Barangay Malico and its war-studded past

June 8, 2017

Barangay Malico is situated in Sta. Fe in Nueva Vizcaya and provides the province's boundary with Pangasinan via the Salacsac Pass. This border has a small patch of pine forest (the real pine trees, not the Casuarina that tourists often mistakenly identify as pine when they see such trees on Zambales' lowlands; true pine trees here are from high altitudes), which during the closing episodes of World War 2 served as stage for a ferocious battle between Filipino and American forces versus the Japanese army. 

 

For some reason, I have developed an inclination to take photos of tricycles from various places I visit.

 

 At any rate, this is the road being paved that goes straight to Pangasinan.

 

 Then the pine trees started to appear. The elevation here I believe is in the neighborhood of 1200 m above sea level.

 Curculionid beetle.

 Another curculionid, dangling on a fern frond.

 

 Another curculionid with sulcate outer wings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The girlfriend takes a stroll among the pine trees while the boyfriend looks for bugs. 

 An artifact from the past: a WW2 M4 Sherman tank left behind by American forces. Unfortunately, some have stripped it of most of its metal parts to be sold in junk shops and many have etched their accursed names on the chassis as if that would grant them fame.

 The tank itself. It was moved to its present location by a back hoe operator who had the critical thinking skills of a mosquito: he was said to have done so in the hope that the Japanese left some treasures beneath an ENEMY tank. The stupidity of some people can be downright hilarious.

 

 Calanthe furcata (Family Orchidaceae), spotted in a secluded corner within the pine forest.

 Arisaema (Family Araceae), possibly the widespread A. polyphyllum.

 That is so architectural...

 A coy millipede.

 Menzie basks in the sun.

 A species of longhorn beetle (Family Cerambycidae). The patterning and color contrast is just lovely.

 How unfortunate that this tank is not given the recognition and protection it deserves. One last look, at least for the moment.

 And then we walked our way back to Brgy. Malico, with the Caraballo Mountains around us.

A Medinilla (Family Melastomataceae) species dangles its brightly colored fruits.

 A dead saturniid moth on the roadside, with those fantastic eye spots on the wings.

 A resting spot on the junction road going to the barangay proper.

 Barangay Malico and its cloud-kissed mountains. Baguio probably looked like this many decades ago. Fortunately, big enterprises cannot take hold here- the people would not allow it.

 A monument erected for the memory of WW2 soldiers who fell in battle in February-June, 1945. The local government initiated the setting of fenced seats around the structure. The marker memorialized the toll: 4600 Japanese soldiers and 3200 American soldiers with civilian Filipino forces.

 The ghostly Epipogium roseum, an orchid parasitic on fungi- the geeky term is 'mycoheterotrophic'.

 Moss with sporophytes.

 To get to Imugan as we planned, we hired a tricycle- I just had to take a photo of that trike with a door on its side car. Tony Gerard grins beside it.

 A magnificent blue Strongylodon was found festooned on a tree. Blue is a very rare color in flowers.

 Those mountains in Malico looked tempting to hike. One of these days I will be here again (but most likely with my girlfriend and Menzie in tow) and spend a little more time on the monument that stands as a testament to immeasurable bravery.

 

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