Corregidor has been conquered by TBs.
Corregidor Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
July 19th, 2008 – by: planisphere
Corregidor is an island situated at the mouth of Manila Bay. Long before the GIs converted this island as their base, the Spaniards had made used of the island as a sort of checkpoint for the sea vessels before they could reach the Fort of Manila. This was where the transaction of correcting their papers happened, thus the name Isla de Corregidor (or Island of Correctors) was given to the place.
Today, the tadpole-shaped Island (or sperm-looking island as sweetly put by our tour guide Carlos) is a poignant living museum to the horrors of war.
To regulate the number of visitors, Sun Cruises has a monopoly of the island. They run day- and overnight trips. I took the daytrip as opposed to the majority of the TBs, who decided to stay for a night (and based from the pictures I saw, looks like they had lots of fun - a perfect mix - booze and karaoke).
The fastcraft left Manila bay at 8:30 AM (delayed by few minutes from their schedule) packed with college kids and the 20 TBs. With nothing that caught my attention (or maybe I was too deprived of sleep because I had to wake up very early for this), I decided to close my eyes though the trip. After an hour and a half, we reached the island. We were welcomed by cars that lined waiting for the tourists to arrive - a crossbreed of jeep, a bus and a tram. TBs vehicle was Car no 5. Our official tour guide was Carlos - a nice bubble middle aged Filipino guy. I wonder where was he during the fall of Bataan.
The first major spot that we visited was the Filipino Heroes Memorial. As a camwhore that I am, I broke away from the group and decided to take photos of some tablets carved with the major "revolts" of our history.
Next stop was the Japanese cemetery, this is where we first saw big guns and on its far end was a Buddhist (or Shinto) looking structure - definitely the structure is not Buddha on any of his positions but some mother looking over to her sons.
After that, Carlos brought us to Malinta tunnel (Malinta means full of leeches). It was told that when this tunnel was being built, the workers encountered a lot of bloodsucking leeches. They started building it on 1922 and finished the whole tunnel complex a decade after. There was a 30 minute light and sound show inside - accounting every historical significance of the tunnel - being the center of operations of Americanos, a hideaway of our President that time - MLQ and his family where they celebrated one Christmas inside this place, and a temporary refuge of McArthur.
We then hopped back to our vehicle, went for a very quick lunch - 30 minutes only.
After filling up, we then visited some ruins of some former barracks, followed by a visit to Battery Way. This is where we had our first feel of Corregidor - big guns, dark creepy rooms that looked haunted. Normally, I would first to jump from our car to take picture of the place, to enjoy the site with no muggles distorting my shots. After that, we went to the Mile-Long Barracks, the most photographed site in the island. If some didn't know the history of the place, he would think that this place is nothing but an ordinary looking abandoned bodega with no walls, no ceiling, no anything.
Not very far from the barracks is the Pacific War Memorial. This is where the war was romanticized - an altar was built with a white dome, and the sun is directly aligned to the altar every 6th of May, the day Corregidor and the entire archipelago of the Philippines fell into the reign of Japanese. From afar is the modern looking structure depicting a fire, with an inscription below that says - To Live In Freedom's Light Is The Right Of Mankind. Nearby is a war museum that offers visitors some airconditioning, a relief from a punishing heat outside. I would say the collections inside were not that bad either especially the bottle of coke that survived the tests of time. For me, this memorial site was the highlight of my trip.
After that we visited the Spanish Lighthouse and another battery - Battery Crocket.
Five of the TBs decided to just take the day trip. I was asleep most of the travel time back to Manila.
As a revenge, I devoured a full meal in Jollibee upon reaching the mainland. Looking back, it was really an good trip with TB peeps.
And after seeing Corregidor and what's left of it, I would say that in any given war, it barely accomplishes anything and with hate, it accomplishes nothing. In the end, everyone loses.
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