Corregidor Island is strategically situated near the southern coast of the province of Bataan in the Southwestern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. But geographically, this island is part of the province of Cavite. It is an island situated at the entrance of Manila Bay which played an important role during the World War II. Corregidor is also known as “The Rock Island” because of its rocky landscape. It’s been a strategic defense location of the Spaniards when they arrived in the Philippines in 16th century. This was the place where all ships have been under inspection before entering Manila. From then on, Corregidor has been the site for many battles from the Spanish-American War to World War II and American colonialism.
During the invasion of the Japanese, Corregidor became the temporary headquarters of the Philippine government. In the Battle of Corregidor, both the American and Filipino troops fought and defend the island using tunnels. Unfortunately, Corregidor was surrendered to the Japanese in 1942. But on 1945, the Filipino and American forces regained the island from the Japanese soldiers. Then, it became the site of military training camp and the tunnel served as the headquarters of Gen. MacArthur, a hospital and supply depot until the middle of 1950’s.
Today, Corregidor Island considered as a historical destination and a national shrine commemorating the sacrifices of Filipino and American soldiers who lost their lives in the island. As you set foot on the island, you could still feel the heavy memories of what had happened here decades ago as the ruins are still fresh and untouched.
Here are what you will see when you visit the historical island of Corregidor:
Filipino Heroes Memorial. This site showcases the murals or wall paintings that display the Filipino’s heroic battles from the 15th century up to the present days.
The Corregidor Lighthouse. One of the oldest landmarks in Corregidor which was first lit in 1853. It was damaged during the siege of the island in World War II but reconstructed in 1950s after the war. Recently, it was improved by the Philippine Coast Guard by running a solar power on its lantern.
Malinta Tunnel. Prior to Japanese invasion during World War II, this tunnel was served as the last stronghold of the joint forces of Filipino and American soldiers. This was initially used as a bomb-proof storage and personnel bunker, but was later equipped as a thousand bed hospital. Today, the tunnel is the venue of an audio-visual presentation of events that happened during World War II.
Japanese Garden of Peace. This garden was built to symbolize the peace and friendship of Japan and the Philippines. This also served as a memorial to the Japanese soldiers who died on the island during the World War II. This site includes the shrines, a praying area and a pavilion that houses photographs and memorabilia.
Pacific War Memorial Museum. This museum was built to honor the Filipino and American soldiers who served during the Pacific War in World War II. It houses the war relics and artifacts from Corregidor during the war.
Filipino-American Friendship Park. This was created to commemorate the partnership and shared experiences of the Filipino and American soldiers who fought together during the Pacific War in World War II. The statue depicting an American soldier supporting a wounded Filipino soldier is called “Brothers in Arms”.
Battery Way. One of the two mortar batteries left in the island is the Battery Way. This is a four-12 inch mortars capable of hurling from 45-70 degrees. It was constructed between 1908-1913 and was named after Lt. Henry Way.
Battery Hearn. This is a 12-inch seacoast west-ranged guns capable of firing in all directions. Built between 1918-1921 and was named after Brig. Gen. Clint C. Hearn. This gun emplacement was captured nearly intact by the Japanese soldiers when Corregidor fell.
Battery Grubbs. This is one of the biggest guns in Corregidor. It was named after First Lt. Hayden Grubb and was built between 1907-1909. This gun emplacement was intended to fire to the northwest.
Ruins of Mile-Long Barracks. This is the skeletal ruins of the Topside Barracks which used to house the quarters of American officers and enlisted personnel. The barracks is currently unsafe and has sustained extensive damaged from bombing during World War II. This site is considered today by many tourists as haunted.