Thought Bubbles...

musings, rantings, and what-have-you, about my own small part of the world, and my 'sometimes' not so-ordinary life...something to read and reflect on, and which hopefully will bring a smile to your face... :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

More pics from November 1-3

Suffice to say, that the view from Mt. Samat was breathtaking. And being the true-blue Manileños we are, we're not used to the fresh, cool air! At the risk of sounding like a commercial, it was wonderful just being there and enjoying the view, and the cool, fresh mountain air. :)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

November 1 holiday

It was another long weekend, and what better way to recharge and relax, but to go out of town! It seems that every we chance we get, we opt to leave Manila for a change in scenery! Ang pamilyang layas, my friends would say. :)

So this weekend saw us trudging out of Manila yet again. November 1 (Thursday) was a holiday, All Saints' Day. So off we went to Ben's house in Orion, Bataan. We arrived in time for lunch, lovingly prepared for us by Ben's mom, a Boots Anson Roa look-alike. :)

After lunch, Ben, Neil, the kids and I went up to Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan, and saw the "Dambana ng Kagitingan" (shrine of Valor). Aptly called, as this shrine was built in 1966 in memory of the U.S. and Filipino soldiers of World War II.

Brushing up on history, here are some important facts...
-Bataan Peninsula was the scene of harsh fighting between American-Filipino forces and the invading Japanese forces.
-It was on April 9, 1942, when the Bataan defenders surrendered to the Japanese.
-About 70,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers were captured, and they were forced to march more than a hundred kilometers from Bataan to Tarlac. The Bataan Death March.

There we saw the huge cross called the Memorial Cross. It's a towering structure which can be seen from miles away. It is 92 meters high and the arms’ length is 15 meter on each side. An elevator goes up to the arms of the cross where the viewing galleries are found. Unfortunately for us, the elevators was out of order when we arrived. And being the "mommy" that I was, i didnt want to risk going up the stairs with the 2 kids since I dreaded the thought of one of them complaining, and worse, asking me to carry him! Que horror!

The "Dambana ng Kagitingan" consists of the Memorial Cross, and a marble building, with an altar and a museum.

After our Mt. Samat trek, we also saw the Philippine-Japanese Friendship Tower. Said tower was built as a symbol of a post-WW II period of reconciliation, peace, and friendship between the once warring nations.

We had a hearty dinner at one of the local Korean restaurants, run by a Korean and his Filipina wife. The name of the resto escapes me at the moment, but let it be known that I fell in love with their yummy kimchi! Yum yum. Next stop was coffee at the local coffeeshop (Beanery). It became a quick favorite of the kids, mainly because part of the coffeeshop was an internet shop. So while the adults were having coffee (and cake!), the kids were enjoying playing video games, and checking out facebook. What can i say, they take after their mom. hehe... ;->

The next day (November 2), we went to Montemar, the premier beach club in Bataan. The beach was clean, the water cool and pristine, and even in chest-deep water, there were already lots of fish. Since Montemar is also a pawikan (turtle) sanctuary, we got a chance to see newly hatched turtles! We touched them, and their shell was still soft. We spent the whole day in Montemar swimming, eating, then lounging on the beach, with book in hand. well, that was me. The kids were content swimming the whole day. :)

Another highlight of our day was getting hooked on Michelle’s Roti. It's delicious coffee bun, much like the coffee buns we love at Delifrance, and the kids kept asking for more!

November 3 (Saturday) was the end of our Bataan trip and we were just so happy that we have one extra day (Sunday) to just lounge around, and "recover" from our vacation. A vacation well-deserved and celebrated.