Saturday, October 27, 2012

Off Track: Exploring Corregidor on Foot

October 20, 2012

On to Topside
After resting for a few minutes to digest our breakfast of corned beef, eggs and fried rice, we headed westward from the hotel towards topside.
While walking up the road, we saw this sign by the bend, we decided to explore this.
The path led us to this
with our boss, Steve, inside the trail
The end of the trail near the Youth for Peace sign
Going clockwise, we tried entering Battery Ramsey but it was blocked by thick smoke coming from an incinerator
Battery Geary
This mortar emplacement was named after American Captain Woodridge Geary who died while serving in the US-Philippine War in 1899.

Battery Geary, its guns thrown off from it emplacements by heavy bombardment

One of the gun's circular carrier
One can see the markings and rifling ridges on the business end of the mortar
The firing control room of the mortars, over time, the Earth reclaimed it. It will soon crumble into dust.
Old Swimming Pool and Cinema
The feeling of solitude while stationed here in Corregidor was offset by recreational facilities. Amenities such as swimming pool and cinema made life easier for the military personnel assigned in the island

Sign showing where the swimming pool was located
The 50'x90' swimming pool, now covered with vegetation. 

Inside the theater. A screen should have been there to show movies. I am there at the center of the stage where plays were held during that time
Get your tickets at the counter, now showing: GONE WITH THE WIND

Soldier's Living Area
Senior Officer's Quarters
The Senior Officers' Quarters are located near the Old Spanish Light House. The official's living areas are well spacious, consisting of two floors. Probably, one family was occupying each floor.
A bomb destroyed the second floor of one of the Senior Officer's Quarters

A steel cabinet or perhaps an oven was lifted off the floor and came to rest atop the concrete  ceiling support.

Rows upon rows of housing that stretched from the side of the Spanish Lighthouse to the street a few hundred feet away

Mile Long Barracks
This is a three-story concrete building which was constructed to be typhoon-proof. It housed American officers and enlisted personnel detailed at the garrison. The entire length of the building measures about 1,520 feet that it became popularly known as the world's longest military barracks. Although it is just less than a third of a mile long, it was, however, commonly referred to as the Mile-Long Barracks. The headquarters of Gen. Douglas MacArthur was also located in this building.

A view of the Mile Long Barracks

Bomb crater inside the Mile Long Barracks
Mile Long Barracks as seen from the left. Notice the ruins of the Left Wing
Middleside Barracks
This three storied building housed the Coastal Artillery Enlisted Personnel. These housed the artillery men manning the various guns defending Corregidor.
Middleside Barracks
Middleside Barracks Ground Level. This is what I like about exploring, one gets to visit every nook and cranny that is not allowed during guided tours
Steel props supported the inside of the Middleside Barracks. If not for these supports, the whole structure will collapse.
Light and Dark
Battery Way
This mortar guns were the last to fall silent during the final siege of Corregidor in 6 May 1942. Active only during the last week of battle, the 12 inch mortars were effective only in lobbing projectiles on decks of ships, but the advancement of Naval ship design has rendered the mortars obsolete in World War I.

Although obsolete in design by World War II standards, these mortars were put to use in the weeks  nearing the end of the siege in Corregidor. It fell silent in May 6 1942.
Plaque detailing Battery Way's history and significance

One of the four mortars of Battery Way, notice the springs supporting the mortar.

Exploring Corregidor on foot is a great way to experience Corregidor. If you want to be unbound from guided tours that leave you wanting for more, bring your hiking shoes with you and explore the islands on foot.
I really love going to Corregidor, who knows, the next adventure I will take is exploring the island by bicycle.
Like good ole MacArthur said "I Shall Return" this time with my trusty bicycle

Maps and GPS logs
Real Time Tracks using map my tracks app.
On Google Maps:

View Corregidor on Foot in a larger map

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