KNOWN as the “Last Bastion of the Philippines during World War 2,” Corregidor Island is one of our nation’s well-known historical shrines. To preserve and support the immense historical value, cultural importance and viability for further development of the former battlefield, the “Corregidor Comprehensive Tourism Master Plan Containing a Conceptual Development Plan of Corregidor Island including the Surrounding Islands” was developed in collaboration with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority and other stakeholders like the Department of National Defense-Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Corregidor Foundation Inc.; Department of Tourism, Department of Tourism Calabarzon and the city of Cavite.
The tourism master plan highlights a balance between historical preservation and commercial expansion to maintain Corregidor Island and its surrounding islands, namely Caballo, Sta. Amalia, La Monja, El Fraile, Carabao and Limbones — unique identity and to promote their sustainability. It also aims to establish Corregidor Island as a tourism enterprise zone, or TEZ, to spur development within the area, its adjacent islands, and eventually, within the city of Cavite and nearby tourist spots.
Corregidor’s battlefield areas were identified as national shrines, so the master plan considers the preservation and replication of important historical ruins to amplify the island’s wealth of history and culture and the protection of restricted areas on the island. Overall, the master plan proposes developments that are true and anchored to Corregidor’s identity and addresses management and infrastructure necessities. For environmental protection, the master plan preserves a large area of the island’s forest reserve and proposes the following infrastructure projects to sustain existing and future development in Corregidor: 1) providing alternative renewable sources of energy, 2) establishing water and wastewater facilities, and 3) developing a solid waste management system.
The master plan includes three focal areas — the Military Park, the Island Center and the Leisure and Recreation Area — to highlight each area’s existing and proposed development features. The Military Park is where Cine Corregidor, the Spanish Lighthouse Complex, Topside Barracks, Mile Long Barracks, and most of the old-war cannons and armories are located. The proposed developments in this area include, among others: The Lighthouse Sunrise Deck Viewing Area and Sunset Lookout Point, campsites, cable car and treehouse accommodation.
The Island Center is the area where tourists will be greeted upon entering the island via ferries or boats. The proposed developments in this area include outdoor retail, shopping and dining; passengers’ welcome pavilion; a waterfront seafood hub; hotels; and a beach resort; among others. One special feature of this area is the revival of Barrio San Jose with interactive activities; accommodations; and retail, shopping and dining spaces. The Leisure and Recreation Area features the historic Malinta Tunnel, Kindley airfield, the Filipino War Memorial and the Japanese Garden of Peace. This area will be home to eco-tourism accommodations and activities like nature walks, biking stations and trails, spa and wellness centers, a Green school, and the connection of the cable car from the island center, among others. It will also be the location of the tail-end gateway center in future plans to connect the island to the proposed Bataan-Cavite interlink bridge.
Taking into account the aspirations and visions of different stakeholders, the master plan envisions Corregidor Island to be the “primary sustainable national military shrine and sociocultural heritage tourism destination in the Philippines” by 2030.