Spending time at Battery Grubbs to view the majesty of the setting sun, it was fully dark when we arrived at the shadowy mouth of Malinta Tunnel where earlier we witnessed the Corregidor Light and Sound Show.
This time, we’re gonna enter the tunnel at night and spend at least half an hour inside its side laterals so we relieved our bladders first before we each grabbed a helmet and slung a huge flashlight on our shoulders.
I originally planned on bringing my tripod inside but our guide insisted that I won’t be able to use it as our pace was gonna be brisk and the floors inside the tunnels ranges from fully paved to utterly rocky ones. So, out goes the tripod and I now have to depend on my camera’s fully cranked ISO to capture our passage through those unlit tunnels, pardon the grainy photos please.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, those tunnels that we would be exploring have no illumination whatsoever. Our flashlights would be our only source of light.
And without any more fanfare, we entered the dark chambers of the Malinta Hill.
The first lateral we traversed does not really look much like a built tunnel, but more like that of a cave. Rocky floors, rocky ceiling; absolutely nothing in there looked human-built.
Our guide promptly explained that during the retaking of Corregidor from Japan, Japanese soldiers holed up inside the tunnels of Malinta and rather than be prisoners of war, they gathered their dynamites and blew themselves up to smithereens on different parts of the tunnel.
On one of the messed up part of the laterals, our guide asked us to all turn our flashlights off and experience how it was during the Second World War when Japanese planes would drop tons of bombs on the island and the Filipino and American army were forced to stay at the shelter of Malinta for days on end. With only a few hours of generator power working each day, they endured the total darkness of the tunnels.
And total darkness it was. We can hear the small trickling of water from the ceiling and there was nothing else. The old cliché that silence can be deafening really does not sound so cliché in this place.
Off we went, one after another; from large halls to tiny corridors where we have to walk with our backs bent down. We visited Gen. MacArthur’s and President Quezon’s quarters, and the 100-bed infirmary, which was originally outside before being bombed by the Japanese.
As a finale to our journey inside Malinta Hill, our guide once again asked us to switch our lights off and instructed us to walk through one of the intact tunnels.
And walked blindly we did. It was incredibly hard as we were totally engulfed by darkness and our only guide was each other’s voices. Time seemed to stretch on and on when you can see nothing.
My stride started from wide ones to smaller and smaller steps, till finally I wasn’t able to walk anymore. It was the fear of the next step into the unknown. I stopped and called out to my fellow spelunkers of sorts.
As we turned our flashlights back on, I was chagrined to find that my face was two inches away from a massive concrete wall.
We exited through the west gate of the tunnel and headed back to the hotel. The whole day tour got totally erased from my mind by the experiences I had during this night exercise.
I’d have to say that you’ve really never experienced The Rock without taking Corregidor’s Night Tour. This is what the last bastion of the Allied Forces during the Second World War in the Philippines is all about.
Corregidor Sun Cruises Tour
02-5275555 | 02-8346857
Corregidor Night Tour | P150.00 per person
Available for Overnighters Only