Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 26, 1945: General Carlos P. Romulo signed the UN Charter- one of the original signatories!

Gen. Carlos P. Romulo signing the UN Charter
on behalf of the Commonwealth of the Philippines on June 26, 1945. 

The UN Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 by representatives from 50 countries. General Carlos P. Romulo, then Philippine Commissioner to the United States would sign on behalf of the Philippines – making the country one of the original signatories of the UN Charter.

                                                War Memorial Opera House and the War Memorial Veterans Building,                                                       twin edifices of the War Memorial Complex where the conference and the signing of the charter was held

Reeling from devastation wrought by a World War, on April 25, 1945, the United Nations Conference on International Organization began in the War Memorial complex,San Francisco to craft one of the most important documents of recent times – the UN Charter. After working for two months, the fifty nations represented at the conference signed the Charter of the United Nations on 26 June 1945.

General Douglas MacArthur and Carlos P. Romulo (R), during the General’s visit to the Philippines.

This photo inspired the bronze statues representing the Leyte Landing of General Douglas MacArthur, then President Sergio Osmena, then Brig. Gen. Carlos P. Romulo , etc.

General Carlos P. Romulo would become the Philippines’ permanent delegate to the United Nations (with rank of Ambassador) from 1946 to May 1953. tags:
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 14, 1945: The Fall of Bessang Pass- “Behind in the Cloud”.


Bessang Pass is a towering mountain rising 5,250 feet above sea level in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, PhilippinesIt was seized by the Japanese following the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942 and made it as their strategic fortress in Northern Luzon.The classic fighting was dubbed “Behind in the Cloud” because the warriors literally hugged the clouds during the fighting.

Bessang Pass in World War II.
The final battle between Filipino guerrillas and Japanese forces at Bessang Pass  lasted for almost six months (January to June 1945) before the Filipinos conquered the strategic mountain fortress on June 14, 1945. Around 3,400 Filipino guerrillas were killed and wounded during the fierce fighting at the Pass.
It was the defeat at Bessang Pass that forced the Supreme Commander of Japanese Imperial Forces Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita (Tiger of Malaya) to eventually surrender on 2 September 2, 1945. 

General Tomoyuki Yamashita, Supreme Commander of Japanese Imperial Forces, comes out of the mountains to surrender to the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division Kiangan, Luzon Philippines,on 2 Sep. 1945.U.S. Army Signal Corps photo. tags:
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 15, 1991: The Mount Pinatubo Big Bang!

The driver of a pick-up truck desperately tries to overrun a cloud of ash spewing from the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on June 15, 1991. by ALBERTO GARCIA. This award-winning photo was chosen by Time as one of the “Greatest Images of the 20th Century” and also by the National Geographic Magazine as one of “100 Best Pictures” of the 20th Century. 

June 15, 1991 :The Pinatubo Big Bang! by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor.

In the middle of the day on June 15, 1991, the largest land volcano eruption in living history shook the Philippines island of Luzon as Mount Pinatubo, a formerly unassuming lump of jungle-covered slopes, blew its top. Ash fell as far away as Singapore, and in the year to follow, volcanic particles in the atmosphere would lower global temperatures by an average of 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius).

Mount Pinatubo’s “big-bang” eruption coincided with a tropical storm, which proved to be a fortunate thing for the people of Central Luzon, as the thousands of tons of volcanic debris was spread out throughout the island of Luzon and reached as far as Visayas and Mindanao. Ashfall was even reported in Hong Kong and other nearby foreign territories.

The eruption column of Mount Pinatubo on June 12, 1991, three days before the climactic eruption.

The volcano, located along the boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales provinces, initially exploded in the afternoon of June 12, 1991 when a gigantic mushroom-shaped cloud suddenly appeared above the western sky of Angeles City.

The summit caldera on August 1, 1991, a month and a half after the June 15 climactic eruption. For two years following the eruption, average global temperatures dropped over 0.5C. Photo by T. J. Casadevall, U.S. Geological Survey. tags:
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 14, 1960: US President Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Manila for a State Visit- first ever by any US President!

President Eisenhower welcome ceremony at the airport on June 14, 1960. On the left is President Carlos Garcia

On June 14, 1960, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Manila on a plane from Clark Air Field late for a 3-day state visit- the first ever made by any US President to the Philippines...and he was no ordinary US president. He was not only the leader of the world's most powerful nation but also a certified war hero and newsmaker! Eisenhower was the famous U.S. Army general of World War II and the 34th president of the United States. A career Army man, "Ike" rose to the level of five-star general and oversaw the Allied forces in Europe, including the famous D-Day invasion of France in 1944. 

He was met by President Carlos Garcia and other Filipino and American officials at the airport. 

State Dinner tendered by Phil President Carlos P. Garcia and First Lady Leonila Garcia for President Ike Eisenhower

Monday, June 1, 2015

May 25, 2000: Augusto Lakandula Hijacked Philippine Airlines plane and Escaped Using A Homemade Parachute!

On May 25, 2000, a Filipino first identified as “Augusto Lakandula” based on his plane ticket (later identified as Reginald Chua), hijacked Philippine Airlines Flight 812 en route from Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, carrying 278 passengers and 13 crew members on board. After collecting the passengers’ money and other valuables, the suspect jumped at 6,000 feet from the plane’s rear door using a homemade parachute.

Body of Augusto Lakandula as photographed by morgue attendants in Manila 
The body of "Lakandula"/Chua was later recovered about 40 miles east of Manila by local officials in Real, Quezon nearly buried in mud with his belt bag containing cash and jewelry reportedly missing. The remains of his homemade parachute was recovered about a kilometer away from where his body was found.


There was a bit of a comical twist to the otherwise horrifying incident after Chua was able to secure his loot and was about to escape with it. The hijacker who appeared to be deranged, wearing a ski mask, swimming goggles and was armed with a grenade and pistol,  commanded the pilot to descend and depressurize the airplane so the door could be opened, allowing him to escape using a makeshift parachute.Just before his jump, the hijacker asked the crew to show him how to do it using a nylon parachute he brought with him. Seeing that the make shift parachute apparently had no rip cord, one of the pilots took a curtain sash and attached it to the homemade parachute. The hijacker finally jumped at 6,000 feet from the plane’s left rear door while the aircraft was circling 13 miles from Manila. A flight attendant pushed him out of the door so he could escape against the strong force of the air. He reportedly separated from the parachute in midair and plunged to his death somewhere on a mountain in Quezon.

Philippine Aiirlines Flight 812 hijacking
The plane landed with the door still open after the hijacker’s dramatic exit. 
With it’s rear door still opened, the plane finally landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. All passengers and crew members arrived safe.

May 29, 2012: Senate declared Chief Justice Renato Corona Guilty.

On May 29, 2012, after 43 trial days and hundreds of hours of hearing, the  Senate of the Philippines sitting as impeachment court declared  Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty. Corona, the 23rd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, was impeached on eight charges on December 12, 2011 but only one issue was brought to a vote on May 29, 2012. Corona was found guilty of Article II of the Articles of Impeachment filed against him pertaining to his failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.

HOW THEY VOTED: 20 convict, 3, acquit
A total of 20 senators, including Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, declared Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty of betraying the public trust and committing culpable violation of the Constitution.
CJ Corona in wheelchair
                          On the 40th day of the trial, Corona is wheeled out of the Senate session hall after he                              was discharged by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. Corona had walked out after his testimony

Corona was the third official, after former President Joseph Estrada in 2000 and Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez in March 2011, to be impeached by the House of Representatives.This was the second impeachment trial in the history of the Philippines, as Gutierrez had resigned prior to the start of her trial.