May 23, 2014

Corregidor Island: Reliving WW II History in a Day

First, Happy Memorial Day to all my American friends who are celebrating! *salute to the heroes* I hope you guys will be having a great time catching up with family and friends over the long weekend. However, please do at least one thing on this Memorial Day weekend and that is to remember, and give thanks to the soldiers who have made the travel, grilling out and family outings possible.

An entertainment building during the World War 2 

My post today is somehow related to Memorial Day. This is an overdue blog post; I'm trying my best to write as much while the memory is still fresh in my mind, and before the photos start piling up on my hard drive. Back in 2010, I had a fun and quick trip with an old friend. We tried that 1-Day Tour in Corregidor Island through Sun Cruises. We paid Php1, 999.00 and that includes round-trip ferry transfers / shrine, entrance, and terminal fees / guided island tour, and buffet lunch. I’ll post the complete information of Sun Cruises and their rates at the bottom part of this post.

Let me first say that I am a huge history buff. Being able to visit one of the important historic and tourist sites in the Philippines makes me feel accomplished. Corregidor is a tadpole shaped island about 48 kilometers west of Manila with its head facing the South China Sea and the tail curling back into Manila Bay. This island fortress stands as a mute witness and a memorial for the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II. After the War, many people, most of them veterans, visited the island because of its history.

The journey towards the island only took about 1.5 hours. The Cruise was smooth and fast. We arrived at Corregidor Island at 10 am, the guests were split into groups; each assigned a tram accompanied by a tour guide. I'm glad our tour guide kept us up by filling in jokes. I forgot his name but he really is extraordinary, witty, and of course, has a lot of sense of humor, which in our opinion, is necessary for every tour guide. 

The following photos are some of the outstanding highlights during our Corregidor Island visit. 

Mile-Long Barracks and Middleside Barracks

Mile-Long Barracks was constructed to be hurricane-proof. This three-story building served as shelter for American officers and enlisted personnel at the garrison. While Middleside Barracks served as houses for the personnel’s of the 60th Coast Artillery Regiment and the 91st Philippine Scout Coast Artillery Regiment.

Corregidor Island Gun Batteries

When the American forces took over the Philippines, their engineers built 23 gun batteries around Corregidor and surrounding islands. 
Pacific War Memorial

Completed in 1968 through the appropriation of the US Congress, the memorial honors the Filipino and American soldiers who participated in the Pacific War. The main feature of the memorial is the circular altar in a rotunda which symbolizes a wreath of victory.

Pacific War Memorial Museum

This museum honors the Filipino and American soldiers who served during the Pacific War in World War II.

Eternal Flame of Freedom 

A large steel sculpture which symbolizes the Flame of Freedom burning eternally.

The Old Spanish Lighthouse of Corregidor Island

Built in 1836, this lighthouse served as an alarm to Manila Bay harbour of the approaching galleon or attacking enemies. In 1897, the old lighthouse was replaced by a much bigger lighthouse but was later destroyed during the outbreak of World War II.

Malinta Tunnel

A bomb-proof headquarters constructed for Filipino and American troops during World War II, which took about 10 years to be finished. Gen. MacArthur set up the headquarters of USAFFE inside the tunnel where men and women (command communications and medical units) would live and work during the siege of Corregidor Island.

I decided not to describe word by word what to expect in those stops because I’d love for you to come visit and see the sights and hear the rich history behind them, personally. I still got lots of photos but it's going to be too much if I will post everything here. I highly recommend this place!

Location and Contact Information:
CCP Bay Terminal A, CCP Complex, 
Roxas Blvd. Pasay City (Near Harbour Square)
Sales Telephone: 527-5555 loc 4511/ 12
Reservations: +63 922 337 0068 / + 632 834 6857 to 58

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