Away for the Weekend: Corregidor Overnight Tour

A photo of a barge at the Manila Sun Cruises port
Photo taken at the waiting area of Manila Sun Cruises while waiting for our departure
A photo of the manila skyline as our ferry departs for Corregidor

Corregidor Island has always had that mysterious appeal, primarily because of its rich past and the many ghost stories kept by this tiny former American outpost. A trip to Corregidor Island, hence, is one adventure that is worth pursuing.

It was a year ago when my wife and I planned on going to Corregidor. It did not push through, though, because of the inclement weather that time.

Exactly a year after, we were finally able to go to this historic island. We booked for an overnight tour through Sun Cruises; I believe they are the only group conducting a Corregidor Island tour.

The only route going to the island was via a one-hour ferry ride which, thankfully, was comfortable and smooth.

Upon arriving at the island, we were greeted by tranvias that will take us around the island for the entire duration of the tour. According to our guide, tranvias were the primary means of transportation in the island during World War II. The present-day tranvias are engine-operated, unlike the original ones that are electric-powered and run on tracks.

Here’s how the tranvia looks like from inside. Yes, they sell those bags of Chippy and also cold Coke and bottled water.
Statue of Gen. Douglas McArthur, who used the island as allied headquarters and also as an escape route to Australia.
Photo of a beach on our way to the Japanese Garden of Peace.
This is an example of a Japanese tunnel. Much smaller than an American Tunnel according to our guide.
Old Japanese flag.
Old bills issued during the war
Collection of old bills.
Photos of Japanese soldiers

Our first stopover was at the Japanese Garden of Peace. There was a small souvenir shop that also doubles as a mini museum where an old and worn out Japanese flag is displayed. Likewise showcased were old bills and photos of World War II.

The Japanese Garden of Peace was formerly a cemetery for Japanese soldiers killed during the war
 
 
                  Old artillery
Japanese marker
One of the markers that dot the place

The site of the Japanese Garden of Peace was a former Japanese Cemetery until it was finally covered with undergrowth many years after the war. It was the photo above which led to the discovery of the site. Cleared and landscaped, it now features shrines and markers that serve as memorial for the Japanese soldiers formerly interred here.From the Japanese Garden of Peace, we proceeded to the Filipino Heroes Memorial. It featured numerous murals of Filipinos fighting various heroic battles.

From the Filipino Heroes memorial, the group had a one-hour lunch break at Corregidor Inn. Lunch was served buffet. It was good but not necessarily awesome. Nonetheless, we went there for the adventure and not really for the food.

The last part of the day trip consisted of tours around the ruined soldiers’ quarters and batteries. We also went to the Pacific War Memorial at the highest peak of Corregidor where a museum and sculptures were located.

Battery Way
         Inside Battery Way
 
Artifacts inside the Pacific War Memorial Museum
The Lighthouse — our last stop for the day tour
Inside the ruined hospital — said to be one of the eeriest places in Corregidor

We availed of an evening tour which consisted of a visit to a ruined hospital and the Malinta Tunnel. People say that the hospital is one of the most haunted places in the island.

The peak of the evening tour is a walk inside the Malinta Tunnel, the last stronghold of the joint Philippine and American military forces before the Japanese takeover. A visit to the tunnel usually included a light show and an audio-visual presentation but these were unavailable that evening because the place was being renovated. Be prepared also some ghost stories from your guide.

Inside the Malinta Tunnel for the evening tour
Tips:
 
Food in the hotel can be pricey. You may want to bring your own. You may opt to buy souvenirs outside the hotel as they are not as expensive.  Bring enough cash with you.     

Interested individuals may book a tour through the following:

Reservations Office
Fernando Ma. Guerrero corner Paseo Palisoc, CCP
Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Tel. (632) 834-6857 to 58, (632) 831-8140
Fax (632) 834-1523
Mobile (63)917 513-2625, (63)922 337-0068
E-mail: suncruises@magsaysay.com.ph

Sales Office
21st Floor Times Plaza Bldg., Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Tel. Nos. (632) 527-5555 local 4511 and 4512
Fax No. (632) 527-5555 local 4513
E-mail: sales@suncruises.com.ph
Corregidor Inn
Corregidor Island, Cavite
Mobile: 0917-5276350
E-mail: corregidor_inn@suncruises.com.ph

How to get to Sun Cruises:

Option 1: From North via Roxas Boulevard (Luneta)
1. From Taft Avenue, turn right to Quirino Avenue
2. Turn left to Roxas Boulevard
3. When you reach CCP, turn right to Pedro Bukaneg Street
4. Turn right to Maria Guerrero Street Parking area

Option 2: Form South via Roxas Boulevard
1. From Baclaran, head straight to Roxas Boulevarad
2. When you reach CCP, turn left to Pedro Bukaneg Street
3. Turn right to Maria Guerrero Street Parking area

Option 3: Public Transportation

A. From South
– Ride LRT 1 from Baclaran going to Vito Cruz Station
– Cross the street going to Pablo Ocampo Street (Rizal Stadium)
– Ride an Orange Jeep going to Folk Arts Theater/ Coconut Palace
– Walk going to Paseo Palisoc Street (Parking Area)

B. From North
– Ride LRT 1 from Balintawak or Monumento going to Vito Cruz Station
– Walk going to Pablo Ocampo Street (Rizal Stadium)
– Ride an Orange Jeep going to Folk Arts Theater/ Coconut Palace
– Walk going to Paseo Palisoc Street (Parking Area)

FOOD: Lobby Lounge – Makati Shangri-La

My wife and I have been here twice and, on both occassions, we were treated out by my sister-in-law. We have had Club Sandwiches in both instances. It’s a huge sandwich filled with layers of veggies, cheese, ham, bacon and egg. It’s not dry, unlike other similar sandwiches I’ve tried. The bacon that they use for it tastes really good — smoky and honeycured. During the last time we went here, we’ve had Pancit Bihon. It’s filled with shrimps, vegetables, squid balls and topped with big chunks of chicharon. This is one tasty and rich pancit bihon.

328e1677f787c612f112a1949562f076_1411882070_200_thumbGreat food

10acf37f59546bf8d4b49210e687bda2_1411881718_200_thumbClubhouse sandwich

c36da85e56d35c922b27d1100e6157c0_1411882495_200_thumbNachos with salsa

The place itself boasts of grandeur and luxury, hence the price. The last time we were here, we were seated near the lounge singer so we got to enjoy great music. The ambiance is very relaxing with the soft lights. Service is good and fast.

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Dessert

5a6dfcdbba4b11157b6bce0d3303a203_1411882215_200_thumbHot coffee

When dining here, save around P1,500 to P2,000 for two people. It’s a perfect place for celebrating special occasions and milestones.