Chris Krueger on Corregidor Island, Philippines
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
We pulled into anchorage, and waited the normal several hours before we were able to get on the liberty boats to head off to the pier. As usual, there was lots to do before I could leave. But JB, JPATT, and I headed out to Manila, got a cab, and checked into JB and JPATT’s hotel. I didn’t get a hotel room because I wanted to save money and I had duty later on during the port on the ship anyway. After checking into the hotel, we went to the best Thai food restaurant I’ve ever been to. It was at another hotel, and I forget the name of it, but it was great. And of course, in a city of 11 million people, we run into a huge group of other American navy guys being loud and obnoxious at the restaurant. The cab rides were interesting, running through the streets crowded with jeepney’s, which are basically stretch limousine jeeps that are private, independent taxi services. After that, I headed back to the ship.
“Church of San Agustin. Oldest stone church in the Philippines. Plans were approved in 1586. Construction started in 1587 and completed in 1607….Its architect was Juan Macias. It has withstood many earthquakes from 1645 up to the present and survived the British invasion in 1762, the Spanish-American War in 1898 and the Japanese invasion in 1942. The church choir has 68 carved molave seats with narra inlaids, an artistic lectern and parchment cantorals of the 17th and 18th centuries. The church and its graves were profaned during the British occupation of Manila in 1762. The ashes of early Spanish conquistadores Legazpi, Salcedo, Lavezares, and blessed Pedro de Zuniga and others now rest in the easternmost chapel of the transept. Terms for the American occupation of Manila were prepared in the vestry of the church in 1898. The First Philippine Plenary Council was held here in 1953. Chosen as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1993.” Plaque at the Church of San Agustin (above)Wednesday, 12 August 2009
This was kind of my free day. I had to wait on my OIC, because you have to have a liberty buddy in port and he was mine for the day, so we didn’t get off the ship until almost noon. After that we went and picked up JPATT and then went to Fort Santiago, which was the Spanish fort which was the center of Manila and which defended the city for hundreds of years.
Today was my duty day. I had to give a public affairs tour of the flight deck, hangar, and helicopter to visiting Philippine dignitaries and to American embassy personnel in the morning. After that, I had to go to the pier via liberty boat to start my shore patrol, where I go patrol the streets of Manila in a particular area and make sure the sailors don’t do anything stupid and make sure everyone gets back to the boat prior to liberty expiration. This part is never fun, and today was no exception. I didn’t get back to the boat until like 3 in the morning.Friday, 14 August 2009
Today was my last day in port, and despite getting about an hour of sleep, I was really excited about my tour of Corregidor Island.
When Mari and I were in Nagasaki, Japan, in February we went to the temple were the remains were relocated.
For freedom’s light has come
Sleep in the silent depths of the sea
Or in your bed of hallowed sod
Until you hear at dawn
The low, clear reveille of God.”
Inscription in the Pacific War Memorial on Corregidor Island
Saturday, 15 August 2009
We got underway this morning for the last part of our cruise. Thus begins the final countdown until I see Mari again!