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Angeles City Municipal Building (now Museo Angeles)
Sto. Rosario St., Sto. Rosario Heritage District, Angeles City, Pampanga
The edifice was built in 1922 and served as the Municipio or town hall; it replaced the former La Casa Tribunal built during the construction boom of 1840. Built of typical Bahay na Bato (stone house) with a thatched roof, its location was about 20 yards to the south of the present structure since the present site was the town “Palenque” or public market. In 1855 the market place was razed down by a great fire that endangered the wooden church and the old residences along Sto. Rosario Street, including the La Casa Tribunal. For several decades, it served as the town hall of the city until it was transferred to a much bigger building in Brgy. Pulung Cacutud in the same city, thus paving the way to its conversion into what it is now. Today, the museo showcases the history, lifestyle and culture of the Angelenos. It houses the "Balikdan" (a short narration of the chronological account of the city's history thru photos, illustrations and memorabilia), "Munika" (Kapampangan traditions and values depicted by Patis Tesoro's Ninay dolls such as The Kusinang Kapampangan, Pascu Na, Manduruquit, etc.), Culinarium (dedication to Kapampangan culinary art and science through exhibits and cooking demonstrations), and the Reynaldo G. Alejandro Culinary Library. From the time it opened in the year 1999, it has been a beehive of activity from exhibits, art classes, concerts, venue for performances and climax for traditional celebrations. Contact Information Ms. Joy Cruz (Executive Director), Old Municipal Bldg., Sto. Rosario St., Sto. Rosario Heritage District, Angeles City, Phone (63 45) 887-4703 Mobile 0915-421-6606 Email angelesmuseo_kfi@yahoo.com Website www.angelesmuseum.com / Managed by Kuliat Foundation Inc.

Aquino Ancestral House
San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac
Declared as a historical site by the National Historical Commission (NHC) in 1987, a marker was unveiled in the ancestral house of the Aquino declaring the house historical significance being the home of well-known patriots from the Aquino clan. The unveiling of the landmark held last September 2011 was led by President Benigno Aquino III and his family.

In this house, three generations of Aquinos lived since it was built in 1939 starting off with General Servillano Aquino, a Katipunero during the revolution against the Spanish government, great grandfather of President Noynoy.

The president’s grandfather, Benigno Aquino Sr., also lived in the house when he became a Tarlac representative and governor of the province. Benigno Aquino Jr., popularly known to the world as Ninoy, the father of the President, also resided in the ancestral house when he was the mayor of Concepcion town. Since its building in 1939 with the help of wood craftsmen from Pampanga, the ancestral house was renovated in 2011 so the public could appreciate its historical value. The ancestral house now belongs to Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.

Aurora Aragon Quezon Memorial
Baler, Aurora
Civic leader and First Lady under the Philippine Commonwealth, Dona Aurora A. Quezon (1888-1949) was born on February 19, 1888 in Baler, Quezon.She took up her college degree at the Philippine Normal College. She was married to former President Manuel L. Quezon. While on her way to Baler, she and her company were ambushed by a group of insurgents called Hukbalahap in Nueva Ecija on April 28, 1949. In recognition of her outstanding achievements, the sub-province of Aurora was established in 1951 by virtue of R.A. No. 648 and consequently as an independent province in 1978.

Bacolor Municipal Hall
Bacolor, Pampanga
Former site of the house of one of Bacolor's most illustrious families, the venturas. Construction was completed in July 8, 1953 under then Mayor Manuel de Jesus, a project of Sen. Pablo Angeles David, another favorite son of the town.

Balagtas Monument
Balagtas, Bulacan
Built in honor of Francisco "Balagtas" Baltazar, Father of Tagalog Poetry, whose masterpiece "Florante at Laura" is very popular.

Bale Herencia
Angeles City, Pampanga
The house, located on the corner of Lakandula and Sto. Rosario Streets, was built in 1860 using carpenters from Vigan, Ilocos Sur.Local lore has it that the imposing house was built by Fray Guillermo Masnou, O.S.A., a parish priest of Angeles. Restoration was started in 1988 by the owner, Mr. Jose G. Paras, Jr., and continues to this day. Currently it serves as a banquet hall managed by Mr. Paul M. Santos. Due to its colonial ambience, Bale Herencia is a favorite venue for many functions.

Bale Matua
Angeles City, Pampanga
The residence of the founders of Angeles City, Don Angel Panteleon de Miranda and his wife Dona Roselia de Jesus, was constructed in 1824.The highlight of the structure is a high stone wall with an ornate gate. The house nostalgically symbolizes the glorious past of Angeles amidst the overwhelming onslaught of modern civilization. In 1840 the house was inherited by Dona Juana de Miranda de Henson, the only daughter of the founders. Restoration began in 1980 by the Vicente N. Henson, Sr. Foundation, and continues to this day. A marker placed by the National Historical Institute can be seen on its front adobe wall.

Bataan Peninsula
Bataan, Bataan
This peninsula sticks out in Manila Bay overlooking Corregidor Island and was the site of a heroic battle between combined American and Filipino Forces and the Japanese. The allied forces made a final stand to stop the Japanese aggression and delay the conquest of the Philippines. After the "Fall Of Bataan", a series of infamous Death Marches began in Mariveles and ended in Capas, Tarlac. Many American and Filipino soldiers died along the way. The entire historic march can be traced by following markers. At San Fernando, American soldiers were crammed into boxcars and transported to the infamous Camp O' Donnell. On April 7, 2000, former death march survivors and representatives of the Philippine government dedicated the "Battling Bastards Of Bataan" memorial at the Camp O' Donnell site. Paid for by members of the Battling Bastards Of Bataan organization, it honours the over 1, 600 Americans who perished there from inhumane treatment received from their Japanese captors. As a tribute to the gallantry and bravery of the American and Philippine Forces, the Philippine government erected a huge towering 60-foot cross on Mount Samat. For further information, visit www.bataansurvivor.com written by Mr. Rick Peterson

Bataan Provincial Capitol Building
Balanga City, Bataan
This building, formerly known as Casa Real, was built in the years 1792-1794 according to the plans of Domingo de la Cruz Gonzales, an architect when Charles IV was King of Spain,Rafael Maria de Aguilar was Governor General of the Philippines, and Domingo de Goyenechea was Alcalde Mayor of Bataan Province.The building became the headquarters of the Bataan Revolutionary Government from May 31, 1898 to January, 1900. From 1903 to 1906 it housed the provincial high school.

Betis as the Woodcarving Capital of the Philippines
Betis, Guagua, Pampanga
The dukit tradition in Betis is as old as the town itself, which was one of the earliest Spanish-era settlements. It gained an international reputation during presidency of Diosdado Macapagal, when overseas trade of carved furniture was at its peak. It was also master sculptor Juan Flores, winner of the Grand Prize in Richard Nixon’s Bust Sculpture-Making Competition in 1972, who introduced the cultural renaissance of the woodcarving tradition in the first quarter of the 20th century.

But even before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, according to local historian Mariano Henson, Betis people were well-known blacksmiths, carvers, ship builders, and carpenters. According to “The Philippine Islands” by Emma Helen Blaire published in 1911, the riverside of Betis was even then populated by Muslims, who introduced a developed culture and way of life. “Dukit” could have been derived from their “okir” tradition.

Being an encomienda—which is what Betis was in the 1770's—meant becoming a melting pot of all things Asian and European. It was in encomiendas where the latest fads in Europe were introduced, regardless of native adaptability. In the case of the Betis people, they easily embraced what spoke to their aesthetic sensibilities and pre-colonial skills: woodcarving. (Source: Ruston Banal, 12/28/13)

Biak-na-Bato Cave
San Miguel, Bulacan
Located in the suburbs of San Miguel de Mayumo on the northern tip of Bulacan, Biak-na-Bato became the refuge of the revolutionary army that fled Cavite and Batangas.In the safety of this riverside fortress forged by nature, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo established the new headquarters of the revolutionary government and, thru Pedro A. Paterno for the revolutionaries and Primo de Rivera for the government of Spain, signed the historic Peace Treaty (Pact of Biak na Bato) in November 1897 which stipulated that the Spanish government shall pay P900,000 in monetary restitution to the non-combatant Filipino families who suffered during the Revolution. Spain promised another P800,000 to be given upon the departure of Aguinaldo and his men to a voluntary exile in Hong Kong, and when the Te Deum was sung at the Manila Cathedral upon which a general amnesty would be proclaimed. Today, hanging bridges and staircases connecting rivers and caves make for a pleasurable exploration.

Birthplace of Manuel L. Quezon
Baler, Aurora
On this site in the town of Baler, was born Manuel Luis Quezon on August 19, 1878 as the indomitable crusader of Philippine independence and social justice, great and fiery statesman;dynamic and farsighted leader and true patriot; son of Lucio Quezon and Maria Molina; became a soldier in 1899, lawyer in 1903; member of the first Philippine Assembly in 1907 - 1909; resident commissioner in Washington D.C. in 1906 - 1916; President of the Philippine Senate, 1916 - 1935; President, Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1935 - 1944; died in Saranac Lake, New York, August 1, 1944.

Bulacan Old Train Station
Guiguinto, Bulacan
Built in 1661, the Estacion de Guiguinto (Guiguinto Train Station) is the towns most acclaimed historical landmark and heritage site. It was upon this site that the Katipuneros (Filipino guerillas during the Spanish Regime) ambushed a train from Dagupan, killing six friars, including the parish friar of Guiguinto, Fr. Leocadio Sanchez, and a Spanish doctor. The incident inspired Severino Reyes to author the novel “Opera Walang Sugat” which was later made into a movie entitled “Walang Sugat.”

Calumpit Bridge
Calumpit, Bulacan
Site of the first battle between Filipino and American soldiers during the retreat of Aguinaldo to the Ilocos Region.

#292 Sto. Rosario St., Angeles City, Pampanga
A restored grain storehouse, the Camalig ("shed" in the Kapampangan vernacular) was built in 1840 by Don Ciriaco de Miranda, Angeles' first gobernadorcillo (mayor), as a farm shed of light materials (and later upgraded in the early 1900s to its present form by the town's first post-colonial mayor, Capitan Juan Nepomuceno). It was restored in 1980 by the late Mr. Armando L. Nepomuceno. Camalig is now the home of Armando's Pizza and Restaurant where live bands continue to entertain guests. for further information, please contact Marco Nepomuceno, Tel. No. (63 45) 322-5641/888-1077 Email: camalig@comclark.com Website: www.camalig.com

Camara Ancestral House
Iba, Zambales
Vicente Camara was the first Filipino Governor of Zambales, appointed by Gen. Aguinaldo in 1898. His term ended upon his surrender to the Americans in 1901. The Camara house is one of a kind built from the strongest local hardwoods, such as molave, yakal and narra. Camara himself together with Ginzaburo Hanaki designed the house with materials personally chosen by the former in 1912. Design was based on the need for ventilation, steep roof made of nipa for coolness. Floor-to-ceiling windows added more ventilation to the house. The main staircase and jambs are made of single, unjoined molave hardwood. During the war, it was used as headquarters by the Japanese. Gen. Yamashita visited the house during the war years. In its yard, the first Caimito, Java Mango, and Mangosteen trees in Zambales were planted.

Camp Pangatian Shrine
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
Used as a military training camp for twenty years before the war, the camp was converted into a concentration camp for Allied Prisoners-of-War (POWs) by the Japanese imperial forces during the last world war. It serves as a memorial to the Filipino guerillas led by Captains Eduardo I. Joson (Squadron 213) and Juan Pajota (Squadron 201) who effectively prevented the Japanese reinforcements from proceeding to the camp on January 30, 1945, thus bravely rescuing and liberating the 516 allied prisoners-of-war without bloodshed (most of them survivors of the infamous Death March). The rescue, jointly undertaken by Filipino guerillas, Alamo Scouts and the US 6th Ranger Battalion under Lt. Col. Henry Mucci, was described as one of the most daring and successful missions of its type in the annals of US military history. That event is now immortalized in marble in the Pangatian War Memorial. It contains monuments and memorabilia of the events that transpired during the occupation. The roof deck contains a large mural of Filipino and American soldiers carrying each other arms-in-arms in battle. Written on the memorial walls are the names and ranks of the American servicemen imprisoned in the camp (some of them Westpointers). Atop a circular platform are two identical markers from the National Historical Institute, one in English, the other in Filipino. The shrine is maintained and managed by the American Battlesites and Monument Commission while the Pangatian Heroes Hall is owned and maintained by the provincial government of Nueva Ecia. It is located along the Cabanatuan-Palayan road in Brgy. Pangatian or some eight kilometers from the city proper. It is one of the few places in the country where the American flag flies side-by-side with the Filipino flag.

Capas National Shrine
Capas, Tarlac
The shrine, located in a 54-hecatre property in Brgy. O' Donnell, Capas, Tarlac was the first prison camp for the men who survived the "Death March" in the hands of the Japanese during the last world war in 1942. The Camp O' Donnell Memorial Monument was built by the organization known as "The Battling Bastards of Bataan" to honor the Americans and Filipinos who died at Camp O' Donnell, while prisoners of the Japanese. The Cement Cross is a replica of the original cement cross built by the POWs. The monument is adjacent to the memorial for the Philippine Army dead. The "Cross" was built as a memorial to the thousands who died in that camp. It is as much a part of Bataan as the participants in that battle. The inscription on the base of the "Cross" reads "Omnia Pro Patria": All For Country. On the wall behind the "Cross" are inscribed the names of the men who died at Camp O' Donnell. The original "Cement Cross" is now on display in the National Prisoner of War Museum, at the Andersonville National Historic Site, Andersonville, GA. It was brought to this country by Bataan survivors. An outdoor nook features a wall inscribed with the names of the fallen Americans. An adjacent museum called Defender's Hall consists of a modest collection of photos that document the Death March and travails of POWs in prison camps. It has preserved one of the remnants of wartime atrocities - a boxcar that transported survivors of the Death March from San Fernando, Pampanga to Capas. Measuring six feet long, eight feet wide and six feet high, it had once been a freigh car of the Manila Railroad Company before the war and could fit only 50-60 people. But Japanese soldiers forcibly squeezed in 150-160 using rifle butts and bayonets. The captives, whose only source of ventilation was a slit on the door, suffocated in the virtual over under the tropical heat. Many of them died in their upright positions, their bodies giving up on constricted space which had been polluted with excrement, urine and vomit. A 70-meter obelisk, built to offset the grim history of Capas, symbolizes peace among Filipinos, the Japanese and Americans.

For further information, visit http://home.pacbell.net/fbaldie/Battling_Bastards_of_Bataan.html.

More Information:
Excerpts from www.pasyalan.net:
Capas, the terminus of the famous "Bataan Death March"

Capas is a 1st class municipality in the province of Tarlac, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 95,219 people in 18,333 households.

The municipality contains the Capas National Shrine which was built and is maintained by the Philippine government as a memorial to the Filipino and American soldiers who died in Camp O' Donnell at the end of the Bataan Death March. This is an important site related to Veterans Day in the Philippines, every 9 April, the anniversary of the surrender of the combined US and Philippine forces to the Japanese in 1942.

The Capas National Shrine in Capas, Tarlac was built and is maintained by the Philippine government as a memorial to the Filipino and American soldiers who died in Camp O' Donnell at the end of the Bataan Death March. This is an important site related to Veterans' Day in the Philippines (Araw ng Kagitingan), every 9 April, the anniversary of the surrender of the combined US and Philippine forces to the Japanese in 1942.

The area around where the Bataan Death March ended was proclaimed by President Corazon Aquino to become Capas National Shrine on December 7, 1991. The shrine encompasses 54 hectares of parkland, 35 hectares of which have been planted with rows of trees to represent each of the deceased. On April 9, 2003, a new memorial wall and obelisk was unveiled. The 70-meter obelisk towers above the grounds of the former interment camp. The obelisk is surrounded by a black marble wall engraved with the names of the Filipinos and Americans known to have died at the location. On the three large wall segments that almost encircle the obelisk, there are statistics about the total numbers of prisoners and deaths, together with poems for peace.

Nearby is a small museum and a smaller monument built by an American group calling themselves the "Battling Bastards of Bataan", honoring the American dead of the period.

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Remembering Capas

The area of the shrine originated as a cantonment center for military training of Filipino youth in 1941. On July 15, 1941, on orders from US President Roosevelt, it became a mobilization center for the 71st Division, Philippine Army, USAFFE. After the fall of Bataan, the camp was transformed into a POW Camp in mid-April 1942. Renamed Capas POW Camp, an estimated 60,500 Filipino and American POWs were marched here, sick and dying from disease, injuries, and maltreatment. By July 25, 1942 an estimated 30,000 had died here. The camp became part of the Clark Air Base Military Reservation, and then was turned over to the Philippine Government on April 9, 1982.

A proclamation by then President Corazon Aquino in December 1991 kicked off the conversion of the site into the shrine it is now. Built and maintained by the Philippine government, the shrine stands as a monument to the Filipino and American soldiers who died in Camp O' Donnell at the end of the Bataan Death March. Encompassing 54 hectares of parkland, 35 hectares have been planted with rows of trees to represent each of the fallen.

Last April 9, 2003, a new memorial wall of black marble and a 70-meter tall obelisk were unveiled. The memorial wall is engraved with the names of the Filipinos and Americans known to have died there, statistics about the total numbers of prisoners and deaths, and poems extolling peace.

The wall is divided into three segments to represent the Filipino, American, and Japanese people. The obelisk's soaring height is meant to signify of all those groups' great desire for world peace. The tall black structure stands as the shrine's centerpoint, towering over the grounds of the former interment camp and visible from the entire Capas area. A small monument built by an American group calling themselves the "Battling Bastards of Bataan"ť honoring the American war casualties, a museum, and meeting area also lie within the area.

The Lay of the Land

On the way to and from the shrine, one can follow the path delineated by the Bataan Death March Markers. The final mileage markers of death march are located outside the shrine, at kilometers 111, 100 and 109. Each marker was donated by a private individual or organization and is listed on the rear of the marker. The front indicates the mileage of the death march, with 0 km being the start at Bataan.

The Esplanade is a wide paved walkway extending from the shrine's main gate to the central obelisk area, with a line of flag poles stretching on either side. It is reminiscent of the Mall in Washington DC, except that in this case the obelisk is black with striking carved flourishes instead of plain white. Surrounded by lush greenery, the dramatic lines and perspectives struck by the various monumental elements create an atmosphere of both serenity and majesty.

To the east of the Esplanade is a field containing a replica of a POW Camp constructed for the 2003 dedication. The replica includes two guard towers and a prisoner's quarters building. To the west is the nature park with rows of trees planted as living memorials and also to promote environmental consciousness. A few kilometers from the shrine itself is the new Camp O' Donnel which now serves as one of the headquarters for the modern day Philippines army. (Credit: What's On/Expat)

One of our guides around the shrine was Defender Atty. Rafael Estrada, Founder and First Supreme Councilor of the DBC, a survivor of the prison camp and a highly respected driving force among all the veterans. He proudly toured us around the garden planted and tended by the DBC Foundation, nimbly crossing the hanging bridge that dangles over the river from which he and his fellow prisoners took their water. "We owe this river our life,"ť he stated, pointing out that after the memorial, the bridge is the most visited spot within the shrine. Veterans and survivors come to Capas to look back at an unforgettable period in their lives and bring with them their children and grandchildren to make them better appreciate our current freedoms. Generations have been raised with an ever-fading memory of the war, and it takes a trip to monuments such as these to put history into sharp focus. From around 50,000 survivors after the war, the DBC can now muster only around 400 at each get-together. But even when these hardcore old-timers have been laid to rest, awaiting the low clear reveille of God, the DBC is sure to keep soldiering on, for generations to come.

Capones Island Lighthouse
San Antonio, Zambales
The Faro (Lighthouse) de Punta Capones on the Island of Grand Capon is a significant lighthouse of the first order. Its light guides ships entering and leaving the port of Manila and Subic Bay. The lighthouse also warns navigators of the rocky shores surrounding the Island of Capones. As a warning beacon, it serves together with the lights situated in the islets of Los Frailes, and Los Jabones as a series of warnings due to the dangers of the surrounding seas as well as the islands close proximity to shore, thereby making the seas very treacherous to unseasoned navigators. As a navigation guide, this lighthouse serves the main artery for ships heading towards China, which therefore makes it a very busy and important shipping route.

Responding to the need for better navigation guides throughout the Philippines, the Spanish colonial government initiated a substantial building program of lighthouses and light stations throughout the Philippine archipelago. One of the initial projects to be approved in this significant undertaking was the lighthouse on the Island of Grand Capon or Faro de Punta Capones.

The initial surveys to determine a suitable location for the lighthouse were executed on the 22nd of June 1884 under Antonio de la Camara. Difficulties wrought by the advanced state of storms and other weather problems that forced ships to go to Subic then to Mariveles served to delay the progress of the studies and results were thereby not very elaborate. As such, plans and recommendations made by De La Camara were not approved until March 10, 1885. Even then, the point chosen for construction was changed by the consulting committee because of its height and distance from the sea which was 300 meters, as well as the accompanying high cost of the road to be constructed. Finally, in August 8, 1885 Francisco Cristobal Portas proposed changes to the plans which were accepted by the Governor General of the islands on 17 September 1885.

The contract for the construction of the lighthouse was awarded to Juan Mendoza Esplana on February 26, 1886. Subsequent studies to determine the most suitable spot for construction of the lighthouse were then made. These studies extended to the Zambales Coast. Findings showed that the Capones Island Grande 1.5 miles of length and 2 miles from the Capones Point was causing a blind area of 18-20 degrees and a zone of shadow farther away the boat was (boats were not visible at a distance). These results and with further recommendations from lighthouse experts on July 1886 caused the lighthouse to be elevated 53 meters above the sea with a 196-degree angle of illumination to cover the canal. These changes meant corresponding variations on the heights of the building and tower and pavilions to be consistent with the geography of the land and to avoid costly excavations. The rectangular 8 x 22 building was then divided by 5.10 meters- high walls to form rooms, a transverse corridor serving as vestibule cutting into 2 parts. The left part was for the toreros (the lighthouse keepers) while the other side served as storage and work area communicating to the tower.

Owing to the geography of the land, the living area could not have the same elevation. Elevation was hence 2.8 meters, traveled by a staircase about 4.8 meters wide and .50 meters high above the level of the patio (courtyard). To the east, another access of 0.90 meters passage has been provided from the road that opens ahead of the door grills that limits the patio. Grills between pavilions and the house serve to close the area laterally. The tower is prismatic in form. It is square 5 by 5 meters with a height of 15.30 meters and a zocalo (a flat square member under a pedestal) of 80 cm. It is connected to the house at one of the angles and a by a small balcony with tiles covering the Molave wood floor.

Inside was a hellicoidal stairs made of iron. There is a service hall 3.30 meters sq. and the light area is constructed from metal with marble with a covering of white tiles to support the weight of the lighting apparatus and to prevent the accumulation of dust. Materials for the light and equipment were imported from France and manufactured by Henry Lepaute and Barbier Bernard. These materials included 1) a friction belt with the precision to maintain the manual movement with the lantern flashing at intervals of 32-30 sec. 2) the optical parts consisted of 16 annular lenses with lamps of 5 threads, capable of using vegetable or mineral oil for combustibles; 3) with a lantern of 3.5 meters in diameter with a double roofing of copper and a gallery for servicing the iron planks situated at the top of the lighthouse.

Engineer Guillermo Brockman was commissioned to purchase additional materials which included a clock, a barometer, thermometer, a boat used for service transportation, and a bronze plaque containing the name, situation and principle characteristic of the lighthouse. This plaque was placed at the entrance to the tower.

During construction, because of the high prevalence of monsoons, two roads were being used. One road led up to the beach to the south 345 meters and 391 meters on the opposite side. The strong current also prevented building of a pier so materials had to be loaded in balsa’s (barts) with great difficulty. Because of this difficulty in transporting materials, a hydraulic molding device was brought onsite for the composition of bricks. This material was also used for the foundations. Galvanized iron over wood were used for roofing and molave was used for the windows and door jambs. The floors of the houses were made from tindalo wood and the interiors and doors were made from narra. Chairs were made from volcanic stones and water came through the sea from Zambales in San Antonio situated 5 miles away. Vassal stones from nearby areas were also utilized while la cale was brought from Binangonan and the rest of the materials were brought from Manila.

After seven years of construction, the Capones Island Lighthouse went into operation on July 16, 1890; with its formal inauguration on August 1, 1890.

Today, the Capones Island Lighthouse is still in operation and is powered by solar cells and has a meteorburst radio transmission system that notifies the Coast Guard when any of the lights or lenses is not in working order. These significant improvements have restored the lighthouse proper to full operational capacity, while the buildings themselves remain in a highly denuded state. (Source: http://www.epafi.org/capones/index.htm)

Casa Real Shrine
Malolos City, Bulacan
The shrine was built in 1580 and served as the seat of the government of the town of Malolos during the Spanish and American occupation.It also served as the office of the National Museum and National Printing Press during the first Philippine Republic where the revolutionary organs La Independencia, El Heraldo de la Rovolucion, Kalayaan and Kaibigan ng Bayan were printed. At present, it is a museum and library under the administration of the National Historical Institute. It was restored in 1852. Casa Real today is a shrine dedicated to the 21 women of Malolos, who embodied the ideals of feminism long before the word or idea became a social force.

On December 12, 1888, these young ladies wrote then Governor-General Valeriano Weyler to ask for the establishment of a school, at their own expense, where they could learn Spanish. During Weyler's visit to Malolos, a ball was held in his honor at Casa Real. As daughters of the principalia, the young women were invited to the event. They took advantage of the occasion to personally present their petition to Weyler, who granted their request.

On February 22, 1889 Jose Rizal wrote the women from London commending their courage. The letter was printed in La Solidaridad, the Propaganda Movement's newspaper published in Spain.

The 21 women's pictures and the letter the national hero sent them are found in Casa Real. The shrine also showcases the social milieu in which they were born. Casa Real's structure itself is an example of the bahayna-bato, or stone house, where the Kamestisuhan of Malolos lived in the 19th century. Its interiors display magnificent period furniture, notably pieces inlaid with bone, the signature Bulacan style. There are also example of exquisite Filipino costumes and jewelry typical of the times.

The Shrine also contains two other exhibits. "Eminent Bulakenas" pays tribute to the daughters of Bulacan who have distinguished themselves in their chosen profession. "Filipina Firsts" honors one hundred women from various parts of the country who were the first Filipino women in professional fields or events previously dominated by men.

The Casa Real Shrine is located along the Paseo del Congreso in Malolos, Bulacan. Open for public viewing from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. For inquiry contact the curator, Mrs. Corazon T. Sitjar, at telephone number +63 44 7912716. (Source: http://www.nhcp.gov.ph/)

Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT)
San Miguel, Tarlac City
Known in the Philippine sugar industry as CAT, is an integrated manufacturing plant producing both raw and refined sugar, alcohol, liquid carbon dioxide and yeast. The factory is located in a 50-hectare land located inside the Luisita Agro-Industrial Complex in San Miguel, Tarlac City, Tarlac. For more details, log on to http://www.cat-luisita.com/index.html

Clark Air Base
Clark, Pampanga
The former Clark Air Base (now Clark Freeport Zone) is the biggest American military installation outside the United States.The area occupied by the former military base covers some 33,653 hectares and is composed of flat, rolling rugged and even mountainous terrain. It used to be the home of the US 13th Air Force and 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing whose peace-keeping mission covers the entire Pacific region. It is endowed with a 2,500 hectare aviation complex equipped with two 3.2 - km parallel runways that remain unmatched by any other airport in the country today. Clark is envisioned to become an Aerotropolis - an airport-driven development. This blueprint of progress is aimed to trigger the growth in Central and Northern Luzon through the full utilization of the airport as a premiere gateway.

Clark Air Base Hospital
Clark, Pampanga
Prior to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991, this hospital was the US Air Force's best and most fully-equipped hospital in the Asia-Pacific region.Years after the Americans left Clark, the place became desolate and awaiting reconstruction.

Clark Air-raid Bunker Tunnel
Clark, Pampanga
Situated at the northwest corner of the Kamikaze west airfield in a hill called "babang dapu" (meaning "crocodile jaw") as named by the Aetas.This is the only known Kamikaze tunnel that remained intact after World War II. It was constructed quickly as an air raid bunker for Cmdr. Taimai Asaichi - commander of the 201st Air Group, 1st Air Fleet, Imperial Japanese Navy, the very first Kamikaze unit of World War Il. It was constructed in late October 1944 and provided protection for Cmdr. Tamai and some of his Kamikaze pilots during deadly U.S. air raids. A marker was installed by the Clark Development Corporation on September 1, 2002.

Clark Barn Houses
Clark, Pampanga
These barn houses were built from 1910 to 1913 at a cost of $1, 309.90 each and used then as officers quarters.Following a tropical style of architecture, these barns were built of Oregon pine shipped from the United States. They were the first permanent structures to be built inside the fort after it was founded by the 5th U.S. Cavalry Regiment in 1902. Over the years until 1922, hundreds of barns were built inside the fort. However, constant battle with termites, typhoons, and humidity made maintenance impractical. By mid 80s, most of these barn houses were demolished. The barn houses along the Parade Ground (officers row) remained and is now called the centennial block. The huge Acacia (monkey pod) trees shading the barns were also planted in 1903. A marker was installed by the Clark Development Corporation on September 1, 2002.

Clark Cemetery
Clark, Pampanga
Located in Clark, this is the hallowed ground where the remains of close to 8,000 US military and civilian personnel who died during the Spanish- American War and Philippine-American War are interred. Opened in 1950, it also contains the remains of members of all branches of the armed forces, American civilians and their families, members of the Philippine Scouts, Philippine Constabulary, Japanese civilians (not associated with World War II), and Chinese and Vietnam refugees. It is the only place in Clark where the Philippine and American flags are proudly hoisted side by side. For further information, contact American Legion Post 123, Angeles City, Tel. No. (63 45) 893-0188. RELATED INFORMATION: VFW Post 2485 supports and maintains the final resting place for some 2,030 fallen American soldiers including at least 638 Philippine scouts from the pre-WWII era. The Clark Air Base Cemetery was formed between 1947 and 1950 by moving the headstones/markers and remains from at least four other U.S. military cemeteries (Fort Stotsenberg 1 and 2, Fort McKinley and Sangley Point Naval Cemetery) to the new 20.365 acre, 12,000 plot cemetery located just inside the Main Gate of Clark Air Base. All WWII dead were moved to the American Cemetery, Manila. The cemetery contains the remains of U.S. Veterans from the USA, USN, USMC, USCG, USAF, Philippine Scouts (PS) and their dependents. Some, but not, all were veterans of the Spanish/American, Philippine Insurrection, WWI, WWII (died after the war), Korean and Vietnam Wars. The largest category interred is civilian, mostly U.S. and Filipino, all of whom worked for the U.S. Government and their dependents. In addition, nationals from France, Spain, Canada, Japan, China, Vietnam and India are buried there. It is only because of the continuing generosity of the many people from around the world that support the work of VFW. We do not receive any kind of federal funding or other government support. Please help us to continue this good work by joining the Grave Diggers. Additional contributions can me made by sending a check made out to "VFW Post 2485" with a memo of "Cemetery Maintenance Fund" and sent to:VFW Post 2485, PSC 517, Box RCV FPO AP 96517-1000 (Source: www.vfwpost2485.com/cemetery.htm) Or contact Clark Veterans Cemetery Restoration Association at www.cvcra.org for your donation to the maintenance of the cemetery.

Commander's House
Clark, Pampanga
Fondly known as the "White House" because of its color, this was the residence of the base commander of the US Air Force. It now serves as the Presidential Guest House.

Dalton Pass
Carranglan, Nueva Ecija
About five hectares in size, this place can be reached by any type of motor vehicle via Maharlika Road. Standing on Dalton Pass is a monument of Gen. Dalton, an American military official assigned in the province during World War II.

Dayrit Front Yard
Angeles City, Pampanga
Once a public square during the US Regime, this was where US Army Private George Raymond was executed for desertion.

De Leon Ancestral Home
San Miguel, Bulacan
The De Leon House, built in 1914, was the home of LVN studio matriarch Dona Sisang de Leon. It still attracts people with its antique furnishings and Old-World feel. The airy two-storey mansion now holds a miraculous century-old statue, "San Miguel and the Devil," which has weathered wars, storms, earthquakes and floods.

Deposito (former Angeles Post Office)
Angeles City, Pampanga
This concrete building was utilized by the US Army as a jail for recalcitrant USV troops between the years 1899 - 1910. It was also used as the headquarters of the 11th Film Exchange of the US Army between 1946 - 1947.It was constructed in 1899 for the purpose of depositing religious statues and costly silver-gilt floats or carriages in between the town's several religious processions, hence the name "deposito." On February 6, 1967, the City Post Office moved to this site. Today, a rehab center occupies the place.

Don Honorio Ventura College of Arts & Trade
Bacolor, Pampanga
Formerly known as the Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Bacolor, it is believed to be the oldest vocational school in the Far East. It was founded on November 4, 1861 by Rev. Fr. Juan P. Zita and Don Felino Gil.It was built in honor of Honorio Ventura, a Pampanga politician, philantrophist, and former Secretary of the interior (born in 1887). It was destroyed by fire in 1869 and reconstructed in 1892. It was used as barracks for Filipino soldiers of the Spanish army in 1896; as a munitions factory in 1897; as a provincial capitol of Pampanga 1901 - 1904; as Pampanga Trade School, 1909; as barracks for Japanese soldiers, 1942 - 1944; burnt in December 1944; and rebuilt with US AID 1946.It was converted into a regional school of arts and trades on October 28, 1956.

(by www.wikianswers.com)

The DON HONORIO VENTURA COLLEGE OF ARTS AND TRADES (DHVCAT) started when an Augustinian friar, Fr. Juan P. Zita, dreamed of helping young lads of Bacolor. Aided by equally benevolent civic leader Don Felino Gil, the school was officially founded on November 4, 1861 upon the approval of its statutes by Governor-General Lemery as "Escuela de Artes Y Oficios de Bacolor"


Through the generous contribution of several civic spirited Pampangueńos of R33,882.00 the school started its operations in a house donated by Father Zita.

The school was renamed Bacolor Trade School in 1905. It was again renamed the Pampanga Trade School in 1909 and became popularly known as the "Trade School" or the "Poor Man's College." Its secondary curriculum was offered in 1922 and produced later the first batch of graduates in ironworks, woodworking and building construction for boys and domestic science for girls. By virtue of Republic Act 1388, the school was converted into a regional school of arts and trades and was renamed Pampanga School of Arts and Trades (PSAT). Technical education courses were also offered in October 1957.

In 1958, the two-year Technical Education curriculum was phased out and the three-year Trade Technical Education was offered. In 1964, the school was renamed Don Honorio Ventura Memorial School of Arts and Trades (DHVMSAT) in honor of Don Honorio Ventura, a prominent son of Bacolor who was a statesman and philanthropist. The renaming was signed by then President Diosdado Macapagal, a protégé of Don Honorio who sent him to school and became instrumental in the former's successes, especially during his (Macapagal) struggling years.

The Teacher Education curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Education (BSIE) was offered in July 1966 with concentration in Shopwork, Industrial Arts and Mathematics. The first batch of BSIE graduates were conferred their degrees in April 1969.

Through the priceless assistance of former Solicitor-General and Minister of Justice, Estelito P. Mendoza , the school was converted into a State College on May 5, 1978 by virtue of Presidential Decree 1373.

With initiatives coming from all members of the academic community and ably led by president Ernesto Nicdao, former Pampanga Congresswoman Andrea Domingo authored a bill in 1993 in the House of Representatives calling for the conversion of DHVCAT into a state university to be called the Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU). Then Representative Oscar Rodriguez pursued the bill converting it into Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University (DHVTSU). However, this did not materialize because of the calamity that hit the school.

The school's woes were confounded when Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 and the second wave of trial befell on it in 1995. Eruptions and lahar flows rendered Bacolor a ghost town but teachers and administrators of the College did not abandon DHVCAT. The flame to serve never stopped and the torch of education stayed as warm as ever. Amidst tests, be it human or natural, its strength, excellence and power are here to stay to serve poor but deserving students in Pampanga and in nearby provinces.


Officials envision DHVCAT as a center for learning in Central Luzon that will provide highly accessible educational opportunity to its clientele in order to produce continuously improving, better-educated workforce, professionals and leaders and thereby contribute to personal prosperity of the citizens and a strong socio-economic development for the region.

DHVCAT is committed to provide access to higher vocational, professional and technological instruction and training, undertake research and extension services and provide advanced studies and leadership in the fields of trade, industrial and technological education to meet the demands of the ever-changing occupational patterns in the country.

The enactment of Republic Act 8292 otherwise known as Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997 entirely revolutionized the Philippine educational system which provides representation of the different sectors of academic community to the highest policy making body of state universities and colleges. Such innovation could be traced from the University of the Philippines' system giving opportunity to student, alumni, faculty and private sector to voice up grievances and actively participate in all the deliberations.

Pursuant to Section 15 of Memorandum Circular No. 04, Series of 1997, known as the Implementing Rules and Regulations for Republic Act 8292, the composition, manner of appointment and term of office of the Governing Board were established and followed.

Thus, the governing board of DHVCAT now is headed by Dr. Carlito Puno, Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), as Chairman and Dr. Ernesto Nicdao president, as Vice-Chairman. Other members include: the Chairman of the Committee on Higher and Technical Education of the House of Representatives, Rep. Cynthia Villar; the Chairman of the Committee on Education, Culture and Arts of the Senate, Senator Juan Flavier; the Regional Director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Hon. Remigio Mercado; the Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Dr. Conrado Oliveros; the Faculty trustee, Engr. Ariel Mallari; Student trustee, Hon. Paul Buan; Alumni trustee, VP Enrique Baking, and the two private sector representatives, Atty. Ananias Canlas Jr. and Engr. Arturo Manahan. The private sector representatives were selected through a search committee and later on appointed by the DHVCAT Governing Board.

The board became instrumental in charting new courses especially on efforts of rehabilitating the century-old college. Developments are ongoing in all phases on infrastructure, curricular programs, faculty and staff development, research and production. In an effort to strengthen its numerous educational, research and extension programs, the institution established linkages with various local and foreign schools and agencies. Among these are: DC - SUC III/ CIRPS, DOST and LGUS, AACCUP, GEACCUP, DepEd - CHED supervised schools, NGOs and POs, DOLE, CLIERDEC, NEDA, LSC, MIRDC, Prince Technologies Corporation, Sheffield Employment Agency PTD LTD and Toyota Motors Philippines Foundation. Educational institutions where the College has consortia are the Bulacan State University and De la Salle State University.

Linkages and networking in local and foreign agencies and educational institutions even reached nearby countries such as South Korea, with Hannam University, Yeung Jin Junior College, Daegu City and with North West University Peoples Republic of China, and the Xian Institute of Physical Education in the Peoples Republic of China.

Enriquez Ancestral House
Bulacan, Bulacan
Constructed during the 1850s, it is one of the ancestral houses found in San Jose, Bulacan, Bulacan. Some of the documents of Marcelo H. del Pilar were found in this house. It houses a museum of rare antiques and historical artifacts. It is presently owned by acclaimed Filipino food historian Milagros Enriquez.

Flaming Sword
Pilar, Bataan
A symbol of the Filipino courage and gallantry in the face of adversary and external threats to the nation's democracy and peace.

Fort Paynauen
Botolan, Zambales
This historic fortress whose moss-covered walls still stand on the bank of Bancal River in Barrio Pader in Botolan was once the most formidable Spanish garrison in Central Luzon during the first century of the Spanish regime in the Philippines. Also known as Playa Honda, the fort was constructed on the advice of Spanish Admiral Pedro Duran de Monforte to Governor General Diego de Salcedo whose administration of the islands from 1663 to 1668 had to face the serious problem of the continuous uprising of the inhabitants of the province, also known as the province of Playa Honda. Paynauen is the original name of Iba. In 1617, off the coast of Zambales, the Spaniards led by Juan Ronquillo, destroyed three of the six Dutch ships led by Admiral John Derickson Lamb in the two-day battle. This was part of a series of Dutch attacks on the Philippines in the early part of the 17th century. This is known in history as the second battle of Playa Honda. Fort Paynauen served as a prison not only for the recalcitrant natives of Zambales but also for Spanish officials who angered the Spanish Governor General or Archbishop of Manila. During rhe administration of Governor General Juan de Vargas Hurlado (1678-1684), he and the Archbishop of Manila, Don Felipe Pardo were not in good terms. When Archbishop Pardo became powerful, Vargas' trusted followers were incarcerated in Fort Paynauen.

Francisco Balagtas Monument
Orani, Bataan
Erected as a tribute to Francisco Balagtas who is hailed as the "Prince of Tagalog Poetry".

Gat Marcelo H. Del Pilar Memorial
Bulacan, Bulacan
Shrine and birthplace of the country's great propagandist and hero. Also known by his pen name Plaridel, he founded Diyaryong Tagalog, the country's first bilingual newspaper, and then became editor of the revolutionary organ, La Solidaridad. The patriot, writer and editor is honored with this monument

Gen. Gregorio del Pilar Marker
Bulacan, Bulacan
The site marks the birthplace of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar. The hero of Tirad Pass, born on November 14, 1875, and died December 2, 1899. He is one of the youngest and trusted staff of President Emilio Aguinaldo.

Instituto de Mujeres
Malolos City, Bulacan
The building is the same august hall where twenty (20) determined Malolenas (the so-called Women of Malolos) set up a night school to learn (or improve their) Spanish - a language that was then the gateway to knowledge of the country and of the world. Nationalists and reformists demanded that the language be taught in the schools, instead of being limited to a native and mestizo elite (the women were Chinese mestizas who were progressive and nationalistic). Nationalists like Jose Rizal, M.H. del Pilar and Graciano Lopez-Jaena egged these women to fight for this right. Spanish Governor General Valeriano Weyler eventually approved the holding of classes which begun in February 1899 (classes lasted for only three months). The women carried such surnames as Tiongson, Tantoco, Tanchangco, Aldaba, Reyes and Vitangcoy. (Source: "The Women of Malolos" by Nicanor G. Tiongson, Ateneo University Press, 2004)

Kakarong de Sili Battle Site
Pandi, Bulacan
This shrine marks the battle where about 3,000 Katipuneros led by Maestrong Sebio (Gen. Eusebio Roque) died in the hands of Spanish soldiers in 1897. Maestrong Sebio was able to escape but was captured after a few days. He was summarily tried and executed on Jan. 16, 1897. It features a life-sized statue of Inang Filipina, a symbol of patriotism and nationhood. It is also the site of the Republic of Real de Kakarong de Sili of 1896.

Kamestizuhan Street
Malolos City, Bulacan
A row of ancestral houses that are steep in history: Estrella and Pariancillo Sts. on where stands the Ejercito House which was the Department of War of the First Philippine Republic. On the left side of Pariancillo St. is the Cervantes House which is the Tiongson House with its intricate balustered windows that used to be the Commisaria de Guerra. The Adriano House has been beautifully restored and today serves as the Meralco Building. It was the Gobierno Militar de la Plaza. Just across it is a structure with sealed half-moon balconies that once served as the Carcel or jail. On the left are the ruins that mark the place where Jose Rizal's historic letter To the Women of Malolos was read. The Bautista House, ornately sculpted with neo-classic touches, was the Secretaria de Fomento. The Reyes House with its weather vane and octagonal rose window was the Secretaria de Exterior or Department of Foreign Affairs. Finally, the Convento which served as the Palacio Presidencial de Aguinaldo.

Kamikaze East Airfield
Mabalacat, Pampanga
In World War II, Mabalacat was known as the birthplace of the kamikaze, the dreaded Japanese suicide missions which claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Japanese pilots and an untold number of Allied soldiers. The idea of sending self-sacrificing Japanese pilots to deliberately crash into enemy positions—an idea as horrible as it was sublime—was hatched by Japanese military officers in the house of Marcos Santos near the town plaza. Serving as kamikaze command outpost was the Colafrica Hill, an outcrop in the middle of an open field in Brgy. Tabun, known for the mansion sitting on top of it and its famous resident, Dońa Africa Ventura Santos, daughter of Don Balbino Ventura of Bacolor (friend of Jose Rizal who financed the printing of El Filibusterismo), sister of Don Honorio Ventura (benefactor to Diosdado Macapagal) and mother of Don Teodoro Santos, who founded the Mabalacat Institute (MI) in 1950. In the northernmost town of Mabalacat is a memorial marker to remember the first Japanese Kamikaze pilots called Shimpu Special Attack Corps under Lt. Yukio Seki who took off for their last mission as official "human bombs" on October 25, 1944. A garden shrine has been built by the local tourism office to symbolize the Philippine-Japan friendship ties. In Clark, Japanese forces staged the same air operations from the so-called west airfield by using kamikaze (divine winds) tactics against American and allied forces. (Source: Robby Tantingco, Holy Angel University Center for kapampangan Studies)

Kamikaze West Airfield
Clark, Pampanga
An airfield that the Japanese pilots (called human bombs) used to stage the same air operations (as in the west airfield in Mabalacat) by launching kamikaze (divine winds) attacks against American and allied forces during the last world war.

Kelly Theater
Clark, Pampanga
This heavily damaged building was erected in 1953, but the present structure is actually the second Kelly Theater. The original was built in 1947.It was intended to be a gymnasium, but was later converted into a theater. President Manuel Roxas gave his last speech here on April 15, 1948 before succumbing to a cardiac arrest shortly after. Both theaters were named after Capt. Colin Kelly, a B-17 pilot, who died in combat against the Japanese forces in 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Kelly as the first American hero of World War II.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (A Genesis Heritage Resort)
Bo. Pag-asa, Bagac, Bataan
LAS CASAS FILIP-INAS de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan, is a unique resort. It’s a replica of an old Filipino town with ancestral homes and buildings dating from the 18th to the early 20th century. There are no power lines and driving lanes, only lampposts and cobblestone roads.

Upon entry to the resort, one is instantly transported at least a hundred years back. Casa Mexico serves as the reception lobby while the grand Casa Byzantina is reminiscent of bits and pieces of the country’s European influences. The most notable detail, however, is the stillness of this little historical hodgepodge of a town.

Past life

Hotel manager TK Solvas said, “We want to introduce what we Filipinos had before, not what’s modern.” The tranquil environment, a forgotten luxury, is just one of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar’s offerings. José Acuzar, the resort’s owner, stumbled on the business because of his constant search for peaceful and quiet getaways with his own family, but local resorts always seemed full. He first built a rest house designed like an ancestral home and, soon after, was offered to buy and refurbish old Filipino houses. More than 10 years later, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar has been opened for day trips and overnight guests in its 22 houses, a number that continues to grow.

“Our objective is to preserve and showcase our past,” Solvas said. The ancestral houses have remained 85-90 percent of itself while the rest are replicated according to research, using narra and molave, Philippine hardwood. Houses originate from the northern part of the Philippines and Luzon such as Pampanga, Bulacan and Ilocos.

“No one takes care of these houses anymore and not a lot know how to sustain it,” Solvas said. Acuzar’s experience in construction as board chair of San José Builders Inc. has given him the knowledge on how to preserve them.

“We want to preserve and showcase our past,” Solvas said. Some of the houses were previously left to deteriorate before it was acquired by Acuzar. The other structures have been a shelter for informal settlers. “Some of those who’ve seen the houses in their original locations have said that now, the houses are able to breathe again,” she said.

The skillfully crafted architecture and interiors of the past are now showcased in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. “Yung luma, ’pag binihisan mo, lalong gumaganda,” Solvas said. Some of the interiors that dulled or were destroyed through time have been enhanced, but always in the same tradition as it was originally created.

The resort was designed to “showcase every corner of the house and its different periods,” Solvas said. Each house in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar boasts of a rich history and the hotel and resort management’s research team is devoted to learning and uncovering its different stories. Professor Eric Cerrudo is one of the resort’s historical advisers.

“Each house has a story,” Solvas said. Casa Lubao, for example, one of the most feminine houses in the resort bursting with floral furniture and wall and ceiling décor, produced generations of powerful women. Casa Hidalgo, the most beautiful mansion in its time and the first school of UP Fine Arts, was once the studio of Amorsolo. Casa Jaen, on the other hand, still bears bullet holes from attempted assaults at the governor general who lived in it.

Casa Jaen, from Quezon, was recently visited by a descendant of the Esquivel family who previously owned it. As a young woman, she promised herself to buy the house because of her childhood memories. But it was sold before she could acquire it. An article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer led her to its new home, and Solvas recalled she was teary-eyed upon seeing the house in all its former glory. “She was happy that it was well-preserved,” she said.

More than history

As a fully functioning resort, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar offers not just education but also rest and recreation. Water sports can be availed, as the resort is situated right next to the shore, and a batis-designed pool is available for guests to wade in. Casa Cagayan, the house on stilts, will soon be offering traditional massages or hilot for guests.

Traditional games such as sungka, patintero, and kwento ni Lola Basyang will also be offered to teach and remind guests that a simple and quiet lifestyle can still be enjoyed despite our fast-paced life and highly technological ways. But not everything is slow and old in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.

A quick boat ride of less than 10 minutes to Yasa, a different area of the same shoreline the resort is located in, will satisfy guests who love the outdoors. It offers a cool swimming spot and 15-foot jump-off point into the clear blue waters. Guests can also have lunch at the picnic area at Yasa’s higher grounds with a view of the mountains, sky and South China Sea.

Soon Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar will open its doors for functions and corporate events. “We want to offer an opportunity to do away with modern structures,” Solvas said.

Art history

A large part of the resort’s charm and authenticity lies in its artwork. Ping Cerriola is the resort’s overseeing artist and heads a team of 15 artists. He directs and designs the furniture, paintings and interiors, and has been residing in the compound for the last two years.

Replicated furniture is also made of Philippine hardwood, copying the antique designs during the Spanish era. No new wood is used as most are taken from old houses. “Pinepyesahan namin yung mga lumang bahay at hindi kami gumagamit ng mga nail para sa furniture, kahoy lang,” Cerriola said.

Though Cerriola is known to be a modernist painter, he does oil paintings for Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar to stay true to tradition. To prepare, Cerriola also had to research on art history and the previous styles. Interior paintings have been fashioned also according to the design aesthetic of each house’s era. “Gusto namin mabalik yung tinitirahan ng mga illustrado,” Cerriola said.

Casa Hidalgo is the artists’ studio, from which Cerriola benefits from the house’s rich history. “Ang sarap ng feeling na sila Amorsolo, dito nagpinta. Kahit gabi, ini-imagine ko na katabi ko lang sila,” he said.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar will soon be following the period theme of each house with restaurants serving the delicacies of their origin and attendants dressed in period uniforms. Each house will also have an assigned manang to attend to housekeeping needs, such as shoe shine and ironing with charcoal and banana leaves.

“Here we want to encourage family bonding, because these days it’s the norm that both parents are working because of cost and quality of life thus sacrificing time with their family. We want to give them an opportunity to bond and for the parents to talk to the children and tell them of what they used to have,” Solvas said, emphasizing the beauty of a simple, content life. (Source: Ronna Capili , Philippine Daily Inquirer, 05/16/2010) Contact Information: Genesis Hotels & Resort Corp. (Manila Sales Office), Mezzanine Flr., Victoria Towers, Timog Ave., Quezon City Tel. No. (63 2) 332-5338 / 335-3032 or (63 2) 546-9123 (Bataan) Fax (63 2) 332-5286 Mobile 0923-903-2086 Email reserve@lascasasfilipinas.com Website: www.lascasfilipinas.com / TK Solvason (General Manager) Package A (Incl guide, lunch and snacks - P1,000 / pax Package B (incl guide and snack) - P650 per pax

Lily Hill
Clark, Pampanga
The name "Lili" was given to the Americans by Aetas which means "lost" in Kapampangan because it stands apart from nearby hills and mountains. The Americans changed it from "Lili" to "Lily".Since 1903, the Americans used Lily Hill as an observation post and the Japanese followed suit when they occupied Clark. Major Higuchi Tsugisaburo, the base commander of Clark Field from 1942 to 1945 dug several tunnels for air-raid shelters and storage. During the last battles for Clark Field in 1945, Major Higuchi with 800 of his men (the 31st Support Group) fought bitterly for a last stand battle against a U.S. Army Force from the 145th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division, where more than 600 Japanese soldiers died. In 1955, the Americans opened some tunnels and found two Japanese warplanes and plenty of war materiel attesting to Japan's strong defense of Clark. A marker was installed by Clark Development Corporation on September 1, 2002.

Lily Hill Japanese Tunnel
Clark, Pampanga
A Japanese tunnel and garden was built in the middle lower portion of the Lily Hill with the permission of the U.S. Air Force.This was a sign of friendship extended by the U.S. Air Force to the Japanese whose relatives died here during the intense war when the Americans took back Clark Field from the hands of the Japanese in January 1945 where over 600 Japanese soldiers died here. The marker which the Japanese inscribed in this sacred garden of worship reads as follows: " TO THE MEMORY OF THE GALLANT JAPANESE SOLDIERS WHO DIED DURING THE BATTLE FOR CLARK FIELD IN 1945." It is the same place where the Statue of World Peace Shrine - the great statue of the Goddess of World Peace - was installed on October 25, 2002 by the Municipality of Mabalacat in cooperation with the Japanese war veterans and their families.

Lipana House
San Miguel, Bulacan
Originally owned by Damaso Sempio and family where Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar once slept.

Makabulos Republic
Tarlac City, Tarlac
In 1898, with the promulgation of a constitution, the Makabulos Republic was established by a revolutionary assembly in Tarlac led by Francisco Makabulos. The body called for continued struggle against the Spaniards.

Malig Residence
Bacolor, Pampanga
Located in Brgy. Cabambangan, Bacolor, it is believed to be the oldest house of its type in the town. Built by the Spaniards who came first to the Philippines, it was the home of the friars who established their church in the town.

Mercado House
Bustos, Bulacan
This house in Bustos, Bulacan is one of the several houses used as a fort by the Katipuneros. It boasts of unique architectural designs of stone carvings on its facade and walls and distinct turn-of-the-century Mexican villa air. Truly, a masterpiece of Bulacan artisans.



Meyto Shrine
Calumpit, Bulacan
This is the cradle of Christianity in the province, where the first Catholic Mass was held by the Augustinian friars, armed with cross in 1572.

Nepomuceno Ancestral House
Angeles City, Pampanga
The home of Don Ciriaco de Miranda, Angeles' first gobernadorcillo (mayor). Built in 1840, it was inherited in 1868 by Don Ciriaco's niece, Dona Agustina Henson de Nepomuceno.The ground floor of the second oldest structure in Angeles is currently occupied by commercial establishments. The rest of the house is closed to the public.

Old Holy Family Academy Building
Angeles City, Pampanga
The building was constructed in 1910, but on its site once stood the so-called convento, built in 1873, as an annex to the nearby Holy Rosary Parish Church.The convento was used by the US Army from 1889 to 1902 as a military hospital and later as troop barracks, officer's quarters and arsenal by the Japanese Military Forces in the early part of 1942.

Old St. Scholastica Bldg.
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Completed in 1931, it was the former building of the famous academy in Pampanga - the third Benedictine school in the Philippines.

Pamintuan Mansion (now called Museum of Philippine Social History)
Angeles City, Pampanga
The building served as the viewing area during the first anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence led by General Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy on June 12, 1899. The historic event featured civic and military parade participated by more than 2,000 troops led by two youngest generals of the Philippine Republican Army namely, Gen. Gregorio H. del Pilar and Gen. Manuel Tinio of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija, respectively. The parade started from Barrio Talimunduc (now Brgy. Lourdes Sur) where the town square was then situated. The building served as the central headquarters of Major General Arthur MacArthur in May 1899. Eventually, it served as the seat of the First Philippine Revolutionary Army under General Emilio Aguinaldo as the President and Commander-in-Chief. The first Flipino General to use the house as headquarters was Gen. Venancio Concepcion. Gen. Antonio Luna used it as a general headquarters of the First Filipino Army, drawing plans for the defense of Pampanga against the Americans. Today, it houses the Museum of Philippine Social History)

Pampanga High School Building
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Built in 1912, it was the main building of the Pampanga High School up to 1935, and counts President Diosdado P. Macapagal as among its alumni (Class 1929). It is one of the so-called Gabaldon buildings built and named after Assemblyman Isauro Gabaldon of Nueva Ecija who authored Act 1801 that set aside P1 million for the construction of such schoolhouses all over the archipelago. Known as the "Parthenons of of the golden years of Philippine public education system, it is in these buildings that three generations of Filipinos learned the Three Rs.

Pampanga Lodge & Restaurant
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Residence of Asuncion Santos, daughter of Don Teodoro Santos, Sr. (Dorong Tola), who married Andres Eusebio. It was the first site of the Pampanga High School when it first opened in 1908. Later became the site of the Harvardian College and the Pampanga Hotel and Panciteria, now Pampanga Lodge and Restaurant. It later held the distinct honor of hosting Gen. Douglas MacArthur for one night. (Source: Ivan Henares thru Heritage Conservation Soceity)

Pampanga Provincial Capitol
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Seat of government of the province of Pampanga, the original building was constructed in 1904, shortly after the seat of government of Pampanga was transferred from Bacolor to San Fernando. Today's dirty-white building dates back to the 1930s, and was the site of a major battle between Filipino guerillas and Japanese soldiers during the war. Installed at the entrance are heroic figures of President Diosdado Macapagal and poet-legislator Zoilo Sangalang Hilario. Fronting it is the Macario Arnedo Park, where a statue of the first governor of the province on horseback overlooks an expanse of grass.

Pampanga Provincial Jail
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Otherwise known as the "Presidio"located behind the provincial capitol, this building was built and designed in 1907 by William Parsons. It used to house the judicial courts of the province before it became the provincial jail. The cream-colored building with brown and green accents was the typical architecture of provincial jails during the American colonial period.

Philippine - Japanese Friendship Tower
Bagac, Bataan
The monument symbolizes reconciliation, peace and friendship between the Philippines and Japan after World War II. Donated by the Japanese, it was built in 1952 by the Rissho Kosei Kai, a Japanese Buddhist sect.

Pampanga River (Rio Grande de Pampanga)
Province of Pampanga
Río Grande De Pampanga rises in several headstreams in the Caraballo Mountains and flowing south for about 120 miles (190 km) to empty into northern Manila Bay in a wide, swampy delta. The Candaba Swamp, covering more than 200 square miles (500 square km) when flooded, has been formed north of the delta where the Angat River joins the Pampanga. Other major tributaries are the Chico Pampanga and the Lubao. There are extensive fishponds and a large-scale irrigation project on the lower course of the Pampanga. (Source: www.britannica.com)

Pampanga river was once a major thoroughfare before roads were constructed and host to major prehistoric settlements along its pampangs. Hence the name Pampanga. Its source is in the mountains of Nueva Ecija, flowing down to the Pampanga towns of Arayat, Candaba, San Luis, San Simon, Apalit, Macabebe and Masantol at the mouth of Manila Bay. In the genteel and once elegant barrio of Sulipan in Apalit, there is a boat yard which rents out boats of different sizes from kayaks to two-storey airconditioned houseboats for various purposes such as rest and recreation, sight-seeing and birdwatching, or sports such as angling and kayaking (please check it out for availability of boats). Heritage stops along the river include the churches of San Luis and Apalit. Take a detour in Candaba and visit the Candaba Bird Sanctuary which is host to to migratory birds. There are also mangroves in Masantol where the water is quite shallow, perfect for kayaking and birdwatching. The best part of the cruise is watching the renowned Manila Bay sunset from a different place, far from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila. For further information, please contact Holy Angel University Center for Kapampangan Studies, Tel. No. (63 45) 888-8691/2514/625-9620/888-8691 loc. 1311, c/o Director Robert Tantingco, Email rptmt@yahoo.com, www.hau.edu.ph/kcenter (Source: Ivan Henares: Ivan About Town Blog)

Plaridel Airport
Plaridel, Bulacan
Covering a span of 11 hectares of land is the only existing airport in Bulacan. Constructed by the United States Bureau of Aeronautics in 1935, the runway is a historic landmark as it once became a battleground between the Americans and the Japanese forces during World War II. Together with three Filipino officers, the Americans were able to drive out the enemies from the town.

Quezon's Resthouse
Baler, Aurora
This resthouse is a quaint blue wooden cottage where former President Manuel L. Quezon and his family and relatives stayed during their vacation in Baler. The place has a wide lawn and garden.

The Siege of Baler
Baler Church
[All blockquotes have been excerpted from Under the Red and Gold: Being Notes and Recollections of the Siege of Baler, by Captain Don Saturnino Martin Cerezo.]

From June 27, 1898 to June 2, 1899, 53 Spanish soldiers and four officers, under the command of Captain Enrique de las Morenas y Fossi, garrisoned themselves in Baler Church as Filipino troops under Teodorico Luna Novicio began their attack. The Spanish flag was installed at the highest point of the bell tower, which had already been fortified. The Spaniards also dug trenches and boarded up the church windows as additional defense.

It was the will of God that the date of June 30, 1898, should be signalized with blood. Up to that time we had to record only menaces, presages, and fears, disheartening treachery and mocking villainy; but that morning the cloud closed in on us, and (I say it without boasting) with the relief of a sensation desired, yet feared. The cloud closed down and we breathed it in with relief.

I had gone out on the daily reconnaissance with only fourteen men, the same number as former days. All was silence. We were marching with the ordinary precautions, but without noticing anything that could cause us uneasiness; when, on reaching the Bridge of Spain, on the west of the town, suddenly the enemy, posted along the stream which flows under the bridge, began a heavy fire and at once rushed upon us, attempting to surround us.

Comprehending their design, there was nothing we could do but fall back upon the church. It was necessary for us to get to shelter in all haste, and we accomplished it with some difficulty, carrying with us Corporal Jesus Garcia Quijano, who was wounded severely in the foot.

It had fallen to my lot to reply to the first shots, and I was to reply to the last.

We were besieged.

The Filipino troops, for their part, also dug trenches to prevent the Spaniards from replenishing their supplies. They opened fire on July 3; however, the distance limited their ability to effect much damage. On July 19, they joined forces with the troops of Colonel Calixto Villacorta. Despite several offensive attempts, the Filipinos were unable to penetrate the walls. Their attempts to parley with the Spaniards and come to a truce did not go far. They also engaged in psychological warfare, such as making loud noises to create the impression that larger forces were approaching, to diminish Spanish morale; but even learning of the news that Manila had been surrendered to the Americans did nothing to sway the resolve of the Spaniards to continue their defense of the church.

We could not conceive that our dominion could be so easily lost. We were unable to admit even the possibility of a fall so rapid and so astounding as that.

Upon the death of Captain de las Morenas on November 22, 1898, Lieutenant Don Saturnino Martin Cerezo was left in command.

It was now the one hundred and forty-fifth day of the siege. There remained under my command thirty-five privates, a trumpeter, and three corporals, almost all of them ill. To care for these sick men, I had only one doctor and one Hospital Corps man… This was all very little, considering the progress of the epidemic, the fatigues of the siege, and the remoteness of any possible relief. But we still had enough ammunition, a flag to defend while there was a cartridge left, and a sacred depository, that of the remains of our dead comrades, to guard against profanation by the enemy. It was possible for us to resist, and we resisted.

On June 2, 1899, after nearly 11 months—and after having suffered through near-starvation and bouts of beriberi, scurvy, and dysentery—the last Spanish holdouts in the Philippines surrendered. The terms of their capitulation included a provision that specified that they were not to be taken as prisoners of war. Representing the Filipinos were Lieutenant Colonel Simon Tecson, Captain Nemesio Bartolome, and Captain Francisco Ponce, while the Spaniards were represented by Lieutenant Cerezo and Dr. Rogelio Vigil.

When the detachment finally surrendered, they received chivalrous treatment from Filipino forces, and were placed under the protection of President Aguinaldo, who had issued a decree guaranteeing their safe conduct. The manner in which the surrender took place earned the Spanish forces the distinction of being called “Los últimos de Filipinas.”

… worthy of admiration of the world for the valor, constancy, and heroism with which that handful of men, cut off and without hope of any aid, has defended their flag for the space of a year, realizing an epic so glorious and so worthy of the legendary valor of the Cid.

Thus terminated the Siege of the Church of Baler, on the three hundred and thirty-seventh day from its beginning when we now had nothing edible to put in our mouths, nor was it humanly possible to sustain it a single day longer. (source: http://malacanang.gov.ph/4148-philippine-spanish-friendship-day/)

Sta. Rita Town
The town of Santa Rita brings to mind images of delicious confections and pastries like sans rival and turrones de casuy—favorite pasalubong ideas for relatives and friends abroad. For all its reputation as the town that offers “sinfully sweet” indulgences, Sta. Rita is also a town noted for its devout spirituality, and, much like Betis, is known for producing a large number of religious priests and nuns.

The future town of Sta. Rita actually started as a clearing in a place called “Gasac”, which is now Barrio San Isidro. It was known early as Sta. Rita Baculud or Sta. Rita de Lele, in reference to its proximity to Bacolor, where townsfolk did their daily marketing via barrio Sta. Barbara. Its history is also closely linked with Porac for Sta. Rita was near the Esterillo Viejo, or Sapang Matua, a creek that originated from the Porac mountains. For a while, one priest—Fr. Pedro de San Nicolas—was assigned to serve the spiritual needs of both Porac and Sta. Rita. It was only in 1770 when Sta. Rita secured its political/spiritual independence from Porac, due largely to the efforts of Fr. Don Vicente Eustaquio Polina, a secular native priest. 1770, thus, is regarded as the town’s founding year, also coinciding with the assumption of office of Juan Balatbat, Sta. Rita’s 1st gobernadorcillo.

For its titular patroness, the town chose Santa Rita de Casia, a 15th century Augustinian saint invoked by desperate people beset with seemingly hopeless problems like troubled marriages and domestic violence. Sta. Rita was married to an ill-tempered husband who was subsequently murdered. Her two children vowed revenge, but Sta. Rita, through her intense prayers, averted her children’s criminal plot. The two fell sick and died before they could carry out their vengeance. Thus without a family, Rita joined the Augustinians but only after several unsuccessful attempts. She led a life of mortification and, in a moment of fervent prayer, received the stigmata of the Lord on her forehead.

The actual construction of the church was deferred until the late 19th century. An 1835 document asserts that a certain Don Alejandro Rodriguez, member of the town principalia, was accepted as a brother of the Augustinian Order for having been a benefactor of the church. It may be that Don Alejandro donated either land or money to initiate the building of the church.

Credit for the construction of the church of Sta. Rita as we know it today goes to the town prior, Fr. Francisco Royo who started the masonry in 1839. It was completed by Fr. Juan Merino in 1869 (one of the church’s 5 bells is inscribed with his name). Both priests were also responsible for opening roads linking Sta. Rita with Guagua and Porac.

The last Augustinian priest was Fr. Celestino Garcia who figured in the Revolution of 1898. At the height of the unrest, he was hidden by his loyal parishioners. Later, he was captured by Gen. Maximino Hizon in Bacolor. Taken prisoner, he was spirited away to Lepanto. He managed to elude his security however, and fled back south where the prominent Asingan family of Pangasinan gave him refuge. The 1st native priest was Fr. Braulio Pineda. Others who served the parish include Frs. Nicanor Banzali, Tomas Dimacali, Pablo Camilo and Genaro Sazon.

The original church measured 55 meters long by 13 meters wide. Its height was around 10 meters. The church has marked baroque influences as seen from its triangular windows, despite its solidity. Notable features include a large transept , a spacious portico and a short but squat 4-storey bell tower. Its pediment showcases a small retablo flanked by small bell towers. The Church of Sta. Rita is another fine example of the Catholic Church’s material heritage and any one who enters its portals will be glad to know that this pisamban and its walls still reverberate with the sweet memories of a proud Kapampangan town. (Source: http://viewsfromthepampang.blogspot.com/2007/12/61-pampangas-churches-sta-rita-de-casia.html)

Sta. Rita Town Heritage Bells
Sta. Rita, Pampanga
Old church bells have become Sta. Rita town’s latest crowd drawer. There are five heritage bells in this town: the Seńora de la Cornea was installed at the belfry in 1869; Dolorosa bell in 1878; and the bells of Virgen de Lourdes, San Jose and Santa Rita—all installed on May 20, 1911. The installation of these bells was initiated by Fr. Braulio Pineda, the first Filipino priest of the town and a native of Sta. Rita, before the 1898 Revolution against Spain broke out and after the cessation of the Filipino-American war in 1903. At that time, the bells announced weddings, processions, feasts, floods, fire, deaths, the Angelus and the end of the 8 p.m. recitation of the rosary. Their agunyas (the sound made by the bell) for the dead is gender-specific. The Santa Rita bell announces the death of a man, while the Dolorosa does so for a woman. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, by Tonette Orejas, 5/22/11)

San Fernando City Hall
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
The current structure was completed in 1917 during the administration of Mayor Antonio Abad Santos. It was restored in 2003 by Mayor Rey B. Aquino.

San Fernando Heritage District (Tour Itinerary)
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Downtown San Fernando is home to the city’s historic poblacion which was zoned into a heritage district in 2004 by its Sangguniang Panlungsod. The first stop is the city hall of San Fernando where one boards a kalesa that would take him to some of the heritage houses along Consunji Street.

The first heritage house is the Santos-Hizon House, a turn-of-the-century Victorian-style house built by the couple Teodoro Santos and Africa Ventura. It was later purchased by Maria Salome Hizon, a volunteer of the Red Cross during the Philippine Revolution. The property was acquired by her brother Ramon Hizon and is currently owned by the heirs of his son Augusto Hizon.

A short walk across the street is the grand Hizon-Singian House. This bahay na bato was declared a heritage house by the National Historical Institute in January 2003. Currently owned by the heirs of the late businessman and civic leader Gerry H. Rodriguez, the house was built in 1870 by the couple Don Anacleto Hizon, gobernadorcillo of San Fernando from 1877-1879 and 1886-1887, and Victoria Singian de Miranda y de Ocampo. It was later occupied during the 1896 revolution by Spanish General Antonio Ruiz Serralde, appropriated by the Japanese Imperial Army to serve as a military hospital and barracks from 1943 to 1944, and served as headquarters of American General Walter Krueger of the 6th American Army during the liberation period until the end of 1945.

At the Hizon-Singian House, cocktails may be served - upon prior notice - featuring an exciting array of Kapampangan inspired hors d’oeuvres and drinks created by Kai chef Gilbert Pangilinan, himself a true-blue Fernandino. Pica-pica includs tocino, brown rice and itlog na maalat stuffed in tomato, chicharon Guagua with atchara, kilayin baboy on bananas, and gatas damulag rice with hipon.

Available upon request is a serenade courtesy of ArtiSta. Rita, a Kapampangan cultural group headed by Whiplash and Miss Saigon choreographer Andy Alviz, who may transform the ambiance in the centuries-old house into a that of a turn-of-the-century party.

After the well-received musical presentation, one again boards his kalesa to take him to the last stop for the day, the charming Lazatin House, another of San Fernando’s NHI-declared heritage houses. Built in 1925 by the couple Serafin Lazatin y Ocampo, sugar farmer and former president of SFELAPCO, and Encarnacion Singian y Torres, the house was appropriated by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War to serve as a residence of the 14th Army Commander of the Japanese Imperial Army, General Masaharu Homma, in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Behind the house is an air-conditioned function hall which is stylishly decorated with local flora enhanced by long garlands of fragrant sampaguita, the perfect setting for the candle-lit sit-down banquet featuring dishes from all over Pampanga prepared by Pangilinan and the kitchens of Kai. On the menu is lumpiang papayang hubad, pako salad, chicharong bulaklak, pindang damulag, paksiw na pata, lengua, morcon, alimango in taba ng talangka, lagat kamias at hipon, and fried hito with buro.

To cap the itinerary, the best desserts may be ordered from all over Pampanga which includs popular tibok-tibok (made of pure carbao’s milk, this is Pampanga’s version of maja blanca), plantanilla (sweetened coconut rolled in egg crepes) from the Dayrit-Santos famil y, tocino del cielo(a richer version of leche flan) of the Lazatin clan, sansrival and ube halayan. (Source: Ivan Henares: Ivan About Town Blog)

San Fernando Train Station
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Standing amid residences in Barangay Sto. Nino in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, are the ruins of what was once a busy and historic train station of the Manila-Dagupan Railway. Unknown to many, the station was silent witness to every turning point of the town's history, from its inauguration in 1892, up to the infamous Bataan Death March. It most definitely played an essential role in making the town boom into a great city - one that is rooted in its rich heritage and culture. It was opened on February 23, 1892, as part of the Bagbag-Mabalacat stretch of the Manila-Dagupan Railway System and was inaugurated by Governor-General Eulogio Despujol and Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda. On June 27 of the same year, Dr. Jose Rizal stopped over in San Fernando to recruit members to the Liga Filipina. Late afternoon of December 31, 1941, the Japanese Army bombed an ammunition train said to be parked in front of the station, ready to be transported by the United States Armed Forces in the Far East to Bataan. The Japanese Zero flew at around 4 0' clock in the afternoon and dropped three bombs which caused fire to some portions of the station. In April of 1942, thousands of Filipino and American prisoners-of-war, most of whom were dying of hunger, fatigue and various illnesses, were stuffed like sardines into the box carts, and sent to their final destination at Camp O' Donnell in Capas, Tarlac (now known as Capas National Shrine). Among the historical figures who passed this way were war hero and later senator Macario Peralta Jr., the first Miss Universe Armi Kuusela on her way to Baguio (where she met future husband Virgilio Hilario, Jr., Gen. Douglas MacArthur, when he returned in the 1960s.

San Fernando Water Reservoir (The Leaning Water Tower)
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Referred to as the “Leaning Tower of San Fernando” the 95-ft tall structure called San Fernando Water Reservoir was built during the term of municipal president Jose M. Valencia sometime in the 1920s. It was catapulted to national attention when several local government officials tried to lobby for its demolition. As a result of joint efforts of the City Tourism Office and the Heritage Conservation Society among others, a win-win solution was reached between the heritage advocates and the barangay officials. (Source: http://kapampangan.ivanhenares.com/2005/04/san-fernando-city-rich-in-architectual.html)

San Isidro Town
This idyllic town in Nueva Ecija is etched in history as the site if the “First Cry of Nueva Ecija” where Filipino revolutionaries took arms against Spain on September 2, 1896. The fighting, under the leadership of Gen. Mariano Llanera, went on for three days and resulted in the freedom of jailed leaders and members of the revolutionary forces. Gen. Gregorio del Pilar came with his troops to reinforce the Novo Ecijano fighters. That uprising earned for Nueva Ecija the distinction of being immortalized in the Philippine flag as one of the eight provinces that first rose in arms against Spanish rule. San Isidro was once the capital of the Philippines when then President Emilio Aguinaldo transferred his seat of government to the town. It was the capital of Nueva Ecija from 1852 to 1912. The town was once known as “factoria” because a tobacco factory was established there to service the Tobacco Monopoly. It was in San Isidro where the Wright Institute, the first high school outside Manila, was established during the American rule. The school became the Nueva Ecija High School before it transferred to Cabanatuan City several years later. During the Japanese occupation, San Isidro shared with Pampanga and Tarlac the site of the formation of the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon, a Japanese resistance group. The house that Aguinaldo used before he was captured by Gov. Gen. James Wright and Col. Frederick Funston with American troops in Palanan, Isabela has been preserved. All these serve as symbols of history and education for visitors to the town. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 1, 2008, by writer Anselmo Roque)

San Isidro Municipal Hall
San Isidro, Nueva Ecija
The building used to be the provincial jail and capitol, when San Isidro was the chief commercial town and capital of Nueva Ecija from the Spanish times until 1912.During the restoration in 1993, workers had excavated and recovered two sacks of 50-cal bullets for machine guns. The place was used as a garrison by the Japanese during the war.

Seki Tunnel
Clark, Pampanga
Situated at the northwest corner of the Kamikaze west airfield in a hill called "babang dapu" (meaning "crocodile jaw") as named by the Aetas.This is the only known Kamikaze tunnel that remained intact after World War II. It was constructed quickly as an air raid bunker for Cmdr. Taimai Asaichi - commander of the 201st Air Group, 1st Air Fleet, Imperial Japanese Navy, the very first Kamikaze unit of World War Il. It was constructed in late October 1944 and provided protection for Cmdr. Tamai and some of his Kamikaze pilots during deadly U.S. air raids. A marker was installed by the Clark Development Corporation on September 1, 2002.

Shrine of Valor
Pilar, Bataan
Located atop Mt. Samat is a towering monument called Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan) which is made of steel and concrete.The monument immortalizes the agony of Filipino and American soldiers in their struggle for freedom and independence against the Japanese forces during World War II. The huge Memorial Cross stands tall at 311-ft high or is equivalent to a 30-storey building. It is half as tall as its original model - the great cross of the Valle de los Caidas in Spain. Its 18x18m column is framed with steel and constructed with luminous materials for maximum lighting effect which when lighted can be seen at night from as far as the seawall in Manila Bay. Towering at 555 meters above sea level, the cross has an elevator, staircase ( with 414 steps up to the arms of the cross or a total of 513 steps to the head of the cross) and a viewing gallery in the arm of the cross. It features a Collonade composed of an altar, an esplanade, and a WWII memorial museum.

Additional Information:

The Dambana ng Kagitinganť, as completed and inaugurated in 1970, consists of the Colonnade and the huge Memorial Cross.

The Colonnade is a marble-capped structure with an altar, esplanage and museum. There are several historical depictions on the Colonnade which include the following: Stained Glass Mural behind the altar, 19 Scriptural Marble and Relief's and Parapet, 18 Bronze Insignias of USAFFE Division Units, 2 Bronze Urns (symbolic of the Eternal flame), 18 Flag poles with colors of USAFFE Divisions/Units and Inscriptions of the 'Battle of Bataan.'ť

The Memorial Cross is a towering structure (555 meters above sea level) of steel and reinforced concrete with an elevator and viewing gallery (arm of the cross). The height of the cross is 92 meters from the base. The height of the arms is 74 meters from the base. The length of the arm is 30 meters (15 on each side). The viewing gallery is 18 ft. by 90 ft. with a 7-foot clearance. The exterior finish of the cross at the base up to an 11-meter level is capped with 'Nabiag Nga Bato'ť sculptural slabs and sculptural bas-reliefs depicting significant battles and historical events. Above the base, the Cross is of 'chipped granolithic marble.'

From the Colonnade to the Cross is a 14-flight zigzagging footpath on the mountain slope, paved with bloodstones from Corregidor Island.

Siar Tree
Malolos City, Bulacan
Popularly known as Kalayaan Tree or Peltrophorum Pterocarpum, located in the churchyard of Barasoain Church in Malolos City, Bulacan, this tree has been a living witness to many historic events that transpired in the area. It was in Barasoain Church where the three important events of our country took place: The convening of the First Philippine Congress on Sept. 15, 1898; the promulgation of the Philippine Constitution, popularly known as the Malolos Constitution on Jan. 21,1899; and the inauguration of the First Republic on Jan. 23, 1899, establishing the Philippines as the first democratic country in Asia. It was under the Siar tree where Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo found temporary refuge. Revolutionary field officers waited under its shade to see the general and report on the battles won and lost by the revolutionaries. It was planted by President Aguinaldo during a lull in the Malolos Convention.

Subic Naval Base (now Subic Bay Freeport)
Olongapo City, Zambales
Characterized by its natural deep-sea harbor, with narrow entrance guarded by Grande Island, for the defense of its colonial hold on the Philippines, Spain was the first to build a naval station here in 1885 - only to lose it during the Spanish-American War 13 years later in 1898.It became a major shipyard and repair facility for the U.S. Navy after floating drydock "Dewey" was towed in Subic from Virginia in 1905. It was home to the U.S. 7th Fleet. The administration of Olongapo was later turned over to the Philippine government by the United States on December 7, 1959. The town was converted into a city on June 1, 1966 by virtue of RA No. 4645 sponsored by Congressman Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. The city mayor then was James L. Gordon. Today the former naval station has grown to become the first freeport zone in the country - a sprawling industrial, commercial and tourism estate attracting hundreds of investors and millions of local and foreign tourists.

Surrender Site Marker
Balanga City, Bataan
Located inside Balanga Elementary School Grounds, this site was used as a command post by Lt. Gen. Homma at the time of Bataan’s Surrender wherein Major Gen. King and his party signed the documents for the surrender of the USAFFE forces in the Phlippines under a mango tree on April 9, 1942. Lt. Gen. Homma’s party were kept as hostages in the school house until after the USAFFE troops were rounded up and delivered as POW’s to the nearest Japanese units.

Tabacalera House
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Originally owned by Tabacalera to house its representative Don Ramon Lopez, the first floor served as the office of Tabacalera. It was later purchased by Simeon Ocampo. During the Japanese Occupation, it served as the headquarters of the Kempeital.

Tecson Ancestral House
San Miguel, Bulacan
Three sons of original owners were all officers of the revolutionary army of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. For sometime, this house was used as the headquarters of Aguinaldo. The house is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Cenen Mendiola. Simon Tecson is the original owner.

Torch of Freedom Marker
Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan
Marker for one of the base camps of the guerillas during World War II.

Viola House
San Miguel, Bulacan
The original owner is Dr. Maximo Viola, a companion of Dr. Jose Rizal in Europe while Rizal was writing his famous two novels: El Filibusterismo and Noli Me Tangere.He was known to have financed the printing of the Noli Me Tangere. A doctor and a municipal councilor (d. September 3, 1933).


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