Archive for the ‘history’ Category

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Quezon Park – Through The Years

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Circa 1940s before the area was turned into a park.

Late 1940’s. The park was developed during the construction of the hospital. The residents of the area were moved to the north of the park, left side of the park in this picture.


The Courtship of ‘Kastila’

Monday, August 28th, 2006

from the Inquirer’s ‘Looking Back’ column by Ambeth Ocampo, May 2, 2005:

One of my regular Sunday morning phone pals was the late National Artist Honorata “Atang” de la Rama, widow of National Artist Amado V. Hernandez. I first met “Ka Atang” at the launching of a compilation of her husband’s poetry. She autographed my book and we did not get to know each other well until I interviewed her for an essay I was writing on Nicanor Abelardo. Our interview went beyond the topic and she had so many anecdotes on other people that I decided to mine her memory for oral history. My one regret was that I did not record the conversations nor did I follow a set plan for interviews.


Fading Images and Fond Memories

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Fading Images and Fond Memories
as told by the descendants of the Revolution of 1896

Jaime B. Veneracion
University of the Philippines

Upon my return from a three-month research in Madrid in 2001, I shared with Senator Edgardo Angara the information that Baler, his hometown in the province of Aurora, figure very well in books on Spanish military history. One discovery I made was a diorama of the “siege of the church of Baler” at the Alcazar Museum in the city of Toledo. I took a picture of the said diorama and published it in a souvenir program on the Filipino revolution against Spain in 1896-98.

Whether this initial conversation had an impact on the senator for him to recognize the historical significance of Baler, I have no way of ascertaining. Perhaps my information was not exactly new to him. His brother Mayor Arthur Angara of Baler had even been invited in Madrid to grace the commemoration of the centennial of the event in 1999. The said “homenaje” was the idea of Exequiel Sabarillo with the assistance of the Filipino community in Madrid and the cooperation of many descendants of the “heroes” of Baler, known in Spain as “Los Ultimos de Filipinas”. A movie of that title had been made through the initiative and direction of Francisco Franco in the 1950s.


Aguas Potables

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

The first potable water system in Baler, called Aguas Potables by the oldies, was the initiative of Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon, again according to the senior citizens of Baler. The water source was the Digisit Falls (or Natulo Falls) more than 10 kilometers from the Poblacion. There was no water treatment facility at Digisit. Fresh water from the mountains are channeled from the top of the waterfalls through kilometers of large pipes straight to the houses of the town. The water, according to those who were lucky enough to sample them, was cold, fresh and sweet. Better than todays purified water courtesy of the ten water purifying stations in town. Natural disasters, old age and the emergence of free flowing wells rendered the water system obsolete during the early 80’s and the pipes slowly disappeared or migrated to the junk shops. Some sections of the pipes are still visible and the water source still produces the same cold, fresh and sweet water although in much smaller quantities. Some private resorts along the Digisit area still get their water supply from the waterfalls using newer but smaller pipes. The picture above, taken last May, shows two pipes coming from the watersource; the original 1940’s pipe on the left and a newer one on the right.


ENDURING LEGACY: Spain and The Making of Philippine Provinces

Friday, July 14th, 2006

By: Michael Charleston B. Chua
Department of History
University of the Philippines Diliman

“Amistad Duradera: Pagbubuo ng mga Probinsya.” This is the theme of the Conference-Workshop for the 4th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day held at the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) Multi-Purpose Hall in Baler, Aurora last 29 June 2006 sponsored by the UP Department of History, National Historical Institute (NHI), Samahang Pangkasaysayan ng Bulacan (SAMPAKA) and the Municipal Government of Baler. The theme explored the development of provinces under the Spanish colonizers, and how much their influence endures and is evident even today.

Dr. Jaime B. Veneracion, the conference convenor, was also assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Isagani and Ruth Giron of Bahay Saliksikan ng Bulakan. The conference was also part of the Baler Heroes’ Trek, now on its second year, tracing the path of the soldiers from San Miguel, Bulacan who participated in the Siege of Baler in 1898-1899.


Pre-Internet Batang Baler

Monday, June 19th, 2006

Me and my high-school buddies have been using the term Batang Baler long before it became an internet tambayan. Here’s a picture of my classmate and kumpare Mervin Rubio sporting a homemade Batangbaler tshirt. The picture was taken at L. Pimentel Falls probably in 1992.

Historical Data of Baler 1952-1953

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

54 years ago, Memorandum Order No. 1934 was issued, probably by the Mayor of Baler, the Municipal Council or the Administrator of Baler Central School. It created a committee to “gather textbooks, manuals, course of studies and other reference of local materials”. Different sub-committees were created in the Poblacion and other barrios. These committees gathered historical datas, conducted interviews ang collected facts about the town of Baler and it’s different Barrios.

The committe chairman was Mr. Pedro A. Sindac, and the document that resulted was the Historical Data of the Municipality of Baler, Sub-Province of Aurora 1952-1953. It contained historical and cultural information about the town as well as the barrios of Bacong , Calabuanan, Ditumabo, Dibut, Reserva and the Barrio of San Luis.



Wednesday, April 19th, 2006 is a website created and being maintained by Jesus Valbuena of Spain. The site features news and articles about the Siege of Baler and the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day celebrations.

Mr. Valbuena is also producing a documentary called Los Hijos de Baler (The Sons of Baler). You can rerad about the project here. An audio interview about the project is also available here (wma audio file, right click and save as to download).

History of Belmont Mansion

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Belmont Mansion in Leesburg, Virginia
Temporary Residence of Philippine Commonwealth President
Manuel L. Quezon & His Family During World War II

The Belmont mansion has been an important part of American history since Ludwell Lee built it in 1799 – 1802. It is important, not only for its refined expression of Federal-style plantation architectural design, but also for the generous hospitality and solace it has provided noted people throughout the years. Local tradition says that Mr. & Mrs. Lee opened the mansion to the President and Mrs. Madison during the war of 1812 while Washington, D.C. was under siege. In addition, Belmont has opened its doors to other presidents including Presidents Harding and John Quincy Adams. Marques de Lafayette was a distinguished guest who is said to have presented Mr. Lee with the mantle pieces in the Library and Parlor as an expression of his appreciation during his last visit to America in 1825. Mr. Lee served as aid-de-camp to General Lafayette during the Revolutionary War.

The Quezon Family, Leesburg 1942. Nini Quezon is on the extreme right.

The mansion and its surrounding property have had a number of famous owners. The first, Mr. Ludwell Lee, was a son of Richard Henry Lee, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Following Mr. Lee’s death, Margaret Mercer, daughter of a former Maryland governor, established it as a progressive Christian school for ladies. Former governor of Kansas, Frederick M. Staunton, purchased the mansion as a residence, Mr. & Mrs. Edward McLean owned the mansion from 1915 – 1931. Mr. McLean was the son of the owner/publisher of The Washington Post. Mrs. McLean was the owner of the Hope Diamond. President Hoover’s Secretary of War, Patrick Hurley, owned the property and rented it to the Philippine government in exile headed by Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon during World War II. In 1995, Toll Brothers, Inc. purchased Belmont and restored the mansion to its original elegance.

Same Place, October 27, 2005 with Poppo Olag, Nini & Son, Gaye

Belmont was added to the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1976. The mansion is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places with the United States Department of Interior. The Belmont mansion stands on the point in Eastern Loudoun County, which is quite appropriate since Belmont means “Beautiful Mountain.”

From: Poppo Olag
More pictures coming soon.


And here’s an informative post about the Mansion from MLQ3.

Through The Years

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

Yesterday, October 4 was BatangBaler’s 4th Year Anniversary as a website. Here’s a trip down memory lane:

First incarnation 2001. A real web diary of sorts. 3 visits per day. Old address


Martial Law

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Here’s a soundclip of Ferdinand Marcos declaring Martial Law.

Both picture and audioclip were taken from this ThinkQuest article titled The Philippines Under Martial Law.

Here’s also an article by MLQ3

Proclamation 1081 and Martial Law. from countrystudies. Check this directory about the Philippines.

Martial Law in Retrospect. From

Here’s the Google search result page for “Martial Law Philippines”

Ang Tagubilin

Monday, May 9th, 2005

(Tagubilin ni Pedro Gomez sa kaniyang mga kapatid nang mahina na at malapit na sa kabilang buhay, at gayun din sa kaniyang mga pamangkin na mga ulila.)

Mga kapatid,lalo na ikaw Tomas, David, Sario, Dalicio, Leonides, Pedro at Felicisima tinawag ko kayong lahat, sapagkat nararamdaman ko sa aking katawan na ako ay nanghihina na,ibig ko ay habilinan kayo nang aking kaunting pangaral, na nais ko ay itanim sa inyong mga puso at patausin ninyo hanggang sa mga buto upang huwag ninyong malimot magpakailanman.

Ang nais ko, ay sapagkat buhat nang tayo ay maulila kay TATA at kay INA, namuhay tayo nang tayo ay parang hindi naulila sa pamamagitan ng aming pangangasiwa ni Tomas na inyong panganay, na kami pa lamang ang may hustong isip nang panahong iyon, na kayo naman hangga’t lumalaki ay gumaganda ang ating pagsasamahan, pagsusunuran at sa lahat ng kilusan sa lahat nang bagay, maging mahirap at kaginhawahan ay hindi tayo nagpapabayaan. Ang nais ko ang gawaing ito ay huwag ninyong babaguhin, sapagkat tayo ay isang kapuri-puri sa lahat ng angkan dito sa Baler. Kaya’t ang ating mga anak ay pilitin nating turuan sa ganitong ayos ng samahan.

Alisin niyo sa inyong mga puso ang masamang budhi, huwag ninyong samantalahin ang inyong mga anak, pamangkin na agawan nang karapatan na sila ay wala pang malay at matuwid, alisin ninyo ang pag iimbot sa ating samahan sapagkat diyan manggagaling ang ika-sisira at pagbagsak nang samahan.

Kaya’t mag iingat kayo, huwag kayong pa aakay sa ilan ninyong mga kaibigan o iba pa mang mga tao upang sirain ang magandang ayos nang samahan, kundi bagkus kayo ang umakay sa kanila sa mga kabanalang aral at layunin sa ating mayabong at kasalukuyang ningning na pagsusuyuan.

Ito ay sinabi ko sapagkat hindi tayo maipagkakaila kangino man at ito ay hindi na tayo ang magpapatunay, kundi ang mga iba nang tao na nakababatid at nakakakilala sa atin.

Kaya’t ito ay huwag ninyong dudungisan, ang ating pangalan na pinanggalingan ni TATA at ni INA, ay malinis ang puso at malinis ang budhi, ang gatas at dugo na ating inut-ut ay iisa lamang. Kaya’t ang bawat tilamsik naman ng ating mga dugo at dugo pa ng ating dugo ay pilitin ninyong hubugin sa magandang aral at pakikisama.

November 9, 1948