Bataan

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The Many Things to Discover in Bataan

Dambana ng Kagitingan on top of Mount Samat - The Famous attraction in Bataan

Bataan is a province of the Philippines that occupies the whole of the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon. The province is part of the Central Luzon Region. The capital of Bataan is Balanga City and it is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga to the north. The peninsula faces the South China Sea to the west and Subic Bay to the north-west, and encloses Manila Bay to the east.

The Battle of Bataan is famous in history as one of the last stands of American and Filipino soldiers before they were overwhelmed by Japanese forces in World War II. The Bataan Death March was named for this province, where the infamous march started. This is also the location of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant located in the Municipality of Morong.

Discover the magic with this amazing historical and cultural region, which is only an hour by ferryboat across the bay from Manila. Until recently not a traditional tourist destination, this province is now proving to be a tourist haven with many exciting places to visit, and a lot of interesting things to do. There is so much to offer in Bataan: culture, beauty, history, in unspoilt beaches and warm hospitality that is truly Filipino.

Bataan is well-known for Dambana ng Kagitingan in Mt. Samat, the fine beaches of Morong, and Bagac Tinapa (processed fish), Philippine-Japanese Friendship Tower, Bataan Nuclear Plant, World War II markers, Sibul Spring, Abucay Church, Tomas Pinpin Monument, and  Dinalupihan Nature Center.

The province of Bataan is one of the many provinces in the Philippines who played an important role in the country’s history. Aside from the history abodes in the province, it is also a host for many tourist attractions that will surely be enjoyed and loved by tourists.

Visit Bataan and explore the many things to discover in the province.

Brief History

Bataan was established in 1754 by Governor General Pedro Manuel Arandia out of territories belonging to Pampanga and the corregimiento of Mariveles, which at the time included Maragondon in Cavite across the bay. The province had more than its share of significant historical events. In 1647, Dutch Naval Forces attempting to invade the country perpetrated the Abucay massacre in one of its towns. In the late 1700s, the dreaded Chinese private Limahong used Lusong Point on the western sides as the landing place to launch his conquest of Luzon. In the Philippine Revolution of 1896, Bataan joined the other provinces in Luzon, which revolted against Spanish rule. It was during World War II, however, that Bataan attained prominence that would find its place in the annals of world history. Under heavy aircraft and artillery shelling from the invading Japanese forces, the beleaguered Filipino and American troops valiantly defended this last bastion until the "Fall of Bataan" on April 9, 1942.

 

Tourist Attractions

Historical

Bataan Peninsula (Bataan, Bataan)

  • This peninsula sticks out in Manila Bay overlooking Corregidor Island and was the site of a heroic battle between combined American and Filipino Forces and the Japanese. The allied forces made a final stand to stop Japanese aggression and delay the conquest of the Philippines. After the "Fall Of Bataan," a series of infamous Death Marches began in Mariveles and ended in Capas, Tarlac. Many American and Filipino soldiers died along the way. The entire historic march can be traced by following markers. At San Fernando, American soldiers were crammed into boxcars and transported to the infamous Camp O'Donnell. On April 7, 2000, former death march survivors and representatives of the Philippine government dedicated the "Battling Bastards Of Bataan" memorial at the Camp O'Donnell site. Paid for by members of the Battling Bastards Of Bataan organization, it honors the over 1, 600 Americans who perished there from inhumane treatment received from their Japanese captors. As a tribute to the gallantry and bravery of the American and Philippine Forces, the Philippine government erected a huge towering 60-foot cross on Mount Samat.

Bataan Provincial Capitol Building (Balanga City, Bataan)

  • This building, formerly known as Casa Real, was built in the years 1792-1794 according to the plans of Domingo de la Cruz Gonzales, an architect when Charles IV was King of Spain, Rafael Maria de Aguilar was Governor General of the Philippines, and Domingo de Goyenechea was Alcalde Mayor of Bataan Province. The building became the headquarters of the Bataan Revolutionary Government from May 31, 1898 to January, 1900. From 1903 to 1906 it housed the provincial high school.

Flaming Sword (Pilar, Bataan)

  • A symbol of the Filipino courage and gallantry in the face of adversity and external threats to the nation's democracy and peace.

Francisco Balagtas Monument (Orani, Bataan)

  • Erected as a tribute to Francisco Balagtas who is hailed as the "Prince of Tagalog Poetry".

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar: A Genesis Heritage Resort (Bo. Pag-asa, Bagac, Bataan)

  • LAS CASAS FILIPINAS de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan, is a unique resort. It’s a replica of an old Filipino town with ancestral homes and buildings dating from the 18th to the early 20th century. There are no power lines and driving lanes, only lampposts and cobblestone roads. Upon entry to the resort, one is instantly transported at least a hundred years back into a hodgepodge of a town.

Philippine-Japanese Friendship Tower (Bagac, Bataan)

  • The monument symbolizes reconciliation, peace and friendship between the Philippines and Japan after World War II. Donated by the Japanese, it was built in 1952 by the Rissho Kosei Kai, a Japanese Buddhist sect.

Shrine of Valor (Pilar, Bataan)

  • Located atop Mt. Samat is a towering monument called Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan) which is made of steel and concrete.The monument immortalizes the agony of Filipino and American soldiers in their struggle for freedom and independence against the Japanese forces during World War II. The huge Memorial Cross stands tall at 311-ft high or is equivalent to a 30-storey building. It is half as tall as its original model - the great cross of the Valle de los Caidas in Spain. Its 18x18m column is framed with steel and constructed with luminous materials for maximum lighting effect which when lighted can be seen at night from as far as the seawall in Manila Bay. Towering at 555 meters above sea level, the cross has an elevator, staircase ( with 414 steps up to the arms of the cross or a total of 513 steps to the head of the cross) and a viewing gallery in the arm of the cross. It features a Collonade composed of an altar, an esplanade, and a WWII memorial museum.

Surrender Site Marker (Balanga City, Bataan)

  • Located inside Balanga Elementary School Grounds, this site was used as a command post by Lt. Gen. Homma at the time of Bataan’s Surrender wherein Major Gen. King and his party signed the documents for the surrender of the USAFFE forces in the Phlippines under a mango tree on April 9, 1942. Lt. Gen. Homma’s party were kept as hostages in the school house until after the USAFFE troops were rounded up and delivered as POW’s to the nearest Japanese units.

 

Landmarks

Cayetano Arellano Marker (Orani, Bataan)

  • This marks the birthplace of Cayetano Arellano, the first Filipino Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Death March Marker (Orani, Bataan)

  • Located in Brgy. Silahis, this statue marks the place where thousands of captured Filipino and American soldiers passed on their way to their final destination in a concentration camp in Capas, Tarlac. This horrendous episode of war in history is now known as the infamous Death March.

Dinalupihan First Line of Defense (Dinalupihan, Bataan)

  • Situated at the Layac Junction, the monument marks the strong line of defense posted by the combined forces of the 71st division of the Americans, 31st Infantry Regiment and the 26th Cavalry Regiment in January 1942. The monument reconstitutes the memory of the defenders of the republic through life-sized statues.

Fall of Bataan Marker (Balanga City, Bataan)

  • A landmark commemorating the fall of Bataan during World War II. This was built in memory of Filipino and American soldiers who died defending Bataan.

Final Battle Site Marker (Orani, Bataan)

  • Erected to commemorate the courage and heroism shown by the defenders of Bataan province despite the hunger, disease, danger and death brought by World War II.

Lamao World War II Marker (Limay, Bataan)

  • The marker was erected in 1962, exactly 20 years after Gen. Edward King, American USAFFE commander, signed the papers surrendering the entire nation to the Japanese, together with about 78,000 soldiers. After the surrender, the captured Filipino and American soldiers marched from Bataan to Tarlac in what is now known as the Death March. The marker commemorates the courage and bravery shown by the Filipinos during the last world war.

Mariveles Zero Kilometer Marker (Mariveles, Bataan)

  • The invading Japanese forces assembled Filipino and American defenders here in 1942 marching on foot to Camp O' Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. The Death March took the lives of almost 10,000 prisoners-of-war along the tragic trail. A marker in honor of the brave, the dignified, the honorable and the undefeated by heart was built to commemorate this infamous chapter in Philippine history.

Surrender Site Marker (Balanga City, Bataan)

  • On April 9, 1942, Maj. Gen. Edward King, Jr., commander of the U.S. military forces in Luzon officially surrendered to Col. Motoo Nakayama at the compound of Balanga Elementary School under a mango tree. A landmark was built to commemorate the surrender of Filipino and American soldiers to Japanese forces.

Zero Kilometer Marker (Bagac, Bataan)

  • The marker commemorates the start of the infamous Death March that also marks the beginning of Japanese control of the country.

 

Local Wonders

Angat Hydroelectric Plant (Angat, Bataan )

  • One of the country's largest dams, it supplies potable water and energy to Metro Manila and nearby areas. It facilitates fishing and boating in a man-made lagoon and hunting in the nearby area.

Bataan Economic Zone (Mariveles, Bataan)

  • The Bataan Economic Zone is a major industrial initiative that takes advantage of the area's easy accessibility to ocean-going vessels. Other major economic complexes are the Petrochemical Industrial Park, Bataan Technology Park, Hermosa Economic Zone and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

Bataan Export Processing Zone (Mariveles, Bataan)

  • The country's largest export processing zone, where hundreds of foreign and local companies produce items for export.

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant or BNPP (Morong, Bataan)

  • Described as the solution to the Middle East oil embargo in 1973 and as a response to meeting the country’s energy demands, the Philippine government decided to build the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in 1976 but was stopped in 1979 at the height of the Three Mile Island disaster in the United States.

Pawikan Conservation Center (Location Morong, Bataan)

  • Located in Brgy. Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan is the site of a community-based Pawikan Conservation Program devoted to the preservation and propagation of endangered marine turtles aptly called Olive Ridley turtles or Lepidochelys Olivacea.

 

Natural

Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club (Morong, Bataan)

  • An Ayala Land Premier seaside residential resort community in Morong, Bataan, this 320-hectare Anvaya Cove Beach is a mere three-minute boat ride from the main cover of Anvaya and is most famous for its regrown coral reefs which boasts of a rich variety of marine life - from nudibranchs, clown, butterfly, puffer to lionfish - which can be viewed at a relatively shallow depth of 30 feet.

Balon Anito (Mariveles, Bataan)

  • Known to many as the dead volcano, a lot of elderly people visit the place to dip their feet in the hot water by sitting on the mouth of the volcano. The hot spring is known to have therapeutic effect on one's health.

Baranda Farm (Limay, Bataan)

  • The place offers a refreshing ambience of a resort amidst lush vegetation, cool waters cascading in their interconnecting pools and a view of its delightful gardens nearby. A romantic place for nature lovers.

Baras Bakal (Angat, Bataan)

  • A stone cave which was the first choice of the Katipuneros as a hideout before they finally selected Biak-na-Bato. It is now a popular picnic place.

Dunsulan Falls (Pilar, Bataan)

  • An enchanting tourist attraction at the heart of a forested hill at the back of the historic Mt. Samat in PIlar. A site ideal for picnic and swimming.

Mash Gas Flame (Angat, Bataan)

  • A rich flaming well located in Brgy. Poblacion.

Mt. Malasimbo (Dinalupihan, Bataan)

  • A conical-shaped mountain, it is believed that when dark clouds cover the summit of this mountain, a typhoon is coming.

Mt. Natib (Orani, Bataan)

  • Mt. Natib is the highest peak in the Bataan Natural Park with an elevation of 1,253 meters above sea level. The slope is characterized by very steep forest cover. Its mossy forest features a collection of small stunted trees as one approaches the top. The peak is covered with small patches of grassland. Pasukulan Falls

Sibul Springs (Abucay, Bataan)

  • The famous spring is a tourist potential with sulfuric swimming pools and wide area for outdoor recreation. Its main attraction is the natural spring believed to relieve muscle pains. It prides in the presence of Bankal Resettlement where indigenous Aetas maintain their traditional way of life.

Talaga Beach (Mariveles, Bataan)

  • An enchanting cove where a guest house of the late President Ferdinand Marcos lies.

 

Parks

Balanga City IT Park (Balanga City, Bataan)

Bataan Eco Zone (Mariveles, Bataan)

  • Light, medium and heavy industries Telecom provider: PLDT, OWNI, Eastern Telecom and PT

Bataan Technology Park , Inc., formerly called Phil. Refugee Processing Center, (BTP Complex, Sabang, Morong, Bataan)

  • Located at the hilltop of Morong in Bataan, 2-1/2 hours drive from Manila via SCTex (or 182 kms), passing through Subic Bay Freeport Zone or via Dinalupihan toll exit and Roman Highway, the 365-ha forest reserve that is called BTPI is transformed as an eco-tourism destination or nature park with its panoramic view of Bataan mountains and the majestic South China Sea offering leisure and adventure sports activities such as basketball, badminton, tennis, swimming,airsoft battleground, trailblazing, mountain biking, football or soccer and obstacle course.

Hermosa Agro-industrial Estate (Hermosa, Bataan)

  • Hermosa Agro-Industrial Estate is located in a 116-ha land in Pandatung, Hermosa. It was designated to attract industries in the countryside and to cause spill-over effects to other areas within the region.

Roosevelt National Parks (Dinalupihan, Bataan)

  • An unspoiled forest area ideal for picnics and camping activities with facilities for irrigation and game hunting. The surrounding area is great for day hikes and trekking. An unspoiled area that used to be a US military jungle survival training camp. A standard-class restroom was built by the Department of Tourism in 1998 in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Conference. The park teems with roadside mini restaurants and fruit stands - all catering to commuters bound for Olongapo City. The park is operated and managed by the Municipality of Dinalupihan.

Subic-Hermosa Cyber City (Roman Highway, Hermosa, Bataan)

  • IT projects, electronics, multi-media industries, agri-based industries and has a total land area about 87.21 hecatres.

 

Beaches and Resorts

  • Bataan White Corals Beach Resort and Hotel (Morong, Bataan)
  • Camaya Coast (Mariveles, Bataan) - Camaya Coast
  • Montemar (Bagac, Bataan) - Montemar Beach
  • Villa Imperial Resort (Mariveles, Bataan)
  • Baptist Camp Resort (Limay, Bataan)
  • Anvaya Cove (Morong, Bataan)
  • Morong Star Beach Resort (Morong, Bataan)
  • Sinag Tala Farm and Retreat Resort (Tala, Orani, Bataan)
  • Peninsula De Bataan Hotel and Resort (Orani, Bataan)
  • Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Heritage Resort - (Bagac, Bataan)

 

Where to Stay

Here is the list of some of the hotels and apartelles located in different towns around the province that can accommodate tourists when visiting Bataan. You may wish to check if you are near the following:

  • Crown Royale Hotel - Balanga City
  • D' Samat Lodge - Balanga City
  • Hillside Garden Mansions - Balanga City
  • Acacia Apartelle - Limay
  • Benzi Lodge & Restaurant - Hermosa
  • Buenavista Lodge - Balanga City
  • Le Petit Baguio - Orani
  • Ligaya Consuelo Hotel - Pilar
  • Marian Hotel - Pilar
  • Nestville Lodge I, II, III  - Limay
  • NPC Hotel and Resort Village - Bagac
  • Travel Lodge - Orani     

 

How to get there

By Land

Bataan is very accessible. From Manila, the travel time will take more or less 1 1/2 hours via NLEX (North Luzon Expressway). Bus companies that ply the 124-km route also service the commuting public from Manila to Bataan. An ultra-modern highway, SCTEx, connects Clark to Subic, which makes Bataan even more accessible to more cities, allowing more commuters to reach their destination in no time at all.

Enter the province of Bataan via Dinalupihan, which is 101 kilometers away from Manila. Travel time is about one hour. From there, Balanga City, the capital of the province, is around twenty kilometers away.  Minibuses, jeepneys and tricycles are available as a mode of transportation around the  province from the City of Balanga to nearby towns in the province. Those buses depart every 15-30 minutes to provide convenient trips to all travelers.

By Sea

The province has an extensive coastline with 11 municipalities having marine boarders; there are about 14 tertiary parts, 2 of which are classified as national ports, namely the Port of Mariveles and the Port of Orion.

By sea via ferry from the CCP Terminal in Roxas Blvd, Manila to the Diosdado Macapagal Ferry Terminal in Orion, 22.5 nautical miles or a convenient 45-minute trip will lead commuters to the bustling Orion port. For an affordable fee, one will be able to escape the traffic of land travel and feel the refreshing sea breeze and the splendor of Manila Bay.

By Air

One could reach Bataan in just a few minutes by air, having several private helipads in the province. There are also two international airports at both ends of the province: the world-class Clark International Airport and the equally recognized Subic Bay International Airport.  Both offer facilities that can easily accommodate 25 million passengers annually from the international and domestic market.