Tag Archives: history

HK Green Post Boxes

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Hong Kong green post box with Royal British isignia

Even though Hong Kong is no longer under the British colonial rule, as a visitor, it is edifying to see some history miscellany in society’s practical objects such as the post box.

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Of modern type but still green

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A closer look of the letter slot

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Humblest WWII Monument

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The Writings: This project is dedicated to the patriotic and brave men of Barangay Granada who offered their lives in defense of freedom and democracy during World War II

With respect to the immortalization of our World War II history, the country, being a major participant of the war has quite a number of World War II monuments, memorials, and shrines. As I write this, I’m recalling those I’ve visited.

Corregidor has plenty of reminders of the war including a commanding statue of MacArthur. Seems the entire island is a World War II monument, which makes it the biggest one in the country. Then I saw MacArthur once more in his Leyte landing memorial at Palo beach. And yet again, MacArthur again in a similar landing memorial (Luzon landing this time), plus some other World War II displays at Lingayen Capitol grounds in Pangasinan. Up north in Ifugao, there’s a peaceful looking World War II shrine in Kiangan amidst the surrounding mountains. Kiangan is where Yamashita surrendered. In this shrine, I had one of the most pleasant memorial stroll.

Some memorials evoke solemnity more than the others that I tend to unconsciously reflect from the powerful words and images carved in the stones or walls. The magnificent World War II memorial in Washington DC for one, where the arch that says “Pacific” has the power to produce goose bumps in me.  Likewise in the country, the Libingan ng mga Bayani was originally established as a tribute to Filipinos who fought and died in World War II, while the somber American Cemetery and Memorial in Taguig is for the Americans who perished in the war. Similarly, the tranquil Japanese Garden Memorial Park in Caliraya is the burial ground of Yamashita, and a shrine for the Japanese soldiers who also perished. I saw strings of thousand origami cranes being offered in here. One day, I will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan.

Those listed above are quite well known World War II monuments. Yet, around two months ago in Bacolod, while I was running on the highway with sugarcane field in both sides, I came upon a World War II statue by the roadside in Barangay Granada. This barangay monument is dedicated to its constituents who lost their lives in defense of freedom during World War II. By far, this is the most humble World War II memorial I’ve been to.

Rizal in Dumaguete

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‘Rizal was here’ marker in Dumaguete plaza

Dr. Jose Rizal’s exile in Dapitan came to an end when he was permitted to serve as surgeon of the Spanish armed forces in Cuba. Leaving Dapitan City for Manila on board the steamer España on July 31, 1896, with Josephine Bracken, sister Narcisa and others, España temporarily stopped by Dumaguete at sunrise on August 1, 1896. There he met with the governor of Negros Oriental Emilio Regal and his former classmate Faustino Herrero Regidor.

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In the afternoon of the same day, Rizal performed eye operation for the kapitan ng konstabularya of the province. At 10 PM of the same day, Rizal left Dumaguete on board the same ship. (Reference: National Historical Institute).

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Rizal’s Ultimo Adios in English, Spanish and Visayan

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I wonder which zone of the Rizal Boulevard now did the steamer España exactly docked on August 1, 1896

 

Mountain Paddies

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Today’s proof of the past

With no machineries but rudimentary tools, the ancestors of Ifugaos today have manually carved the slopes of the mountains into rice paddy terraces. Where there is water source, the natives can build terraces even if the slopes are rocky. The most important thing is the water source and of course, the incredible collective efforts of the Ifugaos.

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Structures seen on the slopes of Batad village. The Ifugao rice farming methods haven’t changed much, but the houses have evolved

There are many articles out there about the history, the way of life, and rituals of the Ifugaos and their rice terraces. What I have here are few snapshots of the cultural landscape of the past that is preserved until today, as I trek from Batad village to Cambulo village and back.

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Light rain at the start of the trek but thankfully the skies cleared. Trekking in downpour can be precarious in the narrow paddy dikes

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Heirloom rice crop

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The view of the Batad rice terraces as I sat at the topmost paddy dike

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Verdant look before harvest time

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Walking in single file for it’s a steep drop at the other side

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