Corregidor – January 3, 2010
Corregidor Island is one of those tourist destinations that most Manilenyos probably don’t think about as a destination. While not a fancy spot for beach activities or even wildlife watching, it is still an interesting place with lots of historical context. It is after all, probably the Philippines’ best known World War II memorial.
View Corregidor Island in a larger map
For the geographically-challenged, Corregidor Island is that tadpole shaped island at the mouth of Manila Bay. Its strategic location made it popular naval outpost by whichever power had gained control whether Spain, the US, or the Japanese.
I had been to Corregidor twice in the past with the last one being roughly 10 years ago. With a historical destination one can imagine that not should change with the tour… and I guess it shouldn’t. Anyway, my trip was more for a photo op.
Getting there is quite easy. First buy your tickets online here: http://www.corregidorphilippines.com/ if you call, they will insist that you better reserve online because they say the seats go quite quickly. I had no basis to question this, however when I got to the Sun Cruises office the next day to get my boarding pass… it didn’t seem full. Anyway, the ticket was cheap at P1,999 which included a buffet lunch.
We took a shuttle to the docks right next to the Folk Arts theatre. And headed to the island in what seemed to be an hour long trip.
When we got to the island we were instructed to board one of the tour busses. A tip for anyone who wants to go to Co rregidor. Choose the bus based on the appearance of the tour guide. Not to be mean, but you won’t regret it. Maybe you can talk to him first and see if you can dig his humor. Our tour guide was… corny to the max. His jokes were as old as the island.
So as not to congest the locations, I noticed that only two busses at a time proceeded to the same locale. The others went to other routes. Our first stop was Malinta Tunnel
At Malinta Tunnel is the famous “light and sound show.” And its an additional P150 fee where you had to buy your ticket from the guide. My gutt feeling was not pay and just wait on the bus. I regretted not following my instinct.
Why? Because the show is crap – in my opinion. I didn’t enjoy it the first time, I didn’t appreciate it any more this time. And the sentiment was shared with other tourists as well. I appreciate the historical significance of the show its just that the production itself is embarrassing. In my opinion, they should have just left it as is and just put up pictures and descriptions for people to view the tunnel in all its historical glory. Instead they messed it up, cemented the tunnel and put in a really bad sound and effects.
But again, that is my opinion.
We met up with the bus at the other end and proceeded to a Japanese memorial, on the way, we were greeted by General Douglas McArthur himself…
At the Japanese Memorial Garden. This is a beautiful statue of Buddha. Very ornate…
Then again, I was more fascinated by the guns
We then proceeded to a Filipino Memorial
From here we proceeded to have an early Lunch. It was only around 11 at this time. For lunch, we proceeded to the Corregidor Inn.
After 45 min, we were now off to more ruins.
First… some barracks (ok so I forgot the names)
Then to Battery Way
Then… to a really big gun…
Then to Topside (aka “Mile Long”) Barracks
The eternal flame
The War Memorial
The Corregidor Cinema
An old cannon
Our bus driver
Uhm… where to go?
The Spanish Lighthouse
At the port
Back to Manila.
I took around 400 pictures while at Corregidor. More pics can be found in my album on Facebook page here – http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=174022&id=545092789&l=d347704c5f