© 1999 Edward Michaud
There are so many more
stories of lost treasures associated with Corregidor Island, but the stories outlined here
are at least credited with some basic known facts. The famous Japanese General
Yamashita, (pronounced Ya-Mash-Ta), known as the "Tiger of Malaya", was said to
have operated a smelting camp for precious metals near the Islands power plant. This
remains complete conjecture, but treasure hunters still flock to the Philippines in droves
in the attempt to find his reputed wealth of gold bullion and jewels. There is no
indication whatsoever that Yamashita ever ran such a smelting works here on Corregidor.
Today Corregidors beautiful greenery and serenity
tends to overwhelm all visitors and one is hard pressed in trying to imagine a panorama of
shell-pitted hills and docks. Only when the jungle growth is pushed aside are the battle
scars evident. If any readers ever have the opportunity to visit this Isle of Terrible
Beauty they should first take the standard tourist guide trails, and then arrange, if
possible for them, to stay a few days on the island and explore the off-trail sections of
the island. It is there within the hidden areas that you will see the scenes of the
stories I have just related. And remember, all of them do have at least a thread of truth.
As regards to a great horde of gold and valuables on
the island itself? It doesnt exist, at least not any more. Anything that was once
there is now long gone. The waters directly off the island is another matter, where one
can still find bits and pieces of Corregidors past, including a coin or two here and
there. I should know
I have found at least a piece of that rainbow. But, if you go
there, enjoy the historical treasures you encounter. Of all my adventures on Corregidor
Island it is the presence of the overwhelming personal and historical events that took
place there that remains the most valuable treasure to me.
I shall never forget.