Started to tour around Corregidor Island exactly by the time we arrived at the island. The bus was driven by Alex and the tourist guide was Hazel – actually a man named after a girl.
First stop, ang bantayog ni Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur, Hazel gave us five minutes to take pictures, but because there were many tourist grabbing chances to have pictures there, we were not able to pose beside him, instead we went afar and saw the clear water – where the ferry docks.
As we went along the tour, there were many stories told, the cave where our countrymen and Americans hid. After few minutes we reached Malinta Tunnel entrance built last 1932. The highlight of the visit would be the 30-minute light and sound show which chronicles the significance of the place as it served as center of American operations during World War II. Former President Manuel L. Quezon and Vice President Sergio Osmeña took their oath on December 30, 1941 under this hideaway to begin their second term in office. This passage was converted into a hospital, arsenal and fuel reservoir, where thousands of Filipinos, Americans and Japanese died.
Then we passed along and had pictures at the Mile Long Barracks measuring 520 feet that served as quarters of some 2000 US officials including Gen, Douglas Mc Arthur.
Few minutes later, we went to an area where big batteries are located. The gallant guns are distributed in different parts of Corregidor. Battery Way is armed with four 12 inches mortars that can fire in any direction. It has the last gun to fire out before the fall of Japanese. Battery Hearn’s seacost gun is the longest in the island with a firing range of 17 miles as narrated by Hazel. Battery Geary contains the most effective guns in the island. Battery Crocket has two 12 inches seacoast guns mounted on the carriages that move the guns that disappear behind a parapet. The Americans built a total of 20 batteries in the island. Kevin enjoyed seeing those batteries, he even discussed part of it to Leo.
We also hopped in the Filipino Heroes Memorial, despite the heat of the sun, we still enjoyed the trip. The memorial contains sculptor Manuel Casal’s 14 mural depicting some of the countries historic battles from the Battle of Mactan in 1521 to the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986. By the way, people who were with us are Japanese, at times there were some jokes taunting them but in a very friendly way.
Second to the last was the Pacific War Memorial located at the highest point of the island and was completed at the cost of $1.23 million in 1968, and one of the only two memorials built by US government to mark the war, the other is the Pearl Harbor. Hazel jokingly said to Kevin, it is the place where their grandparents put their taxes.
Lastly, the Spanish Light House. Kevin hastily went up the light house when we reached it, we followed him then, we did not want to escape this opportunity. As we went up, it was safe, the light house is still adamant haha. It is used to be the checkpoint during those days, which alerts Manila of an approaching galleon. This spot offers a spectacular view of Manila Bay, the South China Sea and the whole Island.
The package we paid for was for a day tour only, that’s why only those historical spots that can be seen alongside the hi-way were the ones we saw. Given a chance to go back there, perhaps, I will enjoy a night trip wherein more adventures and lots of activities await. Including a night tour at Malinta Tunnel (wow scary, it is very dark inside) and explore the tunnel’s innermost laterals at night. Island boat tour is also one of the activities and gets a chance to see the outlying islands as you circle Corregidor on an outrigger boat. Including also is hiking activity, hike through the steep trail drilled through the dense tropical forest and reach the crest where you can have a spectacular view of Manila Bay, the Bataan Peninsula and the coastline of Cavite. Sun spotting is one of the nice activities to witness the amazing sunset. I love the activities mentioned above. If only I can go back there. Perhaps aside from the above-mentioned, I will able to see foreign objects, foreign people, I mean mumu, spirits, I don’t have a third eye nor a sixth sense but, I welcome the opportunity to see things that will give me goose bump. Waaaaaa, kaya ko kaya yun? Am I that brave to wish that thing?
By the way, the package we paid includes a buffet lunch, we had chicken adobo and pork barbeque as viands and various salads and a refreshment. Our team enjoyed it well! 🙂
To my fellow Filipinos, our country is very rich in culture, we have a memorable history to tell to everyone, hope there are people like Hazel who’s always ready to story-tell what we had before. Hope that all those Corregidor remains will remain forever so that they can be seen yesteryears by our next generations’ countrymen.
Acknowledging CORREGIDOR PHILIPPINES experience as part of my post. It’s a whole new experience. It was fun rediscovering Corregidor. Yes we had this studied in our school days but due to many years of being busy with other things, I admit that I already forgot the whole history, not until I rediscovered Corregidor.
Till my next adventure to this island.