FOR THOSE PLANNING TO VISIT THE ROCK

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We're planning a group around a flag raising on Corregidor at 0830 hrs, 16 February 2010. This simple action commemorates the 65th Anniversary of the Retaking of Corregidor by The Rock Force. Also, there will be individual visits there by members.

 

2009 Flag Party
 

 

 

 ARRIVING IN MANILA

This isn't a travel guide to Manila, there are plenty of them on the internet, this is just to get you to Corregidor if you haven't been there before. 

I have long held to the view that there should be a T-shirt stall in the Arrival's hall at the Manila International Airport.  T-shirts which I consider should be sold can include: "MANILA - We reject your reality and substitute our own!", "Manila - Abandon reality all ye who enter here!", and one for the Star-Treck fans which says "Manila - It's reality, Jim, but not as we know it! "

What you do when you leave the International arrival hall depends on your plans. You will be accosted by people calling "Angeles, Sir?" These folk are not trying to guess where you have flown in from, but are taxi touts who want to drive you to the City of Fallen Angels, and get paid a week's wages for doing three hours work.  That is what you will soon find out is the expectation of most everyone you would meet there.

Most large Manila hotels have a courtesy bus, and will adjust your room rate accordingly.  Expect to pay through the nose.

If you want a taxi into town, the best place to find one is not at the arrival's area but in the departures area (one level above), where taxis are dropping off intending passengers. There's an escalator just outside the Arrivals Hall which you can go up. When you get into the cab, ensure that his meter is working. If it isn't, find another that is. No exceptions.  The meter is a pretty miserable rate for taxi drivers there, so pay what's on the meter and give the guy a reasonable tip. What's a buck to us?

There is a regular airport bus shuttle run by the Swagman Hotel. It takes you to the Swagman Hotel in Ermita, but you don't have to stay there though it's pretty central. It's far too expensive now for what it offers, and it's not difficult to find a more reasonable hotel at a more reasonable price. If you don't want to stay there, tip the doorman to look after your luggage and then go and find another hotel that most suits your budget.

I've always been able to find a hotel better and better value than Swagman, just by looking for advertised PROMO Rates.

 

  

 

SHOPPING & DINING

Immediately opposite Swagman is KOKEN's barber shop where you can get a haircut, old style cut-throat razor shave, manicure, pedicure, and facial treatment for about the price you'd pay for a haircut back home. I recommend it thoroughly.

There's a 7-11 near Swagman too, and the U.S. Consulate is about 200 yards away, in the opposite direction. I'll leave you to find out which is which.  

I hate smarmy taxi drivers who hang around hotels. They want to fix a price, and you can always guarantee that the price is too high, usually by a factor of a kazillion. Don't ever get in a cab which has no meter, or no meter running it's not a cab. You have been warned.

The best place to head for, on foot, is ROBINSON'S MALL. It's within walking distance, if you have no difficulty walking. You just need to know where it is! It's got just about everything you'd be looking for all under one roof.  There's a grocery supermarket there where you can buy just about everything you'd want to bring out to the island, but didn't bring on the plane. This is the place for sunscreen, bugspray, fresh fruit, trail mix, glucose bars, cigars, spirits etc.

If you like cigars, (I do!) you can get beautiful humidors at reasonable prices, with your name hand engraved upon them. It takes a week or so, but you can order them and they can be ready when you return from Corregidor. The Philippine Handicrafts counter at Robinsons can help you with this.  Mention us, and they will look at you totally blank, and any prospect of a discount will entirely disappear.

 

GETTING TO CORREGIDOR

The ferry to Corregidor is near the Cultural Center, which is on a reclaimed portion of Manila Bay, off Roxas Blvd., (formerly Dewey Blvd.) The ferry (and the Corregidor Inn) is run by Sun Cruises. I strongly recommend that you take a taxi to the Sun Cruises ferry terminal, to buy your ticket to Corregidor. If you turn up cold on the morning you hope to travel, you might not get a seat. There mightn't even be a boat! Besides, this gives you the benefit of a "dry run," to check the location, leaving times etc.

Sometimes a travel agent may be able to get you a good Corregidor package, better than I manage to get for myself. Sometimes not. Don't tell me about it. I pay what I pay when I get on the island.

 

 

WHAT TO WEAR / BRING

I recommend a cool, shady hat, old army fatigues, old army-style boots (or any boot which has good ankle support), a webbing belt with two canteens and a utility pack for camera etc. If you travel light, 100% cotton T-shirts can be purchased on the island at reasonable prices (for souvenirs.) A cool pair of short leather gloves, rigger style is a must!   if you intend going anywhere off road. You can wear shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops if you like the locals mostly do.  Then again, they have immunity to most of the tropical bugs, and you don't. If you go with the t-shirt and shorts, be prepared to get cut in the undergrowth, and be prepared to have to deal with a tropical infection your doctor is entirely unfamiliar with.  The temperature is always a few degrees cooler on Corregidor than in Manila. You won't need a jacket at night just wear two t-shirts.   

 

2008 Flag Party

 

DO I ARRANGE GUIDED TOURS OF CORREGIDOR? 

 I'm a retired lawyer, therefore I have no shame. If the money is right, I'll do almost anything.

Paul Whitman

 

 

 

 

         

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Last Updated: 29-03-11