My Corregidor Trip with Carlos Celdran

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Carlos Celdran onboard the Tramvia

My Corregidor trip last weekend ROCKED!! It was such a wonderful weekend! My Panget and I enjoyed every minute of it! We actually LOVED the trip! Although it was tiring - we had such a great time! Our tour group was the best I've met so far. We were all friendly, funny, interesting and somehow - we all jive together! What a group!

I was excited actually because the night before - I slept at 2am! I couldn't finish packing! And when I did - I slept immediately. It felt like I just turned on my other side when the alarm rang!

I was afraid to arrive late - the call time was at 10:30am at the CCP Ferry. Where the hell was the CCP Ferry? I specifically told my Panget to leave early - so we can get the chance to roam the complex first and look for the exact location of the CCP Ferry in case we get lost. My Panget - well, he picked me up really late - I just had to use my Positive thinking to have us arrive on time, and we did! Surprisingly - Espana was clear! (really!) We got there 10 minutes early! Upon entering the ferry - lo and behold - I saw one of my favorite bloggers - Anton, his lovely wife Mrs. Awesome Planet and cutie son Aidan! Now, that was a surprise! I then looked for Carlos Celdran - but was told by the Sun Cruises people that he hasn't arrived yet. He did arrive on time - at 10:30am - I think he was shocked that everyone was early! Hahaha. I've seen him on TV - so I knew what he looked like - but when he saw me - he knew who I was - maybe because I was the only Chinese girl there! Hahaha.. He introduced me as one of the winners of the trip!

Anyhoo, after registering and meeting part of the group - we then headed to board the ferry. The ferry was actually nice - I was expecting something more dingy (sorry!) but it was impressive! Hahaha. The trip took a hour, we got to the island at noon time - just in time for lunch!



Clockwise - Welcome Sign with Halo Halo promo!,
Map of the Corregidor Island,
a Japanese bandana worn by pilots of
Kamikaze planes with names of relatives, and loved ones,

Onboard a Tramvia with Armando - our tour guide.

We then boarded the cute Tramvias and headed on to the Corregidor Inn - to check in and to have - lunch! After lunch, we then checked in - took a short short nap and met up again at 2:30pm for the tour.

Our tour guide was Armando - he was very much versed with the island! I was surprised to learn that he has been a tour guide for so many years! He said he's been all over the Philippines and so I asked him why he picked Corregidor - he said that he fell in love with the place 'Nagustuhan ko talaga ang Corregidor'

Clockwise: a battered steel door, Mile Long Barracks,
the Pacific War Memorial, Top Side Cinema,
one of the many antique artillery

The tour was FANtastic - it went on smoothly! I enjoyed every minute of it because Armando was funny! He threw jokes left and right but not forgetting to give us the real score. I think you can tell a tour guide's passion - he was very informative and I learned a LOT from him. I can just imagine how many times he's repeated his monologue - it doesn't seem repeated to me because he tells it so naturally! One thing I will NEVER forget is when we were duped (because I didn't know we were doing this! Hahaha!) into entering a Japanese made hideout tunnel. Man, was it dark, spooky and soily! Hahaha.. We had to use ropes to help us all climb out the fox hole! I admire Aidan - since he was the youngest in the group (just 3 years old!) I had to toughen myself up! Hahaha.. (In the process - I scratched my engagement ring band.. Huhu... Battle scars..) After emerging I then realized - that I could have opted NOT to join that 'adventure' - if I only knew! (Carlos and some others didn't join us) Argh.. But it was worth it.. :) It was really fun.. :)



Pictures of a Japanese Tunnel

We visited some more areas. I was impressed the most with the Disappearing Gun at the Battery Crockett. Imagine the technology they had during the early 1900's - I mean to have thought of a disappearing gun?! What the hell were they thinking?! I couldn't imagine what it looked like when Armando was describing it to us. And when I saw it - my gosh - I was in awe!! It looked so powerful! And to disappear after firing? Now that was technology and paranoia summed up together!




We ended the day tour with a Sunset Cocktail at the Disappearing Gun. It was lovely! Too bad we didn't see so much of the Sunset (becuase of the clouds) but it was wonderful. We had time to get to know our other tour companions - I have to say this - I've met 13 wonderful and warm people on the tour namely Carlos Celdran, Anton and family, Micketymoc and wifey, Jen and Stan, Jesus and fiance, Jojo, Angelo and Olivia! It was such a great mix! Even if we were just 15 in the group - it was just right, not too little and not too many. The cocktails was great! The wine, the cheese (Brought by Carlos - yummy!), the cold cuts (brought by Angelo's group - thanks guys!!), the green tea, the conversations we had - everything was wonderful! And having them all at sunset - well, it's one of the best ways to end the night. I found it really nice that the group was game enough to have a group picture! Good thing Angelo asked - or else I would be too shy to tell the group that I'd want one. Hehehe... I know, me? Shy?! Hahaha... I have my moments din pala..

Dinner was by the beach - although we didn't get to see the beach at night - it was fun because it was a potluck dinner! The bonfire was wonderful! I actually forgot to take pictures (good thing - Anton did!) - I think I was too hungry! Hahaha.. The Spaghetti (brought by Mickeytymoc and wifey) was good (according to my Panget - I don't eat meat!), the dessert from Mary Grace (brought by Anton and family) was awesome (also according to my Panget - as I don't eat chocolates) The quiche (brought by Steve and Jen) was great, I think I had 2 slices! I brought desserts - decadent chocolate cupcakes, blueberry filled cupcakes and brownies - I hope my tour mates enjoyed them too!

After this - we then headed for our Ghost Hunting tour - I have to say that I was really too chicken to come along. But I knew I had to tag along - for my Panget's sake - and I did. Can you imagine riding a bus with no lights on? Driver Orly dimmed his headlights! Brian - the new assigned tour guide - was telling ghost stories! He even told us that one of the rooms in the Corregidor Inn (the place we were staying at) was haunted by a boy named Pot Pot. My imagination runs wild with ghost stories - that's why I shy away from them, especially at night. But what could I do right? I summoned up all my courage and joined the tour. I prayed that the Holy Spirit be sent to protect me and my companions - and to add to my being 'protected' I held my rosary tightly - concealing it from my companions by putting my left hand inside my pocket! (not so concealed anymore right?!) We roamed around the Hospital Grounds - stopped at the biggest ward - turned the lights off and became silent for a while (only a short short while) - traded stories and showed one another of the 'orbs' we saw on our own digital cameras - these 'orbs' as Brian said were energy coming from ghosts. Is there any truth to that? Well, Mickey says they're just dust - well, maybe, right!? Who knows! We also went to the morgue, and the place where graffittis of the names of those killed in the Jabidah Massacre. I have to agree with Mickey when he said that the place felt sad. Honestly - I don't know if I felt something, but I did - it was when I entered the hospital grounds, I felt my cheecks flushed and I suddenly had this 'hot flash' come over me. I can say that I really felt something for sure because it was a rather cool night - but this 'hot flash' happend to me years ago in our old house* - and it was the same 'hot flash' that I felt when I stepped in the grounds (that's why I clutched my rosary tighter) Hmmm...


(L-R) Hospital Grounds, Some of the names of our Muslim
brothers who
were killed in the Jabidah Massacre


After the Ghost Hunting we headed to the eternal flame area - for some quiet time and star gazing. I will not go into detail on what happened here, but it was really fun, we were all laughing like crazy, drinking and enjoying the quiet cool night. Can you imagine that we were one of the few visitors of the island?! (I'm not so sure but according to my Panget - there were only 4 other rooms that were occupied aside from our group's - which makes us the only ones ON the island). It was such a pretty night - very memorable! I will never forget the 'Penguin Style' joke! Hahaha.. Manila looked really nice (and promising) from afar.

The next morning - we were treated to a nice breakfast! My Panget and I plus some others opted not to join the Lateral tours of the Malinta Tunnel. I for one am not so into those hiking and adventuring. I was telling my Panget - that I'm really not the type - but if I was part of the group - I'll be 'peer pressur-ed' to do it! Hahaha.. We walked around the Inn, chatted with my other tour companions. We met again before lunch to have a last look on the airfield (that is operational - 15 seater planes can land here) and we saw the memorial mounted for the victims of the Jabidah Massacre - that place was significant because it was where the lone survivor - Jibin Arula - escaped his death. The memorial was erected more than a month ago.

As an ender for the overnight tour - we went to see the Light and Sound Show at the Malinta Tunnel. I think I was really tired and so I didn't enjoy it that much - but it was very informative - something new, something I didn't expect! The laterals seemed scary - I kept on thinking (from beginning to end) why were the Americans so paranoid? I mean - they meant for the island to be a fortress - the first line of defense for their would be colony - but what were they thinking?! They built the Malinta Tunnel as a bomb shelter - what were they thinking?! I guess to be a superpower - you'd need to have conquered lots of lands!


The last few hours in Corregidor
with my ever reliable umbrella!

The trip was too short for me. But I'd rather be bitin - it makes you want to come back! Corregidor is really charming - it's near Manila and is an option for those who wants to get to know more about history. The place was exactly what I was looking for, a place sort of like Ayutthaya in Bangkok - a place where there are ruins and history of a fallen or lost civilization. Untouched, real and with a rich history. It should be left that way - to preserve its serenity. I think the major attraction is that - it brings you back to what it used to be. Something really different from what we have now. This trip actually made me appreciate Manila even more. I'd love to come back!


the MAN - Carlos Celdran

Thank you Mr. Carlos Celdran for raffling off free trips! Thank you for your hospitality and for everything! It was such a great treat! Such a great break!! Your presence made ALL the difference. Thank you so very very much!

To my other tour companions - Anton, Mrs. Awesome Planet, cutie Aidan, Micketymoc and Mrs. Micketymoc, Jen and Stan, Jojo, Jesus & his lovely fiance, Angelo and Olivia - I hope to bump into you guys in my next adventure! You were all great and lovely!! Your company made ALL the difference! (I swear!) Thank you for making my weekend memorable!

I'm sure I've forgotten to write about some parts! My apologies for the long post! Hahaha..

**Pictures to follow!!


*I was sleeping at my parents room because they were away - when I turned off the TV and laid down to sleep, I suddenly felt something hot come over on me, it seemed like something was trying to hugging me. I knew it felt different because the 'hot flash' was uneven - I felt it first on my left cheek and then my chest, the rest of my body felt normal. When I felt this - I jumped out of bed - turned on the television and wondered what it was. When my parents arrived - we went to this guy to ask what happened to me - and he said that it was indeed something - he attributed it to my imagination and that my imagination attracts things/beings. I was advised not to watch horrot/ghost movies since my imagination was powerful)

10 comments :

  1. looking forward to the photos:)

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  2. hi, what was the penguin joke?

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  3. hi ach!! wow looks fun yet scary hehe id love to join the corregidor trip but im super "duwag"! hehe btw, hope you can link me up to your site :P hope to see you soooonnn ;)

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  4. Sulit yung prize. :)

    But whoa on your experience back home. Freaky, Di!

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  5. Sakai - photos uploaded already!

    Mojacko - it's better told in person. Hehehe..

    Hiya Franny! It was really fun! Till now, may 'high' parin ako!

    Hi Minds! Super sulit yung prize! As in! Freak noh?! Hihi..

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  6. wow, me and my friends will be joining carlos on his intramuros tour this month. we all love the guy... and based on your write-up, mukang the tour is really fun. I wanted sana the corregidor trip,, maybe pag nakaipon na uli :) thanks for sharing sis.

    michguevara

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  7. Hi Mich! Thanks for dropping by! :) The tour was really fun! :) Corregidor is really nice, promise!

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  8. hi! i enjoyed reading your entry. What tour package did you get for this one? Me and my friends are going to Corregidor next month. Were finding a good package tour. Hope you can reply. Thanks. :)

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  9. Hello Divine! I have no idea on the package. Carlos Celdran was the one who arranged it. You can check out his blog :) I think he still does Corregidor tours :)

    Enjoy!!

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  10. I’ve been to Corregidor for a school trip back in high school. Honestly, it was an unforgettable experience for me. I especially love the tunnel XD.

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