Friday, January 29, 2010

Wow Corregidor!

One destination often neglected because of its proximity with the metropolis is the historical Corregidor Island. Bubbles and I had the opportunity to visit the island and made this our last out-of-town destination in 2009, before she departed for the States.

Getting to the island is relatively easy and cheap. For only P2,495, you can be able to go overnight in the island. The packages comes with a free day tour, buffet lunch (Day 1), and accommodation in the Corregidor Inn. If you want additional attractions/activities, you can pay extra P150 for the lights and sound show in the Malinta Tunnel. Also, an evening and day two morning tour which includes sunset-viewing, hospital ruins tour, Malinta tunnel-by-night tour, sunrise viewing, and cave dwelling costs only P150!

Meal prices range from P100-250, depending on your appetite. All in all, you will get to spend between P3,000-P3,500, and in exchange for that, you get to catch a glimpse/experience a piece of our nation's history.

I'd say every Filipino should visit Corregidor at least once in their lifetime. The island experience will make anyone appreciate the gallantry, courage, and nationalism of our Filipino soldiers during the Second World War.

What is corregidor island anyway?

Well, based on history books and wikipedia, Corregidor is the nation's last fighting island. It was the last island to be occupied by the Japanese in December of 1941. It was the island where the last few executive decisions were made by then Philippine President Manuel Quezon before the country was forcefully turned over to the Japanese. This was a military stronghold, a fortress.

The island was, during that time, high-tech. Irrigation and sewerage were well-engineered, high-powered batteries/cannons were in place, soldiers and their families had all sorts of recreation from stadiums, movie houses to gymnasiums. It had schools, hospitals, markets. It had a strong tunnel system via the Malinta Tunnel, with a decent railing system. It was a society on its own. It was more like the Subic/Clark of the 1930's. But of course, the war broke off and all that were beautiful were brought to ruins.

The morning tour took us to significant monuments, batteries, and other sites in the island:

1. Japanese Monument - Several years after the war, families of the Japanese soldiers who died in Corregidor put up a foundation in Japan to finance a historical monument to honor the bravery of their own Japanese soldiers.

2. Battery Way - One of the several batteries in the island. Battery is not the small cell-charged power sources we know, but these are what lay men would call cannons. Battery Way had four strong cannons that fired up all the way to Bataan to defend against Japanese forces. This was one of the last few cannons that surrendered to the Japanese.

3. Malinta Tunnel - The Malinta Tunnel had a lights and sound show, directed by National Artist Lamberto Avellana. It narrated and demonstrated via life-sized statues and pictures how life was lived inside the tunnel.

4. The Middleside Barracks - this used to be the barracks for the enlisted men in the island. a myriad of shelling by the Japanese turned what used to be a haven for military personnel into ruins.

5. The Battery Grubbs - this is where we can find what Americans called the disappearing gun because of its high-technology capability of hiding in the walls of the battery after firing a strong blow. Japanese had a hard time looking for this cannon that fired all the way to Bataan and nearby islands.
6. Battery Hearn - This battery possesses one of the longest guns in the island! It was said to have a reach of as far as Batangas and Ternate, Cavite.

7. The Pacific War Memorial - Being a war veteran himself, then President Ferdinand Marcos constructed memorial for all the heroes in Corregidor. It was built with the help of famous Architect Leandro Locsin.

This monument symbolizes the camaraderie of Filipino and American soldiers during the war. In this statue, a Filipino guerilla helps the wounded American soldier.

8. Spanish Lighthouse - It was built by the Spaniards during their occupation. This was used as a guide by boats docking the shores of what used to be a penal colony. Eventually it also became an island for customs inspection and a site for docking boats to have their documents checked and corrected. Thus, the name Corregidor, which came from the word "corregir, "meaning "to correct."

It is seldom that we see an island so beautiful, yet so full of stories to tell. Corregidor not only made me appreciate the beauty of our islands, but it also made me realize how our grandfathers bravely fought and died for our sovereignty and freedom.

If I were a teacher, I would require my students to visit this island. It has much more value than a physics experiment in a theme park, and much much more than a study tour in a mall!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A month has passed

I didn't realize it would be this quick. It's already a month since Bubbles departed for DC. I just have to wait another 11 to see her again.

Meanwhile, I'll get busy watching the flurry of political ads that hound every gap of local primetime TV. From Villar's LSS-infusing jingle, to Gibo's ripoff of a Rivermaya hit, every candidate is starting to spend, spend and spend.

It would be interesting to see how surveys will fluctuate as these politicians go about their usual campaign routine. So far, Noynoy is still at the top of surveys, but Manny Villar is starting to gain on him, while Gibo's popularity is beginning to zoom up. We'll see more of that in he next few weeks.

Also in my list of to do's is to have a few good but cheap travels in the early parts of the year. I really want to experience the cool breeze of Banawe/Sagada and the powdery-white sands of Boracay. I haven't been to both after planning of going there even before Gloria's apology for Hello, Garci! I will try to plan it again, this time I hope it'll push through.

This year will really be interesting. For one, Chinese New Year falls on Kris Aquino's birthday! The Chinese have no choice but to push throught with this since it was set way before she was born. They'll perhaps bombard their backyards with fireworks and dragon dance to prevent themselves from hearing Kris' celebration in the Buzz. :)

Another is Pacquiao's series of great fights this year. Hopefully Floyd Jr. runs out of alibis and finally decides to fight a real man later this year. I still hope the fight of the century will still push through.

Elections this year will be unprecedented. Automation it is. I hope they tested the computers from the Millenium bug and the "I love you" virus.

A lot of sequels will be showing this year as well, one of the biggest being Iron Man's second outing. A lot more adaptations will come like the Thundercats, the A Team, Silverhawks, and Voltron! I hope they also adapt cartoons like Sky Commanders, Bravestarr, Visionaries (Kinghts of the Magical Light), He Man, or top-rating Video Games like Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty, Assasins Creed, or God of War.

I just need to keep myself busy and focus on the true reason for me and my lady's 1-year separation: prepare myself for our big big adventure.

"Wag kang aayaw! Think positive!" --Robin Padila, Revicon

Trivia: Ateneo's real name in 1859 was Escuela Municipal, when this public school was given management to the Jesuits. It was renamed in 1865 as Ateneo Municipal de Manila when it started offering secondary education.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

They don't really care about us!

Another milestone in Philippine history! Dancing inmates became part of Michael Jackson's This Is It DVD!

Travis Payne, MJ's long-time choreographer flew all the way to the Philippines to personally teach the steps to the Cebu inmates...

Galing talaga. Mapanindig-balahibo. Proudly Pinoy!

Of course they're sill inmates. At least they're doing their part in uplifting the Filipino pride. Keep it up guys!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have a working webcam! Thank God! I have been trying to install a decent webcam since this Tuesday, only to find out that my computer contains a virus that cannot install webcam drivers!

First, I bought a Genius Ilook 310 webcam. Tried installing it more than 300, after the 301st I decided that perhaps the installer was corrupted. Of course, always blame the others, not your own. :) So I decided to return the merchandise to Silicon Valley SM North, the store where I bought the webcam.

The salesman tried installing the webcam driver and it worked in their laptop! Silicon Valley was generous enough to have my webcam replaced, so I chose to buy the ISlim 300. I thought the webcam driver issue was solved by getting another style and driver!
But no. Same problem as the previous, the webcam was not installed. I tried many times (at least 300 times again), but I wasn't successful. I tried going to forums of programming experts to that I could perhaps get some tips on how to install this properly. I tried following at least 4 sites and this is what they gave me: A virus/malware/trojan/worm that blocks internet usage! Plus, a virus that corrupts all executable files! Wow! I needed to reformat my PC just to make this work! And finally, it does! :)

It was the first time I was able to chat with Bubbles. Thank God for technology. Thank God for Skype. If not for all the means of communication, I might be insane by now... I'll try to look for better, cheaper, more accurate ways of communicating with my lady in the States. With 11 months more to go, creativity and resourcefulness will be keys to a successful long distance connection.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

343 Days

Just like what our friends would say, when you go December, you better be ahead, or else, you'll find it hard to look for a good church and a place to party after.

For us, we were lucky to have been able to find our church as early as late 2
009. December is really a busy month! As I have seen, some were already booked 1 1/2 years back! Thank God our preferred date and time are still available on our preferred church.

Our basic criteria:
1. It is located in Metro Manila
2. It is at least a century old
The looooong aisle

The Majestic Church of Remedios
We felt that Our Lady of Remedios was the perfect place for the big day. It is located beside Roxas Boulevard, fronting the famous Manila Bay. It was built in 1588, of which the statue of its patron Nuestra Senora de los Remedios was brought here from Spain. In 1762, the church was used as a stronghold of British forces during their occupation of Manila. In 1863, the church was destroyed by an earthquake, but its was rebuilt by Rev. Francisco Cuadrado, O.S.A.

Our Lady of Remedios, also known as Malate Church is one of our top picks for church due to its historical significance, and our very own emotional attachment with the area. Malate is a gimmick hotspot very near the school where we first met, the University of the Philippines Manila. We have shared ample of laughs, cheers and bottles of beer in that place. A truly memorable place for us both.

One task down, a hundred more to go. With my fiancee miles away, I get to do most of the preparations. But of course with the help of her sisters and my friends, we will make our big day fun and memorable. :)

With the church of choice, theme will definitely be Filipiniana.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Election Period Starts January 10, 2010

It's election time again. Just last Sunday, people who are not policemen, nor soldiers are no longer allowed to carry guns outside of home. Yes, even the Ampatuans. Once again, candidates have started to become the new commodities. You will see, hear, and even dream about their ads in all of the tri-media. Ladies and gentlemen, the show has begun. Presidentiables have already started their mudslinging. And life goes on...

We hope to see a cleaner, more credible elections this year with the implementation of the automated elections. I pray that this is no planned sabotage as other doomsayers are predicting. no matter how crooked the system is, it is still a system and we have to abide by it. We have to believe. As the famous movie "The Secret" has been trying to point out, believe what you want to happen and it shall happen. This time, Filipinos' most treasured virtue, faith, is our only way out of this mess.

God bless the Phlippines.

Pacquiao vs. Clottey

Well, at least Freddie Roach commented in favor of this fight. He said this fight will be exciting. We'll see about that... One thing exciting here is that Joshua Clottey,a native of Ghana, has never been knocked out. We'll see if the Pacman can destroy him via another KO. Exciting indeed.

At least Clottey has enough balls to face the pound-for-pound king. And for that, he is already deserving of the cheers and the honor. We'll see in March if this really is worth watching.

Friday, January 08, 2010

January 5, 2010 Dinner Night

I was lucky to be in the company of good friends when the clock struck twelve on my 28th Birthday. It was just a random drinking session with my PMS friends. They were helping me to somehow get my act together and celebrate my birthday happily and smoothly. Thanks to Mark, Cec, Pete and Lala for the 4 rounds and increased cholesterol!

Venue: Gilligan's Island, Trinoma Mall

1. Sisig
2. Crispy Pata
3. Kangkong and Pork Binagoongan
4. Ensalada

Lala, Pete, Me, Cec, Mark

Thanks for a great random dinner night guys!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I can't believe I'm 28! It has been:

1. 13 years since I was dying to be 18 so that I can enter Restricted cinema houses!
2. 10 years since I tasted the sweet but complicated stage of adulthood!
3. 8 years since mourning the day that I was no longer called a Teenager!
4. 12 years since my first party with alcohol!
5. 8 years since my first taste of hard-earned money!

Time has been fast. And it has really been good to me. I thank God for the glorious 28 years of joyful life. And I look forward to the next 60. :)

I wish three things this year:
1. Good health
2. Prosperity
3. Continued Happiness

Monday, January 04, 2010

No More Pacquiao-Mayweather??

It's final (unless given another shot). We won't be seeing the much-awaited beating of Floyd Mayweather to the hands of the REAL pound-for-pound king, Manny Pacquiao...

It's official: Floyd Mayweather is scared of the Pacman. He's so scared of having his face drenched with his own blood. He's scared of getting his first cuts in the history of his career. He's scared that he can no longer proclaim himself the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Oh well. Can't blame him. He's just human. Humans fear for their own lives. :)

Now let's find someone else worthier of the opportunity to step in the ring with the pound-for-pound king. Choices are Paulie Malignaggi, Yuri Foreman, and the much-anticipated final battle to Juan Manuel Marquez. I'd say Manny should go for Marquez, erase the people's doubts about the matchup, go home a winner. Afterwards, he can retire, help other upcoming boxers by building his own stable (a la tony Aldeguer), get old rich.

Let Floyd Mayweather bask in his self-proclaimed glory. Manny has nothing to prove to him. His actions lately simply showed that the pretty boy is the best pound-for-pound runner. If he stills wants to prove his greatness, there is still time to prove it. If Floyd Jr fights the Pacman head on, without added BS, then he earns my respect as a boxing fan. But what does he care about my respect anyway? :)

The cancelled fight just gave me P700 worth of savings!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year - 2010

It's 2010! I know this is going to be a very quick year. A lot of big events will transpire this year, one of which is the May elections. It's going to be the first automated elections ever in the country! Let's see what happens, especially in the land of promise, Mindanao.

Despite having a sad ending for 2010, I look forward to 2010 because I will soon take part in a new journey in life. I just hope everything goes off well from the preparations to the d-day, and there will be no hassles and snags. :)
I miss my lady a lot. It's was six years of (almost) daily adventures: from taking her home, to coffee chit-chats, watching a movie, talking on the phone, texting, food trip, Sta. Ana plaza food trip, etc. now I have to take it out of my system in an instant. When she went away, I felt like a tree suddenly uprooted from my soil. It would take some time for me to recover from this big change in the 2010.

But of course I look forward to my 2010 goal of preparing myself for the coming adventure. This will be a big adjustment, at the same time, a big physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual preparation. As one day goes by this year, I feel two weeks older... Preparations are doing well as expected.

Meanwhile, to prevent idle times I shall try to keep myself busy with a lot of things like writing in this site, running, going back to basketball (despite a damaged knee), double up on learning at work, reading my backlog Time magazines, and a few more local trips.

I know a lot is in store for me in 2010. And I am certain that 2010 will be a huge, successful, joyful year! With this, I welcome the 2010 challenge with a big bang!

Tomorrow, we're back to work! :)