Corregidor's South Beach is worth a dip. I never realized this until my last visit June 23, 2012. My first impression of Corregidor's beaches were shattered during my first visit wherein we were welcomed by tons of garbage floating at the north dock. This time around, it's a different story. The north dock was relatively clean (though still with a few visible trashes) so we checked out the beach on the other side -- the South Beach. The sandy beach is shallow and the water is clean and clear. It's more than acceptable to me! Check out the pics!
Scripted by National Artist and outstanding Filipino film director Lamberto Avellana, the thirty-minute Malinta Tunnel Light and Sound Show is recommended for first time visitors. The tunnel, 835 feet long and 24 feet wide, has numerous laterals serving different functions - office, arsenal, hospital, etc. It is said to be bomb-proof due to its location beneath the Malinta Hill. In this activity, visitors will experience some of the most dramatic events in the 'life' of Corregidor during World War II. Every lateral depicts different scenarios of the hardships experienced by the beleaguered defenders of the island. I had my imaginations beaming practically all the time. And I almost shed tears when I heard the passionate speech of then President Manuel Quezon over the radio, expressing his grief over America's apparent abandonment of the Philippines during the war.
The Light and Sound Show is actually an optional activity (additonal P150pp), good for frequent visitors who may want to skip the show for other things.
Sunday, January 9, 2012
VT Friend I_S_A offered to take us on a tour to the Island of Corregidor. We were thrilled with the idea, so we made plans to visit this historical island. VT Friend planxty - Fergy - also came along with us. Isa picked us up at our Hotel at 6:00 a.m. by taxi and we went to the Ferry Terminal. Fergy joined us with us there.
We signed up for the CONQUER CORREGIDOR TOUR. Sun Cruises provide 2 fast ferries to cater to the daily round trip transfer to and from Coregidor Island -- Baycruiser II is a 145-seater fast ferry: Suncruiser II, the one we went on, can accomodate as many as 285 passengers and has bathroom facilities and snack bar. Both are docked at the CCP Bay Terminal A, inside the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex.
Check In - 7:00 a.m. - Tickets purchased and ID tag with seat number handed out
Boarding: 7:30 a.m.
Departure: 8:00 a.m.
Arrival on the island: 9:15 a.m.
Departure: 2:30 p.m.
Arrival to Terminal: 3:45 p.m.
Cost of tour -- 1999 Pesos (Isa got us a price of 1900 Pesos each)
Tour includes roundtrip ferry - guided island tour on a trolly - buffet lunch at La Playa
The PACIFIC WAR MEMORIAL was erected to honor Filipino and American servicemen who participated in the Pacific War. The major memorial structure is a rotunda in which a circular altar falls directly under the dome's open center through which light falls on the alter during daylight hours.
I could write a number of tips about visiting Corregidor, detailing each point of interest on what is a fascinating place, steeped in history, but I do not propose to do that as I am not really into the ratings game. I will give you the practical details here as to how to visit, and I am in the process of constructing a series of travelogues which will hopefully give you a flavour of the place.
Unless you have Philippino friends who are prepared to drive out of Manila and then hire a small boat etc. you are going to be going with Sun Cruises, and very good they are too. b The details are appended here.
There are various options for visiting Corregidor, including overnight stays at the Corregidor Inn, but most visitors will take the day trip as I did, wonderfully organised by local VT member i-s-a who was a superb hostess. The standard package includes return ferryboat to and from the island, a guided tour (various languages available), and a very good buffet lunch in the Corregidor Inn.
The cost is 2100 pesos which is about $47US. The optional son et luniere show in the Malinta tunels, which I do recommend, is an additional 150 pesos.
The boat leaves at 0800 but not from the normal jetties. It departs from a dock near the Cultural Centre. The website has a map. You will return about 1700 in the evening, so it is a full day trip. Travel each way is about 90 minutes, dependent on the weather . I would advise you to bring water or soft drinks with you, as you are in a bit of a monopoly position once you are on the boat or the island. Nobody lives permanently there so they can charge over the odds.
Really, if you are in Manila, you should take this trip even if you are not much of a military history buff.
One interesting story I heard from our tour guide was when he brought us to one of the building ruins, said to be the infirmary, he lighted a candle and said a little prayer. He informed us that all 4000 Japanese soldiers - whether sickly or healthy - when the US was about to take over the island, all 4000 refused to surrender and committed suicide.
Up to this day the Japanese people highly value their honor. They value honor so much that failures would drive them to end their lives.
You can avail this one by going to the Terminal Bay at CCP and purchase the day tour ticket (costs Php 2,000 each, including round trip ferry ride, guided tour and buffet lunch). There are also other tours offered in Corregidor (sunset tour, ghost-hunting tour, sunrise tour, they have a hotel in the island too). After getting the ticket, you will be picked up by an air-conditioned jeepney to transfer you to the actual ferry boat (beside the Jumbo Seafood restaurant near Folk Arts Theatre).
The tour takes you to Corregidor Island, a fortress during WW2. They have kept those huge cannons, monuments and museums. The tour takes about 8 hours so be sure to gear up with water, towels, sun protection and rubber shoes.
If you can't stand the heat, you need not go around the premises of the Pacific War Memorial grounds, just go inside the air-conditioned Museum. You do not only get the chance to cool yourself; you'll have a deeper appreciation of the alliance between the Filipino and American soldiers during the World War II.
We went to explore the Spanish Lighthouse which is at the highest point of the island. The top of the Lighthouse offers an awesome view of Manila Bay, the South China Sea and the whole Corregidor Island. It once served as watchpoint for galleons and/or pirates.
I wanted to omit this because it reminded me of my father (see my General Tips for story), but Corregidor Tour isn't complete without going to the Battery Way. There, you can still see the mortars/batteries that could fire in any direction; these effectively countered the Japanese artillery in Bataan.
Said to be the most photographed structure in Corregidor Island, Mile-Long Barracks is actually only 1,520-feet long, but has become known as the world's longest barracks.
Mile-Long Barracks housed some 2,000 American Officers and it also served as headquarters of Gen. Mac Arthur.
A Sounds & Slide Show Presentation inside the Malinta Tunnel is an optional feature of the Corregidor Tour. After the orientation and sounds & slide presentation, you will be given time to explore the tunnel and "relive" the past experiences of Filipino and American soldiers.
Malinta Channel served as the center of American Operations during World War II. There, former President Manuel L. Quezon and Vice-President Sergio Osmena took their oath on Dec.30,1941 in their hideaway to begin their 2nd term of office.
Malinta Tunnel was also converted into a hospital, arsenal and fuel reservoir.
Thousands of Filipino, American & Japanese soldiers died here.
The Japanese Garden of Peace is the site for various soldiers' memorials and anti-aircraft gun relics. It is also noted for the 10-ft Jibo-Kannon stone Buddha that stands at the Shinto Shrine for Japanese religious ceremonies. It was donated as a symbol of goodwill from the Japanese government.
Aside from the beautifully landscaped Japanese garden, you will have a breathtaking view of seascapes and other islands.
It is quite nostalgic for local tourists to see the 14 murals depicting the Philippines' historic battles from the 16th century to the 1986 People Power Revolution showcased at the Filipino Heroes Memorial Park. For the foreign tourists, just by viewing the mural, they will gain an insight into the Filipinos' valor and love for freedom .
pretty much the daytrip covers all the places you need to go.
Suggestion is to take an overnight trip for an additional 1000 php or 20-25 USD.
Daytrip is pretty much cramped up highlights of the places and hurried picture taking. Taking an overnight trip enables you to checkout the Japanese caves and tour around the island AT NIGHT and during Sunset. I believe there is even a trek place in the island.