If San Francisco has Alcatraz, we have Corregidor :-) Corregidor Island sits by the entrance of the Manila Bay and is just about 50 kilometers away from Manila.
During the Japanese invasion in World War II, Corregidor was the headquarters of the Allied Forces. A memorial now sits on the island fortress to remember the courageous Filipino and American men who defended our country.
We could see the building ruins, the old barracks, and batteries. The big guns are one of my most favorite attractions there as you can go up close, touch them and imagine yourself back in the days :-) We also visited the underground tunnel which used to serve as the hospital. A 30-minute light and sound show is presented as we walked through the pitch-dark tunnel, and tells its history. It can feel a bit creepy but it was interesting.
There is a tour provider which offers daily ferry service from Manila (Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex) to/from the island. It's about an hour's ride. As you arrive, you can hop on one of the trams as it brings you around the main attractions within the island. The tour includes lunch.
If you wish to stay over night, which unfortunately we did not, there is a small inn called Corregidor Inn. This is helpful especially if you'd like to stay late and watch the sunset or experience the sunrise and explore the island at your pace by biking, hiking or kayaking.
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Amidst the heat and humidity, I was in awe of the collapsed buildings that made up the former army base on Corregidor in the Philippines. Nothing was left of them except for its bare bones of walls made of concrete and steel reinforcing bars. Seeing those massive decaying buildings made it hard to believe that they were once filled with and used by many people. A tour of Corregidor gives participants a look at Filipino history and a glimpse at the devastation of war.
This is a must-see attraction for anyone in/near Manila! Take an early morning ferry ride (about an hour) and then tour the island in a tram with a very knowledgable guide for most of the day, returning to Manila around 4:00pm. There were some important battles fought here during WWII and there is a statue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur located on the site where he actually said "I shall return." Highlights: ruins of the American barracks, bunkers, giant guns, etc.; American military memorial, Malinka Tunnel, Japanese cemetery. Nice touch - the tram had these very large umbrellas for us to use during the rain!
There is a small hotel where we had a very nice buffet lunch. You can stay there and also do some kayaking, ziplining and other outdoor activities.