Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday at the Fort

We had a really fun Saturday in Fort Bonifacio. Marguerite's ballet class was canceled and Mark didn't have any engagement, so that meant an entire day of family bonding. We meant to check out the galleon replica, but Mark had found out the day before that viewing would only be available until noon and that children under 8 years old weren't allowed, so we scrapped that idea. We thought we'd go to the American Cemetery (a memorial park for the fallen US soldiers in WWII - this includes Filipinos who were serving under the US Army - we were a colony at that time). It's a great place for birdwatching and the whole McKinley area is known to have a community of squirrels (these aren't the local ones found in places like the Palawan, Mindoro and Bohol jungles - I think these were introduced by American expatriates who lived in that area). It's so cool how they thrived in the climate and that they don't seem to have messed up the local ecology at all.
It was raining quite heavily when we left the house, so I thought we'd have to ditch birding, but the rain was but an anemic drizzle when we reached the Fort. It stopped altogether shortly after we'd parked. That day we were mostly there to watch birds (which we couldn't identify anyway - but I think I saw parakeets, kingfishers, mourning doves and shrikes), but we did check out the hemicycles (which listed the names of the missing - more than 30,000). There were also graves marked with a cross that said "HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY A COMRADE IN ARMS KNOWN ONLY TO GOD". The next time we go there (which is soon, I hope), we'll specifically look for relatives (my dad has two uncles who were executed; my mom has one uncle who perished in the Death March to Bataan, his remains lying in an unknown grave...). Let me know if there's anybody you'd want me to find.
While we were there, the carillon sounded a couple of times (it tolls to mark the hour and half hour), the first time, it did so to the tune of "Amazing Grace". We didn't stay until closing or we would have heard it play the Philippine and American anthems as well, followed by a rifle volley and then taps, they say.
After that, we went with Mark as he visited a couple of shops, checking out their amplifiers. Then, we headed over to Chelsea at Serendra for dinner. Mark had the super fatty pork belly dish. I don't know when to start interfering. Now, right? Man, I don't want to be the food police! For starters, I'd have to practice what I preach...
We went for a stroll after dinner. Serendra (is an outdoor mall/park/hang-out place/dining strip/night spot...) is always a happening place, esp during weekends. That night it was the Mabuhay Germany event. I thought at first it had something to do with Oktoberfest, but people weren't being wild enough (for those interested, my friend told me the Oktoberfest main hub would be the Sofitel on the 15th-17th). Marguerite seems to have taken after me and digs the oldies but goodies. She wanted to just stay and watch the Bloomfields, but with church the following day, we couldn't stay out too late.


The Kano said...

I would love to visit Fort Bonifacio next time we are in the area. Sounds like a very interesting and historical spot to visit. I really enjoy exploring locales like that.

lalab said...

i was hoping you made it at the galleon because it was tremendously hard to get in due to the number of people.. we didn't make it either.. sigh.

Vera said...

We had planned to see the galleon on Friday but didn't make it. Saturday was hopeless.:( I'd love to hangout at Serendra and Bonifacio High Street but it's so far from here, and without a car, well getting home would be a nightmare!

spinninglovelydays said...

@Dave: I think you'll find the area quite Americanized. The cemetery is definitely a must-visit for WWII buffs. :)

@Lalab: I heard from friends that their visit was a fail on account of the mob, and this was during a weekday too. There's always the National Museum for galleon stuff. :)

@Vera: Good thing young children weren't allowed or we might have gone through the hassle ourselves. I know what you mean. If there's no car, I wouldn't dare venture far from Marikina, and esp not during the Christmas season when cabbies are at their most evil, lol