Isla Corregidor Experience: Memories Of WWII

The cultural tour is deserving of the amount we spent. My Isla Corregidor experience signified a bonding time for me, my mom, and my best friends. I have loads of photos that can sum up my experience in Corregidor, and I hate to tire my readers with my tendencies of platitude, which can fill another entire page. I’ll get down with the highlights, I have never seen canyons, in enormous sizes scattered on the sides of the roads unmoved and partly buried as if they are just ordinary giant pieces of steel. But I have to say this. Although it seems mawkish, it makes the entire historical vibe authentic, and that deserves reverence.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Corregidor Pleases International Crowd

Our ferry sailed for over an hour and 45 minutes from the seaside terminal to Corregidor island’s bay. We were welcomed by several Trams (that don’t run on tracks) with the other sightseers who were mostly Japanese and Americans with a few Koreans, and Europeans. Separating the tourists in batches, each Tram is numbered. We joined a group of friendly Americans on Tram number five. Half of the day we spent visiting the ruins of the remaining establishments in the area before we proceeded to the hotel for our lunch.

Although I’m impressed how everybody was able to endure the temperature that day, the dehydration starved me. I cared less while pigging out on lunch eating two full bowls of baked spuds, five fish fillets, and a huge bowl of watermelons. The food was delicious, and it was also enjoyable watching foreigners eating local food especially rice because I don’t get to see that every day. The place is obviously a major tourist attraction, the daytours daily does not slow down. My mother totally digged it! She enjoyed staring at the multitude of races all around her eating foods that she cannot imagine they would eat.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once A Notorious Harbour

Perhaps, Corregidor was the most imperative coastal artillery in the Philippines back then because the moment I laid my eyes on the island, my subconsciousness seemed to have engulfed back in the time when the American forces gained control over the country’s arm forces, it was an island entirely for the military. During the deadly years of World War II, this volcanic caldera which formerly served as a harbor defense of the country. Against any intruders prowling stealthily in the southwestern seas of Luzon, Corregidor was notorious. It was also my first time to get at the top of a lighthouse. It felt exciting, strange, and scary at the same time. The steps going up are so steep. And when you reach the top, the wind will slap your face. Almost like pushing you. I know I seem silly but it was my first. My friends managed to take some selfies, but I didn’t even think about taking one. I was completely fascinated by the view right in front of me.

I must say, it was of a good fluke that we were led by the best tour guide in Corregidor. Armando’s love and knowledge of the war dazzled me. From the old photos of children impaled in bayonets and the huge empty cartridges he carries with him from decades old large firearms. It was entertaining how he delivers jokes in between his narrative of the island’s ruling period before it declined upon the arrival of the Japanese military. I still can’t get over the large number of cannon barrels scattered all over the island, unmoved, untouched. I even sat on some of them, I can only imagine the thousands of tormented souls are in that island. If you very receptive to such you might feel extremely uncomfortable being there.

Passing By The Uncanny Elements

It was a little scary when the tram started sloping up and down the skyward roads. My thoughts were fidgeting with the wheels, our weight, and the freaking gravity! We passed through random tunnels which were a great distraction. Impressively, some ruins of small buildings that are still standing proud. They are almost unnoticed because of how small they look now. There was even another one we saw on an islet, right across the island. The Malinta tunnel is an uncanny element of the island. You can feel right away the somewhat disturbing vibe as soon as you go in. It was so dark and they only allowed a few lights lit up right above every tunnel, maybe for the sake of excitement? Each tunnel has dummies re-enacting the scenarios on how the tunnel was back then. You can just picture how uneasy it was for the soldiers, the nurses and the doctors to move around such dark hollow place.
I’m certain it isn’t for a fact that a tunnel is hollow because I’m not claustrophobic. Perhaps, the experience might actually have been seriously eerie if only the tourist guides and caretakers were not there. Nevertheless, it’s likely due of the tunnel’s horrid residual memory, moreover, heightened by the creepy side tunnels. The part that is most striking for me is the long stretch of lawn. A massive area occupied by the ruins of a once a central infirmary. One thing I appreciate about the handlers of Corregidor is that they made sure it won’t be overcrowded. That’s a tremendous respect to a once powerful and bloody place. We were inherited with an immense history of friendship, betrayal, victory and loss.



I don’t want to go down too much on the details about Corrigedor’s history because that would spoil the tourist guide’s only job. But if you think the chunks of information I provided caught your curiosity, go and visit Corregidor! You will not regret it, just make sure you bring a large bottle of water, hat, and more importantly, sunscreen protection.
Special thanks to the office of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone (TIEZA) and for Sir Mark Lapid. For making it possible for us to experience the tour. To my blogger friends who dragged me to Corregidor with my dearest mother. If you want to experience the breathtaking remains of the country’s most powerful military. Visit their page


9 thoughts on “Isla Corregidor Experience: Memories Of WWII

  1. Jem

    What a poignant, special trip you took. Tour guides really make a trip when they are passionate and you can feel the love they have for the subject don’t they? I’m glad you got to experience this part of history

  2. Coralie Grassin

    I’m so used to WWII memorials and sites in Europe, I tend to forget how many countries it did affect. Thank you – I am now intrigued, will have to dig into the history of it more!

  3. WhodoIdo

    Being in the tunnels, you get to wander how the soldiers coped being down there in the dark. When we visited the Cu Chi tunnels in HCMC it felt very claustrophobic. Would love to visit Corregidor island and see the history.

  4. Gabby

    interesting place to visit! I really enjoy visiting WWII sites in Europe as well, I think paying a visit somewhere really enriches your understanding of history

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.