S: PHILIPPINES - 1996
1: The Philippines | POSSESSES A MOST UNIQUE CULTURE that has been shaped by its rich history. We were fortunate to experience the best aspects of its present and its past.
2: BORACAY, PHILIPPINES | Our First Stop | We flew Pacific Airways to Boracay. Our plane carried only 2 passengers --us --and our small luggage. Thrilling views!
3: The flight was spectacular! We felt no turbulence - it was the sensation of floating, or gliding. We flew over dozens of islands.
4: IN THE CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES ARE THE VISAYAN ISLANDS. MAGELLAN and his Spanish sailors stumbled on the Visayas in 1521 after an epic Pacific crossing. Generally met with extreme hospitality, Magellan tried to use force on a reluctant chieftain - and was killed. One ship completed the first circumnavigation of the globe. Scattered all around are some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, the most famous of which is Boracay.
6: The sight that greeted us we approached by outrigger canoe seemed too perfect to be real: crystal blue waters and powder sugar-like white sand stretching the entire 4 1/2 mile length of the island. No docks, no cars, no television - we waded through the warm water to shore. (A dozen years ago, there was no electricity.)
7: OUR BUNGALOW | Coral and shells we collected on the beach.
9: The view as we left the resort grounds. Notice the "road" --it's the beach, just packed down somewhat.
10: We explored the island by bicycle to Yapac, a barangay, or village, at the North West end of the the island to a deserted, gorgeous beach.
11: "Tricycles" (motor scooters with "6" passenger sidecars). | A new golf course/hotel development, first on Boracay -- we made it just in time! | Well water Open air "stores." | Zachary watching basketball, the national sport. | -------------------------------------
13: BORACAY BEACH | North East Coast
15: We met a French family, who were living in China. Together we attended the "most famous" (only) theater performance of traditional Filipino music and dance.
17: Resort | LORENZO VILLAS | FAIRY PENGUINS | PHILLIP ISLAND | We spent an afternoon at the new Lorenzo Villas resort at the Southern tip of the island. Lunch by the pool, swimming off the small float, views from the crows' nest of the entire island -- fabulous!
18: sydney harbor bridge | Jet skiing was not only a thrill -- it afforded breathtaking views!
21: Relaxing and contemplating--Aah!
25: MANILA | The capital of the Philippines is a contrast between old traditions and modern amenities.
26: Our wonderful friend and hostess, Ellen Soriano, met us at the luxurious Intercontinental Hotel and took us to a megamall, where we feasted on all-you-can-eat sushi and shrimp temura and tropical fruits. Then, on to her family's house (mansion!) in Quezon City.
28: Sunday, Ellen's friend Edward Yulo, historian and scholar at the National Archives, spent the day with us. We toured Intramuros, the center of Spanish culture, tradition and government from the 16th to the end of the 19th century. | The Spaniard Legaspi erected the fortress in 1571 after his victory over the Muslims.
30: THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL OF MANILA was built in 1581, destroyed and rebuilt many times... | When we visited the Cathedral, guests were gathering for a wedding. The men were wearing formal “barongs,” made of thin, transparent fabric, hand-loomed from pineapple leaf fibers and hand-embroidered with intricate designs. The style originated from the Tagalog people on Luzon Island, long before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines.
32: NATIONAL HERO | DR. JOSE RIZAL
33: DR. JOSE RIZAL, national hero, was killed on December 30, 1896, only months after the revolutionary movement he led by his poetry and critical writings had begun to engage in armed struggle. The 100th anniversary is being observed with a reenactment (see the preparations) in Rizal Park.
35: CHURCH OF SAN AGUSTIN | Church of St. Augustin is the oldest in the Philippines, dating from 1590. The terms for the American occupation of Manila were signed in this church in 1898. Father Manuel Blanco pioneered the study of medicinal plants in the monastery garden.