Standing solemnly on Corregidor’s peak is the white-marbled saucer-shaped Pacific War Memorial.
Built in 1968 by the US Government for 1.23 million dollars (other sources reported it to be at 3 million dollars), it was dedicated to the Filipino and American forces that fought in the Pacific during the Second World War. A sculpture depicting a wounded Filipino fighter being aided by an American soldier is installed at the memorial’s entrance (our guide told us a similar one can be found on a memorial in the US, but this time around it is the American soldier being supported by the Filipino), symbolizing the friendship between the two nations.
A huge round-shaped structure with a skylight over its dome apex greets visitors upon entering the silent shrine. Directly below the skylight is a circular marble altar with the following inscription:
Sleep, my sons, your duty done
For Freedom's light has come
Sleep in the silent depths of the sea
Or in your bed of hallowed sod
Until you hear at dawn the low
Clear reveille of God
It was said that the sun shined down directly on the altar for three consecutive years on the 6th of May, the day that Corregidor was retaken from the Japanese Army. Visitors still wait during the said date every year since, but the phenomena has not occurred again.
Continuing on, visitors traverse a pathway with murals of the Pacific battles that leads to the Eternal Flame of Freedom sculpture. Framed by the waters of the Manila Bay, the metal sculpture designed by Aristides Demetrios stands near the place where General Douglas MacArthur celebrated Corregidor’s retaking from the Japanese.
The pathway to the Eternal Flame would have been grander if the reflecting pools along its sides were filled with water, unfortunately, during my visit, nary a drop nor a puddle can be seen on them.
Off the Memorial’s side is a small museum that houses World War II weapons, photographs, replicas, sculptures and relics. Its centerpiece is a floor to ceiling colorful tile mosaic that depicts the battles fought in the Pacific region.
It’s definitely more extensive than the museum found on the Filipino Heroes Memorial.
This was the second to the last place we visited before the Corregidor Day Tour ended and I have to say that it was definitely one of the more impressive locations on the island.
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