An island once used to monitor sea vessel activities coming in and out of Manila Bay is now a scenic tourist spot. It is a favorite both of American and Japanese tourists who once had their histories clashed in the historic spot, the island of Corregidor.
Daily trips to Corregidor are available from the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex at the reclaimed area along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. This tourist spot is about an hour yacht cruise from Manila to Corregidor, one of the tiny islands off southwestern Bataan some 26 miles from Manila.
In Spanish times this tourist spot used to be a fishing village also used as a checking station for incoming and outgoing sea vessels so a lighthouse and signal station was built on it for this purpose. The checking of and signaling to ships and vessels—plus its later role of being a penal island colony—later gave it the name “corrector” or “Corregidor.”
In the seventeenth century this historical spot was said to have been the base of Limahong, the notorious invader of the Asian seas. In 1906 the Americans started converting it into a military fort, eventually mounting long-range canons and anti-aircraft guns besides arsenal storages, battery stations and a military hospital. The war with the Japanese aggravated beginning in 1940 costing lives of Filipino and American heroes, but which later ended in 1944 with Japan’s surrender.
In 1947 Corregidor was turned over to the Philippines by America and eventually became the tourist spot is has become. It is a verdant island lush with huge trees and thick wild shrubberies sheltering natural wild life.
One of its famous historical spots is the Malinta Tunnel which is an underground network of 21 tunnels designed as a covert tunnel system to facilitate movement safe from air and bomb attacks. The tunnels were started in 1922 and finished in 1932. But even all these proved futile to the all-out attack of the Japanese. Some 12,000 men died.
Located in the middle of this tourist spot is the Eternal Flame Monument to remember the Filipino and American heroes. The Filipino Heroes Memorial is one of the new structures on the island on a 6,000 square meters facility. It features 14 murals showing Philippine heroic battles from the 15th century to the present.
Arrangements for special tours, lectures, seminars, weddings, baptismal events, adventure camps, and others at this tourist spot are facilitated with Corregidor hotels. Since early times until now Corregidor Island has been the historical spot favored by most adventurous spirits.