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.
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.
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All photos are original and taken with
Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens