Friday, March 6, 2015

More pictures from Baler trip

Beautiful Mountains

Another view of that lake

A poinsettia growing in front of a huge house

This is the house where the poinsettia was growing.  You see big homes like this and then next to them will be bamboo huts or just tin houses with no electricity or plumbing and animals all around.

The caraboa is the main work animal here.

The view of the ocean from our room at the hotel.

More ocean views

The Lunds took us to a hanging bridge that lets the local people cross from one side of a river to the other.  They said it is been made redone recently so it is more stable.  Even so, it was pretty scary crossing.  The locals cross it like it was a solid roadway.

Hanging bridge

This is the river it crosses.  

This is a monument that was build to remember the local villagers who died many years ago when a tsunami hit the coast and they had to flee up into the  mountains. 

This is a parasitic plant that took over a tree many years ago.  The tree is totally dead now and only the parasite is left. 

We went inside the growth and traveled through to the other side.  It was really creepy.  I think my grandsons would have a great time playing inside.  Might even be some bats in there.

Beautiful huge bowl of flowers in the lobby of the Costa Pacifica Hotel.

Close up view.  

Only one place was there a sort of resort beach area other than the hotel.  These are little huts where you could sit on the beach and have a picnic.

Visit to Baler in January 2015

The Baler (pronounced Belair) Zone is the furthest area from the Mission Office.  It is on the Pacific Coast and very remote.  If this area were in the US, the coast would be developed with resorts and high rise hotels.  There is only one really nice hotel there called the Costa Pacifica.  We stayed in this hotel for 2 nights.  It was really nice while we were there.  In the summer, it is not so nice because it is really humid - very tropical.  The Pacific Ocean is warm here and that is why the land temperature is so hot.  No ocean breeze to cool things off. The weather was overcast while we were there which you think would make not good beach weather, but the lack of sun kept the temperature cooler.  We were even able to sleep with the sliding glass door to our room open and no air conditioner on.

We visited with Elder and Sister Lund, who were leaving for home the next week.  They had been the senior couple there for the past year.  We had a wonderful time with them.  We went because we needed to take a bed to Elder Gordon one of the Zone Leaders.  He is way over 6 ft tall and could not find a bed up in this remote area that he could fit in.  I hope we were able to solve his problem.  Elder Weber put the foot board on the bed up upside down and we brought an extra mattress for the bed which made it higher than the foot board so his feet could hang over the bottom of the bed.  Maybe Elder Weber is becoming part Filipino.  Just like the natives here, he finds ways to solve his problem with what he has and uses everything he has.  You know that old saying "use it up, wear it out, or do without".  That's the way things are done here.

These are pictures we took on our trip:

The road to Beler is through some mountains.  In several places you have to cross ONE WAY bridges that drop way off on the edge.  This is a picture of one of them.

Another view from the bridge.

Rice fields in the foreground and the mountains in the background.

Closer view of the rice fields.  They flood the rice fields using well pumps during the dry season.

This was a beautiful lake.  Don't know the name of it but it was really beautiful to see.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 9, 2015 - Senior Couples trip to Corregidor Island

Pictures from our trip to Corregidor Island.  This island is at the mouth of Manila Bay and is in the shape of a tadpole.  It was the place of two battles during WWII.  At the beginning of WWII the Americans and the Philippines occupied the island.  Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor the Japanese attacked Corregidor and took possession of the island and also Batan and the Batan Death March began.  Then in 1944 (I think) the Americans came and took back the island.  The ruins and guns associated with these battles are still there.  It was a most interesting and sobering experience to see these sights.  War is terrible.

Pictures taken from the boat as we left Olongapo a motored to the island.

The Coast Guard Station where they train.

Elder and Sister Woodruff and Elder and Sister Lund as we leave from the dock in Olongapo.

Our crew.  We placed our lives in their hands (haha). The water was really choppy.  It was quite a ride.  The ride back was even more scary, but you all know me and water.

The outriggers on the boat was a bamboo pole.

Elder Weber

The island in the distance

It was a cloudy day which was nice because it was cooler.

The dock at the island.

Debris in the water that washes there from Manila.  

The island has a network of tunnels.  In one of the tunnels was a 1000 bed hospital.  During the battle when the Japanese were bombing there were as many as 1500 men in the hospital. You can read on line about the battle. Pictures of the tunnels are next.
This is a diagram of the tunnel system.  We walked down the main tunnel from the end where the yellow dot is to the opposite end.
Elder Weber with Elder and Sister Woodruff at the entrance of the tunnel.

At several of the ancillary tunnels they had dioramas depicting historic events.  They were quite interesting but it was dark and there were a lot of people and I couldn't get close enough to get good pictures.  This is the best one. 

The next pictures are of some of the guns that are still on the island.

This gun was huge. 
Bullet holes in the armor of one of the guns.

The next pictures are of the memorials and some scenery
General Douglas Mc Carthur statue 

Perpetual flame

Looking back at Manila

Plumaria Tree

We saw several monkeys

The Lighthouse on the island

This plant had many different colors on the flower

These pictures are of the bombed out barracks and buildings that are left standing on the island

We finished up our trip at Subic Bay where we had dinner at a Texas Bar-B-Q restaurant.  We had a very enjoyable time together.
Sunset on Subic Bay

At the Texax Bar-B-Q