Updates from April, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • lv on April 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    For all Pinoys or Tagudinians out there in the San Francisco Bay Area, here is something you might want to check out this spring 

    First of its kind ‘Pinoy Arts Festival’ set in San Francisco
    INQUIRER.net US Bureau 2:31 AM | Friday, April 24th, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO — Fifty artists in six events, four of which are free admission, in venues located in San Francisco’s historically Filipino American neighborhoods will be featured in the first festival of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Ma’ARTES [muh-ar-tes] Pinoy Arts Festival celebrates the diverse “Music, Theater, Dance and Visual Arts of the Pilipino Diaspora” throughout May. The Ma’ARTES Festival will showcase in-door and out-door venues including the I-Hotel’s Manilatown Center, Bindlestiff Studio, Yerba Buena Gardens and Gene Friend Rec & Park.

    Inspired by traditional Philippine festivals celebrating the end of summer and the coming of the life-giving monsoon season, three of Bay Area’s longstanding community organizations — Kularts, Filipino American Development Foundation (FADF) and API Cultural Center—are collaborating to host the first-ever Festival.

    Presentations include the shamanic journey of a fourth-generation Filipino American professional in Alleluia Panis dance theater’s “She, Who Can See”; songs of a tourist psychic surgeon’s desperate quest for a green card in Jessica Hagedorn’s “Felix Starro” adapted from Lysley Tenorio’s “Monstress”; Philippine dance drama of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in “Maség Typhoon; a fired astronaut’s dream of traveling to the moon in Christina Ying’s “There’s the Moon and Then There’s You”; and “Kodakan: Pilipinos in the City Exhibition” photo tableaus exploring who and what is Filipino, by Wilfred Galila.

    Free Ma’ARTES outdoor events with the feel of Philippine village fiestas will feature folk dances, lechon-tasting, traditional games as well as performances by the Florante Aguilar Music Ensemble of the award-winning documentary Harana, American Center multi-instrumentalists duo Dirty Boots, electro-violinists Cry Wolffs, hip-hop dance by Sammay Dizon and participatory activities from bike parade to chalk art to indigenous back-strap weaving.

    For more information about the artists, events and the Ma’ARTES production visit: http://www.maartesfestival.com/ …..
    Click here for the source of the article at Inquirer.net and the continuation of the article with calendar listing.

  • lv on April 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Atty. Angelica “Lica” V. Somera, RIP 

    I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the entire Somera Clan for the the death of Attorney Angelica V. Somera. She will be sadly missed. She was a good leader and very active in our community. She worked for the NBI organization for a long time then got involved with different religious and civic organizations after her retirement. She was also involved with the SAS alumni organizations. Please let us pray for the repose of the soul of Manang Lica.

    “Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

    • Seaside Park of Dardarat on April 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Our deepest sympathy to the family of Atty. Angelica Somera.

    • The Family of the late Selmo and Nelly Valdez on April 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Our deepest sympathy to the family of Manang Lica. May she rest in peace.

      • Apolonio L. Villanueva III on April 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Our hearfelt condolences to manang Nena and the entire Somera Clan for the sudden passing of Angelica. In your grief, we commiserate with you. May the Lord grant her eternal rest in peace.

    • Paul on April 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Our condolences to the Somera Families and may her soul rest in peace.

    • Atty. Romeo Somera, CPA on April 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Lica, RIP: No words would suffice to express and show our grief for her untimely demise. In Angelica, this world lost a great person but heaven gained an angel. The Somera Families of, Magsaysay, Quirino, Tarlac,QC and USA

  • lv on April 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Suyo, Ilocos Sur (photos related to the Amburayan River post below) 

    I just visited a friend who just had a major stroke in Man-Atong, Suyo and on our way to their place I took some photos. On our way back to Tagudin, I’ve learned that they were also having the last night of their town fiesta which used to be celebrated during the month of February but changed to April this year so we stopped by at the town proper to check out the festivities and took some more photos. I had a nice conversation with the folks up there and the topic about the source of one of the rivers in Ambalayat came up in our conversations. These folks are very knowledgeable about the rivers that flow through their town and they said that the source of that river in Ambalayat is NOT from the Chico River. It is from the different rivers, tributaries, creeks and springs in the area which includes Bessang. You are right Lakay T.Amianan. Thank you for your correction. So there you go folks. I guess it is safe to say that one of the rivers in Ambalayat should not be called Chico River or a Tributary of Chico River unless it has the same name as the Chico River that flows down to Mt. Province, Kalinga and Cagayan with its source is somewhere in Mt. Data in the town of Bauko.


  • lv on April 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    1970’s Pinoy Jukebox 

    A new set of songs is now being played at the playlist on the right hand side of the blog. It is a selection of songs from the early 1970’s. A lot of these songs are actually songs from an earlier era but reintroduced and popularized by the Filipino singers/artist in the likes of Victor Wood, Eddie Peregrina, Nora Aunor and others who they call in the Philippines Jukebox Kings and Queens in the 1970’s. The music might be a little cheesy to some people or what they call “bakya” in PI but for Pinoys who live or used to live in the Philippines, I think this kind of music is a good music for relaxation and for remembering the 1970’s era in the Philippines. Aminin, marami pa rin sa atin ang enjoy sa mga songs na ito. Masarap pakinggan lalo na pag kajamming ang barkada. Mas ganado sa tagay hehehe. These songs were heard all over the place during those days when they were popular in the 1970’s. The newer generation might not know or care about these songs but for us who are part of that generation in the 1970s, they do bring a lot of memories from the past. For me, the music reminds me of my childhood and part of my teenage years. Actually, these songs are still being played all over the Philippines at karaoke/vieoke joints, bars, and radio stations.

    I thought a lot of the followers of this blog are from this era so I thought of bringing these songs back through this blog for your listening enjoyment. This is for everyone who visits this blog but especially for all alumni from both Tagudin’s SAS (St. Augustine’s School) and TGCHS (Tagudin General Comprehensive High School) from 1968 to 1979. I would like to special mention SAS Class of 1978 and my former classmates in Las-ud Elementary School and some members from the batches that I got to know through this forum and from certain events – the very active TGCHS Batch of 1967-68, SAS Batches from 1970 to 1972, and SAS Batch of 1974 and 1975 and to my good friends the sweet couple – Raul Lacaden of Tagudin and his beautiful wife Lolita Antenor of Manaoag, Pangasinan and to Rosemarie of Barangay Salvacion from SAS Class of 1978.

    Enjoy and take care.


  • lv on April 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Manny Pacquiao’s Beverly Hills Mansion 

    While waiting for the much anticipated Pacquiao versus Mayweather fight which is billed as the Fight of the Century, let us take a peek into the mansion of Manny Pacquio in Beverly Hills that he recently bought to the tune of 12.5 million dollars. It is a modest mansion for someone who makes millions and one of the highest paid athlete on the planet. Does this mean that Pacquiao is now moving to the U.S. since the Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue is giving him a hard time with his hard earned money from boxing?

    Source: Various Sites in the Internet

  • lv on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    For the expats or for anyone who wants to retire in the Philippines, here is an article about retiring in the Philippines. 

    Courtesy of http://www.investopedia.com
    Click on the link for the article.

    Retire In The Philippines With $200,000 Of Savings?
    By Jean Folger | March 18, 2015 AAA |

    More and more people are choosing to retire abroad to enjoy a better climate, new experiences, access to affordable healthcare and a lower cost of living. One destination long popular with expats is the Philippines, a nation that spreads out over more than 7,000 islands. Its borders are Taiwan to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo to the south, and the South China Sea to the west. A large expat community enjoys everything the country is known for – beaches, beautiful scenery, tropical climate and friendly locals – plus affordable healthcare and a low cost of living. Other perks: The Philippines extends a number of incentives to expat residents, including discounts for the 60+ crowd and the duty-free import of household goods.

    No matter how much you have saved for retirement, you may be able to live better – and make your money stretch further – if you retire abroad. (see Retirement: U.S. Vs. Abroad). Here, we take a quick look to see if it’s possible to retire in the Philippines with $200,000 in savings.

    A Genuinely Low Cost of Living

    Each year, International Living’s Global Retirement Index ranks retirement destinations around the world, measuring factors such as climate, healthcare, benefits and discounts, and cost of living. For the 2015 Index, the Philippines scored 92 out of 100 for cost of living, placing it in the top 10 for cost of living, and matching Belize, Cambodia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Thailand. Only Nicaragua and Vietnam ranked higher for low cost of living, each earning a perfect score of 100.

    International Living also shows that most expats can live comfortably in the Philippines for about $800 to $1,200 a month. Some basic math shows that if you live on $800 per month – probably the lowest amount for which most retirees could live comfortably – your $200,000 savings account would last about 21 years ($200,000 ÷ $800 = 250 months, or 20.8 years); live on $1,200 a month and your savings would last 14 years ($200,000 ÷ $1,200 = 166.66 months, or almost 13.9 years). This is, of course, a basic example that assumes your monthly expenses stay exactly the same over the years, and that you have no other income or expenses (e.g., tax liabilities) during retirement.
    Add In Social Security

    In addition to savings, many retirees have access to other income sources during retirement. The average retired worker’s Social Security benefit, for example, is $1,328 per month for 2015.

    Just adding Social Security into the mix, makes retiring comfortably in the Philippines with $200,000 start to seem like a very real possibility. Your monthly benefit alone might be enough to cover most of your living expenses – housing costs, food, activities and basic healthcare – with money left over for the occasional trip back home or to cover an unexpected expense.

    Rent or Buy?

    Like anywhere in the world, what you pay for rent in the Philippines depends on the location, size and condition of the property. According to city and country database website numbeo.com, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center is $228.94; outside a city center the rent drops to an average of $124.77 per month. For three-bedroom properties, average rent is $394.53 (inside the city) and $240.59 (outside the city).

    While rent is generally considered affordable, if you plan on living in the Philippines for awhile, buying a condominium might be a more cost-effective option. Although foreigners, in general, are prohibited from buying property in the Philippines, the Philippine Condominium Act makes it possible for expats to purchase condominiums (essentially because condominium ownership does not convey any type of ownership in the land on which it sits).

    For information on which locations you might want to investigate, see Find The Top Retirement Cities In The Philippines. If you buy something, see Do You Get U.S. Tax Deductions On Real Estate Abroad?
    Tips for Spending Less

    If you end up living in a place where you’ve previously enjoyed vacationing, it can be difficult to make the financial switch to everyday life. One mistake that many new expats make is acting – and spending – like they’re still on vacation. While it’s normal to splurge on vacation, spending too much on meals, attractions and the like on a long-term basis can quickly burn through your retirement budget.

    One way to avoid overspending is to find out where the locals shop for meals, groceries, nightlife, entertainment, attractions, etc. By getting to know the local vendors and other expats, you can find out where to buy things at the “local” rate instead of the “tourist” rate. This is a hugely important step in maintaining a low cost of living abroad. You might already do this at home (without even thinking about it). You probably know where to find the best deals and which places to avoid because they are overpriced. Do the same thing abroad and your money can last much longer.

    The Bottom Line

    The uncertainty of anyone’s lifespan makes it impossible to predict if $200,000 alone would be enough to last through retirement anywhere – even in a country with a low cost of living such as the Philippines. What is clear is that living abroad during retirement can offer a better quality of life for your money and enable you to make retirement dollars stretch further.

    As with any retirement destination abroad, it’s a good idea to visit the area more than once before making any decisions – and try to visit from a resident’s perspective, rather than as a tourist. In addition, taxes for those retiring abroad can be quite complicated. As such, it is always recommended that you work with a qualified attorney and/or tax specialist when making plans for retiring abroad. Start by reading How To Plan Your Retirement In The Philippines. Then check out Plan Your Retirement Abroad.

    Note: Because of continued violence, certain areas in the Philippines should be avoided. On Nov. 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for the Philippines – in particular the Sulu Archipelago, the island of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. Other areas in the Philippines are generally considered as safe as other places in Southeast Asia.

    U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in the Philippines are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which provides security updates and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.

    • ANDRING LADI on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      With the Chinese invading the Philippines by claiming and building infrastructure on the disputed islands, I don’t know if I want to retire there or live in the Philippines. Now I heard that the Philippines is acquiring F16 jets and some other military armaments, I see war between Chinese and its neighbors if they don’t stop their aggressive reclamation. During the presence of a US Naval Base in Subic and US Air Force Base in Angeles, the Chinese never dared to intrude in Philippine territories. The idiot, nationalist senators who wanted the Americans out should be blamed for this Chinese incursion.

      • lv on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I agree with you Mng Andring that if the US bases are still in the Philippines the Chinese might not dare to intrude the Philippine territories. Evidently, two of the former senators who opposed and voted down the American bases in 1991 are still at it. Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tanada and other groups have signed a petition to the Supreme Court questioning the legality of EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) the new agreement between the Philippines under the Aquino Administration and the US which might include some kind of US military basing in the Philippines.

    • lv on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Speaking from my experience in the Philippines, a lot of things particularly on food items are sometimes more expensive in the Philippines than in where I live overseas and in some other countries. It used to be cheap but with inflation skyrocketing in the last few years, people now are having difficult times making both ends meet with food items getting more and more expensive. My advise to our Kababayans who are visiting or planning to move back to PI who want to save up is to buy food items at the public markets. Grocery stores especially the big ones such as SM, Robinsons,Puregold, etc. are very expensive. I could understand if they are ten percent more expensive but more than ten percent which is usually the case for most of these big grocery stores is outrageous, and I am not sure why the Philippine government is not doing anything about this highway robbery by these grocery stores. I think these big grocery stores are one of the reasons why prices of food items are getting more expensive in general because they seem to influence prices at the public markets. Buy local products because imported goods especially if they are from the US, Canada, Japan, etc. are ridiculously expensive. Most appliances such as TV’s, laptops, refrigerators, etc. especially the ones with brand names and cars are definitely more expensive in the Philippines than in many other countries. Dining out could also be a very expensive experience for a lot of people and even for Balikbayans. Considering these are just fast food restaurants, prices at McDonalds, Burger King, Jollibee and others are almost as comparable now and sometimes even more expensive than what you see in the US and other countries. The option is to go to a carinderia (small eatery) or to a less flashy or less known restaurant for a lot of times the meals that are being served in these places are just as good or even better than the more expensive restaurants. If you can, try to avoid the malls. Go to bargain places such as Divisoria, Quiapo, and Baclaran and if you are not in the metro areas, any public market in the country would be a good choice. As in any other country, things at resorts, hotels, airports and big cities generally tend to be on the expensive side. Of course if you are not very particular on prices of things in PI, you could go just about anywhere that pleases you for the country has almost everything to offer. Another thing that is very expensive in the Philippines is the cost of electricity. In fact, it is one of the most expensive in Asia. This is a heavy burden for the people, business owners, and investors, and I hope that the Philippine government will soon find a way to ease this high rocketing cost of electricity . Other than that, most things in the Philippines are still reasonable and I agree to the article about the beaches, beautiful scenery, tropical climate and friendly locals so long as you do not provoke them or else you will be sorry because they have a temper similar to their Latin brothers and sisters hehehe.

  • lv on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply  


    It is very wrong to call the Ambalayat river Chico River…Chico river is a big river in Kalinga, and known as such in the entire Igorotland….if you are observant enough to notice that rivers…in our pre spanich colonization times are prefixed with AM… as in ambalayat, amburayan, amilongan, ambuklao, ampusungan, and so on….retaining their names as our cousins who escaped from the occupations of the friars….the true asians among the Pilipinos….have, among others, retain these names for places, as we still call them at present…..if we have to note also that sometime in the near past we were the port town of Mountain province..

    • lv on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Apo Lakay T.Amianan or anybody out there, correct me if I am wrong, I think both Chico River and Amburayan River run through Ambalayat and then they merge into one river that will eventually ends in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea somewhere in Barangay Bio??? I have always known that the river that goes through Barangay Bio in Tagudin is referred to us in Tagudin as Amburayan River. Perhaps someone out there can enlighten us regarding these two mighty rivers in Northern Luzon. Thank you for the post.

      • lakay T. amianan on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        …Ambalayat river, wrongly called Chico river is but one tributary of Amburayan river …coming all the way near Baguio…and serves as well as the boundary between Ilocos and La Union…by the way the prefix AM is, in itself, self explanatory, if we go by the other rivers, in their pre colonial names…

    • lv on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s an aerial view of the rivers that flow through Tagudin. According to various sources in the Internet Amburayan River empties into the West Philippine Sea through the town of Tagudin and a tributary of the Chico River coming from the Suyo area also runs through Tagudin and it merges into the Amburayan River somewhere in Ambalayat, Pula and Bio. Part of the Chico River Tributary coming from Suyo also flows into Baracbac and Bitalag where it is being used to irrigate the rice fields in those barangays. I believe the long Chico River Tributary is the one you see at the side of the highway when you go to Cervantes and beyond starting in Suyo. Chico River originates at Mt.Data in Bauko, Moutain Province. It flows dowstream covering Mt. Province, Kalinga, Cagayan and small parts of Ilocos Sur. It has many tributaries and in which the one that flows into Tagudin is probably one of Chico River’s smaller tributaries. Its major tributary is the Cagayan River which probably where most of the downstream probably all ends up. Ambalayat is the area where it says Amburayan River on the map below. I hope this clarifies things regarding the rivers that flow into Tagudin. Feel free to correct what I’ve posted if some of the information are incorrect. In fact I would appreciate it.

      • lakay T. amianan on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        If one is to follow the Ambalayat river upstream or agpasurong ka until past Suyo poblacion proper, you will see that its main origin is at the foot of Bessang pass…the river passing tru Cervantes is not in any way a tributary to Ambalayat river….my only purpose is to correct some past misconception upon which current and the future have bearings…or.those who wish to pursue them for academic purposes have some basics to start with….i mean, we lack real research universities….in the mold of west science, technology oriented institutions of learning…..say, something like presenting some crazy proposition ..a real university would take the challenge to prove or disprove, academically,.are we in the north sinitic or malay…or are the ilocanos who settled among the native sinitic people were of the wandering abrahamic tribe of dan that made a dash northward out of Medan (Indonesia) , exodus style, facing a threat to their way of life… the spread of islam …or say, did our ancestors reach the now british island after “dagas” at madagascar then up from around the cape of good hope….if you will notice that the irish have such fine skins….and what used be an “anak” donald or “apo” Hara are now McDonald or O’Hara…and of course their watering hole, “AMsterdam at the other side of the sea….he ..he..he crazy ???

        • lv on April 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

          Thank you for the post Mr. T. Amianan. That is why I have asked you and anybody out there to post any info regarding the rivers so we can get this thing right because Internet sources could be wrong. To be honest with you I’ve never been past Kuskusnong(Did I spell that right?) in Suyo and you are right, perhaps someone out there is researching the same subject but we are feeding that person with wrong information and you could be right too that the source of the other river in Ambalayat could be in Bessang. Again, I invite anyone out there to post anything you know about these rivers that flow into Tagudin. Thank you all.

          • lv on April 8, 2015 Permalink | Reply

            Tracing the origin of the river in Ambalayat coming from Suyo could actually be a fun experience. A few years ago, I actually did try to go to see Bessang Pass but when we reached Kuskusnong area in Suyo (where the municipal resort is) we decided not to proceed because beyond that area the highway was still under construction and it was muddy at that time so we decided to just do some hiking around Barangay Man-Atong starting at the resort. For sure you would still see the river in that part of Suyo but I am not sure beyond that. I actually did a video of that trip and shared it here at this blog about eight years ago. The scenery and the falls that you see along the highway were awesome. I think I also saw a river coming from the Sigay direction. I might try for another trip going upland passing through Bessang Pass again in the future since most of the highway up there are mostly paved now from what I heard. I will definitely share photos or videos with you and let you know what I will find out especially about the rivers in the area if ever I will go for another trip there.

    • lv on April 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Article about Barangay Ambalayat in Tagudin where it mentions Amburayan River and the Chico River Tributary from the Town of Tagudin article archives.


      Ambalayat is found at the eastern part of Tagudin. It is seven (7) kilometers away from the heart of the town. It is one of the farthest barangays and second biggest in population among Tagudin’s forty (43) barangays.

      Barangay Ambalayat is divided into three (3) sitios namely:

      1. Pandayan – named from an old man who used to make bolos for the men who live there

      2. Centro – being the center of the barangay and;

      3. Baac (means old) – as it is located near the mountain called Bantay Baac, which the old folks considered very old.It is surrounded by the Chico River or “Karayan Bassit” in the North and West and the Amburayan River or “Karayan Dakkel” in the South. These two rivers meet near Barangay Pula and that under the bridge in Barangay Bio which is a combination of both rivers.

      Few visitors come to the place because of the distance and the danger in crossing the two wide and deep rivers, which can only be crossed by a raft.

      When a visitor goes to the barangay, he was given the best – a hearty lunch from their catch from the river, animals, fruits and vegetables they themselves had raised. No visitor ever went home empty-handed because the people of the purok (block) would offer a little of each kind of their product as a sign of welcome and friendship. Several men would have to carry the products for the visitors across the river or to Almazan, the junction from the National Highway.

      According to the old tradition of the barrio, all newly-wed couples had to stay in a house built by the community until their own house is built. It is where they spend their honeymoon. Thus, it was fittingly called as “Balay ti Ayat” (House of Love). It is also because of this house that the Barrio became known as Balay ti Ayat or AMBALAYAT.

      Today, this love is still felt in the warm welcome and hospitality extended to everyone who visits the place.

      The Catholic school in Ambalayat, St. Vincent School was named in honor of Sister Vincent who was drowned in the river between the Barangay and of Brgy. Pula. The pioneer teachers were the late MR. LEON LUCERO, MR. SIMON MANTILLA and MR. LORENZO LEAL, and MR. ANATALIO BASSI.

      After the war, the late MR. PRIMITIVO ANDAYA and MR. AURELIO LIMON handled two grades each. In 1949, the Grade 5 class opened with MS. JESUSA LAGUARDIA as an additional teacher. The Grade 6 class was opened in the next school year. Several other teachers taught in Ambalayat and most of them were from the place.

      After graduating from elementary, the pupils continued their studies at St. Augustine’s School (SAS).

      After fifty years of service, the barrio schools were given to the government, one after the other, starting in 1964 because of financial difficulties. St. Vincent School was one of the last schools to be given in 1969. Most of the buildings, including the school grounds were turned over to the DECS.

      Today, due to the increasing number of enrollees, a new-cemented structure has been constructed with the help of the community. The façade of the main building is like that of a church, which on Sundays is being used to hold masses. The other buildings are still being used. To care for the health and education of pre-schoolers, a Day Care Center was built inside the school premises.

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