Hagupit ng Habagat: A Video Tour of Our House

On August 6, 2012,  the water level in Laguna de bay started rising alarmingly.  Water started entering our house in Barangay San Roque. It came through the bathroom first, making it unusuable. I decided to pack some of our things and evacuate to my aunt’s in Conpil I Village in Brgy. San Vicente together with my daughter, my niece, and my grand mother. This was around 5PM.

Early in August 7, around 6AM, my mom informed me that they’re also moving to my brother’s house in Rizal St.  It turns out that they spent half the night putting our appliances in higher places. Water has reached the living area and is about half-a-foot deep when the left. She did not expect the water to reach our rooms where most of our things are kept so we were pretty confident that we still have time to go back and haul our things to safety.

But the rains did not stop. It rained all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning. When the rains let up around 11AM, I decided to return to our house and get more of our stuff after lunch. I was in for a horrific surprise.

Overnight the water has risen rapidly and our house is waist deep in water. It reached our rooms. The mattresses are all wet along with the pillows, bed covers, and other linens.  The sofa set and the tables in the living room are submerged in water as you will see in the video below:

We decided to get the appliances, clothes, and books out of the house. I also took all the contents of our ref and some of the groceries that we have on our pantry. It was a good decision because by Friday, our house was neck deep in water.

As of now, we still haven’t returned to the house to see what else we can salvage. But one thing is definitely for sure — we’re not living meters way from Laguna de Bay anymore.

CLOSED: Pancit Malabon Express

In December of last year, I eagerly awaited the opening of Pansit Malabon Express near the municipal town hall. The building taking shape loooked awesome — glass windows and bright lights complimented the green, orange and yellow colors of the store. It looked a promising alternative to Jollibee and Chowking, the two other fastfood chains in the town center.


pancit malabon express in san pedro, laguna

Fast forward to yesterday, April 25, 2011, I was shocked to see the joint closed.  There’s a makeshift ukay-ukay blocking the doors and I saw the CLOSED sign behind the clothes’ rack. I walked away shaking my head and wondering what happened.  I was too preoccupied thinking about the why that I forgot to take a picture of the place. But I will definitely take one this week and share it with you guys.


Why, oh, why?!?

Obviously, Pansit Malabon Express didn’t  make enough money to continue its operation. It served good food and San Pedronians are very much into food. It served pansit, BBQ, lumpiang shanghai and other traditional Filipino dishes. So what caused it’s downfall? Then I realized it’s the price. It’s more expensive than local eateries and with many housewives offering pansit on short order for as low as P30, who would want to commute and dine at Pansit Malabon Express?

I just hope that the next business to open on that site would be more successful. But given the fact that the municipal government plans to relocate its main office in a new building in Cataquiz Subdivision, that would be wishful thinking.


1st Mayor Calixto R. Cataquiz Youth Festival 2010

Yesterday, December 18, teenagers from different barangays of San Pedro, Laguna gathered at the San Pedro Aktibo Youth & Sports Center in San Vicente for the The First Mayor Calixto R. Cataquiz Youth Festival. This year’s theme “AKTIBONG KABATAAN, AKTIBO SA PALIGSAHAN, HAHANGAAN KAHIT SAAN,” reflects the youthful vitality that has marked Mayor Cataquiz’ administration.

san pedro laguna

Aside from the sporting events, there were also various exhibits and family-friendly activities for visitors who went to the Youth Festival. These include the Car Show, Art Exhibit, Photo Exhibit, Airsoft, Gunshow, Bonsai Exhibit, Pet Shops, Clown and Magic Show, Giant Maze, Face Painting, Wall Climbing, Photowall, and Photobooth.  The Dance Competition started at 6PM. The highlight of San Pedro Youth Festival 2010 is the FREE concert which happens today, December 19. It will feature one of the best rock bands in the Philippine music industry, Rocksteady.


I encourage every San Pedronian to please like the San Pedro Aktibo Youth & Sports Center in Facebook to get updates on the festival and other events and activities at the center. I intend to check out the place after the festival and see if they really offer FREE Taekwondo, karate, aerobics and gymnastic lessons to everyone.

Pamaskong Handog: Christmas Officially Begins in San Pedro

As I write this post, the students and teachers of San Pedro Manpower Development Institute (SPDMI) are still entertaining San Pedronians in the town plaza. You see, it’s the start of the annual Pamaskong Handong here in San Pedro, Laguna. It’s that time of the year when different schools and organizations in the municipality set aside their differences and come up with spectacular shows to dazzle the townsfolk. This year’s theme is “Paskong Pinoy.”


san pedro laguna


This year, 2010, SPDMI opened the month-long celebration. But not before the First Lady of the town, Lourdes “Baby” Cataquiz led municipal workers and hundreds of San Pedronians in the lighting of the Christmas trees and the whole plaza.You can feel the festive mood of the crowd as they watched the liwasang bayang get lit by Christmas lights and the cloudless night sky brightened by the fireworks. She wished everyone to have a prosperous and merry Christmas and an even better new year. She encouraged everyone to think about creating a roadmap for 2011, an obvious reference to her husband’s Road Map 2020 program.



After Mrs. Baby Catquiz, the municipal administrator made a brief speech to open the second part of the program, which is the presentation of SPDMI. They opened the program with a doxology, which is best described as an interpretative dance to a religious song. The SPDMI staff, headed by their administrator Dominador Mamerto (I hope I got the spelling right), followed with a song number. They sung the Institute’s Hymn. Both numbers have the sobering effect on the audience.




But not to worry. The crowd soon got their festive mood back during the “SPDMI Festival.” It was essentially a very long production number, with dancers garbed in colorful costumes inspired by the Caribbean islands, Hawaii, and Africa. There was a girl who stood out among the rest because she was such a graceful dancer. I couldn’t take my eyes off her.


But what really took the crowd’s attention was the fashion number presented by Cosmetology students of SPDMI, which highlighted their makeup, hairdressing, and costume design skills. It was called “Beauties on Parade.”  Fortunately, I sneaked at the backstage before the show and got closeup photos of the models. Here are some of them:


From left to right: Christmas Costume & Fantasy Makeup, Flower Costume, Modern Cinderella Costume, and Glass Costume.


Kevin Ponce models the feather costume. Looks a lot like a Mulawin costume, right?



The Recycled Materials costume as modeled by Jhanice Sedigo  Under the white lights, this costume was stunning.


After the parade, SPDMI presented Hawaii & Caribbean Moods. The girls were dancing to some slow Hawaiian tune when Gabby asked if we could have dinner already. Since it was past 8PM, I obliged. I wanted to see the other presentations — Winning Moments in Broadway, Then & Now Dance Hits, and Show Girls– but I figured there are still more nights to see more dance numbers.


I would like to take Ms. Fatima, the master of ceremonies, for letting me have a peek at the program.Looking forward to catching the start of tomorrow’s presentation. Hopefully, they’d start on time. Tonight’s presentation started almost an hour late.


Update as of December  7, 2010: I received the schedule of presentations via email from the PAIO. It seems that this annual event is no longer called Pamaskong Handog but Paskuhan. I will be using PASKUHAN in future posts.