Corregidor Island overnight tour

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Corregidor
Corregidor Island has always had that mysterious appeal, primarily because of its rich past and the many ghost stories told many times about this tiny former American outpost. A trip to Corregidor Island, hence, is one adventure that is worth pursuing.

It was a year ago when Khris and I planned on going to Corregidor Island. It did not push through, though, because of the inclement weather that time.

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A photo of a barge at the Manila Sun Cruises port
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Photo taken at the waiting area of Manila Sun Cruises while waiting for our departure
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A photo of the Manila skyline as our ferry departs for Corregidor
 Exactly a year after, we were finally able to go to this historic island. We booked for an overnight tour through Sun Cruises; I believe they are the only group conducting a Corregidor Island tour.

The only route going to the island was via a one-hour ferry ride which, thankfully, was comfortable and smooth.

The section of Corregidor Island with the biggest land area is the topside. This is the location of the Army headquarters, barracks, officers’ quarters, most of the artillery batteries, Pacific War Memorial, and an old Spanish lighthouse.

The middle side contains the officers’ quarters, barracks, hospital, quarters for non-commissioned officers, and schools. The hospital, reputed to be haunted, is a favorite site for ghost-hunting tours.

Bottom side is the lower part of the island that serves as the neck that connects the head and the tail of the island. The Malinta Tunnel, the last stronghold of the Philippine and American Military forces, is located here. This tunnel was originally intended as a bunker but it was eventually converted to a 1000-bed hospital.

Upon arriving at the island, we were greeted by tranvias that will take us around the island for the entire duration of the tour. According to our guide, tranvias were the primary means of transportation in the island during World War II. The present-day tranvias are engine-operated, unlike the original ones that were electric-powered and ran on tracks.

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Here’s how the tranvia looks like from inside. Yes, they sell those bags of Chippy and also cold Coke and bottled water.
Statue of Gen. Douglas McArthur
Statue of Gen. Douglas McArthur, who used the island as allied headquarters and also as an escape route to Australia.
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Photo of a beach while on our way to the Japanese Garden of Peace.
Japanese tunnel
This is an example of a Japanese tunnel. Much smaller than an American Tunnel according to our guide
Old Japanese flag
Old Japanese flag
Old bills issued during the war
Old bills issued during the war
  
Collection of old bills.
Collection of old bills
Photos of Japanese soldiers
Photos of Japanese soldiers
Our first stopover was at the Japanese Garden of Peace. There was a small souvenir shop that also doubles as a mini museum where an old and worn out Japanese flag is displayed. Likewise showcased were old bills and photos of World War II.

The Japanese Garden of Peace was formerly a cemetery for Japanese soldiers killed during the war
The Japanese Garden of Peace was formerly a cemetery for Japanese soldiers killed during the war
 Corregidor

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 Old artillery
Old artillery
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Corregidor

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Japanese marker
Japanese marker
One of the markers that dot the place
One of the markers that dot the place
The site of the Japanese Garden of Peace was a former Japanese Cemetery until it was finally covered with undergrowth many years after the war. It was the photo above which led to the discovery of the site. Cleared and landscaped, it now features shrines and markers that serve as memorial for the Japanese soldiers formerly interred here.

From the Japanese Garden of Peace, we proceeded to the Filipino Heroes Memorial. It featured numerous murals of Filipinos fighting various heroic battles.

From the Filipino Heroes memorial, the group had a one-hour lunch break at Corregidor Inn. Lunch was served buffet. It was good but not necessarily awesome. Nonetheless, we went there for the adventure and not really for the food.

The last part of the day trip consisted of tours around the ruined soldiers' quarters and batteries. We also went to the Pacific War Memorial at the highest peak of Corregidor where a museum and sculptures were located.

Battery Way
Battery Way
 Inside Battery Way
Inside Battery Way
 Corregidor

Artifacts inside the Pacific War Memorial Museum
Artifacts inside the Pacific War Memorial Museum
The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse — our last stop for the day tour
 Corregidor

Inside the ruined hospital — said to be one of the eeriest places in Corregidor
Inside the ruined hospital — said to be one of the eeriest places in Corregidor
We availed of an evening tour which consisted of a visit to a ruined hospital and the Malinta Tunnel. People say that the hospital is one of the most haunted places in the island.The peak of the evening tour is a walk inside the Malinta Tunnel, the last stronghold of the joint Philippine and American military forces before the Japanese takeover. A visit to the tunnel usually included a light show and an audio-visual presentation but these were unavailable that evening because the place was being renovated. Be prepared also some ghost stories from your guide.

Inside the Malinta Tunnel for the evening tour
Inside the Malinta Tunnel for the evening tour

Tips:
  1. Food in the hotel can be pricey. You may want to bring your own.
  2. You may opt to buy souvenirs outside the hotel as they are not as expensive.
  3. Bring enough cash with you.

Interested individuals may book a Corregidor tour through the following:

Reservations Office
Fernando Ma. Guerrero corner Paseo Palisoc, CCP
Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Tel. (632) 834-6857 to 58, (632) 831-8140
Fax (632) 834-1523
Mobile (63)917 513-2625, (63)922 337-0068
E-mail: suncruises@magsaysay.com.phSales Office

21st Floor Times Plaza Bldg., Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Tel. Nos. (632) 527-5555 local 4511 and 4512
Fax No. (632) 527-5555 local 4513
E-mail: sales@suncruises.com.ph
Corregidor Inn
Corregidor Island, Cavite
Mobile: 0917-5276350
E-mail: corregidor_inn@suncruises.com.ph

How to get to Sun Cruises:

Option 1: From North via Roxas Boulevard (Luneta)
  1. From Taft Avenue, turn right to Quirino Avenue
  2. Turn left to Roxas Boulevard
  3. When you reach CCP, turn right to Pedro Bukaneg Street
  4. Turn right to Maria Guerrero Street Parking area
Option 2: Form South via Roxas Boulevard
  1. From Baclaran, head straight to Roxas Boulevarad
  2. When you reach CCP, turn left to Pedro Bukaneg Street
  3. Turn right to Maria Guerrero Street Parking area
Option 3: Public Transportation

A. From South
- Ride LRT 1 from Baclaran going to Vito Cruz Station
- Cross the street going to Pablo Ocampo Street (Rizal Stadium)
- Ride an Orange Jeep going to Folk Arts Theater/ Coconut Palace
- Walk going to Paseo Palisoc Street (Parking Area)B. From North
- Ride LRT 1 from Balintawak or Monumento going to Vito Cruz Station
- Walk going to Pablo Ocampo Street (Rizal Stadium)
- Ride an Orange Jeep going to Folk Arts Theater/ Coconut Palace
- Walk going to Paseo Palisoc Street (Parking Area)

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29 comments

  1. I love to go sightseeing and I really enjoy tours the most. I bet you had a great time on your overnight weekend tour. I absolutely love all of your clear and vivid photos. It's the next best thing to being there.

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  2. This place is gorgeous. I have never visited it but my friend went there once and she absolutely loved it

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  3. This looks like a really interesting place. I love your black and white photographs - they really complement the blog post.

    Rosie | www.rosieromance.com

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  4. What an interesting destination. Thanks for bringing this off the beaten path blog post to my attention

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  5. thetravelpockets2 August 2016 at 07:12

    OMG I had no idea this island existed!! I love WWII history and now this is on my bucket list to visit. Thank you!

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  6. Tours are always great. I really enjoy classic pictures and you did just that! Adding black and white to those pictures ended up with an outstanding result! Super cool! I also have something for abandoned buildings, don't know why!

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  7. I like history anyway so this overnight tour about the war sounds like a really good experience. Loved the photos too.

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  8. soulsensecoaching2 August 2016 at 10:00

    Interesting tour, especially the Japanese Garden of Peace. Tours are often a great way to learn about more obscure places of interest like this, which I hadn't heard of.

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  9. It's awesome that you were able to see so many historical places. The stops on the day tour sounded so cool.

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  10. I've been there before but we only did the day tour and went home right after. It's a very lovely place especially since I love learning about WWII and what the soldiers went through during that time.

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  11. I liked all the photos, everything seems so nice. Japanese garden of peace is really beautiful. It's funny how I don't believe in ghost generally but I wouldn't go near that haunted hospital.

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  12. I would love to go to the Japanese garden! It looks gorgeous!

    Love,
    Ivelisse | CarnationDreams.com

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  13. With TBEX coming up soon, I need to learn more about the Philippines.

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  14. Very interesting places to visit! A friend of mine is planning to visit Manila in the end of this year so I will share this one for him.

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  15. I really love our country for having great sites filled with culture and history. Love your photos!

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  16. Thank you. Glad you found the post helpful. :)

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  17. Thanks for dropping by. Glad to be of help!

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  18. Agree with you, abandoned buildings gain their own character. Thanks for dropping by.

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  19. Thank you! Yup, it's more fun in the Philippines. :)

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  20. Haha. Thank you! Maybe because the hospital looks sad.

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  21. You should try staying overnight. The hotel is lovely.

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