Ati-Atihan Festival – The Philippines’ Mardi Gras

Is Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan Festival better than New Orleans’ Mardi Gras?


In 1212, as legend has it, 10 Bornean datu (chiefs), fleeing the collapse of the once-mighty Srivijayan empire, sailed northwards with their followers and landed on the island of Panay. At that time, Panay was widely populated by Negritos. The Bornean Malays, although superior fighters and better armed than the Negritos, chose not to take the island by force but rather to buy it from the native inhabitants. They struck a deal with the local chieftain. A contract was made between Datu (chieftain) Puti of the Bornean and the Negritos’ chief Marikudo. There the Borneans bought the coastal lands from the native Negrito inhabitants with gold, pearls and other ornaments.

ati-group-kalibo-festival- Photo Credit –

This legendary barter between Malays and native inhabitants is commemorated yearly in what is the most popular, colorful and exuberant festival in the whole country featuring a Mardi Gras like revelry worth a trip to Kalibo…

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Mystery Blogger Award

I’m excited to be nominated for the MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD although I have no idea what MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD is. This is the first time I received a nomination for any award at WordPress. It was a big surprise and I want to thank FortySomethingHeyHey for nominating me. Check her blog which is about Life is a Journey. It’s nice to be recognized by my fellow bloggers but a visit and a comment are good enough for me. I do appreciate the nomination very much but for now I would like to have my blog as Award Free Blog.

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I still feel obligated to answer the following:

Three things about me:

  1. I have lived all my life in four different islands but never learned how to swim.
  2. When I passed my C.P.A. board exam, I was the first graduate from my university to earn the C.P.A. designation and earned a plague posted at the university hall for my achievement.
  3. At 23, in spite of not knowing anyone at the Big Apple, I arrived in New York as a legal immigrant with a P-3 visa (professional, took me a two-year wait) with $100 and a suitcase, landed a job as Jr. Accountant at ITT Corporation the first week after my arrival (three days actually) but told my employer I needed another week to acquaint myself with the City.


Answers to questions asked by FortySomethingHeyHey:

  1. How do you act if you see a big spider?

I’m not arachnophobic (fear of spider). Spiders do not bother me. A big one might surprise me. I most likely will get a broom or something and hit it. My youngest son got bitten by a big brown flesh-eating spider and ended in emergency. This one might scare me a bit for the injury it can create. It’s really a nasty creature.

  1. Dog or cat person?

Dog person. A dog named Dallas saved my life. Read this blog – “How I conquered my fear of dogs.” about Dallas.

  1. Are you content with your life?

Yes except for one thing. I want a piano and learn how to play the piano. Still a dream for me.

  1. Do you have any hobbies?

Reading and Gardening. Reading provides me an escape from the realities of life and gardening gives me a break from all the non-stop projects I seem to get myself involved with.

  1. Will you bungee jump?

No. I’m afraid of height. I want to keep my feet on the ground. I don’t even like plane ride.


Thanks again FortysomethingHeyHey for nominating me.


Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.










Limahong Invaded the Philippines – Part III

Limahong’s adventure continues . . .


limahong_port Limahong Fort – Photo Credit:

Foiled in his attempt to establish a kingdom in Manila, Limahong set sail for Lingayen Gulf, to settle in Pangasinan province. As a rich place and far enough from the reach of the Spaniards and the Chinese emperor, Limahong decided he would stay in Pangasinan and make himself master of the region.

In a few days he landed in Sual Bay with 64 war junks and over 3,000 followers. He informed the natives that he had conquered the Spaniards and that he had come to rule over them as their king. The inhabitants there, having no particular choice between two masters, welcomed Limahong.

Limahong subjugated the inhabitants and seized their principal chiefs, holding them hostage so that they supplied him with wood and food as he set about the foundation of his new capital some four miles from the mouth of Agno River. He…

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Happy New Year

Just saw the ball dropped in Times Square, New York. Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!


I meant to write a post to start the new year but got sidetracked with some issues at my HOA so here is just a quote to start the new year.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” by Brad Paisley.

Enjoy your New Year’s Day. I’ll be watching the Rose Parade (no football for me) and then the New Year’s celebration in Vienna later in the evening.




Dr. Jose Rizal – The Philippine National Hero

Dec. 30 is a day of remembrance for Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero.


Jose Rizal Monument Luneta Park Jose Rizal Monument at Luneta Park by Flcikr

One hundred twenty-two years ago, on Dec. 30, 1896, Dr. Jose Rizal, the greatest Filipino patriot, was shot by firing squad at the order of the Spanish military in Manila.

Dr. Rizal was born on June 19. 1861 in Calamba, Laguna. His full name is Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda. He was the seventh child of Francisco Engracio Rizal Mercado y Alejandro, and Teodora Morales Alonzo Realonda y Quintos, a prosperous landowner and sugar planter of Chinese-Filipino descent. His mother was one of the most highly educated women in the Philippines and exerted a powerful influence on his intellectual development teaching him his alphabet at age 3.

At 9, he was sent to Biñang where he studied under the charge of G. Justiniano Aquino Cruz, but after a few months he was advised by his teacher to study in Ateneo…

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Parol – Philippine symbol of Christmas

Parol – Another Philippine Christmas Tradition!


Parol An old Christmas card (1973) from a relative in the Philippines

The symbol of Christmas in the Philippines is not the Christmas Tree but the Parol that probably had its origins in the Mexican’s piñata. While parols come in all sizes, in Pampanga, the electric parols in later years stand 20 to 30 ft high, giving off a blaze of kaleidoscopic color and light that fills the evening sky.

Every house including the little bahay kubo, nipa hut have a small parol. Filipinos make parol, a Christmas lantern in the form of a five-pointed star. Sometimes it is inside a circle, sometimes not. It is made of bamboo strips and covered with cellophane paper in various hues. There is usually a light inside the star. These lanterns represent the star of Bethlehem, the guiding light that led the three wise men to the infant Jesus. Sometimes they finish…

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