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 Fort McKinley.

“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.”

Source: www.bcda.gov.ph

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. Source: link.

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.

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