Friday, November 29, 2013

Travel Diaries : Island of Valor and Peace Part 2

As promised, here's the second part of my recent travel adventure in Corregidor.

The ruins of the military barracks is often the subject of photography and TV features about Corregidor.

According to our guide, the structures used to be dormitories, hospital, offices and entertainment centers for the military personnel stationed in the island. Since the place sits away from the city, it became a self-sustaining community and home for the military personnel and their families.

In order to ensure preservation and safety, tourists are restricted from entering these structures.

In my mind, these structures could have been preserved if the Philippines didn't become a casualty of World War II.

This is another common sight in Corregidor. Cannons and artillery of all sizes and functions were restored and preserved.

Nothing was changed in this storage site for ammunition since its existence.
 The construction of this park was funded by the US government. The main attraction in this area is inside the white dome. 

The entire place should be considered as a sanctuary. If there is one area I considered sacred, this marble structure relates everything.

The surrounding areas of the park that provide
 tribute to all the enlisted American and Filipino soldiers. 
Two drunk soldiers Heehee 

The statue is a representation of the brotherhood that existed between Filipinos and Americans. 

As we explored the area that surrounds the park, we ended up in this breathtaking view

My friend B described this as heaven. It reminded us of the Filipino movie, Hihintayin Kita sa Langit, which plot was adapted from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
The sprawling horizon personified the book and movie's depiction of heaven.

Who would not fall in love with this view? 

The last item in our itinerary is the famous Spanish Lighthouse of Corregidor.

There were two lighthouses in Corregidor. The tallest is not accessible for tourists and guests.

This is the lighthouse we dared to trek ;)
Entrance to the lighthouse

We made it to the top and was surprised with a better view.

It was time to say goodbye.

I never had much expectations for this trip. Most articles I read emphasized the fact that there's nothing spectacular to experience in Corregidor. A friend even told me that the entire island is just a huge cemetery for all the casualties of WWII.  Despite the discouraging feedbacks, I enjoyed my short tour in Corregidor. I actually like the place. For reasons I can't understand, I felt relaxed and rejuvenated in the island. If given the chance, I would love to revisit the place. I don't have regrets of spending a weekend in Corregidor.

Back to city life, back to reality!

My trip to Corregidor would not be possible without my dear friend and sister B. Thanks Ate B! Hope to see you again soon, perhaps on another travel adventure away from Manila. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Travel Diaries - I visited the Island of Peace and Valor Part 1

Hooray for another travel adventure made this year! Best about everything, this trip came as a surprise. I felt like I was given an early birthday and Christmas gift. Allow me to relate the story of how I was able to achieve this yearend travel adventure.

A few weeks ago, I was having an online conversation with my good old friend B. After a few exchange of messages, she invited me for a possible out-of-town trip. Without checking my weekend schedule, I said yes. There were no plans at all. I just waited for B's meet up date and time. The next Saturday, I woke up earlier and was all set to see the Island of Corregidor.

Here's a brief information about Corregidor

Corregidor is located across the entrance of Manila Bay, bordering the Northern and Southern regions of the Philippines. Corregidor is also known as The Rock because of its rocky landscape. A few articles I read mentioned that the island is a ruminant of an inactive volcanic crater. This explains the rocky formations everywhere.

Corregidor could have been considered as a perfect tropical island destination. It is blessed with the perfect landform of mountains and forestry. Added to this the splendid beach and shoreline. Unfortunately, history made Corregidor perform military functions. The island's geography made it as a perfect naval base, coastal artillery and ammunition site to protect Manila as the capital of the Philippines.

Corregidor is now known to most Filipinos as a historical site and sanctuary. The island became a home for Filipino, American and Japanese military personnel with their families. Corregidor became a witness to the heroism and all the lives lost during the Word War II.

So much about history, let my pictures give you a tour to Corregidor.

Early Morning Ferry Ride to Corregidor
On the way to Corregidor, I enjoyed this rare relaxing scenery
First Sight of the Island
The rocky formations I've been relating

A glimpse of the area ideal for swimming
We were temporarily housed in this villa for lunch

More information about Corregidor

While waiting for our tour guide, we explored the place and landed in this small and quaint chapel. We had limited time so I failed to capture more photos.
Our tour bus which is a replica of the pre-war trams that circulated in Corregidor

First stop is the Lorcha Dock where the famous Douglas McArthur uttered "I shall return"

I Shall Return
Across the Lorcha Dock, I found these picture perfect site fronting the chapel
Amazing view to our next destination
Glimpse of History

Pardon the shameless selfie heehee

The typical sight in Corregidor

Inside the tunnel that remains bombproof today

A trip will never be complete without my favorite "pair of flats" shot :)
My Corregidor post is not yet over. Let's play a little suspense here. ;) I'll share more photos and experience on the second part of this post.

Have a great day ahead!