Corregidor Island.....A Historical Marvel
Trip Start Oct 06, 2011
8Trip End Oct 10, 2011
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The journey started early in the morning. My other driver, Mr. Rodel, fetched me at the hotel around 6am. Unlike the previous day, today the weather was not favourable and it had been raining the whole night and had not stopped for even a short period. It was a wet morning the moment I stepped out of the hotel.
We arrived at this terminal which is solely operated by this tour operater, Sun Cruises Inc. They have a few types of tours like Corregidor Island Tour, Manila Bay Sunset tour and a few more. The one that I had purchased was the Corregidor Island Tour. It was full house and from here, they transported us by jeepney to another terminal at Manila Bay.
Despite the heavy rains, we boarded the ferry. It was very systematic and all the ship crew were dressed in white uniforms with ranks. There was even three sea marshals on board with M16's. The ferry itself was double decked, I got the upper deck, in total carry around 350 pasengers. Even a tuck shop was availabe on board.
The ferry left on time and it was a long sail crossing over the Manila Bay to Corregidor Island, around 1 hour in total. Being a bay that is protected on both sides, the waves were not rough, in fact I shoud say that it was a very comfortable ride all the way.
Once we arrived on Corregidor Island, they had broken all of us into 20 groups, each of us assigned to a tram and a guide which was already announced on board. All hit different directions and follow a specific routine so that none of the gorups collide each other at a specific spot thus overcrowding the area. This even included the lunch time.
Our first destination was President Quezon's Memorial Park. This small park on the island is specifically dedicated to all the Filipino soldiers who gave their lives in the numerous battles that happened here. Just a point that I forgot to mention earlier, except for the staffs working on this island, no one is allowed to stay here. Though they have a small hotel with 13 rooms, it is meant more for official visits for archealogical reasons. The island is one hundred percent protected by the government and no relics is to be touched and they are preserved as much as possible to maintain the structures from erosion and earthquakes.
Next, we visited the Japanese Garden which had some graves and memorials for the Japanese soldiers who had died here on this island during the battle with the Americans. Here one can find some long range guns and canons which have been left behind from the war as you could see from the photos here.
From there, we went over to the Malinta Tunnel. This is a magnificent tunnel system that cuts through the Malinta Hill. Numerous battles had occured here. Originally built by the Spanish, this tunnel had fallen to various hands and had been the home of various nations throughout the war. Starting from the Spaniards, then the Filipinos, then the Americans, then the Japanese and finally when General Mc Arthur arrived, it was taken back by the American and Filipino coalition forces. This tunnel has surely seen so many battles. Today, some parts of the tunnel had been rebuilt and a sound and light showcase is shown here. Of course, this is with a seperate ticket but it is a waste if one does come here and does not see this show. The show itself lasted for around one hour. Then after the show, we are able to view the actual bombed areas of the tunnel that extends itself like a continues nueral network to various parts of this island, some even to a secret passage that leads directly to the manila bay for quick escape.
After the sound and light show, we were brought to the hotel, also in rotating groups to have our lunch which was included in the tickets. Lunch was good though, i should commend them on managing it so well. And the view from this hotel patio was great, directly overlooking the manila bay.
After lunch, we visited a few other places on the island. Namely, the Barracks, the Battery Arsenals, another long range canon and guns, the original cinema and golf course built here for the senior officers, the parachuters landing ground, the pacific war memorial, the spanish light house and finally the dissapearing guns of corregidor.
The dissapearing guns of Corregidor was surely the highlight of this visit. They were extremely large and long, known for being able to fire 27 miles into the sea and they can rotate their positions so much so, after each shot, they could be lowered down into ground level so as to 'dissapear' in the enemy's eyes.A fantastic design.
With that, the tour of this place was over and by the time we all met back at the ferry terminal in Corregidor Island, it was already almost 4 pm and we reached Luzon island (Manila) around 5.10 pm.
With that, my day activity was over and I was driven back to the hotel. Was contemplating though, due to the tired walking on the island, if I should go for a foot massage in the hotel. I guess, I'll decided once I am back to the room. Even till now, the moment I had reached back to the hotel, it was still drizelling. Luckily, it was not too heavy and we still managed to have a good time despite it being wet everywhere.