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Crawling Back in Time; Lignon Hill

Updated on February 16, 2012
A manikin representing a wartime Japanese soldier give reminder of what Lignon hill was and still is, a historical landmark worth a visit.
A manikin representing a wartime Japanese soldier give reminder of what Lignon hill was and still is, a historical landmark worth a visit.

Lignon Hill has a lot to offer the visitor. It is located in the Bicol region of the Philippines, in the Legazpi area. When one visits this historic hill, one is treated to a series of historical encounters that include geology, science, and war time remnants.

This article is specifically about the well maintained Japanese war cave that was used. Although, it will also show you a few more things that you can see from this famous hill.

The opening to a war time cave used by the Japanese against US forces in WWII.
The opening to a war time cave used by the Japanese against US forces in WWII.

When visiting this site, one can crawl back in time to the 1940s. It will give you a sense of what it was like for the Japanese soldiers taking hold in a hillside cavernous bunker, where they tried to fight the American forces as they advanced on their locations.

When entering the war bunker, you will be greeted by a manikin of a Japanese soldier donning his military uniform with a string of bullets wrapped around its neck. This will give you a sense of the real soldiers that occupied this hill. Next, you will find the entrance to the cave as shown in the two pictures above.

More manikins of Japanese soldiers hiding out are located as you crawl through the cave mostly in darkness.
More manikins of Japanese soldiers hiding out are located as you crawl through the cave mostly in darkness.

While trying to take a picture in the dark of the cavernous tunnels with a flash camera, one will be surprised to find more manikins of Japanese soldiers hiding out with equipment, weaponry, supplies, and other relics of the past.

More cavernous locations reveal how the Japanese lived, fought, and hid in these types of locations during WWII.
More cavernous locations reveal how the Japanese lived, fought, and hid in these types of locations during WWII.

As you continue on, more elaborate tunnel systems will reveal themselves, providing a better understanding of why these tunnels were so valuable to the soldiers living and hiding within them. They provided shelter, a place to eat, protection in the form of secure places from hillside bombings, and even water sources that flowed from many of them as is evidenced in this one.

And though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea.
And though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea.

You will also find geological marvels on the hilltop such as this river that winds through Legazpi and meets the sea nearby. This is the remnants of years of water flow that come from sources far away in the valley below the marvel that is the Mayon volcano.

Lignon Hill also provides some great views of the Mayon Volcano.
Lignon Hill also provides some great views of the Mayon Volcano.

The most amazing marvel you will see from the top of the hill though is the famed Mayon volcano. Many say that this is one of the best places to view it. However, I found that the valley below near the Cagsawa ruins were more appealing near one of the tinier rivers that flows into this larger one. But regardless, it is still a sight to behold.

Conclusion

When one goes to Lignon Hill, one gets a real sense of history from the variety of sources that it still provides. The upkeep of the Japanese war bunker caverns will give any traveler or history buff a real sense of what it was like living, fighting, and hiding in one of these caves for the Japanese soldiers who were on the losing side of this great world battle between countries.

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    • profile image

      lester 5 years ago

      ugma ako maging bicolano

    • MarkRFox profile image
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      MarkRFox 5 years ago

      huh? English please..

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 3 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Great article. Sorry I did not catch this sooner. Did not realize the severity of the fighting in southern Luzon when the Americans came back. Voted up.

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