Jan 31, 2012

Nasugbu Landing: D-Day 67 years ago!

             This is another historical post about Nasugbu during World War II. The following excerpt is from Success Beyond Expectation by Chris Antonette Piedad-Pugay during the 63rd Anniversary of the landing.

 "In the last few months of 1944, the Hunters ROTC Guerilla group made a final reorganization because of the increasing number of independent guerilla units overwhelming the provinces of Cavite and Batangas.  The Manila-Laguna-BatangasTayabas area was divided by an imaginary line,  areas in the east of the imaginary line were assigned to the 44th Hunters Division under the leadership of Lt. Col. Frisco Manuel while those found in the west, fell under the jurisdiction of 47th ROTC Division under Lt. Col. Emmanuel de Ocampo.  The two infantry division reported to Col. Eleuterio Adevoso.

                In a conference held at the camp of Capt. Bernard Anderson (USPIF) attended by selected officials of both Anderson and Adevoso organization, Lt. Com. Charles parsons forwarded the  information that Gen. Douglas MacArthur showed interest in Cavite and Batangas coastal areas as potential landing areas for the Liberation Campaign.

                Keen with the said statement, Adevoso guerillas conducted a study and produced a report and took possible control of the China Sea coast of Cavite and Batangas; Secondly, Adevoso established his command post in Nasugbu.

                After the triumph of the Leyte Landing on October 20, 1944, the Liberation Force advanced to the north and by the month of December eventually established airfields in Mindoro in order to place Manila within the range of American war planes.

                Finally on January 31, 1945, after few bombardments and assaults, the troops of the 1st Battalion and the 188th Glider of the Infantry of the Airborne  Division headed by the US 8th Army took the shores of Nasugbu unopposed.  At exactly 11:15 of that morning, Lt. Gen. Eichelberg, Commander of the US 8th Army commented that the reconnaissance-in-force was “successful beyond expectation."
The American Forces in front of the Old Municipal Building
The Pre-Landing and Landing Participation of the Hunters ROTC Guerillas
 The Hunters ROTC Guerillas played a vital part in the pre-landing and landing operation at Nasugbu, Batangas.  First and foremost, the American Army Force in the last few weeks of January 1945 assigned them the task of supplying them updated information and soundings of the sea bottom of the Nasugbu Bay.  Complying with the task was Lt. Com. George Rowe of the Intelligence Penetration Team with Lt. Col. Domingo Angeles of the 1st Battalion, 49th Infantry under de Ocampo’s division.

 Moreover, two days prior to the landing, 1st Battalion Commander Maj. Calixto Gasilao ordered a full force survey to determine the depth of the water and the extent and nature of Japanese installations on shore.  The task was dutifully performed by the Hunters guerillas headed by Lt. Col. Marcelo Castillo with an American counterpart from the 11th Airborne Division.  Afterwards, an exchange of intelligence reports took place followed by the outlining of the necessary plan of action for the January 31 landing.  The rest…is history."

And now presenting, the actual footage of the famous Nasugbu Landing.

More photos from Nasugbu.ph Facebook page.
Some Photos from History of Batangas

Jan 26, 2012

Nasugbu Liberation: The Plan

        On January 31, 2012, the beautiful town of Nasugbu will be celebrating the 67th Anniversary of the famous Nasugbu Landing that eventually led to the liberation of Manila on Feb 03, 1945. The following article is from MANILA: The Approach March by Robert Ross Smith which I got from Battle of Manila.

Photo from www.battleofmanila.org
        "Plans for the employment of the 11th Airborne Division on Luzon had undergone many changes. At one time the division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Swing, had been prepared to drop in the Central Plains in front of Sixth Army forces driving south from Lingayen Gulf. GHQ SWPA had abandoned this plan when, as the Lingayen target date approached, the Allied Air Forces reported it would have neither sufficient airfields nor transport planes to lift the entire division at the time its employment would be most meaningful. Next, MacArthur's headquarters made plans to use the division in a series of minor, diversionary operations along the southern and southwestern coasts of Luzon, ultimately narrowing the series to two RCT-sized landings on the south coast. But the employment of highly specialized troops for minor operations seemed wasteful and would tend to create almost insoluble problems of supply, command, and administration. Even two landings, one at Nasugbu on the southwest coast 45 miles from Manila and the other at Tayabas Bay, 75 miles east of Nasugbu, produced one major problem. To achieve desired results and to assure that the Japanese would not destroy the two RCT's in sequence, the landings would have to take place simultaneously. The Allied Naval Forces, however, could not provide sufficient escorts and fire support vessels for two simultaneous landings. If, on the other hand, the 11th Airborne Division made a single assault at Nasugbu, the Allied Naval Forces could make both fire support ships and escorts available. The Navy could solve the support problems even more easily if the airborne units landed at Nasugbu shortly after XI Corps went ashore on Luzon's west coast north of Bataan, for many of the same support vessels could participate in both operations.

        A single landing at Nasugbu promised to produce other desirable results. For one, it would tend to pin Japanese forces in southern Luzon, preventing them from redeploying northward to oppose Sixth Army's drive to Manila. For another, from presumably good beaches at Nasugbu the 11th Airborne Division could drive toward Manila, fifty-five miles distant, along an excellent road. Upon reaching the shores of Laguna de Bay, a large fresh-water lake lying southeast of Manila and separated from Manila Bay by the narrow Hagonoy Isthmus, the division could cut the main southern routes of reinforcement and withdrawal to and from the capital. Again, the Nasugbu beaches might prove an excellent place to land the 41st Infantry Division, a GHQ Reserve unit that was scheduled to move to Luzon to reinforce Sixth Army. Finally, the 11th Airborne Division could easily secure the Nasugbu beachhead against Japanese counterattack, since all the approaches to it ran through narrow passes in rugged hill country. No other landing points in southern Luzon combined the obvious advantages of Nasugbu Bay.

        On 20 January, having weighed all the pros and cons, General Eichelberger recommended to General MacArthur that the 11th Airborne Division make a single landing at Nasugbu Bay. The Eighth Army's commander intended to send the division's two glider-infantry RCT's ashore in an amphibious assault and then push them inland about twenty miles along Route 17 to Tagaytay Ridge where the highway, having come east across steadily rising ground, turns sharply north and runs gradually downhill to Manila Bay. Two or three days after the landing at Nasugbu, the 11th Airborne Division's 511th Parachute Infantry would drop on Tagaytay Ridge to secure it for the foot troops and to seize nearby stretches of Route 17 before the Japanese could assemble to defend the highway. Once the entire division had assembled along Tagaytay Ridge, it would make ready to drive northward to Manila.

        While approving Eichelberger's plans for a single assault at Nasugbu, MacArthur's concept of the 11th Airborne Division's employment was by no means as ambitious, at least initially, as Eighth Army's. Instead, MacArthur directed Eichelberger to land one RCT at Nasugbu Bay in a reconnaissance-in-force to ascertain Japanese strength, deployment, and intentions in the Nasugbu-Tagaytay region. If it appeared that the Japanese had relatively weak forces at Tagaytay Ridge, then Eichelberger could assemble the entire division there and reconnoiter to the north and east to determine Japanese dispositions and to contain Japanese forces throughout southwestern Luzon--rather a far cry from mounting a drive to Manila. MacArthur set the date for the Nasugbu assault for 31 January, two days after XI Corps was to land north of Bataan.

        The organization and missions of the forces involved in the small-scale Nasugbu landing were similar to those of previous amphibious operations undertaken within the Southwest Pacific Area. Task Group 78.2, under Rear Adm. William M. Fechteler, loaded and landed the assault troops. The task group numbered about 120 ships and landing craft of all types, its largest vessels being APD's and LST's. Fire support was provided by Task Unit 77.3.1, which consisted of a light cruiser and two destroyers. Planes of the 310th Bombardment Wing, based on Mindoro, provided air support.

        The 11th Airborne Division, which had been seasoned during the Leyte Campaign, numbered approximately 8,200 men. Its two glider-infantry regiments, the 187th and 188th, had about 1,500 men apiece (half the strength of a standard infantry regiment) and each contained two battalions of three rifle companies each. The regiments had no heavy weapons, cannon, or antitank companies. The 511th Parachute Infantry totaled about 2,000 men distributed among three battalions, each of which contained only three rifle companies. Artillery consisted of two 75-mm. pack howitzer battalions, a 105-mm. howitzer battalion armed with a short barrel howitzer that lacked the range of the 105's of a standard infantry division, and an airborne antiaircraft artillery battalion armed with 40-mm. and .50-caliber guns. Reinforcements included the Cannon Company of the 24th Division's 21st Infantry; Company C of the 532d Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment, the 2d Engineer Special Brigade; two antiaircraft automatic weapons batteries; and various service units. A Mindoro-based battalion of the 24th Division's 19th Infantry was available on call.

        The 11th Airborne Division expected to meet 7,000 Japanese in the Nasugbu-Tagaytay area, the bulk of them from the 17th and 31st Infantry Regiments, 8th Division. The airborne unit believed that about 500 Japanese defended the shores of Nasugbu Bay and that the main Japanese force, some 5,000 strong, held Route 17 at Tagaytay Ridge and a defile a few miles west of the ridge where the highway passed between the peaks of two extinct volcanoes.

        The estimates were correct in general but wrong in detail. Shimbu Group, responsible for the conduct of operations in southern Luzon, had entrusted the defense of the region south of Manila to the Fuji Force, a composite unit under Col. Masatoshi Fujishige, who also commanded the 8th Division's 17th Infantry.

        Numbering some 8,500 men, the Fuji Force was composed of the 17th Infantry, less 3d Battalion; the 3d Battalion, 31st Infantry; a battalion of mixed artillery; and combat engineers and service troops of the 8th Division. Co-operating with Colonel Fujishige (and soon to pass to his direct command) were about 5,000 troops of the 2d Surface Raiding Base Force, a Japanese Army organization made up of suicide boat units, called Surface Raiding Squadrons, and their base support units, designated Surface Raiding Base Battalions. The Raiding Squadrons, on paper, each contained 100 suicide boats and a like number of men; each Base Battalion numbered about 900 troops, most of them service personnel. Five or six of theRaiding Squadrons, which had lost most of their boats to Allied air and naval action before or shortly after the 11th Airborne Division's landing, ultimately became available to Colonel Fujishige, as did an equal number of the Base Battalions. Normally, the squadrons were amalgamated with their support battalions to form a single entity for ground combat operations.

        With a large area and an extensive coast line to hold, Fujishige originally deployed the bulk of his troops for defense against an Allied attack from the south rather than the west. In the area of immediate interest to the 11th Airborne Division he stationed his West Sector Unit, an organization of 2,250 troops built on a nucleus of the 3d Battalion, 31st Infantry. The West Sector Unit's largest concentration--600 infantry with artillery support--held the defile just west of Tagaytay Ridge, while another 400 infantrymen defended a southwestern nose of the ridge. The West Sector Unit had only 100 troops at or near Nasugbu; the remaining men were scattered in small garrisons throughout southwestern Luzon."

Jan 25, 2012

PEBA 2011

        This is a late post but still worth sharing. Last Dec. 09, 2011 I’ve attended my first blog nomination awards night at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City. This is for PEBA or The Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards (PEBA), Inc. "It’s a non-profit, non-stock organization of international Filipino Bloggers located from different parts of the world & duly registered in Securities & Exchange Commission and Bureau of Internal Revenue.  It has grown to have liaison offices in the Middle East, South East Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe and North Africa.

        Originally, PEBA serves as an award-giving body that recognizes and honors the exemplary work of blogging Filipino Expats and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW); to present their blog work and bring out their creative talents through the power of cyberspace.

        It has evolved to become a respectable new media network through its affiliate KABLOGS, the gateway portal of PEBA, Inc., an online journal of OFW experiences and stories.

        PEBA is engaged in Blog Awards for both local (Philippine based bloggers) and OFW and Expats Bloggers (International), and the International OFW Photo contest."

        I was nominated to the Trabyaheng Blog (Travel Blog) Category of the Any Blogger Anywhere contest. I know that I have a slim chance of winning but I still attended to know more about PEBA and the people behind it. And sure it was a perfect decision for me as they’ve got so many surprises for everyone including this opening number:

        Great flash mob style opening number. And now some pictures from the event:

The stage at Trinoma Activity Center
Mr. Jim Paredes giving an inspirational message
Some winners at PEBA 2011
More winners at PEBA 2011
 Mr. Jebee Kenji Solis the founder of PEBA
        Thank you again to PEBA for one unforgettable evening. I won a PhP 1000.00 worth of Ayala Malls gift card from the raffle. Others won Nokia phones and other stuffs from different sponsors. Until this year PEBA. Hopefully I’ll be nominated again...;-)

        To know more about PEBA visit their website at www.pinoyblogawards.com

Jan 6, 2012

It's More Fun in Nasugbu: The FOOD!

       In line with the newly unveiled tourism campaign by the Department of Tourism, and challenged by the question on twitter by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), what really makes the Philippines more fun? More fun than Switzerland and Philadelphia may I add, is the FOOD. So without further ado, my hometown's finest!

  • Indian Mango with shrimp paste (Manggang Hilaw with Alamang) - if you go to Nasugbu during the months of February to April, you will see along the road hundreds of Indian Mango bearing trees. Left and right you can just practically stop and pick one for yourself or you can buy from sidewalk vendors their own home grown Indian Mango with home cooked special Alamang. Also, jeep-loads of sacked Indian Mangoes being transported to Manila (Divisoria and Baclaran in particular) is a regular sighting.

  • Sapin-sapin - this colorful layered of glutinous rice with coconut flakes on top is a staple in Nasugbu Market. But you have to come early to buy it because they only sell it in the morning.

  • Bibingkoy - this one too, i think they only sell it in the morning. The yummy bibingkoy. Glutinous rice with sweetened mongo inside. My favorite among the "kakanin" of Nasugbu.

  • Pancit - Balita, Carding or Mang Mar's the Big Three when it comes to the best Pancit in town. You have to taste it to tell the difference. The picture below is from Mang Mar.

  • Halo-Halo - Arguably the best Halo-Halo in the country. Celing's Halo-halo by Celing's Refrehments, the one food/dessert every local knows and the one food every tourist must taste. The creaminess of this halo-halo makes you think that you're eating "ginataan". One spoonful and you can't just stop eating until there's no more. I thinks this is also the most popular dessert in Nasugbu. Celing's Refreshments is open from 4pm until 10pm only....;-)

  • Sea foods - I know, the sea foods in Visayas and Mindanao are cheaper. But I can say that Nasugbu's sea foods are as fresh. This sampler here is from Kainan sa Dalampasigan. Their specialty, Tanigue Steak(sorry no picture yet)! But the one below is their Inihaw sampler. Good for 3-4 persons, with their other specialty - the Baked Tahong. Very yummy. Very Cheesy...;-)

  • Pinangat - not to be confused with Bicol's pinangat aka Laing. This one here is a tuna wrapped with banana leaves boiled with dried kamias. Pinangat na Tulingan it is, but you can use different kinds of fish (dilis, galunggong, tawilis). I can say that this is truly one of Nasugbu's specialty dish. And rightfully so, the town is celebrating the Pinangat Festival where each Barangay send their best "Pinangat maker" and compete in a half day Pinangat cooking competition. The festival is being held days before the annual feast of St. Francis Xavier - the town Patron.

It's More Fun in The Philippines!

        The new international tourism campaign of the Department of Tourism. The logo is a woven banig with the Philippine Map on it. Unveiled 10:30am, Friday January 06, 2012, Sec. Jimenez said that "we can't just sit back and wait for people to come. But it isn't our (Filipinos) job, therefore we have to challenge for attention... It's time to be proud and competitive...We want the world not just to watch but to join...It is the Filipino that will make a difference...It is the Filipino that completes the Philippine Experience... Anything that you can think for that is more fun in the Philippines is what we want... We need a line that is easily understood. Competitive. More fun in the Philippines is true. Keri natin to..."

        At first I wasn't that happy when they unveil it. Maybe because of the fact that the people waited for so long for this and the Social Media world is buzzing about it this week that makes the expectation so high. But when I saw the new website for this campaign, I now believe Sec. Jimenez. Keri natin to... The website It's More Fun in The Philippines has that "Pinoy Factor" in it.Though it's not that fully developed yet but I already bookmarked it to wait for the upcoming updates. The DOT also encourages everyone to use the hash tag #1ForFUN when posting on twitter. Support the DOT's new campaign. And for Foreigners some good news, DOT will start releasing 30-day Visa's upon arrival in the Philippines. And it just sinks on me now, It really is more fun in the Philippines. Heck, it's more fun in Nasugbu... haha... Pilipinas, Tara Na!

Jan 1, 2012

Travel Plans / Wishlist for 2012

        After picking up the best of my 2011 travels, now I'm gonna show you my Travel Plans or wishlist for the year of the Water Dragon. Here goes my top 12:

  • Chateau Royale, Nasugbu, Batangas - No better place to start my adventure than to stay in one of the newest travel destination here in Nasugbu. It's just a 10 minute ride from metro Tagaytay so I expect the weather to be so Tagaytay(ish)... Oh, and it's also beside the Batulao Forest...;-)
  • Mt. Pico De Loro, Nasugbu, Batangas - The famous "Parot's Beak" in the boundary of Cavite and Batangas. Need to climb it before any other mountain this year...;-)
  • Manila Ocean Park, Manila - I was hesitant to go here before since it's not "that" complete yet. But I think right now is the best time before the price of the whole package become so expensive. And wanna try that fish spa in there...;-)
  • Hundred Islands, Pangasinan - I so wanted to go here for the past 5 years but was never permitted by time... and faith also... I think this is the year for Hundred Islands hopping...;-)
  • Baguio City, Benguet - The Summer Capital of the Philippines. The Ukay-Ukay Capital of the Philippines. The Strawberry Capital of the Philippines. Just need more "capital" for this trip...;-)
  • Sagada, Mountain Province - Going north? why not go to Sagada. Wanna see those hanging coffins. Wanna go caving. And I heard you can find there the 8th Wonder of the World, wanna see that too...;-)
  • Western Visayas - I think this will be my last stop for the Lakbay Jose Rizal Heritage Trail, there are two specific locations in Ilo-ilo and Dumaguete for that. I can also add Fort San Pedro in Cebu for this trip...;-)
  • Northern Mindanao - After the destruction made by Typhoon Sendong in Northern Mindanao, I'm more excited to see how the people and the local government will respond to that this year. So many great things to do in CDO and Iligan. And I think the best way to help them stand and be proud again is to visit their tourism hub. After all tourism is a very lucrative business...;-)
  • General Santos City, South Cotabato - The home of the best boxer in world. And the best tuna in the country of course...;-)
  • I want to attend one major Philippine Festival (e.g Panagbenga, Pahiyas, etc).
  • I want to watch one major concert preferably International performers. Local concerts will do especially if it's FREE. I wish the Department of Tourism will host a FREE concert for the Domestic Travel promo here in the country. Bring all the Artists for Phillippine Tourism in one stage. Do it Sec. Jimenez. Pilipinas, Tara Na!!!...;-)
  • And lastly I wish to travel to any Asian country this year. (wishful thinking)...
       And that's all folks. How 'bout yours?