It began in late November, when we attended a media preview at The University of Santo Tomas, a presentation of the new Peter Parsons/Lucky Guillermo/Paul Whitman documentary entitled, “Corregidor: The Road Back.” The film recalls the war on Corregidor, including its fall in 1942, but is primarily concerned with the less-known story of its retaking in 1945. There are many vignettes from interviews with paratroopers who were involved in the daring jump on February 16, 1945, including several of our friend Dick Adams. There are scenes that include the two of us, and also several of Steve’s father, Walter, who comments on his personal experiences on Corregidor. Unfortunately we forgot our camera and have no pictures from that event.
Corregidor: The Road Back DVD cover
On December 7 there was a “Gala Premier” of the video held at the U.S. Embassy, in the room named for Peter’s father Charles “Chick” Parsons, a World War II hero in the Philippines. This time we purposely did not bring our camera, since in the past cameras have not been allowed past the security checkpoint. However, since the showing was on a Saturday, almost everyone but us had their cameras. Oh, well… We do include pictures of the front cover of the DVD and one taken of us in the atrium.
Steve and Marcia in U.S. Embassy
Because of this documentary presentation, director Chris Kolakowski and curator James Zobel from the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia, attended the gala. They, and a number of others with connections to the DVD, later joined us for a couple of days on the Rock. You can see all of us in the photo taken at the hospital ruins.
In front of hospital seated James, Marcia, Katie, standing Lou, Chris, Steve, Paul, Peter, Karl *photo by Kevin Hamdorf)
We have had a number of other visitors to the island – two Jeffs, Michelle, Rik, Mark, Sean, Rob, Carl – since late November, all interested in off-the-main-road hiking. Busy but fun! It does become a challenge to remember which guests made which hikes, or told us which stories, etc., but we do love these opportunities to build new friendships and ‘show off’ the island’s less seen features. The gecko photo is from the rarely visited Battery Sunset, the butterflies from around the house except for the yellow one on Marcia’s hand, which she rescued from a spider web along a jungle trail.
The now-traditional children’s Christmas party was held at Ron’s house. This year, frequent Corregidor visitors Bill Kirwan, his wife Midge and their assistant Tine, opened the festivities with spaghetti for all, followed by a magic show for the children. They also brought presents donated by church groups in the U.S., which were presented to the children by Santa Claus, a joyful event especially for the youngest ones.
Midge, Bill, and Tine doing magic show
Children enjoying the show
Bill setting up magic trick
Ron being the innocent victim
Marcia and Steve passing out candy
Ron passing out cash
Santa Claus passing out gifts
The winter solstice (aka the first day of winter) reminded us of a similar day in Minnesota, with the slightest bit of chill in the air in the early morning and a bit of heat in the early afternoon; in other words, a typical summer day in the North Star State. We hope that we can continue to enjoy our winters on “the Rock” for some time to come.
Happy New Year from Steve and Marcia on the Rock