Archive for October, 2008

Jaro Cathedral's Artsy Lapidas

Monday, October 27th, 2008


By Kathryn Joy Jeruta*

Inside the dark, gloomy and under-repair Jaro Cathedral we got to see lapidas all around. These are not the contemporary lapidas that are ever present in cemeteries.    Those inside Jaro Cathedral are bigger, older and more artsy than our modern day lapidas.

With Juvic Velez who is an officer in the church secretariat, we were able to see first-hand about 40 of these old lapidas that are inside the century-old Jaro Cathedral.   The lapidas have Spanish inscriptions giving us the idea that these may have been around during or just after the Spanish era. It also shows of how much influence our Spanish colonizers have had in our culture.

All the while we have been thinking that these are just lapidas with no real remains inside. We were really surprised when our guide told us that indeed the remains are buried in the church. Given the privilege to be buried in church are high-ranking church leaders such as the archbishop and the bishop.   Aside from there, we saw on other lapidas names of prominent families in Jaro.   Family names such as Jalandoni, Villalobos, Javellana, Lozada and Javelosa can be found inside. These people were important patrons of  the church.

A name worth highlighting is Don Manuel Arguelles who is the first layman to be given the privilege to be buried in the church. He was one of the people who spearheaded the building of this cathedral.  His marble lapida (5 feet and 3 inches x 2 feet and 10 inches) is placed on the floor.

The lapidas inside the church appear to be really ancient giving the suggestion of how old lapida making as an art really is.

*About the author

Kathryn Joy Jeruta is in her second year at UPV majoring in business management.  She finished her secondary education at St. Joseph School.

Lapida Making in Jaro: Living Art for the Dead

Monday, October 27th, 2008



By William Lawrence King*

A lapida is a permanent indicator placed over or next to the site of a burial.  It is also a symbol of respect and recognition of the dead. It is in the lapida that the name, age and birth date as well as death date can be found.

What may sound as a morbid topic to research on, we actually had a lot of fun. To begin gathering information, we set out to a cemetery to observe the many lapidas that can be found. We were confronted with hundreds of assorted lapidas in concrete, stone, granite and tiles. Most common of all though were the ones made of marble.

We also visited Jaro Cathedral to check out the older, bigger and more artsy lapidas. We scrutinized about 40 lapidas inside the church. Check out Kathryn’s post entitled “Jaro Cathedral’s Artsy Lapidas.

To learn more of the modern sleek-looking lapidas, we headed out to E. Lopez Street in Jaro where lapida makers can be found. The sun was at full blast and the traffic jammed, we started with the first among the nine lapida making shops along the street.

At Golden Lapida, we met Mr. Romdy Panso who introduced himself as the lapida maker for the shop. In between bites of his pamahaw we were able to find out that the shop has been in business for eight years and is owned by a Mr. Raul Salvador. They offer lapidas in marble, granite and stainless steel. Romdy claims to be able finish one lapida a day. As we were about to visit the next shop, we caught a glimpse of a unique lapida because it had a picture of a person on it. The picture of the deceased seems to be in wallet size and it was laminated. Upon observation we found out that it was actually just stuck to the lapida. The shop also offers special brass lettering services for the words on the lapidas.

Next in line is Ricky Marble Services.  We were told by the shop’s lapida maker Sandy Bayot, 17, that this is the oldest lapida making shop in the entire row of lapida makers.  The establishment opened on 1976. The shop was first started by Roque Mingo Sr. but is now being managed by his son Ricky. Ricky Marble Services also offers lapidas in marble, granite and stainless steel.  Also available is the tile lapida which is only made by this shop. It would take Sandy two hours to finish a tile lapida and it costs about P2500.  By the way, Roque Mingo Sr. who was featured in MMK for his syokoy appearance owns another shop, Mingo Marble Services which offers the same rate.

We then visited Alma Salvador’s A&C Marble Works. We learned that the shop employs two workers but on this hot day, only one is present. John Pineda, 18, kindly answered our probing questions. They offer lapidas in granite and plain marble. What is special about this shop is their blue-pearl granite which is the most expensive material to use for a lapida. This particular kind costs about P6000. We asked for a sample but sadly it’s unavailable because it needs to be pre-ordered because the lapida is imported from abroad. Interestingly A&C also owns Salvador Marble and Metal Services, another lapida shop along E. Lopez.  We thanked him then for his time and trudged toward the next lapida making shop.

Nonoy Casera Lapida Maker is a shop with a small entrance. We were greeted by a smiling 21 year-old Luis Merida IV (that’s him in the photo with Kathryn and myself). The shop offers lapidas in marble and granite. Luis was in the middle of carving a lapida which gave us the opportunity to actually see how one is made. We asked questions while he was working on the marble lapida. He calls his carving material as “sinsil” for use on marble and “carvite” for granite lapidas. When asked of his background in lapida making, he told us that it was one of the most important things his father, also a lapida maker, ever taught him. Lapida making is learned through mentor- apprentice correlation.

It would take about week to a month of practice to be a good lapida maker. We stayed the longest on this shop as we looked on while he was working. Of course it was a relief from the heat as well.

We then made our way to Ronnel Lapida Engraving. The shop as we saw in its BIR registration is owned by Ronnel Rovia. In the shop working is Redan Rovia who is the brother of the owner and the worker of the shop. He was working on a lapida and did not seem to be in the mood for answering questions. Somehow, we were able to learn though that the shop has been in operation since 1976 and that they only use Romblon marble for their lapidas. After gathering this much info we left him to finish his job and made our way to the shop next to it.

C.E Lapida Engraving is owned by Ms. Pacita Macato Chan. We asked their only worker Joey Rubia about this particular shop. He was only able to answer few of our questions. The shop has been in business for more than 10 years. They only use granite and Romblon marble.

We walked under the late morning heat toward Choi’s Place Special Gravestone. Stepping inside we came face to face with a woman who seemed to be in charge. She did not offer any answer to our questions. Before leaving, we caught a glimpse of the BIR registration and saw that the shop is owned by Mr. Gerard S. Deblois. We left in a hurry and laughed at the cold treatment we got from the old lady.

We visited the last lapida shop in our list. CMC Lapida Engraving which has been in business for 10 years is owned by Consoladora Chan. They have one worker named Ronald Macabata who said that he is not allowed to give interviews. We thanked him anyway and walked back toward our starting point. Being done with the interviews, we left the blistering heat for the cool comfort of SM City.

From the information we have gathered, we can say that there are only few participating business entities in the lapida making industry. This is because it is a business that booms only on the months of September and October. Also lapida makers are limited as it is learned in a mentor-apprentice correlation.

We were also told that since Ricky Marble Services opened in E.Lopez, the rest also opened in the same area to share in the market. From what we have seen, the lapidas are generic in appearance regardless of the maker. So ones choice as where to have a lapida created may depend on the availability of material used and of course the price of having one produced.

If you need help in choosing the right lapida maker, we made a table to aid you in your choice.


Lapida Shops


Ricky Marble Services and Mingo Marble Services500-7332 Golden Lapida Makers09268711566 A&C Marble Services andSalvador Marble & Metal Services



Nonoy Casera Lapida Maker328-4163 Ronnel Lapida Engraving09193476770 C.E. Lapida Engraving301-0826 Choi’s Place CMC Lapida Engraving300-3641



P5000 P3000 P6000 P4500 -



- P3000


P600 P500 P500P400 P600 P500 P500


- P500
Tile P2500 - - - - - - -
Stainless P2500 - - - - - - -
Add photo P150 P250 - - P150 - - P250
Add StainlessLettering(per letter) P1000 - - - - - - -
Add Brass lettering(per letter) - P50 - - - - - -
Lapida Shops


C.E. Lapida Engraving301-0826 Choi’s Place CMC Lapida Engraving300-3641





- P3000




- P500
Tile - - -
Stainless - - -
Add photo - - P250
Add StainlessLettering(per letter) - - -
Add Brass lettering(per letter) - - -

About the author

William Lawrence King is a third year marketing major at the University of the Philippines Visayas. He completed his secondary education at Ateneo de Iloilo. Visit his site at for his blog entries and other media presentations.

Ang Pagtultol sa TULTUL

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

By: Bee Jay Tolentino*









 My curiosity about this tultul, a hard, brick-like, grayish piece of salt brought me to Barangay Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras.  Barangay Hoskyn got its name from the Hoskyn  Brothers- Richard Franklin, Herbert Peter, and Henry. These Brothers owned large portions of land in that area in the late 19th century. Interestingly, these brothers were also the nephews of Nicholas Loney, the first British Vice-consul of Iloilo.

            For everyone’s knowledge, tultul is commonly used as a viand. Hot cooked rice and utan ( Vegetable soup ) are its best meal partners. Also, it can be used as a salt alternative.

            In Hoskyn, I met the couple Serafin and Emma Ganila. Both are 57 years old and are the only ones left producing the tultul in Guimaras. According to Tyay Emma, tultul making has been a family tradition. Both couples learned the craft from their parents. “Tultul making was our main source of income and in fact, it helped us finance the studies of our children.”says Tyay Emma.

            Oftentimes,according to Tyay Emma, they could not meet the demands for tultul because the process involved requires a lot of patience and hardwork. Another reason for their low productivity is that they can only produce the tultul within the months of December to May. They don’t produce the tultul during the rainy seasons because according to them,the fresh water content in the sea during the rainy seasons is high. This lessens the saltiness of  the tultul and makes the tultul soft. Also, the Ganila couple can only manage to produce a maximum of  4-5 baretas of  tultul per week. One bareta of tultul measures about 12 x 14 x 3 inches. Another possible factor which contributes to their low productivity is that they lack proper facilities and equipments. Most of their facilities and equipments are improvised.

            Let us now proceed to the different steps involved in making this tultul. I wasn’t able to see the actual process of making this tultul because it was in August when  I conducted this search and as I have mentioned earlier, they only produce the tultul within the months of December to May. Anyways, I’ll just try my best to narrate to you the steps in making this tultul.

            The first step is the gathering and burning of these so called rorok-these are driftwoods basically composed of pieces of woods, bamboos, twigs, and coconut husks brought to shore by the tide. The first step alone lasts up to 5 days. The ashes of these burned rorok are gathered and are put into kaings- these are cylindrical containers woven from bamboo strips. A minimum of two kaings of rorok ash are needed before proceeding to the next step.

            The ash-filled kaings are then placed on an elevated bamboo platform. Sea water would then be poured into the kaings to wash down the salt content of the rorok ash. A pail is placed underneath these kaings to catch the strained water dripping from it. The strained water is then transferred into 5 tin containers made from used cooking oil cans. Gata or coconut milk is then added to the strained water  to make it mananam or savory.

            This liquid mixture is the main ingredient for making the tultul.

            The third step is to cook this liquid mixture so that it would become hard. The five tin containers are placed above an improvised outdoor kalan or stove. The cooking process lasts for about six hours or until the mixture hardens. When the mixture is hard enough, it is then removed from the fire and is allowed to cool inside the house. When the hardened mixtures are cool enough, it is removed from its tin containers.

           The outer part would be then scraped off in order to clean the hardened mixture. This hardened mixture is the tultul. A bareta of tultul when bought directly from the makers costs for about P500.  At the market this bareta of tultul will sell for about P600. Small pieces of tultul ( 2 x 2 x ½ inch ) can be also bought at the San Miguel and Jordan public markets in Guimaras for P10 each.


As I bid the Ganilas goodbye, Gilbert, one of the couples’ children and the one who served as my guide handed me a cellophane. I asked him what was inside. He smiled and said “ Pasensya guid meg, amu nalang ni ang bilin eh, base sa  enero pa kanu liwat makahimu sinday nanay kag tatay.” ( My apologies my friend, this is the only one left. Nanay and tatay said that maybe their next production would be in January.)

            I’ll never forget this experience.  Natultulan ko na ang tultul.  I hope matultulan man sang Guimaras government kag matagaan man sang importansya si Nong Serafin and Nang Emma Ganila, the last of the tultul makers.


Manong Serafin Ganila and me


I’m Bee Jay Tolentino a business administration student at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, college of management. I am from Guimaras,the home of the sweetest mango in the whole whole word. Drawing, Singing, and playing the guitar are my hobbies. For your comments and suggestions, you can E-mail me at


Our KASAG adventure

Sunday, October 26th, 2008









By Myra Gene Gautier and Stephanie Di Tibubos*

When entering the Municipality of Tigbauan, the soothing sea breeze combined with the earthly smell of grasses and forest welcome residents and visitors. The unique combination of water and land elements make this town ideal for leisure. Just twenty three kilometers away from the busy metropolitan of Iloilo City, anyone can get an easy refuge in this haven to relax, enjoy and be near again to Mother Nature.

Tigbauan is known for its beach resorts like Sol Y Mar, Coco Grove, Reynaldo’s and Le Maer Mar. But this town is not just known for its beaches.

Tigbauan is also known for guinamos (shrimp paste).  That’s why when passing the first three barangay of Tigbauan from Iloilo City, Barroc, Atabayan and Baguingin, the strong and heavy smell of hipon (baby shrimps) permeates the air.  However, guinamos is not the sole product from Tigbauan.  Kasag (crabs) is also abundant here. (more…)

Lezo, Aklan's famous AMPAO

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

By Jonalyn P. Mateo (March 27, 2008)*

For the sixth year that I’ve stayed here at Iloilo, my classmates would always ask for pop rice as pasalubong from Aklan. Pop rice is also called ampao in my place. My hometown is Kalibo, Aklan but there is another Aklan town almost 18 km away from Kalibo that is very famous for its ampao. In fact Lezo is now synonymous to ampao.

 Lezo is a thirty minute ride from Kalibo by multi-cab. Sometimes travelling reaches an hour but it will never bore you since lots of good views around can be seen such as mountains and carabaos eating grass on wide farms. Lezo is still a pollution free area and population is not that big. There are 12 barangays in the place with only 12, 393 people living in it as of the 2000 census.

Even my relatives praise the ampao makers of Lezo, too. My relatives from Manila and even from other places would ask for ampao, aside from tuyo at daing, for a pasalubong. And they would even stress out that the ampao be bought at Lezo. That is how Lezo moves their appetite.

I went to Poblacion Lezo last Christmas vacation to look for someone who is responsible for the  ampao industry. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate well with my plans. It rained not that hard, just a bit drizzling but it was still a bit disturbing. I kept on walking and walking just to find one best maker of ampao. And yes, amidst the rain and everything, the people whom I asked pointed to this blue, two-storey, concrete house.  

I knocked at the door and a man, named Mang Pablito De Leon came out. Of course as anybody else who is known for such an icon, Mang Pablito also tried to hesitate from answering my first questions. Actually, he looked like as if he had just woken up. But, I acted like a real student who is very eager to know more about his ampao, and like any other kind Filipino, Mang Pablito treated me well.

He showed me his little rustic kitchen wherein there was this regular-sized clay pot where he usually makes his ampao. The clay pot is big enough for 8 cups of rice. Any way, in times that they feel like making more than they used to make, they just cook again. But the regular cooking is 8 cups of rice only. He also emphasized the use of firewood to control the cooking and the firewood’s smoke to allow the native quality of the food be retained. In practical means, firewood is cheaper than stove cooking. Any firewood would do, sometimes different types of firewood is used at the same time.  

Ampao starts with cooked rice. The cooked rice is left outside to dry until a desired softness in the inside and the hardness in the outside is satisfied. Lasaw is also needed in this process. Lasaw is made by melting moscuvado to be exact in a frying pan until a sticky look comes out. Muscovado  gives ampao the sweetest ever taste it could ever have. Lasaw is  then mixed with dried cooked rice, then it is fried. The ingredients can be found almost anywhere that’s why the recipe is not that hard to make.

But that’s not all, Mang Pablito would pack his ampao first in dried banana leaves followed by brown paper and finally, plastic wrapping.  Banana leaves keep ampao as fresh as it can be and as crunchy as the customers would ever wish. It preserves the food, and the aroma of the food is sealed in making the food taste even better. In fact, the food itself should also look nice, and since it’s a food, Mang Pablito would prefer the rectangle shape. It is easier to make and it looks good. Other ampao makers also make ampao in a circular shape.

Ampao is twenty pesos when bought direct at the producer’s house. When bought in the market, ampao runs to twenty-five pesos per piece. And still the increase in price does not just stop there, when buying at terminals it costs up to forty pesos per piece. Just imagine how businessmen increase the price, but still many would buy ampao no matter how high the price is.


The other ampao makers are Kaith Angelo Yabut Fernandez from S. Dela Rosa Street, Lezo, Aklan(09187618700), Manang Rosa from Sta.cruz, Lezo (09207288768).

Today, ampao is making its own name. Its no longer just synonymous to Lezo alone but to the entire Aklan province. It has become an icon of Aklan. Sometimes, even the makers of ampao from other places use the name of Lezo just to make their products in demand. Other provinces like Iloilo also have their own versions of Ampao only that Lezo’s ampao has a uniqueness all its own that it’s addictive to most ampao eaters. I have tasted some ampao from Iloilo and yes, they’re cute with those different colors on them but it can’t reach the level of Aklan’s ampao in terms of taste. Others ampao are not that crunchy, either. Others ampao are just packed in plastic, unlike Aklan’s which are covered with banana leaves, brown paper and lastly, the plastic. Well-packed!! This is not about being biased because I’m from Aklan, it’s just being true!


Dante M. Beriong: An Antiqueno Music Prodigy

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

By Christine Biaoco*


People winning the national, regional or local music competitions that speak about our culture and achievements as Filipinos never cease to amaze me with their talent. My admiration for them continues to grow especially when they are the one composing these songs because they really use their talent to touch the Filipino lives. This is evident in their splendid and soulful renditions. Music is their way of expressing their compassion and patriotism to our country.

            I come from San Jose, the capital town of Antique where a lot of provincial music competitions such as “Tukib Antiqueño” are held to hone the Antiqueño talents. As a child, I enjoyed watching our local artists sing Kinaray-a songs and marvel at how they put their hearts at it. Dante M. Beriong is one of our local artists who made music history when his composition was chosen as the official Philippine Centennial Independence theme song. His achievement was such a great milestone making Antiqueños very proud.

            Unfolding the inspiring story behind his success would be a great topic to discuss. With Mr. Beriong as a townmate, I didn’t let the opportunity pass to peek at his success story.

            Sir Beriong started writing songs when he was in high school in the early 70s. He was not able to compose much during his college because of a busy academic life at Ateneo De Manila University. However, he was able to join “Himigsikan”- Ateneo’s song writing competition using his high school composition entitled “For Agnes”.

After graduation from college, he was able to work as an Economics teacher at St. Anthony’s College-high school department and later served the office of the government. This also paved the way for him to record his first two English songs in 1990 with the help and encouragement of his friends and family who believe in his talent. These songs were entitled “For Agnes”, his high school composition and “How Can I?” which he composed for his wife, Felisa.

Mr. Beriong won his first regional championship award from the Department of Tourism Songwriting Competition in1995. His greatest achievement came when he won in 1997 in the search for the Philippine Centennial Independence theme song. His song was played during the Philippine Independence Day in 1998. I asked him how he was able to join the competition and he told me that he was encouraged by his friends from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) Antique chapter, particularly Ms. Jane Delos Santos and their manager, Mr. Arceo. DBP was the sponsor of the competition. At first, he was reluctant to join because it was such a big competition and he thought that he had no chance of winning. He felt that his competitors from Manila would dominate the award because songwriters there are the best at their field. But in the end, he convinced himself to just try.

            The search started as early as the beginning of 1996. It was indeed a tough fight for him having to compete with a total of 1054 entries nationwide. There was a three-layered selection before the top 12 finalists were selected. First, the screening committee chose the top 500, then the top 100, then the top 30 and then the final 12. Bayang Barrios, the female vocalist of Joey Ayala’s Bagong Lumad, also joined the competition. The entries were judged based on the lyrics and melody of the song. The panel of judges who screened the entries was composed of professional musicians, academicians and historians among others. Notable personalities among them were national artist Lucio San Pedro, Prof. Andrea Veneracion of the UP Madrigal singers, Jose Mari Chan, Freddie Aguilar and Ms. Maan Hontiveros of Sony Philippines.

            I was surprised to learn that he wrote the lyrics of the song “Mabuhay ka Pilipino!” (the title of his winning piece) in just one hour and the melody within one week. Back in college, he became friends with Mr. Arnel De Pano, a schoolmate who always won their “Himigsikan” song writing competition. Interestingly, Mr. De Pano who is also the composer of the song “Lead Me Lord” became the arranger of his song “Mabuhay Ka Pilipino!.”  Here, the background used was a combination of ethnic and modern sounds. This suggests what the milieu is and it also tells us how far we’ve traveled to achieve our thirst for freedom.

I was curious on how he was able to come up with the title since the title is usually the first that attracts the listeners as well as the judges. So, he told me that it was the right title for him because it was a song of celebration expressing the triumph of the Filipinos in their quest for freedom and sovereignty, not withstanding the hardships and the course of their struggles. This is evident in these lines that say “Tangan mo ngayon samo’t saring pakikipaglaban upang kapayapaan ay makamtan at magapi ang kahirapan. Sa sulungan di papipigil, higit di iiwas sa hamon ng kaunlaran lalo kang lumalakas.” (You now bear what you have plead for through fighting to achieve freedom and to overpower poverty. In advancing, you cannot be stopped and most of all, you become stronger with the challenge of development.)

            With all these qualities that Sir Beriong has incorporated in his song, the judges hailed him the grand champion. The awarding was held at the Nicanor Abelardo Hall of the Cultural Center of the Philippines on January 23, 1997. He received P100, 000 as grand prize. For him, his edge among the others was that his song was comprehensive in its lyrical substance and the music was very original. Moreover, it was interpreted by a UP Conservatory of Music Professor, Mr. Edward Granadusin.

            “Music helped me project the musical cultural wealth of the province and draw the best out of what an Antiqueño can be in the field of music. It also made me deeply grateful to God for the talents that He has given me”.

He became a songwriter because he believes that there is something more than just singing. Writing songs is a totally different avenue of music because it challenges his creativity to make something out of his own appreciation, observation and understanding of life and its complexities.

Sir Beriong doesn’t only express his sentiments with what he can see in his society through singing his music compositions. He also has this urge to put these thoughts into action. He was thrice elected as a Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member in our town. Presently, he is an elected Sangguniang Panlalwigan (SP) member in our province.

Now that he holds a lot of responsibilities to his people as well as his family and church as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or known as Mormons that he has taken a rest from joining music competitions. However, he also earns commission from composing songs to those who want him to compose songs for them. As of now, he still continues writing songs for his third album of Original Kinaray-a Music (OKM). His finished
CD albums are entitled ANTIQUE, ANTIQUEÑO and MAULI GID AKO SA ANTIQUE which are still available at the office of the Paranubliun Antique located at the new Antique capitol building.

Sir Beriong had joined other competitions such as the Ilonggo Music Festival, The Red Cross Search for its Millennial Theme Song and the DOT regional and national song writing. He is also a performing artist in various events and places. He has performed during the goodwill and cultural mission to the United States headed by Gov. Salvacion Z. Perez (Antique’s governor) for the Antiqueño communities in the east and west coast, the cultural mission for Antiqueño communities in Kidapawan, North Cotabato and during the “Wow Philippines” in Intramuros Manila. He has also performed in regional and competitions for tourism and agricultural fairs in Iloilo City, in provincial and municipal public events such as fiestas.

“My talent for song writing was developed as a result of enthusiasm and great interest in music. I had no formal trainings. I taught myself starting with playing the guitar and learning the basics of piano in our church”. His great performance and enthusiasm indeed led him to greater heights in this field. He was awarded by the “Paranublion Antique, Inc., a cultural Non -Government Organization. He was also a “Bugal Kang Antique (Pride of Antique) awardee of the provincial government. He is presently the vice chair of the Binirayan Foundations Inc. that is in-charged with Binirayan Festival activities of our province which is a month long celebration every April.

Sir Beriong’s four children are also musically gifted as well as his wife who was a disc jockey before they got married. (His wife, Ma’am Felisa is currently an English teacher at Antique National School.)

“Music is an embodiment of your creative juices, whether it be emotional, spiritual or intellectual. It is something that flows out of your humanity. If you have a talent in music, don’t stop loving it and continue to hone your skills. It may not be evident immediately, but the benefits that you will derive form your love of music will eventually contribute to a happy and successful life”, Sir Beriong passionately advised.      

      Dante M. Beriong’s

e-mail address:


About the author:

I am a first second year student at the University of the Philippines-Visayas taking up B.S. in Public Health. I enjoy philosophizing, attending religious youth camps as well as nature trips. I also enjoy reading medical and religious-related pocketbooks.  I am also musically inclined that made me interested on this topic.  My e-mail address:



  • Ø Regional Champion & National Finalist – Department of Tourism Songwriting Competition (1995) “HOW CAN I LEAVE YOU?”


  • Ø Ilonggo Music Festival Finalist (1996) “ANOTHER LIFETIME”

                        1ST runner-up (1999) “EASE THE PAIN”

                        2nd runner-up (2000)    “LONGING”                        


  • Ø National Grand Champion- Search for the Theme Song of the 1998 Philippine Centennial

                        Celebrations out of 1,054 entries nationwide (1997)

                                    “MABUHAY KA PILIPINO” (P 100 000 prize)


  • Ø 1st runner-up- National Search for the Millennial Song of Philippine National Red Cross along with Trina Belamide (Champion) & Nonong Pedero (2nd runner-up) (1999)

                                                “NO CREED NOR COLOR” (P200 000 prize)


  • Ø Champion-Search for the Theme Song of the Centennial of Palawan’s Civil Government (2002) “PALAWAN”







(National Theme Song of the Philippine Councilors League)



(Used as National Jingle of the Lakbay Kontra Droga Campaign)



(2004 West Visayas Regional Athletic Meet Theme Song)



(Dinagyang Festival Theme Song of Iloilo City)



(Binirayan Festival Theme Song)



(Provincial Tourism Program Song)




(Reproductive Health Program Theme Song)



(Municipal Theme Song of Hamtic, Antique)



(Municipal Theme Song of Sebaste, Antique)



(Municipal Theme Song of Laua-an, Antique)



(Municipal Theme Song of Tibiao, Antique)



(Carrier single of the CD Album of the same title)



(Carrier single of the CD Album of the same title)



(1997 World Food Day Celebration Theme Song)



(1998 World Food Day Celebration-1st runner-up)



(Municipal Theme Song of Taytay, Palawan)



(Banigan Festival Theme Song of Caluya, Antique)



   (Tatusan Festival Song of Caluya, Antique)











Mabuhay ka Pilipino!
By Dante M. Beriong

San daang taong kasaysayan ang lumipas
Kalayaang pinaglaban, bukang bibig mong binibigkas
Kasarinla’y nakamtan dahil sa dugong ibinuwis
Kasama ng mga luha’t taghoy, pagod at hinagpis

Nahan kana sa iyong kinalalagyan…
Sa gitna ng makabuluhan’t makulay mong kasaysayan
Ipadama’t ipagbunyi at panatilihing lagging gising
Sa bayang mithiin ng puso’t diwa’t damdamin…

Malaya ka na Pilipino kagitingan mo’y isisigaw
Sa buong mundo……. Sa buong mundo…..
Kasarinlan at kalayaan, { Hinding hindi pababayaan / Patuloy kong ipaglalaban }
Taglay ang bagong anyo ng pag asa…
Pilipino aking { Kapatid / Kaibigan / Kababayan }
Mabuhay ka……..

Tangan mo ngayon samo’t saring pakikipaglaban
Upang kapayapaan ay makamtan at magapi ang kahirapan
Sa sulungan di papipigil, higit di iiwas
Sa hamon ng kaunlaran lalo kang lumalakas…

Ulitin ang II

Mula noon hanggang ngayun, sa Mindanao, Bisaya at Luzon
Kabayanihan mo’y narrating.. Pagkat inang bayan.. iniibig……Iniibig…..

Ulitin ang II

Mabuhay ka……… 4x


Nune Alvarado & Sugar's Bitter Aftertaste

Friday, October 24th, 2008



By Ida Cel Dizon and Adesa Ferraris, March 15, 2008

“…Cause there’s nothing glamorous about the sugarcane industry. I can’t make the manugtapas wear the baro’t saya while smiling under the scorching sun. It’s paradoxical.” – Nunelucio Alvarado

Born in Fabrica, Sagay City, early awakened by the fact that there is such a thing as social stratification, Nunelucio Alvarado paints anything but hypocrisy. Growing up in the locale where the sugar industry is the main source of income, it is not a surprise that most of his works are depictions of the everyday activity of those who work there.

A painting major from UP Diliman, Alvarado has been an icon on the art scene since 1975. He has carried out numerous individual and group exhibits, whether be it in the Philippines or abroad. He was recognized by the CCP as one of the most influential artists in the country and was twice the grand prize winner of the Regional Philip Morris Art Award.

Not intimidated to conform or follow any trend that limits the creativity and confine it to the boundaries of what that style dictates, this social-realist painter believes in artistic freedom. His source of inspiration for the themes and ideas he paints is his immersions from time to time. He goes to places where the manugtapas (sugar cane workers) lives and talks to them and lives as one. To get a full and vivid picture – nothing but honesty of how their lives really are. To paint the ordinary as how he interprets the stories of the manugtapas, the fishermen and vendors during his immersions, to portray the hardships of the breadwinners to provide despite insufficiency and to present the prejudiced reality of the evil forms in disguise are the reasons why he continuously holds his brush.

“Hindi kasi ako naniniwala sa mga ‘ism-ism’ na yan eh. It confines what an artist can do. I believe that there should be no boundaries. An artist should have the freedom to create what he/she pleases.”

Inspired by the stories and lives of the laborers in sugarcane plantations locally known as the sakadas, Alvarado’s artworks were mainly commentaries.  He expresses his sentiments on the social stratification through art. The images of his works convey messages that depict social issues of his hometown, specifically, the plight of the sakadas.

Looking at all his works as he explains how and why such images are there, we come to realize that his works are beyond superficial. His works aren’t ordinary. His works are not just pictures. Every Alvarado is a life story. One that you ignore, one you fail to hear, one you don’t want to see, and one you are afraid to be in. But he dared to portray it so the world could see the reality through the eyes of the manugtapas.

As what was written by, Alvarado’s typical geometric humans are humans are unreal yet ridden with so much character and spirit with their typical bright piercing eyes, heavy-set toes and arms that hint at the rigors of toil. All is set amidst a backdrop of sugar cane fields, workman tools, of women and babies trading flowers, fruits, fish fowl… The archetypal imagery his works are most known for, reflect the psychic plunges of deep despair and of a higher wisdom for a man unafraid of life. His pure artistic energy generates power that resounds in every canvass he fulfills — whether it be the idyllic scenes of his hometown or the dark terrain of the social ills of his people.

Come to the end of our tour and interview, we’d still feel the ideas and remember the images. Never again will we see the manugtapas the same as just an ordinary being but a soul fearless and extraordinary. Their lives- beyond words and their story – moving and tragic but the challenge is to make life as sweet as sugar.

Despite the bold colors and the dramatic characters, it’s not bliss that you derive from Alvarado’s work. It’s a slap of reality. Melancholia. A truth of the darkness behind the sweet crystalline substance and its making. To see an Alvarado is to experience sugar’s bitter aftertaste.

About the authors:

When assigned a role, Ida doesn’t only fulfill and perform the requirements. She goes an extra mile rendering her work unexpectedly and undeniably impressive. She’s not a huge talker making her a very nice real-live diary of secrets; she won’t tell a soul about your baggage. She’s surprisingly funny, but when the occasion calls for it, she can be likened to a philosopher and an excellent source of useable advice. She’s ferociously loyal to her family and friends. She’s silly and weird, which makes her a companion one will never be bored with.

Adesa is a hard-working person when she wants something done. She doesn’t fool around when she knows she has a task to finish. She’s incredibly resourceful and highly determined under pressure, which results in a job well done. She may be short, but don’t let her height fool you because she also has a short fuse and could blow up on an offender at any time. She doesn’t let people manipulate her, yet when it comes to friends, she’d put them at the top of her priority list.

Ida Cel Mangaron Dizon                                          Adesa Parreño Ferraris

BS Biology II                                                              BS Biology II

09277719602                                                           09195644955


Friday, October 24th, 2008


By Rachelle Dayne Cleope and Amylene Tauli*

Budgeting is a difficult practical word in a student’s dictionary especially of those who are not just enjoying their freedom when it comes to food choices but are also restricted by their limited allowances. Budgeting is quite hard to follow with the existence of classy fast food restaurants.

If someone’s looking for some home-cooked-and-very-affordable-yummy dish, the carinderia is the place to be! A carinderia is a small turo-turo or eatery that is usually family- owned. It is where all the dishes are being displayed, sometimes still in their cooking pots, and one just points to the dish that one wants. Dine in or take out. Carinderias can be found almost everywhere especially at the vicinity of universities and colleges.

What’s in a carinderia anyway? To answer such a question, we strolled around the four universities and colleges around Iloilo City: Central Philippine University in Jaro, the West Visayas State University in La Paz and, Iloilo Doctor’s College in Molo and University of the Philippines in the Visayas Iloilo City Campus in search of the Top 10 Carinderia Dishes: the most universal of carinderia dishes among college eateries of Iloilo.

And the top 10 in no particular order are:


Pancit bihon is a stir fried noodle dish of thin rice noodles cooked with soy sauce and a variant of chopped vegetables and meat. It is a noodle dish a student can chow in his P5-10 coin. 


Chicken Curry is a yellowish dish of chicken and curry powder, sometimes with coconut milk. Some like it creamy, spicy and hot, but can also be served without the spicy part. It’s a yummy chicken dish costing P20-25. 


Pochero is a famous Filipino stew that can be either beef or pork. It is a certified health dish of protein and fibers. It’s a dish where you can have the bananas at only P20-25. 


It is a dish of chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, paminta, and bay leaf. It’s a yummy chicken or pork at P20-P25 per serving. 


Mongo is a delicious and healthy vegetable dish. It’s like porridge of mongo that can be bought at a price of P5-P15 in the carinderias.


Tinolang manok is a chicken dish quite like a stew. It can usually be identified by the papaya and chicken slices. It’s a soupy chicken dish at P20-25. 




A little salty and a little oily, these fried meats are really good for some kamayan tripping with their favorite dip.  It’s a fried fish at P15-P20 and fried chicken and pork at P20-P25. 


Linaga can be classified as a beef stew. It’s the leisure of beef with a touch of fruity sour flavor of batwan and langka. It’s a soupy dish with your favorite meat at P20-P25. It can also be done with pork.


Laswa is a dish of mixed vegetables like okra, squash, string beans, malunggay, and others. It’s really easy to get to your stomach with its mucus-like characteristics. It’s your all the veggie you want at P5-P10. 


It is a dish which originated from the Ilocanos. It’s a mixture of vegetables with a little thrill of bagoong.  It’s a serving at P5-10.

As we scan our top 10, we should wonder why these dishes made it as our finalists. If we dig deeper into it, we could see one or two qualities in common. It’s the ALL IN ONE or the ALL TIME factor. It’s either All Vegetables in One, All Meat and Vegetables in One, or All Meat in One. Another is that, a dish maybe an All Time Favorite.

For that, it’s not surprising that these dishes made it to our top 10.  Anyone who has a tight budget (and we mean almost everyone) will be looking for the dishes that satisfies the standards of their budget restrictions, taste and health in just a serving.

Some students would usually buy an order of rice and a serving of a vegetable dish, some a vegetable dish plus some meaty dish. Some would prefer some soup or stew in rice. Students would usually come in groups and would eat the same dish. Some would have a kind of picnic on their respected dishes, if the serving was too much, some would just share in just a dish.

Most of these carinderias are pay as you order or pay after. Self service policy can be expected, but nevertheless, they don’t require you to clean your own table after you enjoyed that very delicious meal.

Do our Top 10 Carinderia Dishes sound and taste familiar? Some of us feel eating them everyday maybe a dish per meal or two. However, we always find ourselves craving for the home-cooked dish we have grown with at home (since the two of us come from the different provinces outside Iloilo: Rachelle from Aklan and Amylene from Mountain Province).

What’s the next thing that happens? We’re heading to our suking carinderia for that favorite Ilonggo dish our Manang and Manong would serve, and with matching discount! (hahaha)

So next time you pass by a carinderia, if you haven’t been to one, try checking out these yummy delights, so cheap and really fits to your budget…with some Ilonggo cooking magic!

All About the Authors*

I am Rachelle Dayne Cleope, a 17-year old BS Business Administration (Marketing) student in the University of the Philippines Visayas. My family in Aklan is not rich so I enrolled in UP (….that is aside from academic excellence).

I love the arts particularly the culinary arts. It has a very special place in my tummy and heart. Why? Because I strongly believe that the only leisurable necessity in my college life is a serving of a yummy dish and two cups of rice.

I love food yet I don’t have much to pay for a meal in either Jollibee or Mc Do. Good thing there’s my favorite carinderias around, where my lunch/dinner too, with just a 20 peso bill or two, is a dream come true.

I am Amylene Tauli, also a second year student of UPV taking up BSBA. From Sagada, Mountain Province, I traveled to far away Iloilo just to grab the opportunity of studying in the country’s premier university.

Because cooking is not allowed in our dormitory and the fact that my budget for food is limited, I eat my meals in the carinderias around the school. Actually, I was only exposed to this kind of eateries when I came here in Iloilo because they are rarely seen in Sagada. In fact there are only about two carinderias there, which are located in the market.

Carinderias are really of great help in making my allowance last longer.

She and Me…WE!!!- – THE Rachelle — Amylene TEAM-UP!!

We have been blockmates since first year. We are also classmates in most of our subjects. Here in Iloilo, we are both living in Balay Ilonggo Residence Hall in the UPV City Campus.

We are always together in meals, window shopping, research paper and reports. We knew each other very well, that’s why it’s very convenient for us to team up in this write up of ours in Humanities 1 under Professor Joy Sumagaysay.

We really enjoyed the eating, sleeping and the asaran with our dorm mates while making this Art Research.


The Contemporary Ilonggo Jeepneys of Patoo Wheel

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Inday Hami/Joy says:  this is one of the best researches this semester.  unfortunately, i can’t upload the pictures now.  i don’t know what’s wrong.  so for now, you’ll just have to imagine Patoo Wheel’s jeepneys.


By Lyra Roxette L. Granada*

Differently designed jeepneys can be found almost everywhere in Iloilo. The unique thing about them is that you probably cannot find one jeepney designed exactly the same as another. Each jeepney is evidence to the artistic ability of its designer and fabricator.  That is why jeepney making is considered to be one of the products of Filipino, particularly the Ilonggo’s ingenuity.  Knowing this, I became interested to learn more about jeepney making, and by doing research on Patoo Wheel Motors of Oton, Iloilo, it will give me more information on it.

I chose to study this shop because whenever I go to Oton to visit my grandmother, I usually find myself riding a jeepney made by Patoo Wheel Motors. I wanted to find out more information about the said shop so I went to Brgy. Trapiche, Oton where the shop is located.  Oton is a place known for its jeepney making industry and Patoo Wheel Motors is a byname. The shop is popular in assembling and designing not only Oton-bound jeepneys but also jeepneys bound for Villa, Jaro, Leganes, and Mandurriao.

It is Mang Domingo Noviza who owns the said shop. He is the one who manages and at the same time assembles and designs the jeepneys. It was in 1960′s that his father namely Casiano started to build jeepneys as a source of income for the family. Mang Domingo, together with his parents and six brothers were residing at Miag-ao during this time. Before, his father was a mechanic who worked in a certain shop in Miag-ao doing assembly and repairs. His father then decided to put up his own shop. Because of this, Mang Domingo’s father was able to finance the education of all his children.

While Mang Domingo’s five siblings are all professionals and are presently residing abroad, it is he who decided that after finishing his course on Marine Engineering, he would not work on a ship. He just preferred to help his father with the business since he is the only one among his siblings skilled enough to do assembly and designs on jeepneys. It could be said that he inherited the skill of his father.

Eventually, Mang Domingo put up his own jeepney shop in Oton. It was in 1990 that he moved there where his relatives his the mother’s side reside. He named his shop Patoo Wheel Motors after his fondness for the way a duck walks. Pato is hiligaynon for duck and he just stylized it to Patoo. The logo for this is a duck inside a steering wheel. He started his business having only two workers to help him.

Today, given only four assistants, Mang Domingo is mostly the one doing assembly, designs, and repairs of each jeep. He really enjoys doing these things.

As I gained more interest in the study, I make some comparisons between Patoo Wheel Motors and Pasajero Sosyal. I wanted to find out the similarities and differences of the jeepneys of both known shops in Iloilo.

Patoo uses light engine such as Kia and Hyundai while Sosyal uses heavy duty engines such as Mitsubishi and Isuzu. Patoo jeepneys have short distance routes (usually just around Iloilo City up to Oton, Villa or Mandurriao.  On the other hand, Sosyal jeepneys do long distance travel such as the 40 km. Iloilo City-Miagao route. So, the engine should be suited based on the distance traveled. Both shops base the form of the jeepney hoods on latest car models such as Toyota and Subaru. Both also place different designs on sidewalls reflecting the nature of the work of owners of the jeepneys who are mostly OFWs.

Most jeepneys built by Patoo have a capacity of 22 seaters while that of Sosyal has 26 seaters. A Patoo jeepney is 5.5 m long, 1.52 m wide, and has a height of 1.48 m from the ground while a Sosyal jeepney is 8.8 m long, 1.7 m wide, and has a height of 1.62 m from the ground. Patoo jeepneys are smaller and lower than Sosyals.

Sosyal places its shop name mostly on the running board of the jeep while Patoo places its name and logo on sidewalls. Sosyal places the name of the owner and his/her children mostly above the windshield, mudguard and bumper while the other shop places them mostly on the running board.

Unlike Pasajero Sosyal, whose brand name is painted in large script, Patoo’s  isn’t that conspicuous since the Mang Domingo wants it simple.

Mang Domingo, he told me that it takes 3 months to finish assembling and embellishing one brand new jeep. Doing the job requires at least 3 workers. Pasajero Sosyal can finish the job in 2 months since it has many workers.

It was in 1997 that Mang Domingo considered his business to be most profitable. His business was growing because of increasing demand for passenger jeepneys as the number of OFWs increased.  OFWs would  buy a jeepney either for remembrance of their hardwork abroad and as a source of extra income for the family. 

I asked Mang Domingo what else he could obtain in this business aside from earning money. He, in reply, simply said that he really likes making jeepneys especially the part when he designs them.  He said “Loving your job and achieving enjoyment out of it really counts when you’re into business.”

His business really helped him improve his standards of living. He was able to build a big house, own a car and 4 passenger jeepneys. These jeepneys represent his 4 children. One jeepney per child.  You’ll see the name on the windshield of each.  Mang Domingo’s Patoo Wheels also finances the education of all his children: Jane who is the eldest studies nursing at St. Pauls University, Tanya at Sta. Maria Catholic School (Ateneo de Iloilo), Martin at John B. Lacson Maritime University, and Kleron (youngest) at Immaculate Concepcion School in Oton.

Mang Domingo is now 52 yrs. old and still continues making jeepneys. He said that as long as he still has the physical strength to run Patoo Wheel Motors, he will continue to do so for it is something he truly enjoys.


About the Author:

Lyra Roxette L. Granada is a 2nd year BS in Accountancy student of UPV. She is a Mindanaoan from
Lanao del Norte. She is presently residing at UPV Balay Ilonggo dorm in City campus.




Pichi-Pichi: An all-time favorite

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

By pixie_dReam*

We Filipinos are very fond of pasalubong since it is one way of showing our loved ones that even when in another place, we still fondly remember them. This tradition of long ago still continues to thrive in this modern age.

Pasalubong may be in the form of ornaments, plants, or even musical instruments. But oftentimes, pasalubong come in the form of food. These pasalubongs become extra special when they are homemade, and use local ingredients.

All throughout the Philippines is a wide selection of kakanin like bibingka (hot rice cake topped with grated coconut), biko (rice sweets creamed with butter, sugar, and coconut milk), goto (rice porridge with ox tripe), kutsinta (brown rice cake), palitaw (rice patties with sugar, coconut and sesame seeds), pichi-pichi (cassava patties with coconut), puto (steamed rice muffins), puto bumbong (purple-colored sweets), sapin-sapin (three-layered sweets made of coconut milk, rice flour, and purple yam), and suman (sticky rice sticks wrapped in palm or banana leaves).

Indeed, a wide array of choices of Filipino delicacies is available for us food-lovers. Foreigners who visit our country never want to miss eating our indigenous cakes. They will be baffled at the kakanin varieties that have been developed from region to region. For instance we have different kinds of puto: puto bumbong, manapla puto, puto maya, puto lanson, puto gata, kalamay sa puto and a lot more.

Among the many delicacies I have tasted from different places, the one I love the most ever since I was a kid is no other than my very own Mama’s pichi-pichi. My mom prepares this for us especially when we celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. This has grown to be a “must” food when we hold family parties. Even my brothers and cousins love to eat my Mama’s pichi-pichi.

Not much has been written about the origins of pichi-pichi. Some claim that pichi-pichi originated in Quezon, a province in the Philippines known for their Pahiyas Festival celebrated every 15th of May. This yearly celebration is done by the townsfolk in thanksgiving to San Isidro Labrador for their bountiful harvest.

Today, a variety of pichi-pichi is available all over the Philippines. I have seen pichi-pichi of different colors: some are golden brown, others are pandan green, but most are golden yellow. The nice thing about pichi-pichi is that it is available all year round since the ingredients are abundant in our country.

You may think of pichi-pichi as a common delicacy. But this pichi-pichi my Mama cooks is really special. Let me share with you this recipe handed down by her own mother.

Pichi-pichi is a native cake made of cassava (kamoteng-kahoy in Tagalog and balinghoy in Hiligaynon.) An annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions, cassava is a root vegetable available in Asia and Latin America.

To prepare the pichi-pichi, the rough cassava skin is first peeled off with a knife or peeler after which, it is grated and soaked overnight in warm water. Another ingredient in making the special pichi-pichi is the pandan water. The aromatic pandan (pandanus amaryllifolius) is abundant in the Philippines. The leaves are used for its flavoring. In the preparation of the pandan water, its leaves must be boiled in water to extract its flavor. The pandan water is cooled before being added to the cassava and sugar mixture. The final ingredient is grated coconut which is used as garnish for the steamed pichi-pichi. Pichi-pichi tastes good when served warm. To others, pichi-pichi tastes even better when served cool.

The tasty pichi-pichi has already created a name of its own. This Filipino delight has always been and will always be a sought -after kakanin.

This special pichi-pichi of my Mama has already become our family favorite. Someday, when I have a family of my own, I will teach my children this food legacy.

2 cups grated cassava
2 cups sugar
2 cups pandan water
Grated coconut

? Combine cassava, sugar, and pandan water.
? Pour into two 9-inch round pans.
? Steam for 45 minutes or until set. Cool.
? Form into balls then roll in grated coconut.

Tip: By refrigerating it minus the grated coconut, the pichi-pichi can last for several days. Just add the grated coconut only when ready to serve. •