Here’s a summary of some notable Batangbaler posts of 2009. Batangbaler is not the definitive source of everything that happens in Baler or the rest of Aurora Province. These are just the things I managed to post in this blog.
January. The first Philippine surfing calendar was released and three Baler surfer dudes were given their own months – Edmund Medoza, Argie Huga and Wilson Faraon. Under Proclamation 1696, President GMA declared 2009 as the Year of Baler to commemorate the 400 years founding anniversary of Baler. Actually Baler is more than 400 years old and it was not founded 400 years ago, the Catholic Church is more correct in calling it the 400 Year Anniversary of the Evangelization of Baler. DENR freezes permit of lumber dealers in Aurora, thus making it sure that only the legal loggers could profit from our natural resources. Aurora villagers rally vs the planned Aurora Special Econic Zone in Casiguran). the Art Association of the Philippines’ New Art Collective exhibit at the Botongâ€™s Up Restobar and Artspace in Makati features the works of the Gonzales brothers of Baler – Sherwin and Vincent. Aurora diving sites featured on Born to be Wild TV show of GMA 7. The trial on the murder of Dingalan, Aurora publisher Philip Agustin was suspended indefinitely. San Luis, Aurora starts the celebration of it’s 50th founding Anniversary. Baler LGU launced it’s official website www.baleraurora.net.
February. Problem with shortage of sabutan leaves was solved, when it was announced that the Sabutan was successfully cloned – in Aklan.Â Dilasag Mayor Victorio Briones and his aides were nabbed in Manila for possession of high-powered firearms and handguns. They were later freed with a promise to return with the documents for the firearms. Sen Edgardo Angara said “The creation of the Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority here will open doors of opportunity for local residents and lift them from four centuries of grinding poverty.” Aurora Day 2009 Celebrations. Ms. Reinalyn Dela Cruz from San Luis crowned at Bb. Aurora 2009. Popular reggae band Brownman Revival performs at Baler Beach as part of the Aurora Day celebration. Aurora Day 2009 was graced by Cong. Gilbert Teodoro who was introduced by Sen. Edgardo Angara as the next president of the Philippines. The people were later entertained by the skimpy-dressed JC Parker. The first Art Gallery in Baler called High Heeled Dumagats was opened in front of the Baler Park. It was eventually closed a few months later. Jeho Bitancor was one of the performance artists featured in a show at Jajo Gallery in Newark, New Jersey.
March. Three years after he was abducted on March 3, 2006, environmental activist and radio broadcaster Joey Estriber is still missing. Karl Winston Cacanindin from Dipaculao, Aurora is the Top PMA Graduate for 2009. 11 Chinese and 2 Filipinos were slapped with criminal charges for alleged illegal mining on the coast of Casiguran. A Jewelry-making exhibit was held for 1 day at the Baler Municipal Plaza. Works of Baler artist Joel Vedad were exhibited at the Artasia Gallery at SM Megamall Artwalk. Rommel Espinosa was one of the Philippine delegates to the 16th Nippon Internationa Performance Art Festival (NIPAF 09) held in Japan.
April. Ate Donna‘s tribute to Baler hit the charts. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Baler: A State of Mind, a painting and photo exhibit was opened at the NCCA Gallery at Intramuros as part of the Baler 400 celebration. The exhibit featured paintings of the Dimalangat Artists Community and photos of the Batang Aurora Camera Club. Also as part of the Baler 400 event, the Aurora Agri-Fisheries Trade Fair was held at the Department of Agriculture in Quezon City onÂ April 21 to 24, 2009. Aurora province to revive sabutan weaving industry. The Aurora Surfriders Association held the ASRAI Longboard Invitational on April 24 to 26. As part of the Earth Day celebration the Aurora Multi-Sectoral Action Group held the yearly Padyak Para sa Kalikasan on April 25.
Continued after the jump
May. Jeho Bitancor was one of the featured artists in the Aim for the Arts, a showcase of Asian and Asian-American Artists held on May 2, 2009 in New York City. Baler Food Specialties, a showcase of Baler delicacies was launched at Circles Events Cafe at the Makati Shangri-La as part of the Baler 400 celebration. Fresh Men All Stars art exhibit at the Big and Small Art Gallery, Robinson’s Place Manila featured works of Balerian Vincent Gonzales. Up and coming artist Edrick Carrasco is one of the 34 participants who presented their works at the ANAK NG KWEKWEK! WEARABLE JUNKâ€™S 1st Year Anniversary Party on MAY 22,2009,Â Pablo Gallery, Cubao X. Independencia, a film by Raya Martin was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Balerian Ronald De Asis is the Sound Director of the film. Boy Taho, Zosimo Torres, Gerry Shanâ€™s Restaurant and Mrs. Ilovita Mesina were featured in an Inquirer article. the National Commission for Culture and the Arts held a Kalahi Summer Arts Workshop in Baler as part of the Baler 400 celebration. According to this news, illegal logging is still rampant in Aurora. Four tribes get title over ancestral lands. NPA admits burning the Aurora Provincial Coconut Development Center in Dinalungan. One of the alleged gunmen in the 2005 killing of journalist Philip Agustin was arrested in Pampanga. The Baler: A State of Mind Art and Photo Exhibit was transferred from the NCCA Gallery to the MalacaÃ±ang Museum.
June. The Bounty of Baler from the Business Mirror. Gallery of the Seas. Casiguran airport to be upgraded.Â Baler and Casiguran Mark Quadricentennial of Evangelization. Aurora to host Mutya ng Pilipinas 2009, announced by SEDJA. The Aragon House being reconstructed in front of the Baler Church fast taking shape. A visit to Aurora by Rina Jimemez-David. Aurora booth at Wow Philippines in Intramuros. The Casiguran 400 celebration.Â A three-night music fest was held at Baler Park. The event, titled Filipino-EspaÃ±ol dia dela Amistad: Expulsar el Beredeman Way was headlined by heavy-metal band Pentavia. The 7th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day celebration was held at the Baler Church and the Baler Park.
July. Baler 400 website launched. Aurora eVillage project launched in Baler. MCC-High School Batch 65-66 Reunion. The Mutya ng Pilipinas in Aurora Province fever is on. Donna Whatto Say! goes live. Jeho Bitancor held another exhibit, this time in Singapore. PitikBlog, the Batangbaler photo blog was resurrected. Brgy. Ditumabo launched a website. 6 foreigners nabbed for poaching in Aurora waters. The candidates to the 2009 Mutya ng Pilipinas was announced with two beauties to represent Aurora Province, Ms. Sheryl Rose Guerrero from Baler and Ms. Athena Mae Imperial from Casiguran. John Arcilla stars in Raymond Red’s film Himpapawid.
August. Well August was Mutya ng Pilipinas month in Baler. Swimsuit pictures here. Info on the two candidates from Aurora here. Media coverage here. Arrival in Aurora. More media coverage here and here.More pictures here. Pre-pageant pictures here. Talent videos here. Pre-pageant video here. More arrival pictures. Ate Donna’s Mutya ng Pilipinas Chronicles. And the winners. The winners in video. The highlights. The official news. National news coverage. And the local news coverage. And all the pictures that fits.
And August was also the highlight of the Baler 400 celebration and the Baler Fiesta: The Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa theme: “Wikang Filipino: Mula Baler Hanggang Buong Pilipinas” . Baler sa Puso Ko Zarzuela on August 12-15. There’s also the Baler 400 Art Exhibit. The Baler Fiesta Trade Fair. The Gabi ng Musikang Pilipino on August 18. And Ms. Jamie Gonzales is the year’s Bb. Baler. The Street Arches of Baler. MLQ’s 131st Birthday. MLQ’s presidential car, restored and displayed at Museo de Baler. The Baler Fiesta Parade. President Arroyo graced the celebration of the Baler Fiesta and Baler400. The videos of her speech are here. And more fiesta pictures here. San Luis Aurora celebrates 50th Anniversary.
The latest from my favorite musician Jonathan Urbano of Suklayin. Aurora diving video. The newly renovated Aurora Aragon-Quezon house was featured in the Inquirer. Gov. BAC Outstanding Governor Award Hall of Famer. unBound, another exhibit of Jeho Bitancor, this time at Blanc Gallery in Makati.
Note: Most links starting September are posted at the Batangbaler Facebook page.
September. Batangbaler lapsed into comma. Batangbaler @ Facebook went online. Baler 400 in Books, Photographs and Manuscripts exhibit held at the National Library in Manila. Top communist leader captured in Aurora, informant receives 2.6 million pesos. DENR: Contractors of Baler-Casiguran road dumping their wastes on environmentally critical areas. Typhoon Ondoy spares Aurora. Aurorans fund drive for typhoon Ondoy victims launched.
October. Tya Rosa Querijero held a one-woman art exhibit at the new Aragon-Quezon house. Typhoon Pepeng detoured, missed Baler. Batangbaler is 8 years old this October. Gasoline tanker fell off a ravine in Maria Aurora, 3 hurt. The Dimalangat Artists Community of Baler opened a booth in the 50th Manila F.A.M.E. International on October 15-18, 2009 @ the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia. “Baler” the movie wins Famas Best Picture award. Check out the works of Johann Bitancor. Solo Exhibition of Recent Paintings by Jeho Bitancor , 16-26 August, 2009 at Utterly Art Exhibition Space, Singapore. Ate Dons shares some old photos. More old photos from Batangbaler and Isa Tan. Typhoon Santi spares Baler but hit Dingalan. Group files illegal log raps vs Dipaculao vice mayor.
November. Activist leader in Aurora asks SC for amparo.the Aurora Province website, aurora.gov.ph goes online. Aurora Province joins the North Philippines Tourism and Travel Expo at SM Clark in Angeles, Pampanga and won the best Pavilion award – again. Here’s the promo video they made for the event. Floods isolate northern Aurora towns. the Aurora Adventure Trek blog. Batangbaler did a Kabukiran Tour. 4 Missing as strong rains, wind hit Aurora. Aurora inks pact with Guam municipalities. Arms depot raided in Aurora. Akaw First Project and Libris Arcana, two rock bands from Baler play at Club Dredd. The official Dinalungan website launched. Parol and Belen contest started at Baler Park.
December. Baler, Aurora Wants Peace Not War blog. Its’ Angara vs Tangson on 2010. Bunga – the 6th Tupada International Visual Performance Festival held in Baler from December 7-13. Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. Day 4. Tupada ’09 participant Prof. Vim Nadera’s Manila Bulletin article about the event. Jollibee on wheels at the Provincial Capitol. NPA rebel slain while crossing Aurora. 317M peso Bazal Bridge Project started. P600M worth of shabu seized in Dingalan. TREK Aurora. Cali Meets Baler at Bay’s Inn Bar. Ivan About Town back to Baler. 5 die as truck falls into ravine.
And just like that a new year begins!