Corregidor Island Travel Guide plus Historical Tour

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Corregidor Island Travel Guide plus Historical Tour

Corregidor Island has long been known as a historical place as it holds lots of memories, artifacts, and lost souls from World War II. As a former student, Corregidor Island was always on the books we read especially the historical subjects. Just like any other popular places we find in the books, we would dream of getting into that place sometime. And we just did, we were able to visit Corregidor Island and it’s like a dream come true.

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We had a great time at Corregidor Island and we will share it with you here. It’s no longer the place where it is known as the island full of ghosts or stories alike because it has been a place of war. There still are the ruins and the eerieness for sure, but since the day it has been restored, you’ll find the island rather more enjoying and satisfying than creepy or an island that’s something to be feared of.

Corregidor Island: A Brief History

“Corregidor comes from the Spanish word “corregir,” meaning to correct. One story states that due to the Spanish system wherein all ships entering Manila Bay were required to stop and have their documents checked and corrected, the island was called “Isla del Corregidor” (Island of the Correction). Another version claims that the island was used as a penitentiary or correctional institution by the Spanish and came to be called “El Corregidor.”

corregidor-island-travel-guide-plus-historical-tour

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In early and pre-hispanic times, it was likely populated by fishermen and no doubt provided a base for pirates who could easily launch an attack against any vessel entering Manila Bay. During the Spanish era, this tadpole-shaped island was a signal station where bonfires were lit to alert Manila of a home-coming galleon. Later on, Spaniards built a lighthouse on the island.

The Spaniards set up a naval dockyard on the island in 1795. This was followed by a naval hospital and a signal station which was used primarily to warn Manila of approaching enemies. In 1836 a lighthouse was built and in 1853 a stronger light was installed. This was replaced in 1897 and remained in use until the outbreak of the Pacific War, during which it was heavily damaged and rebuilt to the same specifications. During the Spanish times, the small town of San Jose emerged to become the seat of government on the island. Later under the Americans, it evolved into a small community with its paved streets lined with the houses of the Philippine Scouts who constituted the bulk of the garrison in Corregidor.

After the defeat of the Spanish forces by Admiral George Dewey in May of 1898, Spain ceded Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the Americans under the Treaty of Paris which was signed on December 10, 1898. In 1903 a former Spanish garrison building there was converted to a convalescent hospital. The island was designated as a U.S. Military Reservation in 1907 and the army post on Corregidor was named Fort Mills, after Brig. Gen. Samuel M. Mills, chief of artillery of the U.S. Army in 1905-1906. A regular army post was later established in 1908.

The following year army engineers of “H” company, 2nd Battalion of the U.S. Corps of Engineers began to build fortifications on the island to secure the seaward approach to Manila Bay. This was part of the planned “Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bay” due to the strategic location of Corregidor. Concrete emplacements and bomb-proof shelters were constructed and trails and roads were laid out on the island. This engineer contingent left on March 15, 1912, after laying down the groundwork to make Corregidor a great military bastion. Thus began the transformation of a small fishing village into a fortress and site of one of the most heroic battles in the history of war.
The big guns of Corregidor in 1941 were used in support of Filipino and American defenders of Bataan until the island itself was invaded by Japanese Forces. The restless pounding by Japanese guns including intermittent bombings reduced its defenses and compelled its surrender. On January 22, 1945, Corregidor was once again caught in the fury of war as the Americans retook the island after a bloody battle.”Source: Brief History

Corregidor Island Travel Guide

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If you haven’t been to Corregidor Island, now is the best time to get there since soon, there will be more tourists sprawling every time because the island has been opened more to the public. Previously, there’s no public transportation there and you have to rent a whole boat just to get to the island. Now, all you need is to book a ferry for your preferred schedule and ready yourself for the tour.

How to Get to Corregidor Island from Manila

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Esplanade Seaside Terminal

Corregidor is still part of Cavite, however, the easiest way to access the island is thru a ferry terminal in Manila, the Esplanade Seaside Terminal.

The easiest way to go to Esplanade Seaside Terminal is to use Grab App or hail a taxi and tell them to drop you off at Esplanade Seaside Terminal in Mall of Asia.

Sun Cruises is the only company that caters fast ferry from Manila to Corregidor and back. Their ferry boats can accommodate as many as 280 passengers.

Daily Corregidor Island Schedule:

Note: Boarding will close 30 minutes before departure

  • Check-in at Esplanade Seaside Terminal: 6:30 am
  • Boarding: 7:00 am
  • ETD Manila: 7:30 am
  • ETA Corregidor: 9:00 am
  • ETD Corregidor: 2:30 pm
  • ETA Manila: 4:00 pm

corregidor-island-travel-guide-plus-historical-tourI don’t have an idea how much a ferry ticket costs alone but here’s the current packages and other rates they have.

Corregidor Island Historical Tram Tour Package

Weekday Rate (Adult): ₱ 3,358.00
Weekend Rate (Adult): ₱ 3,629.00
Weekend/Weekday Rate (Child): ₱1,944.00

This package includes:

• Round-trip Ferry Transfers (MNL-Corregidor-MNL)
• Guided Island Tour
• Shrine and Island Entrance Fees
• Buffet lunch with drinks
• Day Tour Kit

Corregidor Adventure Game (The Rock Challenge) Package

Weekend/Weekday Rate: ₱ 3,500.00
– Minimum 15 people

This package includes:

• Round-trip Ferry Transfers (MNL-Corregidor-MNL)
• Corregidor Adventure Game
• Shrine and Island Entrance Fees
• Buffet lunch with drinks
• Complimentary Historical Tour
• Adventure Kit

Corregidor Historical Walking Tour Package

Weekday/Weekend Rate: ₱ 2,100.00
– Minimum 5 people

This package includes:

• Round-trip Ferry Transfers (MNL-Corregidor-MNL)
• Walking Tour
• Shrine and Island Entrance Fees
• Buffet lunch with drinks
• Complimentary Historical Tour
• Day Tour Kit

Optional Activities:

Joining Tour ₱ 650.00 / head

Outdoor Activities ₱ 550.00 / head
– Sunset and Sunrise Viewing, Hospital Tour, Easy Hike

Kayak (2 seaters) ₱ 500.00 / hour


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If you want to stay at Corregidor Island overnight, they also have a package rate for that.

CORREGIDOR INN OVERNIGHT ROOM RATES:

Single Room: ₱ 5,250.00
Twin/Double: ₱ 7,500.00
ExtraBed: ₱ 3,500.00
Family Room (5 pax): ₱ 15,000.00

This package/rate includes:

• Round-trip Ferry Transfers (MNL-Corregidor-MNL)
• Overnight Accommodation at Corregidor Inn
• Shrine and Island Entrance Fees
• Full board meals
• Day Tour Kit

Earliest check-in time is 3PM, please indicate your arrival time, your keys will be ready at the reception. Please present a valid ID. Latest check-out time is 11AM. If possible, please indicate your check-out time. Failure to check-out on time will be cause a penalty of Php500 per hour.

Corregidor Island: A Historical Experience

From Esplanade Terminal, we boarded the Sun Cruises ferry at 7:30 am. The ferry was large enough to accommodate up to 280 passengers and it’s somehow similar to the boat when we went to Bintan, Indonesia from Singapore. There are two decks in the boat, the upper deck, and the lower deck. Of course, there are better views on the upper deck. I only explored the boat for a short time and since we didn’t have much sleep, I went back to my seat and took a nap. When I opened my eyes, we are almost near Corregidor Island.

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Upon docking, we collected our bags and headed down to the island and took a welcome drink from the table where a crew was waiting. Also, I was quite surprised since I did not expect Corregidor Island to be a large island. I thought it was big enough but it was not, it’s a huge island, and there are a lot of trees and some wildlife in the area too!

After taking our drinks, we all went to our designated tram, the vehicle used in the island for transport, and started our Corregidor Historical Tour.

Corregidor Historical Tour

For the Corregidor Historical Tour, we went to the following places:

• Malinta Tunnel

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The tunnel got its name from the word “linta” meaning “leech” in English. The area was previously flocking of leeches that’s why it’s called “Malinta”. Here, we went inside to see the lateral connections of each tunnel and how it functioned as a base camp for the Filipino and American soldiers during World War II.

Later on, we also went back here for the Malinta Tunnel Lights and Sounds Show featuring what happened during the war.

• Japanese Memorial Garden

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A place where some of the Japanese soldiers were buried. My friend, Tina, didn’t like the place as she sensed some bad vibes in the area. It’s also where a souvenir shop is located. You can take a quick picture here as it spots one of the iconic statues in the area.

• Kindley Airfield

We only went here to see how the airfield looks like. Only small planes can land in Kindly Airfield.

• Filipino Heroes Memorial

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A landmark which honors the courage of Filipinos who fought for sovereignty. It houses a museum on one part of its end and holds old photographs of the late President Manuel L. Quezon, a miniature structure of Corregidor Island, and a few portraits and photographs during the World War II. This landmark also honors the Filipino Women who fought side by side with the soldiers.

• Pacific War Memorial Museum

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Cine Corregidor

It holds remnants and pieces of important belongings and events happened in Corregidor Island during World War II. There are areas dedicated to the letters of American soldiers to their families, one was for the weapons used during the war, and a few other more. Veteran American soldiers sometimes are also visiting the Pacific War Memorial Museum and look into the photographs when they were still young, reminiscing the memories of the old island.

In the area, also rose the Cine Corregidor where soldiers are watching movies in their non-busy days.

• Malinta Tunnel Lights and Sounds Show

corregidor-island-travel-guide-plus-historical-tour

Before going for lunch, we had a quick 15 – 20 mins of lights and sounds show inside the Malinta Tunnel. This shows the happening in the Philippines focusing Corregidor Island and everything that happened in chronological order. If you really are into history, you should take this tour and never think of fear as the tunnel gets dark.

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The historical tour was really fun, enjoyable, and full of knowledge. As I get deeper details on every story in Corregidor, my curiosity gets wild as well. While on the tour, I got questions like “What was it like living in a tunnel, not seeing the sun for days?”, “How was life like during those days?”, and many more. I am a naturally curious person so I really wanted to see, as I said to myself, even only in dreams, how Corregidor looks like when it was full of soldiers and their families in the island, to think that there was a cinema in the area, and even a swimming pool in the middle of the jungle.

[Click here to read the Overnight Experience in Corregidor]


To learn more about tours and packages in Corregidor Island, please visit the links below.

Sun Cruises

Website: https://corregidorphilippines.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CorregidorPH
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/corregidorPH/

Terminal Office

Esplanade Seaside Terminal Esplanade Seaside Park (Seaside Blvd., MOA Complex), Pasay, Pasay City, Philippines

Reservations Office

21st Floor Times Plaza Bldg., Ermita, Manila, Philippines Tel. (632) 354-7005, (632) 6289751 and (632) 6289752 Mobile (63)998 968-3256, (63)998 968-3056 E-mail: reservations@suncruises.com.ph

Sales Office

21st Floor Times Plaza Bldg., Ermita, Manila, Philippines Tel. Nos. (632) 527-5555 local 4511 and 4512 Fax No. (632) 527-5555 local 4513 E-mail: sales@suncruises.com.ph

Corregidor Inn

Corregidor Island, Cavite Mobile: (632)917 527-6350 E-mail: corregidor_inn@suncruises.com.ph 


How to get to Esplanade Seaside Terminal (EST) and book for Corregidor Island

A. From South
– Ride LRT 1 from Baclaran to Buendia/ Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue
– Ride Multi cab going to SM MOA
– Get off when you reach One Esplanade
– Walk going to Esplanade Seaside Terminal (EST)

B. From North
– Ride LRT 1 from Roosevelt, Balintawak or Monumento to Buendia/ Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue
– Ride Multi cab going to SM MOA
– Get off when you reach One Esplanade
– Walk going to Esplanade Seaside Terminal (EST)


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