Thailand’s Victory Monument

To me, the Victory Monument in Thailand (Thai: อนุสาวรีย์ชัยสมรภูมิ, Anusawari Chai Samoraphum) is my own memorable monument, too.

You see, when I first set foot in Thailand in 2002, this monument was my special landmark whenever I go to that part of Bangkok coming from my place near the Nonthaburi area. And this was for a year since I was taking language lessons then near Sala Daeng. I could conveniently take the sky train from the Victory Monument BTS sky train station going to language school. It was like I could never get lost in Bangkok as long as I would know how near I am to the monument 🙂 Just as I would know how to get around Bangkok on a bus or van coming from this area; a number of bus lines and vans use the area as a terminal. There are also shopping places just around the area as well as both local Thai restaurants and fast food chains.

I found out that the monument was erected in 1941. It was meant to celebrate or remember Thai victory in the Franco-Thai war. Later on, it appears that Thailand was forced to return the territories it gained during this war. Well, this seems like a sad turn around of events to me. But still, it is undeniable that the Victory Monument has remained as a landmark in Thailand and yes, to a Filipino like me 🙂

The Thailand Victory Monument by night 🙂

 Note: This post is also linked with Wednesday WhitesMellow Yellow Monday and Tuesday Travels.

Travelling to Say Good Bye

We have to travel at times to say good bye to our loved ones and people close to our hearts who have gone ahead of us. Within a year, I had traveled twice to do so: for my first cousin Jeremiah “Jerry” Sales in Cavite and for my ninong and pastor, Jessup Bahinting in Cebu.

The suddenness of their deaths (at least to my human timetable) was quite a painful shock. Jerry had collapsed in their home that day in November, incurring a fatal head injury while Sir Jessup also figured in a fatal plane crash in Masbate last August. Jerry and I were still connecting through Facebook the week he passed away; Sir Jessup had asked me two months earlier to stay in their house (which I did) while I was in Cebu; I had hugged him, his wife and daughter before leaving for my flight home. Who would have thought those were my last moments with them?

I could still remember the stories they shared with me and yes, even the sound of their laughter. I will always remember Jerry’s simplicity, his gentleness. He was always willing to help. As for Sir Jessup, I would remember him best as the caring father I had while while I was growing up as an awkward, at times lonely teenager in Cebu in the 90’s while pursuing a college degree away from home, One of my most memorable moments with him was actually in Apo Island way back in 1996 during our church youth camp. Just to make sure that I would snorkel and see the beauty underneath the sea there, he swam along with me, holding me by the hand because I was not really a swimmer.

Ah, thank God for these men, for the beautiful memories they left behind not only to me but most especially to their families and many others. I should say here that I also traveled to their wakes and funerals not just to say good bye but to say see you again in the next life 🙂 You are missed but see you again!

My cousin, Jeremiah “Jerry” Sales

 

With Sir Jessup, Ma’am Margie & Sarah Bahinting and Vee (Cebu, June2012)

 

Cebu’s Heritage City

When you are travelling to the south of Cebu, you can not miss it. I’m talking about Carcar City’s rotunda. But other than the rotunda, the city also has a number of structures built during the Spanish and American periods in the country. This is the reason why the city is referred to as Cebu’s Heritage City.

Carcar is only about an hour away from the City of Cebu. It has beautiful heritage houses (as declared by the National Historical Institute) which include the Don Mercado mansion built in 1906, the Don Florencio Noel house (also referred to as Ang Dakong Balay) and the Osmena-Sarmiento House (Balay na Tisa), The city is also known for its delicacies: Ampao (made of dried rice), Bukarilyo (made of coconut) and my favorite Carcar Chicharon (deep fried pork skin).

I only had a very short time to explore the city while I was in Cebu last August. I would love to visit the place again and do some more exploration of its rich history 🙂

 

Carcar Rotunda by night

Note: This post is also linked with Wednesday WhitesBlog Photo Challenge and Tuesday Travels.