PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

The world of watersnake

The world of watersnake

PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

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Pacific War Memorial Museum “Weapons of War” – Beautiful Sunday

Pacific War Memorial Museum “Weapons of War” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to the second part of our visit to the museum in Corregidor island in the Philippines. Last time I shared with you relics from the time of war and including the first American flag that was raised on the […]

Pacific War Memorial Museum – Beautiful Sunday

Pacific War Memorial Museum – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 and #sublimesunday by @c0ff33a Welcome back to another part of our adventure in the historic island of Corregidor in the Philippines. We have explored the beauty of nature, visited the gigantic cannons, wandered thru ruins and even took the courage to […]

The Mile Long Barracks – Beautiful Sunday

The Mile Long Barracks – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

After exploring the ruins of the hospital it was time for us to move on to our next destination. Our experience at the hospital was spooky at at some parts, but turned out to be quite an experience. Our next destination was suppose to be the Pacific War Memorial area, but we happen to stumble on another ruin. The barracks that is said to be the longest in the world. Join me today as we take a detour to see this ruin.

The Mile Long Barracks

If you missed the tour you can back track thru the previous sites that we visited.

Part 1 Voyage to the Island of Corregidor

Part 2 Exploring the Island of Corregidor

Part 3 The Ruins of Middleside Barracks

Part 4 The Last Stand of Battery Way

Part 5 The Colossal Gun of the Island: Battery Hearn

Part 6 The Haunted Hospital of Corregidor

 

From the hospital, that we visited it would take you around 12 minutes to reach the Mile Long Barracks. Everyone was tired already and our water supply was getting low. Leaving from the hospital road, we saw on the map that the barracks was just on the other side. Along the way we discovered a faster way to reach our destination without following the road that goes around it.

Here we found the secret stairs that leads directly to the barracks which is also close to the Pacific War Memorial area. As you could see on the map above the alternative route cannot be found on the map. You will find way to the stairs on the left side if you are leaving from the hospital. The path can easily be missed as there are a lot of plant growth in the area.

Climbing up the stairs just took us a couple of minutes which is better than taking the long road around. It seems this is the back part of the barracks which has been already over run by nature.

On the left side, you could see dark rooms and corridors. Rooms that hasn’t seen the light of day for centuries now and wild animals may have already taken refuge in these rooms.

On the right side, it looks like the plant growth has been cleared out. This area can easily be accessed, but we didn’t explore the area.

After passing thru the back entrance of the ruins a wide open space appeared before us. We were able to see the full length and the facade of the building.

This building is originally called Topside Barracks as it is located at the highest and widest part of the island. It was built in the year 1914, building materials included reinforced concrete and tile roofing. It’s construction was to withstand hurricanes as the Pacific islands are often visited by typhoons.

It is known to be the longest military barracks in the world that has a length of 1,520 feet. You may ask, “Why is it called Mile Long?” The length of the building doesn’t actually reach a mile but by walking thru all the 3 floors from end to end, it is almost a mile long. Thus the building became popularly known as the, “The Mile Long Barracks”.

The Mile Long Barracks housed American officers and other enlisted men. It is also known that General Douglas MacArthur had an office somewhere here in this building. This building included a post office, billiards room, gymnasium, a bowling alley, swimming pool and a barbershop.

There were a lot of soldiers who lived in this building, we can only imagine how busy this area was during that time. Now what is left are just the ruins which is a haunting memory of that day when the Japanese dropped their bombs on the island.

Just in front of the barracks is a wide open space which is the parade grounds. The soldiers used to make their formation in this area. I think it is still being used when there are military exercises  or Independence day celebration. A lot of old weapons are on display in front of the parade grounds.

Old rusted guns that has been repainted to be more presentable.

I don’t know a lot about guns, but I think this maybe an old mobile AA gun.

Maybe some of you out there could name some of these weapons. I am imagining what this machine gun looked like before it was repainted. Do you think they should have just left it in it’s original state? Having it painted green makes it look like just pieces of metal welded together.

It was surprising to see that there was a cinema on the island. Unfortunately, it was also not spared during that fateful day.

Just by looking at it, the cinema must have been a sight to see. It was said that it’s magnificence cannot be matched by the cinemas in located in the cities during that time. Now this is one building I would want to see restored to it’s former glory. Tourists could watch old movies and historical videos about the island here.

It is slowly crumbling, but they had it reinforced with steel to prevent it’s further degradation. It would be a beautiful sight if we could see the cinema rebuild and still maintain it’s old design. I did some research and found out that they planned to have it restored back in 2011. They had a budget allocated for 25 million pesos which is around $485,000 USD. I am not sure what happened to the plans or where the budget went as I am still seeing it is in ruins in 2019.

The Pacific War Memorial was our original destination, but I am glad we found out about the Mile Long Barracks along the way. As a bonus, it was also nice find out about the cinema.

Next time I will take you on a tour around this area where a museum and the memorial is located. A symbol of the brotherhood of two countries during the time of war.

Thank you for joining me today on our trip and I hope to see you again next time to continue our Corregidor island tour in the Philippines. Based on the map below so far this trek will take you more than 1 hour. Coming from south beach to all the stops that we made. But the trek will take you much, much longer believe me. Time estimation on the map does not come close to reality.

I wish you all a great week ahead and keep on dreaming.

Resources

Cine Corregidor

Corregidor

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 14.381476 lat 120.574101 long Mile Long Barracks d3scr)

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

 

The Haunted Hospital of Corregidor – Beautiful Sunday

The Haunted Hospital of Corregidor – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Aside from the rich WW2 history and the beauty of nature. Corregidor Island in the Philippines is also know as one of the most haunted places in the Philippines. Ever dare to visit a haunted hospital at night? Here if you […]

The Colossal Gun of the Island: Battery Hearn – Beautiful Sunday

The Colossal Gun of the Island: Battery Hearn – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome to the fifth installation of our adventure in the historical island of Corregidor in the Philippines. An island filled with the beauty of nature, historical artifacts of war and mystery. Last time we stopped over at Battery Way which is […]

The Last Stand of Battery Way – Beautiful Sunday

The Last Stand of Battery Way – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to the fourth chapter of our journey in the island of Corregidor, Philippines.  Last week we took you the ruins of Middleside barracks and have seen what is left from the attack of the Japanese during WW2. The island is not as helpless as you may think.To defend itself from the invaders it has some big guns installed around the island. Join me to today as we visit one of the battery installations that defended Corregidor.

Feel free to visit the earlier parts of our adventure

Part 1 Voyage to the Island of Corregidor 

Part 2 Exploring the Island of Corregidor

Part 3 The Ruins of Middleside Barracks

The Last Stand of Battery Way

The Island of Corregidor

From Middleside barracks it would take you approximately 16 minutes to reach the site.

With almost more than an hour of walking and a few minutes of stops to catch our breath. Our journey is almost halfway, but still far from over. Armed with google map we are able to plan which sites we would like to visit. Everything looks so close on the map, but a huge difference when compared to the actual walking.

With very few vehicles that passes by once in a while, it will allow you to enjoy a peaceful walk on this road. Shaded by the trees the weather here is cooler which allowed me to do a little photo shoot with my daughter as she requested.

There are portions of the road that is uphill so the kids needed to make another stop along the way.

At the rest stop my son came running back to us and said that we are almost there. Everyone got up and continued walking up the road towards the site.

Finally, we have reached Battery Way and everyone was excited to see the relics on this installation. I have been thinking about “Battery” and why is it called such. The battery that we know is what we use to power up our gadgets and portable equipment. Artillery was first invented when electricity was not invented yet. The term battery refers to a group of artillery. Benjamin Franklin first used to word battery for electrical devices as it is similar to artillery that fires something powerful. I hope that clears it up as I also needed to explain it to my kids.

As we headed towards the site, there were around four vehicles parked outside. It seems these are the vehicles that were on board the ship that took us to the island. It would be nice to have a ride going around the island, but you would miss out on experiencing the journey to each destination. You would miss out on the encounter with the wild monkeys and fail to see the unique plants and trees.

The commander’s viewing station was the first place we explored.

With thick metal, windows still attached just proves how tough this shelter is made. Although already repainted you could still feel the intense bombardment that happened here.

The walls are very thick and survived the Japanese air attack. Inside the rubble has already been cleared out and is safe for visitors to come inside.

Although this part may have sustained a direct hit it still stands. The thick metal door has been bent and you could only imagine the intensity of the attack.

On the further right side are bunkers that looks like storage for ammunition. The walls here are also very thick and looks impossible to penetrate. A lot of damage from the walls outside but structure is still very intact.

Inside it looks like nothing ever happened no cracks on the walls can be seen. I called back the kids as we are not sure what could be hiding inside this bunker.

I took  a quick peek and it was very dark inside. Whispers could easily be heard and your voice would easily echo inside.

As we came into view of the four mortar batteries. I kept thinking the hardship that te soldiers endured during the attack. Japanese air raid and constant bombardment would make normal people cower in fear.

In this island, heroes stood their ground in an attempt to repel the invaders. Stories of heroism echoes around the walls of this site. Normal men who became extraordinary and demonstrated bravery when death is knocking on the walls.

The construction of Battery Way started in 1904 and was finished in 1914. The total cost for this defense was $112,969 and was named after 2nd Lt. Henry Way who gave his life in his service in the Philippines in the year 1900. The four mortars were armed with high explosive shells capable of piercing the deck of warships. The crew of each mortar was composed of 14 men. When firing the mortars it could break glass equipment at the hospital nearby due to it’s intensity. In 1942 Battery Way was placed under the command of Major William Massello. At that time only mortars 2,3 and 4 were working.

During the attack of the Japanese mortars  3 and 4 received a direct hit which left only one mortar in service. The last mortar along with three other 155mm guns on the island were able to repel a landing by the enemy on the north dock.

 

The last gun kept on firing in spite of the tremendous amount of shells that were fired in the area by the enemy. 70 percent of the crew were lost and the mortar finally gave in which was caused by the heat due to the continues firing. The roar of the mortar finally ceased at around 11:00 am following the surrender of the island an hour later.

 

 

The last mortar was assigned to sergeant Walter Kwiecinski. When the two mortars were destroyed he and his crew stood their ground. Each shell weighted at 650 pounds each and you could only imagine how hard it was for the soldiers to keep on firing all night long.

These walls are a testament to the bravery of the soldiers. Men were dropping all around as shrapnel flew all over the place. Still they kept firing not willing to give up until the mortar could not fire any longer. It was the last artillery that fired in defense of the island  sergeant Walter Kwiecinski survived and was taken prisoner by the Japanese. He was taken to a POW camp in Japan. When the war was over he returned back home and had a family with three children.

 

 

Under the command of Major William “Wild Bill” Massello Jr. Battery Way became more fierce like an injured animal never willing to give up the fight. The area was covered with debris and shrapnel along with a telephone. It has been said that he ordered the phone to be ripped off so he could not receive any orders to surrender. With all the debris in the area he rushed outside with a broom to clear the path for the loading cart of the shells. Unfortunately, shrapnel from the counter fire of the enemy got him which injured his leg and almost severed his right arm. His men rushed to aid him and bring him to safety. As quoted his words were, “If they ever [got] me, what a hell of a way for a soldier to go, with a goddamn broom in my hand!” Laying wounded on his stretcher he refused evacuation and still gave commands on his stretcher. Kept on yelling to keep the gun on firing. When the gun gave in to the constant firing his words were, “The old mortar had finally quit on us, but it lasted long enough to be the last big gun on Corregidor to fire on the enemy.”

The Major was captured by the Japanese and was taken to POW camps in the Philippines and Japan. He was liberated by the American troops in 1945 from the Rokuroshi POW camp. For his service, the Major received the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, two Presidential Unit Citations, four Purple Hearts and numerous campaign and theater ribbons. He passed away in 1997 almost reaching the age of 90 and buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery, Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After inspecting the mortars and learned a lot from its history. We investigated the structure on the left side of the site.

We learned that this structure is where the shells and cartridges were kept.

 

 

Bullet holes can be seen on the metal doors. Soldiers may have barracaded themselves in during the capture of Battery Way.

It was an honorable defeat as they did everything they can to defend Corrigedor.

It was very dark inside the cartridge room. I am not sure where the relics were taken as everything was cleared out.

On the left of the entrance shows the date when it was cleared out. But the name is faded already to identify who cleared it.

An empty room that leads to another room.

It was already too dark and quiet inside. You could see an open gate on the left side. On the right side of the wall is painted the word “QUIET”. We do not know if it is meant for the visitors not to disturb the silence of the dark room.

As I headed outside, I saw some numbers on the ceiling along with holes. Maybe a code to refer to this structure.

I went outside and looked for the kids as they were all over the place. I  wanted us to stay close together to be safe. Suddenly, I heard them running outside shouting from this room. They said that there were a lot if bats flying inside. It got me worried and I  wanted to leave.

With all the shouting from the kids, out of nowhere a staff approached us. He asked if there was anything wrong.  I said the kids got worried about the bats. The man said that they are not bats, but birds called “Balinsasayaw or swiftlet”. The birds makes a nest that is edible from their saliva. The nests are expensive and popularly made into bird’s nest soup.

He said if we wanted to see the nests and of course everyone wanted to see them. I  asked if it was safe and if there are no snakes inside. He replied that the place has been cleared out and is very safe.

He led us to the further end of the corridor. The birds were flying around and this time the kids were no longer afraid.

We entered this dark room and I figured I would need to use my camera’s flash to be able the capture the nests.

On the ceiling, we saw the nests all grouped up in the corner.

On the other side of room I again saw the word quiet. I don’t know what it is meant for and I failed to ask the man. I  got too occupied with the bird’s nest.

With the feathers and a lot of bird droppings.  I think they have been here for a long time already.

I didn’t get any shots of the birds.  They flew very fast and was unable to see any birds perched on branches

We left the room and realized that we still have a lot of places to visit. We don’t have much time and we needed to continue on with our journey. We thanked the staff for sharing with us about the birds.

As we left, I looked back and thought about the soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our nation. The brotherhood between America and the Philippines runs deep and should never ever be forgotten. Much honor and respect to those who have fallen. May their names echo for eternity.

Thank you for joining me on this trip. I hope you enjoyed this little trip thru the history of our nation. I would like to see you again soon as we explore more of the island. Until then may you enjoy the remainder of the weekend. Keep the love alive. Cheers!

Resources

Battery

William Massello

Corregidor Battery Way

Battery Way

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 14.383542 lat 120.572576 long Battery Way d3scr)

 

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

Discovering exceptional content in the community follow @curie and vote as witness
To have a glimpse of awesome content from the Philippines check out @bayanihan
Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness

All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

and Sigma 50 mm

 

 

 

The Ruins of Middleside Barracks – Beautiful Sunday

The Ruins of Middleside Barracks – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 and #SublimeSunday by @c0ff33a Welcome to the third part of our adventure on the historical island of Corregidor in the Philippines. If you wish to see how we ended up here feel free to check the previous parts of our trip. […]

Exploring the Island of Corregidor – Beautiful Sunday

Exploring the Island of Corregidor – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to next chapter of our adventure in the beautiful Island of Corregidor in the Philippines. An island rich with history and blended together wit the beauty of nature. Last week I showed you how we ended up in this […]

Voyage to the Island of Corregidor  – Beautiful Sunday

Voyage to the Island of Corregidor – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

How would you like to embark on a journey with me to visit a historical island in the Philippines. An island filled with ruins and remnants from the past. If you love adventure then come on board and hitch a ride with me on a naval ship.

Voyage to the Island of Corregidor

It is not often that you could get a free ride on a naval ship. Although there are rare occasions when they allow a free ride to Corrigedor Island. Officially part of Cavite Philippines the island is a popular tourist destination for those who love WW2 history fused with the beauty of nature.

There are three options in getting to the island. The easy, but expensive way is to book a tour going to the island. It would cost you around 7,500 pesos or $150 usd for an overnight stay. A day tour cost about 3,500 pesos or $70 usd.

Then there is a dangerous way which my office mate told me about. You would hire a small fishing boat which is very cheap. There are occasional strong waves to the island and there also might be sharks. Well, we could skip this option.

Then there is the free ride from the navy which happens once in a blue moon. In our case, we got lucky as my mother in law got an invite. There was an event regarding educators and she was allowed to bring family members with her. My daughter was very happy as she has been seeing this island from afar. Now she will get to explore it.

It was an old naval ship commissioned since the 90’s. Still it is in service and well maintained in serving the country.

It was time to get on board for a four hour travel to the island. We have to fall in line as the guard looked for our names in the manifest. As we got on board there were already a lot of passengers inside. There are only a few plastic seats for the passengers but who would complain as you are already getting a free ride.

We looked for a comfortable spot on the floor and settled in. I, on the other hand roamed around the ship. If you could see below is the small island in the center which is our destination.

The journey was slow and long, but I kept myself busy by taking some photos. A cargo ship from afar reminds me of the stories my father in law often tells us. A crew of just around 10 people out in the ocean for months.

It was hot below the deck so people climbed up on the sides of the upper deck. Here the wind was strong and the ocean breeze was cool.

Motorized fishing boats were out in the open. I think these might be the type of boat that my office mate was telling me about. They could take you to the island at a cheaper price.

People were enjoying themselves in this trip. Aside from the civilians there were also a lot of military personnel with their families on board.

As the hours passed, we were getting closer to our destination.

 

People were getting excited as our ship neared the Island. This is actually my second time to visit Corregidor. Last time we only stayed on the beach and didn’t explore much. This time we are going all the way and make the free trip worthwhile.

A lone naval soldier blocking the way to a restricted part of the ship.

We could almost see the trees on the hills of the island. Since this place is protected, it is teeming with flora and fauna. I have even heard that there are a lot of wild monkeys thriving here.

 

The island covers around 900 hectares of land. Up from above, it looks like the shape of a tadpole. It served as a gate keeper to Manila during WW2. Due to it’s strategic location, the island was heavily fortified by the Americans against Japanese invaders.

During the Spanish colononial period it was already being used as a first line of defense.  Galleons were required to check in the island first before before they are allowed to enter Manila. The name of the island was derived from the Spanish word “corregir” meaning to correct. Since all ships are required to be checked and corrected in this island.

Now it is time for us to be checked not for documents like in the past. But to check if we are enjoying ourselves.

Vehicles were also on board the ship. It is hard to get around the island unless you paid for a tour. Vehicles allowed on board are only for military personnel. I think bikes are allowed.

Finally, after hours on the ship we have come ashore. As the door of the ship slowly lowered. The passengers cheered and gave a round of applause.

As the people disembarked, each group went on their separate ways. As for us, we would need to find a spot to settle down first and plan our own tour. We arrived here at past 7 am and we were give only until 3 pm to explore the island. No time to waste then, let’s head out to explore.

Upon exit for the ship, on the left side you would see an old. I think this is where small boats can dock.

One thing I noticed is the water is very clear as Corregidor  is not easily accessible to all. The placed does not get over crowded with people.

Here is the ferry that takes tourist on a booked tour. If you have a budget it is advisable to avail the tour for comfort and to easily get around the island.

From the ferry, the tourists are guided on a tram that would take them around all the sites on the island.

Just a few meters away from the ship you could already see war remnants like this old rusted cannon.

Here is a statue of the American General Douglas MacArthur. Beneath the statue is his famous promise to the Philippines, “I shall return”. He is known to be the symbol of the the Allied resistance against the Japanese army and a defense adviser to the Philippines during the war in the Pacific.

When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, General MacArthur moves his headquarters to this island. Unfortunately, the island got surrounded by the Japanese and he needed to escape the island with his family. The general successfully escaped on a stormy night and left the Philippines with his famous promise that echoed thru generations. After two years, he fulfilled his promise and came back to liberate the Philippines. His iconic message was announced on the radio, “People of the Philippines, I have returned.”

This is the dock where he escaped and now we are here. Hopefully, to quote his words again when it is time for us to go home.

Everyone was headed out to south beach. I guess that is the best spot to set our camp for the day.

This ends my introduction to the tour to this island. I hope you are excited to see more as I take you around Corregidor island. See the giant cannons and battery that served as an aggressive defense against the invaders. Follow me as we explore the ruins and an old hospital that is said to be haunted by spirits of soldiers who died. Please do join me again as I take you on an unforgettable adventure.

Until then hope you have an amazing weekend. See you soon!

Resources

Corregidor Island

Douglas MacArthur’s escape

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 14.388597 lat 120.586341 long Corregidor Ship Dock d3scr)

 

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

Discovering exceptional content in the community follow @curie and vote as witness
To have a glimpse of awesome content from the Philippines check out @bayanihan
Follow @surpassinggoogle to witness an extraordinary person in this platform and vote for @steemgigs as witness
All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

and Olympus 40-150 mm

 

 

Ready, Set, GO! “Tamiya” – Beautiful Sunday

Ready, Set, GO! “Tamiya” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 There are times when interesting events are held at the mall. A car race is being held inside the mall. The crowd has flocked around the circuit. The tracks are set up and the cars are being tweaked to top condition. […]