Finding Myself in China: When we arrived, we noted that this place really was a resort centre. It had wave pools and other interesting things for people to enjoy, and even accommodated school tour groups with dormitory style accomodation. Opposite the breakfast room was a swimming complex, in the front of which was a very interesting sign. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring my .38 Smith and Wesson. When we went in for breakfast, we saw that the next room was set up for a wedding, and discovered that it was 'our' wedding reception. Taking a 'sticky beak,' I noted that there were no knives on any of the tables. 'Ahah! Thank God I brought that solid clear plastic knife with me!.'. The whole time before and after the actual church service, the local beggars were inside the church hitting everyone for money. Oh the guilt of refusing a pittance for the poor in the house of God, but I was advised to give no one anything, for that would be more effective than the 'last trump' for the dead. All the beggars would arrive. Not that this mattered at all. Who was carrying money?
Just in case you had no idea what the Philippines looks like
From Hong Kong to Manilla
On September 30th 2005 I flew from China to the Philippines to be best man at a wedding. Because October 1st marks China's National Holiday, and is celebrated for 7 days, I was able to remain after the wedding, to join the foreign guest's private tour of the Philippines. In order to write this article, I have had to do some thinking as to how best to describe my trip. I could do it in many ways, the nicest of which would be to say that my time there, (arranged by a female member of the bride's family), was a cross between an Asian foreign holiday (ie. a shopping trip) and an 'All hail America" propaganda tour. It wasn't really what any of us Australians expected, and it's ongoing effect saw us all a little aggravated, particularly with each other.
The wedding had been planned well in advance, and the logistics of getting the overseas guests to arrive on the same day required a lot of organising. Both the Australian Groom and the Philippina Bride had friends and family coming from Australia, as well as two of us coming from China. This proved a difficult thing to organise, for while some people made it clear that they may not be able to go, one person from China, who said he was going, kept putting off buying his ticket. Since both of us were flying from China, I had to wait until that person was committed to going, so that I could organise my flight to connect with his in such a way, that we all would arrive and leave the Philippines at the same time.
Three weeks before the wedding, the Groom decided to delete him from the guest list; asked me to be best man, and then ordered a reprint of the wedding program. I was already in a panic by the time this happened, and not only ended up getting a ticket for AUS $400 more than the original price I was quoted, but had to depart the Philippines a day earlier than other guests, which required organising two different trips to Manila for the departing guests.
On September 30th, after 'two,' one and a half hour plane flights, (Wuhan to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong to Manila), I arrived at Manila airport at 4.30pm to be greeted by the Bride and Groom. We then had to sit at the airport for another 5 hours until two other Australians arrived. Following that event, we undertook a two and a half hour drive to a family home in 'Calumpit.'
My hopes were dashed when we drove straight past this house
This was our first introduction to the Philippines; a long night time drive mostly in congested traffic. While for myself and Irene, (who had arrived from Australia and who had previously traveled through India), erratic driving and horn blowing are quite 'passe,' for Elaine, it was a little disturbing, to put it mildly (if you can call hyperventilation, 'mild'). We all eventually arrived at our designated overnight 'stop over,' completely exhausted. We were received, fed, watered, shown to our rooms, and given the opportunity to sleep. 'Sleep?' I was up at 6:30 am, to be greeted by 'It is very early! Why are you awake so early?.' 'Awake so early?' I asked: 'Who's been to sleep?' Between the 'fighting coq' pens below my window, dogs barking, cars going by, and people walking around the house in the wee hours, I had barely slept at all. Being faultless hosts, a breakfast of Bacon, eggs and pork sausages was prepared for me, along with coffee, toast and Jam (conserve).
So there I was eating the breakfast just 40 feet from the Pig Stall, when suddenly, without warning, an almighty uproar of grunts and screaming started up. There I was, looking at my bacon and pork sausages, thinking, 'Great! You're dying and I'm sitting here eating one of your friends or family!' One of my hosts suggested that perhaps I would like to finish my breakfast in the house. If he thought this westerner was gonna stick his tail between his legs and run, he had another think coming.
Run? Not me! No sir! I stuck it out. Just when I was patting myself on the back and thinking I had guts for bearing up while the pig was being slaughtered, I discovered that the only thing happening in the pigpen was that the pig was being trussed up in preparation for being carried on a pole to the actual designated place of slaughter. Thankfully I had finished my breakfast by the time the pig was deposited on the slaughter table some 30 feet away. Although trussed up as it was, the pig still had to undergo the indignity of having at least three people kneel on top of it, so that they could hold it down as it commenced a new direction in life. Destined to become lunch and dinner later in the day, the pig valiantly succumbed to its' destiny.
Thinking that it might interest some of my readers, I did take some photos from my position at the breakfast table. My hosts asked if I wanted to go right on over there and get some better shots. I politely thanked them and declined. On my way back to my room, I ran into Elaine. She informed me that she and Irene had been woken up by the sound of the pig screaming, and from their bedroom window, had had the privilege of witnessing the pigs humiliation in the stall. She told me that just a little earlier, she had commented to Irene that the only things in our vicinity that made no noise at all were the pigs. She had no sooner said this, when the poor pig started screaming.
Sometime before daylight, the Bride and Groom had left the house to attend to some matters back in Manila, and our particular group of foreigners were left to look after ourselves, in a house full of people (most of whom were asleep when we arrived) to whom we had not been introduced. It took all day just to work out who was who. They did provide for us in many ways, all throughout the day, and even brought in a karaoke machine to amuse us. I would have liked to include some photos of the little children at this point, but it is best not to tempt fate, given the very real threat to 'well off' families in the Philippines, of having their family members kidnapped. One hears of kidnappings in the Philippines, but on the plane back to Hong Kong I was sitting next to a lady I met at the 'check in,' and she related how her son had been kidnapped, even though the family was only 'well off,' not rich.
American War Cemetery in Manilla
Later, in the evening of that first full day, we once again set off in the direction of Manila, to take occupancy of an 'Executive Apartment Suite' at the Paradise Hotel in Malalos (I think) at which the wedding reception would be held next day. This resort hotel was obviously a marvel in it's day, and while it did suit our needs, was located on a busy road, opposite a karaoke joint, that just never seemed to close down. Day two in the Philippines turned out to be like day one. Up early, to bed late, and seeing nothing but the highway and surrounds in the dark of night. Day three, started just like days one and two. Early!
At some ungodly hour of the morning, Elaine and Irene decided that if they couldn't sleep, they could at least go for breakfast. Giving me 10 minutes to prepare, they announced their intention. I reluctantly got out of bed. We had been informed the night before that between the three of us we would be given two complimentary breakfasts. Leaving our suite, Irene, Elaine and I headed off to reception to collect our complimentary tickets, and, being the only gentleman amongst us, it was left to me to pay my own way. When we asked to be pointed in the direction of the breakfast room, we were instructed to go downstairs to the outside coffee shop. There, We asked for further enlightenment of a security guard who, mumbling, pointed off into the distance. So, off we went! But we could not even see a building in that direction. After a few minutes of walking, we headed back to the coffee shop, where a lady made us to understand that they would drive us to the breakfast room. Much better!
Sights at the Military Academy - Toys for REAL boys
When we arrived, we noted that this place really was a resort centre. It had wave pools and other interesting things for people to enjoy, and even accommodated school tour groups with dormitory style accomodation. Opposite the breakfast room was a swimming complex, in the front of which was a very interesting sign. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring my .38 Smith and Wesson. When we went in for breakfast, we saw that the next room was set up for a wedding, and discovered that it was 'our' wedding reception. Taking a 'sticky beak,' I noted that there were no knives on any of the tables. 'Ahah! Thank God I brought that solid clear plastic knife with me!' (I'll come back to this!)
We ate our Bacon and (one) Egg breakfasts with a spoon and fork. Since I had to pay for my breakfast, and being a new arrival with little change, I gave the waiter 500 pesos for the 90 pesos breakfast. As I was discussing with the ladies the question of 'giving tips,' the waiter returned with my change. He handed me five very fresh and crispy, 100 pesos notes, and 10 pesos in change. I had given him 500 pesos to pay for the 90 pesos breakfast, and had received 510 pesos in change. I was beginning to like the place already.
'Am I supposed to give you a tip?' I asked of him (Since after putting the change down he just stood there). He grinned waved his hand and indicated that that was a matter for me to decide. Finally I said, "would you like this 100 pesos note?." When his eyes lit up I showed him the other four and said: "I think you give me too much change!" With that he went into a panic and ran to the cashier. When he came back, I gave him the 10 pesos change and 10 Chinese yuan (60-70 pesos). He seemed happy! On the other hand, he was not very enlightening when it came to the announcement that he then made.
He announced that he was going back to the main hotel. 'Fine! Thank you for your service! Goodbye!" we all replied. Missing his point, we finally finished our coffees and headed outside. It was outside that we realised the waiter's point. If we wanted a ride, we had better go with him. We now had to walk back to the main hotel. 'That's life!' Upon leaving the Breakfast room, and in no rush to go anywhere, we took a look around the complex, finally ending up at the sign that requested people to hand in their guns. There was a group of young people sitting on the benches in front of the sign.
I announced to the young people my intention to photograph the sign, but the tall boy sitting directly in front of it, misunderstanding my meaning, jumped up and said, 'Yes, you can take photo of me!.' I looked at him and said: "No! You are too ugly! I want to photograph that sign!.' Everyone cracked up. I took the photos and we spent a few minutes meeting and greeting the young people.
Saw plenty of them on the streets of Manilla
On our walk back to the hotel, we ran into another Australian couple who were also to be involved in the wedding party. John is an Australian POM (from England), and his wife Remy is originally from the Philippines, and is the Bride's cousin. Not long after arriving back at our apartment, the first of many many groups of people turned up at our apartment. Little did we realise that our suite was to be used as the manicure and hairdressing salon, photographic studio and wedding procession launching pad.
The first group to arrive were the three beautiful hairdressers. I was on the balcony smoking, when I saw them enter the hotel complex. One even looked up at me and smiled. They were a lovely bunch of women, like three pretty roses they were, until I finally heard one speak! Whoops! Two roses and a thorn! After a never ending procession of people in and out of the suite, and having had no opportunity to catch a 'few winks,' at about 1:15pm we headed off for the Barasoain Catholic Church. The Wedding was advertised to commence at 2pm. and so it was incumbent upon us to be there by then.
Barasoain was originally part of Malolos until its official separation on Agugust 31, 1859. In 1903 it became part of Malolos again. The old church constructed by Rev. Francisco Royo, O.S.A., was destroyed by fire in May, 1884, but rebuilt by Rev. Juan Giron, O.S.A., in 1885. This church was the seat of the Revolutionary Congress which convened from the middle of September, 1898, to the last week of February, 1899, under the presidence of Pedro A. Paterno. Among the important measures passed by the Congress was the Malolos Constitution. Drafted chiefly by Felipe G. Calderon. (sign erected 1940)
Lourdes in the Philippines
In Wuhan I had a class that simply would not involve themselves in discussions so the only way to get them to talk was to give them tests. They had to provide descriptions of photographs that I threw up on the overhead screen. I have a photo from this place and it shows the bride standing behind a tall spiralling candle holder. She was lighting candles. Behind her was an altar upon which were many more candles. A male student was asked to describe the photo and he said: "I see a woman lighting candles and there are many more in her behind!" - Ah the joys of teaching English.
Notice I said, 'Advertised.' In Philippino speak, this means that the wedding is at 3pm. That gives the stragglers who will come late, time to arrive 'on time.' At 3pm sharp the wedding commenced. Everything from people, colours and items was co-ordinated. I certainly have never seen a wedding with so many people involved in the 'wedding party.' According to the Wedding program, if you dismiss the Priest and his attendants, there were 32 people in the wedding party. And this, just for the sake of family and tradition.
The Bride and Groom were actually married a year ago in a registry office. Paul at one point said, 'Her father looks happy! He didn't even smile at the first wedding!.' I can understand that. Her father is Asian. Me, I'm a typical White Australian Male. 'Elope kids! Elope! I'll be happy! I promise!"
So there I was in the Philippines, playing the part of the best man, and standing at the head of a procession of a wedding party of 32 people. The music started up, and I was given the signal to start walking. As soon as I did however, it occurred to me that I had no idea how fast to walk. So there I was walking down this long church aisle, constantly looking over my shoulder trying to work out if I was walking out too fast or too slow. Finally a professional photographer standing further down the aisle signaled me to speed up. Great! At last some real direction. As I proceeded, he gave his nodding approval. When I got to the altar area, I turned around to discover that the whole wedding party was still short of the halfway mark. I felt like a 'right berk'!
If you have ever attended a Catholic service, it works like this. One minute standing, one and a half minutes kneeling, 2 minutes sitting. Stand, Kneel, Sit. That's all there is to it. But when you combine this with a wedding, and a ceremony that has primary and secondary sponsors, best man and bridesmaid, flower girls, parents of bride and groom etc etc all involved in the service, there was a lot more sitting than standing and kneeling.
Historical motifs at the Military Academy
Finally the happy event was over, and then the photographs of the various 'wedding parties' commenced. This took some more time. And the whole time before and after the actual church service, the local beggars were inside the church hitting everyone for money. Oh the guilt of refusing a pittance for the poor in the house of God, but I was advised to give no one anything, for that would be more effective than the 'last trump' for the dead. All the beggars would arrive. Not that this mattered at all. Who was carrying money?
When finally everything was finished at the church, we headed off to the reception. Remember the plastic knife I mentioned earlier? Well, during the day, all the knives reappeared. (Probably collected along with the guns at the swimming pool). I had to laugh though. What a stupid thing to do. Taking a dinner knife to a wedding reception. Well, as it transpired, my table setting was the only one that was actually missing a knife, and so I did end up using the plastic knife I brought with me. I've been to plenty of wedding receptions that were boring and dragged on and on, but this was the first that felt like I was on the 'red eye.' Having been unsuccessful during the previous hours, in completing a cigarette, the moment I finished my meal, I grabbed the professional Master of Ceremonies, and asked if I had time to go outside and smoke a cigarette. 'Yes!' she said, 'the speeches will not start yet!'
I was gone 5 minutes. In that time, I apparently missed 3 speeches, and walked back into the room in time to be called upon to give mine. I thought my speech was witty and brief, but not having witnessed the previous speeches, little did I know that my speech was the longest. My speech was a weaving of a series of Jewish jokes strung together. I told them that Paul is a healthy man who has given up drinking coffee in the mornings as it keeps him awake all day and that he was learning the local language by going to sleep with language tapes. He now speaks perfect Tagalog when he is asleep. I told them about the time he took me to a French restaurant, and ordered the meals in perfect French, which not only surprised me (who speaks French) but surprised the Chinese waiter as well.
I started the speech very formally, informing the guests that it is not often that one gets an opportunity to speak publicly about a man of intelligence, wit and wisdom, and that unfortunately this night was not such a chance, for I was there to speak about Paul. I had thought that most guests would not catch the meaning, but I was wrong. Most Philippinos, if they do not actually speak English, do understand it.
Because of a game that is played at the wedding, after an elimination round of single men and women, it transpires that I am now engaged to a local girl, who actually phoned the bride later to tell her that I was very sexy and she wanted to know when I would be back in Manila. Guess I won't be leaving China any time soon.
Local festival between Baguio and Manila. Did he have to spit at that particular moment?
That night was the only night that I managed to get to bed early. Early next morning we (including the Bride and Groom) were up early to commence our 'professionally guided tour' of the Philippines. We took off on a 5 hour drive to Baguio, the R & R area of the Americans during the first 50 years of the last century. It was our first chance in 3 days to see the Philippines in daylight - at 120+ kilometers per hour.
It is really difficult to take photos of interesting things from a speeding vehicle. Furthermore, in three days, apart from the wedding and reception, we had not experienced local people or their customs. Naturally, on a long long long drive, one wants to rest a little, and perhaps have a cup of coffee. The guide and driver refused to allow us to stop and rest at any 'local' place. No! We had to keep stopping at franchise places like MacDonalds and Jollibee, where they have armed security.
Ingorot people of Baguio Philippines
I actually had to pay for this photo above, and while negotiating that deal, the Groom was walking around surreptitiously filming our dispute.
I come from Australia, live and work in China, travelled to Manilla in the Philippines for a wedding and went sightseeing to Baguio, and then a few years later became friends with a foreign teacher from the Philippines. When he informed me that he was from Baguio, he nearly fell out of his tree when I said: "Oh! and are you one of the Ingorot People?" The world can sometimes be a very small place.
A German girl travelling in Australia in reply to my question: 'Where do you come from?,' answered 'Germany.' Try as I might to get her to tell me exactly where she came from, she just kept saying 'It is such a small place that you would never have heard of it!' When she finally told me, I said: 'Oh! Do you by any chance know......?" 'Oh my God!' she said: 'I went to school with....."
My first chance to meet locals came at a garage where we stopped for coffee. I left the others to walk out onto the street, where, in like fashion to the Chinese, people squat to rest and chat. I squatted, chatted, and kept refusing to buy the things the local refreshment boys wanted to sell. But they stayed to chat, and every so often would run off to a stopping car, hoping to make a sale. Finally, we arrived at Baguio, which is up in the mountains (somewhere), and after a quick lunch and time to unpack, we headed off on our tour.
Well, while Americans who have a vested interest in Philippine history might have found the tour interesting, this Australian was not the slightest bit interested in the long string of Famous American names that owned this and that place (which disappeared into oblivion at 100 kmph without the chance to photograph this apparently famous place). Nor was this Australian interested in the Silver market. Early the following morning, we were up again to continue the tour, the most interesting part of which (apart from the local scenery) was the visit to the Military Academy. It rather stunned us to imagine that people can walk about a military establishment at will.
All the Cadets greeted us with 'Good morning Sir, Good morning Ma'am.' At one point I was walking with Irene, and we said 'Good morning' so many times, that I wondered if we should just take turns. Later when we were driving out, we got saluted by every single person on the base (just in case the car held a VIP). It was an interesting place, with a very interesting worker erecting a CR. CR is the equivalent of WC and means Comfort Room. I had to laugh at this, for a 'Comfort Room' has a totally different meaning in Chinese.
Equal opportunity employer. No Discrimination!
The admission rules for the Academy are that you must be single, be between 18 and 22 years and have not sired nor given birth to any children. This is probably why one boy in a group of Philippino tourists with whom we spoke, proudly announced that he was not married but had two children. All the Cadets at the Academy were trim taught and terrific. It was nevertheless difficult on at least two occasions to determine if the cadets who passed us were male or female. When we entered the base, our vehicles were inspected and our identification cards taken. The guide informed us that this was because recently a top General had been arrested, and the government was taking precautions.
The base is reasonably self contained and had it's own schools for the children of the married staff. One group of students were doing sports opposite the 'military vehicles' display. They were all eager to speak to the foreigners, and asked us where we came from. They didn't believe that I came from China, so I showed them my 'Foreign Experts' book, which looks like a passport. I neatly covered the English title of the document as I showed them. They were very surprised that I could be Chinese. Yes! I know! Very cruel foreigner!
Students at sport in the Military Academy Compound
When we were leaving, I requested that we be given time to photograph the front gate of the Academy. We had entered so quickly without knowing where we were, that no one got a photograph. 'Yes Yes! Of Course!' said the guide as the car left the academy and kept going. Eventually we headed back to Manila. By the time we got there, it was dark. We ate by the pool in the Villa Estella at Quezon. It too was probably a great sight in its day, but sufficient for our needs, for bright and early next morning, we took off for a tour of Corregidor Island. By the time we were headed off for our trip to Corregidor, I was looking forward to the trip, for I like travelling on the ocean. Unfortunately, this part of the trip turned out to be another, 'behind glass, airconditioned' comfortable trip, with no opportunity to go out onto the deck to feel the wind or salt spray. To add insult to injury, we were subjected to a video documentary on the America/Philippine connection.
Spanish lighthouse Corregidor Island
As I had not long before snapped at Elaine for snapping at me at breakfast, (we had a disagreement about what was safe to eat and what was not) I decided to leave our little group and go look at the ocean from the front section. After a while, I actually fell asleep. It was not until after listening to the tour guide that we were assigned, that I began to understand why the American connection is so strong and appreciated. He was an older gentlemen of mainly Spanish descent who was just full of information and wit, and who did a spectacular job the whole tour through. Because I had previously misplaced a spare memory card for my camera, I was not able to take as many photos of Corregidor as I would have liked, but it was a spectacular place. We listened to many stories about the courage of both Japanese and American soldiers, and of course of Japanese atrocities.
One interesting place and event was the Malinta tunnel, a wartime underground military headquarters. Unfortunately my camera's internal memory failed after the first photo, and as my viewfinder does not work, I could not see to change the camera settings. Each side branch tunnel within the complex is set up with mannequins to give added effect to the light and sound displays. Accompanied with audio commentary which sometimes contained wartime conversational dialogue, the overall effect was very moving. Our guide, who has been doing his job for 30 years, was able to provide us with many intimate details of events, that had been passed on to him by the many American servicemen who had returned as tourists.
Exhibit in the Light and sound Display in the Malinta tunnel on Corregidor Island Philippines
I shall return! The point of leaving and return.
He related to us the story of how one particular battery had been destroyed. It had been particularly effective against the Japanese, and they had had great difficulty in achieving its' demise. They finally sent up a brave soldier in a helium balloon who was able to relay targeting corrections, so that after many hours, the Japanese artillery finally scored a direct hit. Such was the amount of munitions in that place, that hundreds of American servicemen were vaporised when the bomb stuck. He also related how prisoners were transported by train on a 26 kilometer journey that should have taken a little more than 30 minutes, but which was stretched out to 4 hours, in order to effect as many deaths as possible. He also took us to a Japanese Peace memorial that has 3 guns in place, facing Batan. He said they he got many people to sign a petition for the Japanese to remove the guns or remove the word 'Peace' from the Sign. They changed the sign.
Our Transport to the Malinta tunnel on Corregidor Island
At about 2:30 pm we left Corregidor for Manila. As tired as we were, we were to discover that there was a lot more instore for us to see. We visited many monuments, churches and gardens, including the war graves memorial. Eventually we headed off to the Zamboanga Restaurant. Of the five of us at dinner, two of us couldn't eat seafood, and the two ladies from Australia would not touch seafood except at home. Normally this would not be a problem, but the menu in this restaurant was 95% seafood. We all settled on steaks, and wonderful steaks they were too, served with Idaho potatoes and vegetables.
At first our 'private' guide told us that the meals were included in our tour, but shortly thereafter, that there was only a 400 pesos allocation per person. The trouble was that you could not get a main course for that price. We discussed taking the cash and eating locally, but finally decided to just eat. Although We had decided to skip the show, it started while we were having coffee, so we decided to hang around for a just a little while to see if it was worth watching. That little while extended right up to the end of the performance, which included a stupid Australian living in China, being dragged up on stage twice. On the first occasion he had to do that dance where they keep jumping in and out of big poles. If you miss? There go the ankles. Actually, he was quite brilliant at it - so I am told.
Later they dragged him backstage, threw a grass skirt around his trousers (he did offer to remove them), threw a bra on him, gave him two lei's, (said with the tongue firmly between teeth) and dragged him on stage to do the hoola hoola. Now while MY camera battery was working perfectly, it was out of memory, so there was no possibility of taking any photos on it (not to mention that it's owner was no longer at the table to do so). Funny thing is though, that of the 3 other cameras with video capability at our table, ALL THREE DECIDED TO GO FLAT AT THE SAME TIME.
Paid Regular Performers at the Zamboanga Restaurant
From the dancing performance, out of 3 cameras, only one shot was managed. (Said with both a sigh and a sigh of relief). We had a marvelous time, and I would guess I would be right in saying that it was the highlight of the trip. We arrived home that night at 10:30pm, and I had to be up at 2:30am, to be picked up at 3am, so that I could be guaranteed to arrive at the airport by 5am, to be on my 7am flight home. Needless to say that I arrived home from my holiday in need of a rest.
There are many things I have not written here. I did learn a lot about the American/Philippine connection, and now have an appreciation for that mysterious American who came to Australia, MacArthur. We younger ones may not have known much about him, but he has never been forgotten. Unlike his cousin MacDonald, he came to Australia and later left. Actually on the return boat trip I watched the entire video on MacArthur. Very fascinating man!
I hope that what I have written here has been either comic relief or informative, and I do hope that you enjoyed the tale of my trip.
Mao Wenwen reminded me that when she was my student I would often refer to her as Mao Zedong. I do that sometimes – calling students by the names of famous or infamous people. Paying honor to me as her English teacher Mao Wenwen provided me the coffee free of charge (courtesy of the management). She also invited Johnny and me to come inside and take a look around, and once I did, I decided that I wanted to come back to take photos. Receiving permission from the owner, all I needed was the chance to get back.
I’m sure if you understand what Sociology is that you would find my statement rather strange for it leads to the question of what impact the King’s Calendar Research Result has on society and societal problems. But before we go look at that aspect, I want to talk about the personal aspect – MY aspect.
The demolition came as row between the church and government escalated over allegations the church refused to pay a £450 arbitrary road usage fee. Pastor Zhang Di was summoned for questioning last month and accused of assaulting police officers and attacking a village official. So when I read reports as in the link you sent and see the ACTUAL TRUTH in the middle of the article, I know that there is a lot more going on than is being reported.
Well obviously I am misrepresenting the meaning of the protester here. What they mean is that they support the right of one section of society to have and to hold their own culture and beliefs and they do this by protesting against another section of society’s right to have and to hold their own culture and beliefs.
As for a non-Muslim who posits that Islamic Terrorists do not truly practice Islam or truly believe in Allah, they are speaking either from complete ignorance, or subjective rationale relative to whatever it is that they have been told, or heard, or read. The word subjective relates a personal position relative to a particular situation. That does not of course mean that the subjective perception is ABSOLUTELY / ULTIMATELY incorrect. It may well be correct – the ultimately provable fact of the matter.
And so I began using the LIKE button. Ah such freedom! New sunrise photo – LIKE! Second day of school award for my granddaughter – LIKE! My 98 year old grandmother passed away yesterday – LIKE! But then the weirdest thing happened. Someone posted an article about two homosexuals who were given a public flogging in Indonesia. So I hit LIKE! Bloody hell! 23 threats of physical violence upon my person, and 17 announcements that I was about to be defriended. WTF?
So there you have it. The Patriarch Joseph was born in 1683BC. He was set over the Kingdom of Egypt in 1656BC. The Israelite Sojourn in Egypt commenced in 1648BC. Joseph died in 1582BC. The Hyksos were expelled in 1554BC. Moses was born in 1523BC.The Exodus commenced in 1449BC. The Israelites entered Caanan in 1412BC and 480 years later in the 4th year of Solomon the first temple commenced construction in 970 BC.
The exact distance from the heart of Brisbane to Lake Baroon is unknown to me, but I can estimate that it is around 90 kilometers. It's a small manmade lake which in parts is at least 34 meters deep. This I know for a fact, because my brother, the penultimate sportsman who never likes to leave anything to chance, has a sonar device installed in the Kayak (our mode of transport for the occasion) that lets him know not just the depth of the water, but where the fish are, and whether or not it is worth the effort to circle the area in an effort to catch something.
If you take a drive north of Brisbane, depending on your route you can pass through Montville, Maleny, Lake Baroon, and all the other attractionsin this area of the Sunshine State of Queensland. All the towns and villages are quite close together. For instance, Steve Irwin Way is the road you need to travel to Austalia Zoo. Noosa, Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach and Caloundra, are on the coast and from there you can travel to Fraser, Bribie and Moreton Islands. Actually, to get to Bribie Island you don't need to take a boat. You can just cross the bridge.
The 'elites' of the south can keep their big metropolitan lifestyles. The people from my part of Australia love the peace and serenity to which we have grown accustomed. And if the heart of Brisbane does not offer enough to see within walking, biking or river ferry distance, we only have to jump in the car and drive for an hour in any direction, to visit some of the best scenery in the world, in Queensland, The Sunshine State.
A Male Steward came off the plane and walked over to me and said: "It's alright! We aren't going to leave without you! Calm down! Catch your breath!" The 'So and So' was right. It was still another 30 minutes before we took off! I on the other hand was watching the driver through his rear view mirror. He seemed to be blinking an awful lot and his driving was a little erratic. Not that that is unusual in China, but when you are on the highway and you have 3 or 4 lanes to choose from and very little traffic, you would think that you could drive in at least one or two of those lanes for more than 500 meters at a time.
By the time I got home and did the packing for the trip, the morning had long gone and it was around 2 pm when I head off to Wivenhoe dam with my camping and fishing gear, for some solitary piscatorial adventures. I arrived at Wivenhoe and began preparing my tent, air mattress, cooking gear etc etc, before heading off to a 'special' spot for some surface action. This area, for the first time in years, has trees semi-submerged by the recently rising water levels. The sun is already low in the sky as I get close, but before I get there, I notice the swallows circling and diving just above the water, near the bank. This is a sign that they are chasing insects. I also notice fish breaking the surface as they too attempt to catch whatever insects land on the surface. I turned off the sounder and moved silently to within casting distance and began flicking surface lures, but to no avail.
(Originally a 4 part article) On January 14th 2010, I commenced my trip back to Australia. The temperature at that time was varying between minus 15 and minus 20 degrees. It was for this Aussie, despite living in China for 7 years, truly cold. I flew from Baotou in Inner Mongolia to Beijing and stayed one night in the Beijing Aulympic Airportel. The Hotel is located very close to the airport. The fees were very very very low and that suited me fine. I did not expect however, that the hotel would be as nice as it was. Next day I flew to Hong Kong where I connected with a Qantas flight travelling to Brisbane Australia.
Today, I am using a recent letter from Jerry, to tell a story – a sad story. It is a story rooted in Ancient and Modern Chinese Culture. It is a story of an impossible love. It is a story I have heard so many times before, of families who refuse to allow their children to love whom they will. It is a story about how in the 21st century, Chinese children must still obey their parents and marry the one of whom the parents approve.
The day I was due to Leave, Zhan Yan turned up at my house saying that his summer camp had been cancelled and none of his family were in town. So guess who came with me? There is no commentary apart from the fact that it costs 50 RMB for the entrance ticket
(Note: Chiara Braccagni's articles are in both English and Italian)
Una ridente domenica mattina di fine marzo, un'allegra comitiva di 4 giapponesi e due italiane si è inerpicata su un minibus alla volta di un villaggio a una novantina di chilometri dal centro di Pechino, Cuandixia. Cuandixia è situato nel fondo di una vallata abitato da uno sparuto numero di famiglie (circa una settantina) che hanno deciso di aprire le loro case ai turisti. I punti di ristoro sono le loro cucine; il museo delle tradizioni popolari, il soggiorno di casa.
In this file I merely present photographs accompanied by a sign at Du Fu Thatched Cottage park, and a sample of Du Fu's poems. I hope you enjoy this presentation. At the end are some links to other articles and photographic files at Magic City and KingsCalendar. The Relic Exhibition Hall is the most important Part of Du Fu Thatched Cottage. It is located on the site of Du Fu's former Residence. In the late winter of 759, Du Fu went to Chengdu to avoid the disasters caused by An Lushan Shi Rebellion. In the next year, he built a thatched cottage on the bank of the beautiful Huanhua Brook, where he lived for four years and wrote more than 240 poems.
Marxists believe that the existing society must be destroyed in order to successfully establish the new order. They believe that society, like the Phoenix must die so that out of the ashes can rise the new Phoenix. I don't think that they realise that it is the same bird that rises, not one with a new design. Cultural Marxists pay no attention to the lessons of history, and it is we who will suffer because of it. We must begin to question what we have been taught. We must begin to see where our societies are headed. And most importantly, we must stop being bystanders who believe that there is nothing that they can do. (History, accelerated by science, is compressing itself, and our misfortunes, into ever tighter spirals. Can we cope? We can if we recognize the fact that man's astonishing technological progress presents just as many dangers to society as opportunities; and if we remember that utopia, or the Kingdom of Heaven, or whatever you choose to call such a state of grace, is not something that we confer on our society with science or social institutions, but forge within our souls by an act of devotion to some thing or principle greater than ourselves: Wm. B. Fankboner
The Ancient Roman and Greek Empires are now but ruins. The British Empire which began to bud with Elizabeth I Rex and came into full bloom in the reign of Queen Victoria, is now reduced to just a 'Commonwealth of Nations.' And the Empire of the United States of America? The U.S. is only 400 years old (depending on how you define 'U.S.') whilst England is 1000 years old. Americans would hardly define themselves (at least as far as world politics goes) as an 'Imperial State' or an empire, but if one did, then surely that too would be very young, perhaps no more than 100 years.
Could the land not just be given to the Arabs 'with the trees intact'? No! Ownership of 'legally' vacant land (not identified by ownership) is based on who actually 'works' the land. Remove the 'Jewish' trees and the Arabs can claim the land for themselves. Something they have already been doing with the assistance of Anti-Israel Foreign Activists who pretend that they are not Anti-Semites.
Yesterday, Wednesday November 14th, 2012 at about 11am Beijing Time or about dawn in Israel, I published an article at Kingscalendar asking why Israel does not fight back. This morning (7 am Beijing Time) I read that Israel had commenced operations against Gaza. Tonight (6.15pm Beijing Time) as I sit in China reading world news I am disgusted by what I see.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]