Malinta Tunnel is a large tunnel complex that served as a bomb shelter in Corregidor Island. It has over 24 lateral tunnels that are branching off its main tunnel. This was initially used for storage and bunker purposes but a part of it was later used as a hospital during World War II.
Exploring Malinta Tunnel
Unlike our usual trips, our tour inside the Malinta Tunnel is quite peculiar. Since my wife and I are both World War II movie and documentary fans, going somewhere that we only see in movies was an enriching experience. Getting inside a bomb shelter is a good way to empathize to our brave soldiers and their struggles. We discovered that the tunnel’s poor ventilation and low-light condition was something they had to endure. They’ve been living like gophers in a hole where diseases can easily spread because of the enclosed space. Recovery from illness in this tunnel was hard as well due to the lack of sunlight.
The tunnel got its name from the Filipino word “malinta.” It is the shortened version of the word “maraming linta” which means “many leeches.” When the tunnel was being dug in 1922, they found lots of leeches so they baptized it with a name based on that. To enter here, you need to pay for the Lights and Sound presentation which is P200.00 per person. We didn’t hesitate to pay the extra amount to see it. We haven’t seen anyone who skipped this part of the tour either.
Lights and Sound Show
When we were first told about the Lights and Sound show, I thought it’s something related to fireworks. I found out later that it’s actually an illustrated documentary of the events of World War II and how Corregidor Island played a role in it. We can clearly see in the pictures that they made statues depicting the major events of the war and they’ve also put up projectors with videos elaborating some details of the war.
We can see in the map that the main tunnel has several smaller tunnels branching out to it. The tour guide walked us through the program by giving us a signal on when to move forward and when to stop.
In each stop, a tunnel will light up to show the statues depicting a particular event. A voice narration follows to explain what’s being depicted. There was one room with a blinking light and smoke effects to give us a better feel of what it’s like if there’s a bombing.
After the show, they will give you a few minutes to freely explore the tunnel. We saw that some sections of the tunnel already collapsed. The soldiers back then have no guarantee that you will be safe inside this tunnel. In spite of the miserable life which is full of uncertainty inside the tunnel, our brave soldiers strove hard to adapt, endure and fought hard to protect our freedom. The Malinta Tunnel is truly a great reminder of many wonderful stories which can inspire us to move forward, strive for the best and make the sacrifice of our soldiers all worth it.
Related Post: Ruins of Corregidor Island