It’s a Sunday morning.
This year we are exploring our own country and heritage. My son is a dual citizen and before he turns 18 and decides on being Filipino or Canadian, I want him to know more about my country.
So while WordPress is looking for New Horizon or the future, we are looking at horizons past and present.
Corregidor was believed to be an undefeatable fort and outpost. It was gem of the American military in South East Asia. To conquer it, the Japanese rained over 3,000 warheads on this Fort. Corregidor was special to the American Forces Commander for Asia-Pacific, General Douglas MacArthus. When the American forces left in defeat in 1942, he uttered his famous promise “I shall return ….”. Retreat and return and reconquer he did.
Corregidor is no longer a working military base. First, the Americans left the Philippines giving Filipinos Independence or self government after World War II. Later, they left all bases after the last two bases received the wrath of Mount Pinatubo. (Please see Pinatubo WPC)
Our tour begins with a visit to the Malinta Tunnel. It crosses a hill and was painstakingly accomplished with the forced labor of prisoners. The tunnel was to be a storage facility but in the last war it was used to house people — a hospital for wounded soldiers, the President of the Philippines fleeing Manila, the officers of the USAFE.
The day tour will include the bus trolley trips that take you to approximately 8 stops. This is one of my favorites, the Japanese Peace Garden. American soldiers buried Japanese soldiers there on unmarked graves. Their bodies were discovered and the Japan government sponsored this garden.
Sun Cruise runs the ferry service and trolley. Corregidor was declared a national shrine and the grounds are maintained by the Corregidor foundation. Guests are reminded that Corregidor does not mark the defeat of the Filipinos and Americans. Rather it honors their bravery, valor, and sacrifice for freedom.
In the Philippines, our national hero, Jose Rizal, once said that he who cannot look at his past will not arrive at his destination. (Ang Hindi Marunong lumingon sa pinagdaanan ay Hindi makakarating Sa pinaroroonan .). I suppose this lookback may lead to discover my new horizon.
For me, the lesson of Corregidor for past and future is to be tread upon this world bravely.