Mattie Grumman, 1943-1945

Philippine Cache: Secret of Morolonago

Philippine Cache: Ghosts of Seattle

Philippine Cache: Trapped by the Triad

Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

This was the model for Fort Legaspi. Fort Santiago is a three-hundred year old Spanish fort that was used as a military installation by Spain, Britain (it ruled Manila for two years) and the US. Spain built this bastion in 1571 on the site of a former Muslim stronghold and Intramuros ("the city within the walls") was built around it. The Spanish built it to last, and it even survived an American assault in World War II. I tried to describe it as best I could within the story, the large open parade field, the barracks and buildings surrounding the walls and even the secret tunnel that leads outside. The US Army's addition to this proud fortress? A golf course, built in what used to be the moat. The moat was festering with disease so it was necessary.

When I visited Fort Santiago it was very overcast, and as the afternoon wore on my camera would refuse to properly focus. I think the off-lighting had a hand in this. That or the ghosts. After liberation 600 bodies were found in the dungeon after all. One of the exterior redoubts was also supposedly filled with dead children. It seems the Japanese troops who held Manila, defying orders from General Yamashita to withdraw, felt if they couldn't have Manila then no one would. By time the battle ended over 100,000 people were dead and Manila near razed to the ground.


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