8 Historical Facts and Numbers on Freedom Trail March

Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) in partnership with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Bataan government, Tarlac government, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air force started a grueling 3-day march.

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The “Obelisk” at the Capas National Shrine

The march started  midnight of March 1 (Friday) started the kick off ceremonies in commemoration of the 77th year of the Death March and concluded at Capas Memorial Shrine in Tarlac on March 3 (Sunday) past 8:30 pm.

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Philippine Army and Navy marching along Bamban, Tarlac highway

Mr. Tomas Cloa, Jr. (PVB) Vice president said the original Death March lasted for four days after Bataan fell to the Japanese invaders on April 9, 1942.

8 Historical Facts and Numbers about the Freedom Trail March

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Death March Memorial Shrine in Capas, Tarlac province

1.)  Freedom Trail March, it retraces the 140 kilometers of actual route of the Death March from the ( zero) O- kilometer Death March marker in Mariveles, Bataan to Capas in Tarlac.

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Bamban bridge, Tarlac

2.) Death March is considered as one of the darkest days in the country’s history. There were 60,000 to 80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war from Bagac and Mariveles towns in Bataan to Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

3.) About 2,000 living World War II veterans are still alive.

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4.) United States Navy Seal 21 members of the United States Navy Seal participated for the first time.

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5.) Epic Charity Challenge from the United States headed by its director Dr. Lance Cummings of California together with 17 members aimed to raise $100,000 this year to be given to athletes needing prosthetic and metal shoes.

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Cristo Rey High School students

6.) 77 Students from Cristo Rey High School which symbolizes the 77 years of Death March were at the lightning of torch. The school was known as O’Donnel’s Rettlement High School. The place is popularly called NAVY.

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Maj. Gen. Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana, AFP (Ret.) 

Secretary of Defense Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana led the torch lighting ceremony at the shrine.

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boodle meal

boodle meal dishes which included steam white rice, fried pork liempo, roasted chicken, salted duck eggs, slice tomatoes, slice mangoes, pork chicharon, steamed egg plant, steamed okra, steamed kangkong with bagoong and vinegar .

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7.) Boodle Fights– After a long day march, everyone enjoyed a hearty boodle fight meal.

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Mr. Roberto de Ocampo

8.) Philippine Veterans Bank is owned by Philippine war veterans and prime mover in commemorating the event. Mr. Roberto De Ocampo ( former Finance secretary during President Fidel Ramos term 1992 to 1998 ) is the chairperson of the banking institution.

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Philippine Living History members

Mr. Robert Hudson, vice-president of Filipino-American Memorial, said the Death March markers are well-maintained, now with the assistance of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

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souvenir items for sale

souvenir items for sale, These included black and white color shirts ( Php 400 each), marble obelisk kilometer marker- Php 150 and refrigerator magnets.

A big salute to all the soldiers and to the organizers of this annual freedom run .

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Subic- Triboa Mangrove Park

Triboa Bay Mangrove Park  is a two hectares  mangrove re-forestation project area that features different attractions that a lot of tourists in the area enjoy.

This destination is easy to find so even those who are new to the   place will not experience difficulties situating it. The park  is now managed by the same group who maintains the Subic Treetop Adventures.

Upon arriving at the park , the group was initially met by the tour guides and quickly brief the group on the history and importance of the place . There are signage which tell the importance of these mangrove areas.

The mangrove areas is also a perfect habitat for fingerlings , mud crabs, mud skippers and we even saw butete or puffer fish .

Mr. Jun Bagat our guide at the Triboa Mangrove Park

We were greeted by Mr. Jun Bagat – an aeta guide  . He also told our group that there are two aeta group classification  from the Zambales region which is divided into  Amianan group which is from the northern part of Zambales and Ambala group which comes the southern area and may even extent to the Tarlac and Pampanga  .

Ficus nota in fruits

He also told the importance of the Ficus nota which they could extract water . The local name of the tree is Tibig / Tebey as pronounced in their local Zambales aeta dialect .

Mangrove tree saplings and a scenic nipa hut

The forest Ecosystem meets the marine ecosystem at this point. The mangroves of Triboa also contains tannin compounds that can be extracted from the barks. Tannin is a soluble substances used in tanning hides and skins that are used in manufacturing leather crafts.

The mangroves re-planting project was just started sometime in 2008 . In this part of the bay,  mangroves saplings  are still young and being revitalized.

gravel filled pathways are planted with bird of the paradise  hybrids

 There are already erected bamboo catwalks and decks for you to enjoy the interesting growth patterns of these high tide-low tide species.

pandanus sp.

Their aerial roots  grow submersed in brackish water, establishing weird root networks.   Mr. Bonifacio Pasion and our tour guide , said that the mangrove species is predominantly Bakawang babae /  female mangrove or Rhizophora macrunota.

Nipa fruticans

This is locally called Nipa , Sasa ,Pawid, Anipa . The nipa palm is considered one of the most important economic crops that strive in the wetlands or brackish water condition . The leaves of the palm is use for thatching nipa huts, leaflets are used for making hats , baskets, raincoats , wrappings for suman, the midribs of the leaves are used for making walis tingting (  stick brooms), the petioles are used for firewood while its  fruits/ flower  are process into wine or vinegar .

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Situated at Ilanin Forest Area in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Tourists who will be coming from Manila  and Pasay City can ride in buses bound to Zambales or the City of Olongapo to reach the place.

From these destinations, there are a lot of taxis and jeepneys that can transport them directly to the Subic sightseeing spot.

                              Barringtonia acutangula  with inflorescence

The Himbabalod or Putat tree  is known to have curative and folkloric value . The bark to this tree is used of poisoning or baiting the fish .

Barringtonia acutangula  flowers or Putad -Tagalog , Putat – Tagalog, Pampango and Bikol dialect

variegated or mutant ( Calophyllum inophyllum )

This mutant variety if locally known as Bitaog or Bitaoy known to be indigenous from East Africa, Southern coast of India, Malesia to Australasia . This tree is also called ball nut tree. Now widespread in tropical regions of the world. In some areas,  the tree is used for construction of small boats.

Meanwhile, for individuals who will travel in private vehicles should take the San Fernando exit along North Luzon Expressway. From the exit, they will pass thru several towns in the province of Pampanga and Bataan before they reach Subic Bay Freeport Zone Expressway. From the expressways exit, there are signs that instruct people on how to reach the mangrove park.

Contact: (047)- 252-42-42 /252-41-23 /252-40-32

Entrance Fees: Php 250.00 per head inclusive of guided tour  / group discount may be availed

12th Likha ng Central Luzon

Likha ng Central Luzon regional trade fair is a yearly event organized by Department of Trade and Industry and Philexport with the full support of the regional development council and Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation Inc. with the 7 governors of the regions as members. This is considered as one of the major trade promotions activity that promotes the products, services and tourist destination sites of each member province.

This year’s theme “ Likha ng Central Luzon ” Alay sa Kalikasan at Kinabukasan , the fair is being held on an annual basis.

Capability building seminars were conducted before the fair to develop the technical capabilities of the micro and small enterprises and eventually develop them to become exporters.

Product development activities were also undertaken to develop new products and product designs.

bamboo products ” Special feature of the exhibit “

Now on its 12th year, this trade fair had proven to be an effective venue to promote the products of the region to institutional buyers and exporters based in major urban centers like Metro Manila. It is also a venue were foreign buyers could buy direct from these exhibitors.

This is one of the most awaited trade events in Metro Manila because of the distinctive and the quality products that the region may offer.

The event was held from October 20 to 24, 2010 at Mega trade Hall 2, 5th Floor Building-B , SM Megamall , Mandaluyong City. The seven governors of the region are member of the Central Luzon growth corridor.



products from the province of Tarlac

Modern bags use  native bamboo  on display

This is considered as one of the major trade promotions activity that promotes the products, services and tourist destination sites of each member province.

This year’s theme “ Likha ng Central Luzon ” Alay sa Kalikasan at Kinabukasan , the fair is being held on an annual basis.    Capability building seminars were conducted before the fair to develop the technical capabilities of the micro and small enterprises and eventually develop them to become exporters.

The province of Tarlac promotes their natural produce and organic lifestyle as part of the provincial slogan ” Natural Tarlac”

Good Earth Products from Tarlac province – This company specializes on organic farming , herbs , home decor and accessories

” Zambales Finest” if the provincial product branding – the finest products and produce of the province were on display

 

(left) Granda’s Sansrival from the town of Bacolor in Pampanga


Now on its 12th year, this trade fair had proven to be an effective venue to promote the products of the region to institutional buyers and exporters based in major urban centers like Metro Manila.

” Taas Noo Novo Ecijano” with the best products from the province of Nueva Ecija

There are over 150 exhibitors from different parts of region 3 . It is also a venue were foreign buyers could buy direct from these exhibitors.

” Tatak Bulakenyo” products from different towns and municipalities of  Bulacan

This is one of the most awaited trade events in Metro Manila because of the distinctive and the quality products that the region may offer. Unique products are also awarded for their designs and quality .

” Vida Pampanga” products on display were made from the province of Pampanga

winner for best design and best product


Jesslyn Marie Marketing from Nueva Ecija with their wooded lamp products and dolls

various array of native barongs and embroidered clothes from Bulacan

Special showcase on engineered bamboo products , This showcase aims to heighten awareness on the significant contribution of the bamboo to environment   protection, poverty mitigation and disaster management .

Bulacan Bamboo Craft specialties in various bamboo products such as frames,   baskets, accessories,  pot holder,  wall decor among others.  According to one of the sales staffs , most of their buyers were balikbayans and foreigners.


Isdaan Restaurant

Isdaan is one fine restaurant that you wouldn’t even think existing in the landlocked province of Tarlac. Being here is like you’re in another country or some sort of a theme park . Its very remarkable setup, good food and display, this restaurant should be included in your list.

koi pond

Upon arriving in  Gerona, the place is  more than a hectare . While  the name “Isdaan” which means fisheries really speaks for itself. Huge sculptures of fishes are atop a pond filled with several types of fishes – mostly kois. These fish sculptures are somewhat re-enacting a scene where a bamboo pole has caught a fish.

Fish statute, Thai garuda and a T-Rex dinosaur

We walked through the restos bamboo flooring and noticed lots of different statues are all over the place. From sleeping security guards, rooster, huge monkeys playing around, dinosaurs from pre-historic  times,bronze Thai buddhas, aetas bearing jar clays and their catch of the day and even famous personalities of the late  Jaime Cardinal Sin and former President of the Philippines Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. You’re eyes are really filled with these masterpieces and would definitely get excited to survey the area.

One of the best sites in the area are the nipa huts.  These are suspended over the pond where school of kois are around waiting for some food. These huts were some sort of guarded by the waiters with their laminated-cardboard like menus. Asking you what to eat and even guiding you where’s the best location the restaurant has to offer. Warm and hospitable are the common thing for these folks, not to mention their mastery of food making. There were entertainers who sung various Filipino songs much to the group delight .

The group ordered crispy pata lechon, inihaw na manok, singang , adobong palaka, ginataang kuhol, fried rice, lumpiang sariwa  and fresh fruit juices.

The group came across Ms. Iwa Motto – a starstruck finalist and a kapuso channel 7 celebrity. we instantly requested to have a group photo and an individual photo her.

Tacsiyao wall

The Tacsiyapo wall,  is just a wall which you can release your anger towards someone. But if you are really raging mad at that time, this is a sure way to release your anger while shouting “Tacsiyapo” meaning ” shame on you ! ”  and throwing away the mug or whatever you have chosen to smash onto the wall! There are also places in Japan and Europe  were people can release their anger by throwing utensils and other stuffs . Call that anger and stress management therapy for a fee!!!! minus the consultation….

Lastly, they have a San Kilo Bridge, where they would give you a free 1 kilo of tilapia, if you are able to successfully cross the bridge back and forth.  Best time to go here is in the evening so that it is a little cooler and you’ll be prepared for any eventualities with the San Kilo Bridge.

an visitor  crossed the san kilo bridge to the finish line

For more information:

Isdaan
Gerona, Tarlac
Contact Number: 045-9312196