Project 81: PH

    Bataan Travel Guide: What To Do, Where to Eat, Where to Stay & Sample Itinerary

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    Traveling to Bataan was one of my best breathers after so many things on my plate for the past months.

    It was actually just my second time to set foot in Bataan. First was a company outing which was like seven years ago and we just took a day out to Camayan Sands Hotel! So, when I got an invitation to explore the beauty of Bataan, I immediately said yes!

    Of course, who wouldn’t want to explore the place known for the infamous Death March? After all, I feel like I have been so connected to the past after my Corregidor trip last March 2019.

    Looking back and actually knowing more about the history, of what really happened, made me feel so connected and proud to be a Filipino.

    Dalagang Pilipina, yeah! Hihi.

    Hey, our ancestors fought so hard for this country to have what we have right now – freedom from the oppressors!

    So despite all other things to be done during the weekend, I stand firm to my decision of saying yes to Bataan.

    And yes, my Bataan escapade didn’t disappoint!

    Lovely people, rich history, and delicious food – all these here in BATAAN. Shall we now travel to Bataan? 🙂

    bataan itinerary

    HOW TO GET TO BATAAN

    Before we get to the tourist spots to explore in Bataan, let me walk you through how to get to Bataan if you are coming from Manila.

    • By public transportation
      • From Manila, there are several bus companies that you can hop in going to Bataan. You may take Genesis, Bataan Transit, Sinulog and Victory Liner.
      • If you are taking a bus from Cubao or Avenida, the fare is around 200 pesos and the travel time is around 3 hours.
      • If you are going to Pilar, Orion, Limay, Cabcaben, and Mariveles, and not Balanga, take the Mariveles bus and not the Balanga so you can avoid long travel time.
      • See below table for the destinations and what bus’ signboard to hop in.
    Signboard  Destination

    Mariveles
    Pilar
    Orion
    Limay
    Mariveles

    Balanga Highway
    Alongside the highway
    Dinalupihan
    Hermosa
    Orani
    Samal
    City of Balanga

    Orani – Balanga
    Town Proper via National Road
    Dinalupihan
    Hermosa
    Orani
    Samal
    City of Balanga 

    Notes: Table above is from the Bataan Tourism Website

    • By private transportation
      • You can take either the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) or Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). If you are coming from Manila, the toll fee is P157.00. The exit of NLEX is in San Fernando and straight ahead going to the peninsula of Bataan.
    • By sea
      • Yes! You read that right. You can go to Bataan via 1Bataan Integrated Transport System’s ferry boat!
      • Fare: P450 per way per head if booked online. P799 per way per head if walk-in.
      • Office Address: Sitio wain, Brgy. Biaan Mariveles, Bataan, 2105 Philippines
      • Mobile No.: 09176294766 (Globe) and 09088886849 (Smart)
      • Email : [email protected]
      • Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ITS1Bataan/
      • See schedule below for Orion and Mariveles trips.

    Check Bataan Resorts and Hotels HERE!

    WHAT TO DO IN BATAAN

    If you are looking for Bataan tourist spots, we placed everything for you in this travel guide! Check this out!

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    A. Visit Bataan’s Historical Places

    There are a number of historical places in Bataan that you can explore. If you wanna know more about the World War II, Bataan is definitely a good start to know more about the past war.

    1. Bataan Tourism Center

    • Location: Balanga, Bataan
    • Rate: FREE

    Before I get to what’s inside Bataan Tourism Center, let me talk about the people working under the Tourism of Bataan.

    Bataan is just so blessed to have loyal, bubbly, and hospitable people who ensure Bataan Province is always out there, available to the tourists and locals to explore.

    Inside Bataan Tourism Center. Love their lobby!

    Kudos to Sir Vandolph, Sir Alan, and Ms. Paula for making sure that we enjoy our Bataan trip!

    Anyway, going back, we highly encourage you to drop by the Bataan Tourism Center, the first and only one-stop-shop tourism center in the Philippines, before roaming around Bataan. They can definitely assist you more in maximizing your stay in the peninsula.

    From L-R: Jon Espina(jontotheworld.com), Allan Gokongwei (thefilipinorambler.com), Ms. Paula Gayeta, Bataan Tourism Staff, Armela Patalud (aroundthemetro.ph), Sir Alan Balbuena and Sir Vandolph Manabat, Bataan Tourism Staff

    You can also buy your pasalubong here as they have a souvenir shop inside the center.


    2. Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) – Mt. Samat

    • Location: Mt. Samat, Pilar, Bataan
    • Entrance Fee: PHP 20.00

    The Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan) was built in memory of the heroic deeds of the Filipinos and Americans who fought hard and died for our country.

    Dambana ng Kagitingan was built by the late President Marcos in April 1966.

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    Four years after, in 1970, Marcos opened the shrine to the public for them to also pay tribute to our fellow Filipinos and Americans.

    At first, when I heard that we will be going to Mt. Samat, I thought we will really be climbing up the mountain! Haha! Good thing I realized that we were not informed to bring climbing gears. Turned out that we will go on top of Mt. Samat riding our van!

    It was a surprise for me to see that there is actually a cemented way going up the mountain! And, when we got to the top, I saw a few buildings and a lot of cars! Apparently, there was a Bisita Iglesia going on.

    Learning that the cross atop of Mt. Samat was like 28 floor high, I thought, ‘How much was this made?’. And when I knew that there is actually an elevator built inside the cross (like really! There is!), I was astonished!

    After a couple of minutes, we went up the cross.

    I was never really afraid of heights. But when I was on top, I could feel that my feet are trembling. Nalula talaga ako ng bongga

    But after a while, after all picture taking, I talked to my feet to stop shaking. Char! It was cold up there. At first I thought that they also have an aircon or something because it was really cold and windy.

    From there, we saw the whole Bataan peninsula.

    After a couple of shots, we went down alighting the small elevator. No need to worry if you fear the call of Mother Nature as this cross was built with a protection from lightning and earthquakes!

    I have always heard about Bataan when we were roaming around Corregidor.

    3. Bataan World War II Museum – Balanga

    • Location: Balanga Elementary School, Bataan
    • Rate: PHP 30.00

    I was so curious and shocked when I learned that the area that used to be the place of horrendous killings is now actually an elementary school.

    Remembering what our tour guide said, this used to be the place of when the Japanese people would kill Filipinos and Americans for even just a petty crime. Even babies were killed! They would usually throw the baby up in the air and stab them using their sword. I can’t bear to think about it!

    Like, really?! Why! Haha! Buti hindi ako nag-school doon.Joke lang. Hihi.

    Located at the Balanga Elementary School in Balanga City, the museum is a private initiative of HAS Club of Balanga Foundation.

    After a short tour of the old buildings inside the school, we went straight to the Bataan World War II Museum and were welcomed by the staff of the center.

    Afterward, we registered and watched a video of what happened during World War II in Bataan, the Death March and how the Bataan peninsula was surrendered to the Japanese invaders.

    Still, with a heavy heart, we went around the first floor and saw the things that were used during the war. It was just so nice to see the very things that were used during the war. I can still remember the dog tags, helmets, plates, their inuman, and many other things that symbolizes courage of our ancestors. 

    While going up the second floor of the building, Sir Alan was explaining that this level was a collection of memorabilia by Mrs. Luz Banzon Magsaysay, the former First Lady from Balanga, donated by various individuals.

    I can still picture in my mind the photo of the dead baby after it was killed by a Japanese using a sword. Remember the one I mentioned above about the Japanese throwing the baby up in the air? Yes, this was one of the many babies who died in the war and was not given the chance to see the world in bright colors.

    4. Surrender Site Monument

    • Location: Balanga Elementary School, Bataan
    • Rate: FREE

    Still inside the Balanga Elementary School, the Surrender Site Monument is just a few steps away from the Bataan World War II Museum.

    In this area, this life-sized monument was built as a reminder of where Major General Edward P. King signed the instrument of surrender on April 9, 1942.

    5. Zero KM Death March Markers

    • Location: Mariveles, Bataan
    • Rate: FREE

    Wondering where the Death March started? In the shores of Mariveles, Bataan.

    The reason why it was in Mariveles is that, during that time, they are waiting for the command of General Douglas McArthur who was in Corregidor. And because Mariveles was just a 15-minute ride going to and fro, the soldiers decided to wait in the shores of Mariveles.

    However, because of the fall of Bataan, this marked the start of the infamous Death March of the American and Filipino soliders in 1942.

    Other similar markers can also be found along the route to their final destination, Camp O’Donell in Capas, Tarlac.

    6. Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower

    • Location: Bagac, Bataan
    • Rate: FREE

    After what happened during the World War II, Rissho Kosei Kai (RKK) of Japan in 1975, initiated the building of the Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower. This was established together with the Bataan Christian Youth Civic Circle (BCYCC) which symbolizes forgiveness, hope and restoration of relationships of both countries and brotherhood.

    7. Bataan Technology Park

    • Location: Morong, Bataan
    • Rate: FREE

    This 365 hectare area was the was the former site of the United Nations Philippines Refugee Processing Center.

    After the fall of Saigon, this park became the home to the refugees from the neighboring countries (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) before they migrate to the United States, Australia, and Europe.

    Bataan Technology Park houses the monuments that depicts friendship and culture of the three nations such as Angkor Wat, Khmer, Vietnamese Temple and the likes.

    8. Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga

    Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga is located in the heart of Balanga, Bataan. You will see the Plaza Hotel here, Balanga’s City Hall, and the Balanga Cathedral across the plaza.

    The Plaza Hotel in Balanga City is an old architectural icon in the heart of Balanga, Bataan. The hotel’s facade will surely take you to the Spanish era with it’s unique and stunning features.

    9. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

    Located in Bagac, Bataan, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a home to 17 restored old houses in this Spanish-inspired village.

    Although the ambiance of the resort is a bit reserved and old, each villa is still equipped with modern amenities for their guests’ comfort. Located near the beach, their guests can enjoy swimming at the beach or watch the sunset by the shore with their family and friends.

    Considered one of the best hotel and resorts in Bataan, Las Casa will surely give you an unforgettable experience that you will always want to go back to.

    Photo credits: Agoda

    B. Enjoy Nature in Bataan

    Bataan is so much blessed, not just with culture and history, but with nature as well. You can do beaches and falls hopping here, climb different mountains and ridges, and many more! From beaches to mountains, everything you love are all here may you be a beach bum, or an adventure seeker mountaineer.

    Below are just some of the eco-tourism spots that you can visit on your next gala in Bataan.

    1. Pawikan Conservation Center – Morong

    2. Balanga City Wetland and Nature Park – Tortugas, Balanga

    3. Lumutan Falls – Bagac

    4. Dunsulan Falls – Pilar

    5. Tarak Ridge – Mariveles

    6. Mt. Natib – Orani

    C. Unleash the adventurous you with Bataan’s Sports and Adventure Activities

    1. Mountain Bike Trails

    Last March 31, 2019, we covered the Padyakan Festival in Pilar, Bataan. It was the 14th year of the festival and is held in line with the Araw ng Kagitingan commemoration.

    Padyakan Festival, in particular, was a fun and exciting event to behold. From kids to lolos, everyone is welcomed here. 

    2. Mt. Samat Zipline

    Surprisingly, Mt. Samat has indeed a zipline! But when we visited the last time, it is under maintenance. Sayang! But will definitely go back Mt. Samat and try their zipline since I learned that this is actually the longest zipline in Central Luzon that offers a 540 meter length of breathtaking experience.

    Ugh. I miss ziplines!

    3. Tree Hopping Adventure

    Located at Dunsulan Park, Brgy. Diwa, Pilar, this Tree Hopping Adventure will thrill your bones to the max! Imagine going from one tree to another with just ropes to hold on to and pieces of small slabs to step in! But if you are a thrill-seeker like me, this should definitely be on your bucket list!

    WHERE TO STAY IN BATAAN

    Ranging from budget inns, to mid-range and luxury hotels and resorts, Bataan all has these for all sorts of travelers.

    Below are just some of the many hotels, resorts and villas in Bataan that you can check out when you visit the province.

    1. Casa Veles Hotel

    • Location: Freeport Area of Bataan, Mariveles, Bataan
    • Room Rate Range: PHP 2,800 to PHP 3,000
    • Inclusions: Breakfast for two and (strong) WIFI

    Casa Veles Hotel is a 21-room hotel in the heart of Bataan and is one of the first hotels inside the Freeport Area of Bataan’s commercial area.

    So if you are looking for a place to stay after a very long day, I suggest you check-in at Casa Veles Hotel. Not only that it will give you a fresh welcome upon entrance to your room, but also, every corner of the hotel will give you that relaxing ambiance. Like asking you to just stay inside the room and tuck yourself inside the bed’s soft mattress.

    With a very quiet ambiance, clean limited hotel rooms will surely make you feel home away from home. The industrial interior design will always be pleasing to the eyes.

    2. Romalaine Inn

    • Location: Mariveles, Bataan
    • Room Rate Range: PHP 2,800 to PHP 3,000
    • Inclusions: Breakfast for two

    If you are looking for a place to stay for the night, or to just put your bags for a very long day in Bataan, I recommend Romalaine Inn in Mariveles, Bataan.

    What I noticed during our stay in Romalaine was they are more focused on events. They have a number of places catering to events. Even their pool has two stages for pool parties.

    3. Juness Beach Resort

    • Location: Cabildo, Nagbalayong, Bataan, Bataan
    • Room Rate Range: PHP 1,700 to PHP 2,000
    Juness resort bataan
    Book Juness Beach Resort HERE

    Juness Beach Resort is located at Cabildo, Nagbalayong, Bataan, Bataan. This resort should be on top of your list if you’ll go swimming in Bataan. With its convenient location, you can go to many different tourist spots in Bataan.

    4. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Hotel

    • Location: Brgy Ibaba, Bagac, Bataan, Bataan
    • Room Rate Starts: PHP 8,000
    Book Las Casas HERE

    Located in Bagac, Bataan, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is aome to 17 restored old houses in this Spanish-inspired village.

    Although the ambiance of the resort is a bit reserved and old, each villa is still equipped with modern amenities for their guests’ comfort. Located near the beach, their guests can enjoy swimming at the beach or watch the sunset by the shore with their family and friends.

    WHERE TO EAT

    Listed here are just some of the many restaurants and cafes good for family and friends!

    1. Cafe Industriya

    • Location: Lot A Commercial Area 8th Avenue AFABMariveles, Bataan
    • Price Range: P150 to P225

    Cafe Industriya is the in-house coffee shop slash restaurant of Casa Veles Hotel Bataan. If you want to chill after a long day of exploring Bataan or if you are looking for a place to work, Cafe Industriya should be on your list!

    The cafe has a very strong wifi connection, clean and green interior, with a very soothing acoustic music. I was actually saying to my blogger friends that if this cafe is near my place, it would probably be my new fave coffee shop.

    2. Romalaine Cafe

    • Location: Mariveles, Bataan

    If you want a budget-friendly restaurant, I would suggest Romalaine Cafe. Above all that we have eaten at Romalaine, what I loved the most was their Pancit Bihon Guisado. Being so tired and hungry from a long day, the pancit guisado is a life saver.

    3. TriHouse Restaurant

    • Location: Balanga, Bataan

    TriHouse Restaurant is a fairly new restaurant in the town of Balanga. Upon entrance, you will already see their staff, welcoming you with their warmest smiles.

    Glad that we had our lunch at this restaurant before our full afternoon itinerary to pump us throughout the day. After settling in, we were served a big bilao of seafood!

    Was happy as well that their Owner/Manager was very hands-on to their customers. I can see her smiling to their customers and even asking them how was their food.

    BATAAN SAMPLE ITINERARY

    If you wanna explore the historical Bataan, here’s a sample Bataan chill itinerary for two days. Let us know in the comment sections if you have questions!

    Day 1
    DescriptionNotes
    Travel from Trinoma to Balanga, BataanTravel Time 2 to 3 hours
    Visit Bataan Tourism Center
    Travel to Brgy. Diwa, Pilar for Mt. Samat
    Explore Mt. Samat
    Go back to Balanga
    Lunch at TriHouse Restaurant Balanga Bataan
    Visit Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga and Balanga Church
    Explore the past at Bataan World War II Musuem and
    Surrender Site Monument
    Merienda at Romalaine in Mariveles, Bataan
    Check-in at Casa Veles Hotel Bataan
    Day 2
    Breakfast at Casa Veles Hotel’s cafe, Cafe Industriya
    Visit Sisiman Lighthouse
    Check the Zero KM Death March Markers
    Lunch at Cafe Industriya
    Travel to Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar
    Explore Las Casas
    Travel back to Manila

    Overall, I had so much fun exploring Bataan. Knowing more about our past, how the Death March started.. I like that I can connect what I learned in my Corregidor trip to my visit to Bataan.

    If there is an opportunity to go back and explore more about what Bataan has to offer, I would definitely be back.

    Notes:

    • Some of the information is taken directly from bataan.gov.ph/. You may check their site as well for more information.

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    Pia Bernaldohttps://piathought.com
    In love with coffee dates, mountains, and beaches. Currently in the season and process of unlearning, relearning, and learning together with God.

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    Comments

    1. Bataan sounds so exciting. It would be fun to stop over in Manila on our way there. So many things to see and do!

    2. I absolutely love how in-depth this post is. Whenever I go to a new place, I like to know where the best spots are so I can have the best experience.

    3. You really did make the most of your trip! I am happy you got to see a lot of places in Bataan. The KM Zero is something I would want to see personally even if it would make me sad to think of those soldiers who suffered.

    4. It’s my dream to visit the Philippines! I love the history, culture, food, views, and of course, the wonderful people. Bataan looks like such a special place. I hope to visit soon. 🙂

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