Tour of Corregidor Island

Friday, December 20, 2019
Corregidor Island, Calabarzon, Philippines
Today is Corregidor Day for us.  The Dobson’s, McNeely’s, Bev and I spent the day at one of the most memorable places that I had visited previously: Corregidor Island at the entrance of Manila Bay.
Back in 1993 then Senior Pastor of the Philippines, Earl Roemer, took me out here for a visit.  The impression that this excursion indelibly left on me reinforced my outlook on what is humanity, our purpose for being and even more on what God thinks about it all and where He is in it.  Is the way we are be always?  Is there any hope of change?  The continual treadmill of man’s repetitious and insane behavior of uncontrolled hatred leading to war and generating unspeakable suffering and angst in the lives of all the populace of a nation is beyond all sensibility.   
Here is the link to my previous trip to Corregidor in July 2013
While war has its glorious heroes, generals and military analysts, the agony imposed on the least of humans brings is heartbreaking. So many have perished not knowing what this was all about what their existence on earth meant 
General Douglas McArthur, one of the principles of the war with the Japanese and one closely connected in heart with the Filipinos made many bravado statements about war. But, the two quotes about human behavior that are my favorites and have to do with the human spirit and the Spirit of God that McArthur hints at in these two quotes.
1.       “I have known war as few men now living know it. It's very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.”  
2.       “It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”   
Now our visit to visit to Corregidor on Friday.   
As we toured the island, you sense the conflict and horror that occurred here from 1942 to 1945. History becomes vivid in what happened on this strategic island that was the second most bombed island in World War II:  The surrender initially to the Japanese in 1942 leading to the horrific Bataan Death March following, the retaking of Corregidor by the Americans and the mass suicides of the Japanese soldiers…. only a handful of the Japanese occupying force survived. All this makes you sadly ponder about what evils we humans will allow ourselves to stoop to.
Manila pastor Rey Evasco and his nephew took us to the esplanade, the dock where our journey commenced.  The boat ride to Corregidor takes one and half hours.  Then be were shuttled by a tram to all the sites.  The island is only 2.5 miles long and quite narrow, but there is a lot to see. 
First we saw the place near the berthing of our boat where General McArthur boarded a submarine and headed to Australia.  It was in Adelaide, Australia that McArthur uttered the famous “I shall return” statement.  He indeed did return to the Philippines via Leyte on October 20, 1944.
From this point we drove into a Japanese cemetery.  The sights from the island are spectacular in both awesome beauty and solemn remembrance. Seeing the Bataan peninsula about eight miles across the strait was sobering in knowing what a brutal event that was for American and Filipino prisoners of war who walked the 70 or so miles in the march.
From there we visited various memorials. An interesting one was one that demarcated Filipino history going back to Magellan at the battle of Macatan in about 1520.  Then all the various wars leading to the Spanish American war in which the Americans were at war with the Filipinos in about 1900. 
Then there bombed out military barracks, more memorials and sites.  We were shown openings to the various tunnels dug by the Japanese. 
A highlight was the Malinta Tunnel that is about 900 feet long with tributary tunnels that house entire armies, a hospital and even the Filipino government.  The tunnel was well-presented with its history.  It was completed in 1932.  
Then we was guns, canons and more of the implements of war. 
That’s the quick overview. I was so happy having seen it once to share the experience with my wife Bev and the McNeely’s and the Dobson’s.  The Dobson’s had already been here before as guests of Earl Roemer.
Then the 1.5 hour boat ride back to Manila.  
Here is the link to my previous trip to Corregidor in July 2013
1993 Trip to Corregidor 
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Comments

Esther Zornes
2019-12-21

Thank you for sharing,praying that your trip will be fruitful.

2020-02-25