It is often said that a person’s character is the product his/her past experiences. During World War II, the Philippines is one of the American colonies that joined to protect the sovereignty. Many soldiers sacrificed their lives to fight for the country and its freedom. One of the last provinces to surrender was Corregidor.
Corregidor became the last resort of some American and Filipino soldiers to combat the powerful Japanese battalion during the war. Years have passed and, as they say, the rest is history.
Now, Corregidor became one historical site to commemorate Philippine history and pay respect to the brave Filipino and American soldiers.
Corregidor is a tadpole-shaped island situated at the mouth of Manila Bay. It was often mistaken as part of Bataan but actually, it’s part of the province of Cavite. After the war, the whole island has been transformed into a tourist destination. Many travel agencies are offering day tour in the island showcasing the remnants of the war and other battle gears used by the Filipino and American soldiers.
One of the unique attractions of the tour was the tram ride to explore the island.
It is said that the soldiers use these trams as mode of transportation in the island during the war. Along with each tram, you will have a Filipino English-speaking tour guide. You may also request for a Filipino Japanese-speaking tour guide during your trip.
Here are some of the main attractions during a day tour to Corregidor:
Japanese Garden of Peace – includes memorabilia from the war. This serves as landmark for Filipino-Japanese friendship.
Malinta Tunnel – from the root word linta or leech, this passage way was created under the mountainous part of the island which is believed to have my leech. This tunnel was once became a hospital for soldiers and a home to former President Manuel L. Quezon during the war.
Now, it’s the home of the Lights and sound presentation of the excerpts during the World War II in the Philippines. Some important events are highlighted during the presentation. It’s the best way to refresh your mind about Philippines as well.
Filipino Heroes Memorial – designed by Francisco Mañosa, the design of this park was similar with that of EDSA Shrine.
Some guns, barracks, hospital, and buildings after the war are carefully preserved by the Corregidor administration
Corregidor Lighthouse – has been reconstructed after the war. Now, its lantern is completely solar powered.
Pacific War Memorial – this structure was contributed by the United States Government to honour the Filipino and American soldiers who participated during the WWII. It includes the Eternal Flame of Freedom and a circular altar with an open dome.
Travel tip: Sun Cruises is the official tour agency for Corregidor day and overnight tours. It includes boat transfers from Manila to Corregidor and vice versa and a buffet lunch as well. Regular tour rate ranges from Php 2,000 per head; better to contact Sun Cruises directly for updated rates.
/// Written by Tere Bernardino, The Philippines