Author Archives: ALVIN E. LAURAN


Born and raised in Tuburan, Cebu, yet settled a second home in the province of Isabela. A frustrated teacher, but find comfort on what fate brings him. He is like a child, so easy to please with; and like an eagle soaring for independence. He is like a wind, silent but always there. He loves trekking, reading and writing. During his college days, he was Editor-in-Chief of The Polytechnic Bulletin, the official publication of CSCST-PC.

of corn sherbet and floating restaurant . .


Corn shake, corn cereal and corn ice cream. Taste like corn, obviously! So if you like corn, you’ll love it here at the Mangi Food Hauz and Pasalubong Center.


If you happen to be in the North, try to drop off at the queen province of the north – Isabela with a quick visit to its capital, the City of Ilagan. Here, you can find the region’s prime tourist destination, the City of Ilagan Sanctuary featuring the Santa Victoria Caves, Pinzal Falls and a host of natural and man-made amenities, while the latest attraction, the Ilagan Japanese Tunnel is a haven for lovers of art, history and culture.

The City of Ilagan dubbed as the Corn Capital of the Philippines celebrates the Mammangi Festival during the last week of May. Mammangi, an Ybanag word meaning the harvest or planting of corn honors the farmers who are the real foundation of Ilagan’s economy and is celebrated as a thanksgiving activity for a good harvest. Mammangui came from the Ybanag word mangui or corn.

mangi logomangi fest1

It was in the year 2011 that General Ordinance No. 33 was promulgated during the administration of then Mayor Josemarie L. Diaz ordaining Mammangui Festival as the official festivity of the city of Ilagan to be celebrated on the month of May. Highlights of the celebration are the much awaited events like the colorful float parade, street dancing spectacles executed by young Ilagueño dancers wearing native costumes made from indigenous materials and beauty pageants like the Little Miss Ilagan and the search for Mammangui Festival Queen which showcases the beauty and talents of Ilagueñas.

But the thrill doesn’t end there. A stroll at the Mangi Food Hauz and Pasalubong Center is just an adventure in itself. Located just adjacent to the Isabela Police Provincial Office and the Ilagan Public Market at Baligatan, Ilagan City, the food house is an innovative breakthrough of the Department of Agriculture – Cagayan Valley Research Center (DA-CVRC), promoting corn and its products.


The Cagayan Valley Research Center – Annex in Baligatan, Ilagan City


The Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 2 awarded an Accreditation to DA-CVRC on May 25, 2016 as an official agri-ecotourism farm destination, the first in the region.



The accreditation was issued by DOT to recognize the holder as having complied with the minimum standards and requirements prescribed for the operation and maintenance of farm agro-tourism sites. This is in pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 9593 declaring a national policy for tourism as an engine of investment, employment, growth and national development, and strengthening DOT and its attached agencies to effectively and efficiently implement the policy.


The Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 2 awarded an Accreditation to DA-CVRC  on May 25, 2016 as an official agri-ecotourism farm destination, the first in the region.


Agro-ecotourism as defined by DOT, is a form of tourist activity conducted in a rural farm area which may include tending to farm animals, planting, harvesting and processing of farm products. It covers attractions, activities, services and amenities as well as other resources of the area to promote an appreciation of the local products and technologies through personal contact with the local people. An agro-ecotourism farm site is a working farm producing and/or showcasing raw and/or processed products.



DA-CVRC, Ilagan City, Isabela, the first accredited agro-ecotourism farm in the region.


Mangi Food Hauz and Pasalubong Center

A quick peep at its natural environment, one can find a butterfly sanctuary, sunflower garden, pinakbet park, tunnel garden, a floating restaurant, a kidzone garden or the Children’s Park with a haven of organic plants and vegetables. This is truly a beauty to behold, a feast to the eyes as one appreciates nature at its best!


The Pinakbet Park



The Tunnel Garden


The Children’s Park
The Bahay Kubo


Mangi Food Hauz and Pasalubong Center serves foods made of corn – from pasta, tortilla, pastillas, cereals, and even mais-flavored ice cream and shakes. Even tables and chairs here are shaped into corn. One can opt the ordered foods to be served either at the Pasalubong Center or at the Floating Restaurant.


The Floating Restaurant




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The Christmas Cards

A christmas card is not a millenial thing. It is now as extinct as floppy disk, vhs tapes and walkman. Yet once a year, in a season like this, I don’t fail to open my magic shoebox, the repository of my little stuff which I consider the hard evidence of the treasured past. Each card has its little story to tell which make me smile everytime I browse its carbon dates and contents.

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Let this bridge be mine

Let this bridge be mine…Let it lead me to my past, courage see me through
and bring me home at last . . .
Our first instinct as we flee pushes us to burn bridges, leaving no way for an enemy to follow. Fight that feeling! Don’t burn those bridges. They could end up being the only way back to a place we might one day miss so much that we’d do almost anything to see again. While it’s always possible to rebuild anything we’ve destroyed, time is never on our side, and what’s new is never the same as what was. Leave your bridges standing, you’ll need them again when you come to your senses. With all the journeys life leads us on, we’re bound to circle back to roads and bridges once traveled, that we never thought we’d see again. So don’t burn bridges. You might need it someday!

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Look up the skies and see

Eager to watch the movie, “Ghost Bride” today, but the not so good weather hinders me. So I ended up scanning my external drive and watch the movie DINOTOPIA in my desktop computer. It’s a world beneath that Carl and David Scott discovered while flying a small aircraft over the ocean with their father, and then crashed on a land near an uncharted island. Before Carl and David can be accepted as one of the citizens of Dinotopia, both would have to pass an essay. This is funny… David wrote a 17-page essay, while Carl just wrote these lines: “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality. Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see”… Of course, Dinotopians applauded Carl’s intelligence in combining fantasy and reality, unaware that he was just quoting the lyrics of the Queen’s BOHEMIAN
#bohemianrhapsody #rainydays #homealone #moviesathome #moviemarathon #dinotopia #theworldbeneath #worldbeneath #findthelight


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Polar Express

My mini North Pole Express is now reloaded with good tidings to brighten up this season of joy, peace and love.
—� How many days before Christmas? Well, i don’t do the counting just like that. I only count my blessings!
#NorthPoleExpress #yuletide2017 #tooEarlyforChristmas #ChristmasCountdown2017


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The perks of being a perk

Can’t believe I was able to grab a copy of this brand new novel by Jasmine Warga at a measly P157.00 (Break: original cover price @ P489.00, less 20% discount, less P210.00 from NBS Laking National perks), from the same author who made me cry a river on her debut novel, “MY HEART AND OTHER BLACKHOLES”, which also gave me a reflective mood on what it means to die – and to live. I’m sure this second novel, “HERE WE ARE NOW” is still a YA, yet to recapture the “movies in my mind”, and will consume my alone moments. Sana feel-good-novel na ito, ayoko na umiyak while reading a book 😦
#HereWeAreNow #jasminewarga


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JUST MISSING CEBU (in all caps)

I posted this photo a month after our family visited the province of Cebu way back May 2012. Basically this is a 5-year old photo of BISAYA magazine, sold along sidewalks of Colon Street, Cebu City. I am not quite sure that if you visit Cebu today, you can still spot magazine like this. I was really attached to this magazine such that when I saw a copy, flashbacks came rushing in my mind. Through this magazine, I was able to recognize letters, differentiate the smaller and the big ones called the capital, and syllabicate (is that even a word? haha). What I mean is the aeiou, ba be bi bo bu and ultimately read a word. Yes, Bisaya magazine was the first material available during my time and place that literally honed my reading skills in my first grade. Later in Grade 2 when my reading comprehension developed, I was able to scan and skim its pages and appreciate the comic pages like Dyesebel, Zuma, Salto, Dino, as well as the laugh section dubbed “Gitik-gitik”, and sometimes on its spread or back page, the Balak or the poems contributed by readers from Visayas and Mindanao. Bisaya magazine was delivered every after two weeks or a month to our neighbor. We could not afford to buy one, so my mother or sisters borrowed an already read copies. My ultimate favorite then was Uray Angkay, sort of grandmother tales with moral lesson told to her grandkids, which stories varied every week. There was even a penpal section, a column on agriculture and fishery, a novel, a short story, national and local news, etc. This is my tribute to Bisaya, ang magasin nga pinalabi sa Kabisay-an ug Mindanao. Kung makakita ka ug ing-ani nga Bisaya, ayaw nyug ismolin ha? Have a fun-filled Saturday, everyone!

#Bisaya #bisdak #whenboredomstrikes #cebu #justsaying #missingCebu


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Go and Do

Thursday evening like this is an evening for reflection for me, a way of feeding and nourishing my soul. I always make it a habit to grab any books from the shelf, I invisibly labelled “spiritual”, and read and ponder from it. Tonight, I opted to open a verse from the Book of Mormon, that old one that Mormon missionaries usually gave to the “investigators” of the LDS church. With eyes closed, I chose a page and when I opened it, I was surprised that the verse is my all-time favorite, 1 Nephi 3:7. Yes, I remembered it well, during our Sunday school, we were told that this is about Nephi’s obedience to return to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates (a very important record of Lehi) because it is God’s commandment. I noticed that I colored the scriptures green with side note, “obedience”. I looked my other scriptures, that one we called in the church as the “triple book” and visibly observed the color red with a side note, “challenge”. Maybe because returning to Jerusalem and obtaining the brass plates heavily guarded was a very difficult task. And by the prompting of the small, still voice, I scanned the pages of my KJV Bible and landed on the New Testament page at Philippians 4:13 which every student of the bible can memorize – about doing anything with Christ who strenghtens. I just paused to seek some inspiration, then I saw the eco-bag I bought from SM, those ones with printed words ranging topics from environmental protection to anything with spiritual value. This one reads, “It’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it.” As if a spark of sudden thought, I remembered I downloaded some pictures from the internet on how some men carried heavy objects in a peculiar way. Thought after thought, many things came to my mind like the song, “He Will Carry You”, the “Footprints in the Sand”, etc. All these things were quite jumbling in my head. For a while. I don’t know how all these pieces fit together… Then I pondered the words – obedience, challenge, how you carry, God strengthens… Now maybe, Heavenly Father tries to teach me this evening that once you obey Him, all problems have solutions. Just pray and trust Him, and His will be done. Amen!








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When Life Throws You Lemons

Is this Lemon “worth the squeeze”?
Tamang-tama nung Friday ang officemate kong si Jackie ay may dalang lemon. Tinda nya. Bumili (umutang) ako ng isang kilo. Tamang tama sya dahil may sipon at ubo ako. I really need Vitamin C. Pagdating sa bahay that night, binalatan ko yung isa, just like how I peel off the buongon, kahel at orange. Yes, nabalatan ko naman sya pero mas makapal ang balat nya. I tried to eat the lemon kagaya ng pagkain ko sa kahel, pero di ko nakayanan sa sobrang asim. I have no juicer, so I have no choice other than slice them and squeeze off, so I could extract its juice. Mahirap mag squeeze. But after all the squeezing, the byproduct was a lemonade. Nilagyan ko ng konting asukal. Ang sarap! Natural juice… I did all these every after meal through the weekend, at ngayon medyo nawawala na sipon at ubo ko. Lesson in life: When life throws you lemons, make a lemonade… and, lemonade needs all the squeezings… Patience + hardwork = success



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God Will Give Me Justice


Now watching the movie adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, that tells of Edmond Dantes imprisonment at Chateu d’if for 13 years because of alleged treason, which in fact, an act of betrayal, selfishness and political ambition of people whom he trusted. At Chateu he met a fellow prisoner, a French priest, who teaches him the principles of physics, economics and literature, and how to fight like a swordman, they both dig the tunnel, and eat rats. The rest of the story is yet for me to be seen… Will Edmond escape from prison and seek revenge? For almost a year now, I seek for a copy of this book at NBS and Fully Booked, but to no avail. I saw one only at Barnes and Noble. Meanwhile, this movie will do just fine. For now.


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