|Spam, eggs, fish, rice, and my new best friend Milo|
One interesting thing about traveling to places where friends call home is that I get a look at their day-to-day lives. After breakfast, Aristotle takes me to a different piece of land he manages.
Noteworthy: When we get there, we find a dead sheep up in a tree. How...?
The sheep question will have to wait. We've gotta go.
We head to Balanga, the provincial capital. Aris has an errand to run, and I have a few clothes to drop off at a laundromat, so I go exploring. As I wander, I notice the continuation of a trend I've seen in Tagbilaran, Hermosa, and now Balanga; there's a town square pattern that follows a very Latin trend. The city hall (or some kind of administrative building) is across from a Catholic church.
|One of the major heroes of the Philippines, Jose Rizal. Incidentally, we were here on Rizal Day.|
Aris finishes his errand, we find a laundromat, and we stop by the Bataan building. Aris is a board member (kind of like a state legislator), so this building is definitely familiar turf for him.
After lunch, we hit the road, and soon, I see this in the distance...it may be tricky to see, but it's a large cross on a mountain.
We go up to this cross. It's actually a monument/museum (Mt. Samat) for the Filipino and US soldiers who lost their lives during the Bataan Death March. It's unreal.
I'm not allowed to take pictures in the museum, so I look at the exhibits (definitely recommend it) and hike up to the summit with Aris. The cool thing about the cross: We can go up to the top. So we do.
|Awesome sculptures on the cross|
|Another awesome view|
|Awesome parking lot monkey|
It's a beautiful area, though it's interesting that the buildings, while original, aren't in their original locations.
|I've loved these flowers since Hawaii.|
|Puto Bumbong in all its sugary, buttery glory|
|Find me if you can.|
The sunset is not only beautiful, but perfectly timed. As we get back to the main area of Las Casas, a cultural show is about to start. The show includes several young men and women. They dance, and it's incredible. Sadly, my phone doesn't capture the show, but thankfully, Aris has a more reliable camera.
We are exhausted at this point, so naturally, we head back to Balanga and listen to a live band. I may or may not have acted as lead vocals when they performed "Wherever You Will Go." Sadly, there's no photographic evidence...consider this a test of your trust in the story.
There is photographic proof of the awesomeness of Rizal Day, as shown by this shot of the Balanga town square:
|The mayor was speaking to this crowd, and he had been speaking for several hours at this point.|
It's at least 1:00am when we return to Hermosa. We crash and sleep in, and rightly so...the following day is New Year's Eve.
And what a New Year's Eve it turned out to be! That's a story for another entry, though.