[Top-left photo shows part of the Carandang nipa hut in Taal, Batangas; an heirloom for posterity to see. Bottom-left photo was snapped showing us, who served as guests at the Barangay Ilog, Taal, Batangas fiesta, ensconced on the bamboo stairs leading to the nipa hut’s living room: Front row-L-R:Aly, Anthony, Jomar and Jun Revilla; Back row-L-R: Cel Gellada and me. Top-right and bottom right photos show Jomar doing the “thumbs up” and “OKEY” signs with CA Justice Rorie Carandang. Babes and Beth, Cel Gellada’s wife, were both busy playing a friendly mahjong game with Justice Rorie’s neighbors while these photos were snapped.]

One Saturday, on May 7, 2016; we trekked to Barangay Ilog in Taal, Batangas to attend another town fiesta after that evocative and countrified episode in our earlier trip to Magallanes, Cavite town fiesta in January 2016. Magallanes, Cavite is the well-loved town of Ambassador Victoria “Vicky” Bataclan (“Amb. Vicky”), my batch mate at UP College of Law. In that episode, Amb. Vicky literally walked us through their town annotating while we ambled, as to what happened during her nonage up to adolescence from one section of the town to another.



My son Anthony yearned to join us, as during our trip to Magallanes, Cavite (where he was among the joiners) he got enraptured by the life stories and memories of childhood of both Amb. Vicky and our Barangay Ilog host, Justice Rosmari “Rorie” Carandang. And the experience intrigued Anthony much, for which reason, he wanted to meet Justice Rorie once more in the flesh.




I and my son Anthony together with  Ma. Loreto “Babes” Navarro, Cecilio “Cel” Gellada and his affable wife Beth   (my UP Law 79 classmates)  and Anastacio “Jun” Revilla, Jr. (UP Law 78), with his son Jomar  travelled on board a rented Nissan Urvan to Barangay Ilog, Taal, Batangas. The motivation was  principally focused on tasting what was described by our host as the most appetizing and luscious version of a pork dish.



We left Quezon City around 5:30 AM and after hanging around a couple of minutes waiting for my son’s girlfriend, Alyana Quigaman Duyan (“Aly”), along Roxas Boulevard, who came all the way from Chinatown in Binondo, Manila; we arrived in Barangay Ilog in Taal, Batangas  at the ancestral home of Justice Rorie around 8:00 AM. Justice Rorie  is not our batch mate but is a very close friend of Amb. Vicky and that during our college days while Justice Rorie is senior than us, we have had times then where social interactions would bring us all together.



What impressed us most during this  escapade to Barangay Ilog was not the truly luscious and appetizing dishes of fowl, pork and beef plus the morning meal of suman (i.e. native rice cake wrapped inside green banana leaves)  and native hot choco which is actually prepared via the tablea chocolate balls melted into a hot drink via that gadget called the “batidor”, some kind of a wooden but ornately sculpted stirrer. Our enthrallment, nay our immersion, was focused more upon  the well-preserved antique of a nipa hut  which has seen community life in Barangay Ilog for almost 100 years.



Per our gracious host, it was the wish of her grandmother to have their original ancestral home preserved and as the grand matriarch had wished it, our convivial host gladly filled in to her commitment to truly and religiously preserve it.

The relative large nipa hut which consists of a bedroom adjoining the stairs made of bamboo, a living room which is located at the head of the bamboo stairs and the central portion of the structure, a dining room and a kitchen complete with the earthen jar called in the vernacular as tapayan (which is used to contain drinking water) and a  stove made of earth which has become as hard as stone (due to the constant watering, searing and burning by fire)  almost ashen in color already known in the vernacular as tungko.

The native hut is actually located at the north eastern portion of a relatively huge tract of land while the modern-style 2-storey house made of lumber, steel and cement which now serves as the present lodging of the Carandang clan lies at the center portion of the land towards the south of the nipa hut.

As our host eventually toured us inside the nipa hut, Justice Rorie pointed to us where, she together with her FIVE (5) other siblings as little toddlers would sleep and where they would congregate to take their meals using tin cans which are usual container of cookies and biscuits, as their improvised stools while they gather around an improvised table.



Justice Rorie showed us too their kitchen with the tungko (i.e. crudely fashioned native stove)  as the main feature for the household’s cooking needs. While showing us around, Justice Rorie just like an accomplished tour guide narrated how her grandparents though limited with meager means, assiduously sent her mother and FIVE (5) other siblings to school up to college. And their brood produced 3 lawyers, one engineer, a doctor and a school teacher in the person of Justice Rorie’s mother. It was in the same large nipa hut where Justice Rorie and her siblings got raised and matured into adulthood.

Indeed, every family has something and anything that has been  passed on to them by their parents, grandparents,   and so on. Family treasures may be in the form of  jewelry, antique furniture, photos, personal journals or diaries, handicrafts,  or even a worn out hat! However, in this case of Justice Rorie, the heirloom is really as huge as a house. No matter what one’s heirloom could be,  the important thing is that you know how valuable it is to your family and thus, should be well taken care of. And Justice Rorie is truly taking care of their family’s heirloom, the clan’s precious jewel, nay a treasure trove of loving remembrances.

Family heirlooms are great treasures not because of the monetary value it may have. More than the economic worth is the priceless story behind it and an ancestral home such as the Carandang nipa hut in Barangay Ilog, Taal, Batangas; is truly filled with stories, memories and fascinating experiences.

Actually, the revelation that the nipa hut has weathered the vicissitudes of nature for almost 100 years was not volunteered by Justice Rorie. It was an unsolicited information from a neighbor, actually a pedicab driver which Jomar hailed as he bought a newspaper at the poblacion. When the pedicab driver asked him where he (i.e. Jomar) was guest, and as Jomar narrated that he was a guest of Justice Rorie; the pedicab driver talked with pride about the 100 year old nipa hut of the Carandang clan.

[Left photo shows the NATIVE-TYPE of stove used in cooking meals at the Carandang nipa hut which is called in the vernacular as TUNGKO. Right photo shows the picture of the native earthen jar (at extreme left at middle portion) which contains drinking water, which is called in the vernacular as a TAPAYAN. It is stationed in such a place abutting from the wall of the nipa hut in a manner that would allow the cool evening breeze to chill the drinking water.]





In a recent succession of police raids in the Philippines, drug lords and drug manufacturers alike, including their manufactured drugs have now become seamlessly detectable, easily arrestable/seizable and have now become  suddenly reachable into their lairs, which drug dens have become too unexpectedly penetrable.

Observers say that it could be that there is truth to  reports that these drug manufacturers are beginning to feel the heat and that they are preparing to relocate to some friendly foreign destinations.

In one of the raids conducted by the police, the owner of the illegal drug manufacturing facility spontaneously confessed that he was in fact; doing last-minute disposal of his supposedly residual stocks as he purportedly is now decided to close up shop.

Another lady drug pusher said that she was ready to surrender her wares except that, the police just caught up with her earlier.

Another sign that the drug industry in the Philippines may really be seeing their twilight year is the fact that the price of shabu in the street-market has plummeted down. The price reportedly has gone so unbelievably low as if they are into some sort of a promotional SALE or perhaps CLOSING OUT SALE.

Others who have shared the cynicism of those who have not been satisfied with the drug eradication campaigns before, which law enforcement agencies are supposed to pursue, feel that these succession of drug busts may be a sign of remorse. They feel that plausibly some scalawags in uniform who may have been conniving with drug lords before and who have been looking the other way, or perhaps acting as though they were blind; may have now decided to call it quits.

Reportedly, President-elect Rody has already secured from the PDEA, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the order of battle which lists the drug lords and drug pusher in each of the more than 42,000 barangays in the whole of the Philippine archipelago.

The plan as perceived is that there will be numerous meetings held to persuade those who are involved in the illegal drug trade to STOP their business. And if this sequence of persuasion would not be heeded, the onset of a series of extermination may really be fulfilled.

As of latest reports prior to President-elect Rody’s win at the polls, drug syndicates have been producing methamphetamine (the medical name for SHABU) in small-scale and kitchen-type laboratories to avoid detection by Philippine authorities since 2010. Usually, drug syndicates rent warehouses for use as drug laboratories. These syndicates have moved towards renting houses in private subdivisions, condominiums and apartments (even in posh, ritzy and exclusive villages) to be used as bases for their illegal drug production. Private properties are becoming more favorable to drug syndicates as sites of illegal drug production. Indeed, methamphetamine known in the street parlance as SHABU remains more feasible to sell in the Philippines than cocaine, a more costly illegal drug.

Let us all pray that SHABU and all forms of illegal drugs will eventually be a thing of the PAST here in the Philippines. And that the Duterte presidency will spell a death knell to the illegal drug trade and not just a temporary quietus.

Long live the Philippines! Long live President-elect Rody Duterte!


respect-authority[Filipinos have always been faithful to the virtue of respect for authority as in fact, siblings do have titles such as KUYA, ATE,DITSE, MANONG. MANANG, etc. and that the elder among them is accorded respect as  a virtual recognition of authority. Let us not allow this virtue of respect for authority to die.]

In one of his more riveting press conferences, President-elect Rody Duterte made clear his abomination, nay loathing, to the uncivil practice which has almost become de rigueur in most congressional investigations nowadays: castigating and humiliating public officials including military and police officers for all the whole world to see. In that press conference, President-elect Rody announced that under his leadership, he will not allow his military and police officers to be humiliated in public.

What takes the cake in this seemingly de rigueur practice is that which transpired years ago between Senator Antonio Trillanes and the late Gen. Angelo Reyes. At that Senate inquiry, Senator Trillanes cut the explaining Gen. Reyes short, when the feisty senator growled and told the general straight in his face: “You have no honor!”

Indeed, this emerging practice could be one among the many plausible reasons why there has been a breakdown of discipline among the Filipino citizenry especially our children.

While congressional investigations shown live on TV are not daily occurrences, except when sensational issues of national importance become the order of the day; radio broadcast as well as TV telecast of media personalities castigating, dressing down and humiliating public officials have now become daily media fare.

And children learn their standards of respect from what they see and hear around them. This may seem discouraging when we look at the disrespectful world around us. But parents must remain to be the last bastion of support towards reviving this seemingly dying virtue of respect for authority and pure and simple courtesy.

Indeed, every day we hear radio announcers and commentators grilling public officials on the air, complete with audio clips which are interspersed in the background (such as “padampot na yan!” [English translation: jail that guy!] as though treating these public officials like convicted criminals or menacing culprits.

In one popular TV station too, most people enjoy hearing a trio of TV personalities who would take turns in conducting a seeming custodial investigation of a police officer (their usual prey and quarry) most of the time, who may have committed some kind of a faux pas or error in judgment.

But these who composed the trio of seeming public inquisitors are not even police officers nor are they public prosecutors nor are they magistrates or justices of the courts of law, authorized to conduct investigations.

And when these police officers are humiliated in the air for the entire world to hear and see, the citizenry would naturally have no more respect for these persons of authority. That is why we hear and see also in the media a lot of instances where police officers are being assaulted, mugged and beaten up by persons who have painted a scornful image of “persons in authority” in their minds.

With the ascension of President-elect Rody into power, I hope and pray that these media personalities, who always feel that they may have put one over ranking public officials (making them in their convoluted minds, more potent and more dominant than those public officials) would STOP their seeming inquisitorial predilection.

God bless the Filipino virtue of respect for authority! God bless President Rody!!!




[A sample of the horrendous traffic jam in EDSA (the main thoroughfare in Metro-Manila) which traffic jams have been  caused principally by the lack of DISCIPLINE among the motorists and commuters.  Nowadays however, with the CHPG’s dedicated commitment to solve the traffic problem, some kind of alleviation  seem to be emerging. But discipline among the motorists and commuting public must be re-instilled especially in the use of the various secondary roads in the metropolis.]

Reminiscing US President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote which he announced in his 1961 inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for  your country.”,  this virtual battle cry can do much in making the Duterte presidency a huge success.

On the subject of the horrendous daily traffic jams in Metro-Manila particularly along EDSA, President Rody hit the nail on its head when he ascribed part of the problem to PNOY’s administration’s act of cancelling the  MRT maintenance contract with Sumitomo and awarding it to an amateurish group.

It has been bruited about that during Sumitomo’s term, the very same company from where the MRT system and the basic equipment were acquired, about 75 coaches were continuously at standby and  made operational at the MRT main depot to service the millions of commuter plying the EDSA route.

When the maintenance contract was awarded to another entity, a certain PH Trams, not in any way connected with Sumitomo, which undoubtedly is the expert in the maintenance of their own handiwork; the number of operational coaches plummeted to its lowest level, at 25 coaches ONLY. PH Trams was labeled then as an undercapitalized and inexperienced firm by Metro Rail Transit Holdings Chairman Robert John Sobrepeña who similarly tagged the Sumitomo award cancellation as a big blunder. Thus, the long lines that formed daily in all the MRT stations along EDSA.

Perhaps, re-awarding the maintenance contract to Sumitomo could be a good start towards alleviating the miserable MRT woes which even figured in a series of despicable aftermath such as a coach falling down from the tracks and the on-and-off stoppage of the coaches.

But what can we as citizens do to alleviate this monstrous traffic problem. If we are among those who commute daily; in buses, vans, taxis or jeepneys, we could use moral suasion to sway via our pakiusap (i.e. cordial request) focused unto those vehicle drivers not to get into the yellow boxed portions of street intersections during the traffic rush hour.

In one posting at Facebook, it showed a driver counseling a passenger who wanted to alight in a “no unloading area” to desist and discontinue the practice of alighting in areas declared as “no unloading zones”. And the driver so kindly reminded the passenger that with the incoming Duterte administration, it would be best to start casting out those bad practices. DISCIPLINE indeed must be re-instilled in our citizenry.

So, let us counsel, sway and persuade our fellow citizenry to follow and strictly observe those important traffic rules.

Now, if you belong to the horde of daily motorists who cruise and ply through EDSA and other streets in the metropolis, let us never ever do a “counterflow” or enter the yellow-boxed portions of street intersections too. Also, let us all discipline ourselves by not texting messages while driving. In case a mishap happens due to this texting-syndrome, and one vehicle gets stalled on the street, traffic jam will surely come. Further, as the “green” traffic light would almost always quickly turn to “red” in just a blitz in most street intersections; staying alert to propel one’s car forward in a breeze, would contribute much to traffic decongestion. The best rule for motorists to observe therefore is to turn off one’s communication gadgets upon starting the car’s engine so that the enticement towards texting is shunned.

Let us all therefor strictly follow all those traffic rules as well as the traffic signal lights even in the wee hours of the morning. And let us truly impose a sense of discipline among us all.

It has been bruited about too that President Rody has that penchant of doing the rounds of checking incognito metropolitan Davao during his mayoralty in the said  city of the Land Promise. It could not be discounted that by force of habit, President Rody would also do the same in Metro-Manila. And it would be a sorry sight if President Rody would chance upon a motorist or a public utility vehicle driver doing a counterflow or blocking an intersection inside the yellow-boxed portion in street intersections. And it could result in Presidential castigation and shameful humiliation.

Thus, let us all campaign for DISCIPLINE on the streets and the strict observance and faithful obeisance to all of the traffic rules within the whole of the Metro-Manila area.  Jaywalking must be stopped and commuters must not encroach into the streets thereby constricting all the more our limited streets.

God bless the Philippines! God bless President Rody!!!




[Photograph of a smiling President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte, who is perceived by all of the almost 16 million Filipino voters who cast their lot on his advocacy of a “strong-man” rule and the need to instill fear among criminals, as the Philippines’ modern-day messiah.] 


I actually did not vote for Mayor Rodrigo  R. Duterte.  I decided to cast my lot unto my father-in-law’s close friend. It was my feeling that after this Presidential candidate to whom I cast my lot, has been immensely bashed and pictured in both the traditional and social media as a crook; he would surely act out a convincing redemption to make himself a nonpareil President of the Republic. But I have no regrets with Duterte’s win.

For half a day, what I did was to do an intensive research as I reviewed on the internet, most of President-elect Rody’s pronouncements. And now I am convinced that President Rody could certainly effect the much awaited change for the betterment of the Philippine society.

On Saturday, I went to see my friend and my favorite watch repairman who not only repairs watches but also almost all gadgets that needed to be fixed. I noticed that he was wearing a DUTERTE baller and when I asked him his expectations about a Duterte win, he was ecstatic. And he told me his story…According to him, he lives in Cubao, a commercial district in Quezon City, near the Arayat road area. And every night that he would come home, he would always get so terror-stricken. He would see drug addicts invariably doing their pot sessions along the street with seeming impunity. Now with a smile, he told me that the usual nocturnal scene has stopped after the COMELEC count on the very night of the election, showed Duterte leading the Presidential race. He told me that his fears that her two (2) daughters who would come home late at night from work after going through the usual traffic, have now substantially faded.

 During our weekly family bonding on Sunday, while doing lunch at the RACKS in Trinoma, my eldest daughter Shayna who voted for Duterte, was herself euphoric. When he heard from me about the story of my watch repairman friend, Shayna recounted that two (2) of her friends have a similarly inspiring tale. Per Shayna, in separate instances, her (2) friends while on board the regularly plying buses along EDSA heard a motivating and uplifting  spiel from their respective bus drivers (surely, Duterte fans too). As a passenger was insistent to alight at a “no unloading area” along EDSA, the bus driver cordially delivered his spiel and said: “MAM, MAGBABAGO NA PO ANG GOBYERNO NATIN SA PAMUMUNO PO NI DUTERTE…HINDI NA PO PWEDE ANG PAGBABA SA HINDI PO UNLOADING AREA, MAGTULUNGAN PO TAYO. [English translation: Madame, we will have a new government under Duterte, we need now to start  following traffic rules and you can not now insist on alighting at a NO UNLOADING AREA. Let us cooperate with one another Mam.] 

News have it too that recent arrests of notorious drug pushers pointed to a seeming repentance among these arrestees. One even declared that he was ready and preparing to voluntarily surrender to President-elect Rody as he has decided to turn away from DRUGS. One more stirring revelation is the reported plummeting down of the cost of “shabu” being sold in the streets. It would show now that demand may have gone down and drug pushers have decided to sell these drugs at reduced prices to jack up demand. These developments are truly  riveting.

Indeed, these seemingly tiny tales of inspiration bring much hope and wholesome expectations to all of us who have been yearning to see positive changes in our country.

Based on recent official reports, barangays in Metro-Manila comprising about 92 per cent of the total in the metropolis, have already been infested with the DRUG menace.

Though much expectation has been evoked among the Filipino electorate, I would feel that even if President-elect Rody would only be able to address the DRUG menace and other forms of criminality,  it would surely bring enough BOON and BLESSING. And with peace and order at hand, all other blessings would certainly pour into our land.

God bless the Philippines! God bless President-elect Rody R. Duterte!!!!