Sunday, 26 June 2011

Corredigor Island

For the geographically challenged, Philippines is "the" island place. And it has to be as it is an archipelago surrounded by 7107 islands!! While many are tiny and probably in accessible by air, there are some pretty famous ones like Boracay, Bohol, Batanes, Palawan ( yes they seem to all start with B and P ) and Corredigor. Of late, i was told there is an island here that looks like the islands in Santorini, with the blue sees  sea and white buildings. That would be interesting ... cheaper than flying to Europe and probably less expensive.

Well for this write up, it is not Bohol, Boracay i am going ( Boracay will be another write up ) but to Corredigor. It is .. a war island to be exact. Yeah, i know, i seem to favor a lot of this army related stuff. Hard not to, 3/4 of my family are army enthusiast,  so some how you absorb whatever everyone is talking around you.

If you are thinking this is a beach write up ... er  can turn away now. Corredigor is the island that is in the face of Manila Bay. It was considered the stronghold during the second world war and also one of the President's of Philippines hid there for 6 months during the attack of the Japanese on Manila.

Funnily enough, not a lot of Pinoys travel to this, this place is more of a attraction to foreigners who are history buffs, former WW2 survivors and insanely bored people like me and my house/flat mates.  Really, after so many months, we have gone to ALL the shopping malls, ALL the areas surrounding Makati and still we remain bored. There is really nothing much to do in the city so sometimes we do have to look outside of town ( and some times over the sea ) to find excitement.  Unfortunately for my poor housemate, traveling to Corredigor meant she had to wake up at 6am!!( horror ) to take the 8am ferry to Corridegor. To be honest, even an early riser like me... it was hard :(....  There is only 1 ferry there at one time and no other :(
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How to get there: By Ferry. Via the Suncruise company. No other ferry services runs there. For PHP 2999, it includes the ferry ride ( free transport from suncruise to the ferry jetty), tour of the island ( yes, don't be adventurous to self walk it is a big island) and free lunch at the one and only hotel on the island. You can also pick the package that allows you to stay in the hotel overnight but we only took the day trip.

So.. the 4 of us trooped to the Ferry (very sleepily) at 7am in the morning, while everyone was getting their coffee kicks at Starbucks ( some got the super large size coffee hehehehe ) i was busy taking photographs around Manila Bay. It has been ages since i took my camera out and it feels good to do so! The trick to photographing Manila bay is ... crop the bottom... cause there is a lot of crap at the bottom of the photograph that i didn't show.  

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There is this fake/copy of that famous restaurant in Hong Kong. Only this looks a tad dilapidated and very ignored.  I am not even sure it is open to begin with. But against the skyline behind, it makes a good picture!

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8am sharp we were all rolled off into this large Ferry, glad it wasn't dodgy looking. It was pretty comfortable, though i'd preferred it to be open air it wasn't. Again, 80% of the people traveling with us were Japanese (!!) , a lot of Americans and a small amount of Pinoys. During the 45 minute journey there, the guides gave a brief history of the Island and what we need to do when we reached the island. For the rest of the journey, most of us zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzed our way to the island.

On arrival, we were shuttled to these little orange... trams, trains? All the english speaking people in one train the rest, follow your mother language ! Yes, they cater for people of different languages so it makes it easier for you to understand the descriptions on the tour. Those truck look fun but after a few rounds of getting up and down it
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Like my apartment mate, is considering if he should climb back up. Kudos to the guy in the car who refuse to get out!
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Corredigor is no party island like Boracay as there are only 200 people on the island itself, so don't expect any life on the beach.  In fact some of these beaches are scenes to some of the bloodiest battles during the second world war.
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The island was home to many US soldiers during the second world war who made the place feel like home with buildings that remind them of home. But a lot of have been destroyed by bombing or by wear and tear and make very creepy places that you won't want to be alone in at night.
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And the whole place is littered with buildings of such.  Legend has it, the most haunted place on the island was the old hospital and the Malinta tunnels. Naturally so for the hospital as many people have died here and some i heard quite painfully. I have to be honest, while the building looks bright and shiny in the pics below, but step into the dark areas of the building, you can feel presence of people or some how memories of people who used to be there.
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But this ain't the old hospital, this is one of the many barracks in Corredigor
I guess along time ago, people are more directionally challenge with a GPS. So you need large signs like this.
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Since this is a War island expect a lot of memorials and a lot of cemeteries. The war memorial was quite interesting to see memorabilia from the era, from army fatigues to money used during the Second World war. Kinda like History class without the teacher talking.
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Ah, no food shots here ok, there is only 1 restaurant here in Corredigor and that's at the hotel which serves okay food only. But we were so freaking hungry we just wallop every thing tasty or not.

After lunch we had a tour of Malinta tunnels. Interestingly enough Linta means leeches in tagalog ( yes leeches ) and Malinta - means ..... alot of leeches!!  The tunnel is where President Quezon stayed for 6 months, housed by the Americans for his own safety. And it is a seriously depressing place to be in. No light, tepid air and claustrophobia can really drive people mad. The tunnels here are deep and the expand through out the hills on the left and right.  You can see below everyone is just glad to get out of this place! All smiles @ the sunshine
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The tour ends at 2pm where we took the ferry back to Manila bay. It was not a bad day tour for us, a chance to get out, spend some time in the sun and not spend money ( ahehehhe ) and get some history @ the same time.  Recommended for history buffs and people who like to see how people lived during the second world war.

More pics, click this link.


  1. Nice photos! Still in Manila? Staying there anymore longer you can apply for PR there.

  2. Oh Perish the thought please. Thanks for the pics compliment. Where are you now?

  3. That was pretty interesting... at least something different from the malls and malls and malls.... Maybe ppl dont dare to stay there bcos of the haunted stories?

  4. @jason: cud be. i hear that at night, imaginary troops are seen patrolling. is that creepy or what!

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