Oct 31, 2011

Spirits at Corregidor

                Paranormal activities (not the movie) aren’t new to me. In fact I have an open “third eye” since I was 3. My first experience, I saw a striped (black and white) lady in our cousin’s house here in Nasugbu. Since then it never closes, but I got used to it as years passed by.  Seen a lot from lost spirits to some enchanted creatures. But I never capture any “thing” on film not until August, 2005.
                It was our educational trip to Corregidor, and I’ve heard a lot about the place. Corregidor is a small rocky island in the Philippines about 48 kilometers west of Manila which is strategically located at the entrance of Manila Bay. This island fortress stands as a memorial for the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II.
(Clockwise) Spanish Lighthouse, Malinta Tunnel,
Cine Corregidor, Eternal Flame,
Mile Long Barracks,  Battery Way
Today, the big guns of Corregidor are now silent and the ruins of buildings, structures, and tunnels in the island tell a very moving story of a war that has claimed so many lives.
So many lives indeed! And that’s the reason why it is one of the favorite places for adventure seekers and ghost hunters. It has been featured to a lot of Halloween TV specials in the Philippines. Many even captured some lost spirits on film. And here's one:
Just ignore the white silhouette, it's just me..;-) This was taken in front of the Mile-Long Barracks. Anyway I only noticed something strange in that photograph when I uploaded it to my computer. I don't know if it's just a product of my imagination or lighting or whatever it was but I can see a running soldier on that picture. Here's another one:
This one was from the Malinta Tunnel during the Lights and sounds show of what happened during World War II at Corregidor. It's optional for Corregidor trip packages but it's a must see. It’s called the “Malinta Experience.” Scripted by national artist and film director Lamberto Avellana and sculptures made by national artist Napoleon Abueva. Anyway I saw a standing "head-less" (Japanese?) soldier near the center of the picture. Imagination? Illusion? I don't know. But personally I saw a lot of bloodied soldiers inside the Malinta Tunnel. The most number of "spirits" I saw in one place. The good thing, we were about 50 students inside the tunnel so it felt less scary. Though I wanted to experience the Night Tour of Malinta Tunnel. It's not included in a regular day tour and can only be availed if you stayed overnight at Corregidor. It's much creepy since you will have the chance to explore some blown-up laterals of the tunnels where many Japanese soldiers committed suicide just prior to the recapture of the island by the American Forces.
Someday, I will experience that night tour, especially now that they're offering a lot more activities. They've opened up some more Japanese tunnels to be explored by visitors. And maybe some more new spirits of the dead? Happy Halloween everyone...;-)

Oct 28, 2011

Pic of the Week!

            Title: Bones
Location: Taal, Batangas
Photo Taken: October, 2011
The Story: Halloween Special! We recently had a meeting at Taal for our heritage group, the Heritage Conservation Society-Batangas. The 2nd meeting I attended and the first time I brought my camera. We met at Galleria Taal (which has a very good collection of old and working cameras-recommended for professional photographers and photo enthusiasts) or the Ilagan-Barrion Ancestral House by the invitation of Mr. Manny Inumerable (fellow HCS-Batangas member). After the meeting, we were asked by our head if we would like to visit the Spanish Cemetery (which the group visited when they met with the Taal Active Alliance Legion).  Of course I said yes! We arrived at the cemetery, well it's not really an open cemetery, it's more of like a lost cemetery. It's privately owned by one of Taal's Municipal Councilor and requested to have this cemetery be dug up by professional archaeologist. While roaming around the site I found this part of the skull and a thigh bone I think and a broken gravestone which has an 1890 inscription. Now I'm excited to "join" the digging when it happens.

Oct 24, 2011

I'm a PEBA Nominee!!!

        Yesterday I received this email (well, actually I received it last Thursday and only seen it yesterday) from Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards,(PEBA) Inc.
        It almost got expired because yesterday was the fourth day. I sent them a reply minutes after and received my official nominee badge today. (Also on my sidebar starting now...)
      My first nomination as a blogger. Thank you to whoever nominated me. Thank you to my readers. Thank you to my followers. Thank you everyone...;-)

Oct 20, 2011

Taal Volcano is in Batangas!

        This is supposed to be the message of the planned "BATANGAS" sign on Taal Volcano. Just this morning, an article at Inquirer Southern Luzon published the said plan by the Provincial Government. From the article:

        "The provincial council approved on October 5 a resolution supporting the idea of Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, the award-winning actress, to erect a hard-to-miss landmark and potential tourism draw, according to Vice Governor Mark Leviste II."

      Hard-to-miss landmark? Check! Potential Tourism draw? for Batangas? I don't think so. As a Batangueno from Nasugbu, I really feel envy everytime I saw tourists flock Tagaytay for the "view" of the world famous Taal Volcano and the lake. But at the same time I feel so lucky having the world's smallest volcano in our province.

           Maybe Mayor Tolentino of Tagaytay is right. Our provincial government is insecure. Insecure of how popular Tagaytay is arguably because of Taal Volcano. Insecure of how much income Tagaytay's tourism generates because of the natural wonder of Batangas. But putting a sign is not such a good idea. Because Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

       The Taal Volcano Protected Landscape, which is an active strato-volcano is situated in the municipalities of Talisay, Malvar, Tanauan, Laurel, Agoncillo, Sta. Teresita, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Mataas na Kahoy, Lipa City, Balete and San Nicolas in Batangas & Tagaytay City in Cavite. It consists of an island Lake Taal, which is situated within a caldera formed by an earlier very large eruption.

          Taal lake used to be covered by the Tagaytay Taal Integrated Master Plan crafted under the auspices of the Presidential Commission on Tagaytay Taal. The Commission was abolished by President Joseph Estrada in 2000, due to the fact that there is already a Protected Area Management Board which has jurisdiction over the lake basin. The TVPL was proclaimed a Protected Area in 1997 and covers 65,000 hectares of some of the most photographed views of the Philippines. It is governed by a Protected Area Management Board of over 150 people meeting (en banc) twice yearly, and an Executive Board elected from PAMB en banc which meets quarterly. The PAMB just approved the 10-year TVPL Management Plan in November 2009.

       The online community already has mixed reactions. Taal Volcano is trending on twitter in the Philippines. The Inquirer article now has 300 comments (mostly negative) and counting. It's a good thing Vice-Gov Leviste replied to some of the comments and at least they're open to some suggestions. But I do hope they listen to the people. Why not just promote other "view decks" of Taal all over Batangas? After all, one of the best view of Taal Volcano is on Mt. Maculot - which is in Batangas.

           I like the floating "ALA EH" restaurants though...;-)

sources: UNESCO World Heritage List
                Taal Lake Blog
                Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (Facebook)

Oct 14, 2011

Pic of the Week!

            Title: The Islands
Location: Verde Passage, Oriental Mindoro
Photo Taken: August, 2011
The Story: Our flight going back to Manila from Zamboanga. I was so amazed of the view from the top that I started taking picture after picture. I never exactly knew then where we were already, but this one caught my attention. After uploading the pictures I started "Google-ing" the image (you know, you can just drag and drop this image to the google search bar and it will show you similar images) but I didn't find the exact match. So I opened Google Earth and manually locate these 3 islands. and found out that it's about 6 miles Southeast of Verde Island or about 18 miles east of Puerto Galera...;-)

Oct 9, 2011

“Nag-driving ka na ba sa mga bayan sa baybay..?” part 3

This is the last part of the series Nag-driving... If you missed the first two parts here are the links: Part 1 and Part 2

Composed by: Mike Villegas and Rico Blanco; Words by: Rene Nieva; Arranged by: Angelo Villegas

The artists and bands who performed the 3 "Pilipinas, Tara Na!" songs are: 6 Cycle Mind, Aiza Seguerra, Barbie Almalbis, Bayang Barrios, Billy Crawford, Bituin Escalante, Boboy Garovillo, Christian Bautista, Cookie Chua, Dolphy, Ebe Dancel, Gabby Alipe, Gail Blanco, Gloc 9, Itchyworms, Janno Gibbs, Jaya, Jay-R, Jed Madela, Jett Pangan, Jim Paredes, John Lesaca, Jong Cuenco, Karylle, Kevin Roy, Kitchie Nadal, Kris Lawrence, Kyla, Manny Pacquiao, Martin Nievera, Nikki Gil, Noel Cabangon, Ogie Alcasid, Pepe Smith, Raimund Marasigan, Regine Velasquez, Rico J. Puno, Rivermaya, Sam Concepcion, Spongecola, Yeng Constantino, Zsa Zsa Padilla.
 Just like the Pilipinas, Tara Na! FB Fan page says "everyone is encourage to do their own share in promoting the Philippines. Travel the country, talk about it and tell everyone you know. Write about your adventures, post photos, videos and updates on Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Google+, Multiply, Blogs, etc., and let everyone see how beautiful the Philippines truly is."

Pilipinas, Tara Na!!! 

Oct 8, 2011

Pic of the Week!

            Title: Cave Mouth
     Location: St. Paul Subterranean River National Park, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Photo Taken: About 1 year ago
The Story: First time to visit Palawan and first time to enter a cave riding a banca. The world's  longest underground river until 2007. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since December 04, 1999. One of the most important forest in Asia. And I think this is the most recognizable place in Palawan. But the most important, it's a finalist at the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It's a little over a month left to vote. You can vote through SMS (Philippines only), just type PPUR and send to 2861 for Globe, Smart and Sun Cell subscribers. You can also vote online, just visit the New 7 Wonders website. VOTE NOW!!!