Looking at World War II with Travbuddies

Corregidor Island Travel Blog

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Crazy people working out early in the morning

Before leaving the meet up a couple of days ago we had all got very specific instructions to make sure we would get to Starbucks in time for the trip to Corregidor this morning. I had my doubts if everybody would make it in time after I saw the timeliness people showed at the meet up dinner - but hey let us give it all the benefit of the doubt.

 

Well I get down to Harbour Square a bit before we were supposed to meet - just walking past all the people outside doing some sort of outdoor exercises.

Boat at Manila Bay
I never really got the point why anybody would do something like this so early - and even on a Saturday. They must be crazy. Well I get there and get a cup of coffee to try to wake up and feel human again.

 

And of course not all have actually arrived at time but we are only missing a few - and the ferry will wait. Hmm I wonder if the ferry is actually waiting for us or if Josh just told us to get there 2 hours before departure because he expected people to be late - which would be a reasonable assumption.

 

We get onboard the boat - and one more amazing thing occurs - there is virtually no waives today the Manila Bay is completely flat - and still some of the Filipinos’ reach for the barf bags just in case.

Taking photos already
How people from such a seafaring nation can get seasick this easily is a wonder for me. But not too many is actually thronging up - or at least none that I notice.

 

Midway during the trip one of the older guides start to tell about the history of Corregidor Island. It play a very significant role during Spanish reign and later during World War II as the place where the allies made their last stand - and later the Japanese also made a last stand on the fortress island. The guide is not a big fan of Travbuddies because he finds them a bit loud when he is trying to give information to the passengers on the boat.

 

We get off at the pier and go in on some buses - we share a bus with another group and soon take up the front seat of the bus and we are off to the different sights on the island.

Statue of Douglas MacArthur
Among the first stops is the statue of Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur was the commander in chief of the US forces in the Philippines and had fled from Manila to Corregidor when the Japanese came close to capturing the city. He wanted to stay at Corregidor but was order of by Roosevelt to go to safety in Melbourne leaving a junior general in charge along with Quezon (the Philippine leader) as well. The statue of MacArthur is place at the spot where he left from Corregidor stating “I shall return”. He did not say the US army would return - no he said he would return.

 

I guess his attitude is part of the reason Europeans may look at MacArthur with some mixed feeling. Given he was the man who more than anybody else pushed for the Victory Japan more than the Victory Europe strategy - even though Roosevelt and Churchill had decided the victory in Europe was the main target. Later he pushed for using nukes against the Chinese during the war in Korea.

 

The guide on our bus was not too happy at our first stop.

Model of Corregidor Island
He gave us all a certain time to explore the monument at this spot - but with 21 cameras in use and people taking photos of everything - there is just no way his ten minute stop is gonna happen. It will be more like a 20 minute stop before we are ready to leave again.

 

We continue our trip around the island to visit the different batteries used during the time as a fortress island. And we stop at a spot with a model of the island - and when you look at the island it got some resemblances of a sperm cell - not sure if it got any relation to anything.

 

Then just as the last stop before lunch we did a stop at the Malinta tunnel. The tour of this place was not included in the tour - but the price was 150 peso and the alternative was to stay outside in the bus in the mid day heath without doing anything.

I figured the 150 peso would probably be well spent.

 

There is a sound and light show inside the tunnel with some effect telling the story of the life on the island during the Japanese attacks in 1942. After the tunnel we are off to the lunch stop and it is a nice little buffet lunch.

 

After lunch we leave for the part of the island we did not get to see before lunch. We go to the high parts of the island and see the different big barracks used by the Americans before they we kick out. We see the giant topside barracks which today is a simple ruin. Then off to the monument for the war in the Pacific and the liberation of the Philippines. The central piece of this monument is a big building with a dome. The dome got a hole inside letting the sunlight reach the floor.

The memorial for the wall
And every year at midday of the day of the liberation the sunlight hit the central podium under the dome.

 

There are several plaques telling a bit about where the main battles took place and next to the monument is a museum - which attracted a lot of attention from many Travbuddies. I shall not be the judge about whether or not the fact that the museum had aircon had something to do with the interest in the exhibition.

 

After leaving the cool air in the museum we head for a lighthouse to get the view around the island from the top of it. And there is a great view around the island from the top. Of course we exceed the limited for how many people there is allowed to be up at the top viewing platform at the top.

Group shot
But the lighthouse is fairly solid and the platform survives the weight of too many Travbuddies at once.

 

The last stop on the tour is at one of the big batteries with giant guns. But these guns were put at their place before the introduction of the airplane. Hence they were well defended against attacks by ships - but had no protections against an aerial attack. Hence they could be easily attack during the war because of the use of airplanes.

 

After the last stop we go to the hotel and most people go of the bus to check in at the hotel - me I only went to Corregidor for the day because I wanted to go for a few last dives in the Philippines the next days. Hence I say goodbye to some newfound friends and go back to the ferry to go to the main land. When I hear they have planned to go swimming I think I may have made the right choice - after all the water around Corregidor is the same as the water in Manila Bay and that can’t in any way be good for your health to go swimming in that water.

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Crazy people working out early in …
Crazy people working out early in…
Boat at Manila Bay
Boat at Manila Bay
Taking photos already
Taking photos already
Statue of Douglas MacArthur
Statue of Douglas MacArthur
Model of Corregidor Island
Model of Corregidor Island
The memorial for the wall
The memorial for the wall
Group shot
Group shot
Crazy people working out early in …
Crazy people working out early in…
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
On the ferry to Corregidor
Douglas MacArthur - I shall return
Douglas MacArthur - I shall return
Statue of Douglas MacArthur
Statue of Douglas MacArthur
Jumping 1
Jumping 1
Jumping 2
Jumping 2
Jumping 3
Jumping 3
Jumping 4
Jumping 4
Jumping 5
Jumping 5
Jumping 6
Jumping 6
The inside of the Malinta Tunnel w…
The inside of the Malinta Tunnel …
After they turned on the light in …
After they turned on the light in…
After they turned on the light in …
After they turned on the light in…
Statues used during the sound and …
Statues used during the sound and…
Welcome drinks at lunch
Welcome drinks at lunch
The big gun - dismantled
The big gun - dismantled
Walking around the bus
Walking around the bus
The big barrack
The big barrack
The big Topside Barrack
The big Topside Barrack
The hole in through which sun will…
The hole in through which sun wil…
Where the sun will shine at midday…
Where the sun will shine at midda…
The road to the other end of the m…
The road to the other end of the …
The big barrack on the island
The big barrack on the island
The light house
The light house
Looking out from the lighthouse
Looking out from the lighthouse
Looking out from the lighthouse
Looking out from the lighthouse
Looking out from the lighthouse
Looking out from the lighthouse
Photo taking in progress
Photo taking in progress
Last look at the island
Last look at the island
Corregidor Island Sights & Attractions review
Malinta Tunnel
When you visit Corregidor the tour will take you around the island and on a day tour most sights will be included on your tour. But one sight will not… read entire review
Corregidor Island
photo by: ivyleague