The Battle of Lepanto – Part 1


The largest naval battle in Western History

This is the Battle of Lepanto whose name was adopted by the Spaniards when hostile natives in Mankayan, Benguet kept their district blockaded for many years.

Lepanto Galleasses

One of the Venetian Galleasses at Lepanto (1851 drawing, after a 1570s painting).

Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement between allied Christian forces (the Holy League) and the Ottoman Turks during an Ottoman campaign to acquire the Venetian island of Cyprus that took place on Oct. 7, 1571. Seeking to drive Venice from the eastern Mediterranean, the forces of Sultan Selim II invaded Cyprus in 1570. The Venetians formed an alliance with Pope Pius V and King Philip II of Spain (May 25, 1571). Philip sent his half-brother, Don John of Austria, (a bastard son of Habsburg emperor Charles V) to command the allied forces. By the time the allies assembled at Messina, Sicily (Aug. 24…

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Baguio – The Summer Capital of the Philippines


Wright Park by Pinterest Wright Park across The Mansion in Baguio – Photo Credit: Pinterest

Baguio is a lovely town nestled aloft a high plateau with old Spanish houses and parks with profusion of flowers on a pine-clad mountain. Baguio is located in the southern part of the Province of Benguet, approximately 180 miles from Manila with an elevation of almost 5,000 feet above sea level. The province of Benguet was the gateway to the Cordilleras, the most spectacularly scenic area of the Philippines and had the well-preserved culture of the mountain people. Baguio is the home of the Igorots, the world renowned woodcarvers. Baguio is also home to the Philippine Military Academy, the elite military academy, affectionately known as the West Point of the Philippines.

Baguio became a town in 1900 with Mateo Cariño as the presidente (mayor) and a chartered city on Sept. 1, 1909 and nicknamed the “Summer Capital of the…

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Captain Kidd and his Buried Treasure

Long Island Past and Present

Capt. William Kidd

William Kidd, also known as Captain Kidd was born c. 1645, at Greenock, Renfrew, Scotland and died on May 23, 1701 in London. He was a 17th century British privateer and semi-legendary pirate who became celebrated in English literature as one of the most colorful outlaws of the time. Fortune seekers have hunted his buried treasure in vain throughout succeeding centuries.

It is believed Kidd went to sea as a youth. After 1689 he was sailing as a legitimate privateer for Great Britain against the French in the West Indies and off the coast of North America. In 1690 he was an established sea captain and shipowner in New York City where he owned property at various times. He was hired by Lord Bellomont, who was then governor of New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to rid the coast of enemy privateers.

In London in 1695, mainly on the…

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Zambales Province, Home Province of Subic Bay and Mt. Pinatubo


Zambales Mountains The Zambales Mountains – Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Zambales Province is located in the Central Luzon region, north of Bataan and lies on the western shores of Luzon along the West Philippine Sea. Zambales Province is noted for its picturesque coastline featuring many coves and inlets and offers an authentic slice of coastal life. Its thin coastline has generated a string of small fishing villages, supported by fishing, making bagoong (fermented fish sauce) and harvesting salt, and by their cottage industries. The rugged Zambales Mountains occupying the eastern portion of the long, narrow province provide a natural barrier for the province. The range stretches from Lingayen Gulf in the north to the entrance of Manila Bay in the south and rises to High Peak, about 6,683 ft in the north central Zambales province. Zambales is the second largest among the seven provinces of Central Luzon after Nueva Ecija.

Subic Bay, at the…

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Thomas Cavendish – The Third Circumnavigator of the Earth


Map of Thomas Cavendish

Sir Thomas Cavendish, also spelled Candish, was an English explorer baptized on September 19, 1560 at Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk, England and died c. May 1592 in the North Atlantic. Cavendish was a privateer known as “The Navigator”. He accompanied Sir Richard Grenville’s voyage to America (1585) and, upon returning to England, undertook an elaborate imitation of Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation, raiding Spanish towns and ships in the Pacific and returned by circumnavigating the globe. He was the leader of the third circumnavigation of the Earth.

On July 21, 1586, he sailed from Plymouth with 123 men in three vessels. He reached the Patagonian coast of South America, where he discovered Port Desire, now Puerto Deseado, Arg., his only significant contribution to geographical knowledge. After passing through the Strait of Magellan, he attacked Spanish settlements and shipping from South America to Mexico. From a captured pilot, a Marseillais who hated…

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Getting Accepted Gastronomically in the Philippines


Westerners have been present in the Philippines for over four hundred years, and many Filipinos are aware that a Westerner’s ways are different. You see it more prominent when a Filipino married a Westerner. The outgoing hospitality of Filipinos, along with their willingness to adapt to foreign guests, make it too easy for them to “be themselves”, but then the cultural gap will only be emphasized, and their stay in the Philippines will remain that of spectators and outsiders.

A foreigner who makes the effort to “get into” the culture, on the other hand, is much appreciated because Filipinos always make a distinction between an outsider, who could even be a fellow Filipino, and one of their particular kin group. When you are offered boiled duck’s egg with a half-incubated chick inside, you will not offend if you decline gently and politely, but you will have missed the opportunity of…

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Batanes Island – Its History


Batanes Pinterest by Arnel Lumanog

Batanes – Photo Credit – Pinterest by Arnel Lumanog

Continuing from last week. . .

The ancient inhabitants of Batanes, the native Ivatans, were divided into small pagan kinship groups inhabiting the mountains near or on the rocky natural fortresses known as ijangs. Clans were in a more or less constant state of tribal war. These people traded with the inhabitants of the nearby Babuyan Islands, the north shores of Luzon (Cagayan and Ilocos) and what is now Taiwan. Goods were bartered or gold was used as a medium of exchange.

Since they believed in life after death, they buried their dead with tools, food, pots, and bowls for use in the next world. They believed that the souls of the upper classes were taken up to heaven and became stars, but the souls of the poor wandered over the world as anitos (spirits).

Ivatans had lived in grass and…

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