Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas party with my mother's friends

This year we attended the annual christmas party of my mother's friends (parents of my classmates since playhouse in Angelicum) without my mother. It was only last year when we attended the same party at the very same house with my mother. Little did we know that a year later, we would not be attending the party with her. My tito Rudy (the husband of our host Tita Net Munar) went to our table and fondly recalled his craving for my mother's staple "toka" for the party -- Laing. He told us (me, my brother-in-law and sister Rose) that it was his favorite dish and that he looked forward to these parties for a taste of mama's laing. Of course, we didn;t bring laing this year. My mother's friends are still the same, although a little older. Tito rudy munar still gave money as gifts, and tita net prepared her specialty paksiw lechon and dinuguan. It was fun, but we all knew there was something missing. We missed our mother at that party -- although im sure she was there in spirit.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Prayer for Christmas Day By Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father,Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men.Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Eve at Home

This is our first time to celebrate Christmas Eve at our new home in Marikina. Though we miss our parents greatly, their absence (for the first time in my life) this christmas eve made this season a bit gloomy. That is, until my 2 cousins and 2 nieces decided to join us for Christmas eve dinner and Noche Buena. Ricky and Bobby Banares arrived with Bobby's 2 beautiful kids, Lyca and Bea. They brought with them chicken curry, lecon manok, liempo and fruit salad. I prepared some roast chicken in tamarind marinade and pansit canton with oyster sauce. Some would call our dinner a chicken overload, but no one's complaining. After dinner, my sister Ruth arrived with her husband Vic and kids Miel, Dan and Lee. they brought us honeycured ham from Santis, a can of broas, tuyo with capers and some gift giveaways from Meralco. My brother Ben arrived a few minutes later with a bag full of Kowloon Special Siopao. After dinner, we had a couple of bottles of brandy with some Cola chasers. My friend from College, Nigel, arrived later in the evening for a few drinks as well. What turned out to be aq gloomy christmas eve turned into an instant fun family party, not just for me, but for all of us present.

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

L-R: Cousins Bobby and Ricky, Brod-inLaw Vic. Dan, Lee, Lyka and Bea, Ate Ruth, Karla and MielBack: Ate Rose and Kuya Ben (Bentot)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Additional Artwork

Hi guys. I'm posting 2 new additions to my powerpoint artwork. The first one (in blue) is entitled "Misa de Gallo" and the one on the bottom is entitled "Simbang Gabi". They were done entirely from scratch using Microsoft Powerpoint. Hope you like them. :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Inspiration at our xmas party

I was looking at our host poppo's framed paintings of old philippine Churches and i was inspired to make a powerpoint art myself with the theme "Old Philippine Churches". Here's a sample of my work.

"Altar" -- inspired by the altar of our old church in Aringay, La Uni

FWPPi Induction of Officers at the Penn

The Filipinos Worldwide for Progressive Philippines Inc. (FWPPi) of which i am a proud member of will be holding their induction of officers at the Manila Penninusla this saturday at 6pm. I just finished chatting with fellow FWPPi member Joe Smith and i was informed that no less than our president Gloria Macacapagal-Arroyo will be attending. Good job, guys! I'm not sure if our fellow member Tita Merlie will be coming home srom the US to attend but i know that our Hong-Kong and Dubai-based members will be attending. I'm looking forward to meeting with you guys very soon. More power to FWPPi!

Monday, December 18, 2006

X'mas party pics!!!

Hello everyone. Sorry for the late blog regarding our saturday night's xmas party. I just uploaded the pics of our party. Medyo kaunti lang nga but i hope you like them just the same. :)

Saturday night's party saw the reunion of old friends like Ferdz Lim and wife Aimee, Jackie and our host Poppo, Pooh and Ayds Aguirre, Noel Young and Luwi Balboa. We were joined later in the night by Popp's younger sister Pami. It was fun. 9 good friends partook in a feast of sisig, chicharon bulaklak, 3 crispy patas, pork kaldereta, a yellow cab pizza, 3 yellow cab pastas, Jackie's mouth-watering cheese cake and 2 cases of beer, and lots of softdrinks. BURP! We had a grand time reminsicing about old times, jokes all around about my "political affiliations", Pooh's "gantihan moments", Ayd's new hairdo and playing billards. It was fun and we're definitely looking forward to more! Thanks to Jackie and Poppo, Luwi and Noel for their gifts and Adrian who offered to drive us home. :) Merry Christmas, guys.

Poppo, Ferdz and Aimee, Ate Rose and Noel gathered around the
table at Poppo's residence in Quezon City.

Jhackie G. and our host Poppo

Ferdz Lim with wife Aimee

The future Bata Reyes and Alcano, Adrian Aguirre

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Barkada X'mas Party Tonight!

Tonight, our barkada will be holding our annual Christmas Party at our good friend Poppo's house in Quezon City. We've been having our christmas party for the past several years now and I always look forward to seeing old friends. It doesn't really matter where we choose to hold our party, whether it be at a friend's house, a bar, or a restaurant, as long as "kumpleto ang barkada". Maybe it's just me, but i do get sentimental during the holidays. Or maybe i just enjoy my friends' company--or maybe both-- whatever it is, it's really magical when the barkada gets together, especially those you haven't seen in almost a year, and just talk about the good ol' days, the places we've been to, the people we've met, and the places and people we'll get to see and meet in the future. The gang and I have been through a lot. They were there when my father was hospitalized, then later when he passed away. They were there when my mama was rushed to the hospital after suffering a stroke (They were there at the ER with us an hour after getting the call!). They were there when she was in intensive care, and they were there when she passed away. Some would say (and i know of at least one person who did say) that we are a barkada "sa ginhawa lang", but i know that is not true. I know because they were there through the good and bad times. And it is christmas when i get to think about how lucky i am... how lucky we all are... to have loyal and trustworthy friends to joke with, cry with, travel with and do everythingelse in between.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I will deviate from my regular rantings to make way for a press release from the Office of the Press Secretary ( regarding the Bicol Caravan. - rodel

PGMA sends off "Caring and Sharing Caravan" to Bicol


Some 250 trucks and other vehicles laden with relief goods left for the Bicol region this morning in what was aptly called by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the government’s "Caring and Sharing Caravan."The caravan, spontaneously organized by civic-minded groups, is a tribute to the theme of the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Cebu that was called off on account of Typhoon Seniang which ravaged most parts of the Visayas over the weekend."I want every Filipino family to know that their government is ready to serve them in times of extreme distress when food, clean water, warm clothing and shelter cannot normally be availed of," the President said in her sendoff statement at the Central Business Park (CBP) along Diosdado Macapagal Ave. in Pasay City."Your President and the entire Cabinet feel your pain and we will do all we can to gather the energies and resources of the nation to help you," she added.It will be recalled that the President agreed that the Summit in Cebu be postponed to January next year despite contrary opinions, as "she doesn’t want to be attending the Summit when the typhoon was ravaging most homes along its path."The President came to the sendoff to check on the schedules and destinations of the trucks in the caravan which was led by the Office of Civil defense (OCD) and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).Military and police elements escorted the caravan to secure the relief goods for the victims of the typhoon.The President commended all government officials as well as civic spirited leaders of the private sector who have joined the caravan."As this humanitarian effort traverses the disaster areas, giving aid and comfort to our distressed brethren, we symbolize a nation of one heart and one mind, a nation that derives its strength from unity and compassion, from the spirit of bayanihan and damayan," she said.The President wished the convoy Godspeed, saying "I join the nation in their prayers for the comfort of the distressed, the healing of the families and communities that have lost brethren and loved ones in the wake of misfortunes."

Monday, December 11, 2006


In what to me was a done deal, Mau Marcelo was declared the first ever Philippine Idol this evening at the result night of Philippine Idol at the Araneta Colliseum. ABC 5 did not disappoint its viewers as we were treated to spectacular song and dance numbers from great performers like s Haji Alejandro, Gary Valenciano, Aiza Seguerra, Cueshe, G. Toengi, The Sex Bomb Dancers, Francis Magalona, Ryan Cayabyab, Pilita Corales with no other than the big three and the ex-Miguel, Arms, Pau and the rest.
As I've said before in this blog many times before, Mau will be the first ever Philippine Idol because of her world-class voice. If there will ever be an Asian Idol competition, she's sure to be our best bet to win that, as well. Congratulations Mau, and the ABC 5 Family, for making this happen. More Power andwe'll see you in the next Philippine Idol!
P.S. Ryan Agoncillo's get-up was better than his God-awful get-up last night. It was Dracula meets Austin Powers!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tonight is the final performance night for Idol Hopefuls

For those keeping track of the Philippine Idol scene, you don't need to be told that tonight is the final performance night before the people choose between the big 3 at the Big Dome. Will it be John, Gian or Mau? Personally, i am rooting for Mau, who i believe to be of world-class calibre. Well, let's see what they've got up their sleeves tonight. I personally heard that stringent preparations are being made for tonight's event, and i am expecting a spectacular performance from all three of them.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

To Sheila re Bacacay Query

Hello Sheila. I just finished reading your email regarding your mother's friend in Bacacay, Albay. I will ask my relatives in Bacacay to find out about the Bechayra Family. Please send me your e-mail address at so ican email you any information i may receive.

It is possible that your mom's friend is okay. Bacacay was not hit by the mudslide although it is just a border away from Sto. Domingo. I will also forward your query to the Bacacay Association here in Manila. I think they are planning to go to Bacacay to check on things so i can ask them to check if your mother's family friend is okay.

You may also check on updates via our clan's website at We post updates about bacacay there as well.

Thank you for writing. I hope to hear from you soon.



Friday, December 08, 2006

What's the fuzz about cha-cha?

Honestly, i don't see the point about all the fuzz being made by charter change through a convening of a constituent assembly. America had their constitution changed more tha ten times, for God's sake, and they're supposed to be the bastion of democracy! And now we're crying foul because we believe cha-cha is illegal and unconstituional? Then why bother with a provision that allows for ammendments if we won't allow ammendments to be made in the first place? Kinda stupid, when you think about it. Now, if we're all concerned about the people and how cha-cha will affect them, then let the people decide for themselves when they choose to ratify or not the ammendments. Another funny thing about the people crying foul like the El Shaddai is that, before, they were dead set against a constituional convention, and now that the cha-cha is being fast-tracked in congress, they syuddenly changed their tune and decided that a constitutional convention would be the best alternative to a constituent assembly. Make up your mind, brother mike Velarde! Are you in or out? We can't be half-way in or out on this issue. Take sides. I have! And i've taken the pro-cha-cha side. Does that make me a fascist? Of course not. That is the essence of democracy. It is proof that democracy is alive and well in this country.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

To the Albay Tsunami Scare Texter

The recent tsunami scare in Bicol following the mudslide that killed hundreds and flattened at least three municipalities in Albay show how Filipinos can be so inconsiderate of others and how text messaging can become a tool for mischief. These idiot initiators of this tsunami scare should burn in hell for their acts! The scare revived the fears that our town mates in Bacacay experienced during the height of Reming and the mudslides. Kung ikaw ang tarantadong nagpadala ng text message na iyon, mahiya ka sa balat mo, Gago ka! Yung mga matatandang kababayan ko na hindi na kaya tumakbo, nagpaiwan at handa na mamatay! Ang auntie ko na may sakit at bed-ridden had to be taken out of her house and carried on a folding bed just to be saved from your malicious and fictitious lies. If the NTC ever finds out where this message originated, you can be sure I will be the first to skin you alive, you heartless son-of-a-bitch! You have no idea how much anxiety and stress you caused. You didn’t even think of the children! When my relatives finally reached the small hill in the barrio of Gubat, the whole hill was packed with people. Are you happy? You are probably laughing your heart out at that prank you pulled, you gutless sadist! When others are out helping the people trapped in mudslides all over Albay, you have nothing better to do than play your little practical joke. Cargo de Consiensya mo ang mga hindi nailigtas dahilan sa kagaguhan mong siraulo ka! Dakol ang nagadan dahil sa ginibo mo! Nasa kamot mo ang buhay kan mga nagadan! Ultimo mga rescuers, tumakbo dahil sa walang kakuwenta-kuwenta mong kalokohan! Kung bicolano ka, makinig ka! Garo ka gamadya! No, i take it back. You’re worse than a dog. At least a dog knows loyalty. You, you’re cow poo. Caipohan sa imo, idarang ki buhay! Dai kang puso! Pati mga gurang asin mga aqui, pig atake kan nerbiyos dahil sa pig-gibo mo! Ano? Siguro muya mo sana takutin su mga tawo para makapag-habas ka ki mga gamit kan mga nasalanta? Dai ka bang pamilya na nabiktima ki mga pag-arog-arog mo!? Maray ngani kung ngunyan, uminabot sa talingug-ngog mo ang ngislo mo, ta baka dai ka na abutin ki aga, animal ka! This example of blatant disrespect for one’s fellow man is inexcusable and unforgivable. Kung ako sa iyo, kung ikaw man nagkalat ng balitang yan, mabuti pa magpatiwakal ka na, tutal sa impyerno din ang bagsak mo. Masaya ka na? Namatay na ang isa sa mga tinakot mo! Gago!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

World AIDS Day

Support World AIDS Day


You might have noticed from the Google homepage that today is World AIDS Day. We want to remember all those who have suffered from HIV/AIDS in the 25 years since it was first identified, and we want to support everyone working to eradicate this scourge: Today, there are about 40 million people living with HIV worldwide, and it is increasing in every region in the world. In Africa, it is the leading cause of death -- 5,500 Africans die each day from this insidious disease.One effort that is making a difference is (RED), a company founded this year by Bono and Bobby Shriver. A percentage of the profits from each (RED) product sold is given to The Global Fund. We are supporting the (RED) effort by offering promotional support to (RED) and (RED) products on Google properties throughout the holiday season.We hope you choose to support them with your purchases. Companies offering (RED) products have committed to contribute a portion of profits from the sales of that product into Global Fund-financed AIDS programmes in Africa.Together, let's make a big difference. Read more at or visit the (RED) blog.

On the Subic Rape Case Judgment

For me, in my personal capacity as a citizen of this Republic, a grave injustice has occurred in the Subic Rape Case Promulgation of Judgment this afternoon because not all American servicemen were acquitted. I have always contended that the alleged rape could not have happened primarily because the alleged victim Nicole accepted the invitation of Smith to go to Subic from their province in the Visayas. She willingly went to Subic to meet with Smith without the knowledge of her American boyfriend. She willingly went back to the Neptune Club after her sister asked her to leave with them. This decision of the Makati Court is a grave travesty of justice especially when it denied the motion of the defense to place Smith in the custody of US Military authorities according to the conditions of the Visiting Forces agreement.

It is not that I am being a male chauvinist. I would easily defend any woman I know from people who would do harm to them, it’s just that I am not thoroughly convinced of Nicole’s hole-riddled story. To punish someone with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, one must be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and with due respect to the court, I believe that Smith has not been proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. When reasonable doubt is absent, an accused must be acquitted. I have spent enough time with my father, a trial lawyer, to know some of these basic tennets of the law. Let us hope that the Court of Appeals will overturn the decision of the lower court on this issue.

For a more detailed discourse on the reasonable doubt clause in American jurisprudence, you can visit this link:

Questia Online:

Monday, December 04, 2006


Our cousin Emily Banares-Basbas was able to contact her sister Lisa Banares-Eusebio later today to report that their house in Bacacay was destroyed by Typhoon Reming. The only part of the house livable now is the kitchen, were the family has established temporary living quarters. No reports on the condition of ailing clan elder Virginia Banares vda de Dado who lives a few distance behind the destroyed house.

The BCIS wishes to call on members of the Banares Clan to send any help they can. BCIS will be establishing a plan to help our relatives in Bacacay. For now, you may send any help you can by calling Lisa Banares-Eusebio at (02) 646-95-61.

We appeal to ALL BANARES CLAN MEMBERS to extend any and all help possible. Bacacay was also hit heavily by Typhoon “Reming”. Many of the old houses have been destroyed. By tomorrow morning, BCIS will post a disaster relief plan for our relatives in Bacacay

If you have any news regarding other members of the clan in Bacacay, please call us at (02) 933-17-96.


Send us your messages and pledges at,, and

We will be posting your pledges along with the corresponding amount in the Banares Clan blogsite at

Founder / Administrator
Banares Clan Information Service

Video Clips from our recent Bataan Trip

December 1, 2006 -- my friend Poppo and fiance Jhackie invited me to go to Bataan for some R&R in the former's home in Bataan. Though I've been to their place several times now, it is always an exciting adventure when I am invited. We arrived in Bataan under overcast skies brought about by tphoon "Reming". It was very windy and gloomy when we first arrived. We rested a bit and went to Balanga and Orani to find some fish and talaba, only to find out that no fishermen went out to fish due to the storm. So we ended up buying candies and imported corned beef instead.

As we were heading back to our host's place, rain started to pour and we were worried that Noel and Aubrey (who took the bus to the place) might not be able to make it. We were wrong. They left Manila at around 4 and arrived shortly before 6pm. Come dinner time, the weather was already clear and we were treated by our gracious host to a sumptuous dinner of roasted chicken, Adobong Talaba, Inihaw na Tilapia and steaming white rice. After the sumptuous feast we had a few bottles of San Mig Light to cap the night.

The next morning, we were taken by Poppo to their homestead in the mountains of Bataan. The trip was an adventure in itself. We took their APV to the farm and along the way we experienced adventure 1: Traversing the muddy and rocky road towards the farm. We got stuck in some mud but it was nothing we couldn't handle.

We arrived at the farm a couple of hours before lunch. Everyone was excited, especially the guys who were looking forward to doing some rifle firing. At the entrance to the farm, we could see the cows roaming freely in the grass. At the far end of the farm is the caretaker's cottage and to its left is a quaint little hut were we ate our lunch "army" style. 2 native chickens were prepared and we had a simple but delicious lunch of sinigang na labuyong manok, salted eggs and tomatoes and steamed salted shrimp-fry or bagoong alamang.

After lunch, the guys tried their hand at rifle shooting. A modified .22 rifle with silencer was used and the guys had a fun time taking turns shooting at an imaginary enemy (a tin can).

There were horses on the farm and we just couldn't resist asking poppo and the caretakers for a ride. Noel, Aubrey, Pooh and Jack had a grand time riding "Madonna", the name of the horse.

All in all it was a very exciting weekend.

More Photos from our Recent Bataan Trip

Here are some photos from our recent Bataan trip. Hope you guys like it.

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Dinner time at Poppo's two-storey kubo

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At the "kubo"

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Our gracious host's guest house in their family property in Bataan

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The porch of the guest house

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One of the many beautiful orchids at our host's place in Bataan

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A hearty breakfast before setting off for a drive to our host's farm in the mountains

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Our host with Pooh walking along the farm trail leading to the caretaker's cottage

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Pooh getting soem shut-eye on the way to the mountains

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Jack, Aubz and Noel on the trail

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A view of the sprawling farm in the mountains

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Our host Poppo at the farm's "multi-purpose" hut

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Aubrey posing before the farm's natural spring well

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Mapangurirat with Noel and Aubrey at the farm's hut

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The mapangurirat taking a picture after leaving the farm

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Mga Kapwa Mapangurirat, another Super Typhoon is predicted to hit Metro Manila this Friday. Catanduanes Province will be hit first tomorrow morning and Signal no. 4 has already been raised over the entire island.

We've already learned our lesson from “Milenyo”, thank God. Billboard owners have already volunteered to take down existing billboards so as not to cause undue injuries to motorists and pedestrians. Meralco is already prepared for power interruptions, fallen posts and the like.

Have you prepared for the super typhoon? Prepare for the worst. Store two days worth of food, preferably canned, ready your flashlights, batteries, a portable radio, extra cellphone batteries (if possible), bottled drinking water, and candles. Let us not be caught unaware.

PAGASA will be issuing advisories and you can monitor the big TV and Radio networks for these updates.

Ok. Handa na tayo! Ingat and God Bless us All!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blogger Beta

To the viewers of Mapangurirat, a few minutes ago i switched from the original Blogger format to the new Blogger Beta. As part of the new Blogger Beta, i have a new e-mail address. You can now get in touch with me through However, You can still reach me through my account. Thanks and keep on supporting mapangurirat.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Miguel is OUT!

Finally, tonight's Idol on ABC 5 fulfilled the dreams of many Philippine Idol viewers. Miguel Mendoza was finally booted out of the Philippine Idol after a prolonged stay. Many viewers were on the edge of their seats as Mau and Jan were left standing on center stage, giving the impression that either of them will be eliminated. But that didn't happen, thank God! Finally, 3 deserving Idol hopefuls will make it to the Araneta Colliseum on the December 9 for the Finals. I heard tickets to that event are selling like hotcakes. By the way, Philippine Idol digressed a bit from the usual 2 finalists showdown. Philippine Idol will have three candidates who will vie for the coveted title of Philippine Idol. These are Jan, Gian and Mau who have proven themselves worthy to be in the finals. Let's face it. Miguel is still young and has a lot of years to hone his talents. He may even be a Philippine Idol in the not-so-distant future, but not this time. So far, the first Philippine Idol search has proven to be interesting. Sure, Pinoy Dream Academy may be putting up a very good fight in terms of sponsorship and viewership, but like it or not, winning PDA is not as exciting as being called THE FIRST PHILIPPINE IDOL. More power, Freemantle and ABC 5!

Philippine Idol's Mau is my bet as 1st Philippine Idol

If you've been following the progress of ABC 5 and Freemantle's Philippine Idol as I have, you'd be as surprised as I was when Pow was voted off last week. Pow was one of my bets for the title of Philippine Idol. I am sorry to say that I am not at all pleased that Miguel is still in the running after showing poor performance for the past few weeks. Now that Pow is out of the running, my bet would be Mau. Mau's performance tonight was excellent! Her rendition of My Funny Valentine was very, very impressive, and so was her version of Waray Waray although for me, Ertha Kitt's version remains to be the best. That being said, Mau has consistently showed us week after week of great singing prowess. She definitely has a future as the Anita Baker of the Philippines. Definitely, tonight's performance was her best. I also like her performance of Ako ang Nagwagi was also very good. I wish that Filipino viewers go for talent and not just popularity or looks. I mean, Ryan Cayabyab has said it before. If the votes weere cast according to talent, Ken and Miguel would have been out of Philippine Idol a long, long time ago. Sadly, my crush Apple was also eliminated. Oh well, that's life, and nobody said life was fair. It's down to the final four and if you're a regular voter of Philippine Idol, do vote for Mau. She deserves the title.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Party!!!! Party!!! Yehey!!!

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of my sister Rose at our residence in Marikina. Earlier in the day, my sister Ruth and Brother-in-law Vic arrived to bring some cake, wasabe nuts, an indian version of "belekoy", some licorice candy and wine for my sister. My brother Ruben arrived later with some groceries and lechon manok followed by friends Noel and Aubrey who brought hotdogs and french fries. Poppo and Jhackie, Nigel, Pooh, and Ferdz arrived soon thereafter. They braved the hellish traffic of yesterday to be with my sister on this occassion. Thanks, guys. Poppo and Jhackie brought chicken wings, cheesecake and and lamb chops while Noel and Ferdz bought 3 cases of San Mig Light, while I prepared some pulutan favorites such as tokwa't baboy, menudo ala banares, my version of cream of corn soup and ate rose's special pesto pasta. It was a reunion of sorts which ended up in reminiscing about the good ol' college days. They Everyone had a grand old time. Here are some of the pics last night.

Ate Rose preparing her famous Pesto Pasta

Noel, Aubz, Poppo, Ferdz, Pooh, Jack and Nigel (Ate Rose hidden behind Ferdz)

Inuurirat si Mapangurirat. Pants-pulling is still a hit
among drunken masters
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Raise Da Roof! Ferdz and my niece Karla Alexis
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Mga walang pakialam sa camera: Isang laughing trip, isang napaluha,
isang tsibog ng tsibog, at yung dalawa parang nasa luneta

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Angelicum College schoolmates

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The celebrant with Ferdz "Razorback" Lim

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Philippine Star Publisher and columnist Maximo "Max" Soliven passed away today, November 24, 2006 after suffering a massive stroke at the Narita International Airport in Japan as he was preparing to fly back to his beloved motherland. I best remember Manong Max for his hard-hitting, no nonsense style of writing. He was neither pro-government nor anti-government. He calls a spade a spade and his witty articles and narratives truly capture the essence of his chosen topics. His trademark sanamagan will sorely be missed by his daily readers. I myself prefer to read Manong Max because of the way he sends and manages to get his messages across. As a fellow Filipino, it makes me very proud to know that someone as patently Filipino as Manong Max is well respected by his international peers.

I will always remember him best as a cellmate of the late great Benigno Aquino Jr. in Fort Bonifacio during the dark days of martial law. Max Soliven was imprisoned because he spoke the truth, and that the truth, media men know as gospel truth, is the most dangerous thing one can possess during the dark days of martial law.

After the fall of the dictatorship, he continued on with his mission of truth through information: first with the Inquirer, and then through The Philippine Star. Like it or not, he is well respected by his fellow publishers and columnists, no matter how much his opinions may differ from theirs.

As they say, and as I like to quote every now and then, if one has done something worthy of remembrance, that deed will be his monument. If not, no monument can ever preserve his memeory. I wish now to paraphrase and dedicate the last line of Manong Max's biographical essay Goodbye, Superboy (a Fond Farewell to the Last Romantic) to his memory: Goodbye, Manong Max. I am proud to have known you. And happy to have known you well.

Manong Max
By Rodel C. Banares

Armas Mong Hawak Ay Pluma
Katotohanan ang iyong tinta
Na isinulat sa pahina ng Kasaysayan
At nakauikit sa aming kamalayan.

Sa iyong pagkawala
Hindi matutuyo ang pluma!
Ipagpapatuloy ng bawat Pilipino
Ang sinimulan mong kabanata.

Katotohanan ang pinuhunan
Katotohanan siyang patuloy na ipaglalaban
Sapagkat ang aral ng iyong paglisan
Ang katotohanan ang siyang nakapagpapalaya!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Santa Collection

I recently opened my box of Santa Claus figurines. I collect Santa Claus items as a hobby. It started when i found a unique bottle-top in the form of a smiling, half-bodied santa. I found it a novel way to cover bottles and double as a christmas decor. So one October afternoon a few years back, while on my home from work, i passed by Dapitan street in Quezon City. I decided to stop by and see if they have any santa figurines i can buy. It was on one of the sidewalk vendors' stands that i saw my second santa. It was a hooded santa (much like little red riding hood) carrying a bag of toys with both hands. It was a bargain for 15 pesos! I bought my other santas in different locations. It's funny that when I was a kid, i thought that there was only one kind of santa -- a white, fat guy in a red suit with white beard. But my collection shattered that image. I have a black, thin santa wearing a tattered red coat, a santa dressed in a london beef-eater costume carrying a small pine tree, a santa dressed like a catholic bishop with a star-of-david miter, a pirate santa carrying a doll and a basket of toys. A cute little santa sitting on top of an old nintendo family computer and playing a santa video game, a carpenter santa making toys (courtesy of Lizzie), A thin, white santa, a fat, fat santa with toys, a santa paper-weight desinged like a carousel, a santa hiker, a ceramic santa bell, a thin bald santa with a dog, a sailor santa and a sleeping santa.
Oh, i also have three santa candle-holders and an egg-shaped santa, a doctor santa, a santa carrying a kid with a star and a xmas tree an a candle santa as well. Grabe na itoh! Imagine seeing them all again after a long, trial-filled year! Whatever feeling i may have had about the christmas season this year vanished as i brought out each santa, enjoying the whimsical designs and styles of their makers. Santa may not be a local christmas figure, but santa will forever be a part of MY christmas.
P.S. I'll be posting pictures of my sanats soon.
Take care and God Bless!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ate Rose!

It's my sister Rose's birthday today, November 22. She's turning 29 this year (naks!) and I wish her all the best. She is the fourth child of our late parents, Oning & Edith Banares. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pictures of Ma & Pa

I recently came across some old pictures of mama and papa when i was hunting for my old christams decorations at our new home in Marikina. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane. I discovered that breaks like this don't come often, and that we are often too busy with our own daily undertakings to just really take the time off and reminisce. So join me for a trip down memory lane.
Mama Edith & Papa Oning at our house in Project 4

At our "garden" in project 4 with mama, ate ruth and ate ruby

At a wedding reception with an unidentified companion

At the children's playground in Luneta (quite obvious, di ba?)

L-R: Nunik, Papa with Miel, Kats, Mama Edith, and yes, that's me, far right


Angelicum School in Jaro, Iloilo is not just an educational institution but an historical monument as well. The school occupies 16,200 square meters along MacArthur Drive, Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo. The school's main building is an old mansion which is considered one of the most bueatiful structure sin Iloilo, noted for its mixed Spanish-y Don American architecture. It was built in 1937 by Don Emiliano Lizares who married Conchita Gamboa.
During World Ward II, the mansion was occupied by the Japanese forces and became the HQ of the japanese kempetai. In 1950, Don Emiliano died and his wife left for Manila. The mansion was leased to a Jaro businessman who convereted it into a casino. The City government later closed down the Casino. In 1962 it was sold by the family of Don Emiliano Lizares to the Dominicans and later became Angelicum School in 1978.
Come Christmas season, the mansion is bedecked with colored light that outline the mansions' popular structure. Residents of JAro look forward to the opening of the lights.

Monday, November 20, 2006


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Manny Pacquiao made the Philippines proud when he knocked out worthy opponent (and good friend) Eric "El Terible" Morales in the thrid round of the Grand Finale Showdown at Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday, November 19. The greater manila area was traffic free and crime free for the better part of the morning as people eagerly awaited to see who will finish the thrid installment of the Pacquaio-Morales bout. It is surprising that many if not all sporting analysts predicted the bout to end by the tenth round, and some even speculating that Morales will win by points. Pacquaio proved these naysayeers wrong, however. Filipinos all over the world celebrated this victory of the Pacman. Manny, Congratulations!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Rizal enshrined in Chinaas gift to the Philippines

By Chelo Banal-FormosoInquirer News Service

A NEW YEAR'S gift from the People's Republic of China to the Philippines "is a great symbol of the 1,000-year-old friendship between our two nations," House Speaker Jose de Venecia remarked during the inauguration of the Rizal Park on Jan. 23 in the Siongque village of Jinjiang City, Fujian province in China.De Venecia, who headed the Philippine delegation, further said that, "This Rizal Park in China helps elevate the status of our Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal as a hero for the whole Asian region."The Rizal statue is enshrined in a 5-hectare park built and named in his honor. And the monument made of the world-famous Jinjiang granite stones, stands at 18.61 meters high, taller than the 12-meter high Rizal statue in Luneta, Manila.
Biggest outside RP
Built along a new 10-lane highway in rural Fujian and envisioned to be the biggest Rizal shrine outside the Philippines, the park will be the site of a massive Rizal museum and library. It is expected to be a must-see among the Filipino-Chinese, 80 percent of whom, like the national hero, can trace their roots to the Fujian province.The national hero is the direct descendant of Chinese trader Cua Yi Lam, who immigrated from Siongque ("Zhang-Guo" in Mandarin Chinese) to the Philippines in the latter part of the 17th century. Church records show that Cua Yi Lam was baptized Domingo Lamco at the age of 35 in Manila in 1697 and that his birthplace was Siongque village in China.ProgenyHe eventually moved from the Parian district of Manila to establish his family and his business in Laguna. He married Inez de la Rosa, daughter of another trader who immigrated from China.To spare his progeny from the Spanish regime's anti-Chinese policies, he changed the family name to Mercado. Domingo's son Francisco had a son named Juan, who in turn had a son whom he also named Francisco.One of Francisco's sons, Jose Rizal Mercado, had to drop the family name when he entered the Ateneo because of his elder brother Paciano's close ties with the martyred Fr. Jose Burgos. Rizal turned out to be poet, novelist, physician, linguist, patriot, martyr and hero. The rest is history.FundingTo return Rizal to his roots, the Jinjiang city government put up 10 million yuan (about 62 million pesos) to fund the Rizal Park while Filipino-Chinese business and civic leaders under the coordination of Tulay Foundation chair Manuel Chua, donated 2 million yuan (about 12.4 million pesos).Filipino-Chinese business and civic leaders, notably Philippine Airlines chair Lucio Tan and Chua, spearheaded the fundraising for the Rizal shrine project.The groundbreaking for the Rizal Park in 2000 was led by then President Joseph Estrada and his Cabinet secretaries.Some 56 Rizal clan members and members of the Knights of Rizal were invited to grace the groundbreaking.Filipino delegationDe Venecia led the wreath-laying ceremony honoring the national hero with Chinese officials Gong Qingkai, Jinjiang city mayor and party secretary, and Xue Zuliang, chair of the People's Congress of Jinjiang City.Also in the Philippine delegation were Consul General Corazon Bajin, Rep. Roque Ablan, National Historical Institute chair Ambeth Ocampo, the Tarlac-based descendants of Rizal's sister Soledad, officers of the Knights of Rizal and Filipino-Chinese leaders and businessmen.Warm welcomeCity officials and schoolchildren welcomed the Philippine delegation with festive buntings and music.After the floral offering at the foot of the newly constructed monument, the delegation walked to the inner village to visit the small one-room house with red-tile roofing that Rizal's great, great grandfather once called home. There the descendants of Soledad Mercado-Quintero lighted joss-sticks and paid homage to their Chinese ancestors.Natividad M. Mendoza, granddaughter of Soledad, brought seven members of her family, including her son Genaro, who is currently mayor of Tarlac City, Nereo C. Mendoza, Virlane Sta. Ana Mendoza, Josefina B. Malvar, Stella Nimfa B. Mendoza, Ana Barbara B. Mendoza, Natividad M. Mendoza, Jose Noel Malvar Mendoza, Amelia Digna Malvar Mendoza and Maria Carolina B. Mendoza.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Halloween na naman!

When i was still working in angelicum, i had this little tradition at the office come halloween -- i have this little display of halloween horrors. I miss the times when the teachers (especially my classmates in College) and Miss Mercy (from the playhouse dept.) would bring the kids up to the office to see the ghoulish displays. I miss that part of halloween so much that this halloween, i plan to revive that tradition at our house. Haaay Halloween daw is for the young -- and also for the young at heart like me...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Congratulations, Miel!

My niece Carmella, known to all as Miel, will be graduating from college this October, in La Salle no less, with a degree in International Studies majoring in French. To Miel, Kudos! We are all so proud of you!


Milenyo, The strongest typhoon to hit the country since Typhoon Rosing, ravaged the enitre Luzon grid last week, causing damage to properties amounting to over a billion pesos. Clansters from all over Luzaon have their own harrowing experience of the typhoon, which destroyed homes and properties where it hit. In cavite, our clansters, the family of Tio Job, were severely affected by the typhoon. Floodwaters destroyed their clothes and properties and have since sought the assistance of the clan for relief. Please coordinate with your relatives on how to contribute to the cavite relief fund.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Temporary shutdown of Pinoys for pgma

For those of you who do access my political blog Filipinos for PGMA (, I am sad to announce the temporary shutdown of that blogsite. Don't worry, though. This is just temporary until i am able to access the net at home. So for now, my political standpoints take a backseat, althought from time to time i will make political commentaries here in MAPANGURIRAT. Thanks for your support!

happy birthday, rah-rah and john boy!

Yesterday, my relatives celebrated the joint birthday of Sarah Banares Salvador and Russel John Banares Bonus in Roxas District. Happy Birthday guys!


I recently found my old cd installer of counter-strike, that popular interactive computer craze that swept the nation a few years back. It brought back wonderful times in the not so distant past when my friends Jhackie and Poppo still had their Computer-rental business in Quezon City. That is where i first learned how to play counter-strike, as well as The Sims (1), of which I am still hoked on to this day. I remember going to Jack and Poppo's shop after work from Angelicum to Bago Bantay and we would play until nearly midnight while guzzling on some much needed San Mig Light. The reason i mentioned this is that recently, some computer rental shops have re-installed counter-strike and i think it is going to be a comeback to this fad soon. Happy Shooting, counter-strikers!

Monday, August 14, 2006


My nephew,Jason Bonus, the second son of my first cousin, was killed when a jeepney bound for marikina hit his motorcycle early Monday morning. I am in shock as to how such a young man, barely 24 years of age, and a father to boot (his wife just gave birth to their first son 6 days ago) could suffer such a tragic fate. We often reflect on the meaning of life in moments like this, and we come to realize that life is too short... short enough that suddenly petty bickerings seem like such minisucle undertakings. What sadden me more is that Jason is survived not just by his wife and kids and siblings, but by his mother. Parents should never have to burry their children. It is such a shock that people like these damn reckless jeepney drivers are given a plastic card which gives them the right to play "king of the road". This should not have happened if it were not for the irresponsible way that we Filipinos handle everything -- from exams to getting our licenses. We have to have strict guidelines for getting drivers licenses or franchise permits for their jeeps. Can you imagine how many killer drivers and jeepneys are plying our roads as you read this? We have been complacent about it because we thought it only happens to someone else's relatives, but when it happens to one of your own, then the sudden reality comes flowing back in. We should learn from Jason's death. We should never, ever be part of a corrupt system that would allow just anybody to driver vehicles without proper training, specially public utility vehicles. My nephew was killed on the spot. Ironically, the only damage to his motorcyle was a broken headlight. Jason was just at the first step of fatherhood, and a single, reckless albeit preventable act did him in. For this there must be hell to pay.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Happy birthday, Bentot!

July 18 marked the (32nd) birthday of my brother Ruben. (32 daw siya sabi niya, eh di pagbigyan!). We celebrated his birthday (and mine, which is this coming Sunday) at Mann Hann in Megamall with our eldest sister Ruth, my sister Rose ans of course my pamangkins Miel, Lee, Dan and Carla. Picture to follow. Miel, pls pass naman the pics via email. thanks!


Our tita Emmie, the mother of our brother-in-law Kuya Vic David, passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon (July 18 at 1:00 pm). Her remains are currently at the Loyola Guadalupe Memorial Chapels. Her remains will be taken to her hometown of Nagcarlan, Laguna where she will be burried on Saturday. Friends and Family request the pious blogger to pray for her eternal repose.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The sister of our very good (and equally beautiful) friend Jackie G., Justine Gabionza, recently won the Ms. Tourism International Queen Title in China. Justine bested 80 beauties from around the globe. From all of us, CONGRATULATIONS!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Politically speaking

I usually save my political jabbering for my other blog, Many friends ask me why I even botehr to come up with such a blog page supporting the president. Well, my objective is not to pick up a fight with the anti-Arroyos but to make them see at least some of the good works she has done for the country. This, of course, is a tad bit futile since the anti-GMAs and the Pro-GMAs have already made up their minds about their sides. Take this impeachment thing. Many would assume that we from the pro-GMA camp are against the impeachment. We are for the process. What we dont agree on is the case itself. Rehashing old complaints for lack of a strong case is not something we take lightly especially since it is our money, the people's money that is going to be used for te impeachment. Yes, let the prcoess go on, but let justice and the law prevail as well. Technicalities are as part of the law and the legal process and should be accepted as such. Congressmen in the opposition who are lawyers know about technicalities since they themselves must have used them at one point in their careers as lawyers. Why object to technicalities now? I will tell you why! Because it is not in their favor. And that, my friends, is politics in this country, politically speaking.


My high school classmate Tina Viola arrived from Los Agneles last week and she scheduled a small get-together for our batch at Aruba in Ortigas. Although we expected a small number of people to come, we didn't expect it to be THAT small. Tehre were four of us all in all. Tina, Nette Vaca, Ramona Marquez and myself. Don't get me wrong. It was a fun get-together filled with alcohol and stories from our high school years. All in all, I can say that it was a fun-filled evening. Tonight there will be another gathering, this time in Greenbelt and I hope many of our batchmates can come.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Guys, i'm so happy you liked my art. I have new ones but since my PC is out of order (again!) i wont be able to upload it anytime soon. But i promise that as soon as my PC is up and running again, i'm gonna post my latest artworks for you guys! thanks for your patronage.


Friends of Mapangurirat, my sister andi i have moved to our new home in MArikina City. We will be updating you with pics of our new residence as well as interesting places to visit in Marikina!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I have recently begun experimenting on a new art medium... powerpoint art, to be exact. Yep, its digital art. Honestly, Im not sure what to make of my art, so i thought i'd ask for your help. Give me your feedbacks, please. thanks!

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NIPA HUT AT SUNSET -- powerpoint art renderred in adobe photoshop

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