Welcome, weary travellers from all over the world: "Tuloy po kayo, mga manlalakbay" to our bucolic barrio sari-sari store that we call the ZambalesForum (ZF). You have stumbled into our little place that you and I will remember in our youth as the place by the side of the dusty national road. It is a place that recalls a bygone era of simple barrio folks congregating at the end of each working day, as the crimson sun sets over the tropical horizon. Do you remember, as I still do, that it was in the sari-sari store that we find every salt of the earth of the barrio, freshly washed of mud from the fields, with hair slick with pomade and smelling of "brilliantine", gossiping with friends and neighbors, and, perhaps, enjoying a round of "tagay" or two while dreaming of all the great things that they would someday do? It was here that many of us have come of age. Do you remember that it was in the sari-sari store that Tata Marcing and Lolo Pasyo had gathered to plot our circumcision for the following weekend at the "karayan" (river), as we had plotted the future course of our lives between gulps of gin straight up?
Indeed, those were the days replete with bittersweet memories that still linger in the deepest recesses of our minds. The sun rose in the east and the birds flew; suddenly, in the zenith or twilight of our lives, as the case maybe, we find ourselves in distant places and disconnected from it all. Though the sari-sari store of our youth is no longer how it used to be- an unfortunate victim of progress and social transformation- deep in our hearts, our yearnings to experience it once more for old times sake remain always strong. It is in this frame of mind that ZambalesForum (ZF) discussion group and its offshoot, this website, were born. For to be youthful again and to be able to revisit the old stomping ground at least in spirit is to recapture the glory of those simple and carefree years. Thus, the barrio and the old sari-sari store, complete with a matchbox hanging from a string attached to the ceiling, evoke intertwining memories that serve as a cultural reference that we can all understand.
Please come in and make yourself at home. This site is a collaborative effort by members of and an extension of the ZambalesForum (ZF) discussion group. Feel free to browse through our meager offerings at your leisure, and enjoy the store's products at no cost to you. We sell no "bakya" or "tsinelas, but we'd like to share with you our Filipino and international recipes listed in "Palayok ni Neneng" pages. We hope that before you leave, you can contribute your own recipe.
Rove the mountain ranges of Zambales in "Mga Kwentong Cowboy" with our resident Cowboy who left behind many weeping "dalagitas" in his trail, or simply travel back in time to "Doon po sa Amin" to revisit and reclaim some of our fading cultural traditions. Join us in celebration of "Pista sa Nayon" and discover how the legacies of our pre-colonial pantheist beliefs go hand in hand with our learnt Christian tradition in the shaping of today's Philippine Fiesta. Laugh at our jokes in the "Sistehan" pages, as they are there for your enjoyment. Experience the horrendous ordeal of the combined Filipino/USAFFE forces in defense of Corregidor in the "Zambales" pages, and, on your way out of the store, remember to visit the dark room of Goth in "Bahay ng Dwende". Grope around in the dark and laugh nervously at the uniquely Philippine anecdotes about superstitions, the paranormal and the supernatural that you will find within. In return, we ask only that you tell your friends about us and the existence of a sari-sari store located beside the dusty national road. Please visit us more often to enjoy the latest additions to the site.
If you wish to subscribe to the ZambalesForum (ZF) discussion group,
please send an e-mail to the webmaster.
Our Cover Page | A Message from John Reyes | Zambales | Table of Contents | Palayok ni Neneng | Sistehan | Bahay ng Duwende | Doon po sa Amin | Mga Kuwentong Cowboy | Pista sa Nayon | The Way We Were | Links | Guest book
Zambales Mangoes picture courtesy of Roland Reyes