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.
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.
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.
Our Tram headed to Malinta Tunnel.
There were huge trees there that reminds me of Totoro‘s Forest.
One last look at our Tram before we go inside the tunnel.
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.
The signage outside the tunnel.
We then hurriedly rode the tram because it was starting to rain again. While the tram was moving away, I took this photo.
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.
Lunch stop. At Corregidor Hotel. By this time, I was grateful for the shelter as the rain continuously pours down.
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.
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.
Here are some of the photos I took.
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.
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.
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.
We then went to seeing 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.
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.
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)
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!
Walked back to where the Tram was parked and stopped for a moment here, To look at it closely.
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.
Then back to the tram and off we go to see a lighthouse in the middle of a courtyard.
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.
In the courtyard there is also this.
After a day of battle with the weather, our direction points 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).