Travel

Corregidor Island Part 1

Historical & Educational post coming right up. I’m quite not good with explaining things but I will try my very best to showcase the wonders of Corregidor. Last March 29, 2014 right after our Boracay Escapade, my Moms friend recommended us on visiting the Island while we are still in Manila. We don’t have any agenda that day so why not? To be honest, I didn’t expect the Island would have so much History that occurred during the World War 2. Now, I am more aware of the Philippines history.

The package is comprised of a 1 day tour all around the Island including a Ferry ride, Buffet lunch and an educational tour care of Sun Cruises. So, for those of you who are not familiar with Corregidor it is 49 kms west of Manila and strategically located at the entrance of Manila bay…

P.S. Photo heavy post! More photos and informations of the Island under the cut.

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From the docking area to Corregidor Island, you will travel more or less 2 hours just to get to the said Island. Now, don’t worry if you think the 2 hours boat ride boring, they have Movies in the boat plus you can go out and take pictures of the beautiful sea – especially in the afternoon.

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Let me tell you a little bit of Corregidor *coughs* and research about the Islands history. Corregidor comes from the Spanish word “corregir,” meaning to correct. One story states that due to the Spanish system wherein all ships entering Manila Bay were required to stop and have their documents checked and corrected, the island was called “Isla del Corregidor” (Island of the Correction). Another version claims that the island was used a penitentiary or correctional institution by the Spanish and came to be called “El Corregidor.”

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In early and pre-hispanic times, it was likely populated by fishermen and no doubt provided a base for pirates who could easily launch an attack against any vessel entering Manila Bay. During the Spanish era this tadpole-shaped island was a signal station where bonfires were lit to alert Manila of a home-coming galleon. Later on, Spaniards built a lighthouse on the island.

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The Spaniards set up a naval dockyard on the island in 1795. This was followed by a naval hospital and a signal station which was used primarily to warn Manila of approaching enemies. In 1836 a lighthouse was built and in 1853 a stronger light was installed. This was replaced in 1897 and remained in use until the outbreak of the Pacific War, during which it was heavily damaged and rebuilt to the same specifications. During the Spanish times, the small town of San Jose emerged to become the seat of government on the island. Later under the Americans, it evolved into a small community with its paved streets lined with the houses of the Philippine Scouts who constituted the bulk of the garrison in Corregidor.

After the defeat of the Spanish forces by Admiral George Dewey in May of 1898, Spain ceded Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the Americans under the Treaty of Paris which was signed on December 10, 1898. In 1903 a former Spanish garrison building there was converted to a convalescent hospital. The island was designated as a U.S. Military Reservation in 1907 and the army post on Corregidor was named Fort Mills, after Brig. Gen. Samuel M. Mills, chief of artillery of the U.S. Army in 1905-1906. A regular army post was later established in 1908.

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I’ll pause to that information and get back to our adventure. Haha. So right after the 2 hour ferry boat ride a tourist bus took us to the venue where we will have lunch! P.S. Their food is heavenly that I forgot to take pictures. Every penny is well spent you guys.

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Another info, The big guns of Corregidor in 1941 were used in support of Filipino and American defenders of Bataan until the island itself was invaded by Japanese Forces. The restless pounding by Japanese guns including intermittent bombings reduced its defenses and compelled its surrender. On January 22, 1945, Corregidor was once again caught in the fury of war as the Americans retook the island after a bloody battle.

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I may not have taken photos of the foods but the scenery behind us where we took lunch was breathtaking.

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Right after the lovely lunch, the tour is about to start. Btw, he is our tour guide. You might want to be in his team because he cracks a lot of jokes and gives a lot of informations. Plus, he tells ghost stories in the Island. Haha

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First stop is the Lorcha Dock, it is situated near Gen. Douglas MacArthur Park and often referred as The Army Dock or MacArthur’s Dock.  It is in this dock where Gen. MacArthur exited from Malinta Tunnel to Australia as ordered by then US President Roosevelt. Gen. MacArthur was accompanied by US Navy Lt. Bulkely on board PT-41. They rode the PT boat for three days to reach Mindanao before boarding a plane going to Australia.

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Second stop was the Malinta Tunnel, The Malinta Tunnel is a tunnel complex built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. It was initially used as a bomb-proof storage and personnel bunker, but was later equipped as a 1,000-bed hospital. The main tunnel, running east to west, is 831 feet (253 m) long, 24 feet (7.3 m) wide and 18 feet (5.5 m) high. Branching off from this main shaft are 13 lateral tunnels on the north side and 11 lateral tunnels on the south side. Each lateral averaged 160 feet (49 m) in length and 15 feet (4.6 m) in width. (Source: Wikipedia)

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The other side of The Malinta tunnel where I personally think we were in Japan because of these cherry blossom like trees.

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If i’m not mistaken, that is the Carabao Island.

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 The memorial is one of the newest landmarks in Corregidor which honors Filipino heroes and martyrs in their struggle for freedom and independence. It was erected and inaugurated in 1987 and 1992, respectively, and has 14 murals depicting the different eras in struggle from the Battle of Mactan in 1521 to the more recent People Power Revolution in 1986.

 Other murals depicted include the Dagohoy Revolt in 1744, the 1782 Palaris Revolt in Pangasinan, the 1896 Philippine Revolution, and World War II. The memorial complex was designed by Francisco Manosa while the murals and a statue of a Filipino soldier-farmer were sculptured by Manuel Casal.

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Next stop was the Japanese Garden of Peace. This garden features a 10-foot high stone Buddha with a reflecting pool, a shinto Shrine, and other Japanese soldier memorial shrines and markers. It is also used as a praying area for Japanese war veterans and the families and relatives of Japanese soldiers who served or were killed in Corregidor during World War II. Also on display within the garden are anti-aircraft guns which are relics of the war. A small pavilion houses some Japanese memorabilia and World War II photographs. The construction of this garden was made possible through funds generated by a Japan-based private group.

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Such a beautiful Skyline. I could sit here with my little infinity and stare at the stars during night time. Shucks! Am I cheesy or what? Haha.

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So, that’s about it for now. I think I have to divide this travelogue in 2 posts because I its getting too hefty.  Haha . Part 2 of my Corregidor Island adventure will be all up tomorrow. So watch out and don’t forget to comment down below 🙂

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