Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Blogging The World

Here’s a follow up post to this:START
Last May, I was on the “hot seat” again. With Irma and Monica (Lukie’s teachers), we had our end of the school year evaluation-‘colloquio’. I was told that his social skills improved and he’s even the most popular kid in school. In fact when I go shopping I often hear kids telling their Mom, “E’ mama d’ Lukie”(Its Lukie’s Mom). I know, being an Asian added to why my son would be that noticeable.

His drawings too are better now. Mountains, buildings, flags etc...supplements his “artistic side” with his usual captions or scripts boldly shown on his designs.

They have no complain and praised him for being a “molto educato”(very educated), well mannered and behaved boy...Huuhaah, can you see me floating while all moms are clapping? That’s the image I’m seeing during that time.

Then they asked me the big question, “How did you teach your son how to read and write that well?”. That’s something to them because proper lessons here start in the “Media”(elementary school)and Lukie has one more year before he goes to the "scoula grande"(school for the big one's -as he calls it). I was about to tell them, “GENES!”, to make things simple. I just said, “We only read him books, taught him a,e,i,o,u etc... once and he did the rest”. “THE REST” which I am going to blog next.

I was reminded to write about his evaluation when I found him scribbling words on his paper when what he usually do is drawing his F1 (Fomula 1) and Rally race tracks. He said he is blogging too.
Its just funny cause he gets confused with his Italian and English at times. “Lukie, what’s the English term for ‘crocante’?” I asked and he answered, “Crocants!”. He should have said “crunchy”. He mixes his two known languages like this written blog of his:

Everyone is a blogger now in my family. Lukie, whom we will soon be creating his account to stop him from just clicking ‘Yahooligans, googling “cars” and YouTube’. So is my husband, writing better than me here: Musashiboogie with his hobby of photography as a treat. For Dylan, say after 3 years for my youngest(LOL), we will be reading his post...I don’t need to elaborate on this: Writing is therapeutic!

Friday, 27 July 2007


Post 15: Lolo Ramon's Story

"After the liberation, it was a difficult time for us. everything was in the process of rebuilding and Ambassador was not spared of the recession. Food was scarce. Kaingins and fields were to be revived and it takes time before we could harvest what ever we planted. Animals were all consumed during the war. With five children to nurture, it made the situation even harder." recollects my grandpa.

Ambassador is the only 'barangay' of Tublay Benguet whose main population consists of the 'Kankana-ey' tribe. Only Ramon's family injected 'Kalanguya' into the place.

After the war, these 'Kankana-eys' became notorious thieves. They stole animals and crops from the 'Ibalois' who were situated in the lower part of Tublay. Such as Acop-Caponga, Ba-ayan, Daclan etc... These people from Ambassador were even hooked to gambling and stealing made them lazy to cultivate their own land. They were feared and disliked by the other tribes back then.

Ramon was determined to stop this abuse. He then gathered all the 'lalakays'(old folks) and and came up with set of rules and punishments for gambling and stealing. With the support of his brothers and his cousins, they became the implementers of these rules.

Any one caught with the crime would be sent to leave Ambassador or will be forced to work in the communal forest.These communal was picked and decided by the old folks under the leadership of my grandfather as a site owned by everybody. Its thickly forested with Pine tress. Trees were only allowed to be cut when someone died and they need it for his 'lungon'(coffin). Another is when a family is to build a house, they are allowed to cut not more than five trees provided they are to plant in exchange.

Below this forest is an abundant source of water supplying most part of the community. Aside from being a former boxer, these made Ramon a popular figure in his place and had been the long awaited help for the Ibalois.

"Your Lolo had a charm that makes a crowd listen. He was also a brave stubborn man who was feared of because of respect", my Dad continues.

Thursday, 26 July 2007


My first time to be tagged by TINA of My Good Finds.Org( http://mygoodfinds.org/2007/07/22/tagged-what-were-you-thinking/). Here's the mind cracking task: What Were You Thinking when you first met your current main squeeze? (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, sex partner, WHATEVER!).

"What a Korean Snob! Suplado!" That's what my mind wants my mouth to say out loud. Still in my brain: "Don't talk to strangers" so I just held my chin up and gave him a face of "Bakit??? Sino ka?".

For the love of horses, me and my sisters were at Wright Park during one of the Gymkhanas and he was at the Haven. He was looking at me, up and down, with his crooked eyebrows. I just passed by him with my riding boots' 'tok, tok, tok' sound.

Ok, ok...I found him cute and instantly had a crush on him. He might be a rich foreighner to catch hahaha.

On one of my husband's post in a forum, he said, "My wife thought I was a rich Korean(I prefer Hapon)... 'kawawang cowboy pala'!" By the way, he only got close to "Hapon" with "Hapao" Ifugao as his roots :-)

I've later known what he was thinking on that Haven in Pacdal. Him: "She's got a big butt. Hmnnn, definitely lacking in height ngem 'napintas'..." He has to say that last word or else....!

You see, sizing humps could lead to 2 lovely boys. To Lukie and Dylan: Here's a story to tell your kids - 'HUMPY BUMPY' hehehe.

I'm tagging Miss Bugias, Bill Bilig(hehehe, baka ayaw ni Sir B) and Russel(sa comments) for the tradition of 'passing the tag'.

Friday, 20 July 2007


Post 14: Lolo Ramon's Story

" July 12, 1944, Daniel, my fifth son was born. We evacuated Ambassador and we're on our way down to Itogon. We have to leave because many Japanese were going to Saddle(km 26 Halsema Highway) on to Ifugao. They were running away from the American soldiers. Desperation and frustration from a foreseeable defeat, they kill every Filipinos they come across with."

"We could see the Japanese from the other mountain coming towards our way. Baby Daniel was crying so hard and Meding could not pacify him. I would not let my wife, my other four kids and my relatives die, we have to leave the baby. We covered him with grasses and left."

"We avoided the Japanese's path and we could see them pass by where we left the baby. We were suppose to go on walking but I could not take Meding's sobs and she was pleading for us to wait till the soldiers would go. They were gone. I hurried back to take Daniel and Meding was behind me."

"We couldn't hear anything, no noise and the grasses weren't even moving. I took off all that covered him and there he was so cold and blue. Meding took him in her arms. He was so weak but opened his eyes. After her mother rubbed him, he gave us a loud cry. I was very thankful to God for that burst or I will forever regret what I have done."

Daniel is my Daddy Danny. Our Dad who also became our mother when my Mama died. He was left with six girls. Me being the eldest was only twelve years old back then and our youngest Ica was only two.

Had my grandparents left or baby Daniel cried louder when the Japs passed by, I wouldn't be here relating this story.
The picture above is Daniel's first baby."BABY LOVE-Lovelyn" was written by her Mama Normie at the back of the photo.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007


I was looking for my son Lukie outside and found him playing with a pine cone. He asked me what are those black things coming out and I told him those are pine seeds.

It was only then that I actually saw 'pinoli' (pine nut) that we use here for 'pesto'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesto.

I pounded it this morning after I finally thought of writing about it. We buy this for 2 euros for every 150 grams, that's the cheapest depending on the brand.

When I was still young, I thought Pine trees grow only in cold places basing it from the Philippines where you can only find it to where I came from. Saying I am from Baguio back then to other folks from the lowlands, they see me as a Pine tree, strawberry or even a 'bundok'(mountain).

There are actually different species that grow varying from what type of soil to temperature, place etc... What we have here in Italy is mostly the 'Stone Pine'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Pine. Its not as tall as to what we have in Baguio and you can't smell the scent of 'saleng'.

The cone is bigger and the pine needles are only of 2 strands.

Seeing these trees everyday when I put up the window blinds give me the feeling of being in my hometown. One of the reasons why Boogs and I chose to keep this place over a cheaper, wider and a cozier house. Aaahh, never mind the birds starting their day as early as 4 AM, they're just reminding us there are trees outside.

Monday, 16 July 2007


Post 13: Lolo Ramon's Story

"1939, Me and my cousins who just came from Tinoc had dug a tunnel from our house down to the abandoned mines Amekano made. Then we continued digging the old "usok"(tunnel) to make an exit to Babatan. It was an everyday hard work for almost a year."

" Bado that time joined Dennis Molintas and both led the 66th infantry Battalion, Igorotlandia. He had let all his buses to be used by the Filipino and American soldiers that made him the Japanese's most wanted head in the Cordillera."

"1942, We hid Major Bado Dangwa and his soldiers. If the Japanese would be near Ambassador, Bado's troup goes to Babatan making use of our tunnel. If the enemy goes to Kapangan, Bado will go up to Ambassador."

"Bado and his troop stayed most of the time in Babatan and all our animals were butchered for their food. There was a time when his men went on a mission and he was advised to stay. We hid him in a pothole only to see him when we bring his meal."

"Meding was pregnant with Beatrice that time. We were always evacuating and it was difficult to do it with 3 children but, the 'usok' made it easy for us."

"1944, the Japanese were being defeated and they became more cruel. They take it on us the civilians. One of my nephew was killed and they unmercifully ate his poor heart."

Saturday, 14 July 2007


The "cookie" again and some technicalities, I can't directly upload videos from 'youtube' and url's are showing when I try to link a site. Just do the clicking for now.

My next in line to read book is MUSASHI by Eiji Yoshiko that was translated by Charles S. Terry. A classic samurai novel dubbed as "The Gone With The Wind of Japan".

My husband finished the book and was consumed with the story. He searched 'youtube' hoping to find reactions of Musashi enchanted readers like him and WALAAH! The TV series could be viewed there... I felt cheated! Now I'm half through watching all the episodes and it could have been nice if I've read it first.

MUSASHI 1-1 series http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5CeqrPrjgY

More on this Label/Category here:http://dyluks74.blogs.friendster.com/my_blog/books/index.html

Tuesday, 10 July 2007


Post 12: Lolo Ramon's Story

"I built Meding a house in Ambassador (Boted) just in time for Edward's birth. Then Julia came next . I was already the leading boxer of Northern Luzon when my second child was born."

"1936, the fight I am to defend my title before Manila. It is not a difficult fight but on the third round, I hit my opponent's head so hard. The impact had fractured the joint between my shoulder and my arm. I could feel my my bone gritting when I try to move it. The bell rang and Bado told me to give up the fight. I hesitated. Round 4, I could no longer move my right arm and my opponent was taking advantage of my agony."

"My manager seeing my wife crying, threw a white towel into the ring. He stopped the fight and that was my second to the last. 4 months after, I thought my arm was ok, I was again defeated. 39 wins, 1 draw and 2 loses was the end of my record."

"We stayed in Ambassador for good. Planting rice in Babatan and Meding's 'Uma' (Kaingin) of kamote were able to sustain us. I raised chickens and Bado bought us a couple of goats, 2 pairs of sheeps and 2 pairs of cow. Meding was a very hard working woman and a perfect mother to Edward and Julia. She never gets tired. She made everything easy for me."

"Before my mother, Sagay, died, we divided our land between all my seven siblings. I kept Babatan because nobody wants it. I was also given our original home and 10 hectares of it's surroundings. One of my brother married and settled in Kapangan Benguet so he did not take part of the partition. Now each of us has his own mountain."

"One of my father's sister and her family were able to find us, they came all the way from Calasan Tinoc(I'm not sure of the spelling) . I let them build their house near us."

"1939, the war was starting and my third child, Mary, was only six months old."

Sunday, 8 July 2007


What a topic to start this "VENEZIA" Label (category). Let me first link you here: http://dyluks74.blogs.friendster.com/my_blog/venezia/index.html

I just want to show how we sort out our garbage here. Excuse the pine needles around. We had a strong wind earlier that day and stirred everything up.

VESTA (Venezia Servizi Territoriali Ambientali) is the company that is running all our "waste management". You pay based on the number of the household. For a family of 4, in two months, 52.19 euros is what we have to spare.

The yellow container is for paper(carta) and the next one is for botlles, glass, plastic and cans. The truck comes once a week for these two bins.

The white truck haul it's content every morning at 8:15. Its where we dump everything except those crossed out things in the picture.

These are for organic trash or decayable things.


Post 11: Lolo Ramon's Story

"Bado was persistent for me to make it big. He arranges my fights and got me a trainer. He became my friend more than a manager. There wasn't enough money from boxing so he got me a job as a driver at 'TI Truckings'. I did not drive one of his buses so I could stay near Baguio for my training."

"Then I met Aquilip, a co-driver. He too belongs to the Kalanguya tribe but from Buguias Benguet. Though we speak the same dialect, there are slight differences. Their's are more like a mixture of 'Kankana-ey' and 'Kalanguya'. One time, I went with him to visit her sister who is staying with their aunt in La Trinidad Benguet."

"It was a love at first sight. A Spanish beauty, brown eyes, auburn hair, a perfect nose but taller than me. Her name was Remedios "Meding" Ta-ao. She belongs to the Ta-ao, Cabading, Bay-an and Olsim clan of Buguias Benguet. We were introduced and I could tell instantly that she doesn't like me. I'm short and stocky, my nose was merely for breathing and no wealth to show."

"She gave me back the inspiration to pursue the future. I made it sure to win a title so that Meding would have at least "a reason" to like me."

"I courted her religiously. During week ends, she's selling banana in Baguio City to help support her studies at MSAC, La Trinidad ( BSU now). I will be her first and only costumer. I'll buy all her bananas so she'll have time to talk to me. That went on for a year."

"Aquilip was so supportive of my intentions, He invited me to go home with them to Bugias Benguet and visit their father. It was Meding's school break. I accepted it just to be with her. There was no ride that time so we walked from Baguio to Buguias. We passed by Tublay and I introduced them to my family. Then we continued our travel."

"Maybe Meding saw my sincerity through the long walk I had with them. When we came back to Baguio, she became my girl. I took her to one of my fight, of course I won. And the next month, Bado got us married."


Chuck Krugel www.charlesakrugel.com saved my day and will steal my night away! hahaha... Now I can post, no more "error" showing up. Means I've got a lot of catching up to do. Its 2 AM now...hello morning!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


Post 10: Lolo Ramon's Story

"During the 1920's, the foot trail made for Baguio-Bontoc route was actively in use before Eusebius Halsema officially opened it on 1930. It was first called Mountain trail before it was changed to Halsema Highway. This was one of the reason why my ancestors kept 'Boted' and marked 40 hectares of land as their property- to be near the trail.

From Visayas, my grandfather stayed home for three years to help the family in extending the land. 1924, He later set off to Baguio and stayed with his Kalanguya kins who are settled in Pacdal. He and his cousin Mencio gathers 'sakati'(grass) and sell it to their costumers, mostly Americans with their loved horses. Some were also sold to cattle raisers.

"Boxing was the most popular sports back then. Mencio and I never miss a fight whenever there is one. They hold amateur fights regularly and when a talent emerge they then set fights against boxers from other regions. To Manila was the biggest break. That was the time when Pancho Villa from Iloilo was every Filipino boxer's hero." Ramon continues.

"Every time we go home from our job or from watching a fight, We were like crazy throwing punches imagining we were on to the ring. I remember Mencio who doesn't mind a bloody nose when we do our make believe fights real. Her mother stopped asking about the blood on the third time he saw his son with the mess."

"We were always watching those fights very far from the arena. It was the year 1927 when during a set fight, we heard that one of the boxers did not show. Mencio who wants to experience watching near the boxing ring boasted my ego to volunteer and take the place of the missing boxer. Out of luck and my 'sakati'(grass) training, I knocked my opponent down on the first round."

"After the fight, a man approached me and introduced himself as Bado Dangwa. He offered his service to manage my boxing career. I didn't know who he was but accepted him mainly because he was decently dressed."

Bado Dangwa was the original owner of Dangwa Tranco, the first Igorot owned bus company first called as 'Adawi Transit. He was a significant political figure of Benguet and played a great role during the World War II.

"That started for me to be known as ''Small Pontano, Tiger Of Dangwa''. Bado changed my family name from Pontino to Pontano, he said that it would be more intimidating. I didn't really like it at first. It felt like it just made emphasis on how short I am." says my grandfather.

Sunday, 1 July 2007


Post 9: Lolo Ramon's Story

"Year 1917. Evey night in the Hacienda, all the workers gather at night. We have bonfire, singing and dancing at times. Those gatherings take off all the hard work we did for the day. Its also what makes the workers go back to the farm the next day. But not me, I go back because of Senorita Gloria"

"I call her 'Sagit'(the sun). The color of her hair changes to chestnut brown under the sun. She was two years younger than me. So much like his father. Kind, gentle and likes to be out in the fields most of the time."

"Every morning it was my duty to go back for her and take her to his father who was out in in the farm early. I can never get myself look at her in the eye. But when she is not looking, she is all I see."
"Part of being kind maybe, she felt for me. I never wanted it to happen but we fell in love. That was the reason why I only stayed in the Hacienda for a year and a half."

"I have to leave."

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