Towering proudly at 628 feet above sea level is the white washed Faro de Isla Corregidor. Located on the island’s topside, it is the oldest structure standing in The Rock (if you discount the various reconstructions it underwent that is).
Enclosed by a red-bricked plaza and framed on both sides by gift shops, the picturesque lighthouse was originally built in 1836 when Spain still ruled the Philippines. It was curiously operated by mercenary groups back then.
From the Spanish word corregir, meaning to correct, this was where the island got its name as it was originally used to guide galleons to and from Manila. It currently emits a light that can be seen for 36 miles every 20 seconds which is now powered by modern solar panels.
The first reconstruction of the tower occurred in 1897 when it was deemed that the lighthouse was not tall enough. Its current incarnation was made in the 1950’s, using the same bricks of the old lighthouse that was heavily damaged during Corregidor’s capture by the Japanese and retaking of the island by the Filipino-American forces.
The architectural style, nevertheless, was faithfully constructed to replicate its original design. Recent restorations were done with the help of the Spanish and Japanese governments.
The base of the lighthouse houses two small galleries and visitors are free to climb up to its view deck for a grand panorama of the Manila Bay, Bataan, Batangas and the expanse of the South China Sea.
I tried looking for Mariveles, Bataan’s old lighthouse at Sisiman Bay; which is quite famous for landscape photographers, but I guess it was too far away.
A waypoint marker at the plaza’s center indicates that the Old Spanish Lighthouse of Corregidor lies 26.6 km away from Manila, 693 km from Hong Kong, 1,497 km from Singapore, 1,719 km from Tokyo, 3,044 km from Sydney, 5,704 km from Cairo, 6,672 km from Madrid, and 6,972 km away from San Francisco.
It’s only fitting that the beacon that started it all for this small tadpole-shaped island at the mouth of Manila Bay aptly concluded our extensive Corregidor Day Tour.
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