, 1952 at Baler, former Governor Eddie Ong was the fourth child of Lt. Governor Estrello Ong and Natalia Lumasac Ong. He was married to Ramoncita “Chit” Ong who also served as Aurora Governor from 2001 to 2004. They have three children, Michael, Christine and Gian Carlo.
Update: The remains of former Governor Eddie Ong will lie in state at the Sangguning Panlalawigan hall, Provincial Capitol Baler, Aurora until Friday night. On Saturday, he will be transferred back to Manila and will be buried at the Heritage Memorial Park, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City next week.
I’ve been monitoring Google Earth for sometime waiting for high resolution photos of Baler and other towns in Aurora. Last year they updated the low-res images of Baler to slightly better but still low def satellite photos taken in 2010. This month, the images of Baler and some parts of San Luis and Dipaculao were again updated with the same crappy and now black and white photos. But, while Google Earth provides no joy for Aurora’s capital town, some places, especially up north are getting nice snapshots. Here are some screencaps I made for your viewing pleasures. Click on the images to biggify and see if you can spot your roof in the pictures.
Low-res 2010 picture of Baler, Aurora. Some big structures could be identified. From this picture, you can tell that Baler’s town plan is a mess.
A slightly better but black and white picture of Baler.
Just giving you peeps a heads up on some photo sets you might have missed while this blog was stuck in the Facebook universe. Here’s a photoset of a typical Palengke Day in Baler, Aurora. Baler market day happens every Saturday and its the best day to go to the market. It’s when the palengke goes overdrive and sellers from everywhere are allowed to set up shop at the parking area beside the market. The photos in the FB album were taken last January 2013.
Pamumukut is the local term for baby purse-seining, where a purse-like net called “pukut” is layed out offshore and pulled on both ends like a drawstring from the shore by persons called “mamumukot“. Pulling the net is a choreographed movement, similar to doing the cha-cha. Back in the days, anyone who wanted to get free fish can help in pulling the “pukut” and he will be given a share of the catch. However, this type of fishing was outlawed years ago because of its negative effects on fish stocks. In Baler, there are months when it’s allowed in certain areas and this month, September, is pukut season.
It’s been years since I last saw a live pukut event. Luckily I managed to witness one on Labasin Beach last Sunday, September 14. Check out the pictures:
After about two hours of pulling the net, the day’s catch is about five kilos of small fishes and another five kilos of trash. That’s how it goes, says one of the mamumukot, sometimes you catch many fishes, sometimes you catch nothing.
Back in the 70s and 80s, Dicaloyungan River was one of the best picnic places in Baler. It’s near the town and there was a big natural swimming pool just by the road. Here’s two pictures of the old place taken from the 1978 MLQ Centenial Yearbook:
The original caption from the yearbook reads:
In the midst of the Sierra Madre Mountains surrounded by wide coconut plantations and lusty vegetation is the popular Dicaloyungan Week-end Resort – famous for picnics, outings, dancing and other recreational activities. Constructed and being maintained by the Aurora Engineering District, DPH.
Hey, i’m not an internet celebrity so every time a picture I posted on FB gets 10 likes I get excited. When it reaches 100 likes I declare a viral hit. So here are the Top 10 most Liked pictures on the Batangbaler Facebook Page – so far.
No. 10. Baler bay looking west from Digisit. 320 Likes.
No. 9. The street dancers from Bayanihan National High School during the Aurora Day 2013 street dancing competition. 323 Likes.
On August 19, 2013, in time with the 135th Birth Anniversary of the Star of Baler Manuel L. Quezon and the Baler Fiesta, Banak, Inc launched the book Ak’kaw Poppo – Talaan ng mga Salitang Baler, a dictionary of Baler words compiled by Olag Selaznog. I believe this is the first published collection of unique words that we use exclusively in Baler. The earliest known collection of Baler words was made by Damian Amazona in the 50s and reportedly his manuscript is still extant at the National Archives. Poppo Olag Selaznog (Galo Gonzales) has been compiling his list since he left Baler in the 50s. Batangbaler also has an online dictionary of Baler words since 2002. The 88-page booklet also features list of unique expressions we use in Baler like Are! and Akkaw! and a foreword by Mrs. Zeneida “Nini” Quezon Avanceña.
The book publisher Baler Aurora Ngayon Angkan at Kasaysayan (Banak, Inc.) is a non-stock, non-profit organization that consists of individuals who trace their roots to Baler, Aurora. Its members are bound by a common desire to learn about, document and preserve Baler’s colorful history, culture and genealogy. Yours truly, Kidlat, is a member of Banak, Inc.
The book is available for P200.00 at 43 Quezon Street (opposite NorFil Gas Station), Barangay Suklayin, Baler, Aurora. Look for Enick Valenzuela.