(pics. l-r) 1. Sister Bird on Big Gun at Corregidor 2. W.W 2 Barracks 3. View of Corregidor Island from Top Side 4. Sister Bird at Welcome Sign 5. Large Lizard 6. Map of Corregidor 7. E/S Bird in Front of Pacific War Memorial 8. E/S Bird in Front of 14" Gun 9. Line of Guns 10. Malinta TunnelOn Wednesday, December 28, 2011, Elder Bird and I organized a trip for the Senior Missionaries in our Zone to travel to the island of Corregidor. Corregidor is one of the most important historic and tourist sites in the country. It is a lofty island located at the entrance of Manila Bay in southwestern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Due to this location, Corregidor was fortified with several coastal artillery and ammunition magazines to defend the entrance of Manila Bay and the City of Manila, from attacks by enemy warships in the event of war. Located 48 kilometres (30 mi) inland, Manila has been the largest city and the most important seaport in the Philippines for centuries—from the colonial rule of Spain, the United States, and Japan and after the establishment of the Republic of the Philippines in 1946. During World War II, Corregidor played an important role during the invasion and liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces. Heavily bombarded in the latter part of the war, the ruins left on the island serve as a military memorial to many American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers who served or lost their lives on the island.
The island, when viewed from the air, looks like a tadpole, and has been divided into four sections: Topside, Middleside, Bottomside, and Tailside. It has also been nicknamed "the Rock" due to its many fortifications and rocky terrain. Each of the "sides" house a significant part of history. Topside housed barracks, communications center, golf course, etc. The Middleside housed the officers quarters, and included schools and a hospital. The Bottomside connects the middle to the tail by means of the Malinta tunnel. A tunnel that was ten years in the making (1922-1932). It literally became an underground city of its own housing a major hospital, and was used as a bomb shelter for the many air attacks on the island. The Tailside housed a small airfield and navy landing site. Our entire Zone loved this "getaway" to an island of fresh air, lizards, monkeys, and only 200 residents. I actually chose 3 sites for a perfect vacation home!! This place was the most beautiful, peaceful, perfectly clean place I have experienced here in the Philippines....rather ironic when you consider all of the pain and bloodshed that has taken place here. What a privilege for us to visit this piece of history.