Thursday, April 17, 2008

corregidor revisited

i spent the bulk of my day yesterday in corrigidor with friends from church. a good friend of mine and her american hubby were in town for a visit and we decided to make things different by taking a historical tour of the war-torn island. a good alternative to the malls, definitely.

it's been a good 4 years since i last set foot at the island. though i never really expected things to have changed so much since then, i still wanted to make myself feel eager as if it was my first time to be in corrigidor. you can never learn enough, is what i say, of a place. much more if you always view it with virgin eyes.

despite the island's rich and rather gruesome history, one can also relish how the place is now a sanctuary for nature and learning. the forest is lush and is almost left to grow wild, harboring an arrays of birds and other animals. the old buildings, ruins and former military structures, monuments and memorials tell tales of glory, defeat, honor and courage. virtues of humanity that should never be forgotten. corrigidor resonates a charm that cannot be compared by any other place i have been. definitely unique and a place to consider when you just want to get away.

a solid steel door battered by shrapnel from the war.

one of many canons in the island. pay close attention to the three aussie hunks at the right side of the picture.... what a terrible time to be with church friends.... i suddenly had an urge to get a souvenir!

the mile long barracks, corregidor's iconic ruin. not really a mile long but impressive nonetheless. my "alagas" in the foreground. i was the lone thorn among roses...

the pacific war memorial. a slab or solid carrara marble to commemorate the surrender of corrigidor to the japs. the beam is said to focus directly on top of the altar every may 9 at high noon, the day of corrigidor's fall.

i dunno what this place is called but i call it the corridor of courage :) it lead to that metal sculpture at the far end which symbolizes the fire of freedom. along the walls are documented the rise and fall of the resistance to the axis powers during the wall.

the beautiful sculpture at the pacific war memorial. it was unfortunate that i had to witness the disrespect and utter stupidity of a pinoy tourist who obviously had no BREEDING! one of the guys in this picture CLIMBED the sculpture like he was in a kiddie playground. a grown man!!!!! climb this historic piece commemorating the dead like it meant nothing that he was insulting the ghosts of the past!!! multuhin sana sya!!!!

the map of the malinta tunnel. formerly housing the president of the philippines during the times of WW2. now it houses a lights and sound show depicting the last few days of the island before it eventually fell in the hands of the japs.

the interiors of the malinta tunnel. the shadow on the left is of pablito martinez.... he's still alive if you guys need to know. very much alive.

the south entrance of the tunnel where american tanks tried to charge in as they cornered the last remaining japs on the recapturing of the island. the japs eventually blew themselves up, sending a fire ball out the tunnel, hoping to get american casualties. approx. 3000 japanese soldiers and their families perished inside.

i saw this inside one of the batteries in the island. it had my cousin's name etched on the wall. probably by some vandal. la lang. it just reminded me of him.

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