Appreciating Veterans Day from Manila, Philippines

On Veterans Day, the enormity of war speaks. Acres of marble crosses face modern Manila in the Philippines, forever recalling the sacrifices made by American soldiers and Filipino allies during World War II. I was born in the U.S. of Filipino ancestry, and this is a “roots” trip for me.  One powerful stop was the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial,…

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Philippines: A Visit to one of the Seven New Wonders of Nature

From Cebu, we flew to Palawan, where outrigger hopping to nearby unspoiled  beaches on other islands is easy. But when it comes to Eden, the island of Palawan is no slouch.           Here in Palawan, in 2012 the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park was ranked one of “The Seven New Wonders of Nature.” We’re set to…

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Philippines: A visit to a haunted war site

In the town of Carcar in the province of Cebu in the Philippines, we visited The Carcar City Museum, formerly, “The Philippine Health Service Dispensary,” where horrific tortures took place on Filipinos by the Japanese during World War II. That’s not what the two-storied site suggests at first glance. The building is painted white and dressed in light green filigreed…

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Magellan’s Cross, Cebu, Philippines

Now we are in Cebu, the largest city second to Manila. The wooden cross planted in the Philippines in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan is displayed at the Basilica of Santo Nino in Cebu City.  We had a look-see and it’s a cross within a cross since the original is encased in tigala wood for protection. Mark the moment 500 years…

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Hacienda Maria Part 2: The Kawa Pots

We’re at Hacienda Maria on the island of Panay in the Philippines, our cave adventures complete. Back at the veranda, the family has cooked us lunch – rice, pork soup, adobo chicken (stewed in soy, garlic and vinegar), what looks and tastes like baked mackerel steaks, and Gold Eagle beer. We’re the only visitors today, so I ask Jornel about…

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