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Malinta Tunnel (Night Lateral Tour)

Available only to those who will remain overnight in the island of Corregidor, the Malinta Tunnel Night Lateral Tour allows visitors to see and enter the laterals which is off-limits to the day tour visitors.

The tour usually starts at around 6/7 PM. Visitors who availed the Night Lateral Tour will assemble in the lobby of the Corregidor Hotel and will be picked up by a tramvia (a replica of the trams used during the Colonia Era.) Each tramvia is manned by its operator and a tour guide. The tramvia will then bring the visitors to the East Entrance of the tunnel for the start of the tour.
Read on.
This is how my adventure went...

It's so dark it freaks me out, thanks God we had flashlights.
At the mouth of the tunnel, the guide briefed us regarding the safety precautions. Then he ushered us inside the tunnel where we were required to wear the provided safety hats. We then walked towards and entered the second lateral on the right side of the tunnel. We then walked northward toward the North Entrance. At that point the guide stopped to explain about the history of the tunnel and told us about the hospital inside the tunnel called Fort Mills Hospital. According to him Fort Mills Hospital had a maximum capacity of 100 beds. However, during the war the number of injured and sick numbered 5 times that capacity. We were left to imagine how those people suffered inside this dark damp tunnel. 
Wooden support now holds most of the inner tunnels
Going deeper into the laterals

Time to enter the deeper part of the tunnel
After that we headed deeper the laterals. The deeper we went the more we see the "real" Malinta Tunnel. Unlike the renovated East-West passage and some lateral entrances, the walls of the laterals in the deeper parts still showed battle damage. Pieces of limestone are scattered all around and bent metal supports can be seen protruding from the sides of the wall.  There is even a part where the guide points out an air vent which has darkened walls caused by the ignited gasoline poured by the Americans to flush out the stubborn Japanese defenders. The guide then brought us to several locations said to be the places where some Japanese soldiers committed harakiri by blowing themselves up. 
Where should we go?
Watch your head and watch your step both at the same time? Challenge accepted!

An old typewriter... forgotten by its owners.
The guide pointing out the different areas in the tunnel
A piece of Japanese human remains
The best part of the tour was when the guide divided our group and asked us to line up near the entrance of some laterals. He then told us to turn off our lights and just move forward. The darkness that enveloped us seems to swallow us and spit us out back to the past where the eerie darkness made us feel how life was for the hundreds of soldiers who once called Malinta Tunnel home. 

After the tour, it dawned on me that sometimes what we think of as a safe haven could also be the cause of our emotional hell.
Would you want to visit this place alone?

Going back to the hotel on the tranvia
Overall, my experiences in Malinta Tunnel would be one of the most memorable adventures in my life. I'm hoping to revisit Corregidor again, next time with my family. 



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