It was like direct from a Hitchcock film, moody, spine tingling, creepy. As the Corregidor tramlike bus made its way to the hospital ruins, I gazed out of the window and into the concrete shell of a building. Dusk was fast approaching as the dying rays of the sun painted the sky in mauve. The vehicle’s headlights were already lit and it cast strange and otherworldly shadows along the path overrun with vegetation.
I don’t believe in ghosts, well, sort of, or I would like to believe ghosts don’t exist until that Malabrigo Lighthouse experience. But I do have a confession: I am easily scared. It’s one reason why I don’t like watching horror movies. And when we were going up to this hospital, the time, the cool breeze, and the story behind this structure just scared the wits out of me!
The hospital in Corregidor Island, built in 1912 is shaped like a cross for the sole reason that in case of conflict, these will be spared, as outlined in the treaties in the Geneva Conventions. But the attacking Japanese disregarded these. The hospital was bombed out and to this day, it lies in ruins, just like so many structures like the different barracks around the island. And this is also the reason why many say that in the whole island of Corregidor, this is the creepiest with many ghost sightings.
It was dark as we entered. There were a few flashlights with us and as the beams of light moved from one section to another, graffiti on gray concrete walls were seen. Or crumbling portions. As we went up the next floor, we were advised not to stand in a huddle as a group as the flooring might give way.
We walked at once roofed rooms and corridors. We gazed outside bare windows and into the void where trees and bushes grew. If not for the sheer number of visitors, we were more than 20, it would have been quite creepy. You try to glance at the deserted building across and at the back of your mind, there’s always this nagging feeling that a strange sighting will just appear and disappear. Or a dark shadow lingering in one of the room…
The hospital, even if it was bombed during World War II was used in the late 60s. Here, a group of Muslim recruits from Sulu and Tawi-tawi were trained in an operation that was said to reclaim Sabah. However, when it was leaked, the Marcos government allegedly massacred the recruits in 18 March 1968, except for one, who lived to tell their plight. Graffiti in several rooms at one section lists the names of these recruits. NOTE: The Jabidah Massacre is said to be a hoax cooked up by a Marcos enemy.
The hospital tour was ending. We saw no ghosts or felt any bad vibrations. We filed out of the ruined hospital and into the awaiting trams. It was dark and as the vehicle passed huge trees and vegetation, strange shadows just played at the sides. And my imagination was in overdrive as I got goosebumps on my skin…
The hospital tour is part of the night and early morning activities for those staying for the night in Corregidor Island. Old Manila Walks also include the hospital tour in their Corregidor Walk but is done during the day. Check out their site: http://oldmanilawalks.com/corregidortour.htm.
via Sun Cruises
Fernando Ma. Guerrero corner Paseo Palisoc (near Coconut Palace)
CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Tel. (632) 834-6857 to 58, (632) 831-8140
Fax (632) 834-1523
Mobile (63)917 513-2625, (63)922 337-0068
E-mail: [email protected]