Looking at all the tall and new buildings in Bonifacio Global City,
you may be mistaken into thinking that this is just a new cosmopolitan
city that was built on an empty lot. If you dig deeper, however, you
will discover a past that has all the ingredients of an epic movie.
According to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, a
tunnel, called the Bonifacio War Tunnel, was constructed by the
Americans in the eastern portion of BGC on 15 October 1941 in
preparation for the anticipated attacks of Japanese forces against the
Philippines. BGC used to be part of Fort Bonifacio, formerly known as
ÔÇ£The tunnel was further expanded by the Japenese during their
occupation of the Philippines and was later used as a bomb shelter
against American air raids from October 1944 to March 1945. Fort
McKinley was later transferred to the Philippine Government after the
Philippines gained its independence from the Americans in 1949. The fort
was renamed Fort Bonifacio and became the headquarters of the
Philippine Army. Of the original full 2.2 kilometers length of the
tunnel, an estimated 730 meters remain unaffected by the development of
Fort Bonifacio as of 2013.ÔÇØ
Looking at this photo on the website of GMA Network certainly makes one realize that the tunnel is not a place for the unprepared. Source: www.gmanetwork.com
On the other hand, reports about the rehabilitation of the tunnel
that came out in 2012 have apparently piqued the interest of many
would-be adventurers. For example, a blogger has posted a very detailed
report on the tunnel, as well as his own attempt to find the tunnel, here.
Hiring some local guides, the blogger managed to get close to several
of the entrances of the tunnel. Thanks to him, we can see a map in
which the conditions of the entrances as in early 2014 are details.
BCDA announced on October 22, 2013 that it had entered into an
agreement to develop the tunnel into a historical museum and tourist
site with Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA),
National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the
National Museum. There is no update since then, so we do not know when
this project will complete, but if the project does materialize, it
would be a great attraction not only for BGC but for Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, we can only satisfy our craving for adventure with walking
tours of BGC.