San Jose: Aroma Beach and Landing Marker
It’s late afternoon when we reached San Jose. Because we missed the last boat to Ambulong Island, we just walked along the beaches of Aroma. The beach is one of the favorite visiting sites here because it is free and accessible. It has grayish sands and its texture is just fine for comfortable walking. The whole stretch of the beach was built with various establishments, most of them are restaurants and bars.
Along the boulevard, there is a Landing Marker, a monument commemorating the second landing of the American liberation forces during the Second World War (the first one is in Leyte). There are several inscriptions and cement relief that retells the historic Battle of Mindoro.
During the mornings the beach is filled with life by the residents jogging, family bonding and fishermen returning with their catch from their overnight fishing.
At afternoon, the beach is filled with people swimming, hanging out or just staying to watch the sunset. Among the favorite spots is the remains of a pier and it is a popular place for hanging out.
For students, the beach is their usual hangout to unwind bond with friends after tiring classes. While for couples, it is a perfect place to do HHWW (holding hands while walking). The beautiful sunset and the fragrance of the beach are perfect to those who want a romantic getaway.
As the sun starts to set, we hurriedly find a good spot. Because there are no islands blocking the view, we can see the sun kissing the sea as it slowly fades from view.
- From the town center of San Jose take the tricycle and alight at the Aroma Beach.
- The San Jose Airport is just few meters from the Aroma Beach.
DASH OF HISTORY
After the successful liberation of Leyte, the American forces led by General Douglas MacArthur is looking for a more strategic airbase close enough to mainland Luzon. The island of Mindoro was seen as the best strategic point and was therefore chosen. Although the northern shores are more suitable for landings, the Allies nonetheless chose the town of San Jose as the landing point as landings in the former are too risky from Japanese air forces.
The Mindoro campaign was a daunting task. Though the US made preemptive attacks, kamikaze forces still managed to attack the landing forces but with minimal casualties. On 15 December, the US launched a full scale invasion of Mindoro. Within 48 hours, the island was secure. The island proved to be an effective strategic base by the liberation forces in their other missions in the remaining days of the war, including providing air covers in Luzon invasion as well as enforcing blockades on Japanese navy over South China sea.
- Aside from Caminawit Port, Aroma Beach is another jump-off point for island hopping. At one end of the beach near the cemetery, there are rows of boats that offer island hopping and you can talk to them