Sorsogon’s 125th Commemorative Stamp

Sorsogon’s province recently launched their 125th founding anniversary commemorative stamp and first day cover.

The commemorative stamp and first day coverr were presented to the governor of the province.

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Postmaster General Joel Otarra together with Governor Francis ” Chiz” Escudero

Sorsogon’s 125th Commemorative Stamp

It was on October 17, 1894, that Sorsogon was officially separated from the province of Albay. Sorsogon City is its capital.

Among the well known tourist spots included the neo-classicial architecture provincial capitol building, the Donsol butanding or whale shark, scenic lakes of Bulusan, the scenic mountains-capes of the province, and the Cross marking the site of the first Holy Mass held in Gibalon, Magallanes in 1569. This event is celebrated every October 22 and coincides with the town’s Kasanggayahan (Prosperity) Festival.

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Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) has printed 40,000 pieces of the stamps which is being sold at P12 each.  Graphic in-house artist Mr. Rodine Teodoro designed the stamps.

 stamp and official first day cover of the commemorative stamps are now available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office, all Mega Manila Post Offices, Postal Area 2, San Fernando La Union, Postal Area 4, San Pablo, Postal Area 5, Mandaue, Postal Area 7, Davao and Postal Area 8, Cagayan De Oro.

A Taste OF Sorsogon Delicacies: Suman, Binut-Ong and Hinagom

Sorsogon City, Sorsogon province -Philippines

Whenever one travel to another town or place, one should try their food and desserts. It was rice harvest season, so we were able to sample local delicacies. Although these delicacies are available whole year round , the best quality desserts are made from fresh harvested rice produce .

hinagom/ hinagum
Hinagom or Hinagum  recipe is simple, it’s made from freshly harvested rice that’s pounded, roasted in a pan, then pounded again in a mortar mixed with coconut meat and sugar before wrapping in leaves. It tastes quite similar to Espasol of Laguna. In the capital city of Sorsogon – 1 pack of hinagom cost between Php 5.00 to Php 20.00 per pack .
There are several ways that a Hinagom is presented, We saw round shaped hinagom, elongated shape among others. The rice dessert is also popular in nearby Samar Island too..
This is best accompanied  with chocolate , coffee or salabat ( ginger tea) .

suman kalabasa
Suman and Suman Kalabasa – I prefer this type of combination. Sticky rice is grounded and grounded kalabasa ( squash ) is also added. boiled with coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves.This delicacy cost Php 5.00 in Sorsogon City . We knew some distant relatives who are experts in making these delicacies .

Binut-Ong
Binut-Ong – This is another sticky rice dessert which is popular in Bicol region. Coconut milk ( gata ) is added unto the mixture . This is sold for Php 10 per piece in Bulan and Sorsogon City.

Binut-Ong
 Binut-Ong can easily fill your appetite and this is best accompanied with tea, coffee or chocolate , especially ideal for breakfast or afternoon snack.

 

Boiled Pili fruit
Boiled Pili Fruit is another favorite of Bicolanos , It cost Php 1.00 per piece in Sorsogon City . This was due to the tight supply . There was a big typhoon which hit the province last year and the pili trees had not recovered . The pulp is eaten and best dipped in condiments like fish sauce called ( guinamos) , vinegar , soy sauce with chopped chillies and onions. Otherwise it only cost 3 pieces for Php 1.00 or 50 centavos when it is pili season.
There is also a proper way to boil or blanched the pili , as demonstrated by Ms. Maita Liao -Amador of Sorsogon City . One must only put the pili fruit after the water had started to boil and then blanching or poaching the fruit for just less than 3 minutes and let them cool; the skins will rub off very easily .

The fruit is highly perishable, so one must cook it as soon as possible. While the pulp does not stay fresh for long , one must eat the pulp within a few hours.  Fruits placed in warm place will turn soft and brown fast for the same reason that pectinase is activated and renders the fruit inedible in a matter of few hours. the nut is a bit more practical to use.

While we ate a lot of pili fruit during our brief stay in Sorsogon. One must not try to over eat ,it can also be a purgative or laxative .

suntan or santan

Suntan or Santan is another must try when you are in Sorsogon province. Suntan is similar to Coconut Jam of Quezon province .  This is good alternative for sandwich spread  .  The slight twist is that some who makes this jam had included pili nuts or crush pili nuts .  This is a good pasalubong treat especially for those with sweet tooth.

The small suntan in plastic bottle will cost from Php 50.00 to Php 75.00 depending on the source. We got our suntan jam from a peddler who makes homemade atchara , kakanins ( native sweets) at the Bulan public market .

 

A Visit to the Immaculate Conception Church of Bulan Sorsogon

Bulan , Sorsogon province -Philippines

The Immaculate Conception Parish Church is said  to be  as the biggest parochial church in Sorsogon province . This is more popularly called Bulan Catholic Church .

watchtower

This used to be a small parish church built during the Spanish period but the church is continuously expanded and a new belfry was erected in 2000. According to our relatives from Bulan, the church used to be open 24 hours a day but due to safety and security concerns . Caretakers had to open the church only on special request or past 4:30am .

marker

There is a belfry that was constructed on March 15, 2000 and finished on May 25, 2000 . It was blessed and dedicated on June 12, 2000.  This was spearheaded by The 3M Squires Foundation.

marble plaque -donated by Mrs. Torribia Viyuda De Vera ( my maternal grandmother) 

The church ground is quite big with major construction happened from 1965 to 1967 with prominent families , politicians , public school teachers, Filipino-Chinese association donating money for the construction of the foundations of the church.

The names of the families and associations which donated to the construction had their family surnames etch on a plaque and installed at the pillars of the church.

Bulan District Teachers

Tomasa viyuda Lim

Lola sa Tuhod -Señora Tomasa viyuda de Lim is my maternal grandmother’s – stepmother .

Queen Mely de Vera – Miss Bulan 1965

 According to the stories of my second cousin Ms. Myrna Uy of Bulan , Sorsogon. There was a beauty pageant organized by the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Bulan chapter way back in 1965 together with the Bulan community. The aim was to help built the church and the proceeds of the pageant was used in the construction of the church.

There were several young women that joined the competition and people would buy ballots in support of the candidates. The contestants were judge not on beauty alone but on bearing . After the tabulation, Miss Milagros Lim de Vera ( maternal aunt) who won the title and all the proceeds were donated to the church .

main altar

There is also a daily mass which starts at around past 5:15 am , The language spoken is Bikol- Sorsogon .

immaculate conception -this is about 15 feet statue

the statute is lighted during the mass

our lady of perpetual help

This is located just a few meters from the house of where i stayed.  A Visit to Sibil Cemetery in Bulan, Sorsogon

 

A Visit to Sibil Cemetery in Bulan , Sorsogon : Reconnecting My Family Roots

Bulan , Sorsogon province -Philippines

MRRL Trading and General Merchandise

It is my first time to visit and stayed in the town of Bulan , Sorsogon , We stayed with my second cousin’s home and hardware store at C. Gotladera street . It used to be known as Manuel Trading and was recently renamed to MRRL Trading and General Merchandise   .

 

C. Gotladera street corner Z.  Asuncion street 

Maternal Great Grandparents

Our maternal family genealogy  can be traced over a century ago, as recounted by my maternal aunts and cousins .  The story started when my maternal great grandfather ( Lolo sa Tuhod ) – Patricio Villanueva Lim from Zamboanga province and maternal great grandmother ( Lola sa Tuhod)  Cristina Tankiko / Tangkeko ( or Tangueco )  who hails from Malabon , Rizal married resulting in the birth of 7  female and 1 male with total of 8 children . The names of the children were  Victorina T. Lim,  Dionisio T. Lim ,  Agueda T. Lim , Otilla T. Lim, Maria T. Lim ,  Rosario T. Lim , Lola Torribia T. Lim and  Asuncion T. Lim. Lola Asuncion or known as Yaya Susoy.  My great grandmother died shortly after she was born .  My maternal grandmother is Lola Torribia T. Lim was born on May 17, 1910.

They settled and stayed in the town of Bulan and their old house is one of the first that got galvanized roof. ( de- galvanizado ) . They also acquired some lands within Bulan and nearby towns . They are considered as one of the prominent families of the place.

marble stoup donated by Mr and Mrs. Juan  R. Grillego and lower marker indicates the name Mrs. Torribia Lim viyuda De Vera 1966 at the Bulan Church

The Bulan church foundation ( one of the pillar ) have the name of my maternal grandmother ( the name of the people who donated to the construction of the church had their name etched in a marker – reconstruction started from 1965 to 1967 ) Unfortunately, the marble marker had been repainted and the donors name cannot be visibly seen .

My maternal grandmother , Lola Torribia Lim- De Vera is one of the siblings of the union. ( Please visit related link : Manila Chinese Cemetery  )

Lola sa Tuhod Cristina Tankiko / Tangkeko  ( or Tangueco ) -Lim is a well -bred mestiza woman , ( Tagala – Chinese lineage ) from Malabon , Rizal – Ms. Myna Uy ( my second cousin ) recounted that she had the privilege to visit the place several decades ago and there were some long lost relatives which visited her few years back from Malabon . She somehow have forgotten the exact barangay and could not recollect . According to her , the family is landed and fairly educated . She probably died around 1912  due to miscarriage, She was between 30 to 35 years-old .She was buried somewhere in Malabon .

According to the stories of my aunts and second cousins, Some of the relatives and nephews of my maternal grandmother would visit them in the mid -1950’s ( around 1954 or 1955 ) in their upholstery store in Gandara aka Sabino Padilla street. They could only remember Mr. Moises Tankiko /Tangkeko ( Tangueco) was around late 40’s  and Mr. Rene Tangkiko/ Tangkeko ( Tangueco) in his late teens.

Lolo sa Tuhod Patricio Villanueva -Lim my maternal great grand father is a mix of Chavacano , Spanish and Chinese who hails somewhere from Zamboanga province. He was probably born around 1860 , since some of my aunts had met him . They told me that he was about 86 years-old in 1946 when they met him. He died a year later in 1947.

My maternal great grandmother died young and my maternal great grand father remarried twice the second wife died shortly . My maternal aunts could not recount her name . I think they have 1 to 2 children .

Lola Tomasa Giro-Lim ( Lola Masa ) from Bulan – They have 2 siblings – Mr. Maximiano Lim and Ms. Salud Lim .

According to the stories of my second cousins: Ms. Myrna Uy and his brothers , My maternal great grandfather  and maternal step great grandmother might have been buried somewhere within this cemetery or was it at the other Catholic cemetery.

l-r Mr.Raymond L. De Vera , Mrs. Nenita L. De Vera and Vice Mayor Tessie Lim-Guran

I think they belonged to the LIM and De Vera family clan . We also paid a visit to the current vice mayor of the town of Bulan and have a courtesy call to Honorable Tessie G. Lim- Guran and her sister whom our maternal lineage are related ( great grandfather is also the same with her ) She is known as ” Para-Bulong ”  sort of faith healer , practicing it for over 30 years ! She lived in Luyo / Loyo or Zone 8  and we saw dozens of people would lined-up and wait for her .

I knew that she would inherit some qualities , since some people would tell us that the family is quite mystical and my maternal grandmother would also conduct some faith-healing session with the locals.

entrance to the civil or sibil cemetery

We have visited the Civil or Sibil cemetery to pay our respects to our Tsinoy fore bearers and to the UY family clan members that were interred at the cemetery . However due to time constrains , We were not able to locate the exact burial location.

 Chinese Martyrs Monument of June 13, 1942 erected on June 13, 1946 during the incumbency of Salvador Escudero – provincial governor 

So Tian Syo Leocadio Corro- Merchant

So Hong Su – Principal

Yap Tiong Kiat – School Teacher

Tan Ka Leong – Merchant

Te Yan Koy – Merchant

Lim Koy Han – Merchant

So Kun Siok – Student

Lee Kim Tian – Student

Tan Lin Siu- Student

Tan Liong Siu – Student

Chinese grave with inscription

Chinese businessmen and students who were shot by the Japanese at the  gate on suspicion of being guerillas or collaborators. Here also lies as the resting place of  many underground guerillas , patriots, fighters and others , both identified and not were interred.

chinese style pagoda entrance

Those who were killed during the many military encounters in Bulan between 1972-76, and hastily buried within the cemetery grounds. .

Mr. Tony Ariado and Mr. Fenito Guan are also buried within the cemetery and  countless of teachers and brave soldiers.

One can easily identify the prominent clans of Bulan, to the west the Geronas, the Galiases, and the De Castro to the eastern portion, the Gillegos and the Gotladeras.

The Sibil / Civil is the resting place of all others, especially of the Tsinoys. In the mid 19th and early 20th century ,  it was only in the  Romano or Campo Santo de Bulan  referring to the old Roman Catholic Cemetery where masses and blessings of the dead were held, but no longer this time. They now say mass in the Sibil.

A visit to the town surely gave a some time to trace my ancestral roots and i think more will surely unravel if i can trace my lost relatives in Malabon , Zamboanga and Sorsogon. Who knows there are more relatives out there .

 

Sisigon, Matnog Chapel Restoration Update

Barangay Sisigon, Matnog, Sorsogon province- Philippines

 

newly painted chapel

It was a few weeks ago since i have posted an entry about Sisisgon Matnog Chapel Restoration and Dedication of a private chapel located within Sisigon , Matnog in the province of Sorsogon .

interior of the chapel

After a few days of repainting of the chapel  and changing of old galvanized roofs. The people within the vicinity with the help of the barangay electrification program installed a light outside and inside the chapel .  Newly installed steel doors were already installed and painted white . Installation of light will also help passing motorists see their way around the curve highway .

bell

The chapel bell which was kept by one of the villagers was again brought back . It was tied on to a branch of a two decades -old mango tree.

Mr. Fronil G. Grefaldo and son of the mayor

group photo inside the chapel altar together with Ms. Marie Ubaldo ( wife of the mayor of Matnog )

Newly bought Catholic images from Tayuman , Santa Cruz , Manila . The icons were blessed by a local priest before these were enshrined inside the chapel .( Although the main icon was supposed to be Saint Jude Thaddeus . Instead, it was an image of Saint Joseph  )

group photo

The wife of the current mayor donated an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe with wooden case . With the newly repainted chapel and with the refurbishment , These deeply devoted people have a place to say their prayers.

devotees and guests leaving the chapel

After the short dedication , there was a simple snack serve in one of the houses . To those who helped in the repainting , cleaning and refurbishing of the chapel , We would like to ” Thank” everyone those who assisted . Maraming Salamat Po sa Inyong Lahat !

Note: The author was there at the site during the first few days of the repainting .