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.
Today I will take you on a tour to the first ruins that we encountered. Bombed by the Japanese during WW2 and was left in ruins. But still it stands and is slowly being taken over by nature. Join me on our trip to explore ….
The Ruins of Middleside Barracks
An island shaped like a tadpole, Corregidor island is filled history, nature and mystery. Served as a gateway to Manila, it was a port for galleons during the Spanish colonial era.
From South Beach of the island it will take you around 27 minutes to reach Middle Side Barracks. Although it would take you longer than expected as some parts of the road goes uphill.
After the intimidating encounter with the gang of monkeys. We were all relieved that we did not experience any form of aggression from the wild monkeys. I felt like it was nature’s test to see if we are worthy to pass to the next level. We pushed forward to our journey and the walk was very peaceful to the site.
The road was very quiet and the cool breeze was very refreshing. On my previous post, I shared star shaped green flowers covered parts of the road. This is the tree where the flowers falls from.
The leaves has yellow and pink colors. I have never seen this kind of tree anywhere else and I have been unsuccessful in identifying this tree.
This is the farthest my zoom lens could reach but if you would zoom in to the photo. You would see green bulbs that has not bloomed yet into the green flowers. I am not sure how many times it blooms per year, but I guess we got lucky to see the mysterious star shaped green flowers fall from the giant tree.
The trees here are ancient and has lived harmoniously with other types of plants.
I can’t really say if there are just only three types of plants growing on the tree. Just by looking at nature we could learn a lot of things. Living together in peace can overcome even the strongest typhoon in life.
The green leaves growing on this trunk almost looks like green fur on an ancient mythical creature. This old tree must have witnessed a lot of action in the past.
As we came closer to our destination, we reached a fork on the road. In the middle of this fork is a wide open space with a majestic tree in the center. All the grass and plants around this area seems to be dying, but the tree is thriving.
I am not a tree expert, but it feels like the tree is absorbing all the nutrients around this area. Like a vampire that feeds on the life force of other creatures, it remains beautiful.
Here is a top view of the large tree and you could see the dried up soil around it. Other surrounding areas are lush with vegetation except for this area. To me it seems unnatural, but I guess it is just a part of the mystery of this island.
After taking the road on the right side of the fork. The enormous ruins appeared before our eyes. We were all silenced by the structure.
The Middleside Barracks houses officers, enlisted men, includes a hospital, and a service club. It also has a PX (post exchange) store which is like a convenience store in military bases. This place is huge and I learned that it even had two school houses for the American and Filipino soldiers.
The ruins is located in the middle of the island and was built in 1915 for the 60th artillery anti aircraft company, US army, 91st Coast artillery and the Philippine scouts. Advanced concrete construction was used in the two buildings that each has three stories. Each floor had high ceilings and sliding windows made from capiz shells were used. Capiz shells has been used for windows in the Philippines for centuries now. An influence during the Spanish colonial period and is still being used in some architecture today.
On December 29, 1941, the barracks was destroyed when it was bombed by the the Japanese.
Today 77 years has passed and the ruins still stand as a reminder of that fateful day.
What used to be a home for soldiers is not being reclaimed by nature. Plants and trees grows thicker everyday.
There are even signs of trees that has slowly wrapped itself on one of the posts. Although only a dried branch remains it is a sign that in the long run nature still wins.
The kids needed some rest after that long hike to this site. Tired but still you could see a smile from my daughter which means that she is enjoying this trip.
The kids doesn’t get a lot of chance to go out on long hikes. But I’m pretty sure they have a lot of energy to complete this adventure.
Exhausted but I am glad we brought a lot of water to fuel our journey.
As the kids were resting, I took the time to take more photos around the area.
A lot of parts of the cement are crumbling and seems be hanging by a thread.
Visitors are forbidden to enter the ruins as the floors could collapse at anytime.
I am not sure what part of the building this is with those cement walls that are evenly divided into sections.
Rehabilitation has been made on this site. I noticed that there are metal posts installed to reinforce the structure. A good way to preserve and save what is left of the site.
I could only imagine how the building looks like before it was destroyed. I just wish that a part was spared to give us a glimpse of the architecture.
It must have been very frightening during the bombing of that December day. The impact of the destruction is seen everywhere you look. Twisted metal and rocks piled up everywhere and would forever remain this way.
All the floors are gone, but stairs that leads to the third floor survived. Climbing up those stairs would surely bring you demise.
Looking at this angle kinda reminds me of the Roman Colosseum. Instead of gladiators it was soldiers who fought for their lives during the bombing.
It has been a very long time already and what used to be a busy place is now very peaceful and quiet.
But the silence is somehow very eerie and you could easily hear a whisper. Would you prefer to have the place restored to serve as a hotel and restaurant? I think I wouldn’t agree as sometimes places are better left untouched and just allowed to retire from it’s service.
In these windows, soldiers may have hanged out during their free time. Thinking of a loved one or wishing for the war to end.
Would be able to get a lot of great shots from the ground floor. I had to be honest that I wanted to go down there, but it is not worth it. Safety first should always triumph in making decisions.
Any of these floors could fall at anytime and crush you easily. These are reinforced cement which are very strong, but the floors could still fall even if metal reinforcements it has been already installed in the ruins.
This must be the main entrance to the building and signs are placed for a purpose. No one is around to stop you, but if you get hurt don’t say you were not warned.
A view from the roof deck of the building. This is the last section of the second building of Middleside Barracks and looks to be the part that is least damaged.
Floors and walls are still intact and you could still see the paint on the walls.
Looking at the ruins made me think about a lot of things. How life was hard during the war and a lot of lives were lost during the destruction. War is ugly and I wish our world will get past it all already. We have seen a lot, but still some of us have not learned anything.
It was time for us to go and venture deeper thru this road. A road that leads to more history and mystery of this island. We still have a very long way to go to complete our goal. A lone tree blocks the middle of this road which is better than a group of monkeys blocking the way.
Thank you for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed seeing the ruins on this tour. I’d appreciate if you leave some comments and let me know what you think about the site. If you are near the area and planning to visit just let me know and I could point you to the right direction. Hope to see you again next time and if you love big guns you would be blown away by the next site that we will be visiting. Until then keep on dreaming, believing and I hope we will reach the moon soon. Cheers!
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All photos are original and taken with
Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens
and Sigma 50 mm