The Week's Roundup

Things are pretty busy with yours truly this week, so i’ll just round up the herd, so to speak.

  1. Good news for all arts and culture enthusiast of Aurora, the Aurora Arts Council was organized at the provincial capitol yesterday. I was invited to join and contributed my 5 centavo worth of opinions. Things are pretty much still in the planning and organizing stage but thanks to two artists consultants for making the birthing of this much needed council a painless experience. They were Junyee and Jun Nicdao, tapped by Sen. Angara to help organize the council. We visited Gov. Castillo after the meeting. I managed to chit-chat with her about Batangbaler on the way out of the door. I’ll update more about this Arts Council thing in the future.
  2. And I was informed by Ms. Rose Querijero and Noli Guerrero during the meeting yesterday that they have just organized a new arts group in Aurora called Dimalangat, named after that small rocky islet jutting out of the dibudulan headland on the left of Baler bay. They will have their first exhibit on June 15 at the Bistro Baler. The good news is when Junyee found out that there’s an active community of artists in Baler, he changed the plan of inviting artists from other provinces to have an exhibit at the Museo de Baler during the Philippine-Spanish Friendship day celebration. Instead, the local artists will be tapped for the exhibit therefore turning the spotlight on them and not the other way around.
  3. Oscar Querijero – I was talking with Tya Rosa yesterday about some unrecognized artists from Aurora and she mentioned about Oscar Querijero, who was a cinematographer from the 70’s up to the late 90’s. A quick IMDB search later and I have Mr. Querijero’s filmography: Cinematographer for Tar-San (1999), Isprikitik, Walastik Kung Pumitik (1999),Hataw Tatay Hataw (1994),Hulihin: Probinsiyanong Mandurukot (1993), Tangga and Chos: Beauty Secret Agents (1990),SuperMouse and the Robo-Rats (1989), Elvis and James, the Living Legends! (1989), Panday IV (Ika-apat na aklat), JR (1983), Kapag buhay ang inutang (1983), Daniel Bartolo ng Sapang Bato (1982), Mr. Wong Meets Jesse James (1982), Masikip Maluwang Paraisong Parisukat (1977), Sapin Sapin Patong Patong (1977), Makahiya at Talahib (1976), Bagsik at kamandag ni Pedro Penduko (1974), Dragon Fire (1974); Camera and Electrical Department: Curacha ang babaeng walang pahinga (1998) (camera operator: second unit)
  4. I just came from Manila and attended the International Symposium on emerging Trends in ICT in Education. The symposium was held at the Peninsula Manila and surprisingly, I managed to stay awake throughout the whole gig. Must be the great foods.
  5. And here’s your chance to help your province with the gift of knowledge. The Aurora State College of Technology is looking for instructors to be hired this school year. If you’re into the field of Engineering, Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Computer Science and Information Technology, and have majors in English, Filipino and Mathematics, and like to experience the joy of teaching, drop your resume at the Aurora State College of Technology, Brgy. Zabali, Baler, Aurora. Or you can email [email protected]
  6. These new courses are also being offered at ASCOT: Associate in Tourism and Resort Management, BS Hotel and Restaurant Management, Associate in Aircraft Maintenance Technology (in collaboration with PHILSCA), and BS Fisheries (to be held at Brgy. Esteves in Casiguran)
  7. I was also alerted that a girl with the last name of Fernandez from Baler is competing at the Little Ms. Urduja contest at Eat Bulaga. She won the daily round last Thursday, so she could be up for the weekly finals today. Watch it for what it’s worth. She could be the next Charice Pempengco.
  8. from Highlight of a Filipino-Spanish Friendship Day to be marked on June 30 will be the screening of a documentary by Spanish filmmaker Jesus Balbuena Garcia on the historic “Siege of Baler” in Aurora Province.
  9. On to the congratulations:
    • Congratulations to my bro Dr. Ericson Friginal for finishing his Ph.D. (in Linguistics, i think) at the Northern Arizona University.
    • Congratulations to Ms. Jessica Gonzales for making it to Westpoint Academy.
    • Congratulations to Jan Joshen de Guzman and June Lowell Uy for passing the Electrical Engineering Board Exam.
  10. And lastly, the Batangbaler Forums is slowly being populated. there are already more than 15 users and i’m just waiting for them to have their first dip in the pool. If you recently registered and didn’t receive your password in the your mailbox, click here to get your password. The BB Forums is here.

Aurora Association USA – 17th Anniversary and Induction Ball

The 17th Anniversary and Induction Ball of the Aurora Association, USA was recently held on May 16 at the Sheraton Hotel, Newark, New Jersey. Aurora Governor Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo was their guest of honor. I hope they invite me next year.

Click here to see photos from the event. I recognize some people in the pictures. Someone please enlighten us on what happened on the event. My coordinator for AA-USA affairs did not give me any info.

The New Batangbaler Forums

Last month, I had to remove the original Batangbaler messageboard on account of spams and malware infiltration. It had caused Batangbaler to be blocked by some servers in the web. I have no initial plans of replacing it with a new one, but people miss the forums and asking me where it was. So i had to install a new one.

So, ladies and gentlemen, presenting, the all-new BATANGBALER FORUMS. The address to remember is

Update: Apparently, users are not getting their passwords on their email. I’m still troubleshooting the problem. In the meantime, I will manually change your default password to your username whenever I check the forum. So if you register as pisepis your initial password will also be pisepis. You can change the password in your profile after you logged-in. Visit this forum topic to check if you can already log-in. Thanks.


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Baler, the Movie

No official title yet, but I heard last month that there’s a plan to make a film about Baler this year or the next. I guess it will not be as history-changing as Apocalypse Now or as shameful as Allona Amor’s bold flick (I forgot the title) which were both made in Baler, but it will be helmed by no other than Gil Portes, the award winning director of great films like Merika (1984), Mulanay (1996), Sarangola (1999) and Markova (2000). His career goes back to the early eighties and he continues to make films that would make us Pinoys proud. His last film was 2006’s Barcelona. Mr. Portes was invited to Baler by Sen. Edgardo Angara during Seair’s inaugural flight to Baler last April 14.

Let’s hope that they will make another Mulanay-like movie where the culture and tradition of the place were incorporated in the story. Mulanay is the movie that starred Baler’s own John Arcilla in a puntung-Baler character that won him a Best Actor award. Let’s also hope that they will use lots of Balerian talents and not just imports. Aside from John Arcilla, there are other Akaw talents in the biz like Kungfu kid Joseph Andrei Garcia and award winning production designer Rommel Espinosa (Huling Birhen sa Lupa, Filipinas), award-winning sound engineer Ronald De Asis (Magic Temple, Balahibong Pusa, Tulad ng Dati, Tiyanaks and Pisay) and award-winning indie filmaker Celeste Lumasac (Kabalintunaan). They can even revive the careers of Allan Valenzuela and Liza Ranillo if they want.

Atienza urged to reinstate sacked Aurora CENRO exec

I almost missed this one. This news adds a new twist to the illegal logging situation in Aurora. from journal online by Mamer Bañez.

Four non-government organizations and people’s organizations urged Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza to reinstate a former community environment and natural resources officer in southern Aurora who was sacked due to alleged “rampant illegal logging” in the town.

The Ugnayan ng Mamamayan sa Lungsod at Nayon, Inc., the Catholic Association of Ibona composed of 525 families, the Dingalan chapter of Task Force Sierra Madre and the Multi-Sectoral Forest Protection Committee called on Atienza to reconsider his earlier decision relieving former CENRO Meliton Vicente, Jr., citing his efforts to protect the natural resources in southern Aurora. They also denied reports that illegal logging is rampant in the town.

Read the last sentence and decide. The full news is here.