Archive for June, 2009

A Harlequin Chapter

The next cousin I will introduce in  Matanglawin would be one where I try my hand in converting a chapter into a harlequin situation.

What’s a harlequin chapter? Ask the romantic ladies, they would know!

Read again Gat Jose Rizal’s Idyll in the Azotea. This will give you an idea of what harlequin is.  face2

The flu virus

The Phil Dept of Health decries the depressed rating given the country about having the highest infections of the A(H1N1) flu in Southeast Asia. This should not come as a surprise. The DOH have been extra diligent in reporting every case of flu infections all over the country, while the other countries fail to report all their infected cases.

Maybe the Phil doctors should realize that it is the flu season for the country and that whether they like it or not, there will be higher incidents of flu cases in the country. These cases, whether they be swine flu or not, are usually shrugged off by the people as common Trancazo, and are treated as a mild irritation. No harm done. Konting paracetamol, calamansi juice, sponge bath, at arroz caldo pagkatapos—ayos na! Hindi na kailangan an quarantine. Hindi pa naman quarenta anyos iyan e!

The Melo Commission on Elections should take note about how fast the tallies are reported all over the country by the health authorities.

My Cousins

Lots of cousins do I have

and they multiply.

Whenever I meet someone I know

I introduce the girl that I am with

as my cousin.

My cousins, they multiply.


Pinky Webb


It escapes me how Leonardo Da Vinci finished his Mona Lisa without getting unnerved by that smile. I  never could have finished such a painting under such a situation. But then again, I never did learn how to paint!


Master Strategist



Eduardo Ermita, Executive Secretary, the master strategist himself, is chosen to head the coalition between the Lakas and Kampi parties. His forte—the feint, the ruse, the smokescreen.

If ever I would consider invading Sabah, a wistful thinking because that was a while back,  I would have chosen this guy to draw the plans.

His talents, however, may not serve him well these days. The coalition is in danger of ending up in splinters. face2

M a t a n g l a w i n


By  Cool_amboMatanglawin

Chapter 2  The X-MEN


KUMANDER  AGILA  and Don Puti sat across each other from a fairly large circular table under a fairly large coleman lamp. All at once they started threshing out what they came to talk about, meaning the Hacienda Cecilia and the rest of Agila’s men.

After the traditional felicitations between Ric and I came the exchange of weather forecast and the preferred planting days as foretold by some familiar almanac. I bade Ric to sit with me about a small rectangular table meant for two which is beside the window that overlooks the gravel road. He smiled when he noticed that the chair that I chose had no arm rest unlike the chair he was sitting on. Armchairs interfere with my draw. And then I saw through a billow on Ric’s shirt-jac a familiar gun butt.

“Mauser pistol?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied, unzipping his jac fully to unholster it from his shoulder strap and hand the gun to me. “It was given to me by a North Korean colonel who was a classmate of mine in Moscow.”

“Beautiful,’ I said, “I like the balance. It should have a faster rate of fire. But I imagine it is not easy to find ammunition for this, nowadays.”

“Not really,” he said, “Mr Guday can provide ammo for any type of weapon, even for the old colt .45 that you are using.”

“You’re telling me. I need to restock my ammo supply.”

“Now tell me, Major, why do you keep using an old service colt .45 when the new issue are Glocks?

I explained, “The Glock automatic pistols may hold more than twice the cartridges in the butt, but that alone makes the grip too bulky for me. The 9 mm shell that it shoots is 1.4 mm smaller than the .45. The glock may load more bullets but I need only one shot from this colt to bring down a berserk moro.”

“I get your point there. You are a sharpshooter just like your Dad. I have seen him bring down a mango from a swaying branch 60 feet up.”

“Yes, my Dad can do that alright, but his shots hit the fruit. My shots can hit those mangoes by their stems.”

I was asking Ric for the location of Mr Guday when we were interrupted by Don Puti’s demand for something to drink. So I got up to open the North window and called for Sol, who immediately came running up the stairs amid the hoots and whistles of the men farther away. Without looking up, she again disappeared to another stairway and then reappear with a tray of four de-crowned San Miguel beer bottles plus another four unopened ones.

Ric was watching her closely. I was, too—-all the fully-blown  eighteen jiggly years of her. When it was our turn to be served, she cupped one hand around my ear and whispered that she couldn’t locate her house keys and that I should give her a duplicate of the ones that I keep. Embarrassed, I waved frantic signals for her to return to her house, which she did.

With a smirk, Ric said, “I guess they call you Matanglawin for more reasons than one, ha?”

I cleared my throat to start explaining to Ric that Consolacion, or Sol, is the sister of Totoy Buencamino who died when he was with the Bereta Ranger unit. Sol inherited the house and now operates the beer store beneath us. I  have given my word to Totoy to watch over her when he is not around and I happen to a man of my word.

“Sure, sure,” Ric chuckled, “bantay-salakay.” This led to a gleeful, back-slapping, feet-stomping fits of laughter between us. Even the two political protagonists under the coleman lamp came to join the merriment.

And merriment was galore in the house that afternoon, till about dusk when an ice truck pulled up and started to unload blocks of ice for the store. Ric grabbed his pistol from the tabletop and whispered “mga pulahan” to Abner who suddenly pushed Don Puti  unceremoniously under the table.

In the instant that I drew my pistol, Ric had already fired three shots at a man coming out from the back of the truck. I pulled myself up in time to see the driver of the truck set his rifle on top of the truck’s roof. I did not give him time to aim. I fired once and hit him on the temple. Then all at once more men started scampering from the truck. Women started screaming from the other house. Ric fired some more to bring down another two. I hit the front passenger man through his gunsight. More screams from more women. Sol was pulling a block of precious ice from under a dead man, and men from both sides of the roads were loading their guns.

I grabbed Lolo’s white hat and jumped down from the window and waved the hat in a circular motion. As if on cue, Ric and Abner ran down the stairs with flailing hands. It took a while, and a lot of disciplne from both sides, to put the situation under control.

Five men, wearing red strips of cloth around their heads, attempted to spray the occupants of the house with M-16’s but failed to accomplish their task due to poor coordination between the five, the blocks of ice became obstacles for the other men to trip over, and the ice truck was a converted weapons-carrier and therefore had a higher roof over which to fire accurately.

Upon looking at the faces of the gunmen, Ric and Abner pulled Grandfather aside to talk in whispers, all the while making glances at me. Finally they spoke to me, “We know that you work for the Counter Insurgency Operations, and that your mission is to locate Kumander Cobra. We are telling you now that fixing his identity is impossible, much less locate his position. He is ever in the company of five. There are more to this than two opposing suides. These men in red headbands belong to an outfit called X-men. Their main job is to exterminate. This unit should not be mistaken for another unit called Ex-men. Their job is to execute people. Both units are more like licensed hit squads. However, if you Major Visconte, are willing to help the agreement that I made with your Grandfather, you are welcome to my protection.”

“Wow, what can I say,” I uttered, “I’ve always wanted to live a peaceful life.” And this started another round of jokes and laughter between the four of us.

Before we parted, I complimented Kumander Sundang for his speed with the Mauser pistol, for which he said in turn that they do not call me hawkeye for nothing.

Settling in our beds that night, Don Puti explained to me that there are a lot of units who would not want this agreement to foster. These are those who want to remain in uniform and get promoted. These are those who want the conflict to continue. These are those who wag the dog.

Kumander Agila agreed to bring his men down from the mountains and join my hacienda guards and their families would be living as part of the community. In return, they will be safe here as members of the private subdivision that is Hacienda Cecilia, living in houses that will be built for them. I will work for the general amnesty for them and will give them first crack at all the labor needs of this hacienda, such as construction, teachers, farmers, drivers, and so forth. But the one item they like best is the 50-50 sharecropping awas-gastos that replaced the 60-40 sharecropping. I will also provide loans with no interest.”

From all this, something still bothers me—who were these men really after when they fired indiscriminately?

(Next–meet my cousin, another one, the Maestra de Novicios)

Off The Wall

I’ll give it to you off the bounce

‘Cause I am not able to make the rounds.

Tarry and hear, tarry and hear,

The wall has ears, the wall has ears.

You’ll rue the tears, in all those years,

The day you forgot what big ears it’s got.




Got To Be There…..

Michael Jackson, 50, rock star, died of a heart attack.

Got To Be There

michael J.

Under the kilt…


ASF Dancers



World class crowd-pullers of the Wowowee troupe.

High Noon

(click on High Noon for the dance)

Ted Failon



Ted  Failon

Da guy is back! He completes the TV Patrol Hosts.

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here

Never Mind the weather

We are all to get her……..


Wild Newsbreak



The ANC Mornings Bunch

(Click on “The ANC Mornings Bunch” for the break)

Swedish Full Monty

(click on "The Crispbread Dance)

(click on “The Crispbread Dance)


The Crispbread Dance

(Click on the caption “The Crispbread Dance”)

Video Clips

Pictures  may  be  worth  a  thousand  words,

but  video  clips  tell  the  story,







Chapter 1   Encuentro


Don Ignacio Caldeza Visconte y  de Borbon, known to everybody as Don Puti, stood up from a makeshift bench to shuffle across the gravel road that fronted the house. He stopped to stare at a piglet munching on a corn cob across the street while he adjusted his gun belt. With overpowering intimidation, he spat what’s left of the Granger Chaw in his cheeks towards the piglet, which then ran off with several grunts and a lot of squeals.

The house he stepped out of is owned buy Anong, a burly man union leader and Don Puti’s head overseer, or Katiwala. Upon Don Puti’s insistence, the garage is converted to a gareta, a meeting place. On this place sat Anong, his wife, Jesse, Tano, and Dr. Dok; the last three named are the ones referred to as the “Three Toopids”, a most emphatic reminiscence of the Three Stooges by my grandfather, Don Puti.

“Tell Kumander Agila that I propose to meet him instead in Buencamino’s house, which is halfway from where he wants us to meet,” and then lit one of the Marlboro Longhorns I gave him. The people in the gareta, including I, looked at each other to determine whom he was talking to. Upon recognition of the problem, Anong got up to do the Don’s bidding. And rightly so because Anong is not only the owner of the house, he was the sole medium by which Kumander Agila and the Don communicate.

“And tell him I will come unarmed,” he called to Anong who in turn gave his nod. We all watched the wet gravel road give way to Anong’s stubby hulk as he walked towards Don Puti’s south guardpost which Agila has taken over. One of the tractor detail, Jesse Cape, started ejecting the rounds from his M16 one at a time. Tano, friend to Jesse in good and not so good escapades, repeatedly made attempts to reshape his fedora. Dr. Dok, friend to Jesse and Tano in addition to being a necessary evil, brought out his guitar to try and add to the tension.

Jesse is the most “cowboy” of the outfit. He assumes this distinction easily as regards, dress, mannerism, and lingo. Even I, with all the resources at my command, would not hope to surpass him in the way he imitates Gary Cooper. Two things he would give an arm and a leg for are : a horse, and a pair of boots like the ones I am wearing now.

Pel,” The Don called.

Po,” I replied by force of habit.

“You will come with me to the house of Totoy Buencamino,” he said matter of factly.

Opo,” I replied, as if I had a choice in the matter.

“I wish I had that rifle now…” Grandfather said to himself, and his countenance changed to a depressed look. He does this in all those times he thinks about the missing rifle, one e that can hit targets a kilometer or two away and, he assured me, one does not have to aim the rifle, one just commands it.

I believe him. He is widely known as the second Matanglawin, and as such he should be a deadshot, a sharpshooter, a hawkeye. But he isn’t now. His fall from the tractor broke his arm, so he draws a bead from his left hand. That rifle surely would aright things up again.

I surmise that if I find the lost First Matanglawin, I would know for sure where that rifle would be.

But now, in one motion I pulled out my service automatic and released the magazine for inspection. I made sure an extra round was chambered and two full magazines were in my belt. Jesse offered to lend me his folding-stock M16 but I declined the offer for reasons that I would have to carry the added weight of the rifle plus spare magazines for it. Furthermore, my being armed already violates the terms of the encounter. In truth, I had not the heart to tell Jesse that I do not carry weapons that I did not clean myself.

Don Ignacio, and Lolo Asiong to me, wheeled abruptly to face us who were in the gareta. The action caught Dr. Dok by surprise, and his plan to belt off with another of his songs was aborted. Still in deep thought, Don Puti whispered to me to get ready. Instantly, I gave orders as regarding positions and signals after which everybody just vanished, all except Anong’s wife who was unabashedly nursing her baby. Don Puti went back to his seat, crossed his legs, took off his bleached Baliwag-blocked hat, and lit one of his own Mexican brown cigarillos.

I looked at him as I have often looked at him, thinking of things I have often thought of about him. This, I reflected, is the father of my father; three times mayor of Santa Teresa; reputed to own horses that run faster than automobiles, renowned for bringing in criminals by sheer force of personality and admonitions; famous for humanitarian affinities and wartime heroism; unheralded for being the first to institute “jueteng” lotteries in this part of the country; praised for using his vast landholdings for the uplift of his tenants; and so forth and so on. This community was actually built by him! It is peopled by his tenants, their houses being constructed from the profits of Hacienda Cecilia. No wonder this community is named after him—San Ignacio.! And he is not even a saint!

(End Chapter 1 Part 1 Encuentro)





by cool_ambo


Chapter 1 Part 2  Encuentro


Tragic it is that Don Ignacio was born under feudal times, and that this feudalism would dictate his philosophy in life. In his eyes, there are three classes of people ; the upper class, the lower class, and the lowest class. The upper class (the ilustrados) are pure, and therefore they should rule. All the other classes are disparaged and have shortcomings in one way or another. I, for one and like the multitude of others, is a half-breed, and therefore rated as one lacking something, which happens to be my inability to learn and speak his language. Moreover, according to the father of my father, no other system is better than feudalism, whether this may be democracy, or communism, or socialism, despotism and even fascism. If Grandfather and his feudal system can provide what communism promises to but is unable to, then there can be coexistence between him and the dissidents. In exchange for peace and protection, his domain of San Ignacio will provide the realization of the communist dreams without the imposition of communist methods and ideology. In short, they can get what they want as long as he says they can.

The familiar crunch of gravel being trodden underfoot alerted everybody.As Anong came rounding the bend of the road, he signaled that the meeting is a go. Don Puti unbuckled his gun belt and handed it to Anong’s wife. I signaled with the Baliwag hat and the two of us started for the Buencamino house. Now I asked myself, why the Buencamino house? Does Grandfather know that Buencamino and I are agents for the Counter Insurgency Operations?  If he did, would he still have chosen this house?

We did not take the jeep.We stood a better chance if we were on foot than in a burning jeep hit by rpg. I keep reminding Don Puti about what he emphasized to me all my military life—“confianza mata hombre”—and now he is going to meet the feared Kumander Agila unarmed. To this questions he replied in a more forceful Spanish accent that he is also a very good judge of character.

From the corner of my eye, I can spy some bodies in a house scampering towards the windows. These are hacienda guards. I positioned myself on his righet, as I am right-handed, and also because when we come around the bend I will be first to be spotted. The Buencamino house came into view. I see buri hats in a line against the cassava plants used as fencing. I see some more among the corn stalks to the right of the house. Some of them point their fingers at me. Still some reveal themselves more to get a better look at me. These are very noticeably young boys with mouths agape at the march we make. I realized then that Don Puti and I were not considered targets, so I relaxed a bit.

At the foot of the stairs, we were met by a middle-aged, balding man in a flannel shirt with a British sweater-uniform over it. Accompanying him was a younger man with a swagger, about my age and wearing a white shirt-jac under a bombardier jacket, leather pants and pilot’s boots.

The older man spoke first, “Mano po Ninong.”

I thought he had a nasty sense of humor because we are still in the middle of April and Christmas is a long ways off for hand-kissing.

Abner,” Lolo replied. Abner must be the man’s name, I thought, because I do not recall the word abner to mean ISTIGOSANTO, or whatever, in Spanish.

Magandang hapon po,” the younger man greeted with a bow.

Magandang hapon po naman,” Lolo and I answered in unison.

Turning back to the older man, “Ito po ang aking apo, si Pele Visconte. Pel, ito si Kumander Agila. Inaanak ko siya sa kasal.”

“Ang inyo pong lingkod, Abner Giron. Ikinagagalak kong makilala ang isang tanyag na tagapaglingkod sa bayan na tulad ninyo.”

“Sa akin po ang karangalan, Kumander, laganap din po ang tagurian ninyo sa buong bayan,” I replied as I shook a calloused hand.

The leather-man shuffled forward to offer his hand to me and spoke in flawless English, “Permit me the honor of shaking your hand, Major Visconte, your exploits in Mindanao are legend. Stories of your valor are not uncommon around here. My name is Ric Cordero, aka Kumander Sundang. Please treat me as family. I suspect my kinship to you.”


To this I replied, “Kumander, I have always treated as family those who wish to be family. I would have considered you as such even if you had not wished me to do so.”

And afterwards, there were smiles all around, a timely relief for the anxious men at arms on bothe sides. The biggest smile, however, was noticeably Don Puti’s.

And as signals of peace went to both camps, everybody went up the stairs. It was even suggested that this occasion calls for beer!

(End Chapter 1, Next The attack of the X-men)


Virus Alert

Virus  Alert!

Do not open any email that refers to Osama Bin Laden being hanged or anything that says so.

Also with a word that says INVITATION

Or something that implies an olympic torch!

Keeping them guessing…

Without lifting a finger, and saying nary a word, she has put the nation out of their wits, and the top politicos eating their hearts out, by not telling what she is going to do politics-wise in 2010.

 Would she run as a congressperson?

Would she unleash the Con-Ass to initiate her taking over the government again?

Or would she do something else?

 Personally, I would say that she will do something the people have not thought of yet.

Why? Because my Crystal Ball says so!


Women still have the privilege of changing their minds, of keeping the guys in limbo, of stretching the reply till the last moment, of saying no when they mean yes.



The Migratory Filipinos

 With  a splurge of internationally acclaimed performances in sports and entertainment by the Filipinos, the world suddenly realized that these brown-skinned people are in reality all over the place. Commonly called OFW’s, they are scattered all over the world.


They brought with them their iridescent smiles, their contagious laughter, their colorful culture, and their irresistible hospitality. And what’s more, they brought with them their own tv channels.


They are not something new to the world,  because they are a phenomenom, these migratory Filipinos


rcmp taser case

Robert Dziekanski, Polish immigrant, waited for his mother at the airport. It was his first time to land in Vancouver, Canada. Four RCMP officers came and later tasered him to death. These officers testified that they did not have any plans to use the taser even before he arrived at the airport.

However an email, presumably in the care of the Federal government, showed that the four officers planned to use the taser on him before he landed.

To play video, click on caption “rcmp taser case”.

Incidentally, Prime Minister Harper and leader of the opposition Ignatieff did agree on some issues and this averted the fall of the Harper government . Aren’t they glad they had that little chat?

Charo Santos-Concio



Who This?


A star is born.

Steve is going places. As long as he retains his dogged determination and his unque ability to keep his head above the water.

surfer325Nothing ventured,


The Surfer


Nothing Gained

(click on the Surfer for video)

CWH Techs

As a supplement to my last post, I promptly received a nicely worded email from the CWH Tech Department, offering to refund  the money I paid for the CWH services.

I declined this offer knowing that this matter will not happen again and that I know that CWH provides a very secure, meticulously restrictive, and a very alert webhosting service.

I would have recommended this site to all of you guys, but then again, one of the restrictions for acceptance by the Canadian Webhosting dictates that you have to be a Canadian, or at least have Canadian Citizenship rights!