Karl, Normally, when I'm impressed, I give a post the thumbs up signal, and leave it pretty much at that. This time, let me express what a great job I think you have been able to accomplish in delivering this book to the place of its literary origin, a journey across the mountains and forty years into the past. To your repute as a Trailmaster, we must add "Pony Express". Paul
Last Edit: Dec 12, 2014 18:23:59 GMT 8 by Registrar
Post by Karl Welteke on Dec 22, 2014 12:05:16 GMT 8
FAILED MISSION BUT GREAT WALK INTO MT. PINATUBO LAHAR 2014-12-17
The mission was to deliver books to the Aeta Village Villar in the Botolan Lahar Fields, about 22 km from the last road. The book recounted the experience of a Peace Corps member who served in this village 1969-71. The author of the book was Richard Schneider who was assigned to this village in 1969-71. He is unable to deliver the books himself.
A mutual friend asked me to do it and I’m happy to do it because the Botolan Lahar area interests me greatly. Two friends joined me. We ended up at the wrong village, 5 km further into the Lahar Fields. We decided not to go back and rather carry out or walk plan which was to continue, cross two ridges and end the walk in Santa Fe, in San Marcelino.
I will carry out this mission in the last week of Dec. 2014!!!!
Walking around in the Mt. Pinatubo Lahar Fields, to see the result of this mighty volcanic eruption, to watch the hardy natives, both Aeta and Filipinos to reclaim their land and life is awe inspiring.
I have posted 35 images in an album in my Photobucket account they are larger than in this forum presentation. Both have the same descriptions. This is the album URL: tinyurl.com/n2amz9z
I find this challenging walk most interesting and posted all 35 images here again with the same descriptions , perhaps you agree.
Y751. Behind the driver is Baquilan, I think the resettlement there is called San Juan. All traffic like this Carabao cart driver from the Botolan Lahar Fields has to come here. A nice load of tomatoes, love tomatoes
Y752. Our combined GPS track of the walk on two days, the 17th and the 18th Dec 2014. Pay particular attention on the 3 rivers, I marked on this graph.
Y753. The walking data of our 1st walk on the 17th Dec. 2014, we made it all the way to the Maloma River.
Y754. The walking data of our 2nd walk on the 18th Dec. 2014 from the black sand mine to the San Marcelino Dike.
Y755. Wow!! A Deer! I believe it is alive but I don’t know what its future will be.
Y756. It is 7:16 am, walked 5 km, and we reached the combined Bucao and Balin-Buguero River and we have to cross the Balin-Buguero River again because it flows in only a few hundred yards up-river. It will take us 25 minutes and it is 1 km.
Y757. We are now in the Balin-Buguero River where it flows into the Bucao River and we are looking down river of the combined rivers. There are no more weapons carriers, they died out but motor bikes are seen frequently.
Y758. We are now on a long march up the side of the Balin-Buguero River and we see a large group of people coming in our direction and they came from the left from Barangay (Brgy) Poonbato.
Y759. These students are from a college and were on some kind of field trip to Brgy. Poonbato, stayed overnight and are on their way home, it were about 20+ students, these were the last with their teacher.
Y760. It is 0920 hours now; we walked about 1 ½ hours since the river crossing and it seems we did not make much progress.
Y761. On our way up the Balin-Buguero River the Cabangan Mountains protect our right flank; we go passed about 8 major ridges and 7 major valleys.
Y762. We are just crossing a meandering arm of the Balin-Buguero River, my buddy; Canadian George had a trick up his bag. He brought plastic bags, slipped into them and walked across the water that way so he does not get his shoes wet.
Y763. The same meandering river arm of the Balin-Buguero River, further up-river now, crossing these waters is a pain in the neck because of taking shoes off and putting them back on is very time consuming for us old folks.
Y764. This is the 1st of 3 landmark rivers, only now do I suspect that Brgy. Villar is where I indicated it on this image. In preparation of this walk I calculated Brgy Villar to be on the south bank of the 3rd river and I WAS WRONG.
Y765. The Cabangan Mountains across the mouth of the #1 River, I noticed old road cuts, were they for logging or mining?
Y766. This is the mouth of #2 River; it is the largest tributary into the Balin-Buguero River. The next 2 pictures are from 1969-71 and as I compare those 2 with this picture one has to assume Brgy. Villar is on the river bank at left.
Y767. This is a 1969-71 picture of Barangay (village) Villar from Richard Schneider, as I compare the angle between the landmarks # 1 and #2 on the images I have assume that we passed Brgy. Villar on our walk.
Y768. This 1969-71 picture of Barangay (village) Villar from Richard Schneider shows all 4 landmarks and again I can only assume that we passed Brgy. Villar on the 2nd picture back from this one.
Y769. This river I call No. 2 River on our trip, it is the biggest tributary to the Balin-Buguero River and if you follow it on Google Earth, it drains Mt. Pinatubo. I believe this is the Maronot River, always mentioned in news, draining Mt. Pinatubo.
Y770. We are looking back and down the Balin-Buguero River. We are on our way from #2 to #3 River.
Y771. At 1226 hours, 6.5 hours later from our start we are at the village on the south bank of #3 River but the village turned out to be Brgy. Moraza. We decided not to go back and find Brgy Villar but decided to finish our trek to Santa Fe.
Y772. We entered Brgy. Moraza and seen this ex military truck, the people on it are catching rides. The trucks mission was to carry goods to be handed out in red colored bags (Christmas) to the residents.
Y773. In Moraza Village, those red bags were just handed out. The lady at right said she was the Barangay Captain. We explained what we were doing and continued on our way.
Y774. We are back on the Balin-Bueguero River after leaving Brgy. Moraza and are on our way to the next village, Brgy. Belbel.
Y776. The entrance to Brgy. Belbel is ahead. It took us 66 minutes to reach it coming from Brgy. Moraza.
Y777. As we walked by here I remembered those spots on Mt. Pinatubo.
Y778. 1436 hours, we are at the entrance of Brgy. Belbel, thank the Lord. I failed to take pictures but 1st priority was to get water. The Pastora and the Brgy Capt. guided us to the spring and we filled up our containers.
Y779. We are on our walk over the ridge from Brgy. Belbel to the Maloma River. There is a new road cut but the Aeta guides used some shortcuts, but the climb was over 200 meters and I was dragging my butt.
Y780. The new road cut over the ridge from Brgy. Belbel to the Maloma River, I would have preferred the road vice the short cut, such is life!
Y781. At a certain point when we sure we could not get lost we released our two Aeta guides. The person at left was the Brgy Belbel Capt. and he felt sorry for me and carried my bag. Naturally we had a deal to compensate them.
Y782. On our way down to the Maloma River we came across this truck with a flat which was waiting for repair, there were no people and the truck was loaded with black sand (iron ore particles). These ex military trucks are from WESTPAC.
Y783. This is a black sand mine on the Maloma River, we got permission from the security guard to camp here; it is almost 6 pm and it will get dark soon. We have been moving now for 12 hours.
Y784. It is the Morning of the 18th Dec. 2014; we are getting ready to hit the road, upstream about 5 km, to the right cross the ridge to Santa Fe about 9 km and about 4 km more to the San Marcelino Dike.
Y785. The last picture, this is the bridge over the Santa Fe River, we almost got it made. I already called my family to wait at the dike with the family car. A tough hike but we feel good about it, it makes us feel younger!!!!!
Post by Karl Welteke on Dec 28, 2014 18:20:09 GMT 8
SPECIAL STUDENT 1970, SPECIAL LADY 2014 ON A MISSION FOR A PCV
The student Ofelia in Barangay Villar, in the Botolan Lahar Field got special attention in 1970 by the PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) Richard Schneider. He served in that village 1969-71 and later wrote a book about his experience in that village. He can’t travel anymore and thru a mutual friend I was asked to deliver books to various recipients in Botolan and Zambales.
This segment is about finding the former student Ofelia and deliver a book to her, after all she is featured in the book. I live in Subic Bay about 70 km away and hit the road, with help of local Aeta people we found her but now she is about 60 years young. The surprise was that this year in 2014 she was recognized as a special person two times.
On 2014-12-26 we found her and I established an album with 15 images, which have detailed descriptions. Here it is: tinyurl.com/kkfysqo
Here are most of the pictures again however much smaller:
Y808. Ofelia of Villar 2014 Ofelia was a teenage Aeta girl in the village Villar which is located in the Botolan Mt. Pinatubo Lahar Fields. She was the daughter of the head teacher in the village and the Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) there in 1969-71 helped her in her education. 43 years later I delivered a book to her from that PCV and this album is dedicated to Ofelia. When I visited Ms. Ofelia she showed me a photo album and I photographed two pictures in it. It seems she was not only special in 1970 she was also special in Botolan 2014. Mutya may mean the Special One, the Favorite One.
Y809. Richard Schneider the Peace Corps Volunteer wrote a book about his experience in Villar, on page 63 he wrote the above about helping that teenager. In 2014 I delivered this book to the now Ms. Ofelia who lives now in another Barangay in Botolan Town.
Y810. This is Ofelia in about 1970, graduating from the Botolan High School. This picture came from Richard Schneider’s book. Living With The Pinatubo Aetas, a Peace Corps Philippines Journal.
Y811. A map to give you an idea of the geography.
Y812. In the photo album was also this image from this event, also this year 2014 when she was chosen Ms. Villar. The thought came to me that she was not only a special Lady in 1970 and this year again she was chosen as a special person in her community.
Y813. Some of Ofelia’s family, at right is my guide Joyce the daughter Joyce of Johnny, the former Aeta leader in JEST on the Subic Base. Behind Joyce is a daughter in law of Ofelia who is a teacher. The husband of Ofelia stands behind her.
Y814. Some of the Ofelia family and yours truly.
Y815. The house of Ofelia in a Barangay of Botolan, Zambales province.
Y816. Inside the house of Ofelia in a Barangay of Botolan, Zambales province.
Y817. The house of Ofelia in a Barangay of Botolan, Zambales province.
Y818. This is an about 1970 images of the Barangay Villar in the Botolan Lahar Field from Richard Schneider. The village got destroyed from the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption and I will walk there in a few days to see how it is reestablished.
Y819. Again this is an about 1970 image from Richard Schneider, at front middle is Ofelia, her father is the 2nd person from the left and the person front right became a Policeman and is retired now. Joyce and I also looked him up.
Y820. The Bucao River is suffering a sandstorm from the dry sand of the Mt. Pinatubo Lahar, I am standing on the new (about 2010) Bucao River bridge along the National Road to Botolan, Zambales.
PS: In two days will carry out the finale mission and find the village Villar, about 22 km into the Lahar fields, stay the night, deliver books, pictures and some token food items.
Post by Karl Welteke on Jan 14, 2015 16:11:55 GMT 8
A WALK IN THE SUBIC BAY AREA 2015-01-13
I do a lot of walks in the Philippines you never know about. Here is one example. I live at fortunate location, I live near mountains and I can start many walks right from my house like this one.
This album has only 12 images and I uploaded these pictures into this album because I noted some changes I would like to share them with some of my friends who also walk in this area. So if you are not interested in this kind of thing or this area pass by !!!!!!!
X24. My GPS track of my walk from home to Mangahan with the landmarks of this walk marked on it.
X25. Behind the village Naugsol two bulldozers were busy working on that ridge. Do not know was it only quarry work or a new development
X26. The new bridge over the Matain River is finished it leads to the village Libang, a sub-village (Sitio) of Naugsol. You think this is a small river; it can be Roaring River during the rainy season and has flooded many houses in the Subic Bay area before!
X27. On the other side of the Matain River an additional bridge had to be built over a creek coming out of the Libang Valley.
X28. Road bed dirt has been laid down onto the road into the Matain River Valley for this concrete work. Did the dirt come from that ridge where the bulldozer were working? Indeed, another improvement, the road into the Matain Valley is being concreted. This valley belongs to the Municipality of Subic. It is really amazing, a concrete road can be laid down by hand and local people get a job. Note the Mt. Pinatubo ash sand comes in handy for this work!
X29. The people who have walked in the valley will recognize this section. Ahead in the asphalt section of road to the village of Tibag in the Matain River Valley. The new concrete section of road is butted against it.
X30. This is the last picture; I never noted this destroyed house in Mangahan. Was it the high exposed position that caused this destruction by a storm?
Karl, I think a lot of us enjoy your walks. Please keep them coming.
Just to keep this "war" related - I find it interesting to learn of the simple life of many of the local people. In many instances I think it gives us some idea what the area was like seventy years ago as many places don't seem to have changed much.
Post by Karl Welteke on Mar 15, 2015 19:22:16 GMT 8
VISIT TO BANAUE NEAR THE JAPANESE LAST STAND IN THE CORDILLERA 2015-02-20
The last scene of the drama in liberating the Philippines from the Japanese aggressor played out in the cordillera. My friend and I had that in mind when we visited the Ifugao Province. This presentation is only about the Banaue area.
As I normally do nowadays here are 10 sample pictures:
X162. Something important to the visitors with cars, in Banaue is a parking garage. Park here and a lot of Inns are within a block. The town road is too narrow to park.
X163. One reason this place interests me is because this is the area of the last Japanese stand in the Philippines. This map came from the Triumph in the Philippines.
X163a. You should be able to download a bigger copy with this link, I hope.
X164. This map of Banaue we picked up there in one of the inns and it does give you a good picture as to where what is.
X164a. You should be able to download a bigger copy with this link, I hope.
X165. After we checked into a hotel, the first thing we did take a trice to the Main View Point. That is on the road to Bontoc, maybe 3 km and was about 100 peso. We were in the clouds and promptly marched back to lower elevations. On our march back and down the road to Banaue but we are still in the clouds. There were several view points on the road back. A picture with him is available for a few pesos.
X166. One thing that impressed me going thru the Cordillera is that the forests seem to be taking care of. Many hills had good forest coverage and the wood industry is thriving.
X167. Looking at the rice terraces at this time of the year and it becomes clear the rice planting time is about to start. Look at all the prepared fields and the rice plant seed beds.
X168. On our travels thru the cordillera we saw this type of contraption several times. As a Boatswain’s Mate I appreciate this rigging. It is a neat way of transferring loads over valleys. Banaue is in back.
X169. These are beetle nuts and many young men here in Banaue chew that stuff and have the mouth full when conducting business with you and spit that stuff onto streets and grounds. Poor girls who want to kiss those buggers.
X170. A marker of the Historical Committee of the Philippines, we are in Banaue, Ifugao, and the land of the rice terraces.
X171. This picture is from a 2 ½ km walk in the direction of Batad from Banaue.
X159. X159. U.S. Army Signal Corps Photo. General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders to Colonel Ernest A. Barlow, 32D Division Chief of Staff, at Kiangan, Luzon, on 2 Sep. 1945.
Post by Karl Welteke on Jun 2, 2015 12:22:00 GMT 8
ABOVE SAN BERNARDINO STRAIT
This is an album for the people in Bon-Ot Big, the Municipality of Matnog, the province of Sorsogon and people who are interested in the San Bernardino Strait which played an important role in WWII and was a safe way of steaming to Subic Bay and Manila coming from the east.
My family and I come here every year to join the annual Fiestas in this area, the Municipality of Matnog. I love to walk and take advantage of this and walk on the local hills. And often I get awarded with great vistas.
In the Philippines are not too many areas that were not touched by WWII or did not play a part in the war. I read that In Sta. Magdalena, the next Municipality, Allied Coast Watchers reported the Japanese Carrier armada coming thru the strait to give battle at the Marianas Islands against the Allied invasion. The Coast watcher report from here alerted the Allies and made possible the Turkey Shoot against the Japanese aggressors.
The San Bernardino Strait divides the Island of Luzon from the island of Samar and the Coast watchers in NE Samar picked up the Sta. Magdalena radio message and made sure it was received by the Allies.
In Oct. 1944 the north Japanese battle group of battle ships cam thru here also and almost caused havoc at the Leyte landing under General MacArthur. But the dogged Allied defense caused the Japanese to retreat, steam back thru this strait and so the Leyte Landing proceeded successful.
Post by Karl Welteke on Jul 24, 2015 14:31:02 GMT 8
A PLACE WHERE TOURISTS NEVER WALK, NEAR THE SAN BERNARDINO STRAIT
Ginablan West River 2015-05-19
This was a challenging walk but very interesting. I witnessed Philippine life in a way must people never do. The most important thing was to find the right trail and stay on it so I don’t get lost or I will be forced to retrace my trail and return the way I came.
The goal was to walk up the Ginablan West River 2015-05-19, and at its river head waters go up and cross the pass between Hill 452 and Hill 402. Then descend towards the Balocawe Iron Mine, at that location start the descend on the ridge that divides Ginablan and Bon Ot Big. The finale descend will be thru the Bon Ot Big west Valley.
35 images were uploaded into this album maps included:
Here are some sample images which are much smaller than in the album:
X809 I’m in the Ginablan River Valley, it took about 1 hour to get here from Bon Ot Big and I had to cross the ridge line between Ginablan and Bon-Ot Big. We are looking up river and Hill 402 is dead ahead.
X810 further up river, it splits and the main river is coming down the Ginablan River west valley, which is the one I followed and came across this lovely scene. Notice the village water supply hose.
X811 a Google Earth contour line map of the area I walked. Ginablan and Bon-Ot villages belong to the municipality of Matnog and the Matnog town is about 10 km east from here as the crow flies.
X812 a Filipino cowboy is heading up the Ginablan River for a task.
X813 this is a typical scene in Bicol or other coco nut areas. After the husk is peeled off, they are cut with one blow and then the coco nut meat is peeled out. Then it is dried with fire under a platform in those huts.
X814 dead ahead is Hill 463, in front of me is a ridge going down to the Ginablan River. I came up here as indicated. At right in the distance is Ticao Island and the water in between is the Ticao Pass.
X815 I am swinging my view to the right from the last image and the dominant ridge in back is the ridge line that separates the Matnog Municipality from the Bulan Municipality. Bulan is the gateway to Ticao and Masbate islands.
X816 this is the charcoal detail on the Hill 452 and Hill 402 Pass. They said that they came from the Balocawe Village. Only today I learned that the man with the darker cloth on is the brother of my house help here in Olongapo. He may have known me but did not say that.
X817 I am thru the Hill 452 and Hill 402 Pass and start descending. In the distance is the volcano Mt. Bulusan.
X818 I am continuing my descent on this ridge between Ginablan and Bon Ot Big. The valley at left is the Bon Ot Big East Valley. Capul Island is in back and Cabagahan Village is behind that ridge. The book says the name came from Acapulco because the Galleons stopped there.
Post by The Phantom on Jul 24, 2015 21:38:16 GMT 8
What kind of shoes do you wear my friend? You could get a shoe contract to advertise their durability!
Keep up the adventures and thanks again for helping my Peace Corps buddy get in contact with his Filipino host family and his Aeta's village friends from the late 60's. They are still in contact with each other by email.
EXO: As of 24 January 2022, the ferry provider from MOA to Corregidor has ceased their operation until further notice.
Jan 24, 2022 14:39:07 GMT 8
EXO: Alternate methods are available - see recent posts
Jan 24, 2022 14:39:40 GMT 8
robert2010: There is a tree outside battery Way with a large chunk of concrete imbedded in it.
Mar 5, 2022 5:49:03 GMT 8
robert2010: I do not know who dug tunnels under Middleside but I have read accounts of men sheltering there during the siege.
Mar 5, 2022 6:12:06 GMT 8
usarmy1979: how do i get back to the home page to keep looking for info of the pi
Mar 16, 2022 11:30:32 GMT 8
usarmy1979: how do i post info on here
Mar 16, 2022 11:32:38 GMT 8
Jazz: Has anyone ever tried finding Pantingan River massacre sites? I'm taking a little stroll over there sometime in the next week, in the trail past Liyang (I see a junction of a trail that might descend from the ridge to the 4th bend of the river)
Mar 16, 2022 20:02:47 GMT 8
chadhill: usarmy1979: try browsing thru the General Board threads for instructions on how to post.
Mar 27, 2022 20:26:40 GMT 8
California - Bob: That was an "awesome read", I like what you are doing! Carry on Sir.
Mar 29, 2022 4:41:43 GMT 8
California - Bob: I forgot to mention that I kind of stumbled here because I was interested in the progress of the Carpas-Botolan Road. You must be in good health with all the walking you've done. Again, I enjoyed your Journeys and thank you ALL for your service. Bob
Mar 29, 2022 4:44:48 GMT 8
California - Bob: Dear Mr. Welteke: Since you have trekked all around Botolan, Zambales "and more", it is time to mention that my (asawa) wife is from Botolan. I was there in the early 2000's, and I "do" plan to return once the virus calms down more. Salamut. Bob/Kano
Mar 29, 2022 5:50:43 GMT 8
fortman: I hope that this is the right thread. Does any one know how the 155m GPFs were moved on to the panama mounts? Were special ramps used or were they lifted on using a crane?
Jun 7, 2022 2:14:03 GMT 8
fortman: I hope that this is the appropriate thread! Does anyone know how the 155mm GPFs were moved on to the panama mounts? Were ramps used or were they lifted by crane? Thanks. Fortman
Jun 7, 2022 2:16:21 GMT 8
EXO: OK GUYS - I HAVE REDUCED OUR MEMBERSHIP DOWN TO 82, ON A "LESS IS MORE" BASIS. THERE WAS TOO MUCH DEADWEIGHT. ANYONE WHO HASN'T MADE THEIR FIRST POST WITHIN A FEW MONTHS MAY HAVE THEIR MEMBERSHIP DELETED.
Jun 16, 2022 16:38:46 GMT 8
batteryboy: GPFs were mounted via ramps to the Panama Mounts. No need for cranes
Jun 16, 2022 16:38:46 GMT 8
fortman: Hi Batteryboy. Thanks for the feedback on the panama mounts. It is as I thought, but have never seen a photo of the ramps being used. Regards.
Jul 9, 2022 22:57:31 GMT 8