Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Corregidor, Bataan: Special Independence Day Tour

It was supposed to be a day spent in Tagaytay with some of my friends (Ninette, Vangie, Ate Rose, Dodgie, Vina, & Francis) which I didn’t confirm until last weekend. However, with everything happening — Peter’s work, my plans of seeing a doctor, going to Alabang to check the carpenters’ work on the cabinets, packing our stuff,  our partying last weekend, our usual laziness,  and the fact that we’ve been to Tagaytay several times already (we’re even scheduled to go there again next month c/o our Club Panoly membership), the thought of going there on a holiday just didn’t appeal to us so much. But the thought of seeing our friends excited us a bit so we said yes, we’ll go.
During the weekend, Vina told me she wouldn’t be able to come with us coz she has to attend Francis’ sister’s wedding. Then early Monday morning, Ate Rose texted & said that she’s sick. I felt sorry for her but at the same time, I was beginning to think that perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea after all. And Peter didn’t want to drive that far lately coz he’s been tired most of the time. So I thought that  perhaps, while waiting for the others at Bluewave along Diosdado Macapagal, Roxas Blvd. (our meeting place that morning), I could check out Sun Cruises near CCP and see if they have a couple of boat slots for Corregidor that day. Well, it turned out that they had almost a hundred slots waiting to be filled. I got excited! I texted my friends and asked and begged them if we could go to Corregidor instead! They wanted to… but sad to say that Dodgie already made reservations at one of the restaurants in Tagaytay plus they also have plans of visiting the wake of Dodgie’s boss’ dad. Well, we didn’t want to spend our time eating all day and visiting a dead guy we don’t know so it’s a good thing they let us pursue our new and sudden plan. I love my friends! They’re so forgiving. And Peter & I couldn’t be any happier! Blame it on my impulsiveness! Hahaha! So off they went to Tagytay and off we went to Corregidor! (We’ve been planning to go here for two years now. We can’t believe that it finally happened and as spontaneously as that! Weee!


Now, let me take you on a trip back to history… We took tons of photos with both our Olympus and Pentax digital cameras that at the end of the trip, both of their batteries were exhausted. Here’s a film I made especially for you. Enjoy! 

*(text taken from Sun Cruises, Inc.’s pamphlet)
One of the most celebrated battles of World War II took place in this tadpole-shaped island more than 60 years ago, but the thunderous roar of the guns reverberates as a whole new adventure unfolds in Corregidor.

It is the largest of the five islands in between the shores of the legendary provinces of Bataan and Cavite, both homes to the country’s beloved heroes. The reminiscence of the Pacific War, however, is one educational attraction of a trip to the island, the best part is to experience life here amidst luscious green hills and pristine blue waters.

The most photographed area in Corregidor, this 1,520-foot barracks served as headquarters of some 2,000 US offcials, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur. What was once a recreational indoor pool can still be seen today.

MALINTA TUNNEL The highlight of the visit would be the 30-minute light-and-sound show at the tunnel, which chronicles the significance of the place as it served as center of American operations during WWII. Former President Manuel L. Quezon and Vice-President Sergio Osmena took their oath on December 30, 1941 under this hideaway to begin their second term in office. This passage was converted into a hospital, arsenal, and fuel reservoir, where thousands of Filipinos, Americans and Japanese died.

Located at the highest point of the island, it was completed at the cost of $1.23 million in 1968, and one of the only two memorials built by the US government to mark the war, the other is in Pearl Harbor.

This lighthouse used to be a checkpoint, which alerts Manila of an approaching galleon. This spot offers a spectacular view of the Manila Bay, South China Sea, and the whole island.

The gallant guns of the Pacific are distributed in different parts of the island. Battery Way is armed with four 12-inch mortars that can fire in any direction. It has the last gun to fire out before the fall to the Japanese. Battery Hearn’s seacoast gun is the longest in the island with a firing range of 17 miles. Battery Geary contains the most effective guns in Corregidor. Battery Crocket has two 12-inch seacoast guns mounted on carriages that move the guns that disappear behind a parapet. The Americans built a total of 20 batteries in the island.

This landmark contains sculptor Manuel Casal’s 14 murals depicting some of the country’s historic battles from the Battle of Mactan in 1521 to the Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986.


The tickets cost us P1,690 each, iclusive of boat transfers via Sun Cruiser II, tour of the island via Tram and buffet lunch. For an additional P150 each, we were able to watch the Malinta Tunnel Lights & Sound show. It surely was a day we thoroughly enjoyed! As what Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, we too, shall return. Come see Corregidor!  

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