Messageboard Closed, Email Group Opened

Due to some problems with malwares and spams, I have to close the messageboard. There were more spammers in the forum than real people.

To the forum members who turned homeless because of my demolition job, I have created a yahoo group where we can continue our discussions. the group name is batangbalergroup. Go there and sign-in for membership. Here’s the long address:

To the ANSHS grads populating the alumni thread, please go to the Galing Ansci website and offer yourselves for adoption. To my batchmates using the Batch 88 thread, email me at batangbaler at gmail dot com for plan B.

For those looking for a quick fix, the Batangbaler Chatroom is just one click away.

Protests growing over Atienza OK of logging

Just when i thought i’m beginning to like the colorful shirts of DENR Secretary Lito Atienza because of his swift action against a reported case of illegal logging in Dingalan, Aurora (read the 3-day timeline here, here and here), then this report from

An information caravan in the nine villages of Dinalungan, Aurora, started to gather support on Monday for the protest against the approval by Environment Secretary Lito Atienza of a five-year logging plan by a firm in the province.

Fr. Ceferino Valenzuela, the town’s parish priest, said the caravan mounted by the Concerned Citizens of Dinalungan started at 8 a.m., holding short programs in every village it passed.

The 200 participants were expected to reach the logging areas of Industries Development Corp. (IDC) in Barangays Ditawini and Abuleg in Dinalungan, Dinadiawan in Dipaculao town, and at the Aurora-Quirino boundary before dusk.

Click here to read the full news.

Look at the Google Earth picture of Dinalungan here:

The town is already a big landslide viewed from space. This is not caused by just the “illegal” loggers. The environmental catastrophes happening in Aurora are mostly caused by legal loggers. Sec. Atienza should take this in consideration before approving any logging permit. Because, to parapharase his own quote, “To allow ANY KIND OF LOGGING to continue is like begging for a catastrophe with epic proportions to happen.”

Lest we forget, Tonette Orejas from Inquirer added this sidenote on the report:

What went before

By Tonette Orejas
Central Luzon Desk
First Posted 00:27:00 04/30/2008

MANILA, Philippines – Landslides triggered by rains from Typhoons “Winnie” and “Yoyong” killed more than 300 people in Dingalan, Aurora in November and December 2005. Nearly 1,000 houses were destroyed.

On Dec. 30, 2005, 70 families were marooned in Barangay Esperanza in Casiguran as floodwaters reached 10 feet high. All 24 villages in the town were flooded.

Mayor Reynaldo Bitong said the floods, the worst in Casiguran after Typhoon “Harurot’s” rains in July 2003, came as the Amro, Minanga, Dibet, Bianoan and Calabgan rivers overflowed.

On July 31, 2006, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council said 57 villages in the towns of Baler, Casiguran, Dilasag, Dinalungan, Dipaculao, Maria Aurora and San Luis were at high risk to floods and landslides on the heels of Typhoon “Henry.”

I’m glad to hear that Dinalungan Mayor Tito Tubigan listens to his constituents and opposes logging in his turf. Let’s hope it’s not just lip service.

For more info about the environment in Aurora click here.

Environment officer in Aurora sacked over illegal logging reports

Flowery shirts aside, i’m beginning to like Lito Atienza.


Environment Secretary Lito Atienza on Monday ordered the immediate relief of an environment officer in Aurora province following reports of revived illegal logging operation in Dingalan town.

Sacked from post as Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (Cenro) was Meliton Vicente. He will be replaced by Joselito Blanco, former Cenro for Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija province.

Atienza said he ordered the relief of Vicente after he personally confirmed “from independent sources in the area” the report of the Task Force Sierra Madre (TFSSM) about the revived activities of illegal loggers in the area.

Click here to read the full news

Wild mushrooms down 3 in Aurora

Apparently, these peeps don’t know how to spot adwas-friendly o-ungs!


Wild mushrooms downed three residents in Aurora province who were foraging for food in San Luis town last weekend, dzRH radio reported Monday.

Two of the three were initially identified as Bobby Rivera and Boying Antalan. They were rushed to the Aurora Memorial Hospital after complaining of dizziness.

Click here to read the full news

Asia Art Link 2008 and TAMA 'O8

asia art link_poster
Works of Filipino contemporary artists from the Philippines;
is still on view at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
until 27 April, 2008

asia-art-link website

artworks from the Philippines

Too late for our kababayans in Vietnam. The exhibit ended yesterday. Anyway, I still posted this exhibit as a shoutout to our ka-baler Jeho Bitancor who is now based in the US. I was in Manila last week and met two other persons whose works are included in the Hanoi exhibit, Noel Pama Sr. (who went to Baler a few years ago for the Sining Silangan workshop) and Buddy Ching. Metz invited me to this art event called TAMA 08, the 5th Tupada International Action Art Event at the Kanlungan ng Sining in Luneta. I will post the pictures later. Rommel “Metz” Espinosa is a part of the event. He is Participating Local Artist No. 12. His performance will be at Dagupan. Here’s a poster with him on the picture:


More info here

DENR to dispatch legal team to stop illegal logging in Aurora


A combined team of legal and law enforcement agents will be dispatched by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to Aurora province to check on reports of fresh illegal logging activities in Dingalan town.

The order came after Environment Secretary Lito Atienza learned of the illegal logging activities in the said town through “independent sources in the area.”

“All steps must be taken to stop illegal logging in Dingalan and other parts of the country. To allow illegal logging to continue is like begging for a catastrophe with epic proportions to happen,” Atienza said.

Click here to read the complete news.

Wow! A quick response. Never read something like that in a while. Anyway, we should always consider the magic words in this logging problem of our dear Province which is “illegal loggers”. We appreciate the DENR’s action to stop illegal logging but i think the ones that poses more danger are the “legal” loggers. What do you think?

Illegal logging resumes in Aurora, says group

from by Tonette Orejas:

Illegal logging activities have resumed in Dingalan, a town in Aurora that was battered by landslides that killed more than 300 people and displaced nearly 1,000 families in November and December 2004, a leader of the Task Force Sierra Madre said on Friday.

Four 10-wheel trucks have been coming weekly since March to haul at least 65,000 board feet of wood from three lumberyards in Barangay Paltic, according to Fr. Pete Montallana, head of the TFSM-Dingalan chapter.

Click to read the complete news

Father Froilan Rivera celebrates his first Traditional Latin Mass at Divine Mercy Parish.

On April 25, 2008 Rev. Fr. Froilan Rivera of the Prelature of Infanta Nullius celebrated his first Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. Fr. Froi, as friends called him, was born in Aurora province. He entered seminary in early 80’s at St. Francis de Sales Major Seminary in Lipa, Batangas where he finished his degree in A.B. Philosophy and studied his M.A. in Theology at Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City while staying at The Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol in the Diocese of Imus.

Read more