Monday, October 25, 2010

Culture and Corregidor: Daytour

I tagged along Beth and her friend. They are touring the Philippines. Since April 9 was declared a holiday (Araw ng Kagitingan), tourists were expected to flock Corregidor. We opted for an overnight stay for April 7-8, 2010. That’s two days worth of leaves for me.

This is the plan:

Day 1 – April 7, 2010

7:30 AM

Check-in/ Boarding Time

8:00 AM

ETD Manila

9:15 AM

ETA Corregidor

9:30 AM

Start of Guided Tour

1:00 PM

End of Tour

Proceed to Inn for Lunch (included in the package)

2:30 PM

Free time

5:30 PM

Start of Night Tours

8:00 PM

End of Night Tours

Dinner (own expense)

Day 1 – April 8, 2010

5:30 AM

Call time of Sunrise Tour

6:00 AM

Complementary tunnel trek

6:30 AM

End of Tour. Head back to Inn

7:00 AM

Breakfast (own expense)

8:00 AM

Free time

Zipline, explore the beach, roam around

12:00 NN

Check out

1:300 PM

Transfer to the ferry boarding area

2:00 PM

ETD Corregidor

3:45 PM

ETA Manila

Commute to the pier – which is actually just beside CCP.

MRT to Taft: Php 15

LRT to Vito Cruz Php: 12
Orange Jeep to Pier: Php 7

I made it on time...barely. A coaster bus will take you to the drop off point of the ferry boat. Remember to take the meds if you get seasick. Since Araw ng Kagitingan was near, it was quite a special day for the war veterans. They had this ceremony/event ongoing and they were quite a big group.

After an hour, we arrived in Corregidor island. We were greeted by their “tour bus” with banderitas. Basically, we will be touring the island riding this and the guide will give us some time to explore the place on our own. After xxx minutes, the bell rings which means we must head back to the bus.

We changed buses because our guide (and the group) were speaking in Filipino. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just we had a foreigner with us and the other bus had one too and the guide spoke in English there.

Beth said the Japanese tour is different. If you remember your WWII lessons, the stories are not exactly “pro-Japanese”. I guess this is to avoid offending the Japanese tourists.

Our first stop was the lights and sounds show. This is optional and costs an extra Php 150. If you opt to skip this, you have nothing to do for about an hour. Basically, you will be walking in the main path of a dark tunnel and stop from time to time to listen to the narration of the events. It was an a-okay show for its price. My World War II memory bank was refreshed.

The barracks. The guide joked that the camera may capture other faces. Freaky.

Cannons. End-to-end picture taking.

Phil-American zone.

Trees planted by US ex-presidents.

The Japanese monument. The guide explained why this was built despite the Japanese being the “attackers” of the island.

Flame that symbolizes...something.

For handicapped people. They probably get lots of war veterans.

Old USA flag.

Corregidor is a tadpole-shaped island.

Our tour ended pretty early – before 12nn. Which was good coz we headed back to the inn for the lunch buffet. We were the first bus to arrive. The lunch was filling although nothing spectacular.

We signed up for the night tours, which begins at 5:30pm. We checked in our room and soaked in the cool air-conditioning after hours of sightseeing under the sun.

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