ISLAND'S GEOGRAPHIC SECTORS
Topside - is the highest geographic sector in the island where the terrain elevation above sea level ranges from about 400 feet and higher. Topside is said to be the nerve center of the island fortress. It is here where you will find the ruins of the following buildings: Mile-Long Barrackes, Post Headquarters, Cine Corregidor, and a number of buildings previously used as quarters for bachelor officers as well as the senior officers of the garrison. All the major gun emplacements are also located around this high ground. The parade ground, a small golf course, the old Spanish flagpole, and the reconstructed Spanish lighthouse are similarly located at Topside. The more recently constructed buildings and structures that are now found at Topside include the following: The Pacific War Memorial Dome, sculpture of the Eternal Flame of Freedom, and a museum.
Mile-Long Barracks - This is a three-story concrete building which was constructed to be hurricane-proof. It was used for the billeting of American officers and enlisted personnel detailed at the garrison. The entire length of the building measures about 1,520 feet that it became popularly known as the world's longest military barracks. Although it is just less than a third of a mile long, it was, however, commonly referred to as the Mile-Long Barracks. The headquarters of Gen. Douglas MacArthur was also located in this building.
Pacific War Memorial - The memorial was erected to honor of the Filipino and American servicemen who participated in the Pacific War. Financed with an appropriation by the United States Congress, it was completed in 1968. The major memorial structure is a rotunda in which a circular altar falls directly under the dome's open center through which light falls on the altar during daylight hours. The altar symbolizes a wreath of victory with the following words inscribed on its rim: "Sleep, my sons, your duty done, for Freedom's light has come; sleep in the silent depths of the sea, or in your bed of hallowed sod, until you hear at dawn the low, clear reveille of God." The memorial also houses a museum which serves as the repository of relics and memorabilia related to the history of Corregidor.
Eternal Flame of Freedom - A large steel sculpture which symbolizes the Flame of Freedom burning eternally. It is located at the rear of the Pacific War Memorial dome on a raised platform which provides visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of Manila Bay, the Bataan Peninsula, and the coastline of Cavite. Designed by Aristides Demetrios, the sculpture commemorates the sacrifices, hopes and aspirations, and the heroic struggle by the United States and the Philippines to preserve freedom for future generations. The sculpture stands as a reminder that all men will fight as one if need to be to defend a nation's liberty.
Spanish Flagpole - This old historic flagpole, just like the many other relics, buildings and structures in Corregidor, serves as a reminder of the Corregidor's colorful and glorious past. The flagpole was the mast from a Spanish Warship captured by the American fleet of Admiral George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898 and erected at its present site by the Americans. When the defenders of Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese forces, the American flag was lowered down from this flagpole on May 6, 1942. When Gen. MacArthur returned to Corregidor on March 2, 1945 following the recapture of the island, he ordered the hoisting of the American flag on this flagpole. Finally, on October 12, 1947, in a moving and colorful ceremony signifying the turnover of Corregidor to the Republic of the Philippines, the stars and stripes was hauled down for the last time and the Philippine flag was hoisted in its stead. Corregidor once again belonged to the Filipino people.
Cine Corregidor - To the left at the entrance to the Pacific War Memorial are the ruins of what used to be Cine Corregidor, a movie theater. It was erected during the pre-war period to cater to the entertainment needs of the personnel of the garrison as well as their families. Nothing much is left of the building except portions of its concrete walls, a stairway leading up to its upper balcony, and the concrete floor of what used to be its stage. Its former lobby now houses two black vintage cars which were used by President Quezon and Gen. MacArthur.
Spanish Lighthouse - At its current site, the original lighthouse was built by the Spaniards in 1836. Sixty-one years later a need for a much bigger lighthouse was conceived which led to the erection of another structure to replace the old one. However, the lighthouse was destroyed during World War II. The current lighthouse was constructed on the same site at an elevation of 628 feet above sea level. Being the highest point in the island, visitors who climb up the stairs of the lighthouse can have a breathtaking view of Corregidor, Manila Bay, the South China Sea, and the neighboring provinces of Bataan and Cavite. Beside the lighthouse is a small gift shop where visitors can buy souvenirs.
PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN AT TOPSIDE
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Ruins of Mile-Long Barracks Cine Corregidor ruins Post Headquarters ruins Pacific War Memorial (PWM) Altar below dome of PWM Museum of PWM Display inside the PWM Museum Eternal Flame of Freedom Spanish Lighthouse Old Spanish flagpole Topside Parade Ground Parade Ground & Mile-Long Brks Bachelor officers quarters ruins Senior officers family quarters Quarters for senior officers ruins
Middleside - is a sector located within the tadpole head of the island where the ground elevation approximately ranges between 100 feet and 400 feet above sea level. It lies between the Bottomside and Topside sectors where a number of landmarks, buildings, and structures are found. Currently, the Filipino-American Friendship Park, Aviary and Bird Park, and the Youth For Peace Campsite are found at Middleside. It is also at this sector where you will find the ruins and former sites of the following: YMCA, Middleside Barracks, Post Stockade, Officers Club, quarters for officers and enlistedmen, warehouses, some service and utility buildings.
Filipino-American Friendship Park - the park commemorates the close friendship and camaraderie between the Philippines and the United States in times of war and in peace which is depicted by ten-foot high statues of a Filipino and American soldier. A plaque at the park bears the following statement: "In these hallowed surroundings where heroes sleep may their ashes scatter with the wind and live in the hearts of those who were left behind. They died for freedom's right and in heaven's sight. Theirs was a noble cause."
Middleside Barracks - a large military barracks made up of two three-story buildings which was referred to as the Middleside Barracks because it was constructed in the middleside sector of the island. Personnel of the 60th Coast Artillery Regiment and the 91st Philippine Scout Coast Artillery Regiment were billeted in this barracks. It was also briefly occupied by elements of the 4th Marine Regiment upon their arrival in Corregidor on December 1941.
Aviary and Theme Park - a 3,000 square meter complex managed by Feathered Friends Foundation which houses local and foreign varieties of birds such as the red-vested cockatoo, Indonesian parrot, Philippine horned owl, Brazilian sun conure, and the Indonesian rainbow lory. A number of monkeys are also kept in a large cage. It has a propagation facility for showcasing eco-tourism.
Army Hospital - the ruins of a three-story building formerly used as the island's main medical facility prior to its transfer to Malinta Tunnel is found at Middleside. The building was shaped like a cross when viewed from the air to distinguish the structure from the other buildings in Corregidor.
YMCA and the Youth for Peace Campsite - the campsite is an open area intended for out-of-school youth, scouts, and student campers and hikers. Behind it are the ruins of the former YMCA building which served as a recreational facility for the military personnel detailed in Corregidor.
PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN AT MIDDLESIDE
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Entrance arch to Middleside Ruins of Middleside Barracks Right Wing of Barracks Left Wing of Barracks Friendship Park Entrance Fil-Am Friendship Park Front View of Statue Close-up of Statue Youth for Peace Campsite Ruins of YMCA Building Aviary and Theme Park Waiting Shed at Aviary A bird at the Aviary Bird cages at Aviary Stairway down to Middleside
Go To Part II: BOTTOMSIDE and THE TAIL END