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I love to travel just to explore new things in life from breathtaking natural wonders, interesting historical sites, delicious food, friendly people and colorful culture. I treasure every moment in traveling by writing in my journal, taking photos and publish it in my travel blog.
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Monday, May 6, 2013

A Visit to the Historical Sites and Commemorating the Valor of Heroes in Corregidor Island

The fall of Bataan marked the doom of the Philippines. Rocky Corregidor, guarding the entrance to Manila Bay, continued to defy the Japanese forces, but with the capture of Bataan it could not long resist the enemy assaults. 
General Wainwright displayed superhuman efforts to defend the island-fortress, but in vain. No general could save Corregidor then. And no army of the size that he had under his command could hold the place against overwhelming odds.
On May 6, 1942, Corregidor fell. Nearly 12,000 Fil-American soldiers were taken prisoner. Fortunately, unlike their comrade-in-arms of Bataan, the Corregidor prisoners did not undergo the rigors of a "Death March." With the fall of Corregidor, organized resistance against Japanese invasion of the Philippines came to an end.
                                                  Source: Chapter  25 - The Philippines and World War II, from the book "The Philippines: A Unique Nation" by Sonia M. Zaide
After the fall of Bataan in April 9, 1942, the island bastion of Corregidor with its network of tunnels and formidable array of defensive armament along the fortifications across the entrance to Manila Bay was the remaining obstacle by the Japanese soldiers headed by Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma. For instance, the Japanese had to take Corregidor as long as the island remained in American hands. On May 6, 1942, Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered the Corregidor Island and they raised a white flag to carry his surrender message to the Japanese. 1

The fall of Corregidor is one of the historical incidents happened during the Second World War in the Philippines. The Filipino and American soldiers showed their heroic acts by surrendering the island to the Japanese invaders in order to defend our country. Today, this event is still commemorated by visiting the three spots located in the island just to give tribute to the heroes of the Second World War.

Pacific War Memorial
The entrance gate of Pacific War Memorial.
One of the interesting sites in Corregidor Island is the Pacific War Memorial. It was built in 1968 and located in the Topside, the Pacific War Memorial contains a circular rotunda, a steel structure, a garden and a museum. We visited the rotunda, a major memorial structure where it has a circular altar directly under the dome's oculus. There are instances that the sun shines directly on the circular altar in the daytime of May 6 at twelve o'clock in the afternoon, the day when Corregidor was captured by the Japanese army. Under the dome, there's a marble altar with an inscription which is dedicated to the heroes who died during the war.
The rotunda in Pacific War Memorial.
The dome's oculus where the sunlight shines at 12 noon of May 6.

A circular marble altar with its inscription for those who sacrificed their lives during the war.
Another structure in the Pacific War Memorial is the Eternal Flame of Freedom. It is a 12-meter high Corten steel structure that commemorates the sacrifices, hopes and aspirations of heroes and soldiers who fought during the Second World War. The lights of the structure are powered by solar energy and it gives light to the island of Corregidor during the evening. It is also the site where General Douglas MacArthur celebrated retaking the island from the Japanese.
Eternal Flame of Freedom
The Eternal Flame of Freedom
Another prominent structure in the place is the sculpture of two soldiers called "Brothers in Arms." It represent the Filipino and American soldiers who helped each other during the war and beside the sculpture are the flags of United States and the Philippines.
The sculpture that depicts the unity of United States and the Philippines, "Brothers in Arms"
There is an avenue in the place where the walls are made up of marble which inscribed the different battles in the Pacific during the Second World War. From that avenue, you can visit the Pacific War Memorial Museum. This museum contains weapons, photographs and other memorabilia used in World War II.
The marble walls where the significant battles of World War II in the Pacific was inscribed.
The entrance to Pacific War Memorial Museum.
An issue of Honolulu Star Bulletin with a headline about the Pacific War.
Pictures of Corregidor Island before the Japanese invasion.
The flag of United States of America with forty-five stars which represent the number of states during that time.
The pictures of different generals and heroes who fought during the World War II. The picture inset is the arrival of General Douglas MacArthur in Leyte Gulf.
The weapons used during Second World War in Corregidor.
Therefore, the experience in Pacific War Memorial is such an amazing journey because I learned about the history of our country during the war as well with the fact that different structures that symbolize the valor of Filipino and American heroes as well with the fact that it commemorates the glorious past of our history during the Second World War.

Japanese Garden of Peace

Another interesting site in Corregidor Island is the Japanese Garden of Peace which is located in the Tailside. This garden commemorates the heroic deeds of the Japanese soldiers and heroes who fought during the Second World War. It is used as a praying area of families of the Japanese war veterans. It contains a 10-feet Buddha, a reflecting pool, a Shinto shrine and other markers with Japanese inscriptions. There is also a souvenir shop located near the garden where you can see old photographs and Japanese currencies.
Stone Buddha of Fertility 
The Japanese inscription below the Buddha statue.
Tribute to the grave.

The marker for the repose of the souls.

More battle canyons.
Old Japanese currency and photographs.
Filipino Heroes Memorial
Filipino Heroes Memorial (Courtesy of www.lakadpilipinas.com)
The third place that commemorates the heroic deeds of our people is the Filipino Heroes Memorial. It is located in the Tailside of the island. The place features murals of different historical events from Battle of Mactan up to EDSA Revolution as well with the inscriptions which show the details. In addition, the faces of national heroes and Philippine presidents are also included in the mural. There is also a museum which show the old photographs of President Manuel L. Quezon during the Commonwealth and Second World War.

Therefore, visiting the three places in Corregidor represents the unity of three countries namely United States, Japan and the Philippines after the Second World War. In addition, it showed that these countries truly gave salute to the heroic deeds of the people who sacrificed their lives in the war in order to show their loyalty to their country. These places are interesting for tourists for the reason that it help them to recall the historical events that they studied in school or read in books.

Date of Travel: March 13, 2010

Source:
1 - Battle of Corregidor (Wikipedia article)
2 - http:///www.lakadpilipinas.com

4 comments:

  1. I also enjoyed our day trip to Corregidor by Sun Cruises. It was very organized and the relics were preserved very well. The Malinta Tunnel show was spectacular.

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  2. I know that it's just a ferry ride away but I haven't been to the place yet. But I really wanted too visit corregidor, it's actually on my bucket list. :)

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  3. I've been in Corregidor 3 times, 1 for tour and 2 for a half marathon in the confides of Corregidor. I always love the experience and historical importance of the place.

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  4. was able to visit corregidor last time for their lights and sounds tour of the Malinta tunnel. Truly a memorable and historic experience :)

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