Thursday, June 20, 2013

Corregidor: A Walk Through the Ruins

At P500 a night, The Lodge accommodation already provides a full bed for two regular-sized adults, an extra bed, and own bathroom. One needs not be very picky to survive a bathroom that only has a curtain for a door. The place has no canteen but it has a little pantry, such that, if you need to drink hot coffee and make payments early at dawn, you just have to wake the attendants to get all that done.

As soon as everyone has packed, we hailed a trike for P40 to get us to the Cabcaben Pier. We were told that the earliest time boats are available is 5am. We got there at 5:30am and were told to wait for the owner of the boat so we can make the necessary negotiations for the price. While waiting, we watched the gradual appearing of sunrise until its full encompassing glare. Just somewhere in one of the junctions of the street stretching from the baywalk, we got excited by the smell of hot arroz caldo. We bought and ate their local produce for breakfast to store enough energy for the anticipated journey to the historic Corregidor Island.




Here are the prices of my energy boosters:
 Arroz Caldo (rice congee) - P20
 Puto (rice cake) - P10
 Malagkit - P6
 Biko - P6

Take-out snacks: Mr. Chips (P20) and Mineral Water (P15).




CABCOR (Cabcaben-Corregidor Motorboat Association) is a cooperative for the seafarers whose motorboats are rented and hired for a trip to and fro Corregidor and Bataan. They are responsible of regulating the standard rental fees of the said motorboats. In as much as we would have wanted our route to proceed from Corregidor to Manila, we were unable to insist since the trips going to Manila are monopolized by Sun Cruises. We sealed Bataan-Corregidor-Bataan negotiation at P3000 for 1 motorboat.

After being at sea for over an hour, we docked at the port of Corregidor. From afar, one could already sense the quietness and almost deadening silence that only the splashing waves seem to break. We may have been the earliest tourists that day.

An entrance fee of P150 per person is collected inside the ticketing office. The hourly rate for the jeepney transport cost us P800 which already covers the major spots in the entire island. More than the boat ride, the jeepney experience was both arduous and fun. My only problem then was the limited time we were given per stop. Because we hired it only for an hour, the driver was very stringent in terms of time compliance that it kind of pissed me off. There were so many great places in the island to take pictures of but 5-minute stops are hardly enough to get creative juices to work. Nonetheless, I decided to shake the frustrations off by moving fast, covering as far as I can get myself with the 5-minute allowance and shooting trigger-happily.


mlibby_photos's Keystrokes - Corregidor album on Photobucket

Our last stop was near the back part of the Mile-long Barracks. We entered the museum to get a glimpse of the islands history and gain understanding of the reasons behind the war that happened a long time ago which left 900 dead and 1,200 wounded from the Japanese troop and 800 dead and 1,000 wounded from the US and Filipino defenders. (1) Although the Japanese have seiged Corregidor, the effort put in by both our local troop and American allies have definitely delayed their scheduled attack to other nations like Australia.

These preservation of remains and ruins of the past has allowed us a peek to the struggles our descendants had to go through to win freedom for all. They have not ceased to assert their ownership of the Philippines even if it cost them their last breath. They are the unnamed and unsung heroes who knew that our God -given justice, Filipino identity, and freedom are worth fighting for. 

Corregidor, to this day, stands a witness of the bloodshed that once was. I would be dishonest if I say that the visit did not bring chills and there was nothing creepy about it. In fact, the horror and scare continued even on my way back from Bataan to Manila. One female soldier at her late twenties sat beside me on the bus and testified that she had friends who came back haunted by the ghosts of Corregidor. She said a few had to overcome nightmares in the evening and ghost apparitions after their visit. To me, it was more of the sad recollection of deaths and killings that pulled me down.

In reflection, greed and haughtiness always have its own repercussions. Amplifying them by personal nurture can bring forth death both on the guilty and the innocents. Live content.

Further readings:
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corregidor 

How broke was I?

It started here:

Where to Stay in Angeles
Where to Eat in Angeles
Korean Bakery
Pampanga's Ikabud
A Beautiful Aftermath
Treetop Hopping and Dropping
Where Humans are Strangers
Befriending Bataan
The Splendor of the Shrine of Valor
The Past Today

4 comments:

  1. Abi nako thru Sun Cruises lang gyud to visit Corregidor. Now I know pwede diay from Bataan :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup. :))
      It took me days and several sms to research and get CABCOR's confirmation regarding their trips. It was to us the most efficient especially that we had Bataan in the itinerary. However, if you prefer a guided tour in Corregidor at a fairly comfortable pace, Sun Cruises still does it better -- just pricey.

      Delete
  2. It's been awhile since my last visit. You have good photos now too Mike. I hope you'll get the chance to return to Corregidor for an overnight tour. Drop by the old hospital or stay late at the lodge. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. whhoooo .. sounds interesting.. and scarrryy.. I'd love to do that with a group of friends para lingaw. :D

    ReplyDelete

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