Corregidor Island stands as a memorial to the Philippines’ war history, its walls and ruins each telling a story of courage, valor, honor, amidst the heartbreak and suffering that war brought with it.
Corregidor Island is a boat ride away from Manila Bay. In the past, it served as a strategic fort as it sits right at the entrance of Manila harbor. It was the first line of defense against incoming attacks to the city of Manila.
Tourists may join a guided tour of the island, with the option to stay overnight or explore the island via a day tour.
We took a packaged day tour of Corregidor Island courtesy of Sun Cruises. There are other tour agencies offering similar tours, but I highly recommend Sun Cruises due to the good quality and service they offer.
Our Corregidor Island Day Tour started very early in the morning. We boarded a ferry to Corregidor before sunrise at CCP Bay Terminal and reached Corregidor Island in around an hour and 15 minutes.
From the ferry, we moved to a tour vehicle with our designated tour guide. We felt lucky because our tour guide had first-hand experience during the war, so the stories he told associated with Corregidor Island’s ruins were more heartfelt and vivid.
The Corregidor Island day tour included a Filipino buffet lunch set inside a very relaxing, cozy hall in one of the facilities added to the island. There were trips to museums that were added as a memorial to the war heroes.
Malinta Tunnel Light-and-Sound Show
Tourists were given the option to enter Malinta Tunnel to experience a light-and-sound production created by national artist Lamberto Avellana. Napoleon Abueva, another national artist, created the sculptures used in the light and sound.
There was an additional charge for people who wish to view the light and sound production, but it’s very much worth it. The presentation was so dramatic, with some audio taken from original speeches of Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon as well as General Douglas MacArthur.
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about World War II history and willingly answered all types of questions from us. He was so good that we gave him a loud applause at the end of the tour. He was reciting a poignant World War II speech, ending his speech just as our vehicle stopped. That made the tour feel like a well-organized play. Right after the tour, we boarded the ferry going back to Manila harbor.
Separate tours are available for Japanese tourists. This tour is created, perhaps, to make it less offensive to Japanese people who may have a different view of World War II events. In regular tours, Japanese forces are generally portrayed as the antagonists.
For reservations and more information, visit Sun Cruises online.
How to go to Corregidor Island:
Directions: Go to CCP Bay Terminal to find a tour agency offering tours to Corregidor Island. The easiest route for commuters is to go to Vito Cruz station of LRT 1. There are orange jeepneys near Rizal Stadium along Vito Cruz Street. Get off at CCP and go to the Manila Bay side.
View Corregidor Island in a larger map