Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Cavite: Corregidor Island fortress from the sky

As I mentioned in my earlier entry, it's fun seeing the things down below from a bird's eye view. From the DMIA, you see a different landscape. The most prominent of these attractions is Mount Arayat which towers over the central plains of Luzon. I was able to recognize the City of San Fernando as well. From there, you also see the towns at the Pampanga River delta and Manila Bay.

Then Corregidor came into view, like a little tadpole swimming at the mouth of the historic bay. Since we've touched on the island, might as well talk about it. A few years back, I got to take an alternative route to Corregidor, faster at that. We're all familiar with those fastcrafts which leave from the CCP Complex. They charge quite a hefty amount if I remember it right. But if you are vacationing in the Subic or Morong area, you might want to consider visiting the island since it is only 30 minutes by pump boat from a certain barangay in Mariveles.

At that time, I think the boat ride costed us PHP1500 total. Imagine the savings if there were more of us. I and a brod, Felix Lopez dared another brod Ryan Tan that we could meet up with him and his family in Corregidor. He thought we were joking since we were in Bataan, hours away from the port in Manila. Hehe! So to make the long story short, we were able to reach the island just as they were about to depart. The good thing about pump boats is that you had your own departure time.

So after Ryan left, we had our own tour of the island. I contacted Col. Art Matibag, head of the Corregidor Foundation, who was kind enough to lend us a vehicle around the island. I had met Col. Matibag when we were actively pushing for the preservation of the San Fernando Train Station which is a very important Second World War site.

Corregidor is actually part of
Cavite City although it is closer to Bataan. The other island you see at the tip is Caballo Island. Known as "the rock," it was host to Fort Mills during the American colonial period which is when most of the artilery was placed there. Today it is one of the most important Second World War shrines in the country having been the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the war, the Battle of Corregidor.

Some of the more popular sites on the island are the batteries, the Corregidor War Memorial, the Corregidor Lighhouse which is one of the few remaining Spanish structures left standing, and Lorca Dock where MacArthur uttered his famous lines, "I shall return!"

Anyway, we flew down the coast of Cavite and Zambales, then over the island of Mindoro. Sigh! And we all wonder why we have all these landslides. The forests were all gone. Just a few patches of green. I hope the DENR focuses on protection of what's left as well as reforestation.

From there, we made a right turn toward continental Asia. Didn't see much since it was dark. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at about 8:30 p.m. after a four hour flight.
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