Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Corregidor Island, Oct 3, 2013
In October we took a trip up to Manila with 2 other missionary couples to see Corregidor Island. There is a nice tour with a 1+ hour boat ride to the island, a tram guided tour with lunch. We spent the night in Manila, got up early the next morning to catch the boat and tour about hours, then headed back to the mission home. It was a fun and interesting day. Corregidor Island played an important role in World War II. The tour guide made it fun, but war and it's devastation is not really fun. Here are some pictures of our adventure.
We took a side trip in the evening before the tour to the Mall of Asia. It was quite large with many choices for spending money. I did buy a new camera because mine had gone missing (this guarantees the old camera will show up soon). We ate at TGIF and it was alot like USA. We are with (l-r) Elder/Sister Smith, Elder/Sister Gines and us.
We stayed at the G Hotel. Just needed to include a shot of it at the front entrance for posterity. No surprises. Breakfast was a unfamiliar assortment of Filipino food. We weren't feeling our culinary-ily adventurous since we did not want any GI issues on the tour.
Sister Hansen, Sister Smith and Sister Gines at the cruise line terminal. We are ready to head out.
The boat. We sat below in an air conditioned area which was good, but our assigned seats were right in front of the very large AC unit and it was like the North Pole. We messed with the thermostat, which provided temporary warmth until the crewman came and reset it to subzero. We opted for the open air deck on the return trip which was breezy and nice.
Here is our tram. The Philippines is really refreshing in many ways. No seat belts, just lower the side bar and off you go. When we stopped, you left your stuff, hopped off. So even though the tour is pretty scheduled and scripted, you are pretty much on your own at the stops and everything is open to walk around, into, to touch most of the time. Refreshing.
First stop is the tribute to Gen MacArthur, who did return and win back the Philippines. A nice BIG bronze statue.
This was a area with some history of the wars of the Philippines against various ruling posers. This is a statue of a farmer by day/revolutionary by night. I would have like a little more time here, but....
One the WWII fortifications. There were some memorials to the Japanese soldiers here. From Japan's perspective, they were heroes too.
This is exit from the Malinta Tunnel where the Americans and Filipinos holed up during the Japanese attack. The courageous defense of Corregidor Island delayed the Japanese offensive toward Australia and gave the allies some time to regroup. These soldiers endured primitive crowded conditions here before surrendering.
This is one of the side lateral tunnels off the main tunnel. It has not been restored, as you can see.
A view from the island hotel/restaurant where we ate lunch. In the distance is Bataan Peninsula where the famous Bataan death march occurred.
Here we are at the enlisted men's barracks ruins. l-r Smith's, us, Gines.
It is amazing that these buildings are even standing after all the bombing and shelling they took.
Elder Smith and I at one of the mortar areas. Notice we can get up close and personal with the stuff.
Nancy with our tour guide. She was fun and made things interesting.
On of the big guns protecting the entrance to Manila Bay.
Above is the Memorial which is well done with several monuments, a nice museum. This area is located "Topside" on the highest part of the island. The officer's barracks and administrative buildings (ruins) are here.
Left is a touching reminder of the humanity of comrades in arms. Depicted is a US soldier helping a wounded Filipino. There is a companion statue in the US with the roles reversed.
The lighthouse area . Notice the Smith's up atop. We spent too much time looking for souvenirs, so we didn't make the climb. From here we headed down the hill, boarded our mighty ship and cruised back to Manila, then home. A fun day.