As a WW II History student, I was very interested in visiting Corregidor Island, the last American Military facility to be surrendered to the Japanese in WW II. They had intentionally left the ruins as ruins and not attempted to restore what was left after WW II.
I woke up early to strange sounds and it took me a while to figure out is was roosters crowing in the dawn. I’ve not quite got my internal clock reset for the 15 hours ahead of Western Washington, so 4am to 5 am has been my wake up time. That would be great except the internet connection at Horeb House isn’t working.
We left ECP center at 5:45 am to get through the traffic to Manila Harbor for the ferry ride to Corregidor. Restie was our driver to and from the Sun Cruises ferry, and Betsy and Nora, members of the ECP center staff accompanied me on the tour. (it’s interesting that when I visit places like here, they don’t let me venture off on my own, guess you never know what kind of trouble an old priest might get into). The 45 Km trip across Manila bay took about 1 ½ hours. It’s a popular tourist destination and the 200 passenger ferry was full; more westerners than I’ve seen since I left Seattle.
I’ve read the history of the fall of the Philippine to the Japanese in WW II, and the event on Corregidor and it was interesting to see the places. The ruins have been maintained, but not renovated. Malinta tunnel now houses a walk-through narrated tour describing its construction and use before the war and the Japanese invasion of Corregidor and surrender of American and Filipino forces. The ruins of the Topside and Middle side barracks ruins were interesting, the Topside barracks is called the “mile long barracks” The gun batteries have been left as they were at the end of the war and the bomb craters
have not been filled in. There’s a pretty good web site about Corregidor – http://corregidorisland.com with more information and photos. Also, John Toland wrote the best book I’ve found about WW II in the Pacific “The Rising Sun” I recommend it for any student of history. There is another website about MacArthur and his departure from the Philippines that’s perhaps more accurate than most historical accounts of him and his military “genius” – http://www.pacificwar.org.au/Philippines/Macescapes.html MacArthur departs Corregidor by PT Boat to Mindanao and departs by B-17 from Del Monte Airfield in northern Mindanao (so named because it was located in a Del Monte Company field).
The Pacific War Memorial tells the history of WW II Corregidor; the Filipino Memorial tell the history of the Philippines struggle for independence from the Spanish, Americans, and Japanese; The Japanese Cemetery pays tribute to the Japanese who died in the battle for the Philippines; so Corregidor is a good visit for a history buff.
The only place where women are recognized in a memorial is at the Filipino Memorial. It seems to me women played a significant role as nurses, wives, and mothers during the battle and subsequent internment in Japanese prison camps, and those who were casualties during the fighting and captivity.
Returning to Manila, the traffic was unbelievable. It’s also interesting that traffic controls and lane markings are just suggestions, and that makes the traffic flow better than you would think. I try to imagine these drivers in the traffic on I-5 at rush hour, or downtown Seattle.
Sunday I’m scheduled to be in worship at the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. John and have lunch with Dean James Boliget.