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Fort Bonifacio underground war tunnel soon a tourist attraction

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MANILA, Philippines—An underground war tunnel in Fort Bonifacio that will be reopened to tourism is a fitting tribute to the many unsung heroes in the military.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has welcomed the initiative of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to transform the Fort Bonifacio Tunnel into a heritage site to honor the sacrifices of the country’s long line of soldiers.

The underground passageway is located at the eastern area of what is now called Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, which used to be part of the sprawling Army base.

The tunnel used to be the main attraction of the old Philippine Army museum and library, which have since been relocated with the conversion of a sizable portion of the military camp into a business and residential district.

AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa thanked the BCDA for having the tunnel declared as a historical site and reopening it to the public.

“The dedication of this heritage site is a valuable recognition for our soldiers. We hope for the success of this endeavor so that it may benefit our country’s economic growth and our people’s sense of historical appreciation,” he said in a statement.

He added that the tunnel’s reopening was timely since the Philippine Army would be celebrating its 115th founding anniversary on March 22.

According to acknowledged military historian retired Brigadier General Restituto Aguilar, the Fort Bonifacio Tunnel was constructed almost simultaneously with what was then called Fort McKinley (now known as Fort Bonifacio) in 1910.

The camp’s construction took almost a decade.

Aguilar said the camp and its structures were built before Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s stint as field marshal of the Philippine Army, correcting the misconception that it was MacArthur who ordered the tunnel’s construction.

Aguilar said the tunnel served as the American colonial forces’ main supply depot during its battle with Filipino revolutionaries.

It was originally 2.24 kilometers long with 32 built-in chambers and two passable exits, one leading to Barangay (village) Pembo and the other to Barangay East Rembo.

At present a 730-meter-long segment of the tunnel remains intact, running under the C-5 Road with the opening near the Market! Market! commercial compound.

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Tags: Fort Bonifacio , Philippines – Metro , Tourism , underground tunnel

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CLAVQNJZWFOPV654ZF6OPYMCAI Manny

    nasa elementary pa lang ako alam ko na itong tunnel na ito. nakapasok na ako dyan sa tunnel na yan. after gala namin sa fort bonifacio, ang shorcut or exit point namin sa bgy. namin sa east rembo. i’m very sure tourist will enjoy this tunnel.

  • WeAry_Bat

    We will enjoy touring this tunnels after rehab, if needed.

  • GustoKoHappyKa

    i always wonder what will happen to that tunnel.. buti naman at ginawa nilang tourist attraction para di masira at makalimutan.

  • SelmerMk6

    Interesting.  I can’t wait to visit the tunnel.  

    Keep in mind however that Douglas McArthur’s father, Arthur McArthur was the military Governor General of the Philippines until about 1902 – so it may be possible that he may have participated in the inception or even commissioned the building of the tunnel at a much earlier time.  McArthur  had several clashes with William Howard Taft, the incoming civilian Governor General and was later “kicked up” by McKinley to another post in the Pacific.

  • rockinLeon

    Me too…can’t wait to check it out. I actually live by Market Market…walking distance for me.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VYKRHAAZ7ZLKKN52YH35VJBWKA Angel

    Late 80’s yung last time na napasok nmin ang tunnel na yan. after nmin mag jog around fort boni sinasadya nmin yung tunnel.. kakamiz ang dating Bonifacio.

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