It was the late 1960's. The Philippines was pressing its claim over Sabbah. To aid the Philippines' claim, President Marcos, together with some military officials cooked up a brazen plan: recruit Muslim youth to train for covert operations to destabilize Sabbah. Thus, Project Merdeka came to life.
The terrains of Corregidor served as the group's training grounds. In their boyish playfulness,and as part of team spirit, they would write their names, nicknames, hometowns and messages on the walls of their quarters in tar, not knowing that these playful deeds would serve as the silent testaments to their gruesome fates.
Later, it was said that discontent rose among the ranks as they were fed poorly and were not paid the promised allowance. They also discovered the real reason for their recruitment and they were loath the kill their Muslim brothers. Another account was that the British intelligence found out about the project, causing Malaysia to rise up in furor. Of course, Marcos had to disavow the existence of the Project and all traces of it must be wiped away. Either brought about by discontent or its premature discovery, the fact remains that the gruesome massacre occurred. By some miracle, a sole survivor managed to live to tell the story of the brutal evil done to these doomed men. This is yet another sad, sad part of our history, (largely kept secret and unknown to most) but one we should never forget and allow to be repeated.
if you availed of the sun spotting package, the Japanese Tunnel visit is included. After the sun rises,the guide will lead you to the tunnel. be wary, steps inside the tunnel are quite steep and slippery. better have those rubber shoes ready.
Located on a large patch of open-space on the middle-side of Corregidor Island are the remains of the Officer's Mess and Non-commissioned officers (NCOs i.e. sergeants, corporals) Mess for the soldiers to relax, have recreational activities, drink etc during time off from their duties of defending this island fortress.
When you are travelling on the tramvia at the Middle-side of Corregidor Island, you will come across the Ordnance Repair Shop used by the american troops stationed on this island during World War 2. However, the tramvia will not stop at this location so you need to take the photos on the move.
When you are at the Spanish Lighthouse area, there is an interesting signboard which points to the directions and distances of some major cities in the world. Such signboards can also be found at some other attractions all over the world. This is an interesting place to have your photos taken :)
Overall, Corregidor Island is a rocky island with most of it's coastline being made of rock formations. The island is also called "the rock" and this can be clearly seen on the ferry ride to the island as well as when you move along the coastal roads.
While on the Corregidor Island tour on the tramvia, our guide told us of the Spanish Jetty located along the north coast of the island at the Middleside of the island. Managed to take a photograph while moving along on the tramvia.
Caballo Island is a small island located south of Corregidor Island. This island can be seen if you are travelling along the south area of Corregidor Island, especially the area near to the Filipino Heroes Memorial.
This is not part of the usual day tour. Our guide, Kuya Armando got excited 'coz of the age and small size of the group so he decided to throw in bonus sights such as this. He showed us this tunnel where the japanese holed out during the end of the war. High-powered explosives were dropped off, its high temperatures, interestingly causing the walls to glaze and appear glass-like. Very unique cave experience!
After the daytour package, you are certainly on your own at the island. Just don't try to explore by yourself because there are lots of things that could happen to you since it's very remote and has lots of unexplainable things could happen. so beware...i suggest that if you want to go out, you have to ask the information desk to help you get a van and take you where you would like to go. it's the safest way to drive around with tourguide because their drivers also act as tourguide. They are very helpful. All you have to do is ask them where you would want to go.
"Which way now, ma?"
This directional sign pointing to 8 destinations around the world stands at the foreground of the old Spanish Lighthouse. Great to have an orientation (which way and how far) of well-known cities around the world. My growing-up kids noddingly appreciated the infos.
Very visible and looks very near to Corregidor, Mt. Mariveles at the southern tip of Bataan Peninsula is the last stronghold of the Fil-American forces in the mainland before the Fall of Bataan. The proximity of Bataan to Corregidor Island gives the feeling of how those stationed in Corregidor felt helpless as their comrades in Bataan are captured and herded to Camp O'Donnell of the infamous Death March. The fall of Corregidor followed later expectedly.
The 12-inch thick concrete top of the bomb shelter at Battery Grubbs is littered with holes. The holes are obviously made by bombs dropped from the air such that outward shrapnel scars on the surface formed like rays emanating from the 8-inch holes. Seeing these holes can make one feel the "run-and-cover-for-your-life" action then when the bombs were being dropped by planes.
Mg Jose, our night tour driver-cum-guide made a stop by the commissary and hospital ruins just minutes before the sunset viewing at Battery Grubbs. This location is included in the night tour package only, coincidentally or in purpose. It was quite getting dark with tall trees covering the area; and it felt a little creepy. We still tried to get some snapshots of us in the place and it was a quick one.
When we finally left the place, the group was in a joking mood telling each other to scrutinize the pictures later for some unexpected figures to show up.
For PHP50.00, you can participate in the evening activities of Corregidor hotel. Ours included a visit to the hospital and commissary ruins (not included in the day tour), sunset viewing at Battery Grubbs (also not included in the day tour), a visit to the hospital lateral of the Malinta Tunnel.
The Malinta Tunnel night hospital lateral visit was very exciting. We visited the 1000-bed hospital inside the Malinta Tunnel, saw General MacArthur's escape route, and went through the tunnel parrallel to the main tunnel.
Bring someone a little anxious about darkness and ghosts. Doing so would bring a little excitement to the night visit!