Saturday, August 05, 2006


DAY 1 - 2 - End
At precisely 2:30PM, the Sun Cruiser will ferry the day tourists back to Manila. The island will be even quieter than before and everything will seem like a scene right out of the 2000 Oscar Award Winning Miyazaki animated feature, Spirited Away.

The time has come to do absolutely nothing.
And to see absolutely no one.


Walk around the island. Bump into no one.

Roam around the hotel and check out their newly varnished floors (above). Bump into no one.

Check out where Douglas MacArthur escaped from the Japanese (above). Amazing how historical sites look so much more, well, un-historical when you get up close to it.

Take the van to the highest point of the island, Topside. Walk back from Topside. Wander around the bombed out Corregidor Theater (above). Bump into no one.
Corregidor is a nature preserve and a protected historic shrine. There are no local communities on the island. Which explains why the island is so quiet. And why there is no crime.

Walk around the ruins of the barracks.

Walk around the batteries.

Walk around the Pacific War Memorials. And still, bump into no one.

Check out the Filipino War Memorial. Bump into no one.
Unsolicited Opinion: Among all the monuments on the island, I have to say that this is definitely the ugliest. Tsk tsk. Shameful. C'mon Senor Francisco Manosa. You did a good job with the hotel. What's your excuse for this flat grey...whatever. It's hideous. It's lame. It's hot, and extremely corny. Tear it down please and replace it with something more thought out.

Ahem. But I digress.
Check out the Spanish Lighthouse and it's solar panels (Very Cool).

Oh yeah, Corregidor is a Spanish word pala. It means magistrate or something like that.

Walk around the Japanese Peace Garden. Meditate a bit.

Marvel at the jungle as it consumes the ruins.
Bump into no one.

Walk down a lonely seaside road.
Look at craggy cliffs in the distance.

Prance through the woods.
Watch monkeys.

Watch birds.

Corregidor is a birders wet dream. From what I heard, the aviary is closed (above. Note the lack of birds) and most of them have been released into the wild. Even Birdwatch has released raptors on the island. Good job, guys.

Oh and did I say, BUMP INTO NO ONE.

In the late afternoon, I recommend a tram tour through the haunted hospital grounds before catching the sunset.
At this point, Crack open the purchased Yellow Tail and packed cold cuts and cheese.

After dinner, the highlight of the weekend, The Malinta Tunnel night tour with Edward, their star guide extraordinaire (Sorry, no picture. None of the ones I took of him came out). He was funny in a light and inoffensive way, gave everyone little costumes (Yours truly in regulation helmet with flashlight, top), knew his stories inside out, and kept his energy on a consistent level throughout. No wonder he was chosen Tour Guide of the Year/Employee of the Year or something like that. On his tour, you'll walk through bombed out tunnels, relive some key moments of World War II, and even get to see the bones of Japanese soldiers (middle shot) scattered among the rubble.

On Day 2, you can watch the Sunrise and do everything over again, or just laze by the pool with the Sunday paper and a San Miguel Light like I did.

Oh. And for all you serious cyclists - and you know who you are - biking is now possible on the island. Their former bicycle concession is gone and now you can bring your own. Just make sure to bring a helmet, pads, and to sign their waiver. You also must also check if there is space on the ferry for your bike (collapsible bikes preferred). Call the number at the bottom of the page for more information.

Final Analysis:
Although inextricable from it's World War II past, I discovered that it is actually possible to experience Corregidor as a legitimate tourist destination worthy of an overnight stay (like Tagaytay, Batangas et al) and not merely as a five hour controlled experience. An overnight stay in Corregidor is a must-do for any tourist staying in Manila for more than five days, for any expat who doesn't want to go to far away from the city on the weekend, and FOR EVERY FILIPINO - simply because they should. Corregidor is also very kid friendly.

(valid through August): Weekend (Sat -Sun)
Twin double sharing Php 2,000.00/pax
Published rate (for the whole year): Php 2,500.00/pax

Inclusions: round trip ferry transfers, guided tour, shrine-terminal-entrance fees, buffet lunch on the first day, accomodation at the Inn
Contact: Kristine Castro 5268888 loc. 9502 for more information.