Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hermosa and Mt. Samat: Leg 3 of the Mapangurirat Summer Bonanza

First there was Boso-Boso, Rizal, then it was the Mapangurirat Summerfest at Provident, Marikina. The 3rd leg of the Mapangurirat Summer Bonanza kicked off with the invitation of our friend Poppo to visit Hermosa, Bataan. So, Mapangurirat, along with Ate Rose, niece Karla, Friends Jack, Poppo and Noel left Manila for Bataan. The trip took us about 3 hours from Manila since we had to join thousands of other vehicles on their way to their own northern vacation havens. We arrived in Hermosa around lunch time and were greeted to a sumptuous lunch of Bataan-style Pinakbet, lots of fried tilapia and burong hipon, courtesy of our host and prepared by Ate Nenet. The kids later took to swimming in the oversized kiddie pool that Jack and Poppo brought along.

After lunch and while the kids were busy in their kiddie pool, Ate Rose and Jackie decided to catch up on the latest hit series in the US, Heroes....

...while us boys took the Trooper and went to the next town, Orani, to check out the market and to buy food for our dinner....

...This is part of the Orani Public Market. Note that a separate building is dedicated solely for Carinderias. This place has it all -- Igado, Menudo, Adobo -- name it, they have it there....

On our way back, we encountered several penitents flogging themselves with improvised whips. They were infront of the Orani Lumber Store and had their faces covered with cloth.

When we arrived from our trip to the Orani Public Market, we had just enough sun to allow us to take pics of our "tambayan" kubo (made by Poppo and his crew). The sunset provided a breathtaking backdrop to our first succesful day in Hermosa on the third leg of our Mapangurirat Summer Bonanza.

...And here is our "tamabayan" backdropped by a reddish sunset. The hut is barely over a year old and i am a living witness to the dedication of our friend poppo and his crew who built the hut from scratch from the ground up.

Before we started our first night drinking spree, we (Poppo, Noel and I) went out of the house to take pictures of the sunset.
Early the next day, we set off for our Mt. Jolo Adventure. Poppo's family has a homestead in the mountains, and we all packed the Trooper to brave the rough roads of Mt. Jolo for a little mountain experience.

That's us inside the airconditioned haven that is the Trooper. Luckily we didn't pursue our plan to travel by open-aired jeep, otherwise we would have been bathed in inch-thick dust. See how dusty the road looks?

Before we reached the homestead, we passed by this house, notorious in this part of Mt. Jolo as being haunted. Built in the 1980s, the owners inexpicably failed to occupy the house and several caretakers have reportedly left the house in the dead of night in fear of something unseen. Now, the caretaker stays only during the day and leaves before nightfall. According to residents, the house has 13 rooms and has a dungeon-like room.

After the drive, we arrived ta the homestead and immediately, Jessie, our companion, went to prepare a savory dish of Sinampalukang Manok.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the homestead, Mang Luis (the caretaker) and Bong (one of our companions there) took turns watching over the inihaw na baboy.

After a hearty lunch of Inihaw na baboy, sinampalukang manok, fresh alamang Bagoong and shrimp, i decided to give their rifle a test fire. That's me with the modified Cal. .22 rifle with silencer. The gun is there for protection against wild animals who sometimes wander into the homestead and kill their domesticated animals.

the mother and son tandem of Jack and Zach decided to give Beauty a tesy drive. "Beauty" is the name of the white horse and the brown one is "Negra".

That's me with Mang Luis in the back, holding "Negra". No, i didn't ride the horse, so you can let out a sigh of relief!
The tropa taking refuge in the cool shade of this quonset hut at the height of the mid-afternnon sun's heat.

We left the homestead shortly before 3 pm and headed back to Hermosa. that night we had another drinking spree which lasted til around midnight. The following day, we readied ourselves for the last adventure before heading back to the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila. Around 2:30 pm of Saturday, we left Hermosa for Mount Samat. The trip itself is not quite that long, but put a lot of strain on the vehilce we were riding since the road to the Dambana ng Kagitingan in Mount Samat is quite steep. Along the way, we saw signs of preparation for Monday's Araw ng Kagitingan which will be comemorated at Mt. Samat led by PGMA.

We arrived shortly before 3 pm and made our way to the giant cross. Too bad we weren't able to go to the top of the cross (the viewing deck) because the place was jampacked with people.

Here is the marker commemorating the ceremonial cornerstone laying of the giant Cross on Mt. Samat called Dambana ng Kagitingan. Literally translated, it means Monument to Heroism.

The giant cross of the Dambana ng Kagitingan is so big that i felt dizzy just staring up at it.

This is the base of the giant cross and has larger than life cement reliefs of turining points in Philippine History.
That's me with the base of the giant cross on the background. There were lots of tourists so we didn't really get the chance to tour the entire memorial.

That's the mapangurirat cres posing before the foot of the giant cross. (L-R) Ate Rose, Karla, Jack, Noel, Zach and Poppo.

We had lots of fun on Mt. Samat, and we had a great time looking for the obscure monuments ot fallen japanese soldiers along the road. After Samat, we called it quits and headed back to Manila... but not before another hours-long drinking spree!

More pictures on my Multiply account.