Corregidor's Eternal Flame Now Blazes Forever

Corregidor’s Eternal Flame languished in darkness for decades.
IMAGE Quintin Pastrana

Around the world, there are countless monuments called Eternal Flames. Wherever these are located in the world, they are usually found near war memorials. They symbolize a nation’s perpetual gratitude for the people who sacrificed their lives for freedom. 

Corregidor's Eternal Flame of Freedom was built in 1968. The 40-foot-tall sculpture was created by American sculptor Aristides Demetrios, a Harvard-trained and internationally renowned artist, as a memorial for fallen Filipinos and Americans during the last defense of the Philippines before the country fell to the Japanese in World War II. Beneath the sculpture reads the inscription: To live in Freedom's light is the right of mankind.

Eternal Flame of Freedom, Corregidor, Philippines

Photo by PixHound / Shutterstock.

Photo by Quintin Pastrana.

Unfortunately, the war memorial symbolizing a burning flame of freedom languished in darkness for decades because of the lack of lighting that was supposed to be installed at the site. In 2005, a contractor installed floodlights at the memorial, but this did not last very long. 

In February 2020, the Eternal Flame of Freedom received a second life as floodlights powered by renewable energy were installed by WEnergy Global. The state-of-the-art lighting system uses the same innovative technology the company used to power projects such as the community around Palawan’s Underground River and the world-class Skylane around Bangkok's International Airport. 

Mile Long Barracks Ruins, Corregidor, Philippines

Photo by Rick L. Saint John / Shutterstock.

“We felt it would be a shame if this world monument to freedom was not illuminated ever these times,” said Quintin Pastrana, president of WEnergy Power Pilipinas and head of the Georgetown Club of the Philippines. 

“We installed it in time for the 75th anniversary of the island's liberation. The flame sits on the same location as where General McArthur officially announced the island’s liberation.”

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According to Pastrana, today’s younger generation is seeing an encroachment of hate, demagoguery, and fundamental threats to this hard-earned liberty. Breathing new life to the Eternal Flame of Freedom was their company’s contribution in keeping the flame of patriotism alive among the youth. 

The Solar Arrays Powering Corregidor's Eternal Flame of Freedom

Photo by Quintin Pastrana.

One of 150W LED Lights Illuminating the Eternal Flame of Freedom

Photo by Quintin Pastrana.

“The power of freedom over tyranny is the power of memory versus forgetting,” said Pastrana, quoting celebrated Czech author Milan Kundera. 

When Pastrana and his team worked on the monument, they collaborated with the locals and other organizations. “The approach was aptly symbolic: It was true bayanihan at work,” he said. 

Apart from WEnergy Global, the installation was supported by the Corregidor Foundation and made possible through the generosity of the Georgetown Alumni Association, the Coastal Defense Study Group, and Seven Degrees of Change. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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