Friday, December 14, 2012

Corregidor Christmas party

The annual all-island Christmas party was held on 12/12/12.  It was lots of fun, with many wonderful Filipino foods to eat, including a whole roasted pig, several very brief casual and inspirational speeches, entertainment and games, and dancing for all well into the night.  We’ve included some choice photos that were taken by our helper, Gilbert, who worked for a number of years as a professional photographer.  We hope you enjoy them! 
Last December a supposedly once-in-every-12-years (their statistically ‘normal’ weather pattern) tropical storm hit Mindanao.  This December a much stronger storm, reaching well into typhoon strength and called a “Howler” on the news, also hit Mindanao, and, tragically, again hundreds of Filipinos died.  We know several of you were concerned about our safety.  Our area of the Philippines was not affected adversely.  Mindanao is several hundred miles south of us, and the storm had no effect on Corregidor or Manila other than bringing us about an hour of heavy rainfall around noon last Sunday – shortly after Marcia had filled our clotheslines with clean laundry, for a “Mother Nature” laugh, and while we were having lunch at MacArthur’s Cafe.  Most of the lines are beneath the roof extension, but we did have a couple re-rinsed towels and rugs.  By about 2 P.M. the sun was again shining.
We’ve had a number of responses to our most recent newsletters.  Here are a few we hope you find interesting.
Thanks for another interesting newsletter.  Having grown up in Jackson I’m very familiar with New Tribes Mission, as I’d worked with and come to know a number of students through the years and often drove past their building when I worked downtown. Because the Burnhams were from New Tribes the kidnapping was big news in the Jackson area at the time. It was similar to one of those stories we’d see on the news occasionally but paid no attention to because it seemed so far away, so distant. But this time the victims were from the Bible mission in our own home town and it became all too real. 
I succinctly remember the coverage of the kidnapping when it occurred. After a period of time, however, the story was forgotten by most of us until a year later when we learned of the attempted rescue and death of Mr. Burnham. That’s when it really hit home. I had no idea Mrs. Burnham had written a book about her experience, but I intend to purchase it. Perhaps it can sit on the bookshelf right next to yours?
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Take care,
Kerry (a co-worker of Steve’s some years ago)

Hi Marcia & Steve,
I agree with US Ambassador Harry Thomas that Steve’s book HONOR, COURAGE, FAITH: A Corregidor Story was a “labor of love” considering the extensive research involved and the very informative details in it especially that of the enemies’ (Japanese soldiers) atrocities during the war.  
All the best always, eli

Thanks for another (as usual) interesting update. I've added the
(weather station) link to my Internet bookmarks and will be checking the Corregidor weather sometimes. Sorry your Internet access is so bad, but I bet it gets you outdoors more often! Heh he

Is Steve the tallest person in the Philippines?  I love all the pictures he is in - I have no trouble finding him.
Take care!
He’s probably not the tallest, but stands taller than the tallest native Filipino we have met, by several inches.

Steve and Marcia
If you go to Manila again, and happen to stay at the Adriatico, you could please leave them a copy of your book--and please autograph it for me! I will treasure it. Especially so since I am growing more and more convinced that I gave water to your dad and a couple of his much shorter cohorts as they lay on the grass by our back lawn--the one facing the Bay. He leaned up on his elbows and said, "Thanks, buddy."
Peter refers to an incident that occurred on May 24, 1942.  At that time, the Japanese were marching the Corregidor prisoners of war along Dewey (now Roxas) Boulevard.  As we remember the story, Peter, who grew up in the Philippines and was living with his family in Manila at that time, offered water to three American POWs who were having a very difficult time in the dreadful heat.  He believes that the Japanese permitted his actions only because he was a small child.  Apparently those three POWs were allowed to rest for a short time.  Peter managed to give each of them a drink of water.  Only one, a “VERY tall man,” thanked Peter.  Since learning that Steve’s father Walter, at 6’6”, was among the tallest men – if not the tallest one – on Corregidor, and that Walter was a kind and well-mannered man, Peter has reached the above conclusion.  Walter has been gone from us many years now, so we can’t ask him.  We are thankful that Peter and others were able to give some aid to those POWs at a very difficult time in their lives.  We will gladly leave a book for you at Adriatico next time we are there, Peter.
Hello Steve and Marcia,
It was such a pleasure to meet you a couple of weeks ago in Corregidor, and I hope to meet you again someday. I know I promised to contact you once I get to Manila so I apologize, but I hope this e-mail is better late than never.
I've written about you, your book and your blog in this article ( under our Health and Family section and as of the moment it has over a thousand views. It's my first attempt at a feature story for the news site since I'm really a daily political reporter, but I enjoyed documenting our short meeting.
Hope you're doing well! And till next time.
Best regards,
Camille Diola
Philstar Writer and Philstar Live Lead
We have not been able to see Camille’s article yet due to our internet limitations on the island, but thoroughly enjoyed chatting with her over lunch after the weather station launch.  We’re excited to look for it on our next trip to Manila.  Readers, check it out if you wish, and let us know what you think.
Our most heart-felt wishes to each of you for a truly Merry Christmas!
Steve and Marcia on the Rock

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