‘Lakwatsa’ with the girls

For years my sister and I dreamed of travelling together but our circumstances would not allow us. I am living in Metro Manila and she’s living in the province. I am working and even if I have Planned Vacation Leave, she is not available because of her studies. Finally a few months ago we made it happen with a quick trip to a place near our hometown. My friend, Mother Leony and her daughter we’re also with us.

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A bit of backstory here.

Ilagan City has opened its latest tourist destination: a village that lets visitors travel back to the Japanese period. Local studies shows, the Japanese military forces in the area used the tunnel during World War II. The tunnel is 40 meters long, 12 feet high and 12 feet wide.

From local source, the tunnel was discovered years back by students who used to play hide and seek.

Upon entering the tunnel, it feels like you are traveling back in time during World War II. Visitors can see inside the tunnel a life-sized image of imperial Japanese army sergeant Mutsihiro Watanabe who was said to be cruel toward his prisoners during the Japanese period. A replica of a Golden Buddha from the alleged Yamashita’s treasure can also be found inside. Other items on this place include Artilleries and Remnants during war and there are also prison guards wearing imperial Japanese army uniform. Outside the tunnel, visitors can also see a replica of a Japanese war plane used during the war.

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The tunnel has assigned tourist guides to assist tourists who want to get inside the tunnel. A minimal amount of Php 30.00 will be collected as entrance fee to be used for the maintenance of the tunnel’s premises.

HOW TO GET THERE?

From Metro Manila

  1. Ride a Bus (Victory, Florida, Dalin) going to Tuguegarao via Ilagan fare is around 550, travel time is 9 hours.
  2. Drop off: Barangay Baligatan in Ilagan.
  3. From there ride a tricycle directly to ‘Ilagan Japanese Tunnel’.

There still remain quite a number of Japanese tunnels in the City, which are still intact today that used to run several kilometers and would crisscross and intersect at some points.

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