Rediscovering history at Corregidor

Corregidor has been in my travel bucket list for the longest time, primarily because of its significance in the Philippine history. I went there last Sunday (March 13, 2016) with my blogger friends (day off ni #LeBoyf lol!) for a day tour and it did not disappoint! This is my kind of travel that I will enjoy the most for a history geek like me.

One will surely enjoy the well-preserved historical structures, the untouched nature, the serenity of the surroundings and its calming sea. Well-recommended for those who travels alone or with a group.

So here are the highlights of my sudden trip to Corregidor!

I woke up early sunday morning and went to Sun Cruises (located at the back of the MOA, just beside Vikings), got our tickets and paid for our environmental fee (25 pesos).

The ferry was on the first-come-first-serve service, whoever pays early will surely get the best seats in the ferry, which is on the top part. The ferry itself was air-conditioned, seats are comfy, the crew was stationed in every corner, with police officer included in order to avoid any mishaps during our ferry ride. in case we get hungry, there’s a canteen stationed inside the ferry. There’s also an opening at the upper deck of the ferry where you can have the view of the Manila Bay and its surrounding islands.

The ferry ride to Corregidor was estimated around 1.5 hrs from Manila. As we arrived, tranvias are displayed and is used on our tour.

Lorcha Dock

We first went to the Lorcha Dock, where Gen. Douglas McArthur exited from Malinta Tunnel to Australia as ordered by US President Roosevelt.

The statue of Gen. Douglas McArthur stands in his honor, with his famous line, “I shall return!”. He actually said that when he was already in Adelaide, Australia.

Vitamin Sea!
Forever morena ini!
Blogger friendships! While I enjoy my solo travels, it’s undeniable that travelling with friends multiplies the fun that you’re currently had.
nanananana…batman! loljoke! it’s actually a man-made cave created by the Japanese hai hai!

As we went to the next destination, we saw caves made by the Japanese that are being used during the World War II.

Japanese garden of peace

Serenity in the garden

Next stop is the Japanese garden of peace that is located at the tail side of the island. The attraction is also known as a praying area for the Japanese war veterans and the families of the Japanese soldiers who perished during the World War II.

It is said that a Japanese tourist etched out the words “brave Japanese” because of what his fellow people did to the country out of shame.

Japanese marker
Fertility Buddha. It is said that whoever touches it will get pregnant.

A 10-ft high stone Buddha, a reflecting pool, a Shinto shrine, various Japanese markers and anti-aircraft guns are included in this area. It is said that the Buddha (inspired by Mary and Child Jesus) is a fertility God, whoever touched the statue will bear a child.

Souvenir shops can also be found in the garden, where you can buy various souvenirs, including Japanese and American currencies being used during that time.

Malinta Tunnel

The Malinta Tunnel is the last stronghold of the joint Philippine and American military prior to the Japanese takeover during the World War II. It is also a bomb-proof shelter being used even before the Japanese came in 1942.

Lights and sounds show

With fellow travel blogger Rona

The said Tunnel is now being used for the Lights and Sounds show created by the National Artist Lamberto Avellana. The said audio-visual presentation depicts the historical significance of the tunnel and its series of events that took place in Corregidor.

Corregidor Inn

This is where we had our lunch break. We had buffet lunch at that time. Their welcome refreshment is a sure relief to the scorching sun. The view outside is great too. As for the food, it was good, not that bad either.

Battery Way

minted, pre-war american coins that our tour guide Armando showed to us.

It is where the four 12-inch mortars were located. The mortars are capable of a 360-degree traverse, and they are able to fire on land targets in bataan.

Hospital Ruins

The hospital was one of the ruins that are still standing in the island. it is said that all patients of the said hospital were rushed to the Malinta tunnel during the war, as the Japs bombed the whole island.

We were fortunate to check out the ruins as it is not even part of the day tour. Our tour guide told us that the place is used for ghost hunting that is included in the overnight tour.

Much has been said in the said ruins, for it is said to be the training ground of the Philippine military and the elite troops in the 60′s, where the Marcos administration planned to infiltrate the Sabah islands from Malaysia.

Battery Hearn

The Battery Hearn has the longest artillery battery in the island. despite the size, it never played a vital role during the war because of its direction. (it is faced towards the South China Sea) The artillery is famous for the Japanese tourists for its image is used as the banzai victory photo for their fellow countrymen when they captured the island.

Mile-Long Barracks

The picture is only 1/4th of the mile long barracks

it is the most photographed place in the island because of its massive size and structure. It is also the world’s longest military barracks, measuring 1520 feet in length. it was once a distinctly-decorated building where it blends to the look and feel of the island and its its surrounding buildings.

How I wish we could have an existing old photo of the barracks before the war came. The skeletal remains of the structure, though looks old and weary, still looks gorgeous as ever.

Corregidor island lighthouse

It’s amazing how The Corregidor island lighthouse still stands up to this day since its operation in 1853. It is said to be one of the most important lights in the archipelago as it guides the ships to the Manila bay on their way to the port of Manila.

The lighthouse did not survive the World War II. The now-erected lighthouse was constructed in the 1950s, which is now being seen today.

The water tank hill stood at the back of the lighthouse, where fresh water ans salt water are being stored. it is said that there are six water tanks available before, but now, only 3 tanks are being seen up to this day.

The old flagpole is still stands for more than a century. It is actually taken from the Spanish warship that is captured during the Battle of manila in 1898.

Pacific War Memorial

Located at the highest point of Corregidor, the said memorial is erected to honor the Filipinos and American soldiers who joined during the World War II.

Tail end

We went first to the back side of the memorial, where we can see the tail-end side of the island and the faraway view of the Manila Bay.

The Eternal Flame of Freedom

The 40 feet corteen steel structure called the Eternal Flame of Freedom also stands tall at the memorial, also located behind the memorial.

View at the back part of the memorial
Sleep now, mighty heroes. You will be forever honored.

There is also a 6,000 sqm dome with a rotunda, where the circular altar is located. The dome’s open center lights up the altar every May 6 at 12 noon, and all is requested to offer a moment of silence as this is the time when the country fell into the hands of the Japanese.

If you’re in a zombie apocalypse, what weapon will you choose, and why?

The museum is away from the memorial, where different memorabilias were being seen and were used previously by the Filipinos, Americans and the Japanese.

Damaged Cine Corregidor
Brothers in arms
Part of the Mile Long Barracks

I am in awe on how beautiful Corregidor was, despite its massive damage during the second world war.

A lot can be seen near the Pacific war memorial. there’s the damaged building of Cine Corregidor, the bachelor officers quarters, the brothers in arms, the rock force and various artillery displayed in the open field.

Battery Crocket

Mami Lariza just being touristy
The massive artillery can only be seen from above.

One of the artillery battery in the islands that is one of the three “disappearing” gun batteries. it is said to be disappearing because it is hidden behind the concrete parapet.

South Dock

Beach please!

Our last stop was at the South dock, where it is said to the convenient place to park on the boats aside from the Lorcha dock and the south dock. It also has a nice view of the beach and its nearby islands.

So there you have it! Oh how I wish we could avail on the overnight tour, I would love to explore more of Corregidor soon!

***Special thanks to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) under Mr. Mark Lapid. Thanks so much Sir for accommodating us! 
Now where to go next? ~SailorStarCatcher

 

 

Sea-Ex: The 8th Philippine Boat Show and Nautical Lifestyle Expo!

The Philippines is a well-known archipelago, with natural wonders that is yet to be explored. Though we already have different options to explore the whole country (busses, RoRo, planes, passenger ships), there are also other means to travel and hop-in to different islands. Thus, passenger boats and yachts can be a great alternative.

This myriad display of boats can be seen and more at the upcoming Sea-Ex: The 8th Philippine Boat Show and Nautical Lifestyle Expo.

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Sea-Ex: The 8th Philippine Boatshow and Nautical Lifestyle Expo and Conference will be held on February 19-21, 2016 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. The 3-day event is co-organized by Headsail Inc. and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

It’s a great place to be to search for amazing deals, especially now that the summer is just weeks away.

The said event will feature a large display of boats (from small dinghies to lavish yachts), boating gear, watersports equipment, diving/fishing accessories, beach apparel and even resort getaways. Everyone who’s getting ready for summer will surely enjoy this event.

With Angelo Alondriz, Owner of HeadSail Inc.
With Angelo Alondriz, Owner of HeadSail Inc.

special activites on this much awaited event will include: the launch of the country’s first motorized surf board, a fishing activity area, boat building demo for the family by Philippine Home Boat Builders Yacht Club, who will also be speaking about building cost-friendly sail boats.

Now on its 8th year, Sea-Ex 2016 aims to be at the forefront, mirroring the slow but steady growth of the leisure boating industry in the country. The event has gone above the traditional trade exposition as it strives to create awareness, growth and change within its field while offering the best deals for everyone’s summer needs.

For more details, visit the website: http://seaex.ph/ and their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/philseaexpo. Don’t miss this amazing event!

Bohol Travel Fair 2015

 

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Despite being harassed by the seasonal typhoons and the devastating earthquake that wrecked most of its historical landmarks, Bohol emerges as one of the top tourist destinations here in the country. With its pristine charm, one can’t resist to go back and experience what Bohol has to offer for everyone.

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Visit Bohol 2015 is a 3-day event that seeks to promote and to showcase Bohol’s gorgeous attractions and its world-class resorts and facilities to everyone who wants to take a glimpse to this beautiful province.

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The 3-day Bohol Fair is held at the Glorietta Activity Center starting today until January 11, 2015 and is organized by the Bohol Provincial Tourism Council under Atty. Lucas Nunag.

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The event should not be missed, for the said event offers discounts on Bohol’s known resorts and tour attractions, as well as massive discounts on their budget airline partner, Air Asia. Apart from that, Guests will be serenaded with the world-renowned Loboc Children’s Choir during the 3-day event.

This should not be missed! For more details, check out the poster below for details.

VisitBohol2015

Learning attractions at the Riverbanks Center!

 

I haven’t been to marikina for the longest time, until now.

The last time that I’ve been to marikina is when I went to the Marikina Sports Center for the school org’s annual school olympics. I had fun alright, but before that I’ve been hearing good (and sometimes bad) about Marikina and its places.

While Marikina is known for its shoes, flood-prone areas and being hazardous to earthquakes, they are also known for its fantastic museums that are a must-see when you’re in the area.

I was invited to the Riverbanks Center to take a tour on their museums located at the E-com center. I’m actually surprised that they had so much to offer, and theirs is very unique from the other museums that I’ve been to. Definitely a must-see for everyone!

The Riverbanks – E-Com center

While the Riverbanks Center is known for being a shopping center, the Riverbanks Center-E-Com center houses the museums and some of the cafes adjacent to the Marikina river itself. the second floor of the E-com center has a great view of the Marikina River, and Im amazed that it’s all clean and less polluted, very different from Manila’s Pasig River. It was the former Mayor Bayani Fernando (I think? pls correct me if i’m wrong) who started the rehabilitation of the city that made it look pristine until today.

Here’s what we did to the Marikina Center tour:

Joey Velasco Gallery

The Joey Velasco Gallery houses the Late artist Joey Velasco’s prized paintings and sculptures, based on the life and times of Jesus Christ in a modern setting. His most famous work, the “Hapag ng Pagasa” (Table of Hope) indeed powerful yet moving, indeed a masterpiece worth seeing.

Joey Velasco is an entrepreneur, until he learned that he has a life-threatening kidney disease. it is said that he uses his paintings as his way to relieve depression bought by his sickness. since then, he has created over a hundred paintings in five years.

We were also given a chance to watch Joey Velasco’s video about the story of the “Hapag ng Pagasa”. No words can express how this story moves me. it inspires me to be better, and to share the things that I can do for other people, just like what Joey Velasco did.

He uses oil painting as his medium for all of his paintings, also displayed in the gallery.

Joey Velasco is also a sculptor as well. his sculptures also depicts of the life and times of Jesus Christ, being with us at this modern times.

Sadly, Joey Velasco succumbed to the kidney disease at the age of 43. but despite that, his legacy lives on, and thus the Joey Velasco Foundation is born, where its priority is to give support to the Hapag kids and their families in Amparo, Caloocan City. The JVF also creates livelihood projects for them, gives training to enhance their skills and other activities for the value formation of the community.

For those who love religious art, this place is for you.

The Spirit of Bethlehem Museum

The Spirit of Bethlehem museum private collection from Gigi Abaya-Carlos houses over 500 belens, nativity sets, posters, paintings and sculptures from all over the world.

Her decades of devotion to the infant Jesus started her collection. Among those displayed is her first belen set that is bought at the Catholic Trade School in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila in 1952.

The smallest nativity set displayed at the museum, only the size of a walnut.

The depiction of Baby Jesus, along with Mama Mary and Joseph are to be seen here on different versions. Elaborate paintings, intricate sculptures, and replicas in various forms are being shown in the museum, along with the serenades of the christmas carols as a background music while checking on each of them.

Some of the Nativity sets from around the world.

From the indigenous versions of the nativity from different provinces in the Philippines to the elaborate nativity sets from different countries around the world. Each of them is unique, and is made of different materials.

eyecatching nativity set that is made of glass

Definitely a must-see collection for those who wants to celebrate holiday season.

Museum of Miniatures

Looks real eh?

The museum itself amazes me with the real-life replicas of the things being seen in all rooms of a European mansion. the design in all areas of a European house looks intricate and very detailed, for the replicas being used looks very real.

The collection from the late artist Aleli Vengua handcrafted most of the items that is included in the museum. scrap items like plastic, glass, wood, aluminum and fabric are mostly used to create such masterpieces that is now being seen in the museum.

looking at the miniature replicas makes me feel like a child again. it makes me remember the days where I played with my paper dolls and imagine having them with this room setting.

I was informed that the miniature room design changes every now and then, depending on the season and occasion. this attraction is a must-see for everyone, perfect for the young and the young at heart.

Philippine Science Centrum

I haven’t been to the science museum for the longest time, until now. Glad that I got a chance again after we all went to the Philippine Science Centrum (PSC), out last stop to the Riverbanks Center tour.

the open-air museum is recognized by the Department of Education, Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Tourism, because of its hands-on demonstrations and interactive exhibits being displayed inside.

The PSC houses over hundred hands-on exhibits in eleven (11) exciting galleries: Lights, Bodyworks, Mathematics, Electricity & Magnetism, Water, Vision and Perception, Infectious Diseases, Earth Science, Space, Kids’ World and Mechanics.

Looking at the places and other attractions made me feel like a child again who’s hungry for adventure and thirsty for knowledge. all of us wants to come back to play, explore and to learn. not bad for grownups eh?

Because of its interactive and specious venue, it’s a must-see destination for field trips and other educational activities. It’s also a great place for school/corporate events, birthday parties, trainings/seminars and science-related events.

We all had fun exploring what the Riverbanks Center has to offer! Definitely a a place to learn and play for the young and old! :)

The Riverbanks Center

http://riverbankscenter.com/learn-play

The Spirit of Bethlehem & Miniature Museum

Web page: http://riverbankscenter.com/learning-center/spirit-bethlehem

Web page: http://riverbankscenter.com/learning-center/museum-miniatures

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/museumforthemindandspirit

Joey Velasco Gallery

Web page: http://riverbankscenter.com/learning-center/joey-velasco-gallery

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joey-Velasco-Foundation-Inc

Philippine Science Centrum

Web page: http://riverbankscenter.com/learning-center/philippine-science-centrum

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/philippinesciencecentrum

Let’s go around Intramuros with Bambike Ecotours!

I am one happy kid. I was taught to ride a bike when I was so little, and I had those memories where I used to rent a bike within the CCP grounds with my cousins to have a little tour within the area. (this always happens whenever we planned to go to Star City and the tickets were all sold out lols! XD)

With Bryan and my fellow bloggers from Wazzup Pilipinas. (Pic’s from Ross.)

well that was years ago, and I haven’t rode a bike since then. Thankfully, I had a chance to ride again, but now within the walled city of Intramuros using the bamboo bikes from Bambikes.

The bamboo bike

And this is the bike that I’ve used during the tour, such a cutie no? :D

Bambikes (or bamboo bikes) are created mostly by bamboo and abaca by the bambike makers from Gawad kalinga. The aim for making this one-of-a-kind bike is to sustain the reforestation of the bamboo nursery, while creating sustainable jobs for the poor.

The bamboo plant is known for its durability, flexibility and strength. And to ensure that the bamboo bikes will last for a very long time, the bamboo being used to create these ecobikes are crafted for weeks before being used and released in the market.

The Store

me and my fellow bloggers were invited to see their store in Plaza San Luis, and while waiting we checked on their beautifully crafted bikes…

All bamboo bikes comes in all shapes and sizes, all created with TLC by the bamboo bike makers in Gawad Kalinga.

We are all in awe at how amazing their bikes were. It was so beautiful, but a bit pricey. But since part of the sales of the ecobikes and tour will be given at the Gawad Kalinga, I think it’s worth the price.

Spare parts are also being sold here, and so are some refreshments that is needed for the tour.

We were then introduced to Brian, who guides us during our tour to the historic Intramuros. He explained to us how the bikes were made, the aim for this ecotour, his advocacy to help the poor (through Gawad Kalinga) and our itinerary on this fun ride. He’s gonna be our tour guide btw, along with his aide who’s always on our back to ensure our safety while we’re on a roll. :P

(Brian is half Pinoy and American, and he reminds me a lot of my younger cousin who’s in Chicago right now, such a cutie no? :P)

well anyway, let’s proceed to the tour!

Biking along the walls

Pls excuse my crazy worn-out face, my shameless set of selfies are included in this blog post, consider yourself warned! >_<

I like everything about the Bambike ecotours – we went on different places around the city walls that is never been seen (or included) in every Intramuros tour using our bamboo bikes, that we even had a ride with our bikes at the top of the walls itself! Bryan explained to us that bikes are not allowed within the walls, and it’s a priveledge for us to have these experience.

our bikes went on a test drive first while we’re inside Casa San Luis.

to ensure of our safety while on the tour, we were given a chance to choose the bikes that we wanted and had it on test drive while we’re still on Plaza San Luis. it’s been ages since I last rode a bike, and good thing that the bike is easy to use but it’s kinda heavy for me.

we went on different places, including:

Bryan talks about the four Pu Dongs (Chinese lion dogs) infront of the San Agustin Church

the San Agustin Church,

Cuartel De Sta. Lucia,

Baluarte De San Diego Gardens, now being used for weddings and events.

Baluarte De San Diego,

OHAI cannon!

to the hidden Japanese cannon in Muralla,

and to the Puerta Real Gardens, where we hang out for a while and explore the hidden sanctuary inside the city walls.

Chillaxing at Escuella Taller

then we went to the Escuella Taller, where sculptors and architects went to learn how to create intricate church artwork and designs.

We’re on top of the wall, were we had a nice view of the SM Manila, Manila City hall and that MONSTROUS Torre De Manila (now in construction) that will definitely ruin the view of our national park once finished.

after that, we went on a ride going up in the walls at the Baluarte De Dilao.

taken while we’re still on the gardens, nice view eh?

since this is an ecotour, the trees and the plants sprawling around the area are also explained.

Accodring to our fellow blogger Rence Chan, this famous bronze statue of Queen Isabel is well traveled here in Manila. :P

and we all went outside to have a glimpse of the bronze statue of Queen Isabel at the Puerta De Isabel.

At the Baluarte de Herrerias, where the fire trees are lined up, giving us protection against the sun while we enjoy the view of the Pasig River.

We crossed the road full of jeepneys and went inside the Baluarte De Herrerias, where we were greeted by cars, lined fire trees and a view of the Pasig River. the trees gave us some sort of protection against the scorching afternoon sun.

rode our bike inside that wall, DUN DUN DUNNN
insert Super Mario dungeon theme on background :P
Yay we survived lol! :))

after our quick break, we went inside those walls chill down and ride. it is said to be a former hiding place for their weapons and bombs, if im not mistaken.

we crossed the road again and passed by Colegio de Sta. Rosa and Manila Cathedral,

and had another round of battle with the PUJs while we’re on our way to the Fort Santiago.

The majestic bamboo trees and photobomber Mars Callo :P

once there, we had a brief lesson on the types of bamboos growing around the area.

went straight to the main gate…

Part of the portrait found inside Rizal Shrine inside Fort Santiago

and proceed to the now air-conditioned Rizal Shrine…

Jose Rizal’s letter for his most trusted confidante, Ferdinand Blumentrit.

where most of the memorabilias about the country’s national hero is being seen.

it was a great way to re-learn about our country’s rich history and the significance of the walled city of Intramuros. and thanks to our tour guide Bryan and his guide, we learned a lot and we all enjoyed the event. and despite the passing of the cars and jeepneys along the way, we feel so safe and secure, thanks to them both and the guards around Intramuros area.

the tour that includes the use of the bike and headgear, refreshments and a 2-3hr epic ride going in and around Intramuros.

It’s a different kind of tour, and to tell you the truth I have so much to tell about Bambike Ecotours. I recommend it for everyone to enjoy to have this enchanting experience! :)

 

Bambike Ecotours

Plaza San Luis Complex, Real St. corner General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila 1002 PH

Phone: +63 (2) 5258289

email: info@bambike.com

http://bambike.com/ecotours

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BAMBIKE

Twiitter: https://twitter.com/bambike

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/BambikeTV

Instagram: http://instagram.com/bambryan

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/bambike/

Google+: http://google.com/+BambikePH