In 1944, Hiroo Onoda was sent to Lubang Island and given two orders: 1) hold the island against the enemy, and 2) do not surrender under any circumstance. World War 2 ended less than a year later. Onoda, however, staying true to his orders and disregarding all reports that the war was over, continued to fight on Lubang Island. For 30 years he harassed villagers and soldiers with his guerilla activities, surviving through his wits and the island's abundant resources. Only in 1974 when his original commanding officer flew to Lubang Island and ordered him to lay down his arms did Hiroo Onoda finally surrender.
The Lubang Island of today is surprisingly unchanged from the time of 2nd Lt. Onoda. Partly due to his destabilization operations that slowed down development, much of the island remains wild and mysterious. On this adventure we take to the jungles, caves, rivers and beaches where Onoda waged his 30 year war. As we surrender to the rugged beauty of Lubang Island, we may understand why for Hiroo, giving it up was not an option.
- Hike jungle trails and enter caves that Hiroo Onoda used
- See the abundance of life in Lubang Island and learn some of Onoda's survival techniques
- Ply the island's coastline on boat and come ashore to explore its many distinct beaches
- Skin dive in one of the biggest marine sanctuaries in the country
- Explore Lubang Island's amazing features such as mangroves, waterfalls and seaside rock formations.
Day 1: Sail to Lubang Island. We assemble in Manila and take a ship to Lubang Island. As we sail we take in the sights of Luzon's western seaboard. Upon arrival in Lubang we take a walking tour of the town and its surrounding.
Day 2: Onoda Trail. We drive to the highest point of the island to get a view of our playground over the next few days. Then we proceed to the trailhead to begin our all-day hike. We visit caves that Onoda sheltered in and hike to a spring that is the source of a river. We follow this river out of the jungle, passing rich flora and fauna and learning about Onoda's survival techniques.
Day 3: Lubang beaches. We take a boat to Cabra, an island off of Lubang with beautiful beaches and an old Spanish lighthouse. We then sail back to Lubang where we visit a rich mangrove before heading to our breathtaking lunch area: a beach lined by sheer rock cliffs. The bottom of these cliffs is lined by caves that beg to be explored, and the water beneath them teems with marine life. Just before sundown we hike over the seemingly impassable cliff barrier to arrive at the beautiful seaside hut that will be our home for the next two nights.
Day 4: Lubang coastline. The beachside rock formations near our hut are amazing, and early risers may opt to join our trip leader to explore them at daybreak. After breakfast we take a boat to ply the coastline of Lubang Island. We stop at select areas in the marine sanctuary for skin diving and come ashore often to enjoy features such as hiking trails, streams, waterfalls and beaches.
Day 5: Back to Manila. After an early morning hike to catch our ship, we say goodbye to Lubang Island and sail back to Manila.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Philippines Nature & Wildlife Ecotourism Snorkeling