Corregidor is a small rocky island in the Philippines about 48 kilometers west of Manila which is stragetically located at the entrance

of Manila Bay. This island fortress stands as a memorial for the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II. Also known as "the Rock," it was a key bastion of the Allies during the war. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines in December 1941, the military force under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur carried out a delaying action at Bataan. Corregidor became the headquarters of the Allied forces and also the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government. It was from Corregidor that Philippine President Manuel Quezon and General MacArthur left for Australia in February 1942, leaving behind Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright in command. Although Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, the Philippine and American forces held out at Corregidor for 27 days against great odds. On May 6, 1942, their rations depleted, the Allied forces were forced to surrender Corregidor to Lt. Gen. Homma Masaharu of the Japanese Imperial Army after having successfully halted the Japanese advance on Australia. It was only two years and ten months later in March 1945 when the Allied forces under the command of General MacArthur recaptured Corregidor ... making good his promise to return to the Philippines. The big guns of Corregidor are now silent and the ruins of buildings, structures, and tunnels in the island tell a very moving story of a war that has claimed so many lives. A visit to this former battleground is a memorable experience especially for those who cherish and value peace and freedom. In his speech delivered at the signing of the surrender of Japan aboard the U.S.S. Missouri at Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur said, "It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all mankind that a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past - a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice."


In 1903 a former Spanish garrison building there was converted to a convalescent hospital. the small town of San Jose emerged to become the seat of government on the island. after laying down the groundwork to make Corregidor a great military bastion. Samuel M.S. 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. During the Spanish era this tadpole-shaped island was a signal station where bonfires were lit to alert Manila of a home-coming galleon. after Brig.S.S." In early and pre-hispanic times. This was followed by a naval hospital and a signal station which was used primarily to warn Manila of approaching enemies. 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. Spain ceded Cuba. A regular army post was later established in 1908. 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. Concrete emplacements and bomb-proof shelters were constructed and trails and roads were laid out on the island. Corps of Engineers began to build fortifications on the island to secure the seaward approach to Manila Bay. The island was designated as a U. Army in 1905-1906. the island was called "Isla del Corregidor" (Island of the Correction). The Spaniards set up a naval dockyard on the island in 1795. During the Spanish times. Gen. Spaniards built a lighthouse on the island. during which it was heavily damaged and rebuilt to the same specifications. and the Philippines to the Americans under the Treaty of Paris which was signed on December 10. chief of artillery of the U. Later under the Americans. Another version claims that the island was used a penitentiary or correctional institution by the Spanish and came to be called "El Corregidor. 2nd Battalion of the U. Puerto Rico.” meaning to correct. 1898.Corregidor comes from the Spanish word “corregir. This was replaced in 1897 and remained in use until the outbreak of the Pacific War. Mills. This was part of the planned "Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bay" due to the strategic location of Corregidor. Later on. After the defeat of the Spanish forces by Admiral George Dewey in May of 1898. The following year army engineers of “H” company. 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. This engineer contingent left on March 15. In 1836 a lighthouse was built and in 1853 a stronger light was installed. 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. 1912. Military Reservation in 1907 and the army post on Corregidor was named Fort Mills. The restless pounding by Japanese guns including intermittent bombings .

Quezon. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves. . the President's aide. and his son Manuel. As the war drew to a close. Manuel Nieto. he sent Gen. Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos. Jr. the Philippine Commonwealth. because it was expected that someday the Japanese would attack and the Philippines had to be ready. Franklin D. He brought hope as he promised prompt." Roosevelt was elected President in November 1932. and the Japanese invading forces stationed in the island of Luzon. 1945. President Manuel L. president of the Philippine Commonwealth. MacArthur's job was to build an army. Roosevelt directed organization of the Nation's manpower and resources for global war. Prior to the fall of Corregidor in 1942. PERSONALITIES IN CORREGIDOR'S HISTORICAL PAST In the defense and siege of Bataan and Corregidor. the president of the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. With President Quezon were his wife. Georgia. and Gen. 1941 and became refugees in the island fortress. Gen. At the Malinta Tunnel in Corregidor. Gen. Quezon. and Serapio D. and asserted in his Inaugural Address. Maria Aurora and Zenaida. the American and Filipino forces in the Philippines. Masaharu Homma represented these principal participants. The presidential party left Manila on December 24. Canceran. the principal participants included the United States government. and on April 12. Gen. Also in the party were Vice President Sergio Osmena. Col. Roosevelt's health deteriorated. his two daughters. Maj. Moore. 1945. "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. respectively. Dona Aurora. When the Japanese finally attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7. Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression. to the first of four terms. MacArthur as Supreme Allied Commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater and placed in charge of the American Forces in the Philippines. he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Roosevelt.reduced its defenses and compelled its surrender. the president's private secretary. Douglas MacArthur to be the military advisor to Manuel Quezon. 1941. the Philippine Army Chief of Staff. Jonathan M. Manuel L. vigorous action. Valdes. the quarters of Pres. while at Warm Springs. was advised by Gen. In 1935. Douglas MacArthur. President Franklin D. MacArthur to evacuate to Corregidor. Gen. George F. On January 22. Basilio J. it was Roosevelt who directed MacArthur to leave Corregidor and proceed to Australia for the purpose of organizing the American offensive against the Japanese forces. Franklin D. He designated Gen. Quezon and his family was a lateral beside the 1st lateral and nearest the East entrance to the tunnel. Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States and a strong ally and supporter of the Philippines. Wainwright. Corregidor was once again caught in the fury of war as the Americans retook the island after a bloody battle.

Roosevelt retained him in this post until the fall of 1935. whence they flew to Australia. and these freedoms that we are sacrificing our lives and all that we possess. In 1930. 1944. "When they find your body. Since no significant reinforcement could reach Bataan and Corregidor and the disease ravaged. From April 1942 to October 1944. Indeed. the Bismarcks. re-equipping. – Philippine units were no match for the combined naval-air-ground assault by the Japanese. less than three months before MacArthur's dramatic return to Philippine soil.S. organization. 1941 provided a strange break in the routine of life in the tunnel. Although he retired from the U. President Franklin D. General MacArthur remained military advisor to the Philippine Commonwealth. MacArthur Chief of Staff. Far East.S. and though seeming pathetic. Although built up considerably prior to the outbreak of war. President Roosevelt recalled General MacArthur to active duty to command these forces. especially in their air strength. Army at the end of 1937. We are fighting for human liberty and justice." When Quezon left Corregidor by submarine on February 20.S. ammunition-short Filipinos and Americans could not be expected to hold out much longer. President Roosevelt ordered General MacArthur to leave the Philippines and to proceed to Australia. Army. and a nucleus staff left Corrigidor in a torpedo boat for Mindanao. General MacArthur trained.S. Due to the spread of the war in Europe and the accelerating Japanese Expansion in the Far East. 1941. when MacArthur returned to the Philippines as military advisor to the newly established Philippine Commonwealth. MacArthur’s principal task was to organize and train a Philippine Army. and was named Field Marshall of its army. the U. Having fallen back on the Bataan peninsula and the fortress islands blocking Manila Bay. It is to maintain this independence. training. he gave MacArthur his ring. New Britain. the Americans and Filipinos under General MacArthur brought the Japanese to a standstill.Army Forces. The ceremony was simple. these liberties. for the next two years. and led his Southwest Pacific Command through New Guinea. we are fighting for our own independence.The inauguration of President Quezon for his second term as President of the Philippine Commonwealth on December 30. Mobilization. his family. most notably Corregidor Island. and Morotai to an enormously . partook of a special dignity. President Quezon in his speech said: "Ours is a great cause. Douglas MacArthur was a brilliant. and supplying his command occupied the General until Dec 8.S. for those principles of individual freedom which we all cherish and without which life would not be worth living. He died on August 1. saying. Quezon's tuberculosis steadily worsened. the U. The President also directed that the Philippine army be called upon to serve with United States forces. planned for. Army General. The General. U. controversial.S. planning. I want them to know you fought for my country. organized. and highly intelligent five-star U. were created." While he led the Philippine government-in-exile in the U. President Herbert Hoover appointed Gen.

He chosed to stick it out in Corregidor and stay with his men. Homma made the threat of considering the captives on Corregidor as hostages and not prisoners of war and that they could be slaughtered if his conditions of surrender were not met. Gen. Anti-aircraft Defense. and nurses. He retired from active duty in August 1947 and died at San Antonio. .successful landing in Leyte in the central Philippines which ultimately led to the defeat of the Japanese forces in the Philippines. Masaharu Homma was the commander of the Japanese forces in Bataan and Corregidor. 1942 with 50. After witnessing the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2. he was given a hero's welcome. Maj. MacArthur had earlier informed Gen. including 15. D. He launched the final battle to capture Bataan and Corregidor on April 3. Lt. with responsibility for repelling air attacks. Moore that negotiations with Japan were breaking down and that he should prepare his men for war. He was then held in prison camps in northern Luzon. with responsibility for defeating enemy landings on the shores of Corridor. Gen. promoted to General. In his meeting with Gen. Gen. and to try to arrange for the evacuation by submarine of selected personnel. brave defense of the Philippines. Homma demanded the unconditional surrender of all American and Filipino forces in the Philippine Islands. 1945 he returned to the Philippines to receive the surrender of the local Japanese commander. Wainwright's concern became twofold: to preserve the morale and fighting spirit of his men. promoted to temporary Lieutenant General. 1942 which turned out to be the most painful and shattering experience in his military career. When Corregidor was still under siege. succeeded to command of US Army Forces in the Far East.000 Japanese troops. For his dogged. 1953. with responsibility for keeping Japanese warships out of the bay and away from Manila. His remaining duty was to tie up the Japanese for as long as possible. He died at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington. Wainwright. Texas on September 2. a command immediately afterward redesignated US Forces in the Philippines. and awarded the Medal of Honor. His last duty was to surrender Corregidor to the Japanese on May 6. Gen.C.000 new arrivals from the 4th Japanese Army Division and the Nagano Detachment. Formosa. grounded aviators. Wainwright was the Commander of the Filipino-American forces in the Island of Luzon. including intelligence specialists. Moore's unit was organized into three commands: Seaward Defense. Jonathan M. When MacArthur was ordered off Bataan in March 1942. and Beach Defense. General MacArthur was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Moore was the commander of the Philippine Coast Artillery Command and the defense of Corregidor was his responsibility. Wainwright in Bataan. Gen. 1964. on April 5. George F. Gen. On his return to the United States. and Manchuria until he was liberated by Russian troops in August 1945. self-possessed person. He was described by those who served under him as a soft-spoken.

o Mile-Long Barracks .ISLAND'S GEOGRAPHIC SECTORS • Topside . for Freedom's light has come. and a number of buildings previously used as quarters for bachelor officers as well as the senior officers of the garrison. it was completed in 1968. or in your bed of hallowed sod. Douglas MacArthur was also located in this building. and a museum. hopes and aspirations. Designed by Aristides Demetrios. and the reconstructed Spanish lighthouse are similarly located at Topside. The sculpture stands as a reminder that all men will fight as one if need to be to defend a nation's liberty. Financed with an appropriation by the United States Congress. The more recently constructed buildings and structures that are now found at Topside include the following: The Pacific War Memorial Dome. Although it is just less than a third of a mile long. It was used for the billeting of American officers and enlisted personnel detailed at the garrison. It is here where you will find the ruins of the following buildings: Mile-Long Barrackes. sculpture of the Eternal Flame of Freedom. Topside is said to be the nerve center of the island fortress. clear reveille of God. All the major gun emplacements are also located around this high ground. however. sleep in the silent depths of the sea. Post Headquarters. The parade ground. commonly referred to as the Mile-Long Barracks. The headquarters of Gen. . and the heroic struggle by the United States and the Philippines to preserve freedom for future generations. the old Spanish flagpole. and the coastline of Cavite.520 feet that it became popularly known as the world's longest military barracks. my sons.This is a three-story concrete building which was constructed to be hurricane-proof." The memorial also houses a museum which serves as the repository of relics and memorabilia related to the history of Corregidor. The entire length of the building measures about 1. your duty done. until you hear at dawn the low. o Eternal Flame of Freedom . The major memorial structure is a rotunda in which a circular altar falls directly under the dome's open center through which light falls on the altar during daylight the highest geographic sector in the island where the terrain elevation above sea level ranges from about 400 feet and higher. it was. a small golf course.The memorial was erected to honor of the Filipino and American servicemen who participated in the Pacific War.A large steel sculpture which symbolizes the Flame of Freedom burning eternally. The altar symbolizes a wreath of victory with the following words inscribed on its rim: "Sleep. o Pacific War Memorial . It is located at the rear of the Pacific War Memorial dome on a raised platform which provides visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of Manila Bay. the sculpture commemorates the sacrifices. Cine Corregidor. the Bataan Peninsula.

Currently. he ordered the hoisting of the American flag on this flagpole. Finally. When the defenders of Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese forces. Spanish Lighthouse . serves as a reminder of the Corregidor's colorful and glorious past. Beside the lighthouse is a small gift shop where visitors can buy souvenirs. the South China Sea. and the neighboring provinces of Bataan and Cavite. MacArthur returned to Corregidor on March 2. Corregidor once again belonged to the Filipino people. a stairway leading up to its upper balcony. Aviary and Bird Park. and the Youth For Peace Campsite are found at Middleside. on October 12. in a moving and colorful ceremony signifying the turnover of Corregidor to the Republic of the Philippines. Cine Corregidor .This old historic flagpole. The current lighthouse was constructed on the same site at an elevation of 628 feet above sea level. the stars and stripes was hauled down for the last time and the Philippine flag was hoisted in its stead. It is also at .To the left at the entrance to the Pacific War Memorial are the ruins of what used to be Cine Corregidor. 1947. However. the American flag was lowered down from this flagpole on May a sector located within the tadpole head of the island where the ground elevation approximately ranges between 100 feet and 400 feet above sea level. visitors who climb up the stairs of the lighthouse can have a breathtaking view of Corregidor. the Filipino-American Friendship Park. Being the highest point in the island. Manila Bay.At its current site.o o o Spanish Flagpole . a movie theater. Nothing much is left of the building except portions of its concrete walls. • Middleside . It was erected during the pre-war period to cater to the entertainment needs of the personnel of the garrison as well as their families. and structures are found. buildings. The flagpole was the mast from a Spanish Warship captured by the American fleet of Admiral George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1. 1945 following the recapture of the island. the original lighthouse was built by the Spaniards in 1836. Sixty-one years later a need for a much bigger lighthouse was conceived which led to the erection of another structure to replace the old one. and the concrete floor of what used to be its stage. 1898 and erected at its present site by the Americans. When Gen. just like the many other relics. 1942. buildings and structures in Corregidor. Its former lobby now houses two black vintage cars which were used by President Quezon and Gen. It lies between the Bottomside and Topside sectors where a number of landmarks. MacArthur. the lighthouse was destroyed during World War II.

o Army Hospital . Behind it are the ruins of the former YMCA building which served as a recreational facility for the military personnel detailed in Corregidor. some service and utility buildings. o Filipino-American Friendship Park . quarters for officers and enlistedmen. Personnel of the 60th Coast Artillery Regiment and the 91st Philippine Scout Coast Artillery Regiment were billeted in this barracks.the ruins of a three-story building formerly used as the island's main medical facility prior to its transfer to Malinta Tunnel is found at Middleside. scouts. Philippine horned owl. o Aviary and Theme Park ." o Middleside Barracks ." it severs Bottomside from the tail end of the island. The North and South Shore roads curved from its slopes and girdled the hill and ran on down the curving tadpole tail. Theirs was a noble cause. It was also briefly occupied by elements of the 4th Marine Regiment upon their arrival in Corregidor on December 1941. warehouses. It has a propagation facility for showcasing eco-tourism. Indonesian parrot. A plaque at the park bears the following statement: "In these hallowed surroundings where heroes sleep may their ashes scatter with the wind and live in the hearts of those who were left behind. To facilitate passage and to create a bombproof shelter. A number of monkeys are also kept in a large cage. Post Stockade. Brazilian sun conure. .the campsite is an open area intended for out-of-school youth. They died for freedom's right and in heaven's sight.a large military barracks made up of two three-story buildings which was referred to as the Middleside Barracks because it was constructed in the middleside sector of the island. and student campers and hikers.000 square meter complex managed by Feathered Friends Foundation which houses local and foreign varieties of birds such as the red-vested cockatoo. Officers Club. o YMCA and the Youth for Peace Campsite .the park commemorates the close friendship and camaraderie between the Philippines and the United States in times of war and in peace which is depicted by tenfoot high statues of a Filipino and American soldier.this sector where you will find the ruins and former sites of the following: YMCA. Called "Malinta. Middleside Barracks. MALINTA TUNNEL To the east of Bottomside a hill rises abruptly to an elevation of 390 feet. and the Indonesian rainbow lory. The building was shaped like a cross when viewed from the air to distinguish the structure from the other buildings in Corregidor.a 3.

a concrete floor.000-bed capacity. Gen.the Americans drove a shaft from a rock quarry at Bottomside directly through the hill. The 835 feet long East-West passage served as the main tunnel which is 24 feet wide and the height at the top of its arch is 18 feet. a number of shops and storage areas were added. respectively. Construction of the tunnel took about 10 years. Although it was safe inside. Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmena were inaugurated into their second term respectively as president and vice-president of the Philppine Commonwealth in simple ceremonies attended by members of the garrison. Work was initially started in 1922 and it was substantially completed in 1932. During the siege of Corregidor. creating the famous Malinta Tunnel. and an underground hospital with a 1. The tunnel complex was described as damp and poorly ventilated and. Its occupants. and the dull boom of . morale of the personnel was lower than elsewhere on Corregidor. it was not designed to quarter humans. At the vicinity of the tunnel's west entrance in the afternoon of Dec 30. The entire length of the main tunnel was lined to a height of six feet with crates of all sizes and descriptions. Each lateral averaged 160 feet and 15 feet in length and width. In the South side. Malinta Tunnel also served as the seat of Philippine Commonwealth Government under President Manuel L. Branching from it are 13 laterals on its north side and another 11 laterals on the south side. The tunnel had been dug through solid rock and offered complete protection from artillery or air attack. Quezon. and overhead arches. except for the hospital. The fourth lateral on the same side connects to a group of 12 laterals which was used as a quartermaster supply storage. 1941. including nurses and seventeen civilians and army wives. and sixty-eight women. Gen. Command communications and medical units were located there. MacArthur set up the headquarters of USAFFE inside the tunnel where men and women would live and work during the siege of Corregidor. Blowers were installed to allow the circulation of fresh air. A doubletrack electric trolley line used to run through the main tunnel which is reinforced with concrete walls. The tunnel was originally designed to house huge quantities of ammunition. The third lateral on the North side from the East entrance served as the USAFFE Headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur. the flickering blue mercury vapor lights. numbering over four thousand. food and supplies. The location of the tunnel beneath Malinta Hill made it ideal as a bomb-proof headquarters for the embattled Filipino and Americans defenders of Corregidor during World War II. It has been said that some of its laterals were so secret that only those working there knew of its existence and that those who worked inside the tunnel during its construction were even blindfolded as they were escorted to their respective work areas. the first lateral from the East entrance was designated as headquarters of the Harbor Defense Command under Maj. George Moore. complained of dust flying around.

This was the only lateral inside Malinta Tunnel which was secured with a heavy steel door and bolted at night for the security and privacy of the women who were billeted in it. This show has been incorporated as an optional part of the tour of Corregidor and those who opt to see the show are asked to pay an extra amount. There was no privacy and nowhere else to go to be away from other people. Of the remaining two laterals. bedbugs prickled the flesh. a darkness so total it can paralyze all the senses.000-bed capacity Fort Mills Hospital which was used during the siege of Corregidor. At one of the hospital laterals. medical supplies and hospital equipment. one was used as quarters for the female staff of the hospital. and dust hung in a pall despite the continuous daily mopping. This tour allows visitors to see for themselves the different laterals of the 1." There are 10 laterals in the hospital which were used as medical wards and each lateral had a capacity of 100 beds. the group enters this lateral and head northward towards the tunnel's North Entrance. the show is a re-enactment of World War II’s dramatic events. helpless and trapped being unable to fight back. Although no shrapnel could get through. the tour guide will point out the location where a number of Japanese soldiers committed suicide by blowing themselves up just . It is a night tour which may be availed of only by those who remain overnight in Corregidor.exploding bombs when the island was under siege. The starting point of the night tour is at the East Entrance of the tunnel. One person who once joined this night tour wrote. The tour guide brings along a large flashlight for the tour since the hospital laterals are no longer lighted by electricity. Upon reaching the second lateral on the right side. Today. It is believed that the other remaining lateral was intended for the hospital's administrative office and also for the storage of medicines. visitors can experience the thrills of Malinta Tunnel in the vividly staged Light and Sound Show called the “Malinta Experience. Those who join the night tour assemble at the lobby of Corregidor Hotel just after dinner and they are then taken to the Malinta Tunnel by a "tramvia. yet the tunnel dwellers felt suffocated. "It is the most stygian blackness imaginable." A tour guide accompanies the group to point out and explain the different laterals of the hospital. It is in this vicinity where the 12 hospital laterals are located.” Scripted by national artist and film director Lamberto Avellana and sculptures made by national artist Napoleon Abueva. Little black flies swarmed everywhere. NIGHT TOUR OF MALINTA TUNNEL There is a special tour of the Malinta Tunnel which is not included during the regular day tour. It is pitch dark inside the tunnel and everyone who joins the tour experiences the eerie darkness when the tour guide switches off his flashlight for a few seconds.

. For the Japanese.. the group returns to the main tunnel and exit out at the West Entrance where they board the tramvia for their return to the hotel. thus making the night exploration of Malinta Tunnel not only eerie but a bit stirring as well. The 15 photographs portrayed above were taken during one of the night tours of the hospital laterals. After the tour of the hospital laterals. With the number of Japanese soldiers who died inside the tunnel. they will surely confirm that this is one tour that should not be missed by those who come to visit Corregidor.prior to the recapture of Corregidor by the American forces. For those who have visited the Malinta Tunnel at night. it will no doubt entertain some creepy thoughts in their minds.honor Hara-kiri-suicide by using sharp objects Kamikaze-suicide by wrapping around themselves together with a bomb . Bushido-loyalty. Some consider this particular tour as mysterious and strange that it could send a cold chill up one's spine. it was an honor for them to die rather than to surrender to their enemy. there have been none. apparently. visitors would often wonder if there have been any known sightings of ghosts inside the tunnel . For those who join this tour.

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