Photowalk at Manila American Cemetery

Tormented these past few days , i decided to invite my photo buddy, Rose to have a photo walk with me. Medyo I took some research, we want a place where we can find peace. Someone suggested a cemetery, we know it’s a joke but it turned out a good idea.

So, there I was scanning the net for possible locations, thus I found this gem. Di ako pamilyar sa Makati at Taguig. Taga-Bulacan ako at  minsan lang naglalabas ng bahay kaya medyo useful ang Google Maps sa mga ganitong bagay. Ayon sa Google Maps, para makarating ka don, pwede kang sumakay ng bus sa Ayala papuntang Mckinley o market Market, sounds easy, pero ayoko maligaw, so yun, Rose and I  ended up riding a cab. It’s ok having a cab, at least you don’t have to walk some miles just to reach the front gate of the cemetery. It’ll just cost you merely 80Php. Promise.

Anyway, the establishment is open daily to the public. You can go there 9am till 5pm. You’ll be greeted by their polite Manong Guards, inspect your belongings and will ask your intent. Taking photos are okay as long as you observe their policies. I mean, hello… R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Mga Pinagbabawal? Tumapak sa grass. Magingay [partey-partey?]. mageskandalo [dun sa TV5 ang face to face] at syempre ang mambalahura. So balik sa photowalk, I already expect that I’ll be greeted with a vast array of white crosses. But I was so surprised that it’s very  peaceful than I expected. Even though it’s in the middle of a industrial development area, the place is so quiet at all. And the breeze…kala mo di ala-una ng tanghali. I thought what it feels like being dead that time.

some of the heroes here are unnamed or buried without their family’s knowledge. I read somewhere that in a chance that a family went here to check their love one, they can go to the office beside the cemetery gates, there, they will be assisted by the admin to locate the site.  the admin able to keep names and  identify a hero by checking the manifest, giving them some coordinates of the location where the hero buried.

We went on the west side of the cemetery. It’s like a contoured hill, so scenic and even though there are some park benches on the sides, I preferred sitting in the middle of the road, I don’t know, I felt comfortable sitting in that area, seems positive energy flows all over that area that you don’t care anymore about anything, well me, about my pants.

Just a history, The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

According to Wikipedia : The cemetery, 152 acres (0.62 km2) or 615,000 square metres in area, is located on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. With a total of 17,206 graves, it is the largest cemetery in the Pacific for U.S. personnel killed during World War II, and also holds war dead from the Philippines and other allied nations. Many of the personnel whose remains are interred or represented were killed in New Guinea, or during the Battle of the Philippines (1941-42) or the Allied recapture of the islands. The headstones are made of marble which are aligned in eleven plots forming a generally circular pattern, set among masses of a wide variety of tropical trees and shrubbery.

There’s chapel in the middle of the area, a tall stone structure enriched with sculpture and mosaic. The works are so amazing. I mean, how they filled up the whole interior with mosaic tiles, but not just tiles, crushed tiles.

In front of it on a wide terrace are two large hemicycles with rooms at each end. Twenty-five large mosaic maps in these four rooms recall the achievements of the United States Armed Forces in the Pacific, China, India and Burma.

On rectangular limestone piers within the hemicycles are inscribed the names of 36,282 of the Missing who gave their lives in the service of America and who rest in unknown graves.

If you have some time reading the engraved names , you’ll notice the mix of American and Filipino people who served the country. There are some interesting facts like knowing some  jobs or tasks that actually existed during the war. Then there’s some wake up call. I found some photographers, cameraman; camera assists who died during the war. Wala lungs. Just thinking of photojournalism in this present day 😀

Carved in the floors are the seals of the American states and its territories.   Too bad I wasn’t able to complete them because of some of those are damaged already and can’t be recognized at all.

the area is so scenic. the architect did a good job making the hemicycles work something like the end product of a White House wing and pantheon mixed together.  we cant help ourselves  to take some photos for remembrance. 😀

I’m so relaxed after visiting the site. I usually associated fear and creepiness to cemeteries, but not that time. I want to go back there sometime for no reason..hmm..further soul searching, I  don’t know.

By the way, The Memorial is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except December 25 and January 1.

So that’s for now guys.

So Till Then and Godbless

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