Even though my wife was born and raised in Manila, she had never been to Corregidor Island. Well, we decided to change that during our family trip to the Philippines thanks to a media trip with Sun Cruises Philippines!
When the crew started singing and dancing when we set off from Manila Bay, we knew we were in for a fun day! The boat trip is a scenic and relaxing one hour journey (only 48 km west of Manila) with snacks and drinks available to purchase on board. You can stay in your assigned seats with AC inside or you can sit out on the outer deck with the wind blowing in your face to cool you down.
When you arrive at Corregidor Island, there are trams waiting for you (you get a number when you check in connecting you to one of the trams). They are all open-air so it is a great way to see the island and all the sights from the comfort of the tram! I was very impressed with the organization and professionalism of Sun Cruises. We even got our very own private tram since we were on a Media Trip! This helped a lot since we have 3 young kids so were given the flexibility to get on and off where we wanted and take as long as we needed. We also got to combine the driving trip with several walking trips which gave us a unique perspective on the island!
Our guide Brian (which rhymes with our son Ryan) has worked with Sun Cruises for 12 years, lives on the island 6 days/week, and was super informative giving us an-indepth history of the island, World War 2, and helping pick up the kids from the tram! Highly recommend asking for Brian when you book your trip!
We stopped at several places along the way learning a LOT about Filipino WW2 History including:
1) PACIFIC WAR MEMORIAL
The distintive dome reminded me of my trip to Hiroshima when I taught English in Japan. In this area, you can see the eternal flame, a beautiful sculpted garden, and the Pacific War Memorial Museum with many artifacts and photos telling you the history of Corregidor.
2) JAPANESE GARDEN OF PEACE
Even though the Japanese have a bad reputation for the horrors they committed during World War 2, you can’t help but feel sadness and sympathy when you step foot in the Japanese Garden of Peace. Hundreds of soldiers committed suicide (“Bushido”) by putting explosives in the tunnel rather than surrender to the Americans.
3) FILIPINO HEROES MEMORIAL
Several murals and statues are found at this moving memorial designed byrancisco Mañosa. My wife got emotional as she walked around this area and reflected on the many sacrifices mad to give the Philippines the freedom it now enjoys!
4) MALINTA TUNNEL
It’s definitely worth paying the extra fee for the sound and light show. You start at one end of the tunnel and move along with the show every 5-7 mins. There is a complex tunnel system and you can do additional tours with flashlights if you are staying overnight at the Corregidor Hotel.
5) CORREGIDOR LIGHTHOUSE
This is the highest point on the island and right next to the lunch stop. I highly recommend climbing to the top to get an outstanding view of the ruins, the island, and the surrounding islands. The climb was a little tricky for Rianne and Ryan so I recommend being careful if you have young kids like we do
6) MILE-LONG BARRACKS
If you walk from end to end along all 3 stories of the Barracks, you will have covered almost a mile. The barracks are iconic and symbolic of Corregidor and you’ll see pictures of them on brochures and websites offering tours to the island.
7) BATTERY WAYThere are several Batteries scattered around the island and you can pose with the giant guns (like I did in the picture below). There are also several bomb craters still visible especially if you do one of the walking tours of the island.
Here are some of the photo highlights from Corregidor:
A big thank you to Sun Cruises for hosting us! To book your own trip to Corregidor, click here: