GHQ | Historic Corregidor | Harbor Defense of Manila & Subic Bays | Corregidor Under Siege | Retaking Corregidor | Rediscovering Corregidor | Units & Personnel | Concrete Battleship | Secret Corregidor | PX | Now Showing | Archives | Bulletin Board | Galleries | Mail Call | Links | 503d on the Rock | 503d Heritage Bn. | Rock Force
This is a report of one of my hikes on Corregidor.
HIKE TO SEARCHLIGHT POINT
22 January 2005 It was a refreshing walk from the Row House to the road to Battery Wheeler. With my slow walk it took 40 minutes and I arrived at the path junction that leads to the C1 Tunnel from the Battery Wheeler road.
On the way up there at the SW corner of the open field of the Middleside ("Herring Field") I found what could be the best preserved defense position of riflemen. It still had intact rail ties laying across on top and the rusted rims of vertical placed cans (about a foot in diameter) were sticking out of the grounds on either end of the small position. It was located only about 10 feet ocean side of the road.
On the slightly down tending path (it was a road once) to the C1 Tunnel one passes a concrete wall at right at the beginning and a little further to the left is a 5ft by 5ft by 3ft high structure out of bricks (open on top) . This path is frequently used and vegetation is not a problem. 5 minutes long, perhaps, is the path.
At the end of the path one slides down about 10 feet to the left and one is in front of the C1 Tunnel entrance. 2 car size tires are laying just below the entrance and signify that one is at the right place.
This was also the starting point of the hike down to the bottom of Crockett Ravine and to the beach.
Way back, I used to hike in long military pants - and even bloused them over my military boots, thinking about snakes. Also I'm thinking the NPA might not appreciate too much military attire. As you know, I have been hiking constantly in NPA country the last 10 years.
But I gave the long pants up, I sweat too much and the pants get soaked and add to the weight. Snakes usually take off before one gets near them, anyhow. This time I saw only one near the Officer's Club.
Speaking of sweating, when we went to the 1918 large shelter in the James Ravine just the other day, and we had to squeeze thru a small opening I came out looking like a pig because of my thru and thru wet sweated T-shirt. On the other hand Mr. Romulo, the No 1 guy of CFI, was so clean ready to go to church; he hadn't sweated a drop.
It is steep going down Crockett Ravine but not dangerous steep, one zig zags at times either for better footing, or to go around under brush or to aim for a tree to hang on or for balance.
When one starts going down there is immediately a ravine to the left that runs straight down and is too slick to travel down in. It runs down perpendicular to the main Crockett Ravine which basically runs on a east-west axis. If one drifts to far to the right -south- one will get to the cliff. So these two landmarks guide one down. One comes across what may have been roads but are now useless because they just disappear because of landslides or super heavy vegetation.
When I approached the bottom of the Crockett Ravine there seemed to be a wall of underbrush, thin bamboo, vines, reeds etc. I was afraid not able to get thru. But mercifully there was a path thru it; I'll call it the "Beaver Path". It seemed to be cut by intruders and it was so low one had to crawl. It had 2 bends and was about 60 feet long.
When I came down into the ravine, I couldn't believe it, but I hit the main culvert of the South Shore road. It is a box-culvert (maybe 15 ft long) and it is dislodged, it may have traveled downstream about 15 to 20 feet. I looked up left and right to see anything that may have been a road and it all was to much vegetation to penetrate.
Travel downstream of the ravine was not difficult, I slipped a few times, got my boots slightly wet and muddy. I came across two other concrete items and than -hallelujah- the beach was reached.
Then off to Searchlight Point, it's nothing but rocks all along the beach, there are places one could move up the South-shore road, but that will be for an other time.
About 200 yards from Searchlight Point there were two pieces of angled concrete, perhaps from a concrete trench above. This was approximately where the other searchlight position was, as per 1936 map, and about 100 feet east of Battery Cushing.
About 50% of the supporting ground under one of the Battery Cushing positions is gone and it seems to be hanging unsupported and will come crashing down one of these years. (If history is destroyed and no-one is there, does it make a noise?)
At the Searchlight Point, at the SW corner is a deep, waste deep break and I decide not to get wet. Originally I had planed to go to Battery Monja. Now I know that can be done and I will do it one of these times. From my last visit I know one can walk around No-Name-Point without much trouble.
The South Shore road on the east side can be reached several different ways at this point but the easiest, closest and shortest way to get to the cut (saddle) was near the point.
On top of the cut it is mostly very heavy cogon grass and I proceeded first to the South Shore Road. Where it crosses the point off to the east it is intact (don't know for how long) and I didn't go that way. To the west it is buried due to a landslide from above, I traveled only about 80 feet and into a banana tree patch.
Then I struggled back to the point, all the way, and found the air shaft of the searchlight shelter. Soon after I found a way to the searchlight position and found the shelter pretty much still intact. The first layer of rebar is stripped completely, but the drainage system is still intact.
Just remembered, right at the very end point is a narrow ravine all the way down, and it may have another deep water break at the bottom, it may be even deeper than the earlier one I'd seen. But that shall not stop me to get to Monja the hard way.
The climb down and back and on to Geary Point was uneventful.
It was a little more difficult to get up on Geary Point, but not much.
About 100 feet this side or west of Geary Pt., just above the high water mark, was what perhaps had been a concrete trench position. It is now destroyed and half of it lays on the rocks and is mostly buried.
Geary has an identical searchlight shelter, also it is at the very tip of the point. From the top, one can clearly see the concrete trench position facing mainly west, but I think it could cover both sides. The 1936 map shows another trench position further to the tip and further down and facing east but I didn't see it or looked for it.
Fishermen were on the beach and it crossed my mind to ask them to take me back by boat. But then I thought, "What kind of 'trooper is that?" The actual climb back up with a lot of breaks for water and air took an hour. I even filled my bottles with the running water from the ravine just in case should I run out. I carry iodine tablets for that purpose.
Yup, of course, then I marched back down to the Row House with a great feeling of satisfaction.