Corregidor Island is more associated with World War 2 and the American Colonial Era, due to the development of the island as a fortress, military area, and the place where one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific Theatre of World War 2 happened. However, at the highest part of Corregidor, a beacon of light guides the mariners, as well as to signal impending attacks. The Corregidor Lighthouse or Faro de Corregidor is the only Spanish edifice in the entire island.
Just a few meters from the Topside area, Corregidor Lighthouse or Faro de Corregidor serves as the primary beacon for navigators entering and leaving Manila Bay. Perched on top of the hill more than 600 meters above the sea, it gives a complete 360 degree view of Manila Bay, Bataan, Cavite, and on a clear day—Metro Manila itself. The tall, whitewashed lighthouse sits on a red-orange plaza of souvenir shops and an office.
Last Christmas, I had an opportunity of visiting one of the bastions of Philippine history, Corregidor Island. As with my previous posts, from the beginning and towards the middle side area, this island has a lot of stories to tell, about valor of our forefathers who fought endlessly to defend our freedom from the invaders. Yet the highlight of that tour last December hasn’t been reached yet. As we reached high above the Manila Bay, the view of the nerve center of then-one of Asia’s best military camps, this island has still a lot to tell…from its head and all towards under its belly.
This is my tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the greater glory of freedom and for peace to prevail once more in this part of the globe. Today is April 9, Araw ng Kagitingan in the Philippines.
All right, all right…you may be wondering why the introduction for this article was with Felipe De Leon’s Christmas Carol “Payapang Daigdig?” Nope, its not that I’m forcing it to fit on Christmas (or this article was meant to be posted on Christmas eve). The song was made out of bombardment of Manila in 1945, when the maestro woke up one morning with such devastation that engulfed the whole city–world’s second most destroyed. We also have to remember that it was during Christmas of 1941 that the Philippines was invaded by the Japanese imperial troops and bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. These stories of melancholic Christmas intertwined with Corregidor’s embattled past. As we head on for our tour, one December morning, I can feel the sirens and the cool breeze…however with more tension.
Our first stop was the Middleside area of Corregidor. Its a plateau between Topside and the coastline. It is here were you can find the second longest military barracks in the world at that time, the MiddleSide Barracks, which houses several Filipino and American troops at that time. Near it was a reservoir disguised as a tennis court. A few meters away from it, is the ruined building of the YMCA. The area is a camping ground for most excursionists and scouts.
It was Christmas Day, well a lot of urban-dwellers of Manila and its suburbs like to spend some time with the company of family and friends. My family though decided that we go to Tagaytay and pass by Pink Sisters then head on to one of the last “shack cottages” overlooking Taal Volcano and Batangas Province. It was cold and was drizzling when we went there. Tagaytay as expected would be crowded on a long weekend, but we never expected such mass exodus that would unfold later that day. …continue reading
It was one of those unplanned trips again that ended up great—and as a history student, a place something to look forward to. It was my first time conquering “The Rock of the Orient.” It is the tadpole-shaped sentinel island that guards Manila Bay from invaders—and indeed it held steadfast in Philippine history. The English name, “Corrector’s Island.” En español, “La Isla de Corregidor.”
Thanks to Ivan Henares and Sun Cruises, I, together with bloggers Joel, Cedrick, James, Estan, Claire, Rob, Patricia, Ivan Mandy, and Sir Bobby Aquino of Magsaysay Shipping, we embarked on a 1 hour and 15 minute fast cruise towards the mouth of Manila Bay as the sun is just reaching its rays over the skyline of Manila.
The first is, have you tried combat commuting? I think if you live in Manila, it is essential to know combat commuting. Its a war waged every single weekday in the Philippine capital. The climax of the war at Hell’s Gate? Rush hour madness. Everyday, people try to cram themselves in buses, jeepneys and metros. Well, asi es la vida en Manila! Can’t deal with it? Might as well leave for the provincias.
Now, for a Cavite resident like me, traveling from home to work is a fact of life. Manila has become crowded and the urban expansion reached the doorsteps of its neighboring provinces, one of which is Cavite. There may be 12 million residents in Metro Manila but including the Greater Manila Area (encompassing Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan), we may even be comparable with the population of that of Mexico City, Tokyo or Mumbai! Cavite has the largest share of GMA residents–3 million people, tw0-thirds of it lives in towns near Metro Manila and along Aguinaldo Highway–the sole main artery of the province. Three million, the most populous province in the country–and with real estate blooming like lumot in the pond, its like a heart chocked with cholesterol! After all, Cavite IS a bedroom of Metro Manila.
26 September 2009 – While working, our office is being bombarded with nature’s fury as Tropical Storm Ondoy unleashes his full fury in Philippines’ capital Manila. While we were busy taking calls, he was busy creating havoc and destruction in Manila that would make Filipinos shocked and awed with nature’s awesome power.
1 PM – Dismissal. The company would like to have their employees be safe at their site, so it was recommended that they wouldn’t leave the premises and would be given food. I decided to just leave since I was so worried with my family in Cavite. I ate a heavy meal before launching a journey in which I would never ever forget in my lifetime. Location: Market Market, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
2.30PM – Got an approval from my trainer but he reminded me to update him and at the same time, stay safe. I took the Fort Bus from Market Market in Fort Bonifacio Taguig. The driver said that the floods have subsided in some parts but EDSA was still a virtual parking lot for south bound vehicles.
2.45PM – I reached Ayala-EDSA corner. EDSA was at standstill for south bound vehicles while north bound was virtually empty. I tried to ride on a Cavite bound bus but after 15 minutes, I left and diverted to Ayala Avenue towards Buendia. For I thought that there would be an easier way up there going out of Makati through Buendia-LRT and Pasay.
3.00PM – I started walking from Ayala-EDSA through Greenbelt and Glorietta. Some shops were closed. Ayala Avenue was in the field of desolation. It was my first time seeing Makati CBD battered by a storm.
While walking the elevated walkway from Greenbelt to Rufino, Ondong unleashes again his missiles of rain and gusts. I was getting wet, but no bother…I stopped over at a 7-11 convenience store to buy me an energy drink. My motive was to at least walk all the way to Baclaran. And so I went off all the way to Makati Med. …continue reading
Mount Sungay is said to be the tallest mountain in the province of Cavite, so any ideas of trekking the summit with your usual backpack and camping stuff? Heck no! On the top of the summit is a landmark that is known in Tagaytay City, manifestation on how white elephant should be.
Formerly known as Palace in the Sky and now called People’s Park in the Sky, the mansion on top of Mount Sungay was constructed in 1970′s as a guesthouse for then US President Ronald Reagan…but it was never used at all. Oh well, there goes the people’s taxes. The mansion (now in ruins) resembled somewhat like that of Laguna’s National Arts Center, which resembles a pyramid bent heavy in its brute features.
Yet it made its presence felt on Hollywood flick as Chuck Norris shot on this location in the 1980′s as a mansion of a drug lord (too bad, the image has really been tainted) in the movie “Delta Force.”
After that, although it was a landmark and finally opened to the public sometime during the Aquino administration, it was neglected and was left to ruins or pagnakawan pa. It was shrouded in the clouds for several years
The heart of the Province of Cavite’s bureaucracy, the city that was built in 1954 and dedicated it to the thirteen martyrs of the province who have sacrificed their lives for the name of freedom from Spanish rule. The City of Trece Martires.
Located somewhat 43 kilometers down south of Manila, it is the seat of government of the province of Cavite which is located right smack at the heart of the province. Talking about transacting government business at its most strategic location.
I had a quick brush over the city as I was assisting my mom in her transaction at the Capitol, so I didn’t stayed there longer although managed to take some shots at the capitol grounds. …continue reading