I Came, I Saw, I Conquered Corregidor!(Part 1)

7 12 2009

How many days, how many nights have we suffered through this war?
Hope’s fading fast we’ll be saved at last,
From this hell on Corregidor.
The enemy is near, but there is no fear
Of what may lie in store.
For death is a relief from the misery and grief,
We have seen on Corregidor.
All hope is gone, but we still carry on…
Each day is worse than before
Our hearts beat fast and we’ll give our last
On this place called Corregidor.
No water, no sleep, nothing to eat,
Oh, how painful is defeat.
My God, we can’t take much more
The sun is sinking fast over Corregidor.

The white flag is up!
The Japs have reached our shore !
The battle is lost, at a terrible cost.
Our guns will fire no more.
So till a better day, somehow, someway,
We’ll be home again once more;
I’ll say goodbye for those who fought and died
On this Godforsaken, Corregidor!

-By Pvt. Leroy Gant of the 60th CAC. , Shawnee , Okla.

This poem was posted in a bar room in Olongopo, P.I. and I copied it word for word when I was in the Navy in 1954.  Sadly Pvt. Gant died in a Japanese prison camp in July of 1942.    Mr. Gary Lemon-courtesy of http://www.indavdahl.com

I was born in Cavite and lived there for more than 2 decades but it was so sad that I was never been to Corregidor, which was a part of Cavite City.

Finally, last Saturday, after 1 hour and 20 minutes ferry boat ride from Manila Bay, I came to  this magnificent island, saw the majestic scenery and conquered almost the whole island feasible to feet through running.

Now, let me give my report on how the race was conducted and organized and my personal experiences during the race.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: (So that these things can be prevented if there will be another Conquer Corregidor again next year)

1. Time Management

-The supposed to be 11 am ferry boat trip from  Manila Bay in Roxas Blvd.  to Corregidor was not followed. Instead, the boat departed at 12:20 am to the annoyance of many passengers already on board as early as 10:30 am.  Some passengers  even flared up and lose their tempers when our boat was used as an ‘alley’ to another boat and  majority cannot understand the logic why the ship and its Management  were doing this. An stewardess explained that they’re still waiting for some passengers but it was already 12 noon.

At 10:15 am, me and my 5 companions reached LRT station all the way from Laguna and thinking we were late already, we took a taxi ride and arrived at 10:30 am, just enough for the 11 am time of departure as scheduled. If we only knew their delinquency, we will not be in such a hurry.

I understand the meaning of ‘Filipino time.’ It’s understood that there will be some delays, but more than one hour of waiting was not a good experience.

Bert and I…

Coming all the way from Laguna as early as 8am…Rod, Molly and the ‘Old  Warrior’ Bert.

-the race started 45 minutes late.

We went to the assembly area at the Malinta Tunnel at 7:30 am to do our usual routine of warm-up and stretching. I’m excited for this was my opportunity to conquer Corregidor by means of running. However, the scheduled 8 am gunstart was not materialized. Instead, the race started at 8:45 am.

Runners at the starting line.

30 minutes later, notice those runners at the sideline?

According to my facebook account, the explanation on this was due to the fact that they (Organizer) was severely undermanned and the Race Director himself had a flu on that day.

2. Lack of marshals and some runners got lost along the way.

3. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there was no Ambulance or any vehicular support carrying medical supplies just in case. Many got injured including my running buddy, Bert.

4. Malinta Tunnel was too dark, and some got injured on the early stage of the race.

Ultra-runner Jun Jaranilla, at the background was the Malinta Tunnel, some 750 runners ran on this passage later with only one lighting system at the middle and the space too constricted. Notice also those uneven surfaces on the sides of the Tunnel.

5. Sudden announcement of ‘cut-off’ time which was not mentioned long before the race day. I pitied two women, who after arriving some 4 hours later, their race bib number tags were not detached meaning their names will not appear on the ‘official result.’

With Faar and Ultra-runner Caloy Nobleza

With an avid reader of this blog. This nice guy also took some pictures with me  during the SIM marathon with her female companion. It’s so sad I forgot their names. My apology.

with rigo, bert, Moly, willy and ultra-runner dennis.

All in all, this race was all about fun and excitement. I’ll give those good points next time.

God be Praised!




4 responses

7 12 2009

Hello Ron,
Nice meeting you guys. This race is indeed fun! See you around. Mang Bert, pagaling ka na agad….

10 12 2009


nice pictures – can i borrow one of your pictures as i did not bring a camera during the run (one with runners waiting)?


10 12 2009


nice pictures – can i borrow two pictures ( runners near malinta tunnel and the one with waiting runners) as i didn’t bring my camera on the starting line?


10 12 2009

Hi Odie…yes, you can do it. Thanks for the visit.

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