Corregidor is a tadpole-shaped island located some distance to the west of
Manila, at the mouth of . Even before its Hispanic occupation, the island which was first known as Manila Bay San Jose was used by numerous parties as the ideal vantage point from which to ambush vessels entering . Later on, under the Spanish government and later the American one, it reverted to more noble purposes: being a sentry point to warn against intruders, a welcoming light to galleons coming home and a lighthouse point to guide the ships to safety. It was under the Americans that the island truly began to flourish into a well-planned settlement for the Philippine Scouts that comprised the majority of Manila Bay Corregidor’s military garrison. The U. S Army post was fortified at the turn of the 20th century as part of a wider strategy to shore up the harbor defenses and make Corregidor one of the major military outposts of the U.S. Thus was the stage set for the former small fishing village to play a pivotal role in the Second World War which would ensure it a permanent place in world history.
When the Philippines fell to the Japanese in December 1941, Corregidor became the headquarters of the Allies and the Philippine government as well as the rallying point for the last stand of the U.S military under General Douglas McArthur. When Bataan was surrendered against his instructions (a move which ultimately resulted in the Bataan Death March) the Allied forces bravely held the fort for an entire 27 days; Corregidor was the last great Allied bastion of the Philippines to fall to the Axis powers and its recapture at the hands of the same General McArthur who made good on his promise to return and liberate it which nearly three years later is still remembered with pride.
The guns and grounds of Corregidor which once saw one of the fiercest battles of the Second World War now stands silent, and their echoes are heard only in the memories of the surviving servicemen and the tales of heroism they hand down to the next generations. The ruins of the fortifications, batteries, memorial parks and the Lighthouse are only a few of the many sights the island has in store for the tourist; the adventurous traveler can explore the lateral of Malinta Tunnel for a slightly increased ticket price. This tunnel was the very last stronghold of the island to fall to the Japanese; today it is the venue for an audio-visual presentation retelling the events of the last battles of
Corregidor. The Filipino War Memorial with its murals depicting scenes of battles fought by the Filipinos from the 15th century onward, the Pacific War Memorial which can be seen to the left of the island and the ancient site of the lighthouse are all landmark sites strongly evocative of the bloodshed and history witnessed by these grounds from years past. Every year, at the stroke of noon on May 6th the entire island observes a moment of silence commemorating the exact moment of the island’s final surrender to the Japanese invaders.
Travelers with a taste for luxury who wish to see this historic site as well as enjoy the many attractions of Metro Manila, The Heritage Hotel Manila is highly recommended as a five star
Manila hotel suitable for the duration of the stay. This hotel in Manila is situated within pleasing proximity to all the city’s major thoroughfares and transport terminals and still enjoys a backdrop of scenic sunsets over the Manila Bay, where Corregidor stands sentry.