Archive for the ‘Nabua’ Category

The San Fernando, Camarines Sur-Oas, Albay Diversion Road

November 23, 2008


The construction of a San Fernando, Camarines Sur to Oas, Albay bypass (diversion) road has recently been approved. It is one of 10 priority projects in Bicol for 2008-2010 along with the construction of the new Legazpi airport. P500M has reportedly been released for the project. The rationale of the project is to decongest the main road running from Naga to Legazpi. A shortening of the travel time between the two cities is expected.

The planned diversion road is 61.90 kilometers long. Only 14 kilometers will be new road as it just intends to use old roads that already exist. Thus, 32.22 kilometers of existing gravel road will be paved and 15.68 kilometers of the existing Maharlika highway will be improved. An old bridge will also be repaired and a new 40-meter bridge will be built. The total project cost is estimated to be P2.25 billion.

This bypass road will connect the old roads connecting Legazpi to Naga (see my previous article, “The Old Roads of the Naga-Legazpi Corridor and Dialectal Variations Along Its Way”, 11/18/08). From the town of Oas it will probably use the old Mayao road that connects the town to Libon, Albay.

From Libon, it will use the gravel road that connects it to the upland barrios of Nabua. This is the Libon-Buga-Tandaay road. This road crosses the Nabua-Balatan road in the big barrio of Tandaay, Nabua. The road runs through the southern shores of Lake Bato.

From Tandaay,Nabua a gravel road runs to Bula, Camarines Sur, running south of the plains irrigated by the Bicol River. This road skirts the southern side of Lake Baao. This is the old Malawag road.

It seems the new road construction mentioned will be used to connect Bula to San Fernando, Camarines Sur. It is probable that the paved road running west of Bula to the barrio of Panoypoyan will used. If not, some other farm-to-market (feeder) roads might be used like the road to Bagoladio. It seems the new bridge will be used in this stretch since the Bicol River will have to be forded here, a connection that hencetoforth does not yet exist. Before reaching San Fernando, the road will pass through portions of Minalabac, if not the town proper. However, Milaor will be bypassed.

This diversion road for the most part will pass through the foot of the long mountain chain on the southern side of Bicol which is always visible from the road when one is traversing the Sipocot to Ligao stretch of the Maharlika highway.

Concerns have been raised about the possible effects on Naga and the towns that will be bypassed by the new highway. There’s fear that the economic downturn suffered by Daet and the Camarines Norte towns when the Quirino Andaya highway was opened will be replicated here.

But to sustain progress sometimes new infrastructure must really be built. There is no question that the Naga-Legazpi road is already a little bit crowded and this won’t get better anymore. Anyway the first users of this highway will probably be the cars, trucks and buses that just passes by the area en route to Sorsogon and Eastern Visayas.

Whatever, it is imperative that a comprehensive study be made of the possible impacts of the new highway should be. This is needed to warn the sectors that will be affected and also anticipate future problems.

It is now being bandied as the “GMA Highway”. The information is from NEDA (National Economic Development Authority) Region V office so it must be official now.

Jose S. Losa of Nabua, Camarines Sur

October 28, 2008


Joceline Losa-Masauding, president of the Bicolandia Association of Charleston, South Carolina announces the demise of her beloved father, Jose Sumayo-Losa on Octorber 26, 2008 at the age of 93 in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

Mr. Losa, a magnanimous, fun-loving, and affectionate man, served as a brave US Army sergeant of engineering during the World War II. A well-respected school mentor, he is esteemed and popularly remembered by his students in Nabua High School where he taught before he immigrated to the United States and later settled in San Roque, Nabua after loving Basilisa (Grandma Bisay) Hallare, his wife died.

Grandpa Joe who passed away peacefully in his sleep has seven (7) accomplished living children namely: Lourdes L. Baylon (San Diego, CA,) Joceline L. Masauding, R. N. (Charleston, SC,) Jose Losa, Jr, D.V.M.(Legazpi, Albay,) Lillian L. Navarro, R.N. (San Diego, CA,) Vivian L. Abagat (Nabua, Camarines Sur,) Jane L. Coralde, M.D. (AFP Medical Center, QC,) and Mamerto Losa, M.D. (Malacanang, Manila.) Two of his children, Clarita L. Melagro, M.D. and Dolores L. Manzano predeceased him. He is survived by 35 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

UP Ibalon requests readers, relatives, and friends to pray for the eternal repose of Grandpa Joe. So long Grandpa Joe! We love you! Burial is tentatively scheduled in Nabua Cemetery on November 6, 2008. Contact: Jane 916-308 6524 (Marikina, Manila); Vivian: 54-478-0718 (Nabua) Photo Credit: bylinderrox. =0=

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With Angels Playing, Pitoy Moreno Recreates His Peñafrancia Fiesta in Naga

September 26, 2008

As the excitement of Penafrancia fiesta fades, we have something tantalizing to remember. To be part of the merriment blessed in heaven, in Calauag, Naga City, UP Ibalonian Pitoy Moreno aka Pitmo and his lovely wife Lala Espiritu-Moreno opened their warm and cozy home to friends.

The Morenos successfully pulled through with plenty of help from their two bubbly kids—Ira Nicole, the special 7-year old with a gift of gab who served as Pitoy’s most valuable receptionist. The cute little “miracle girl” whose heart condition called pulmonary stenosis seemed far away, was assisted by her older sister Gwyn Christianne.

The versatile duo wowed their guests with child tales and beautiful music to share. Brimming with earnestness and less-often seen bravado, the two lovely sisters had their musical instruments busy. Like pros from a concert stage, they played violin, marimba, bongus, and piano in front of their admiring guests.


In God’s grace and time, it was clear: the excellent food on the table was more than enough to savor and celebrate. Lala had all the herbs and essences all over the kitchen to add taste to the cuisine. It must be a creation of the true mother of the house from Nabua, Camarines Sur, whose people are well-known for their homestyle cooking, kindness, and hospitable nature.

If famous couturier Pitoy Moreno of Manila wove exquisite clothes which delighted the fashion sense in most of us, our own Pitoy, the civil engineer (with all the bells and whistles that go with it) gave true meaning to hospitality.

With his lovely and tireless wife, the good-humored supermom and entrepreneur from Rinconada, Pitoy was just the right guy to prove that friendships and good times do last—something he must have learned for spending time as OFW away from his loving family when he worked in Brunei, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and lately in far Kasakhstan.

Whether Ibalonians Imelda Caballes, Dan Daz, Benny Rayco, Annelee Badiola-Lojo, Mighty Baylon Jovy Mijares or Albert Molina, were present, it must be great to remember them all with Pitoy’s pretty angels who stood guard and played to bring out the zing for this year’s most memorable Penafrancia fiesta. =0=


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Grandma’s Yummy Favorites in the Bicol Kitchen

August 4, 2008


1. Ginota’an na Natong (Laing) is probably the most popular Bicolano food. It’s made of fresh or dried natong (dasheen bush leaves) bathed in gota (coconut milk.) It’s flavored with pork bits and spiced with superhot siling labuyo(chili,) garlic, ginger and shrimp.

In places like Iriga City, Ginota’an na Natong includes fresh libas leaves which give a tasty sourness to the dish. Ginota’an na Natong, also called Bicol Express, comes in many versions in different Bicol provinces. Green hot peppers, squash, young squash leaves and flowers, curacding (mushrooms,) balatong (string beans,) eggplants, lambo (bamboo shoots,) and langcawas tubers are ready natong susbstitutes.

2. Gulay na Lubi-lubi is a special treat from the tropical forest. The uncommon wild young lubi-lubi leaves are cooked in coconut milk with minched tinapa (smoked fish) and a cube of flavorful roasted dina’ilan (shrimp) from Camarines Norte. Similar gulay can be made from green papaya, jackfruit, marigoso, calunggay or young cassava leaves.

3. Because of environmental conservation, Kinunot, a dish made from sea turtle may recede in the background. That’s because pawikan, the endangered sea turtle is now a protected species like the tiny tabios (sinarapan) fish found in Buhi Lake. When cooked in coconut milk, chili, black pepper, salt and vinegar, sea turtle meat is as yummy as pating (shark) and pagi (stingray.)

4. Tabios, the diminutive endangered fish from Lake Buhi is wrapped in banana leaves, cooked over hot rice, and flavored with lemonsito (calamansi) juice. A yummy alternative is to cook it fried with cornstarch just like ukoy.

5 Sinanglay—tilapia, karpa or puyo (martiniko) fish garnished with chopped onions, ginger, tomatoes, and sour iba (kamias.) The fish is wrapped in fresh dasheen bush leaves and cooked low fire with thick gota (coconut milk) and a dash of hot peppers.

6. Baduya (Sinapot) is very popular with the children. Ripe native bananas dipped in cornstarch are fried. Versions like caling-quing (Bicol camote fries,) tinanok (boiled camote,) and banana/camote cue and linabonan na camote (boiled sweet potato) are excellent meriendas.

7. Sina’sa , common in Rinconada towns like Baao, Nabua, Iriga, Bato, and Buhi is made from charcoal-roasted freshwater fish like puyo (martiniko,) talusog (snakehead) or tilapia. It is garnished with finely chopped tomatoes, ginger, fresh onions, red peppers and a dash of vinegar.

8. Bokayo—young coconut meat, cooked brown with sankaka, sweet caramel prepared from sugar cane.

9. Paksiw na Casili—fresh-water eel (burirawan) cooked in vinegar, ginger, onions, pepper leaves, and black pepper. Paksiw can also be prepared from fish like mirapina, tuna, carpa or tilapia. Frying the eel and fish are good cooking options.

10. Tinuktok na Hito—a soup dish of chopped hito fish and young coconut made into fish balls with garlic, ginger, onions and red peppers; fresh camote tops or breadfruit slices (ogob or og-og.) are added.

11. Piga nin Carpa—carp ovaries and eggs sautéed with ginger, onions, garlic and marigoso (bitter melon.)

12. Adobong Orig—cubed pork meat cooked slowly on its lard with rock salt to taste and black pepper.

13. Tinolang Manok—hot soup of native chicken with lemon grass, fresh green papaya, sayote, calunggay (moringa) and pepper leaves.

14. Ogama—small boiled crabs dipped on salted vinegar, sili ng labuyo (tiny red peppers,) garlic, and onions.

15. Pinuyos—sticky rice with coconut milk and a dash of salt wrapped in banana leaves also called Binugtong. Ibos, a similar version is glutinous rice wrapped in young coconut leaves.

16. Sinabawan na Carabao—hot soup made from young tender carabao or beef meat with taro roots, pechay leaves, cabbage, and red pepper.

17. Lechon—roasted pig of Bicol is usually flavored with rock salt and tamarind leaves. It is served with a brown sarsa (sauce) made of roasted pork liver.

18. Balaw—baby shrimp fries, wrapped in banana leaves, flavored with generous lemonsito (calamansi) juice and cooked over rice.

19. Pancit Bato—noodle dish flavored with chorizo, slices of fish cake, pork or chicken meat, and wrapped in banana leaves.

20. Miswa—hair-thin white noodle soup with hibi (dried baby shrimps) and sliced green patola.

21. Sinugbang Talong—charcoal-cooked barbecued eggplant with a dash of lemonsito (calamansi) juice and salt. Talong can go with fresh garden tomatoes, dina’ilan with lemon.

22. Balaw—shrimp fries sautéed in oil, pork meat, green peppers, and lemon juice. Balaw goes well with blanched camote tops, kangkong, or upo (white squash.)

23. Linubak—boiled green bananas, taro or camoteng cahoy (cassava roots) pounded with grated young coconut, milk, and sugar.

24. Su’so—fresh water spiral black snails or river clams boiled with coconut milk, bamboo or pako (fern shoots,) onions, garlic and ginger.

25. Dila-Dila is sold by itinerant vendors on the street together with suman. It’s made of grounded glutinous rice, deep fried and topped with glazed sugar cane caramel (sankaka.)

Bicol cuisine is mainly dominated by the use of coconut and its derivative products. Scrumptiously hot with fresh siling labuyo and black peppercorns, the native Bicolano food is a fusion of Asian-Polynesian influences as demonstrated by the use of exotic lemon grass and tropical edible plants like dasheen bush, libas, lubi-lubi, kangkong, and calunggay which grow abundantly in the region. =0=