“CORREGIDOR”

It was a breaking dawn of Monday. I lingered for a moment while sipping a mug of Amadeo’s “Pahimis Blend” brewed coffee behind the edge of the transparent window pane. While gazing at the early morning sky in my house, the glimmer of daybreak was attempting creepily to paint the eastern horizon. I can no longer wait. I was too excited and ready to conquer Corregidor.

Cruising an internationally-classed fast ferry of Sun Cruise with a top speed of 23 knots was exciting. Its cabin was fully air-conditioned and clean inside too. It took us three hours to do the voyage from Manila to Corregidor and going back.

Upon arrival, we were fetched by a “Trans or Tranvia”. This vehicle is parallel to a jeepney but the only difference is that the entry and exit ways are located on both sides of the passenger seats. It’s also the major means of transportation in the island.

Corregidor is an island in the entrance of Manila Bay in the Philippines. Because of its strategic location in the bay, it served as a focal point for the naval defences of the capital city, Manila.

The island is about 48 kilometers west of Manila and is part of the municipality of Cavite City. It is shaped like a tadpole, with its tail running eastward, and has a land area of 9sq. kms. Along with Caballo Island (which lies 2 kms. South of the tail’s tip), it partially blocks the entrance of Manila Bay, and thus has strategic importance.

Because of its rocky landscapes and the fortifications of Fort Mills, Corregidor Island is also known as “The Rock”. Corregidor is 6 kms. long and about 2.4 kms. at its widest point. Its bulbous head, which points towards the South China Sea rises prominently to a large flat area called the Topside. This was the center of the Island during the World War II and here were located the headquarters, barracks for enlisted personnel, officers’ quarters, the traditional parade grounds, underground ordnance shops and the bulk of the batteries that constituted the military strength of Corregidor.

A small plateau that interrupts the upward slope from Bottom side to Topside is the Middleside and was the location of Barracks for the enlisted men, a hospital, quarters for non-commissioned officers, a service club, and 2 schoolhouses.

The bottom side is the lower part of the island and is the neck that connects the head and the tail of the Island and East of it is where the Malinta Tunnel can be found. Malinta Tunnel, which was the last stronghold of the joint Philippine and American Military forces, is now home to a Light and Sound presentation by national artist Lamberto V. Abellana of the events that took place on the Island during the World War II. There were 3 batteries installed in Corregidor, consisting of 56 coastal guns and mortars. In addition, Corregidor had 13 anti-aircraft artillery batteries, 76 guns (28 3-inch and 48 50-caliber), and 10 60-inch Sperry searchlights. The longest range coastal species were the 2 12-inch (305mm) guns of Batteries Hearn and Smith.

This island is not only rich in history; it is surrounded by spectacular sceneries and the wind that gently touches the skin is very relaxing too. Corregidor is a place that I truly adore.

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~ by sherwinportillo on April 25, 2012.

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