Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 2: Pictures of Corregidor

Lorcha Dock, the point from which General Douglas MacArthur finally departed for Australia under repeated orders from President Roosevelt. His abandonment of his troops earned MacArthur the nickname "Dugout Doug." It was here that he made the promise "I shall return," words which are inscribed at the base of the statue of MacArthur shown here.

Aside from its rich history, Corregidor is also a beautiful little island.

Monument honoring the bravery and fortitude of Filipino women.

A map of Malinta Tunnel.

One of the entrances to Malinta Tunnel. Note how deeply buried in the rock it is.

Below are some pictures I took inside the tunnel. The first is the main tunnel, which is 826 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 15 feet high. The other two photos are of two of the many laterals. The tunnels had their own power and water supply, but they were far from pleasant. It was a cool day outside, yet I found the tunnel to be quite stuffy and humid. Imagine having to live in a stuffy tunnel for a month with planes bombarding the outside multiple times each day. Our American nurses went through all that and more, yet today they are largely forgotten.

Once upon a time, this was an enormous barracks. Then the bombs fells on it, leaving it as it is today.

This derelict building was once a beautiful, elegant cinema, where such films as Gone with the Wind were screened. The cinema was hit by Japanese artillery, and was never rebuilt.

This flagpole was made from the mast of an old ship. When Corregidor was retaken and General MacArthur returned to the island, it was here that he gave the famous order, "I see the old flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist the colors to its peak and let no enemy ever haul them down."

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"