Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Corregidor is Important in our History...

Last weekend, my mom had a reunion with her high school classmates (Class of '69) at the historic Corregidor. Since I haven't visited this important place, I tagged along with around 28 mid-50s adults (mostly young grandparents LOL) and became their official photographer in their "school" field trip.

My two grandfathers served in the World War II. One lolo (grandfather) was a medical doctor who walked during the Death March at Bataan. He would tell me stories on how he survived the war. His name is in a marker at Tagaytay City. When he was alive, he would bring us there, proudly showing his name. He died when he was 97 years old!
On the otherhand, my groovy lolo was a runner in Tarlac. During his teen years, he would do errands for the Americans. He is still alive and might be one lucky Veteran because he might be one of the recipients of the proposed $198 million compensation for Filipino war veterans under the US Senate's economic stimulus package.

Ruins were preserved to respect the US and Filipino soldiers.

Old Cinema

So why is Corregidor important for the Filipinos and Americans? During World War II, when we were battling the Japanese Army, our puppet government was in Manila but the real government was holding office in the island and at a tunnel! And yes, General Douglas MacArthur, the man who said, "I shall return," was based in Corregidor.

At the time of Pearl Harbor, MacArthur's ground forces consisted of the Philippine Army of 10 divisions and supporting troops, with a total strength of about 100,000, and a US Regular Army contingent of more than 25,000. Of the latter force, the largest unit was the Philippine Division, consisting of one American regiment and two Philippine Scout regiments.

Our tour guide, Mr. Alfonso is also a veteran, very witty and if you don't pay attention to his "lecture," he would say, "Sasabutan kita!" (I'll pull your hair!) He's into his early 70s but still sharp, working and gwapo (handsome) for his age. He proudly shares that he has a mixture of Spanish, American and Filipino blood. He states that Corregidor with its strategic location was one of the last places to surrender to the Japanese Army.

I saw a lot of artilleries and the most exciting for me is walking inside the Malinta Tunnel to witness the light and sound presentation written and directed by the late National Artist Lamberto Avellana entitled, "The Malinta Experience." It is the National Artist's final tribute "to valor, peace and international understanding."
Inside the Malinta Tunnel...My lolo was under USAFFE that's why I took this pic from National Artist Lamberto Avellana's presentation.

At the Pacific War Memorial Museum...


Philippine Money
I suggest that if your grandparents are still alive, make a family trip to Corregidor. Inquire at the CCP Bay Terminal re the day trip or overnight stay and relive our history. The entire Corregidor tour is worth it!
For tour packages, visit and Tel: (632) 5275555 ext 4511 to 13.


nakedwill said...

Makes me want to visit!

Thanks for sharing!

Jocelyn said...

Even if you no longer have grandparents, a trip to Corregidor is highly recommended. It's rich in history and natural beauty. Kahit mabato ang beach keri pa rin mag-swimming :) And it's the only place in Pinas where you can ride a tranvia, o 'di ba bongga?

magicpolaroid said...

very interesting post!! thanx for sharing it

cdokay said...

WoW. These are also some of the things I want to see in Corregidor.Cagayan de Oro philippines