General Douglas MacArthur said, at the signing of the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945, "It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all mankind that a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past - a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice."
It was an early morning for us. We were in the taxi by 6am and on our way to the ferry port. If you buy tickets earlier, you have to wait in a large line to get served & get your sticker for the boat. If, like us, you just rock up, you fill in a form & then sit down and wait till they call you. If you are going to rock up I suggest not arriving till about 7:30am, we sat for over an hour and a half until finally they called us, we paid for our tickets and boarded the boat.
It’s pretty expensive. $130 for Josh, Mia & myself. Caius (under 3’s) was free. However this included return ferry, the guided tour on the island on the train/bus thingy & a buffet lunch. The whole thing is run by Sun cruises and was exceptional.
Corregidor is a small rocky island in the Philippines about 48 kilometres west of Manila located strategically at the entrance of Manila Bay. This island fortress stands as a memorial for the courage, valour, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II.
You are assigned seats on the ferry, however we soon made our way upstairs & outside as Josh and I both suffered some motion sickness. The only problem is it’s very hot, but the wind off the ocean eases the stomach. The water is a nasty colour with rubbish quite often bouncing along its surface. How is it Boracay has the most amazing blue clear water and this, yuk.
At the port we were given a number and once we get to the island we notice these train-bus looking things. These tranvia’s are numbered and so we hop onto number 8 with mostly other Australians & Americans.
The tour guide is very insightful and has lots of knowledge. Our first stop is a tunnel, which you have to buy tickets for if you want to see. I wasn’t that impressed and neither were the kid’s. We spent most the time playing with flashlights and shadows. Josh loved it, however and was engrossed in the history that was revealed through the light and sound show.
Mia was afraid of the dark and there was gun shots and explosions that had birth kids running between my legs, however when a tour guide handed her a torch the tunnel all of a sudden was her favourite thing in the world.... There's a whole other story here, conquering fear, maybe some other time.
The buffet lunch was yummy and we enjoyed plenty of salad, pork & chicken. You need to pay more for soft drink, however water is provided and some kind of syrup punch.
After we toured the rest of the island, viewing museums, statues, guns and beautiful scenery. A beautiful island slowly being restored to its former glory before the horrors of WWII. You will learn lots, see lots and if you a real history buff really be immersed in the amazing heritage this island has to offer. If you don't love history you will fall in love with the scenic beauty and if you are child you can run free and roam through the gardens and old buildings.
Corregidor teaches me Love Languages
Near the end of our tour, my daughter picked a bunch of flowers. She then proceeded one by one to give them out to everyone on the bus. To say she quickly become the favourite on the bus is an understatement. Who is not melted by a 3 year old handing you a flower? It got me thinking about love languages.
Have you ever heard of Dr Gary Chapman's Love Languages? After many years of counselling, Dr. Chapman noticed a pattern: everyone he had ever counselled had a “love language,” a primary way of expressing and interpreting love. He also discovered that, for whatever reason, people are usually drawn to those who speak a different love language than their own.
Of the countless ways we can show love to one another, five key categories, or five love languages, proved to be universal and comprehensive—everyone has a love language, and we all identify primarily with one of the five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
My love language is Receiving Gifts. I love to give gifts and I love receiving them. They speak to me like nothing else. My husband is Acts of Service. He loves me doing things for him and close second he loves to hear Words of Affirmation.
Anyway as my daughter gave away these flowers I considered if she was so like me that her love language would also be Receiving Gifts. I know my son is already leaning towards Quality Time, which is very hard for me. Dr Chapman believes that you show language the way you like to receive it, which is why there are often miscommunication issues. When you can identify your language and other's languages you can better love that person. It is my mission to totally understand my children so in their life they will receive complete unconditional love for me and not have the need to look or receive inappropriate love from anyone else.
While you may find this an unusal lesson to be taken away from a WWII island this is what traveling is all about. The personal lessons we learn from the common experiences we do.
The Disappointing Finale
Finally we took the ferry home, Mia making friends everywhere she goes (and obtaining food). On exiting the ferry we tiredly made our way to a taxi. It’s late Saturday afternoon and what took half hour in the morning was a horrific hour and a half journey home. One of the worst parts of Manila and a disappointing end to a terrific day. I highly recommend this tour.