Thursday, February 4, 2010

Corrigedor Island

Corrigedor Island
2/4/10 5:09 PM
The day began early – well a little too early in fact since I woke up at 2 am, so did some of the other girls. I got back to sleep and we met in the hotel lobby at 6:15am. We walked about 2 miles to the ferry launch site. There were a ton of people jogging, walking, biking and waking up along the Manila Bay Walk which goes around Roxas Boulevard. We walked right past the Mall of Asia, third largest mall in the world which we plan on visiting in the future.
Our day tour included a hour ferry ride to the island. We had a good view of Manila except for the thick layer of smog which covered the city. The boat had a lovely prayer to start the trip out – Philippines is a Catholic country. We were able to sit inside in the AC, or venture out on deck to get some sun and see the sites of the bay. There were many people out in small outrigger canoes or small fishing boats. The trip was pretty smooth and you could buy snacks and drinks.
Approaching the island we got a view of the Bataan Peninsula, where we will be traveling tomorrow. The peninsula and the island are only 8km apart. The island is shaped like a tadpole and is part of a volcanic rim. It is steep with mountains
I had only read a little bit about the island’s history, and I can tell you that I know more about the Pacific Theater during WWII now. We were loaded onto a bus with no sides which carted us around the island.
We visited many barracks, gun batteries, Japanese and Fil-Am (Filipino-American) memorials, the Pacific War Memorial and museum, a Filipino memorial, the hospital and Malinta Tunnel - a bunker which housed General Wainright, General MacArthur's right hand man on Corrigedor. The Tour guide for us was Mr. Steve Kwiezinski whose father played a prominent role on the Bataan peninsula and on Corrigedor during 1941-1945. His point of view was therefore very moving and had many personal touches, which we all appreciated. The stories were of bravery, honor, dignity, and the horrors of war, all of which are documented nicely in the memorials and museum.
We had a buffet lunch of traditional Philippine food which was very good.

After we returned to Manila Bay some of the smog cleared and I was able to get some good pictures which I will post later.
Our dinner was scrambled eggs, toast and papaya followed by our $1 bottle of Rum and Coke Light. (Heide you'd never survive here, Coke Light does NOT taste like Diet Coke and I'm going to suffer all month long.

The weather is nice - 75-85 degrees, humid but with a nice breeze.

On the walk home we saw boys climbing the coconut trees along Roxas Blvd. They were about 8 years old.

1 comment:

  1. I think that we should definitely go back to Corregidor. I would like hearing all of that history and seeing it too. I also saw pictures of people going down the underground river on Palawan. It looks awesome.