The author (center) with Hirohide Yano & his son

It was a typical cold January  morning  when I observed two Japanese  gentlemen  quietly sitting in the  dining  area  of my Duyan House bed and breakfast at the Sinagtala Farm Resort in Orani, Bataan. One was a bespectacled distinguished looking elderly man and the other a young man that I immediately surmised to be the son.
As is my habit, I approached their table and asked where they were from and what brought them to the mountains of Orani, Bataan.
The elderly gentlemen(Hirohide Yano) I leanrt is presently  the president of a regional bank in Japan which coincidentally is a correspondent bank of Philippine National Bank. His bank is used by the Filipinos in his community to send remittances to the Philippines. 
After the usual exchange of names and handshakes, I learned that Hirohide  and his son were in the mountains of Orani to visit the site where the father of Hirohide, who was a lieutenant  in the Japanese arm…
Sinagtala - The Birth of A Shining Star The mountain barangay of Tala is blessed with fertile soil and with a topography and climate not too dissimilar to that of Tagaytay as both share the same altitude of 500 meters above sea level.
For the coffee planting Batangueṅos from Mataas na Kahoy in Lipa, Batangas, itmade sense to migrateto Tala after the Second World War to plant Robusta coffee on the slopes of Mount Natib. At that time Mount Natib was denuded, devoid of timber felled by kaingeros to feed the lumber yards of Bataan which was supporting the rehabilitation of Manila from the ravages of war. It was unfortunate that the nearest source of lumber for Manila was Bataan and Zambales across Manila Bay. The fast disappearance of forest cover was attributed to carabao logging as carabaos could penetrate deep in the forest vis-à-vis heavy logging trucks which could not. As a historical note, carabao logging where carabaos (instead of 6x6 trucks) pulled illegally cut timber from the moun…
Duyan House - The Cradle of Sinagtala To operate a bed and breakfast is not difficult for Federico and Frances Pascual, owners of Duyan House. Since starting travelling in their youth way back in the late sixties and up to the present, the couple would stay in a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) accommodations wherever they could, which was popular in the United States or in Europe at that time.
During the mid-seventies when the Philippines hosted the Miss Universe Pageant and the International Monetary Fund Meeting, the government encouraged the establishment of B&B’s in Manila to cater to foreign guests who could not be housed in the then few operating and reputable hotels in Manila.
The couple who then lived in a 6-bedroom house plus a guest house in the center of Malate, Manila (then a top tourist spot, and only one block away from Manila Bay) answered the call of Government, and, together with a group of B&B proprietors in Manila, formed the first association of B&B operators …