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Tropical Storm Ofel

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Tropical Storm


Hell And High Water


The Leyte Gulf

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Tropical Storm Ofel

Tropical Storm Ofel slams the waves against the sea wall below the MacArthur Landing Memorial in Palo, Tanauan, Leyte, Republic of the Philippines, Wednesday, October 24, 2012.  About the time this photograph was taken the weather bureau was reporting that the storm should be centered over the Leyte Gulf.  Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Leyte Landing

68th Anniversary

October 20, 1944, United States Army General Dougas MacArthur and the official party waded ashore in the Leyte Gulf to begin “The Liberation Of The Philippines.”  Two Ausralian warships and warships of the United States Navy’s 3rd Fleet and 7th Fleet sailed toward the Philippine Islands to engage the Imperial Japanese Navy in “The Largest Naval Battle Of World War II “ and “The Largest Naval Engagement Of Human History To The Present” in these waters from October 23 through October 26 in “The Battle Of Leyte Gulf.”  On the 68th Anniversary, the statues of the MacArthur Landing Memorial remain resolute as Tropical Storm Ofel unleashes nature’s bombardment on the Leyte Gulf.  Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Tropical Storm Ofel MacArthur Landing Palo Tanauan Leyte 007 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren JrToday, October 24, 2012 – I had been researching and working on an article for my blog since October 20 about “The Liberation Of The Philippines” and “The Battle Of Leyte Gulf.”


I needed some photos to go with my story. I could of used file photos that I had shot, but I wanted “fresh” photos. I decided last night, come “Hell Or High Water” I was going to get the photos. I never realized at the time what an “prophetic”description that phrase would be.

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At the MacArthur Landing in Palo, Tanauan on the island of Leyte, the weather unleashed “Hell,: with a muddy brown sky and murky brown water that erased the horizon and created a backdrop of a muddy brown sky and murky brown water that delivered a hail of intense hard driving pellets of rain.

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The “High Water” became the vicious ocean waves that were crashing over the lower sea wall beneath the MacArthur Landing Memorial.

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Hell And High Water” arrived in the Leyte Gulf and her name, “Tropical Storm Ofel.”


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In the morning, I had heard in passing about a tropical storm headed for Leyte. Typhoons in the Philippines are like Tornadoes in Missouri, you keep your eyes and ears open and stay aware of the developing weather conditions. If the weather goes bad, then, you cancel your plans for the day and do something else.

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This morning, when we left Barangay Baras, on the island of Leyte, the skies were gray and everything was wet. The wind didn’t seem to be blowing all that bad around 10:30 a.m.


Tacloban City was the first stop on the itinerary. Naturally, I ran a few errands before I decided to go do my “photo shoot” at the statues in Palo.


By around noon, I came out of the Gaisano store and headed to the Santo Nino Church to pick up some flowers.


When a ship goes down at sea or an aircraft is lost at sea, people place a wreath upon the waves as a memorial tribute.

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World War II, the Pacific Ocean claimed many lives during the The Battle Of Leyte Gulf. It seemed placing a wreath of flowers on the water would be an appropriate way to salute the Allies soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who perished in that battle.


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Around 1 p.m., I stepped out of the vehicle into a hard rain. In a few minutes, every stitch of clothes I had on was saturated with water. The wind was strong. I walked toward the statues and wondered, “Maybe, I should come back tomorrow.”

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I raised my camera and began shooting photos. Ramon and Ranyiel sat in the van and watched my every step into the weather.


It felt like something other than rain pelleted me. It fell like hail. It made it hard to keep your head up and look into the sky.

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I had left the flowers in the vehicle to concentrate shooting the photos I had on mind. The cliché “Man Against The Elements” was a reality. I was drenched to my skin. The rain fell hard.


I used the wet shirt tail of my polo shirt to wipe off the water spots on the lens. Since I always keep a UV Filter on the lens of the camera any scratches end up on a $14 filter and not the more expensive lens.


The wind off the ocean kept pushing me farther inland. Still, I managed to move around enough to take the photos I had in mind. The wind, like an insistent mother, kept trying to move me. I finally clasped a hand to the chrome railing down a few steps to work my way down the side steps, since the wind was really trying to move things.


I looked up and watched it fall. Clang! One of the tall flagpoles beside the main flagpole fell straight down and the metallic clang echoed. I walked quicker, but more cautious to the vehicle.


I spent a few minutes, wiping off the camera lens. I was soaked through to the skin. I could not have gotten any wetter than if I had stepped into the ocean in my clothes. The height and violent nature of the waves made it obvious no one would be getting out into the Pacific Ocean today.


The Battle Of Leyte Gulf from Oct. 23 through October 26, 1944 had devastated “The Enemy”, 10,000 men, 27 ships, and the majority of their aircraft.

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I had not been able to get a wreath of flowers, so I looked at the small bouquet. The bouquet of flowers were all I could offer to recognize the sacrifices of the Allies, who lost six ships and 2,800 men.


With my camera and the flowers I made my way back to the statues. The crashing waves of water against the lower sea wall made it evident, no one would get anywhere near the beach or Leyte Gulf today.


I stepped back and turned to go. I noticed the platform in front of the statues. I placed the flowers on the platform.

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In honor of the men of the USS Gambler Bay and the other Allies ships and aircraft that disappeared beneath the waves, I left the flowers on the platform in front of the statues.

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Nikon D 100 Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Once, I returned home,I logged on to the Internet to read the latest tropical storm update:



Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration



Hourly update on OFEL
At 1:00 p.m. today, 24 October 2012, Tropical Storm "OFEL" was estimated based on satellite and surface data over Leyte Gulf (10.5°N, 125.5°E).



The weather bulletin confirmed that Ramon, Ranyiel and I had been on the “front lines” of Tropical Storm Ofel unleashing her wrath on the Leyte Gulf



Weather Link



Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration



Samuel E. Warren Jr.’s

Editor’s Note


October 24, 2012 — We returned to Barangay Baras and learned the power had went out about 10 minutes before we got home due to the storm. No problem My Dell laptop had a three-hour charge on the computer battery. I put the Compact Flash card in the card reader and while the pictures downloaded to to the laptop’s hard drive, I began writing the story.


I wrote as fast as I could and double checked some of the facts on the Battle of the Leyte Gulf. Alas before I could finish the story, the laptop flashed the warning of low power and went out a few minutes later.


October 28 2012 – The power briefly come back on around 4:30 p.m., and only lasted about 20 minutes in Barangay Baras. A transformer blew in Barangay Cameri and wiped out the power in a total of six barangays


October 29. 2012 – The power in Barangay Baras came back about 7:45 p.m.


October 30. 2012 – The copy and photos finally finished for this article I finally get to publish it – on “My Birthday.”


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

October Creature Feature–Halloween Horror

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October Creature Feature

 Peter Benchley’s



by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

They are some movies that defy description. After you watch the movie; you find yourself asking the question, “Did I like that movie ?”

Peter Benchley’s Creature is one of those movies that makes you stop, scratch your head and scrunch up your face and ask yourself, “Why am I still thinking about that creature feature ?”

Movies, TV shows, novels, books, and short stories always challenge the reader to accept or reject the idea based on whether or not the idea is “believable” in your mind.

Shark Man

This film should challenge your “believability” factor. Imagine, a shark man.

If the image of a shark man doesn’t come right away, think of traditional mythology and the creature called the “Centaur.” Pictures, drawings and artwork of centaurs are everywhere. A Zodiac symbol for Sagittarius is the “Centaur” and modern Western Astrology named some celestial body out in space, Chiron, “The Wounded Healer” and the descriptions get all misty-eyed about a centaur type creature, who can heal everyone in the Universe, except himself.

Centaur Symbolism ?

Now, if you can accept, in your mind, the ancient mythology picture of a “Centaur,” half-man and half-horse; why can’t you accept the idea of a shark man ? What freaked me out about the creature on film; is the shark man has the upper torso of a shark and the lower torso of a man. With this picture in your mind, let us look at this movie overall.

Washed up Water Warriors

The movie starts off believable. The military people in the movie, probably did not have a military technical advisor or a US military retiree anywhere near the set because the so-called military actors as a rule could use a hair cut. Their khaki US Navy uniforms look like they slept in them and their “fruit salad” on their chest – does look like a blob of dried fruit salad – rather than military ribbons.

Bottom line, do not look at these actors pretending to be military to get an idea how to wear a military uniform or place the name tags and ribbons.

I suspect someone on the crew may have had a hard time trying to figure out how to place a baseball cap on the actors’ head because the story calls for a military angle.

Unfortunately, the haircuts and uniforms are so out in left field that it would have been better to put green body paint and uniforms on the actors and refer to them as “Plastic Green Army Men.”

The military angle early in the film’s story gives you a somewhat realistic starting point.

Aloha Ah Ha !

The civilians on the tropical island in the middle of the ocean seem like civilians on a tropical island in the middle of the ocean.

Aries Craig T. Nelson plays Dr. Simon Chase. Leo Kim Cattrall plays Dr. Amanda Mayson. Nelson and Cattrall both come across as passionate, driven, scientists out to save the planet and the world’s oceans.

Of course, while the valiant scientists champion the cause to save the ocean, the unknown sea creature turns tourists and natives into shrimp cocktail appetizers. Once the body count rises, of course, everyone gets excited about a “shark” type creature out in the water.

The suspense builds. You are tempted to start digging through boxes and tossing out books on genetics, DNA, RNA, chromosomes, stem cells, nerve cells and dash for the nearest medical torso to look at the brain. Then, you see a flash of the “shark man.”

Whoa !

Dude !

You sit down on the sofa. If you have the movie on DVD, click the remote.

Shark Shock !

The shark man is a centaur in reverse. If you had been told a Centaur had the head of a horse and the body of a man; then, the “shark man” may not be as much of a “Shock.”

But, since the “shark man” has a shark head, partial torso, plus the arms and legs of a man; it took my eyes and mind awhile to work out this overall creature concept in my head.

Someone pick up the cell phone and call the Academy Awards judges. If the Academy did not give an “Oscar” to the creature feature people on this flick, then, the Academy need to get together and realize her is a “Unique Creature Feature Moment.”

The creature is not a hungry Mermaid.

The creature is not a harpy, mythological Siren.

The creature is not a Merman.

Whoa !

Dude !

The creature is a shark man.

The Academy’s “creature feature” people should take a look at the unique sea monster.

Applaud The Creature Creators !

Here is a totally unbelievable monster. Yet, when you look at it for a few moments, it becomes “believable.” If there is one chance in a billion that a scientist working on diseases, bacteria, viruses, or genetic abnormalities decides to try a key to make a genetic cohesion between a human gene and a shark ( – Pause, for a moment, to allow the cold shiver to shoot down your spine) the unimaginable might be born in an aquarium or a hospital.

Seriously, an Oscar needs to go to the “creature” creators in this film. They created a totally unbelievable monster that is completely believable if you consider a genetic glitch that manages to evolve against the medical odds.

Overall the film seems somewhat believable to the point, I saw the “shark man.”

Sicko Scientist’s Lame Logic “Humanizes” The Shark Man

The actor, who plays the stereotypical mad scientist does an excellent job in giving the creature a sense of humanity to the shark man. The irony, of course, is a shark is usually considered an efficient, professional, aquatic killing machine, whose sole mission in life seems to be feed and give birth to more sharks.

The mad scientist adds credibility to the shark by demonstrating that his years of research, passion and drive have really made the mad scientist a modern day Baron von Frankenstein and the creature is more human than the creator.

I could tell you the Hollywood ending for this film, but, I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.

Where Is That Remote ?

If you have this movie, in your personal movie library, then, dust off the VCR box or DVD case and put the movie in the player.

If you don’t have this move, then, find other reviews on line and if you are still interested, then, there are the Netflix and Blockbuster websites.

You might want to grab, your coat and car keys and head out to your local Safeway, Piggly Wiggly, A& P, Wal-Mart, Price-Cutter or other grocery store or a local video store to buy or rent the movie.

If you are like me, you might want to stroll past the Twizler, red licorice strips candy, Kit Kat bars, malted milk balls, candy corn and popcorn on your way to the checkout counter with the movies. Movies always make me appreciate “my sweet tooth.” Did you remember to pick up a box of Junior Mints ?

Five Star Family Creature Feature

I give this movie Five Stars because it is a great “Creature Feature.” It forces you to consider that something that seems so “unbelievable” under the right circumstances just might be “believable.” The actors and actresses in this film do an excellent job in adding to the overall story,

Alas, there are no jack o’ lanterns, scarecrows, zombies, vampires, mummies, knife wielding psychotic serial killers or other obvious October Halloween themes that you would expect for a creature feature to make your Halloween horror viewing list.

Voodoo, Hoodoo; Do You Do Halloween Horror Flicks ?

However, the island location and actions by the natives leads the viewer to think of Voodoo, Hoodoo or Santeria. And, a passing moment of an actress jostling small animal bones in her hands suggests their might be some kind of tropical “mojo” Halloween magick, which allows us to part the Veil Between The Worlds and invite you to take a front row seat in our Halloween Theater of the Macabre.

There is the Woe Is Me I Am A Rebellious Teenager” moments in the film, but, the creature’s conviction to “feed his need to feed” drowns the whole adolescent “I want to grow up to be somebody” storyline as everyone races the clock to try and find the thinking shark that is turning the island into a “Surf and Turf Platter.”



Photography Patrol – Pacific Paradise–FREE Photo for Wallpaper –Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Pacific Paradise


Pacific Paradise  –  FREE Photo for wallpaper– Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.  Sunday, April 8, 2012.  I’m strolling barefoot in the sand, along the beach,with my Canon EOS 40 D.  I’m happy to be on the beach out in the sunshine.  I remembered a couple of years before I retired I had a palm tree and ocean wallpaper on my desktop computer.  When the week had been demanding, it helped sometimes to pull up that wallpaper photo and look at it.  I know there must still be people, who need a visual breather sometimes, so I raised the camera and took the photo. If you are in one of those demanding jobs, then, maybe, this photo can be your island breeze in a hectic schedule.  This is a beach on the island of Leyte, in the Eastern Visayas, of the Republic of the Philippines. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


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