Hinunangan Spirit Beach Park

August 24, 2008

Dear friends, relatives and fellow citizens of the world,

There are places on earth whose inherent beauty imparts on your soul a quiet and deep connection to Mother Nature and to the Divine. You have been to a place or two like this before, when you felt that somehow you were favored with something special, when you wished that others could get a chance to have the same experience, when you longed that you could have shared it with someone you love. There is such a place in my hometown of Hinunangan, Southern Leyte, in the Philippines, a beach on Hinunangan Bay facing the Pacific Ocean where the Battle of Leyte Gulf was fought during the Second World War.

It is a magical place. When you set foot on its brown sand in the early morning mist, the world seems very far away and your life comes into clear focus, the everyday cares and frills melting away with the dew. Your spirit is pure and you hold in your heart only what matters most. It is a beautiful place. Its gentle C-shaped curve carves a golden brown lining on the verdant green of coconut fronds. At the bottom of the C rises a mountain, a short peninsula jutting into the blue sea, still a jungle, lush with untouched vegetation, inhabited by monkeys including Tarsiers, its belly riddled with caves, still unexplored except for a few limited excursions by local officials.

It is a richly endowed place. Across the bay, only a few minutes away, are two barrier islands, surrounded by a healthy and colorful coral reef, teeming with marine life, offering bountiful catch to the fishing boats, big and small alike, their coves and beaches luring swimmers and picnickers to tarry into the night.

It is a place to be loved, relished and cherished, in this lifetime and the next, and for generations to come.

It is for this sentiment that the Hinunangan Spirit Beach Park & Scholarship Foundation, a National Heritage Foundation, was born.
It is dedicated to the spirit of the people of Hinunangan and its mission is to preserve the beach as a public park, to revive and preserve the cultural heritage of the people and to nurture the minds of the young Hinunangnons. The gist of its vision is in the Hinunangan Dreaming text.

The scholarship work of the Foundation got its start in 2007. The student attends a nursing program at Central Philippines Adventist College in the Philippines. She finished No. 1 in her freshman class last year for which she was awarded an academic scholarship) and is doing an excellent job in the first semester of her second year. Another student is entering college in June of 2009. The beach park and cultural preservation work of the Foundation is next to take wings. I am appealing to your kindness and generosity to make this mission a vehicle (maybe even just a small one of your many), for the fulfillment of your deepest desire to leave a legacy in this world. I am also counting on you to share this with others who might be of like persuasion. Your philanthropy will be remembered forever in a place in the park where you and friends and relatives and future generations might visit and connect.

Sharing is easy. Go directly to:

Or, if you received this by e-mail, fill out the attached form and e-mail it back to me.

Your gift is very much appreciated and my heartfelt gratitude is yours forever.

Lena Capapas, M.D.

Hinunangan Dreaming

Dear Fellow Hinunangan lovers and Friends of Hinunangan,
My deeply Hinunangnon soul greets you with a smile and happy wishes today! I am happy because the realization of a lifelong dream which many of us share (though may be new to some of you), is beginning to take shape. The dream is that of a pristine Hinunangan beach preserved forever for the enjoyment of the townspeople, unspoiled by chaotic development and commercialization.Let us revisit that dream and share the view. Have a seat, be comfortable, then close your eyes and picture this in your mind:

You are strolling on a pedestrian boulevard that parallels the coastal barangay road. The Pacific Ocean is on your right, a mysterious, dark midnight blue broken by shimmers of gold from the setting sun. The swell of the incoming surf stretches long and lazy along the bay, getting bigger and higher as it approaches the shore. Then it reaches a crest and pulls back, now a curling wall of water that breaks with a booming crash into splattering white foam that rushes on to caress the glimmering sand.  MORE

About Hinunangan, Southern Leyte

Hinunangan is a municipality of roughly 28,000 people on Hinunangan Bay on the Pacific side of Southeast Southern Leyte, Philippines.  
Wikipedia Entry for Hinunangan

Hinunangan Spirit Beach Park and Scholarship Foundation is a member of the National Heritage Foundation family of donor-advised funds.