Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Corregidor is Important in our History...

Last weekend, my mom had a reunion with her high school classmates (Class of '69) at the historic Corregidor. Since I haven't visited this important place, I tagged along with around 28 mid-50s adults (mostly young grandparents LOL) and became their official photographer in their "school" field trip.

My two grandfathers served in the World War II. One lolo (grandfather) was a medical doctor who walked during the Death March at Bataan. He would tell me stories on how he survived the war. His name is in a marker at Tagaytay City. When he was alive, he would bring us there, proudly showing his name. He died when he was 97 years old!
On the otherhand, my groovy lolo was a runner in Tarlac. During his teen years, he would do errands for the Americans. He is still alive and might be one lucky Veteran because he might be one of the recipients of the proposed $198 million compensation for Filipino war veterans under the US Senate's economic stimulus package.

Ruins were preserved to respect the US and Filipino soldiers.

Old Cinema

So why is Corregidor important for the Filipinos and Americans? During World War II, when we were battling the Japanese Army, our puppet government was in Manila but the real government was holding office in the island and at a tunnel! And yes, General Douglas MacArthur, the man who said, "I shall return," was based in Corregidor.

At the time of Pearl Harbor, MacArthur's ground forces consisted of the Philippine Army of 10 divisions and supporting troops, with a total strength of about 100,000, and a US Regular Army contingent of more than 25,000. Of the latter force, the largest unit was the Philippine Division, consisting of one American regiment and two Philippine Scout regiments.

Our tour guide, Mr. Alfonso is also a veteran, very witty and if you don't pay attention to his "lecture," he would say, "Sasabutan kita!" (I'll pull your hair!) He's into his early 70s but still sharp, working and gwapo (handsome) for his age. He proudly shares that he has a mixture of Spanish, American and Filipino blood. He states that Corregidor with its strategic location was one of the last places to surrender to the Japanese Army.

I saw a lot of artilleries and the most exciting for me is walking inside the Malinta Tunnel to witness the light and sound presentation written and directed by the late National Artist Lamberto Avellana entitled, "The Malinta Experience." It is the National Artist's final tribute "to valor, peace and international understanding."
Inside the Malinta Tunnel...My lolo was under USAFFE that's why I took this pic from National Artist Lamberto Avellana's presentation.

At the Pacific War Memorial Museum...


Philippine Money
I suggest that if your grandparents are still alive, make a family trip to Corregidor. Inquire at the CCP Bay Terminal re the day trip or overnight stay and relive our history. The entire Corregidor tour is worth it!
For tour packages, visit and Tel: (632) 5275555 ext 4511 to 13.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Gisele Bundchen Sand Fem @ Corregidor

I first had my flip flops during my first trip to Boracay. My fave "footwear" went on to travel from Los Angeles, USA, Singapore, Bangkok and Macau and to local destinations like Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Baguio, etc.
With deep regrets, I had to retire it. The sole had become thinner and softer which makes walking very uncomfortable. And if you're a wandering traveller, your feet leads you to different magical places! You have to pamper your feet with the best footwear to enjoy any journey!

I have discovered a new line called Ipanema Gisele Bundchen Seeds Collection. I am a practical person. I don't go ga-ga over a star's product endorsement. GB is quite a popular figure in the fashion industry, not because of her beauty but her strong environmental advocacy. I have never been fashion conscious. I buy things because of the quality, not because it is advertised in glossy magazines. So when my eyes first caught the GB Seeds Sandal Fem, it was totally love at first sight. The style is so feminine but at the same time, the material is tailor made for long walks.

My Ipanema's first destination is Corregidor. Spot my GB Seeds in the photos below :)

My verdict on my first try with my GB: Two thumbs up! Lucky for my newest flip flop for it would go places! I'm bringing her with me on my next travels :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sagada Images On My Mind

I'm ending my Sagada series with images that I found interesting during my three-day stay.

That's me shooting myself hehe...

I saw this man walking on my way to the St. Mary's Episcopal Church...

At the cemetery...

This tomb stands out!

I've noticed that when you walk around Sagada, there are a lot of blank markers. Really made me curious but haven't gotten any answer from the residents I interviewed.

A lone orange tree...

Beautiful clouds...

Sagada's Post Office...really laid back :0

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Yoghurt House

It is a MUST that if you are in Sagada, you should make it a point to have a meal at Yoghurt House. The place is intimate, conversations should be hush-hush or everyone will hear your stories! On one corner is a shelf full of old books for sale. Black and white photographs are also on display showcasing the old Igorot life and the Sagada papermoney trail. The images give you a short history of the Mountain Province right inside this cozy resto!

For lunch, I tried their Chicken Rosti (chicken on top of fried shredded potato fries) and it really made me full! No rice!
This is the best yoghurt I have tasted! Fresh, soothing and so delicious!

For dessert, I also tried their Banana Cheese Crepe, oh la la :)

I was having long conversations with my best high school friend so we ordered a hot lychee tea to compliment our never-ending storytelling. This tea is so right to enjoy Sagada's cold weather!

This is one place that you will never forget in your lifetime. Yoghurt House is unique and gives you a yearning to come back over and over again.