The island of Corregidor tells a lot of stories. Stories of war, loss, hope, and the capacity of human beings to become selfless. For most, it just another historical site, a big chunk of post-war memorabilia left to us from the past.
The island was used as a support site for the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1850’s, the island became their fort for defense, prison site, tariff collection, and a beacon for incoming naval fleets. If you wanted to get to Manila, you had to stop by Corregidor as a port of entry for anyone who wanted to get to the country.
When the Americans took the island from the Spaniards, they created an extended garrison. They constructed additional military structures which included a movie theatre, a hospital, and the infamous Malinta tunnel, an elaborate network of twenty-five laterals.
Today, these ruins are all that remains and we will never know the extent of perseverance and sacrifice of those who had died within its cavities.
But see, Corregidor is beyond the carnage that had happened during the war. You’d be surprised that this fortress can offer a lot of vibrant and picturesque hilltops, an amazing sunset, and other interesting spots yet to be explored.
Come away with us together with Sun Cruises Inc. as we take you along The Corregidor Island during our Day Out!
The island of Corregidor (Corrector), 48km southwest of Manila and often referred to as ‘The Rock’, ‘Fort Mills’, or ‘Gibraltar of the East’ is a popular day trip from the capital.
Strategic in location, this tadpole-shaped island, has been used as the perfect harbor to put up a fortified defense of the capital during the Pacific War.
After Pearl Harbor was hit, the Japanese was quick to act and attack the Philippines after 10 hours.
For a few months, Corregidor became the seat of government with our very own Pres. Manual Quezon, living in Malinta Tunnel during the ongoing onslaught of the Japanese empire.
Eventually, supplies and water ran low, and the U.S. Army lost its hold of the island. Many fought for 27 straight days. And on May 6th in 1942. Corregidor fell. It is the starting point of the Japanse 3 year occupation (1942-1945) in The Philippines.
In 1945, Douglas returned to recapture the Philippines through Corregidor’s entrance. His arrival was timely for the Pacific War, the branch of World War II in the Pacific and Asia.
Explore and Experience Corregidor
The resident manager of the Corregidor Inn, Eduardo “Ed” Gorrion who grew up in the island, happens to be an affiliated tour guide. He elaborately explains the history that occurred and easily narrates the day by day accounts of the days of the war.
Explore the Four Parts of the Islands
Corregidor Island is divided into four sections, each with their own areas of interest and landmarks.
The Japanese Garden of Peace (Tail End)
Japanese Garden of Peace also symbolizes the peace and friendship of Japan and the Philippines.
From there, you can see an aircraft guns on the hill’s edge looking out to the sea, and not so far from the area is a Buddha monument that stands as a fertility idol for those who want to bear a child.
The Lights and Sounds show happens at the main tunnel of Malinta.
We were able to walk through the main tunnel and witness the Lights and Sounds show that depicts the key events at Corregidor.
History Snippet: The Malinta Tunnel is where the Americans and Filipino shelter hid out and took shelter so they’d be safe when the Japanese started attacking the island via air strikes. Japanese soldiers also used this tunnel when after the fall of Corregidor happened, the Americans returned with their Allied forces to hunt down the enemies. The surviving Japanese soldiers chose to do Hara-Kiri (stabbed themselves with their sword) inside the tunnel instead of surrendering.
Intricately carved statues per station complemented by audio recordings of that time.
The Battery Ways, War Museum, A Spanish Lighthouse, and Barracks.
Pacific War Memorial and Museum
Used to be the location of 2-story officers’ quarters, barracks for the enlisted men, a hospital, quarters for non-commissioned officers, a service club, PX, and two schoolhouses.
The Spanish Lighthouse
History Snippet: The lighthouse was first built during the Spanish colonization in the 1850s, and it was able to guide navigators as they sail across the waters of the country since its construction. WWII severely damaged the structure and in the 1950s it was completely demolished and reconstructed again from the bricks that were remained around the area.
Sunset Viewing and Night Lateral Tour
After that beautiful sunset session, we went back to the Malinta tunnel to do the night lateral walking tour. The tour runs for about an hour or so.
History Snippet: These lateral tunnels served as the temporary hospital location after the original hospital was bomb.
Note: Night mode on camera was switched on
We were asked to put on a helmet and with a flashlight in one hand, we walked into complete darkness and saw many of the tunnel’s corners.
Find Joy with Corregidor’s Scenic View
The island’s sweeping viewpoints are amazing. Our tram stopped at a certain viewpoint spot along the way and we just all stood in awe atop of hills just appreciating how perfectly beautiful each site was.
Early Morning Activities
If you opt to stay overnight, we highly recommend that you join the early morning engagement activities; The Sunrise Viewing and the Japanese Tunnel Experience
We headed back to the cliff behind the Eternal Flame of Freedom monument to witness as the sun emerges from the sea and rises over the island’s tail end. They say that every May 6th, the sun rises and the suns rays hit the memorial, and it lights up the entire dome.
There are plenty of new activities to experience
- New roads and trails for the bike enthusiast.
- Hiking trails to quest for hidden tunnels and gun batteries that aren’t part of the Historical Tour.
- Beach Activities: A pretty decent swimming beach, bonfire sessions, beach camping, and kayaking around the island.
- Boat Tours: Go island hopping towards the nearby islands.
- A walking tour
- Team Building Activities (Corporate)
- Re-building of the hotel swimming pool
The hotel underwent a pretty big renovation to revamp their facilities. I checked in at this hotel about 10 years ago and the improvements that I’ve seen is pretty impressive.
The mattress is top quality, brand new inverter aircon, the bathroom fixture is neo-classical complimented by Ilog ni Maria bath products.
***Hostel Options Available
How to Get to Corregidor
Go to the Esplanade Seaside at the Mall of Asia Complex Grounds. They follow a strict time table so make sure to secure your tickets before boarding.
Corregidor Tour by Sun Cruises
Esplanade Seaside Terminal, Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex, Pasay City
Telephone No.: (632) 834-6857 to 58, (632) 831-8140
Their banking SCI is under the Magsaysay Group of Companies with 70 years strong in the industry your sure that the end to end management of is within high standards and strong compliance with all safety, environmental, and local standards.
For all their guided tours are meticulously planned to include visits to places of interest and scenic drives through areas of natural beauty with historical value. Every detail is planned and executed well to make sure efficiency in time and experience.
Day Tour Packages
Historical Day Tour 3,358php/64USD (weekdays) and 3,629php/69USD (weekend)
- Child rate (3-11 year old) is at 1,944php/37USD
- Island entrance fee
- Buffet lunch
- Island tour
- RT Ferry
- Day Tour Kit
You can BOOK HERE.
Corregidor Inn Double Sharing Twin Room-Overnight Rate is at 7,500php/144USD. Add an extra 650php/pax for the Historical Tram Tour.
- Complimentary Round-trip Ferry Transfers
- Overnight Accommodation at Corregidor Inn
- Shrine and Island entrance fees
- Full board Meals
- Day Tour
You can BOOK HERE.
The Corregidor Foundation’s extraordinary efforts in transforming and reviving the island are in full force to draw in new visitors. They are further improving Corregidor’s ecosystem and the level up its biodiversity which will be perfect for bird watching, wellness, and recreation refuge.
Come away and #ExploreCorregidor during your own Day Out!
We have more travel stories both for local and international destinations so make sure to check out our WHERE to GO section. As we always say, go forth and wander and when you return to become a storyteller.
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