Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Comments on newspaper article

Since Ross Harper Alonso’s article was published on the front page of the Sunday, June 14, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and also posted on line, we have received more than 100 emails from around the world. Most are from Filipinos, many who live in the Philippines, and also many who are Overseas Foreign Workers in the United States and other countries including Saudi Arabia and England.

Many have been to Corregidor. Others said they were a little ashamed that they had never been here despite living close by. Several had fathers, grandfathers, or uncles who had fought on Corregidor or been in the Bataan Death March.

Here are just a few samples of the responses. All have been very positive. It’s nice to know that there are still many people who care about the past, present, and future of Corregidor.

Dear Steve


Like, I am a son of a WWII veteran. My old man was a Death March survivor. The sentiment you, as an American, manifested by deciding to reside in a historic rock island to pay tribute to your old man overshadowed my being a Filipino. I had the chance to pay tribute to the war heroes though during my cadetship at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City. The year before I graduated in 1978, I was sent as a standard bearer during commemoration rites in Dambana ng Kagitingan (Altar of Martyrdom) at Mount Samat in Bataan.


Dear Steve & Marcia,

Warm greetings from southern Philippines! I am moved reading on of your dedication and cheerful giving to stay in Corregidor, preserving, protecting and promoting the memories of WWII - especially that of your father and all the rest of Filipino and American soldiers, many of whom remains to be unsung heroes to this day.

I am an Anthropologist, doing research here in Koronadal, South Cotabato. While still a graduate student at the Univ. Of the Philippines, in 1991, I took a day trip in Corregidor. The powerful memory of that trip remains to this day. It awakened in me a strong appreciation and respect for the sacrifices of our soldiers, a sense of patrimony, and resolve to always chose the way of peace.


Steve and Marcia

Greetings! Magandang Umaga! (Beautiful morning!)

I am from the beautiful Bicol Region. I attended mass this morning and on my way home bought an Inquirer, a habit of mine. Your story on the front page has caught my attention and read until it stops. I am touched that you two stayed here in our country to honor Steve’s father Staff Sgt. Walter Kwiecinski (hope I got that right).

I also admire you two for preserving Historical treasure of Corregidor Island. I am ashamed that I haven’t been able to visit such historical place and I only learned from it from my history book.

I would like to thank you being a Filipino for showing others from the heart what a beautiful place is Corregidor and Philippines in general.

I am glad that my fellow Filipinos are nice to you. I hope you continuously enjoy your stay.

If my time and finances permits I hope to visit the place soon.



I read your story in inquirer. I was touched to hear your story. I was very impressed to hear that you leave all the conveniences and live a simpler life. Is it hard of sudden change of lifestyle? I mean not everyone can do what you did and i'm touched about it. honoring your father is the greatest deed a son can do and show their love to their parents. I'm also pleased to hear that you're enjoying your stay in corregidor, meeting new people and the filipino dishes. One more thing i admire to both of you is your ability to cope up with new things which is hard since you have a different culture and language barrier, This is hard, i'm also Filipino but based in Singapore so i know how hard to live in a place with different culture. I hope one day i could come there and meet both of you and shake your hands. subscribe me to your newsletter. you got here a new fan here. Enjoy!


Hi Steve

I gathered from an article about you in the Philippine Daily Inquirer that you send out a weekly newsletter. It would mean a great deal if you could include me in your mailing list. I have visited "the Rock" a number of times and am an avid reader of the island's history. I am very glad that you and your wife and chosen to make Corregidor your home. Very few people in the Philippines appreciate what Corregidor represents and I am very impressed that you have made it a vocation to teach visitors about the island's history.

I look forward to receiving a copy of your newsletter and wish you and your wife all the best.


I just read about what you have been doing in the island and i admire you for your love to that halowed ground where so many brave americans and filipinos soldiers died defending the country against the japanese invaders. My parents lost some relatives in Bataan and corrigidor.Maybe next year i might come and visit the island and meet you personally.


Hi, Steve!

I read about your CORREGIDOR experience in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Its so good to know that there are people like you who has taken a great leap to enjoy the peaceful life that our country can provide.

I hope that you can bring in as many American friends as you can to show them the wonders of nature and rich history of the ROCK.

When I was handling Procter & Gamble in 1974 as Account Manager at Ace-Compton, there was a half-American mamager who was born in Corregidor. His name was Jim Black. He was so passionate in conserving that place. He even wrote some newspaper and magazine articles.
You might want to inquire where his family is located in Metro Manila.

I would like to pay you a visit one of these week-ends. I am about your age and is involved in advertising and PR.

How do I get there?


Hi Steve and Marcia,

Let me introduce myself first.

My name is Joel and I was born and raised in Mariveles, Bataan. My grandmother and mother and her siblings still live in Mariveles.

I work in Manila as a computer enginer also, but I still go back to Mariveles during holidays and special occasions. I'm am avid outdoor person and Mt. Tarak is one of my climbing destinations every year. I must say I'm very proud that I'm from Bataan and says it with dignity everytime I'm introduced to anyone.

I was really moved when I read your article, not only because it was well-written, but because I really felt how Steve feels for Corregidor. I've been there only once before and I also cried just upon stepping out of the docks. The place has a certain aura and I felt the connection right away. But right after reading your article, I immediately felt the urge, no I was compelled, to go back to Corredigor. I felt ashamed and guilty that I did not include Corregidor in my annual plans, considering the vicinity and accessibility of the place.

I hope to meet you soon and I shall meet you soon. If there is anything I can do to help, just tell me and I will try to help to the best of my abilities. I hope that you can include me in your weekly newsletter and I'm looking forward to reading that.

My best regards.


Virtually all of the letters that we received are like the ones that are quoted here; written by Filipinos, some at home, others living abroad.

Thanks to all who wrote, for all of your encouragement, and your kind and welcoming words. We truly feel at home here.

The article, which tells about us and why we are here, is on line at:

Steve and Marcia on the Rock

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