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Today I’m 78, Happy Birthday to me


On Feb. 2, 1936 ON a cold and foggy morning, I was born in a farmhouse at the foot of Mt. Banahaw in Laguna.

Posted: February 2nd, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

The hypnotist


I first saw my stepfather-to-be in 1942, when I was eight, during the Japanese time. He was attending the town fiesta of Majayjay. I saw him approaching on our pathway, dressed in clothes I’d never seen.

Posted: January 19th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Big virtues I learned from small-town folk


“Ayyy! Kanduleee! Biyaaa! Dulooong!” THIS hawking singsong was heard aloud in the streets of Majayjay daily, except Sundays and Mondays. The hawking sound belonged to Ka Tinay, my fish vendor friend, when I was growing up in the 1940s and ’50s.

Posted: November 17th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Missing Louis Armstrong’s sound in Majayjay


In Majayjay, the music played at funerals was unusual and unforgettable. The sound was a cross between a dirge and a kundiman, with a touch of jazz in between.

Posted: October 20th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Eking, my shy childhood friend who became a Huk ‘berdugo’


I was taken aback when Duardo told me that Eking had joined the Huks. In 1948, Duardo, Eking and I were barefoot boys growing up in Bulac-Bulac, Majayjay, Laguna. I was 12 and in Grade 6; Duardo was 13, an errand boy and school dropout; and Eking was 15, another school dropout whose days were spent working as maghahakot using his workhorse during farm harvests.

Posted: September 8th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Heroes’ Day blues


The sight took my breath away. It was drops of blood of Gen. Emilio Jacinto who was wounded in 1899 in the battle of Maimpis river in Majayjay, Laguna.

Posted: August 25th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

How my Japanese professor-friend learned to love Filipino food–in Majayjay, Laguna

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When I told history professor Dr. Rico Jose that I was visiting the National Archives of Japan to ask about their records on the Philippines, he suggested that I also go to see his friend, Dr. Takefumi Terada at Sophia University.

Posted: November 29th, 2012 in Featured Gallery,Food,Headlines | Read More »

Ah, those cacophonic radio days


The ’50S were mnemonic radio days. I was growing up and we had no phone, no TV, no movies and no PCs. Radio emphasized the sounds of our times. We created our images in the theater of our minds.

Posted: November 25th, 2012 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Gallery,Headlines,Photos & Videos,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

How Majayjay’s ‘Buttocks Bridge’ came to be


The thing is an ancient ruin of a weird, huge arch. It stands forlorn at the base of a steep ravine walled in by a thick jungle and the Olya River in Majayjay. It’s a tall arch, moss-covered, with wild ferns and creeping vines growing in its cracks and crevices. Below is a dark green lagoon where we swam and frolicked naked when we were young boys many moons ago.

Posted: November 11th, 2012 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Gallery,Headlines,Photos & Videos,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

Barefoot in the barrio


Towns in the 1930s up to the 1950s were walking towns, with clean and peaceful streets lined with wooden houses where neighborly folk lived. There were no jeeps, tricycles and motorcycles that clogged the thoroughfares—only buses that departed every hour for the 25-km trip to the provincial capital.

Posted: July 29th, 2012 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »

To train for the job of CEO, I sold ‘pan de sal,’ ’garilyo’


As a young boy, I was keen on earning my own money. I learned how to peddle pan de sal early morning by going down the narrow streets of Majayjay, hawking, “pan de sal ni Mang Tomas, mainit paaa!”

Posted: July 15th, 2012 in Columns,Featured Columns,Headlines,Sunday Lifestyle | Read More »



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