Thursday, August 30, 2012

Of Batangas Balisongs and Buli's

Aug. 4, 2012.  We are now headed back to Tagaytay, but not without going to Abner's ultimate dream: Barangay Balisong.  We sort of got lost looking for it, but instead passed by a sign that made me jump off my seat.  I just got to take a picture of that!!!

Buli in is one of the baranggays in the municipality of Taal. Incidentally, buli, pronounced as boo-li', means 'ass', 'butt' in Cuyunin, Palawan's native language. I got to reminisce expressions while growing up, like, "buru imong buli", or "imong buli", or "ngitit imong buli!". Hahaha. This is gong to be a real hit with my family, while I went ahead and clicked on 'Share' and posted the picture on FB via my BB. Abner's giving me 'the face', probably wondering why I'm so hyper. Hahaha!

Anyway.. even without the 'Welcome' signs, you'll know you're in Baranggay Balisong when you start to see stalls along the road in displaying these shiny blades in glass cases. The 'balisong' also known as a butterfly knife, fan knife is a folding pocket knife with two handles counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles.

They come in different sizes, from a pretty cute size for a keychain (No it can't cut. It just cleans your nails); to the traditional veinte y nueve because they are 29 centimeters long when opened daw, to a really biggie one.

FB check. Ooohh! 10 comments and 13 likes for my 'Buli' picture.  Nice!

An August weekend: Our Lady of Caysasay and Sta. Lucia Healing Wells

Aug 4, 2012. We asked directions before leaving the Taal Market as we decided to drive instead of taking the tricycle.  Going back down the rows of heritage houses, it is so clear to see that Taal reigns as one of the most culturally preserved sites of the Spanish colonial era. We turned right from Calle Agoncillo to Calle Noble. It was quite a tight squeeze. We arrived at the shrine at around 9:50am and it began to start drizzling again.

There was a young boy and a young girl who kept on following us, offering candles.  My head was starting to ache again, and Abner was the one who entertained them.  They were so well-versed of the story of The Our Lady of Caysasay.  Hands down, boy were they very good!  They offered to walk us to the Healing Wells - via a short-cut, not having to go up a hundred steps.

We were the only ones there plus our guides.  We lighted candles, prayed and offered our petitions.  After that, we were accompanied to the well.  You'll see two wells there.  You'll get to know kuya who fetches water for you to 'bathe'.  I can't remember, but water drawn from a specific well determines which part of your body to can 'wash' with.  It's all about faith healing.  It was raining already, and we were wet.  Both from the rain, and from the water drawn from the wells.

It was here in 1611 that the first apparition of Our Lady to an almost blind native servant girl, Juana Tangui and around 30 women, was recorded by the church ordinario. This was the first recorded Marian apparition in the country. From the miraculous cure of her eyes during the apparition, the well water, now known as “Balon ng Sta. Lucia” and the adjoining stream, now known as “Banal na Tubig” have been known to possess miraculous attributes of healing to this day. An arch you see here with pediment was constructed after 1611 over the wells, which generally marks the spot of her apparitions, and is today called “Banal na Pook”.

Before we left, we were given an envelope for an offering or donation, and was guided back to a small house near the church. We fond out that here lives the towns' healer. We said our pleasantries and gave her our help.  She looked at Abner and I and asked for our birth months. "May", says Abner. "Ay, mag-aabroad ka!", says the healer.  She then turned to me and I said, "March".

"Masipag kang mag-trabaho, iha.".

Aray ko. Kaya ako nagkakasakit. hehe.

An August weekend: Bridal Bliss at the Taal Market


That was my initial reaction when I 'inquired' about made-to-order bridal gowns at the Taal Market.

A short walk after the Taal Basilica, passing through th municipal hall is the Taal Market.  Here, we walked around to see what they have to offer.  After buying purong tsokolateng tableas we decided to check the shops.. a colorful array of gowns made of pina cloth, or pineapple fiber.

Out of curiosity, after pulling a reluctant Abner to one of the shops (as if!), I went on to admire the workmanship and embroidery on one of the bridal gowns displayed (ibang klase talaga!).  You'll never believe what I found out:

For 10,000 php, you'll get a hand-embroidered piña bridal gown with complete accessories, plus a  hand-embroidered piña barong for the groom -- your design.  You'll also get to spend between 850php to 1,000php each for the bridal ensemble, your own design, rented out.  Meaning, after the ceremony, your bridesmaids and sponsors will return the gowns.  Renting ready-made bridesmaids gowns fetch between 250php to 400php depending on the design (of course you'll have to consider if it matches your motiff).  Geezz.. and to think more than 10 years ago, my sister-in-law's beautiful bridal gown cost almost 8,000php.  And that's not even piña!  Hmmm....

It's 9:30am, and Abner is now itching to go to the Our Lady of Caysasay.

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