Saturday, January 19, 2008

a day in idyllic mariveles

mariveles is not particularly known for being a tourist's paradise. yet i got so caught up in susie's excitement for the place when i saw it last year, when susie took me along on his yearly drive, and i couldn't wait to see the place again.

the trip to mariveles makes for a great first trip of the year. it's a relaxing drive through a lot of picturesque greenery--something i always long for when i'm in our mad city of our affections. looking at a lot of green greatly revives and refreshes me, and this trip to mariveles couldn't have come at a better time.

the drive took about 3 hours, with traffic being really light in the morning. it's a little disheartening to find that a lot of modern developments are sprouting in the area where the vast fields of yellow and green are, but it's really hard to stop modernization. in fact, in the city center, there are plenty of industrial structures and plants, and the mariveles employment rate is actually pretty high. i'm just thankful that the view is still there, and that we can breeze through the place and have a fantastic landscape to gape at. the trees are especially lovely, with some of them having so much personality that i just had to take a picture.

near the mariveles municipal hall is the 0-km marker of the historical death march of 1942. mariveles was one of the starting points of the march, and on your way to this city, you'll find kilometer markers standing on the side of the road. today, the 0-km marker is in a tiny park of its own, and behind are two masts--one for the philippine flag and one for the US flag. a plaque that tells of the event stands between the two poles.

we brought a tiny picnic coleman of jabugo tortilla, jamon serrano, some cheese, and water. we initially wanted to have a picnic lunch in one of the fields of mariveles, but the wind blew so hard, it was actually difficult to close the car doors. we found a lovely mango tree with plenty of shade, but it was in an enclosed private property. since we didn't want to be shot at, we just parked in an area where only a friendly breeze blew, and had our lunch there. i sat inside the trunk of the car, with the hood protecting me from the sun. mariveles sunshine is scorching!

it wasn't long before we had to make our way back to manila. as i said, there really isn't much to see or do in mariveles. there are some beaches, and mt. samat is just close by. cyclists and trekkers can go adventuring up mt. natib, but other than that, there's little else to do but marvel at the view. maybe next year, we may already have something to do over there. i just hope the fields are still there.

to see photos of my mariveles day romp, click here.

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