Manila, Philippines

Saturday March 17th


My Preamble is where I answer questions brought forward by my previous posts:


Nancy Wagner asked if the hotel where we stayed was the Nikko Hong Kong.  No we are right next door in the Intercontinental  Grand Stafford.


Nick asked if I had taken up my Lido Command Post –  yes I have Nick, except, due to possible to jet lag, I seem to be waking around 3 AM and by the time I am having my first coffee – around 4, I have the command post all to my self.


On our first sea day after departing Hong Kong I attended the first gathering of veterans in the Crows Nest. Although there less that a dozen vets in attendance it was a most animated and sharing group. A very emotional tribute was given to a black US Army soldier who took a very frightened three year old Japanese boy and his brother by the hand and took them to a movie. This boy who later became a US soldier himself, still remembers the name of the soldier who so tenderly befriended him on that terrible day. His testimony was a tribute to the humanity of one person.


Our host at that meeting was the Hotel Director, Craig Oakes, who had served in the Royal Navy. Craig spoke about a book that had been written about the MV Canberra and that part she played during the Falklands war/conflict. Craig just happened to have a copy in his office and offered to share – I am reading that chronology now – “A Very Strange Way to go to War” – The Canberra in the Falklands. Briefly, the Canberra was a “top of the line” cruise ship that in May of 1982 had been requisitioned by the British government to carry troops and equipment to the Falkland Islands. Her subsequent conversion from a luxury liner to a “Man of War” is fascinating reading especially when being read aboard the beautiful and luxurious MS Volendam.


And now to our day in Manila and surrounding environs.


Barbara had made a friend from The Netherlands (Jacqueline) on Cruise Critic, who was putting together a small group to tour; the Jeepney Factory, ramble through interesting neighborhoods, view a spectacular dormant volcano from the terrace of the Grand Izzies Philippine Restaurant and visit the American Military Cemetery in Manila …. a full eight hour day …. and as it turned out that is what we did.  Though the ride in a very modern van was tiring, exciting, scary and at times terrifying, we definitely received value for our pesos, as well as a fleeting look at the daily life of a Philippine citizen. 





In my heart I did not know what emotions I would experience while standing on US soil at the cemetery and at times during the day, I was not looking forward to the experience. However when I stepped out of the van, a deep patriotic emotion engulfed me as I realized the sacrifices made by my brothers in arms represented by the stoic parade of white crosses. As I rendered honors to two of the fallen, I could not control my tears.  Rest In Peace “Ace” Dibbles from Washington State.





Jack W Cummings Far East Adventure 2018

3 thoughts on “Manila, Philippines

  1. This is getting GOOD, Jack!

    I’m so glad you’re there….and I’m delighted to re-live so many wonderful memories of my decades sailing the same waters beneath your ship now….as I follow along vicariously!

    The Philippines is a notably unique experience, isn’t it?! Even in all it’s chaos, poverty and corruption, I love the place!

    Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate….as you sail those historic and fascinating waters of the Far East!

  2. The Philippines hold a range of emotions for our family….both ends of the spectrum, & all in between! We do love the people, culture, & talent found there. The cemetery is a remarkable place to visit! Glad you all went! Love ya!

  3. Thanks Dad for posting your pictures and experiences. I love the picture of the volcano lake. How amazing!!! I can see why you two chose this amazing part of the world to visit. Be safe!!! Love you guys. Lisa

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