life of a cuddlebit

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A sunny day in Corregidor (Corregidor trip part 2)

Last Sunday May 19, 2013 I went to Corregidor again. I was so excited to be back on a sunny day. This time around I dressed for the task! ( I wore a cotton tee and cargo pants, comfy sandals and a cap.) And to add to the excitement, this time we are going to explore the island by foot. Yes, walking. We (Kei, Me and Matti) have availed the Old Manila Walks test tour for Corregidor with the cheery Ivan Man Dy as our tour guide! (If you frequent the Binondo/Chinatown area of Manila you are sure to have seen him, because he also does a Chinatown foodie tour.)

This time, the cruise to Corregidor is a smooth one, no more fog! I can see the sea/sky clearly through the windows! Mad happy and ready to go on a long walk!

looking at the window

looking at the window

Then we arrived. This time we docked at a different dock.

Welcome signage

welcome signage

And like the last time, we rode the tram. This time we will pick off from where we left last time. The lighthouse.

I was so happy to finally take photos of the place with better lighting!

Faro De Isla Corregidor

Faro De Isla Corregidor

We then proceeded with the walk. We walked to the Flagpole taken from the Spanish warship (top left), Senior Officer’s Family homes-Trivia: these houses have genuine chimneys! Hello chimneys in the tropics! (bottom left), Bachelor Officer’s Quarters (top right) and their parade grounds with a helipad at the back! (bottom right)

We walked to these places

We walked to these places

We also sat by the steps of Fort Mills Post headquarters and Chapel. Where Ivan (our Guide) told us the story of these places.

History 101

History 101, with laughs!

After that we walked to Cine Corregidor. It is now reinforced (blue steel bars) to preserve it from collapsing. We took photos at its ticket booth and strolled around the area.

The ruins of Cine Corregidor

The ruins of Cine Corregidor

We then headed over to the Mile Long Barracks.

Mile Long Barracks

Mile Long Barracks

On our last trip, we only looked at the barracks from the outside (front view) this time we went inside and walked through it to the back! Look at the photo above closely you can see the front view of the barracks (top left), the back (top right) and the enlisted men must have quite a good life here they have an indoor pool (bottom left) and they also have the luxury of a tub (bottom right).

Walked some more and our guide found something not common in the Philippines. And excitedly told us what it is.

eucalyptus tree

eucalyptus tree

Its an Eucalyptus tree! Usually found in Australia, food of the koala bears! If you rub the leaf in your hand you can smell its scent. I took one of the leaves home as a souvenir.

Walking along, we are now back to Battery way. (This time we can take photos with the big guns without having to worry about getting wet! So, we really took quite a lot of photos.)

Hello again! Battery Way

Hello again! Battery Way

Here are some of the stuff I didn’t get to take photos of before.

The bomb crater in the middle of the gun emplacements in Battery Way.

The bomb crater in the middle of the gun emplacements in Battery Way.

There are inscriptions on the mouth of the barrel!

there are inscriptions on the mouth of the barrel!

More ammo storage rooms. (left), A run down guardhouse? or is it a toilet? (right)

more ammo storage rooms. (left), A run down guardhouse? or is it a toilet? (right)

Last time  we were here, I mentioned that we took shelter from the rain in the ammunition storage area of Battery Way, I wanted to go inside the shell room, but was too chicken to do it. this time I did went inside this room. (the camera picked up a lone orb look bottom left) It was really cold inside despite the sweltering heat outside. Although its comfortable to stay in there, I cant shake off the eerie coldness of the place.  I went out after 3mins.

inside Shell Room 2

inside Shell Room No.2

Then next came the Fort Mills Hospital. Not to be confused with the Fort Mills Lateral Hospital, This Hospital is made to cater to the wounded and sick in the battle, but was one of the “newer” infrastructure in the island, but unfortunately, before it was even completed (they were using the structure even if it was still undone), it was bombed. (despite the red cross painted on it) Then after that they had to transfer the patients to what is now known as the Fort Mills Lateral Hospital or the 1,000 bed hospital inside the Malinta Tunnel.

Fort Mills Hospital

Fort Mills Hospital

We had the chance to go inside and upstairs of this hospital, it smells different inside. I cant really place what kind of smell it is but, I assure you it doesn’t smell like the regular hospital smell (alcohol/antiseptic smell).

Inside Fort mills Hospital

Inside Fort mills Hospital

But there is another incident that happened here. The Jabidah Massacre. And to prove there is such an incident, there are wall graffiti inside placed by those secret Muslim soldiers that was killed. Here are some of the graffiti.

graffiti inside the hospital

graffiti inside the hospital

After that goosebumps inducing story, we then walked to the site of Corregidor’s exchange store and the so called Golden staircase. (not really gold, and nothing special, it was just called golden because it has 70 steps.)

Their old PX (Philippine-American Exchange) store, taken from the steps of the Golden Staircase.

Their old PX (Philippine-American Exchange) store, taken from the steps of the Golden Staircase.

The steps of the Golden Staircase.

golden staircase

golden staircase

Worked up a sweat climbing those steps! we are then back again to the Middle side/Mile long Barracks, and went inside the Pacific War Memorial. This time, I can show you this.

The altar

The altar

The circular marble altar, which is lit by the sun.  (during the week of May 6, the anniversary of the fall of Corregidor, the sunlight directly hits the altar)

And because I need to get a nicer photo of the Eternal Flame of Freedom monument, I took this. Better than before. Finally.

Eternal Flame of Freedom Monument

Eternal Flame of Freedom Monument

Walking to the edge of the Mounument you can see the tail end of Corregidor.

View of the Tail end

View of the Tail end

And I am also happy to see that Corregidor uses solar panels for energy! Woot!

solar

We are now off to eat lunch and prepare for the next part of our walk.

end of second post

end of second post

So, this is it for now. I will be posting my experience with the Malinta Tunnel Lateral Walk next.

If you would like to see my 1st Trip to Corregidor  the post is here.

 

*This Tour is graciously provided by Ivan Man Dy, and Old Manila Walks. They really made the walk educational, relevant and fun! Enjoyed this trip better than the first!

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with Corregidor, Corregidor Hotel and Sun Cruises. We paid for the Cruise and food from our own pocket(s). This is not a sponsored post. 


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A stormy day in Corregidor (Corregidor trip part 1)

I am going on a trip to Corregidor this Sunday, May 19, 2013! Its going to be a walking tour (see poster below) this time. I am really looking forward to this one since my first encounter with this island is a bad one, I hope this time it will prove to be  a pleasant experience. Let me tell you about my first encounter with the island.

Corregidor Tour Poster

Corregidor Tour Poster-This will be my Corregidor part 2 post!

FIRST ENCOUNTER: Corregidor Island

I first stepped on the island of Corregidor on June 20, 2011. I remember that date exactly, because it was a holiday (Jose Rizal‘s 150th birth anniversary) and it turned out to be a very stormy day. Morning around 5:30 it was raining.  Initially I wanted to back down and stay at home, but we (kei and I) already paid for the cruise, food and the usual touristy trip.  All the way to the port it was drizzling, but I was hopeful that it would be a sunny day because the PAGASA forecast said so. I picked out a maxi dress (which I later on regret) and a cardigan and tossed all my poise to the wind.  So, grudgingly I went.

Out on the waters, it was a hell of  a ride! I thought the ship would capsize. Choppy waters and huge waves all over, even the crew was worried.  Kei at this point, was hurling, he was seasick and pasty. Our cruise trip became a routine.  Sit down at the seats, look at the windows, talk to the crew, check on Kei, Kei complains of his headache, Kei excuses himself to go to the toilet, comes back pale and clammy. And this went on for two hours. Oh, fun.

Finally the boat docked. I was actually worrying if we can go back home. Then the guide calls out to us. The tour will continue. We hopped on the tram and off we went to a soggy tour.

*Sorry for the crappy photos, it was all that I can get, without the camera getting wet. 

Inside the tram, still at the port.

Inside the tram, still at the port.

Corregidor Island, is a plateau  island located at the entrance of Manila Bay, Philippines. Because of its location, Corregidor became the one of the harbor defense of Manila Bay. It contains artillery and ammunition magazines to defend Manila City from the attacks of enemy warships in the event of war.

Map of Corregidor

Map of Corregidor

Our Tram headed to Malinta Tunnel.

Entrance to Malinta Tunnel

Entrance to Malinta Tunnel

There were huge trees there that reminds me of Totoro‘s Forest.

Huge trees by the entrance to the tunnel.

Huge trees by the entrance to the tunnel.

One last look at our Tram before we go inside the tunnel.

Tram

Tram

The Malinta Tunnel got its name from the Tagalog word “Linta”-Meaning leeches. “Malinta”-Means Full of Leeches.  The Malinta Tunnel is actually inside the Malinta Hill, made into a complex tunnel that is used as a bunker, a bomb proof storage  and equipped with a hospital. It was dark inside the tunnel, had a hard time taking photos, they usually end up blurry (me and my shaky hands)… here are some of the clear shots I took inside.

Inside the Malinta Tunnel

Inside the Malinta Tunnel

The signage outside the tunnel.

Malinta Information Marker

Malinta Tunnel Signage

We then hurriedly rode the tram because it was starting to rain again. While the tram was moving away, I took this photo.

Malinta Tunnel

Malinta Tunnel

We took a quick look at Lorcha Dock. It is the Army Dock or General Mac Arthur’s Dock. This is where He rode a torpedo boat to Mindanao, then boarded a plane to Australia as ordered by then U.S. President Roosevelt. There stands a monument to the Commander of Land Forces Pacific during World War II and 5 star U.S. Army General; Douglas MacArthur. You will also see at the base of the statue Gen. Mac Arthur’s famous line “I shall return.” Never got to venture out as the rains are getting heavy.

Lorcha Dock

Lorcha Dock

Lunch stop. At Corregidor Hotel. By this time, I was grateful for the shelter as the rain continuously pours down.

corregidor hotel

Corregidor Hotel

The food was cold and awful. We even have to eat on the terrace area of the hotel as the dinning area is already full. I have to eat on a wet table with wet seats, with rainwater mixing in my food, plus the whipping, howling wind that kept blowing my hair to my face while I was trying to eat. This lunch almost made me cry. It was just awful.

After lunch we went to see the Middle side barracks. Even in ruins, I can see that this building used to be a thing of beauty.

Middleside Barracks

Middleside Barracks

the ruined barracks

more photos of the ruined barracks

By this time, the weather is still not improving. Our guide told us that our next stop will be the battery way. By this time I was really straining to hear the Guide’s voice, even with the microphone, I cant hear what he says, the winds and rain drowns out everything he says. Oh, dear.

a peek into the battery

a peek into the battery

Here are some of the photos I took.

Battery Way Signage

Battery Way Signage

Gun emplacements

Battery Way's artilleries

Battery Way’s artillery

battery way3

Then we huddled at Shell Room No. 2. It was beside the Artillery, that the guide told us to take a lot of photos here, because you can take pictures of the “spirits/war victims/dead soldiers”. You will see them in the form of orbs.

Shell Room No. 2 Ammunition Storage

Shell Room No. 2 Ammunition Storage + Orbs

Looking at it, the place was riddled with bullet holes, even the steel door was pierced and parts of the steel was warped. Really shows that it took a beating. As I prepared myself to run back to the tram, I saw this.

a part of Corregidor's railway system

a part of Corregidor’s railway system

Their Railway service system to make the transport of ammunition faster. Well thought of and efficient!

Meanwhile, I have to run back to the tram. The rain was crazy. Even with my umbrella, I am pretty much soaked.

Will have to run from Shell Room to Tram.

Will have to run from Shell Room to Tram.

We then went to seeing Battery Hearn.

Battery Hearn

Battery Hearn

After that was the Pacific War Memorial. By the time we got here the weather is improving. The heavy rain is now a drizzle and there is a chance of sun.

pacific war memorial

pacific war memorial

The Pacific War Memorial was made in commemoration of the Filipino and American servicemen who fought at the Pacific War during World War 2. The main structure is a rotunda with an open circular skylight in its dome that lets sunlight in during the day. Directly underneath the skylight is a circular marble altar, which is directly lit by the sun during the week of May 6, the anniversary of the fall of Corregidor.

Inside the Pacific War Memorial

Inside the Pacific War Memorial

There is a walkway from the dome to the Eternal Flame of freedom Monument. Here is what the walkway looks like. (taken from the steps on the Eternal Flame of Freedom Monument)

Pacific War Memorial Walkway

Pacific War Memorial Walkway

It is a beautiful display of symmetry, simplicity and function. Timeless.

Here is the Eternal Flame of Freedom Monument. I was surprised to see a lot of people there!

Eternal Flame of Freedom

Eternal Flame of Freedom

Walked back to where the Tram was parked and stopped for a moment here, To look at it closely.

Brothers in Arms

Brothers in Arms

This is Brothers in Arms a bronze sculpture that stands on a small stone mound in the of the park. It depicts a Filipino soldier being supported by an American soldier. The Filipino soldier is badly wounded, with a bandage around his head and with his arm bandaged and in a sling. He is leaning on the taller American soldier. The monumental sculpture was created to capture the sense of comradeship that grew between the Filipinos and the Americans who were fighting side by side in the war.

To the side was the ruins of Cine Corregidor.  American personnel of the garrison along with their family enjoyed watching movies at Cine Corregidor before World War II broke out. The last movie seen there is Gone with the wind.  Today, portions of its concrete walls, stairways leading up to the upper balcony and concrete floor, which used to be the stage, are the remains of the movie house.

Cine Corregidor

Cine Corregidor

Then back to the tram and off we go to see a lighthouse in the middle of a  courtyard.

Faro De Isla Corregidor

Faro De Isla Corregidor

Faro De Isla Corregidor. This lighthouse is the only remaining functional structure on the entire island of Corregidor, the other buildings in the area now being maintained as memorials or tourist facilities. It is open to tourists as a viewing tower as well as a structure of architectural and historic interest. Climbing up the Lighthouse will let you see a panoramic view of the island. This Lighthouse was built during the Spanish colonial period. During the second world war it was heavily damaged (along with most of the island’s infrastructure). In honor of the sacrifice and heroic deeds of those who fought and died in the island, the lighthouse was rebuilt and  dedicated with the construction of a taller tower designed with the crucifix set at the four cardinal points.

Climbed up the lighthouse but there is nothing much to see since the sky is overcast and it was foggy. I just looked for the tram. The roof you see there, is the souvenir shop.

Climbed up the lighthouse but there is nothing much to see since the sky is overcast and it was foggy. I just looked for the tram. The roof you see there, is the souvenir shop.

In the courtyard there is also this.

Direction points

Direction points

After a day of battle with the weather, our direction points home.

going home

going home

Due to the bad weather, I regret not being able to see the other places like the Japanese garden of peace and the other batteries..etc. I would love to see them maybe some other time.

This will go down on my record books as the most “fail weather” travel. But then again, while most people see Corregidor on a sunny/normal day, I get to experience Corregidor on a stormy day, and that makes it rare and memorable. I mean have you ever seen photos of Corregidor taken on a stormy day?  My point exactly. (Thanks to me you get to see them. hahahaha!)

As I board the cruise and review my day. It seems like I didn’t have that bad of a day after all.

Till the next time Corregidor.

My second trip to Corregidor here.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with Corregidor, Corregidor Hotel and Sun Cruises. This is not a sponsored post, we paid for this (from) our own pocket(s).