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Balatan Public Market – Beautiful Sunday

Balatan Public Market – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Also my share for #Marketfriday  by @dswigle It’s another beautiful day and it is time again for me to share another part of our travel, in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. Last time I took you along with me on […]

The Long and Winding Road to Bicol – Beautiful Sunday

The Long and Winding Road to Bicol – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to a brand new series of our travel here in the Philippines. A series where I will take you with me to visit popular sites, discover places and learn more about our culture. In this new series we will […]

An Unexpected 5 Star Awakening – Beautiful Sunday

An Unexpected 5 Star Awakening – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

There are times in our lives that we get unexpected surprises. Sometimes life offers surprises even in the middle of the night. This is the case for us when we received a call when all the people are still sleeping soundly. Let me tell you about our story and an experience that we will never forget. Join me today as I take you on a wonderful stay at one of the 5 star hotels in our country.

 

An Unexpected 5 Star Awakening

It was a quite evening and everyone was still in deep sleep. Suddenly my phone rang and I tried to ignore it hoping the caller would hang up. The phone kept ringing and I was getting aggravated. My wife answered my phone  I was still half asleep and I could hear her silently talking to the caller. I asked her who it was, but I fell asleep before she answered. My wife carefully whispered to my ear, “Wake up, wake up, my mom called as she wants us to come over to a hotel.” I said, “I’m still so sleepy it’s 1:00 in the morning just tell her that we can’t come over”. I fell asleep again, but she again whispered to my ear, “She said she is going to give you money and feed you whatever you want.” That got my attention and woke me up. Confused I asked my wife what is going on. My wife told me to just get up and get the kids ready, we are going to Okada Manila which is one of the most popular hotel and casino in the Philippines.

I dressed up and splashed my face with cold water to wake me up. I warmed up our old trusty van and on we drove into in the middle of the night. The road was empty at this time and we reached the hotel in less than an hour. Even at this time I could see that there are still a lot of people going to the casino. We found a parking spot easily and waited for the call of my mother in law. When she finally called she said to meet us in the lobby.

In rushing to go the hotel, I realized that I forgot to bring my camera. Well, anyone would if you are woken up in the middle of the night. Anyway, I’ll need to make use of what I have which is my camera phone that I rarely use. Upon entering the lobby you would be greeted by this grand entrance to the casino. Owned by a Japanese Billionaire, you could see that the theme of the place is like a Japanese palace. The dominant colors in the hotel are shades of purple as that is color or royalty in Japan. Just seeing the bright lights, majestic decorations and the sounds of the slot machines would definitely wake you up completely even at this early time.

The lobby was empty as most of the people are either asleep in their rooms or at the gaming floors.

If you have some craving for some sweet and freshly baked pastries. They have it here at 2:00 in the morning.

Here we met up with my mother in law and we waited as she booked our room. As you could see there are still people checking in, foreigners and locals alike. The hotel is gorgeous from the design of the carpet, the decorations on the walls and the hanging light fixtures that looks like flowers. Everything was beautifully designed to meet the Japanese royalty theme.

As my mother in law led us to our room she said that we are not staying at a regular room. It is unlike the previous hotel rooms that we stayed at. That room at the end of the hallway is the Executive Suite corner room. It is the room that we will be staying in.

Before we entered the room, I asked her how did she end up here. She looked at me and giggled a bit and said, ” I got a bit lucky at the casino and they offered me to stay for free at the Executive Suite as a gift from the casino.” She wanted to share the room with us and the kids. I knew it! The place is very expensive just to spend an overnight or I guess half a day since it was already around 2:00 am.

Once inside the room, I felt sleepy again and found my way to the king sized bed. I was looking to tone down the lights in the room and found out that the lighting controls are operated by this table. I activated the night mode and down came the lights came, toning it down to a dim ambiance.

Also everything is easily accessible in this tablet. The air conditioning controls, the television and ordering room service all at a touch of the table.

As the sun rose, I woke up energized and I do apologize for the messy bed.

Fully awake now I had a chance to explore the room.

Fresh orchids on the coffee table is a simple treat to brighten up your day.

From this room, you could see a view of the city that also has already awoken up.

I could say that this the most perfect view in the hotel. This is called “The Fountain” which is the main attraction of Okada. It is known to be the largest dancing fountain in the world and construction costs around $30 million USD. It is such a shame though that we didn’t get to see the fountain show, but still it is gorgeous view this morning.

The main bathroom is huge as in a whole big room just for the bathroom. Jacuzzi that is lighted up by a chandelier and toilets that are electronically operated. I know a lot of you have already had the experience, but for me this is the first.

The bathroom also has a walk in closet at the right side of the room.

I really think that closets should be always near the bathroom. Easy access to your clothes after  a good bath. I hope one day we could also have a setup like this at home which is very convenient.

Time to try out the Jacuzzi as not everyday we get a chance to just lazy out in  a bubbling tub of water. I like how they placed a single rose on the side as you do not know when you might need it. Biting on to that rose for a passionate, romantic Tango before taking for a dip. Well, I think my imagination is a bit excessive and I’ll be stopping there.

As we spent some time in the Jacuzzi it struck me. “What am I doing lazying out in a Jacuzzi in an expensive hotel room?” This is something that I didn’t expect, sleeping in my old bed and waking up in an expensive room in the morning. Well, I guess we’ll just enjoy the moment while it lasts and watch the beautiful cityscape while planes fly by.

After that dip, I checked the other parts of the room and found a massage room. There is a door that leads outside the room where the masseuse would also enter in case you wanted to book for a relaxing massage. Booking a masseuse can also be done at the touch of the tablet that we saw earlier.

I checked the dining area which also shows the cityscape. Right now the sun is getting high and would be a good idea to pull down the shades it it is too bright for you.

The dining table where you could have your dinner with the family in case you do not want to eat out. Maybe call in for room service if you feel like spending more time in the room.

In our case we just had some instant noodles and the fruits on the table for breakfast.

This place has everything and we could practically live here forever. It has its own separate living room.

It feels very comfortable almost feels like you are home except the place way, way much better than our old house. Still no matter how old it is where our heart it.

Still wondering around the living room and taking random shots of myself. You don’t always see mirrors on the ceiling all the time. I always think about the reason behind putting up mirrors up the ceiling. Well, I’ll just leave the imagination up to you.

Near the living room is another toilet also with a great view of the city. What a way to do your business don’t you think?

At the very far end of the room is an office which I really like. A nice place to do your work and I could imagine myself writing my blogs in such an environment with a comfortable chair and desk. Also with a full view of the city that could bring inspiration as you work.

This is the last room and I think I took you along with me in every corner of our hotel room. If ever you drop by the Philippines and would like to stay here I would leave their official link for details. To conclude, so far this is the best hotel room I have ever stayed at and definitely a world class 5 star hotel. Highly recommended if you are looking for a classy place to stay and maybe even try your luck at the casino. You don’t know when you will get lucky and be offered a free stay.

As for the cost of the Executive Suite

Room accommodation overnight stay for two is around 33,000 pesos which is about $640 USD.

Thanks for joining me in our stay at Okada Manila. I hope you enjoyed the stay and please do leave some comments as I would love to know what you think. What are you experiences in hotels?  Was it good or bad?

Until then see you again next time as we begin another series of our adventure in our country.

 

Resources:

Okada Manila

Offical Page

Okada Hotel and Casino

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 14.514234 lat 120.980725 long Okada Manila d3scr)

 

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Take Me to Church “San Jose Church” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “San Jose Church” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Travel leads to discovery, experience, learning and sometimes it makes us realize who we really are. Our trip to the Island of Corrigedor in the Philippines has been an amazing experience for me and my family. Although all things comes to […]

The Eternal Flame of Freedom – Beautiful Sunday

The Eternal Flame of Freedom – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 After that quiet tour inside the museum, it is time to explore the outside area of the Pacific War Memorial. It has been an incredible trip and our journey has almost reached its end. I still recall the moment I stepped […]

Pacific War Memorial Museum “Weapons of War” – Beautiful Sunday

Pacific War Memorial Museum “Weapons of War” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to the second part of our visit to the museum in Corregidor island in the Philippines. Last time I shared with you relics from the time of war and including the first American flag that was raised on the island. Today I will share with you the weapons that were used during the time of struggle and liberation of the island. Walk with me today as I take you to another historic walk back thru time.

Pacific War Memorial Museum “Weapons of War”

You can follow our progress on the island on the links below.

Part 1 Voyage to the Island of Corregidor

Part 2 Exploring the Island of Corregidor

Part 3 The Ruins of Middleside Barracks

Part 4 The Last Stand of Battery Way

Part 5 The Colossal Gun of the Island: Battery Hearn

Part 6 The Haunted Hospital of Corregidor

Part 7 The Mile Long Barracks

Part 8 Pacific War Memorial Museum

 

As shared previously, you will see a map of the entire island upon entrance to the museum.

Also at the entrance is this 57 mm anti tank gun. There were no mentions about tanks brought by the Japanese during invasion. This was probably were used on smaller targets which might have been very effective.

The M1 mortar 81 mm was used by the Americans during WW2  up until 1950s.

This weapon looks like a small anti aircraft gun. There were no descriptions on it to identify this gun. Just by looking at it, I could say that it could hold it’s position. If you notice that large magazine that can hold a lot of rounds.

More machine guns on display which are well preserved. Judging from the appearance it could still function, but the last shots were fired during the liberation. Now they are on display as a reminder of the retaking on the island from the Japanese.

The M2 60mm mortar was used by the Americans throughout WW2.  It was continued to be a support weapon during the Korean War and early Vietnam War.

The M1917A1 Browning machine gun was also used during WW2. Its earlier version the M1917 was used during the first world war. It was also used during the Korean war and it has been said that the American soldiers urinated on the gun when water cooling failed because of the winter temperature.

The M1919 Browning .30 caliber air cooled machine gun was used as the standard machine gun during the war. Was also in service during the Vietnam war until 1990’s. It is known that other countries still use this machine gun.

On display are photos of aircrafts from USA and Japan during 1941 up to 1945.

A painting called “Breakout from Corregidor,” which was during the escape of General Douglas MacArthur from the island.

Another painting called “The End of a Fighting Ship” which was the first US naval ship to be sunk by the Japanese by a Kamikaze fighter pilot. The ship U.S.S. St. Louis was abandoned by its crew as its own ammunition was blowing the ship apart.

An old photo in 1904 during battery target practice.

Enclosed in a glass casing are models of American war ships also used in the campaign.

The B-25 Mitchell used by the Allied forces throughout WW2. A medium bomber introduced in 1941 and continued service up to four more decades.

The B-26 Marauder is another American medium bomber plane. It was also known to be called the widow maker due to the high accident rate at takeoffs and landing. It was later made safer by re-training the aircraft crew and modifications on the plane.

The P-40 Warhawk is an American single engine attack fighter plane.  An American Volunteer group known as the Flying Tigers were recruited by the Chinese Air Force in defense of China against the Japanese. The recorded kills of the Flying Tigers were 297 enemy planes and only lost 4 of its own.

The B-24 Liberator is a heavy bomber as is known to be the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a routine. With more than 18,500 units produced it holds the record of the world’s most produced bomber. It was heavily used in WW2 in bombing operations in the Pacific.

Here are some other Japanese war artifacts that were recovered on the island.

There is also a mosaic which shows all the major events and campaigns during the war in the Pacific.

A large glass cabinet displays antique guns from the Americans and the Japanese.

This is an M3 which is a .45 caliber submachine gun also known as the “Grease Gun”. It is said that the gun jams easily and is inaccurate. It is a gun that has been mass produced during this war.

 

A Philippine manufactured gun made from scrap metal. Some are poorly made and is very dangerous to use. During these times they had to make something to fight the enemy. Today these guns are still manufactured underground and produced illegally.

Also on display are old photos from the holocaust of war in the Philippines.

 

The famous photo of the return of General Douglas MacArthur to liberate the Philippines. Fulfilling his promise to return and with a speech of his return.

To the Philippine People. I have returned.

By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil,

soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples.

We have come, dedicated and committed,

to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives,

and of restoring, upon a foundation of indestructible, strength, the liberties of your people.

– General Douglas MacArthur

On September 3 1945 the Instrument of Surrender was signed by General Tomoyuki Yamashita and Vice Admiral Denchi  Okochi. The signing took place at Camp John Hay in the mountain province of Baguio. The surrender covered all of their control of the Philippine Islands. The surrender was accepted by Major General Edmond Leavey who is the Deputy Commander of US armed forces in the Western Pacific.

This ended the struggle of the war in the Pacific. Lives from two nations have been given to fight for what is right and defend the freedom of our nation.

Thank you for joining me on the second part of the tour in the war museum. Please do leave some comments and let me know what you think about the tour. Any thoughts about the artifacts please do let me know as I would love to hear from you.

Until then enjoy the rest of the weekend and hope that one day there will be no more wars.

Resources

M1 mortar

M2 mortar

M1917A1

M1919

B-25 Mitchell

B-26 Marauder

P-40 Warhawk

B-24 Liberator

To the Philippine People: I have returned

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

Discovering exceptional content in the community follow @curie and vote as witness
To have a glimpse of awesome content from the Philippines check out @bayanihan
Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

Pacific War Memorial Museum – Beautiful Sunday

Pacific War Memorial Museum – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 and #sublimesunday by @c0ff33a Welcome back to another part of our adventure in the historic island of Corregidor in the Philippines. We have explored the beauty of nature, visited the gigantic cannons, wandered thru ruins and even took the courage to […]

The Mile Long Barracks – Beautiful Sunday

The Mile Long Barracks – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 After exploring the ruins of the hospital it was time for us to move on to our next destination. Our experience at the hospital was spooky at at some parts, but turned out to be quite an experience. Our next destination […]

The Haunted Hospital of Corregidor – Beautiful Sunday

The Haunted Hospital of Corregidor – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Aside from the rich WW2 history and the beauty of nature. Corregidor Island in the Philippines is also know as one of the most haunted places in the Philippines. Ever dare to visit a haunted hospital at night? Here if you go on a tour, night activities includes ghost hunting. Well, since we were on a budget we were our own. Armed only with a navigational app we headed out to find and visit the most talked about hospital on the island. Come with me today on a tour where others do not dare to go.

The Haunted Hospital of Corregidor

Previously I have shared some of the famous tourist spots on the island. If you would like to see and read more about Corregidor. Feel free to visit the earlier parts of our adventure.

Part 1 Voyage to the Island of Corregidor

Part 2 Exploring the Island of Corregidor

Part 3 The Ruins of Middleside Barracks

Part 4 The Last Stand of Battery Way

Part 5 The Colossal Gun of the Island: Battery Hearn

 

After my solo trip to Battery Hearn. I headed back to meet up with the family as our next stop was the Hospital. From our location, we checked the map and it was a bit mysterious as the road that suppose to lead to the hospital does not exist. We could only see trees and wild growth. It seems that there was something that was preventing us from finding the site.

Refusing to abandon our adventure, we back tracked a bit and found a trail. There were no signs or markings where the road leads to. My wife was a bit hesitant to proceed in following the trail and she said that maybe they closed it up.

Still we followed the quiet, mysterious trail knowing that end we would be seeing the hospital.

The road was too quiet which was kinda creepy. No insect sounds nor songs from the birds can be heard.

We came over this ruin which the kids though was the hospital. I said that it was too small and the photos that I saw online was very much bigger.

I do not know what this structure was, but from the looks of it may also have been bombed during the war.

No markings to identify the building unlike the other ruins that we saw which gave a little information. The walls and parts of the ceiling were all busted up.

As we walked a little further, the kids went running and shouted, “Wow we found it, it’s so huge!”

Surrounded by trees it fully came into view and it was like a scene from a horror movie.

Coincidentally, we came across another group with a tour guide. We asked the guide if it was safe to come inside and he said that it was already made safe for visitors. They also offer a ghost hunting tour at night for around 150 pesos per person which is around $3.00 USD. Well, I’m not sure if I would be up to, but I guess some thrill seekers would be jumping on the opportunity.

As for us, we prefer to just see it during the day time. We wouldn’t want to see something that we would regret. There are things that you wouldn’t want to wish for as you might just get it.

Before entering, I wanted to see each side of the building first and then plan where to start.

The right wing building  is already very big with a lot of rooms to explore. With the little time that we have left we will try to explore the most parts of the site, but it was hard to decide where to start.

The back part of the right wing looks very dark even in daylight so we decided to check the front part of the building instead.

Here we saw the stairs leading the left wing building and I said that we will start there first.

Built in 1912 the hospital is composed of four buildings and formed a shaped like a cross from above. The reason behind this is to be identified as a medical facility. Under the treaty of the Geneva Conventions medical facilities are to be spared during armed conflict. This is not the case for the Japanese, they still bombed the building even though it was identifiable as a hospital. Today it lies in ruins and gave birth of sightings of spirits in the area.

We were ready to come inside and as we came closer a lot of creatures came flying outside as if they are expecting us. At first, we thought they were bats, but was relieved to find out that they were birds.

My wife didn’t want to go in and said that she would just wait for us outside. Out hearts were beating a bit faster as we approached the building.

Surprisingly, it was clean inside and debris were all piled up in certain areas.

We found this wall covered in graffiti by soldiers who lived and stationed here.

Names, ranks, dates and where they are from were either carved or painted on the walls. I have noticed that some of the dates on the walls were during 1960’s and 70’s which got me thinking. These soldiers were not from WW2 which was puzzling and I had to find out why these soldiers were here during that time.

 

 

There were also messages left on the walls.  “No one is allowed to enter the room”, we do not know what room is being referred to or what was done in that room. All would remain a mystery.

There are dark rooms in corners and best to heed the warning.

More names of soldiers on the walls and we will never find out if they are still alive.

We left the room and moved to a different location. We wanted to see more of the writings of the soldier and maybe some could tell a story.

The kids explored a room close by and I told them to stay close. I do not want them wandering around without me.

I asked my daughter if she was scared, she said the place was kinda peaceful and quiet.

Maybe it would be a different story if we came here at night, but right now everything seems to be going fine.

My daughter asked if we could check what was on the second floor. Since the guide said it was safe and the structure is now stable. I guess we can proceed to the second floor. Talking about the guide that we encountered earlier. Where is the guide and the other group? I guess they already left and we are now on our own.

The planes may have bombed this part of the building due the damage of the floor.

Stories has been told of many sightings and paranormal activities in this building. Other tourists who visited  said that they heard sounds of people in pain. Other reports they heard sounds like activities in a busy hospital.

Ghostly footsteps are one of the most common things that people report. Here it is so quiet it would make you easily hear the slightest sound or footstep that may follow you.

 

They say that if you look for them they might just find their way to you. I kept telling myself that we are not looking for anything, but just simply visiting. We do not mean to disturb those who rest within these walls.

Other sightings includes headless ghosts and medical staff running around the rooms. I do not really believe in ghosts, but I wouldn’t want to encounter anything like that. I felt that we needed to leave this room and move on.

Each room that we visited is filled with writings of soldiers to leave their mark. This one seems to be decades ago, but still not during WW2. This island may have been used as a training ground by soldiers during this time.

Apart for the other writings on the wall, we found something very disturbing. I have learned that this place was also a site of a massacre.

 

This was called the Jabidah massacre.  The government claimed that the north eastern part of Sabah belonged to the Philippines. The code name Jabidah is composed of Muslim trainees, trained for jungle warefare who’s purpose is to reclaim the north eastern part of Sabah Malaysia. Initially they were informed that they are being trained to fight communists in the country. When they learned the truth of their true mission they refused to obey orders due to their religious connections to their muslim brothers in Sabah. The trainees were taken out and killed. The officers behind the massacre were never convicted.

Aside from the chilling ghost stories, this massacre I guess is more frightening.

On other parts, some soldiers claims to be the fastest gun like in the old west.

After seeing this part I felt it was time for us to go.

I called my daughter and said that we have seen everything that we need to. It was time for us to leave the hospital in peace.

Before we left I kept thinking what draw us to visit this site. Was it the stories of the sightings? I guess what we were looking for were stories and mysteries of people who lived within these walls. We weren’t out here for thrills, we were here to learn about and pay respects to those who perished.

As we climbed down the stairs, we felt relieved and thankful that there were no paranormal encounters of any kind. We were thankful that we got a chance to visit this site and experience another part of this beautiful island.

Thank you very much for joining us today and I hope you enjoyed the tour. Do join us again on our next adventure and please do leave some comments. Let me know if you had any paranormal encounters. Until then enjoy the rest of the weekend and keep the love alive.

Resources

Jabidah Massacre

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 14.384002 lat 120.574989 long Corregidor Haunted Hospital d3scr)

 

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

Discovering exceptional content in the community follow @curie and vote as witness
To have a glimpse of awesome content from the Philippines check out @bayanihan
Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

and Sigma 50 mm

The Colossal Gun of the Island: Battery Hearn – Beautiful Sunday

The Colossal Gun of the Island: Battery Hearn – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome to the fifth installation of our adventure in the historical island of Corregidor in the Philippines. An island filled with the beauty of nature, historical artifacts of war and mystery. Last time we stopped over at Battery Way which is […]