An hour on a boat from Manila, bouncing up and down past the fishermen and their huge nets, waving good morning to men floating by in their little boats, you’ll find the Island of Corregidor.
Before I arrived in the Philippines I had never heard of this beautiful place; steeped in so much history. After spending a day exploring the ruins, tunnels and statues I feel like I know a little about this incredible island and the battles that took place there.
Corregidor was fortified in order to protect Manila (the most important sea port of the Philippines) and it has played a huge role in the Country’s history since the Spanish invaded in 1570. But it was during World War II when it came into it’s own.
Heavily bombed by the Japanese, the ruins have been left to serve as a military memorial to American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers who lived or indeed died on the island.
Historical significance aside, the ruins are absolutely stunning. The sheer size of the barracks that housed the officers need to be seen to be believed. In fact the Mile-Long Barracks are actually the longest barracks in the world and the fact that only the skeleton of these buildings remains, somehow makes them even more impressive.
But Corregidor has a lot more going for it than ruins – although they are reason enough for a visit. There is the huge underground fort, whose long, dark tunnels you can explore – although only with a guide – it’s rather dangerous down there.
Intricate statues and works of art immortalise the fallen and allow us to pay our respects to the men and women who fought for freedom.
Although completely rebuilt in the 1950’s, the lighthouse provides a great view over the island and is now completely solar-powered.
Once you’ve finished exploring (or when you have to leave to get your ferry) you can grab some lunch at the Island of Corregidor’s only hotel.
I want to go back, I feel like there is more I need to see and I want Phil to see it too. But next time I’ll arrange an overnight stay so I can properly explore what this stunning island has to offer.
Asia, Corregidor Island, Philippines, Ruins. WW2