Saturday, March 6, 2010

CORREGIDOR: A Tour Back in Time

This is my third time visiting the historic island of Corregidor. I am always fascinated with its history and mystery.

Every visit is special and memorable. My first one was back in 2004... It was my first assignment for the reality show Extra Challenge on GMA Network. We were asked to do an ocular inspection in the island and see what interesting "challenges" we can actually do there. Together with a senior producer, we went to Bataan and took a small boat going to the island. The boat was really small... not the typical ones you ride going to Puerto Galera from Batangas port. We were only 3 in the boat - me, the other producer and the boatman. We can't move that much, because we might capsize. Anyway, thank God, we reached the island safely... and got back to the mainland dry and safe.

The second one was the shoot itself. We went there during the evening and challenged our celebrity contestants to visit the ruins of a hospital which was said to be haunted with troubled spirits. The whole crew was on standby outside... and the challengers bravely entered the premises of the ruins with only a camera mounted on their head and a small flashlight. Mind you, it was pretty scary... but fun! Yes, one of the guests confessed hearing voices and seeing strange things inside, thus she ran outside very scared.

The dome of the Heroes' Memorial. There's a time of the year
when the lightshines directly on the sacred table inside the dome...

The lighthouse which continues to guide the ships,
fishermen et al entering Manila Bay

The cinema - my favorite spot in the island. Probably the only place
where our heroes were happiest that time -- seeing their favorite
stars on screen or simply being with their dates.

Get inside... and imagine the fear our heroes felt when
the island was bombed incessantly by the Japanese forces...

The last time I went there was last year (2009) for another shoot (Dare Duo, QTV). This turned out to be more fun and relaxed. We just documented the typical day tour in the island, with some spiels and activities for the hosts and guests. I learned more about the island this time. And the travel was more convenient. We took the ferry at the CCP Complex together with the number of tourists (mostly balik-bayans and foreigners - Americans and Japanese). The ferry was very convenient... airconditioned and sailed smoothly. We also spent the night there... and contrary to popular belief, the island isn't scary at all! In fact, it's so peaceful and lovely out there - day or night. The stars are so visible, scattered like gems in the dark skies...

You may take the ferry at the CCP Complex (beside the Harbor Square).
Travel time is approx. 45 mins. You may contact Sun Cruises Inc. (Tel: 02-527 5555) for details

The hospital ruins. Some tourists (the intrepid backpackers) spend the night here.

If you refuse to visit the island for a simple reason that there could ghosts or other elements out there, you are missing a lot!!! You are denying yourself of knowing your history and of visiting a lovely and awesome place...

I must say that every Filipino who loves to travel should consider this in their list of places to go.

(By the way, Corregidor is not part of Bataan... It's still under the jurisdiction of the province of Cavite).

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