March 10, 2015
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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.
March 8, 2015
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Scaled down Rizal monument in the townhall grounds of El Nido
Throughout the Philippine islands, one can usually see Jose Rizal statue in schools, government buildings, and public plaza. So far, the monument in El Nido town is the tiniest one I’ve seen.
January 6, 2014
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An ancient Buddhist edifice, a structure more beautiful than any of the tall and grand buildings of 20th century but I’m biased for my affinity for ancient, experience-rich and wabi-sabied objects.
This grand Buddhist monument is the Borobudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
And there are thousands of relief panels within, it was like solving jigsaw puzzle during restoration for the stories to be in sequence and where every block of volcanic rock must interlock.
A closer look of the relief panel.
I found a duck in one.
From the temple, one can clearly see the most active Mt Merapi volcano out there.
Stupas at the top of the edifice, the most iconic structure within the monument but I like the relief panels more.
There were quite a number of local tourists too and they really seem to enjoy the beauty of their heritage as much as foreign visitors who were in awe. As you can see, the batik wrap-around is required for all visitors except for children maybe.