A short, fast boat ride away from Manila is the fascinating island of Corregidor. This is one of the most important historical spots in the Philippines as the site first of the headquarters of the Allied forces and the Commonwealth Government after Manila had been flattened by bombing, then as the site of the last stand of Filipino and American forces against the Japanese during the Second World War.
On Corregidor Island the ruins of the war still remain. Commonwealth headquarter buildings, tunnels and barracks, and even an official government vehicle remain on the island where they were when the war ended in 1945. The full guided tour is rewarding, educational, moving, and worth every cent. At the wall, which pays tribute to the heroes of World War II, a World War veteran himself describes his memories of the war and its significance for the Filipino people. In the Malinta tunnel, where soldiers hid during the siege of the island, a haunting light-and-sound show, created by the late National Artist Lamberto Javellana, brings to life the pain and horror of the heroism of the war but also the heroism of so many soldiers who fought and died in it.
Allot a full day for this trip. The guided tour is about US$30, including lunch and transfers, and there is also an option to stay overnight at the only hotel on the island. Interested parties can see the Sun Cruises, Inc., website at http://www.corregidorphilippines.com.