Have you been following The Pacific? Its a 10 part mini-series from HBO. The Philippines, although not featured in The Pacific, also fought against the Japanese in Corregidor. Corregidor aka as Fort Mills or the Gibraltar of the East.
Corregidor, officially named Fort Mills, was the largest of four fortified islands protecting the mouth of Manila Bay from attack and was fortified prior to World War I with powerful coastal artillery. – Wikipedia
For my son’s birthday last March 28, instead of giving him a birthday party (like we’ve been doing for the past 10 years) we went to Corregidor instead to learn together more about our history. Corregidor is one of the well preserved World war II site. I’ve never been to Corregidor before. When I was young, they used to tell tales of ghosts of American and Japanese soldiers haunting the island and I’ve been scared to visit the place. My grandfather was a USAFFE war veteran and though I was scared of his stories, I’ve always been curious about what it was like during that time. Now that I’m older, I felt I was ready to face my fear of the island and my grandfather/Lolo’s war stories. Being on the island made me feel more connected to him somehow…and it made me feel proud that Gramps was a fighter.
This was the tranvia that carried us around the island
I have a lot of photos on the island, but it would be best if you could visit the island yourself. The old photos I have here are not mine, the credit goes to www.corregidor.org it’s a wonderful site. And you could also visit Steve and Marcia Kwiecinski’s blog, a couple who lives on Corregidor.
If you are interested in visiting Corregidor, you can go to www.corregidorphilippines.com for their tour rates. We only got the day tour, but if you are interested in getting the most of your visit on the “Rock”, try staying overnight…just remember to bring enough water (if you have a sensitive stomach) or you can bring food, or your own snacks. It’s really worth it!
Also, a Massacre in Corregidor on March 18, 1968 was the reason for the Moro insurgencies in the Southern part of the Philippines. This is known as the Jabidah Massacre. Not many Filipinos are aware of this, but this happened on Corregidor too…there is now a marker on the island where the massacre took place.