Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Island Fortress = Corregidor

~ The Island Fortress ~

Corregidor is a small rocky island in the Philippines about 48 kilometers west of Manila which is stragetically located at the entrance of Manila Bay.

This island fortress stands as a memorial for the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II.

Also known as "the Rock," it was a key bastion of the Allies during the war.


Topside - is the highest geographic sector in the island where the terrain elevation above sea level ranges from about 400 feet and higher. Topside is said to be the nerve center of the island fortress. It is here where you will find the ruins of the following buildings: Mile-Long Barrackes, Post Headquarters, Cine Corregidor, and a number of buildings previously used as quarters for bachelor officers as well as the senior officers of the garrison. All the major gun emplacements are also located around this high ground. The parade ground, a small golf course, the old Spanish flagpole, and the reconstructed Spanish lighthouse are similarly located at Topside. The more recently constructed buildings and structures that are now found at Topside include the following: The Pacific War Memorial Dome, sculpture of the Eternal Flame of Freedom, and a museum.

Middleside - is a sector located within the tadpole head of the island where the ground elevation approximately ranges between 100 feet and 400 feet above sea level. It lies between the Bottomside and Topside sectors where a number of landmarks, buildings, and structures are found. Currently, the Filipino-American Friendship Park, Aviary and Bird Park, and the Youth For Peace Campsite are found at Middleside. It is also at this sector where you will find the ruins and former sites of the following: YMCA, Middleside Barracks, Post Stockade, Officers Club, quarters for officers and enlistedmen, warehouses, some service and utility buildings.

Bottomside - generally, this sector encompasses the lower part of the island. Except for the current location of Corregidor Hotel, the terrain is mostly a flat stretch of land where the elevations measured above sea level are lower than 100 feet. Landmarks such as the North and South Dock, Lorcha Dock, and the former site of Barrio San Jose are found at Bottomside. Among the more recently reconstructed buildings, parks, and structures found in this area are: Administration Building, Gen. MacArthur Park, San Jose Chapel, Gen. Wainwright Park, a basketball and tennis court, and Corregidor Hotel.

Tail End - is the remaining portion of Corregidor's long and twisting tail which was not given a particular name. The western half of this narrow, two-and-a-half mile area consists of a low ridge with several distinct hills which is said to have assumed crucial military importance during the siege of Corregidor in 1942 by the Japanese forces and also during its recapture by the American forces in 1945. A portion of the eastern end of the tail, being a fairly level terrain, was leveled off for the construction of the island's only airstrip which was named Kindley Field. East Point, at the island's extreme tail, contained a small cemetery. Just a little further beyond it is Hooker Point which is often separated from East Point during high tide. In the early years of the presence of American forces in Corregidor, Hooker Point was a favorite place for hikers and sightseers. Among the recently constructed buildings, structures, and parks that are now found at the Tail End include the following: Statue of The Filipino Woman, Filipino Heroes Memorial, Japanese Garden of Peace, the two parks which were erected in honor of Presidents Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmena, and the Corregidor Beach Resort


To the east of Bottomside a hill rises abruptly to an elevation of 390 feet. Called "Malinta," it severs Bottomside from the tail end of the island.

The North and South Shore roads curved from its slopes and girdled the hill and ran on down the curving tadpole tail. To facilitate passage and to create a bombproof shelter, the Americans drove a shaft from a rock quarry at Bottomside directly through the hill, creating the famous Malinta Tunnel. Construction of the tunnel took about 10 years. I would say that Credits be due to the Filipino Convicts who were the main labor force to build the said shelters and buildings in the island of Corregidor . These group of Filipinos were never mentioned in any articles regarding the construction within Corregidor but they well deserve the praises and due respect I must say..

The big guns of Corregidor are now silent and the ruins of buildings, structures, and tunnels in the island tell a very moving story of a war that has claimed so many lives. A visit to this former battleground is a memorable experience especially for those who cherish and value peace and freedom.

Please note that  the Original descriptions of Corregidor written in this blog can be found at : http://corregidorisland.com
For More Articles / informations about Corregidor , Please visit the site created by:
 Juny P. Laputt . Bsce, Ms, Pe

Many Thanks for your Visit !