October 25, 2015
I’m one of those people who frequently visit Metrodeal.com to purchase cheaper tours, spa and massages. Luckily, I found a voucher for Corregidor Island Tour (Day Tour) with Buffet Lunch by Sun Cruises. It usually costs Php 2,549.00 per person but I got it at Php 1,399.00 – almost 55% off!
I really wanted to visit this island because I just love history. I prefer museums over malls; walk through historic cities instead of spending late nights on KTVs and bars. I love Philippines and its history because it has a beauty hidden to the eyes of the people of this generation. Why do foreigners keep on coming back to our country while most of the Filipinos want to travel abroad first before exploring their own? I think, the beauty of the Philippines can only be seen and appreciated if you choose to see it. I only saw and realized its beauty despite of the negative things around because I chose to see it, experience it and love it.
So let’s get back to my Corregidor Island Tour.
At 5:45 in the morning, I used GrabTaxi App to book a taxi ride from my workplace (because I had to take the night duty due to Typhoon Lando) to One Esplanade, the landmark going to Esplanade Seaside Terminal.
On the seaside, I saw the Ferry Terminal for all the boats leaving the bay. I looked for Sun Cruises to present my Metrodeal voucher so they could give me my boarding ticket in a form of a sticker. It comes with the map of the island, too!
By the way, if you will purchase tour voucher at Metrodeal, make sure to reserve or book your tour seven (7) days before your preferred date of travel via email. It usually takes two (2) business days before they will reply to your email for the confirmation of your tour. Instructions are written on the voucher. Again, very fortunate for me because I just called them before I even purchased the voucher to confirm if there are still slots for my preferred date of travel which was only three (3) days at the time of my call, totally violating their 7-day booking rule. The lady on the phone was accommodating and she even answered my queries. And violaaaa! I was reserved a ticket for the tour!
At 7:00 in the morning, they opened the gate of the boarding area and I was the third person to enter the vessel. It was a bit old, but it was spacious and properly ventilated with AC, has emergency exits and life vests under the seats. For a cautious person like me, exits and life vests are important.
My seat was #36 in the lower deck of the ship. The traveling time was 1 hour and 45 minutes from Manila to Corregidor Island.
Prior to the arrival at the island, we were assigned with two numbers – seat number and tranvia bus number. When we set foot on the island, the tranvia buses were lined up on the dock, waiting for the tourists who were hungry for history (like me!). I immediately chose to sit on the second row in front of the vehicle to have a clear view of the island.
Our tour guide introduced himself and asked the foreigners in our group about their country of residence. He explained that all the tour guides have to ask the foreigners because if there are Japanese nationals in the group, they will be very careful with their words so as to avoid offending the visitors. It is an understandable measure because during the war, Japanese was a foe and not an ally of the Philippines. They bombed Corregidor Island and did oooother things (I will not be very particular with this.).
(Pictures of the tour area with captions)
Pacific War Memorial
Pacific War Museum
Spanish Light House
Quezon, Osmeña and the Filipino Women Park
Filipino Heroes Memorial
Japanese Garden of Peace
HIGHLIGHT OF THE TOUR (According to me!)
(Insert picture of the flag)
This picture shows the last stop of the Malinta Tunnel journey through history. The Philippine flag stood proudly in the middle while “Lupang Hinirang” is being played. I was emotional at this point of the tour and I was glad that it was dark (nobody saw me crying! Hahaha!) because through the tunnel journey, I just saw how the Filipinos back then suffered and fought for our freedom. At the end of it all, we won the war. We achieved our freedom.
Lunch was served at La Playa Restaurant. The food was great and festive. Guests who wanted to stay for the night may stay in this hotel or they could camp out with their tents near the sea. Sun Cruises offers another tour which is an overnight adventure, where the tour guides bring the visitors to the hospital chamber at Malinta Tunnel where hunderds of soldiers died during the war. Spooky isn’t it? But it is part of the adventure!
(Insert picture of the dock)
At 3:00 PM, we went to the tall statue of Douglas Mcarthur beside the famous Lorcha Dock to bid farewell and to take last photos of the marvelous island. I fell asleep on our way back to Manila because it was a day full of cardio (walking), and given that I was in 24-hour duty the night before.
In the end, it was very educational for me and my blood as a Filipino was once again filled with nationalism and patriotism.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED
During our tranvia ride from Douglas Mcarthur’s statue to the dock, our tour guide emphasized that we, the younger generations, should learn to forgive what happened in the past (he was talking about the war). But, we should not forget – so that we could stop it from happening again. Let us be the way to bridge the gap of the past and present – to forgive the Japanese and other invaders that caused pain to our beloved country.
All the younger generations should visit this island. If you hate the country for the dirty politics, inefficient educational systems, traffic, unemployment, and so and so (the list is endless), you should visit this island. Because I assure you, that your love for our country will aflame once again. What our Filipino soldiers fought before – our freedom, our lives, our dignity… You will be very proud with what our countrymen did so we may be a Republic – a democratic country, a country with freedom and territory.
I love you, Philippines! #morefuninthephilippines