For the fifth time around I was again traveling back to historic Corregidor Island but, this time, I was traveling with my loved ones – my wife Grace, my son Jandy, my daughter Cheska, my 1 year old grandson Kyle and Cheska’s fiancée Marve. With an overnight stay at Corregidor Inn included in our package, it was going to be a true family outing.
This was to be Grace and Jandy’s second visit to Corregidor and the first for the rest. It being a long weekend, the 150-pax, airconditioned MV Sun Cruiser II was fully booked, with chance passengers waiting on the sidelines. We left the Sun Cruises Terminal a little past 8 AM and, after a 26-km. journey, arrived on the island in a little over an hour.
Our tranvia (pre-war-styled street cars) tour bus No. 5 awaited us upon our arrival at North Dock. Our guided tour again consisted of short stopovers at Battery Way (four 12” mortars capable of firing in any direction), Battery Hearns (a 12” seacoast gun), ruins of Middleside and “Mile Long” Barracks, the Spanish Lighthouse (where Grace, Marve, Cheska and Jandy climbed to the top), the famous flagpole and the Pacific War Memorial (with its museum and steel wing-shaped “Eternal Flame” sculpture).
Marve, Cheska and Jandy availed of the optional, 30-min., vividly-staged light and sound show called the “Malinta Experience” (PhP200/pax), a re-enactment of dramatic World War II events. As they started the show from the east entrance, while Grace, Kyle and I were driven to South Beach where Kyle frolicked on the gray sand. Back in our bus, we met up with the others at the tunnel’s west entrance. This culminated our island tour.
Finally, we were driven to the 31-room Corregidor Inn where a filling buffet lunch awaited us at La Playa Restaurant. We were allowed to check into our suite by 2 PM and, as I climbed the stairs, I noticed framed copied of 2 of my Business Mirror articles (“Adventure Island” and “Adventour Challenge: Corregidor’s Amazing Race”) hung by the stair landing. Quite flattering to say the least. I hope to add a third with this visit.
The first time I stayed overnight at the inn, I checked in at an airconditioned standard twin room with bath (one of 30) but, this time around, we all stayed at the inn’s lone but more opulent and roomy airconditioned suite located at the end of the hall, equally furnished with exquisite rattan furniture. It too didn’t have cable TV but we didn’t mind as it allowed for more family bonding time.