The Battle Ground of Corregidor Island

Corregidor Island, is an island located at the entrance of Manila Bay in southwestern part of Luzon Island. It is one of the important historic sites in the Philippines.

The tadpole-shaped island falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Cavite, Cavite province. It is also known as “The Rock” for its rocky landscape and heavy fortifications.

Corregidor Island, along with Caballo Island or Horse Island, divides the entrance to the Manila Bay into two channels, known as the North and South Channel. Before the war and during the siege, Corregidor depended on Bataan for most of its potable water. For this purpose, barges were used to haul water either from Mariveles or Cabcaben, Bataan.

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The Caballo Island which is currently occupied by the Philippine Navy and is off limits to civilians.
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View of Mariveles Mountain in Corregidor

#DidYouKnowThat  Corregidor comes from the Spanish word corregir, meaning “to correct.” The island was called Isla del Corregidor (literally, Island of the Corrector) due to the Spanish customs system, wherein all ships entering Manila Bay were required to stop and have their documents checked and “corrected”.

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At the north dock of Corregidor Island

Corregidor played an important role during the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces during the World War II. The ruins left on the island serve as a military memorial to American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers who served or lost their lives on the island.

During World War II, Corregidor was the site of two costly sieges and pitched battles—the first during the first months of 1942, and the second in January 1945—between the Imperial Japanese Army and the U.S. Army, along with its smaller subsidiary force, the Philippine Army.

There were 23 batteries installed on Corregidor, consisting of 56 coastal guns and mortars. In addition, Corregidor had 13 anti-aircraft artillery batteries with 76 guns (28 3-inch and 48 .50-caliber) and 10 60-inch Sperry searchlights.

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Fortifications at Battery Way
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Photo of other coastal guns in the island

Corregidor Island is subdivided into four parts namely the Topside, Middleside, Bottomside and Tailside. The Topside is the island’s biggest area.  The Cine Corregidor movie theater, the mile-long barracks or Fort Mills, the Officers’ Club with a 9-hole Golf Course, and the bulk of the artillery batteries of Corregidor can all be seen at the Topside.

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The Mile-Long Barracks or Fort Mills
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Ruins of Cine Corregidor
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The Pacific War Memorial which was built by the US Government to honor the Filipino and American soldiers who participated in World War II.
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First lit in 1853, the old Spanish lighthouse is one of the oldest landmarks in Corregidor.

Middleside is the location of 2-story officers’ quarters and two schoolhouses—one for the children of Filipino soldiers and the other for American children.  The lower part of the island which is the neck that connects the tail and head of the island is the Bottomside. It is where the Malinta Tunnel is located. The Tailside is the remaining portion of the island where different memorials, shrines and the island’s airstrip can be seen.

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The last stronghold of the joint Philippine and American military prior to the Japanese takeover during the World War II.
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A glympse of Malinta Tunnel audio-visual presentation by National Artist Lamberto V. Avellana of the events that took place on the island.

Corregidor Island is currently under the custody of Corregidor Foundation, Inc. (CFI), a non-stock, non-profit private corporation organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA). CFI mission is to maintain and preserve war relics on Corregidor Island and manage the development of its potentials as an international and local tourist destination.

From inception, CFI was able to rehabilitate the following:

  • Three pier facilities (South/North/Eng’g)
  • 800-m Kindley Airfield
  • 31-Room Corregidor Inn and Hostel
  • 17-Room Beach Resort Cottages/Clubhouse
  • 6,000sq m Filipino Heroes Memorial
  • 12 Laterals of Malinta Tunnel (Light & Sound Show)
  • Pacific War Memorial
  • 11 kms. Concrete road network
  • Spanish Lighthouse/Spanish Museum
  • Japanese Memorial Garden
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Inside the Pacific Memorial War Museum
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Corregidor Inn and Hostel

Today, Corregidor is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines because of its rich history. Even veterans until now still come and visit the island to reminisce as most of the war-ravaged buildings were left as they were after the war in reverence to the Filipino and American soldiers who fought during the war.

How to get to Corregidor Island? Read previous blog post Quick Travel Guide To Corregidor Island

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by  TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

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TheTraveLad

Professional Civil Engineer. Proud Filipino. Traveler.

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