I’ve always wanted to visit historical places in other countries that I often forget that my country is rich in history too. My college friends and I have long-planned of traveling together, and couldn’t decide on what place to go because we all have different work schedules. We all agreed that it should be on a weekend and the place must be near Manila.
A short trip to Corregidor was planned, a small rocky island about 48 kilometers west of Manila. This island fortress serves as a memorial for the valor, courage, and heroism of Filipino and American soldiers who bravely defended it against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II.
We booked our tickets from Sun Cruises, a tour company that provide ferry service to Corregidor, through metrodeal.com. The cost of the tour includes roundtrip ferryboat transfers, shrine and terminal fees, guided island tour, and lunch. Travel time from Manila to Corregidor takes 1 hour 15 minutes. The ferry was nice and the crew are friendly and attentive. It was a very comfortable ride.
When we get to Corregidor, an attendant ushered us to our tour bus. A bubbly, knowledgeable, tour guide was assigned to us. He asked if there was a foreigner in the group who might not understand Filipino because if there was, he will only be speaking in English, but there was none. Although I noticed that he spoke in English most of the time.
Our tour guide explained things that happened in history in such a way that he was there, like a witness. But the remains of the Island – the ruined structures, the big guns, and the tunnel, were enough proof of a great story that we hope to never happen again.
We had our lunch at Corregidor hotel. The lunch was good. There was a wide selection of food – fish, meat, fruits, and vegetables. The ambiance in the restaurant was great.
After a short siesta time, we rode the minibus again to go to Malinta tunnel. Watching the lights and sound show (diorama) inside the tunnel was optional. We payed additional Php200 per person. The diorama showcased what it was like during the war, how the tunnel served as a hospital for those who were wounded, and a hiding place for some.
This day, the guns of Corregidor are silent and the ruins of buildings, structures, and tunnels are left to tell a very moving story of a war that has claimed so many lives. A visit to this former battleground is an experience, especially for people who cherish and value peace and freedom.
So for those who want to have a memorable experience at this former battleground, here’s the lowdown:
LOCATION: Corregidor Island, 48 kilometers west of Manila
HOW TO GET THERE: Book a ferry transfer from Sun Cruises. They are located at Esplanade Seaside Terminal, Esplanade Seaside Park (Seaside Blvd., MOA Complex), Pasay, Pasay City, Philippines
Tel. (632) 834-6857 to 58, (632) 831-8140
Mobile (63)917 513-2625, (63)922 337-0068
Note: Reservation required prior to travel date.
- Check for discounted tour packages from online shops. If you book directly from Sun Cruises, they offer weekened and holiday tour for Php2,549.00/person. We got ours from metrodeal for Php1500.00/person.
- Put on sunblock and wear a hat/cap. Because you will be out in the sun for almost the entire day.
- Be at the ferry terminal atleast an hour before departure. Check-in counter open 1 hour before scheduled time of departure and strictly close 30 minutes before departure. Passengers who arrive after the cut-off time will not be allowed to go on board.
- While on tour, stay with the group. Expect that you will be traveling with people you don’t know. As much as we want to stay longer to take more pictures, we have to be considerate of other people’s time. You woudn’t want them waiting for you on the bus to get to the next destination. (Unless of course, you go on a private tour.)
- Bring lots of water. Although there will be a few stops where you can buy water, like the souvenir shop and the light house, you don’t know when you’ll be thirsty. Bringing snacks like biscuits and chips wouldn’t hurt either. They’re quite expensive in the island.
- Bring extra clothes and wear comfortable shoes. Expect to be sweaty from walking around all day.
|Check-in time and Boarding Time 7:00AM|
|ETD Manila 8:00AM|
|ETA Corregidor 9:15AM (Guided tour with Lunch)|
|ETD Corregidor 2:30PM|
|ETA Manila 3:45PM|
|Day tour package booked from metrodeal.com Php1500|
|Lights and Sound Show at Malinta Tunnel – Php200.00/person|