Aerial view of mile long barracks at corregidor island
Aerial view of mile long barracks at corregidor island

Resilient Corregidor: Enduring the Last Fortress

About Corregidor

Embark on a historical journey to Corregidor Island, a tiny rocky fortress located at the entrance of Manila Bay in Cavite. Shaped like a tadpole, this island has a rich military history.

Following the Spanish-American War, Corregidor underwent significant military enhancements, including the addition of guns, anti-aircraft batteries, mortars, tunnels, and barracks to strengthen its defenses.

Despite these efforts, Corregidor became the final fortress to fall to the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright and his American and Filipino troops fought bravely, but ultimately surrendered to the Japanese forces.

The Corregidor Historical Tram Tour

a woman in a blue skirt standing next to a tram vehicle at the port of Corregidor
Joanna at the Corregidor Port
a man and woman taking a selfie inside the tram vehicle at Corregidor day tour
Inside our tram

Joanna and I were ready for an adventure, so we hopped on the historical tram day tour to uncover Corregidor Island’s rich history. The tour takes you all around the island – from the top side to the middle side, bottom side, and tail side. Don’t forget to snap lots of pics and videos to remember your trip!

Some highlights of the tour include the Filipino Heroes Memorial, Battery Way, Battery Grubbs, Battery Hearn, Malinta Tunnel, Corregidor Lighthouse, Mile Long Barracks, Pacific War Memorial Museum, and Cine Corregidor.

Filipino Heroes Memorial

"We shall not forget" in honor of our fallen soldier (Joanna at Filipino Heroes Memorial)
“We shall not forget” in honor of our fallen soldier (Joanna at Filipino Heroes Memorial)
a statue of a man at the Pres. Sergio Osmeña, Sr Memorial Park in Corregidor Island
Pres. Sergio Osmeña, Sr Memorial Park (Filipino Heroes Memorial)

The Filipino Heroes Memorial is located at the tail side of the island and was designed by Filipino Architect Francisco Manosa. It features fourteen murals depicting heroic battles fought by Filipinos from the 15th century up to present day and is carved by sculptor Manuel Casal.

Battery Way

4 cannons at the Battery Way
Battery Way

Battery Way was named after Lt. Henry N. Way and consists of four 12-inch mortars. These mortars were capable of firing explosive shells as far as 13.35 km in any direction. Each mortar was operated by a crew of 14.

This battery played a crucial role in the defense of Corregidor Island during WWII. Visitors can see the mortars up close and imagine what it must have been like for the soldiers operating them.

Battery Grubbs

a group of people passing under a stone entrance at Battery Grubbs in Corregidor
Battery Grubbs entrance road
aerial view of a cannon at Battery Grubbs in Corregidor
Battery Grubbs (aerial view)
a group of people at the Battery Grubbs in Corregidor
Battery Grubbs

Battery Grubbs was named after Lt. Hayden K. Grubbs and features two 10-inch disappearing guns. These guns would hide back in the massive concrete structure after firing to protect themselves from enemy fire. The battery has a unique Spanish-style arch design on the entrance road and was completed in 1911.

Battery Hearn

a large cannon on a concrete platform at Battery Hearn in Corregidor
Battery Hearn

Battery Hearn was named after Brigadier General Clint C. Hearn and could fire a 12-inch mortar up to 27 km in any direction with a maximum firing elevation of 35 degrees. This battery played a crucial role in the defense of Corregidor Island during WWII.

Malinta Tunnel

a road going to the Malinta tunnel entrance at Corregidor
Malinta tunnel entrance
Malinta tunnel map
Malinta tunnel map
a group of people visiting inside the Malinta tunnel at Corregidor
Joanna inside the Malinta tunnel

Malinta tunnel was a bomb-proof personal bunker and storage. The Malinta Tunnel gets its name from the Tagalog word for “many leeches.” The main tunnel measured 253 meters, 7.3 meters in width, and 5.5 meters in height from east to west. Before the American army fell to the Japanese army on May 6, 1942, it was their last defense.

Today, visitors can experience an audiovisual presentation by National Artist Lamberto V. Avellana inside the tunnel.

Corregidor Lighthouse

a white lighthouse with a cross shaped windows at Corregidor
Corregidor Lighthouse
a red brick tiled roof and tower building surrounded by green trees at Corregidor
View at the top of the Corregidor lighthouse

Another must-see attraction on the island is the Corregidor Lighthouse. It offers amazing views of Manila Bay and beyond from 195 meters above sea level. The lighthouse was originally built during Spanish colonization and completed in 1853. It was severely damaged during WWII but was later reconstructed using bricks from the ruins.

Make sure to visit the lower level of the lighthouse, where you’ll find souvenir shops selling unique mementos of your trip to Corregidor Island.

Mile Long Barracks

Aerial view of the ruins of Mile Long Barracks at Corregidor surrounded by green trees
Mile Long Barracks (Aerial View)
a woman standing in front of the ruins of Mile Long Barracks at Corregidor
Joanna at Mile Long Barracks

The Mile Long Barracks is an impressive sight located on the top side of Corregidor Island. Despite its name, the barracks actually measures 1520 feet in length and was once known as the “world’s longest military barracks.” It was built to be hurricane-proof and even served as General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters.

Cine Corregidor

a woman in blue skirt beside the sign board of Cine Corregidor
Joanna at Cine Corregidor

Cine Corregidor was located beside the Mile Long Barracks and functioned as a recreational building for soldiers. American personnel, including their families, would watch movies in this building before the outbreak of World War II. “Gone with the Wind” is the last movie shown here.

Nowadays, visitors can check out the remains of Cine Corregidor and imagine what it was like for soldiers and their families to kick back and enjoy a brief escape from the chaos of war. It serves as a powerful reminder of the costs paid by those who battled for freedom.

Pacific War Memorial Museum

a man staring at the map of corregidor island inside the Pacific War Museum
Nathaniel inside the Pacific War Museum

The Pacific War Memorial Museum is a treasure trove of history located near Cine Corregidor. Inside, you’ll find a fascinating collection of artifacts and information that bring the Pacific War to life. From old photographs and military uniforms to mortars and guns, there’s something for everyone to discover.

One of the most moving exhibits in the museum is the circular altar that honors the soldiers who fought and died during WWII. Each year on May 6th at 12:00 noon, the sun shines directly onto the altar, illuminating a bronze plaque with the poignant words “Sleep my sons, your duty done… for Freedom’s light has come.”

If you’re a history buff or just curious about the past, the Pacific War Memorial Museum is a must-see. Take your time exploring the exhibits and reflecting on the sacrifices made by those who fought for freedom.

a group of people checking the collection of artifacts inside the Pacific War Museum at Corregidor
Inside the Pacific War Museum
Corregidor Island Tour Video


As we conclude our exploration of Corregidor’s remarkable history, I’m struck by the resilience and bravery of those who stood firm in the face of adversity. Their stories remind us that even in the darkest times, the human spirit prevails. Let’s honor their legacy by preserving the rich history of Corregidor and sharing its tales of courage with future generations. What lessons of resilience have you taken from Corregidor’s enduring fortress? Share your thoughts and reflections in the comments below, and let’s continue to draw inspiration from the past as we navigate the challenges of today and tomorrow!

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Nathaniel Amoyen is co-founder of Joanathx. Full-time ex-pat worker at day and writer at night.

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16 Responses

  1. Amber Myers says:

    How cool. I love to explore places like this. I’m all about history.

  2. Mosaics Lab says:

    There is so much history there, wow! I would love to visit places with historical value like this fortress. So much history and amazing stories.

  3. TARA PITTMAN says:

    The tram tour sounds so fun. That would be a great way to see so many of the places.

  4. melissa says:

    The tunnel and lighthouse look fantastic. I cant wait to travel again to try out these spots.

  5. Josfolio says:

    looks good, need to bookmark this when i visit Philippines

  6. Lyosha says:

    looks fantastic and so unusual! I have never seen similar places. I want to see it with my own eyes

  7. the views of the place looks so lovely and beautiful..glad you shared this blog post with us..found it so interesting and amazing one,…great work though..

  8. Such wonderful history and beauty associated with the place. Corregidor sure has to be on a traveller’s itinerary!

  9. Lisa says:

    This looks like an amazing place to visit. I also like the rich history surrounding the fortress.

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