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Corregidor 2012


Mark and I took some time off from work last November 1-4, 2012 for some R and R. :) Yup, I know this post is long overdue but there are a lot things during our vacation that are worth sharing so I'm posting it anyway haha! I'll just try my best to share with you as much details as I can remember. :)

While others spent their time in cemeteries, Mark and I decided to visit Corregidor and Tagaytay. I know, I know..the places we chose are miles apart..haha! Blame it on both of us who don't seem to have some skills when it comes to organizing trips. Well Mark was actually the one who planned everything and I just gave the go signal. :p But hey, our vacation turned out to be so much fun! :p





When Mark walked me through the Corregidor trip that he planned to avail which he saw in Sun Cruises site, I immediately said yes. Here is what we availed for our Halloween at Corregidor:

Corregidor Halloween Treat for 2 for Php 8,800.00
Inclusions:
* Round trip ferry transfers
* Shrine, entrance, and terminal fees
* Guided island tour
* Overnight accommodation at Corregidor Inn for 2
* Meals per person: 2 buffet lunch, 1 set dinner, and 1 set breakfast
* Full body massage for 2
* Outdoor Halloween activities:
   - Sunset viewing 5:15 PM
   - Hospital visit
   - Night lateral tour 6:15 PM
* Sunrise viewing
* Short hike

We were already at the boarding area as early as 6am. Boarding time was scheduled at 7am so we decided to kill time by having breakfast first.

IMG_5761 Breakfast by the Manila Bay

IMG_5762Our Tags

We arrived at Corregidor Island after a cruise in Manila Bay on-board the cruise ship from Sun Cruises for about an hour and a half.  The cruise ship has 2 air-conditioned decks and can carry up to 200 passengers. You may take a nap during the cruise, or watch a historical movie about Corregidor in their LCD TV.  A mini-store is also located at the upper deck where you may buy food and refreshments while enjoying the cruise.

IMG_5763Mark and I on-board the Sun Cruises ship

We boarded the tramvia and started off with the island tour.

The tramvia which took us around the island.

Being both first-timers in Corregidor Island, and having known about the island only in history subjects in schools, Mark and I were both very excited to tour this historical place.

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Each tramvia was assigned a tour guide.  I think we were lucky enough to have "Uncle Bob" as our tour guide. It's actually not his real name, I believed he said his real name (which I forgot sorry) but he prefers to be called Uncle Bob. :) Aside from being equipped with knowledge about the island and its wonderful history, he was also very funny as he occasionally injects jokes and humorous stories to keep us all alive. I kept on telling Mark that he reminds me a lot of our Comedy King Dolphy because of his humor. :)


A few of the things that Uncle Bob shared to us was that Corregidor Island is also known as "The Rock" because of its rocky landscape and the fortifications of Fort Mills.  The island has the Topside, Middleside, and Bottomside areas which houses the different headquarters, barracks of enlisted personnel, officers' quarters, parade grounds, underground ordnance shops, and the bulk of the batteries that constituted the military strength of Corregidor.

The Malinta Tunnel was our first stop for the Light and Sound Show.

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The show is about half an hour long and is an optional part of the day-tour and costs Php 150.00 per person.

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The Light and Sound show is a must-see for first-time visitors.  A voice over narration of the history of Corregidor takes place as visitors walk inside the tunnel.  The laterals are lit as the story goes on and a depiction of the Filipino and American troops will be shown. There was even a simulated bomb explosion. :p  At the end of the show, the Philippine flag was raised as the Philippine National Anthem was played.

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The tunnel is a little dusty, so if you're allergic to dust be sure to bring hanky or face mask.  I had no choice but to wear my face mask because I kept on sneezing non-stop. :p

IMG_5771Off to our next stop. :)

We then passed by the monument of the Hero of Bataan: General Jonathan M. Wainwright.


On each side of the monument are the Philippine flag and American Flag.


Beneath the Philippine flag is an inscription dedicated "To The Angels".  It lists the names of the valiant American military nurses who provided care and comfort to the defenders of Bataan and Corregidor during the World War II.


We headed next to the Lorcha Dock, General MacArthur's departure point for Australia.

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A statue of General Douglas MacArthur, with his famous "I Shall Return" line, stands near the Lorcha Dock.



We headed next to Corregidor Inn, which houses the La Playa Restaurant, for our buffet lunch.  Will share the hotel details and our dining experience in my next posts. :)



We got back to the tour after our lunch and headed to the Middle Side Barracks.

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We also went to the Battery Way, which is a battery of four 12-inch mortars located on the island of Corregidor.

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Cartridge Rooms

Way was one of two (Battery Geary the other) mortar batteries at Fort Mills that, with Fort Hughes, Fort Drum, Fort Frank and Fort Wint formed the Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays. ~Wikipedia

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Battery Way was named after Lt. Henry N Way of the 4th U.S. Artillery. ~Wikipedia

Bomb crater

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Ordnance Repair Shop


Hospital which is shaped like a cross.

Our next stop was the Spanish Light House. Visitors may go up the light house, with an effective height of 639 feet above sea level, to see some breath-taking views.  And since I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to heights, Mark climbed up while I just stayed and captured the lighthouse's picturesque view. :)

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The light station was one of the most important lights in the archipelago. It was established in 1853 to guide ships to the entrance of Manila Bay on their way to the port of Manila, the most important trading center in the country. ~Wikipedia

View from the lighthouse

View from the lighthouse


We headed next to the Eternal Flame of Freedom, which is located behind the Pacific War Memorial Dome of Peace.  It was built to commemorate the recapture of the Philippines by the United States in 1945.

Eternal Flame of Freedom

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Pacific War Memorial Dome of Peace

"Sleep, my sons, your duty done..for freedom's light has come-
Sleep in the silent depths of the sea, or in your bed of hallowed sod-
Until your heart at dawn the low, clear reveille of God."

The Pacific War Memorial is built in honor of the Filipino and American soldiers during the war.

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Filipino-American Friendship Park

The memorial also houses a museum which serves as the repository of some relics and memorabilia related to the history of Corregidor.

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We also went to the Japanese Memorial.  This part of the island was funded by the Japanese government for the Japanese soldiers who died during the war.  It was on a later time when they discovered the remains of these soldiers which were hidden by American and Filipino troops.  They did this out of grave anger for what the Japanese did (attacking the hospitals even with the Geneva Convention's policy in place).

Japanese Statue of Peace and Love



Park dedicated to President Manuel  Quezon,
the first President of the Philippine Commonwealth.

"Dedicated to the Filipino Woman, for her involvement in the many events in our history. But more importantly, served as a symbol of peace and inspiration to our gallant men in their fight for the preservation of our honor and freedom."

Filipino Heroes Memorial

An inscription at the bottom reads: "We Shall Not Forget"

"Dedicated to the Filipino who knows how to die for love of freedom and liberty."

The Filipino Heroes Memorial was our last stop.  Our tour ended at around 2pm.  Those who availed of the day tour were accompanied back to the boarding area back to Manila, while Mark and I headed to Corregidor Inn.  We got hungry from the tour so we had some snacks at the La Playa Restaurant and then headed to our rooms to freshen up and take a little nap.  More of these in my next posts. :)

Come 5pm, Mark and I were both ready for our night activities.  We headed to the Battery Grubbs (one of the "disappearing" guns perched on a hill) to catch the lovely sunset.

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Sunset at Corregidor

After the sunset viewing, our Halloween activities began.  We headed to the hospital grounds for the hospital tour.  By the way, a different tour guide was assigned for the night activities.  Just like our day tour guide, our night tour guide also has a lot of knowledge about the place.  Like Uncle Bob who was humorous, our night tour guide was funny as well but was a bit naughty too as he kept on telling scary stuff as we toured around the hospital. Haha!

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According to our tour guide hospitals were built to have the shape of a cross just so when viewed from the sky, the Japanese would know that they should not attack.  It has also been declared in the Geneva Convention that hospitals should not be attacked, but unfortunately, during the world war, even the hospitals weren't spared by the Japanese troops.


Very evident on the walls are markings of the names of Muslims.  These Muslims were part of the Jabidah massacre, also known as the Corregidor massacre.  Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) massacred a number of Moro Muslim recruits who were escaping their covert training to reclaim Sabah.  They were taken in batches of twelve to a remote airstrip where they were executed with machine guns by their military handlers.

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Mark inside one of the hospital rooms.

We then headed back to the Malinta Tunnel for a night lateral tunnel visit. We were provided with hard hats and flash lights, and after a short briefing, our tour began.

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For around an hour, we walked inside the tunnel's unexplored side. 


Very evident on the tunnel walls are these black stone-like structures, which are actually carbon resins.  Japanese soldiers committed mass suicide bombing inside the laterals because they don't want to surrender.  Keeping their dignity up to the very end, they'd rather die than be in the hands of the enemies which would be a great shame on their part according to their emperor.  They also believed that they will be given a wonderful life after death.


The walk inside the tunnel was a little scary, well for me since I had a hard time in breathing especially inside the low-ceiling tunnels, and especially having heard about the many soldiers who died in there, but it was definitely fun.  We even had a lights-off-walk in one of the laterals and somehow we were able to experience how the troops' lives inside the tunnel were back then.


We headed back to the hotel for dinner and ended our night with a relaxing full body massage.  We were set for sunrise viewing and a short hike on the Japanese trails, but since it was scheduled early the next morning, Mark and I just decided to do away with it. We just tried the zipline and had fun in the beach the next morning after our breakfast.  More of these in my next posts. :)

It was tiring, yes, but Mark and I surely enjoyed the day, and the whole of our Corregidor stay.  Although the accommodation and food were not that extravagant, it was at least decent enough.  Mark and I both agreed that what we paid for was all worth it.  Aside from the fun experiences that we had during our stay at the island, what Mark and I liked the most was the knowledge that we gained about our very wonderful history which we will forever be proud of.  And that alone is just priceless! :)

kriskamarie

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