Things to Do in Bataan

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

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.

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.

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.

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. Nalulatalagaako 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.

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.

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