Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We loved going to Corregidor Island last Friday. All five couples in the Manila Mission went and we (Elder Smith and I) especially had a wonderful time. So much history! We left Manila that morning by ferry. It was a 90 minute ride. There were TV monitors we could watch and there were some videos about what we could expect to see. Then, one of the guides for the tour company got on the microphone and told more stories. Once we arrived at the island we went to a buffet lunch at the hotel. Overnight tour packages are available and we’d actually like to take advantage of one before we leave the Philippines. The tours are on open buses with about 30 passengers, driver and a tour guide.

We've arrived!Elder Smith in front of the Pacific War Memorial
Our guide was an American who lives on the island. His father was on Corregidor when it was captured by the Japanese and he and his wife retired and moved from Minnesota to live and study the area. He is currently writing a book about the events there. The Philippines was a vital link in WWII. We won’t go into lots of details about the actual battles and such as you can go to Google or whatever and read those. However, seeing the remains of the barracks, theatre, homes, tunnels, gun placements, bomb craters and more was overwhelming.

Remains of the Movie Theatre. Last movie shown there was "Gone with the Wind" or "Sargent York" according to rumorElder Smith and I both had fathers who served in WWII so maybe that’s part of our fondness for this site.
The Barracks were 1/3 mile long and 3 stories tall, hence the name, "Mile long barracks"Guns and a fascinated Elder SmithWe learned about the Death March in Bataan and other happenings in the Philippines during 1942 through 1945. The Japanese navy surrounded the entrance to Manila Bay and once they secured it many thought they would end up securing the entire Pacific Theatre. In 1945, U.S. and Filipino forces regained possession of the island which was a second huge battle on this small rocky piece of land. We saw where General Douglas MacArthur’s home was located while he resided on the island. We also went through the tunnel where the allied headquarters for the Pacific were located.Malinta Tunnel map. So much concrete! If you ever have a few extra hours and want to have us bore you with stories, we’ll be happy to oblige. Nearly everyone snoozed on the ferry trip home as it was a busy day.

Sunday was a meeting for all members in the Manila Mission area. Sister Allred, 1st counselor in the RS General Presidency was here for a training and leadership meeting. Elder Ko from our area presidency was also here. We met at the Buendia Chapel in Makati. We’re not certain what the final attendance count is, but surely over 1,000. The chapel, cultural hall, RS room, hallways and parking lot were all full. It was a very good meeting with lots of encouragement and information. Sister Allred is a dynamic individual and Elder Ko is terrific also. The meetings began at 2:00 and ended at 7:30 in the evening so it was a marathon of training. We were honored to be able to attend. It will be interesting to see if some of the things discussed will get implemented. Hopefully it won’t be like the U.S. where we tend to implement the things we like and sort of ignore the rest.

1 comment:

Naomi said...

That looks like a fun trip. I am so glad that you get to do tourist stuff sometimes in between all the hard work. We keep you in our prayers!

And yes, I am expecting you to visit Maryland at your earliest convenience!