Easter Procession and Sabuaga 2014 in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga

It’s been 4 years already since the inception of this Festival and it seems it has gained some mileage and perhaps because everyone now owns a DSLR and takes tons of photographs of the event. I will be compiling some (not all) of the online presence of the coverage of the event as well as the Easter Sunday procession that is a unique tradition for Tomasinos.

An online report and Facebook post on ABS-CBNNews and on Demotix.com by Mark Fredesjed Cristino.

CNN iReport by Ruston Banal

10155265_10152039287830168_8725913447751520899_nimage from ABS-CBNNews.com


Anyone with video footage of the events? Send them in or just comment below.

Mr. Anastacio Basilio of Balut, Sapa Gunned Down

It’s really sad whenever I report and document these articles. They are testament to the fruitfulness that the Thomasian can have and how dangerous, at the same time, this success is. Some people are so envious or greedy that they would evil kill for money.

According to the SunStar Pampanga article (also pasted belo), Mr. Basilio was shot down in front of their house by motorcycle riders in-tandem last October 30, 2013 and grabbed a bag with money as Basilio and his wife withdrew money earlier. And as I wrote on the Facebook page: Deng kalupa nang Mr. Basilio ing bibiye kabiyayan kareng memalen na ning Sto. Tomas. Nung pera mu ing buri da, bakit kailangan pa ing makamate lang tau? And shooting a 74-year old helpless man is such cowardice. Dapat lang marakap at mikulung deng miki-dapat kanini.

Ali tamu sana paburen deng kriminal ilang manakut kekatamu. Dapat ila deng matakut lungub king balen a pakamalan tamu. Dapat deng marok a dapat keng Sto. Tomas, madadakap la at midinan lang justicia deng pamilya da reng biktima.

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Unang Hirit Goes to San Vicente, Sto. Tomas, Pampanga

As what probably already constitutes a media tradition, Halloween or All Saints/Souls Day stories are not complete without a visit to what is now almost a trademark very few barangays are willing to accept: “Barangay Ataul” (Barangay of Coffins) or Brgy. San Vicente in the little town of Sto. Tomas, Pampanga.

Last year, GMA NewsTV’s feature on Brigada had already named Sto. Tomas as “Kabaong Capital” and only featured more of a ghost story. But this year’s interview, done by Pekto via the morning show Unang Hirit on GMA7 which showed a little bit of the craftsmanship that goes on in making these coffins. Though it was a pretty fast segment, it only gave a general view of the working conditions and the procedures that are made.

To me, there is one thing clear: we are slowly making a mark in the mind of Philippine society, not just in Pampanga. The people in the coffin-making industry should expect that these types of interviews will be done every year now and we should prepare for them. We should train the craftsmen to present the workflow clearly and emphasize the craftsmanship we have — what would separate us from other coffin-makers around the country.

How Much PDAF/”Pork Barrel” Did Sto. Tomas, Pampanga Get?

Compiled PDAF Release for Santo Tomas Pampanga

This is only from what Rep. Anna York P. Bondoc has spent according to the Department of Budget and Management. There might be other funds from other Representatives or Senators not included here so this list could still be incomplete. Also, I direct your attention to the first two projects in 2009. These could possibly be mislabeled but I still included them here.

Sto. Tomas, Pampanga Flood 2013 in Pictures

DISCLAIMER: I’ve tried to properly attribute the photos to their respective uploaders/owners. I don’t claim any rights on these photos. I’m only posting them for reference and documentation of the flood in this year’s monsoon.

stoninosapa sanvicente_dalanabayu sanmatiasFB pau moras pasinibil svesflood sumpongbridge

If you’d like to see more photos, visit the respective Facebook users.

Sto. Tomas Floods Return in 2013 Monsoon, Dike Breached in Minalin Portion

I think this post will be just be for posterity since we have been updated very well by people on Facebook. The great difference with this year’s flood was that electricity was continually supplied to the town and so we still got ‘citizen journalists’ online reporting the events as they unfolded, with timely (using it loosely here) posting on Facebook.

We also got coverage by major media outfits again this year, with Noli de Castro once again reporting in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga.

Reports on the Inquirer said that the dike was filled to the brim in its Minalin section and was finally breached on Tuesday and widened to about 40 meters the following day. A report was also written by GMA News.

It isn’t clear whether this portion is part of the segment rehabilitated by DPWH Region 3 or not. Minalin Mayor Edgar Flores was one of the more prolific posters on Facebook regarding the dike’s status. Other sources said that Barangay Patrol Vehicles were going around regarding the status of the dike in the early hours of the morning.

Another local albeit slightly more politically-motivated Facebook page, Stotomas Poblacion, has been posting updates in their area. I will be compiling and posting some pictures of the flooding soon. Last year, it was difficult to look for pictures and understandably so. People would rather preserve their batteries for important phone calls/radio announcements rather than take pictures of the flood. This year, as I mentioned, electricity was continuously supplied hence this barrage of documentation! This is good! I’m only complaining because of the volume of material I have to go through besides my day job. Heheh.

From the Facebook page of Minalin Mayor Edgar Flores, here are some pictures of the damaged and breached segments of the tail dike/dam: