Sunday January 9, 2012
An Island in the entrance of Manila Bay and because of its strategic location, CORRIGIDOR ISLAND served as a focal point for the Naval defences of the Philippine capital City, Manila.
The Island is about 48 kms west of Manila, is shaped like a tadpole and has a land area of 9 sq. kms. Because of its rocky landscape and the fortifications of Fort Mills, Corregidor Island is also known as "The RocK". Its bulbous head, called the Topside, was the nerve center of the Island during WWII. Here were located the headquarters, barracks, Officers' quarters and the bulk of the Batteries.
The Bottomside (Lower part of the island) is where the Malinta Tunnel can be found. The Malinta Tunnel is now home to "Light and Sound" presentation. (see tip "Malinta Tunnel").
Hans and I, together with VT Members i_s_a and Planxty (Fergy) we did a Sun Cruises Tour of Corregidor Island.
Perhaps the most thought-provoking sights in Corregidor are the many RUINS there. The bombed out structures are a harsh reminder of how awful it must have been there during the war. One of the Ruins is of Mile-Long Barracks which was officers' quarters (housed as many as 2000 American officers) and quarters for Senior Officers. There is also Middleside Barracks Ruins and the Ruins of the Theater.
You can just picture these concrete building and how they were once bustling with activity. You can even see the stairs, most of which still remain.
Favorite thing: This wonderful museum houses relics and memorabilia dedicated to WWII. The PACIFIC WAR MEMORIAL MUSEUM is right next to the remains of the Theater. When you first walk in, there is a huge map of Corregidor Island. Inside you will find, weaponry, scaled versions of ships used in the War, Relics, coins and medals found on the island, and a huge Map taking up the whole wall.
To facilitate passage and to create a bombproof structure, the Americans drove a shaft from a rock quarry at Bottomside, directly through the Hill, creating the MALINTA TUNNEL. Construction of the Tunnel took about 10 years ( 1922 to 1932 ).
The Tunnel is 835 feet long, 24 feet wide and 18 feet high. Branching from it are 13 laterals on its north side and 11 laterals on its south side.
The main Tunnel is reinforced with concrete walls, a concrete floor and overhead arches.
General Mac Arthur set up headquarters inside the tunnel, where men and women would live and work during the siege of Corregidor.
Today, Malinta Tunnel offers visitors the "Light and Sound " Show, which we did (150 pesos) and which is a re-enactment of World War II's dramatic events. Each "Lateral" contained visual effects depicting various stages of the war, along with sound effects and recorded voices.
Favorite thing: A large steel structure THE ETERNAL FLAME OF FREEDOM is located at the rear of the "Philippine War Memorial" Dome, on a raised platform which also provides visitors a breath-taking panoramic view of Manila Bay and the Bataan Peninsula.
Twenty-three Batteries were set up on Corregidor and adjoining islands at the outbreak of WW II in 1941. These guns consisted of 56 coastal guns and 13 anti-aircraft artillery batteries with 76 guns.
There was one huge cannon that was so impressive. (pic #3)
To the left of the Philippine War Memorial are the ruins of CINE CORREGIDOR which was a movie theater. It was erected during the pre-war period to entertain personnel and their families. Nothing much is left of the building except portions of its concrete walls.
To me, this was one of the saddest reminders of the War. Once it was a happy place and now it's just a bombed-out shell of a building.
Taking the ferry is the safest way to go to Corregidor. If you prefer land travel, you will have to take a 3-hour bus ride from Manila to Bataan. And from there, you'll need hire a motorized banca to take take you to the island. I don't recommend this, specially on windy days, as the sea can become very choppy.
Fondest memory: We were doing a special event on Corregidor Island several years ago, and we had to stay there for almost five days. It's amazing what five days of fresh, clean air, exercise, and a stressless, scenic tropical island environment can do for one's body! Aside from being rich in history and beautiful vistas, Corregidor offers you a chance to recharge yourself.
I would like to write a trip report regarding Corregidor. I have visited Corregidor last Dec 28-29 we took the overnight package and didnt regret having the night activities it was fun since most of the guests took part in the night activities. Regarding the Zip line we have tried it as well the price for their Zip Line is 150 pesos only, normally its just a single ride but since we are the one who started it in the morning,we have taken it 2 times the other one is for free and most of the guests followed us to try the Zip line upon seeing us trying it, I would suggest trying the overnight package since the day tour is not enough. Even for overnight guests we still have a limited time taking picture its just during the sunset viewing and sunrise that you will have lot more time to take pictures and relax a bit. By the way lateral night tour on the Malinta tunnel is fun and a memorable one specially if you have a very jolly tour guide. The short hike going inside one of the Japanese tunnel is a must do as well early in the morning.
Fondest memory: The views are stunning, the hospitality of the crew are exceptional, overnight stay is not enough to explore the island thats why I am planning for a second trip.
my favorite part of being here is learning about the historical background of the island and how it played a part in the world war II.
Thanks to Carlos who was very entertaining, funny and very accomodating.
Fondest memory: Malinta tunnel with sounds and commentaries, and all the other bombed structures
For me, the massive artillery guns in the Battery Way, Battery Hearn and Battery Crocket are the most interesting sights in Corregidor Island. The mere sight and touch of these warfare guns bring me to a time warp-like experience.
Fondest memory: While on tour,I couldn't help but remember the valor of my dad as an artillery soldier. His ear drums were badly damaged because of the thunderous firing of cannons, he risked his life for our country while being separated from his family, and he helped nurse some fellow soldiers who got ill during the Death March. Because he had not finished a high level of education due to poverty then, the government acknowledged his bravery, intelligence and loyalty to the country, and so he was sent for advance courses in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, USA.
While some people who went to Corregidor experienced "ruin-fatigue" (due to the sight of ruins,ruins everywhere!), I experienced a certain "high", especially when I saw and touched the artillery guns, realizing what a great deed my dad and other soldiers did for our country
Favorite thing: take amazing photos, so many things to capture in corregidor. from ruins to its canyons, mountains to beach, flora and fauna, from sunrise to sunset. keep those cameras clicking and have extra memory cards and batteries for your camera.
Favorite thing: During your stay at Corregidor Island, you will be able to see a few jeepneys on the island. Other than the tramvia for your tour, very few other vehicles are allowed on Corregidor Island in order to protect the environment and war monuments.
Favorite thing: The top of the Spanish Lighthouse on the topside area of Corregidor Island is the highest point on the island. You can go up by the stairways and the views of the island and surrounding areas are fantastic. However, be careful as the wind can be very strong at the top :)
Favorite thing: When you are at the Sun Cruises ferry terminal near to the CCP complex waiting for your ferry to Corregidor Island in the morning, you will be able to see the beautiful skyline of Manila city, Roxas Boulevard and the water of Manila Bay. If the water is calm in the morning, the reflections are very nice especially for good photographs.