The noble heroism of Filipino and American soldiers after the enslaving Japanese troops had triumphantly occupied the Philippine soil, is being commemorated every 9th day of April each year. Historically, it is otherwise known as the “Araw Ng Kagitingan”. In retrospect, a dynamic and courageous general in the person of Edward King, an American Major General was forced to bitterly abdicate an approximate of 76,000 soldiers from three sovereign countries namely, America, China and the Philippines on the glorious dawn of April in 1942. As a result, these gallant defenders of the State were reluctantly compelled to do a 90-mile march from Camp O’Donnell in San Fernando, Pampanga to the province of Bataan. Unfortunately, their weak and tired bodies were not able to withstand the heat that they had to bear in order to fight for their beloved Philippines. In fact, thousands of these freedom fighters had succumbed due to dehydration and gastrointestinal ailments brought about by extreme starvation.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom – President Benigno Aquino III, assisted by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Harry Thomas, Jr. and Japan Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Toshinao Urabe, offers a wreath in front of the stained glass mural at the Colonnade during the 71st Commemoration of the “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Day of Valor) at the Dambana ng Kagitingan, Mt. Samat Shrine in Pilar, Bataan April 9, 2013. (Photo by Gil Nartea, Malacañang Photo Bureau)
Meanwhile, some of those soldiers who were caught in the most nostalgic and tragic event in the history of the Philippines were able to victoriously survive the most inhumane test of character and strength. The historic Fall of Bataan was a precursor to another fateful eventuality which was the unexpected abatement of Corregidor. However, based on the critical analysis of Filipino historians this was one of the best political and tactical maneuverings of the Philippines and the United States of America to protect the Philippine territory from thrashing all the significant American bases in the whole region of the Pacific. In essence, the pitfall of Bataan paved the way for the warring forces to take it slow. Thus, it gave their respective collaborators the once in a lifetime to think of the best strategies for the sake of winning.
In addition, the endless saga of conflict which sparked other historical battles such as the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Midway Battle were the untainted and solid proofs that the Filipinos never held back their long lost freedom and honor, no matter what it takes. Therefore, the Filipino and American comrades had recovered the helpless beauty of Bataan on the 8th day of February, 1945.
Heroism and valor are tantamount to every ounce of blood of every Filipino who dearly knows the real meaning of FREEDOM AND NATIONALISM. The Day of Valor in the lives of the Filipinos connotes the supremacy of the Philippines in the battlefields, which lovingly witnessed and preserved the nobility of the country in the name of liberty. Currently, the Araw Ng Kagitingan is being relived in the most special ways by today’s modern day heroes who never failed to show their inherent courageousness in times of calamities and political uncertainties.
For most people, the summer season is the most awaited time of the year. The beaches, the laughs and the fun that it brings when families gather together to enjoy the hot and sunny day bathing and merry-making in the beach. This is the typical how-to-spend-summer for most people. But in the Philippines, a Catholic country, summer isn’t just fun. It is also a season for remembering where they came from and a season of repentance.
Semana Santa, also called Holy Week is the mark of summer time in the Philippines.
Visita Iglesia is one of the few things Filipinos do during Holy Week. Most families starts their Holy Week by visiting several churches in which they aren’t familiar with to witness different ways on celebrating this season. It is also a different kind of experience for there are churches that require adventurous and courageous people.
Visita Iglesia (Photo Courtesy: Pocholo Celso @cholocelso on Instagram)
Another thing that makes Semana Santa special is the “penetensya” Penetensya or penitence is a street show mimicking and re- enacting the hardships Jesus Christ the Savior experienced to show his love to mankind. This street show is arranged to let the people be reminded of what really Holy Week is about.
For those who doesn’t want to learn the story behind Semana Santa in a graphical manner, there is another option for that- the Pabasa.
Pabasa is a tradition in the Philippines in which one family is takes the time and effort to read the verses of the Bible aloud so that everybody can hear it. This is like retelling the story in the Bible and this takes effort and a lot of time. For the reading should be continuously done until the Bible has been read from cover to cover.
Pabasa (Photo Courtesy: Janine Alzona @j9alzona on Instagram)
Since the Philippines is a Catholic country, Filipinos are really taking the time and effort to be with their families during this season. They opted to repent first to their sins, give thanks and praise for their creator and remember what their roots are. This is just a week-long celebration and then after all the hardships, it is now their queue to hit the beach and enjoy the summer sun.
Being an archipelago, the Philippines prides itself of having one of the most diverse marine life on the planet. And it is for this reason that foreign tourists have been flocking to the country, wanting to discover what the Philippines’ underwater life has to offer.
Snorkeling at Siete Pecados, Coron (Photo Courtesy: Jessica Bravo @@jessicabravo07 on Instagram)
Siete Pecados, Coron Palawan (Photo Courtesy: Ella May Labadia @yamalle on Instagram)
In the northern part of the province of Palawan, a rural town called Coron stands out as among the best snorkeling sites in the country. Famous for its magnificent limestone formation, it is also in Coron where one can have an unforgettable snorkeling experience, thanks to a site there called Siete Pecados. (more…)
Thanks to several travel enthusiasts, the islands of Calaguas have now been gaining popularity because of its pristine beaches. People who seek for an amazing island escapade should not miss out on visiting the Calaguas group of islands. Found in Camarines Norte, Calaguas islands brag about its untouched natural resources and its white sand beaches that are almost similar to Boracay. Beach buffs and nature lovers will surely find this place fantastic so tag your friends along and start planning your trip.
Calaguas, Camarines Norte (Photo Courtesy: Rico Ybanez @ricoybanez on Instagram)
The crystal-clear waters of Calaguas may be reached in many ways. If you can bear an 8-hour drive, then you may take a bus ride going to Daet. If you will come from Manila, go to Philtranco terminals either in Cubao or in Pasay. Once you reach Daet, take a jeepney going to Vinzons fishport and from (more…)
Boracay Island in Aklan, Panay Island is a famous out-of-town place to be in the Philippines. It is widely known for its pristine white sands and its bluest seas. Foreign tourists, high profiled-politicians, popular celebrities, and ordinary Filipinos frequently come to this island for different reasons. This island should definitely be in your list of places to visit in the Philippines.
I usually crave for the beach whenever I would get tired of the busy city life and stressed from all the corporate pressures. And being located in Manila makes it difficult for me to reach the far-flung white sand beaches of Boracay or the blue green waters of Pagudpud. Thankfully, there’s the Laiya Beach in Batangas always ready to welcome my soul.
Laiya, Batangas (Photo Courtesy: Richmond Lorenzo @mondurugas on Instagram)
Situated in the town of San Juan in Batangas, Laiya can easily be reached by riding any bus bound to Lipa. It’s normally a two to three hour bus ride. From there, I usually ride the jeep that has a drop-off point in the public market. Camping in Laiya is a must-try so buying food and water supplies in the market has always been my routine. From there, it’s just a twenty minute jeep ride to the simple beaches of Laiya.
Philippine Tourism is at its helm once again with the birth of a new resorts and casino business venture, right at the heart of Paranaque City. It is magnificently christened as the Solaire Resorts and Casino. This particular entertainment hub in the Philippines is conveniently situated at the Entertainment City of the relaxing Bay Burghal. Thus, it will be grandiosely opened to the public this coming March, 2013. As an overview, it is the first- ever developmental project to proudly break its ground on the prime and state-owned Pagcor Entertainment City. In addition, the 120-hectare reclaimed site on which Solaire was erected has been purposely designated as a special economic zone by a government agency which is known as the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
More so, the aforementioned multi-billion dollar exploit will serve as the forerunner business endeavor of the Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Incorporated. Speaking of the other prime movers of this elegant resorts and casino, they are headed by Filipino port tycoon Enrique Razon, Australian billionaire James Packer, Macau’s business tycoon, Lawrence Ho and Japan’s gambling czar, Kazuo Okada. To make this lavish economic-generating enterprise a reality, each of these business giants has to invest 1 billion in US currency. (more…)
The embers of Philippine history are as colorful as the Filipinos regard for Philippine visual arts. These types of artworks depict the inner political and socio-cultural views; as well as the sentiments of a Filipino master painter, like Juan Luna. His Spoliarium was all about the bloodied bodies of gladiators, who were drawn as slaves; and dragged away from the wide and powerful arena as they attempted to fight their Roman oppressors, with their own precious and God given lives. In addition, these slaves on this world-renowned painting of Juan Luna were physically stripped of their clothing in order to gratify the lewd and devilish contempt of those Roman oppressors. Thus, this had excellently embodied the essence of the political, moral and social lives of the Filipino, based on the critical analysis of Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines; and a contemporary of Luna. According to the author of Noli Me Tangere, the masterpiece of Juan Luna centered on the severe ordeal of the Filipino nation, in which its encompassing human nature, had never been regained.
Juan Luna's Spolarium, National Museum of the Philippines (Photo Courtesy: Vicky Ras-Altaie @ mrsvickyaltaie on Instagram)
Also, his Spoliarium had provided a distinctive picture and persona of an open struggle against reason and idealism, which were coupled with justice, fanaticism and cases of prejudice. Historically, the Spoliarium was a remarkable painting which was submitted by the young and genius Juan Luna at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, in the capital city of Spain in 1884. Due to its tremendous interpretations of the sociological situations in the Philippines, the said masterpiece had bagged the first three gold medals out of the numerous and much coveted citations for painting excellence. Conversely, the Spoliarium of Juan Luna was sold for 20,000 pesetas to Diputaciom Provincial de Barcelona. Hence, the said genial craftsmanship of Luna can be found at the National Museum in the Philippines. “Would you believe?” If anyone of you will visit the said national depository of the Filipino nation, this masterpiece of his would be the first thing that visitors and spectators alike, would ever see. Wonderful and impressive, isn’t it? (more…)