Saturday, June 12, 2010


Curators would understand why the framed original painting of Confeccion de la Standarte Nacional (Making of the Philippine Flag) by Fernando Amorsolo would shout at me in this picture, "Touch me not!"
But I dared to connect myself to the symbol of our country. I'm proud Filipino. Proud Visayan. And proud Inopacnon!Yes, let me say again - I'm proud that I'm one of you!.

Today is June 12, the commemoration of Philippine Independence Day from Spanish colonization.

Last December 2009, I got this rare opportunity to stand next to the original Fernando Amorsolo's painting depicting the historical making of the Philippine flag in Hong Kong (so it's made from Hong Kong like most of surplus wares and items sold in the market). This frame hangs behind the desk of COB-CEO Vicente R. Ayllón in the 30th Level of Insular Life Corporate Centre (ILCC) in Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang.

The following are excerpts from the Philippine Star's feature article in Arts and Culture on December 01, 2008:

“Did you know that during the post-war period, Insular Life commissioned Fernando Amorsolo to create a series of paintings of historical events to be put in our offices (and which were subsequently used in Insular Life calendars from the late ’50s to the ’80s) — and we paid him P1,000 each?” says the very amiable Ayllón, whose knowledge of Philippine art is astounding. “I was sent by Fernando Zobel to talk to Amorsolo and he was a very nice person. So soft-spoken.”

"Ayllón points to a painting behind his desk that highlights the chairman’s office: “Confeccion de la Standarte Nacional (Making of the Philippine Flag).” “We bought that for just a thousand pesos, would you believe?” says an amazed Ayllón. “The value of that painting now is much, much more.”

"In the painting, three women (symbolic of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) are sewing the Filipino flag, laden with history and the proud fruit of revolutions and revaluation. An essential visual document. A national treasure. Something inarguably priceless."

Edgie Polistico with Mr. Vicente "Ting" R. Ayllón, the Chairman of the Board (COB) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Insular Life

MAIN PAGE: INOPACAN, LEYTE and the Inopacnons


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

OMG! The kids were allowed to bet and play gambling in town.

I arrived in Inopacan on the eve of the town fiesta (14 May2010). My folks at home warmly welcomed me and ushered me to my room. After having our dinner, I went to the town proper supposedly to watch the search for Mr. and Mrs. Inopacan 2010, but was disappointed when I found out that the organizers did not pay much attention in organizing the affair as well as in their preparations. 

It was around 10:00 PM and I saw nobody (not a single guest) on any of the chairs arranged in clusters along the side of the open-field tennis court. The venue of the supposed beauty pageant's night was empty.
There were about four ladies posing as gate keepers. When asked why the place is empty, it was an excuse for them that the organizers and committee members of the fiesta celebration were busy attending to and supporting the campaign sorties of their local candidates - the May 10 national and local elections were their priorities that almost coincided with the fiesta celebration (the same reason why there was also no follow-up presentation for the Inong Pak-an festival this year). 

The supposed candidates for the search of Mr. and Mrs Inopacan did not come on time, some begged off because for them it was not after all a competition as the supposed winners were handpicked and pre-selected already. Besides, the coronation ceremony they set on that night was uninviting. 

After a long wait, the pseudo-beauty contest went through late that night (or was it already past midnight) while I was somewhere spending my time watching games at the "peryahan" (carnival) instead.


The amusement games were held at the reclamation area (formerly called Pasil), side by side with the ukay-ukay (used cloth ing sale) and night sale. It was hard for me to enjoy at the peryahan when the place was swarmed by young kids. 

To my estimate, 80% of the people at the peryahan were children. Not simply because they were children. What bothered me a lot was the fact that everywhere were young kids betting their games, errr...what I mean exactly is that they were into gambling. 

I saw no law enforcers around the place or any committee member of the amusement games organizer to oversee the temporary amusement park they installed. 

There were young and older mothers betting the games while nursing their babies. 


I even saw hantak (the game of cara y cruz, where 3 coins are tossed on a slab of stone and bets are placed on which side of the coins would face up - head or tail.) played in open sight with a father coaching his son on what side of the coin to bet for. 

The pictures here would tell you more.


If you were me, would you not bother to criticize? 

Is this the kind of amusement that we should offer to our innocent kids in town? 

Should we excuse the kids because it was only during fiestas? 

Can we tolerate this values?

On the other side, why nobody was policing the activities? 

Where the officers and leaders too tired to sleep away the night after losing the election?

OMG! If the statue of Jose Rizal (that remains standing a hundred meters away from the peryahan) could only speak and walk down the pedestal, it could have already scolded and preached us that "the youth is the hope of our nation" and we should not corrupt their minds with vices and other immoralities.


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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary - the first and only published Pinoy food and dining dictionary. The book won the national category as Philippine's finalist to the Gourmand Awards international food writing contest in Yantai, Shandong, China to be held in May 2017. A lexicographer who began to compile and wrote his first vernacular dictionaries at the age of 14. A collector of contemporary and vintage dictionaries, both local and foreign.  A linguist studying the many dialects you can find in the Philippines. A blogger maintaining at least 11 blog sites. A researcher of food culture, Pinoy pop culture, interesting places and structures in the country, local transportations, Philippine churches and other places of worship of any religion and beliefs, local anthropology, socio-cultural issues, and whatever interesting about the Philippines and the Filipinos. A visual artist who uses pencil, watercolor, pen, and fingers as medium of expression - once an editorial cartoonist of local broadsheet and campus publications. Created his first hand-made comics magazine and participated the Marian watercolor exhibits in his hometown parish while in high school. A photographer taking at least 2K photos a week in the field while on travel for almost two decades now.  A poet hiding most of the time. A low-profile historian studying continually the origins, history, and progression of many places in the country. A computer programmer who wrote the codes and designed the software application of his digital Cebuano-English dictionary and distributed it for free around the country and over the internet. A traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints anywhere in the country.  A holder of professional driver's license once took the wheels for UBER. A home cook who loves to enhance, modify, elaborate, experiment if not invent more of  Pinoy dishes and delicacies.

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