Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Budget Backpacker: CORREGIDOR. Entry: Wednesday May 18, 2011


By Dom (the Host) and Matthieu (the AD)

The crew suited up for their final segment on the Philippines: The Isle of Corregidor.

Corregidor is an island located 45km off the coast and was the main waypoint in and out of the city of Manila by sea. Its primary purpose was defense against imposing enemies. The island is now a memorial dedicated to the battles fought during WWII between the Japanese, Americans and Filipinos.

It was hard to believe that such a beautiful island had once been the scene for so much bloodshed. 
While looking around at the massive gun turrets, chilling barrack ruins, and powerful memorial sites, I could see tourists posing and smiling for pictures. The contrasted surroundings felt unfitting to me, as I was still in shock of what I was seeing.

During the islands tour, we walked through the Malinta tunnel, which was used as a last stronghold for both sides during the war. Through the dark lit tunnel you could sense how bleak life must have been hiding out from the opposing enemy while repeated bomb after bomb was hailed from the sky.

This was by far the most haunting part of the tour. As we left the tunnel I begun to feel a little weary, maybe it was all the carnage we were experiencing?

After a break for lunch I was feeling better and ready to go on with the last part of the tour. We crossed a statue of the American general MacArthur while on our way to the beach and his famous words “I shall return” were written in stone.  

This made me think of our trip and whether we would return?

My hope is ‘yes’. However, if there were one thing that I did not enjoy about my trip to the Philippines, it was that it was too short. The people have been exceptionally friendly and there has been so much to be in awe of, the history, the culture and most importantly the hospitality, which makes you want to keep coming back!

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