Two vacation leaves, two rest days and just one day to decide where to go before those days kick in; that was my dilemma two weeks ago. Revisit Ilocos? Hmm… I was there just two months ago. Sagada perhaps? But it was the rainy season and a bus just went tumbling down its ravine some weeks back. Boracay? Might be too expensive.
Then came an answer from one of my officemates, Corregidor.
It was perfect. It’s not that far from Manila and yet it does not feel like you’re anywhere near the city. Not that expensive either, or at least I hope it’s not. And most of all it’s full of World War II history, which is something I am really interested in.
So with just hours before my pending days off, I called up Sun Cruises Tours, the only ferry and tour I know that traverses Manila Bay to Corregidor. Fortunately there was not that much people visiting the island that day and I asked if I could just show up and purchase my ticket on the day of the trip itself, the receptionist said that I could if I wish to.
I was up early the next day to prepare my stuff (I’m a crammer like that), three shirts, three boxers, a warmer, a hat, a jacket (in case it rains) and a ton of camera gear.
I arrived at the Cultural Center of the Philippines where Sun Cruises is located; bought my ticket, took a few photos and in a few minutes it was time to go. The ferry was docked near the Folk Arts Theater and we had to ride a jeepney owned by Sun Cruises to get there.
For those who are not that into traveling by water, the Sun Cruises ferry actually looks pretty good and sturdy enough to cross Manila Bay. Those who prefer not to see the waters can stay at the main part of the ship, which has air-conditioning, television, and a snack bar. I chose to seat myself where I can see the bay at the open area at the back part of the vessel.
Boarding time for the trip was at 7am and our ferry left the docks at 8am. I was expecting only a few guests but was surprised that the ship was almost full. I learned later that a US Naval ship has just docked at Manila Bay and some of its people are visiting the historic island too.
It was actually with trepidation that I decided on going to Corregidor. I in fact did not book to stay overnight yet as I would like to see the Corregidor Inn first before taking the plunge and stay at the island alone. With all the stories about ghosts of long dead Filipino, American and Japanese soldiers haunting the place, I think my apprehension was well founded.
After an uneventful hour, the island was already becoming visible from the haze of the sea. Visitors were taking pictures of the incoming island and everyone looked quite excited. Me, well it was a mixed feeling.
Well, here goes nothing.
Corregidor Sun Cruises Tour
02-5275555 | 02-8346857
Day Tour (round trip ferry with buffet lunch) | P1,999.00 per person
Overnight Package (roundtrip ferry, 1 buffet lunch, 1 night stay at Corregidor Inn) | P2,880.00 per person
Check their website for more detailed rates for group packages