"As mandated by Republic Act 8491, the flag and heraldic code of the Philippines, the Philippine Flag shall be permanently hoisted on this site 24/7 throughout the year and shall be illuminated at night."
My quest in searching for the graves of the great men continues (♪♫Indiana Jones Music♫♪). This time, my wandering feet brought me to the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) in Taguig City. Buried there are the war veterans, two Philippine Presidents, people with Medal of Valor, AFP Chiefs of Staff, and many more who died nobly.
|Landmark of the Libingan ng mga Bayani|
When I reached the place, a military man asked my purpose. I told him that I'm a tourist and will just take some pictures of the presidents' grave. He then asked me to go to the administrator's office first and ask for permission. I signed a log book, showed my ID and I'm free to go.
Two black stone walls with the quote “I do not know the dignity of his birth but I do know the glory of his death,” welcomed me. Those words came from Gen. Douglas MacArthur on his visit in 1960 to pay respects to his fallen WW2 comrades.
The whole cemetery is divided into several sections: Presidents Section, WW2 Veterans Section, AFP Personnel Section, Medal of Valor Section, AFP Chief of Staff Section, Generals/Flag Officers Section, Government Dignitary Statesmen Section. At the very center of the cemetery is the marble tomb of the unknown hero, with a Philippine Flag forever raised and from there I met a number of different heroes' grave.
|Tomb of the Unknown Hero at the heart of the cemetery|
Section A - Presidents of the Republic of the Philippines
|President Carlos Garcia (1957-1961), 4th President of the Third Republic of the Philippines, famous for his "Filipino First" policy.|
|Memorial Garden of President Diosdado Macapagal|
|President Diosdado Macapagal (1961-1965), the poor man from Lubao, Pampanga. Father of the former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He's famous for his Land Reform efforts.|
|Carlos P. Romulo, a great Philippine Diplomat, served 8 Philippine Presidents from MLQ to FRM, author of "I am a Filipino"|
|Arturo M. Tolentino, former vice president to Ferdinand Marcos|
|A fine-looking bench, with engraved writings.|
|Former Chief Justice Fred Castro (1976-1979)|
|Former Chief Justice Enrique Fernando (1979-1985)|
|The controversial General Angelo Reyes, former AFP Chief, Cabinet Member of President GMA|
|Maximo Soliven, a journalist, co-founder of Philippine Star|
|General Arturo Enrile, former AFP Chief and DOTC secretary under President FVR|
|Senator Blas Ople, former Senate President (1999-2000), Secretary of Labor under President Marcos|
|Vice President Salvador "Doy" Laurel (1986-1992), son of President Jose P. Laurel|
I roamed around the other sections of the cemetery and I saw the following graves.
|National Artist for Visual Arts Guillermo Tolentino, a sculptor. Among his works are the UP Oblation and Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan.|
|Marble crosses at the AFP personnel section|
|General Artemio Ricarte, hailed by the AFP as the "Father of the Philippine Army"|
|National Artist for Music, Levi Celerio. The man who can produce music from a leaf. A great composer too.|
|Photo taken with the help of the V-shaped tree. :)|
Also found at the cemetery are four memorial pylons dedicated to four great military efforts of the Philippines.
|Vietnam War Veterans Pylon|
|Korean War Veterans Pylon|
|Bataan and Corregidor Defenders Pylon|
Before I left at around 3:55 PM, I entered a masukal na place, thinking that I could make a short cut out of the cemetery. But that was a wrong move, a lot of small black flying bugs attacked me. Good thing they don't bite me.
|Libingan ng mga Bayani Landmark|
#1 Sumakay na lang ng tricycle, imbes na maglakad ng 4 na kilometro kung may pera naman.
#2 Gamitin ang main gate upang hindi atakihin ng mga insekto.