The Philippines is famous for the role it played during the Second World War on behalf of the Allied Forces in the Pacific. Some places in the country were more crucial than others though, and one island in particular was vital to strategic defense. With numerous signs of the war like ruins and cannons scattered across the island, Corregidor to this day is well remembered for its instrumental contribution. The Island of Corregidor , or island of correction , was so called due to its being a penal institution and fortress during the Spanish era. Just like the Spanish, once the Americans recognized the tactical advantage of setting up on the island, they spent over a hundred fifty million dollars on building one of the best army bases in the nation. Unfortunately, much of that was wiped out by the conflagration. Still, what remains makes for an impressive visit.
History buffs would definitely want to wake up early as the one hour ferry to the island leaves Manila at 8 in the morning. Checking out the sites on your own for the first time is a little difficult though, so it is recommended that one be a part of the tour. The Sun Cruises tour is pretty good, and will tackle most of what you should see on the island. You ll be riding the tramvia, a small bus open on all sides, so be careful that you and your possessions do not fall out. One of the sites you go to be will be the Filipino Heroes Memorial, where several statues were placed to honor the heroes of the land at the time. Conversely, there is also a Japanese War Memorial to honor those that died on the other side.
You will also be taken to several Battery ruins. For those that don t know, a battery is a group of big guns in one area. These guns were crucial in fending off the Japanese and in helping the soldiers at Bataan . Up close, these guns look quite impressive. Combined with the ruins, one can imagine the battles that took place. Speaking of ruins, the most photographed one is the mile long barracks, which housed 2000 military men. General Douglas MacArthur also used it as his command center before he retreated to Australia , another event immortalized at the Lorcha Dock. A statue of the great general can be seen as a reminder of his immortal line, I shall return.
The highlight of the tour however, has to be the historical light and sound show at the Malinta Tunnel. The structure got its name due to the number of leeches that plagued workers during its construction. It was integral during the Siege of Corregidor, and it was where General MacArthur moved the USAFFE H.Q. Outside of the tour, Corregidor is also home to a few resorts. Activities like biking and hiking make the island worth staying in for more than a day. Corregidor s violent past has led to speculation that the place is haunted, but the ghosts of yesterday are not known to bother tourists, giving one more than ample opportunity to appreciate the courage and strength of the soldiers who fought way back when.