Travel Guide to Bataan: Where to go, What to do and Suggested Itinerary

Bataan, Philippines
travel guide to bataan

Tourist spots in Bataan to visit

The province of Bataan plays an important role to the Philippine history. That's why a trip there means looking back to the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who fought for our independence today during the American and Japanese colonization. During the commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Valor Day) this 2018, I was so lucky enough to join a group of bloggers who were chosen to join the celebration of our independence and at the same time remembering the dark period in our country. 

The Death March is also one significant event in the history of the Philippines that happened in the same province when thousands of Filipinos and Americans were forced to walk for two weeks without food and medicine by Japanese soldiers.  

Why we shouldn't forget the past
The World War II in Europe and Asia claimed 62, 500, 000 humans including 147, 000 Filipinos; 418, 000 Americans and 2, 6000, 000 Japanese.

We had the honor to visit the historical spots of Bataan that really made me love my country more and offered prayer to those who sacrificed their lives. 




Here's a list of tourist spots in Bataan you should never miss when you get here:

BATAAN WORLD WAR II MUSEUM
Our visit to Bataan's World War II Museum was extra special because we were toured by no other than an 89-year old veteran survivor, Lola Maria. It's a pretty small museum made of memorabilia, artifacts, dioramas and photos about the war in the 1940's. The first floor showcases photos and timeline of the war - how it started and ended. Second floor has more enlarged photos of the actual people who suffered during the war and personal belongings of the wife of former President Elpidio Quirino. Warning: this place may not be suitable to young kids because of gruesome photos and the story itself that they may hear.



BATAAN WORLD WAR II MUSEUM

Entrance fee: Php 50
Address: J.P. Rizal Street | Balanga Elementary school, Balanga City, Bataan

SURRENDER SITE MARKER
In front of Bataan World War II Museum are statues of men (Major General Edward P. King with Japanese Colonel Motoo Nakayama who is the representative of General Homma and some soldiers)  sitting around a table. This is the same exact spot where the USAFFEE forces in the Philippines signed the documents to surrender under a mango tree on April 9, 1942. 


SURRENDER SITE BATAAN

Entrance Fee: FREE
Address: J.P. Rizal Street | Balanga Elementary school, Balanga City, Bataan

TORTURE CHAMBER BATAAN
As its name implies, this is where Filipinos and Americans are tortured to death. I have heard stories that even up to these days, students and teachers from these schools can hear eerie sounds and see spirits roaming around here. 


TORTURE CHAMBER BATAAN

Entrance Fee: FREE
Address: J.P. Rizal Street | Balanga Elementary school, Balanga City, Bataan

GABALDON BUILDING
Gabaldon Buildings are the first ever built schools during the American times. Isauro Gabaldon, a Nueva EcijaƱon Assemblyman was the man behind the establishment of 2, 000+ schools around the country. In Bataan, you'll find a refurbished Gabaldon school building inside Balanga Elementary School. Most noted characteristic of these kinds of literally old school houses is the use of  windows made of capiz shells.


Galbandon Building Bataan
   

MOUNT SAMAT SHRINE OF VALOR
Bataan's ultimate tourist attraction, Mount Samat is where the historical battle happened during World War II. You'll definitely need a vehicle to climb up there and endure 15-20 minutes of walking through a series of steps. The reward is the breathtaking scene of the nearby islands and mountains. At the top of this mountain is the Mount Samat Cross, it is the world's second tallest of its kind. It's so big and tall, you need an elevator to get to the top of it.
  
Mount Samat Cross Bataan

BALANGA NATURE AND WETLAND PARK
Bataan is not all about historical attractions. It is also blessed with a natural park that is home to thousands of migratory birds. Equipped with binoculars and telescopes to make your bird-watching an adventure you wont' forget, Bataan really value this tourist destination that they even hold Ibong Dayo Festival to raise awareness about taking care of the birds.


balanga natural and wetland park bataan

Entrance fee: Php 50
Address: Fourlane Commercial, City of Balanga, Bataan

Bataan, Philippines Point of Interests

Bataan has so many reasons to make you stay longer. Don't ever say you've been here and you're done. I tell you, you're not going to run out of what to do in Bataan, only time.


tourist spots in bataan

Yours truly, is a ceritified Instagram addict. I am always searching for that Instagrammable spot as always when I travel. The two photos above are two of my most favorite because, just take a look at these then.

The first one is inside Balanga Elementary School. How can you not say "take a photo of me here please" at these colorful hanging umbrellas? The second one is on our way to the Balanga Natural and Wetland Park. I have to be honest, on the way the beach is littered with thrash and decaying/unkempt bancas but there are a few that is way too pretty for your Instagram post.

THE BATTLE OF MOUNT SAMAT WELCOME ARCH
The Battle of Mount Samat Welcome Arch looks just another arch. There's nothing extraordinary you'll see here if we discuss about visuals. However, during the World War II, this was the main entrance where Filipinos, Americans and Japanese pass by to go to Mount Samat.


THE BATTLE OF MOUNT SAMAT ARCH


BATAAN TOURISM CENTER
I have joined so many media trips of different local tourism offices around the country. Yet, I have only seen one local tourism office that's too cute. I'm talking about Bataan Tourism Center, the country's first and only one-stop-shop tourism center in the Philippines. It's housed in a big building and at the back of it showcases representations of several local products that you can find in Bataan. Just look at the photo below.


Bataan Tourism Center is open every day to tourists needing help about where to go in Bataanwhat to do in Bataanwhat to buy in Bataan and more.  I strongly suggest if you need more information when you go to this province unprepared, a drop by here will surely make your trip in Bataan much more meaningful.


Bataan Tourism Center

More places to explore in Bataan


Fall of Bataan Marker - It is a marker dedicated to Filipinos and Americans who died during the Battle of Bataan in April 9, 1952. 
Address: Capitol Compound, Balanga City
Entrance fee: FREE

Saint Joseph Cathedral and Parish or Balanga Cathedral
It is a marker dedicated to Filipinos and Americans who died during the Battle of Bataan in April 9, 1952. Open every mornings, the Balanga Cathedral is located in the city center. You won't have any problem getting here.

Address: Balanga City, Bataan
Entrance free: FREE

Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower

Allow me to add extra space in this blog to tell you more about Bataan Tourism. Open every day to tourists needing help about where to go in Bataanwhat to do in Bataanwhat to buy in Bataan and more.  

Zero Kilometer Death March Marker
This is the starting point of the Bataan Death March in 1942. A marker is erected to remember forever those who were forced by the Japanese soldiers to walk for 102 kilometers ending in Capas, Tarlac. 

Address: Pilar Gov Lina Road, Balanga, Bataan
Entrance fee: FREE

Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga
Ever want to be transported to Europe in a heart's beat? Plaza Mayor is the answer when you go to the city of Balanga in Bataan. Though I wish it could be much beautiful if colored in different shades other than plain white. There's a hotel that is located in one of its Victorian-style buildings you can check in - the Plaza Hotel Balanga. 
Pla
Address: Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga, Bataan
Entrance fee: FREE

Bataan Technology Park
Once home to 40, 000+ refugees from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam Bataan Technology Park is one destination that offers a great view of the surrounding mountains and of course the West Philippine Sea. There are eateries that serve delicious Vietnamese cuisine at a very affordable price. Check it out too.    
Address: Bataan Technology Park, Morong, Bataan
Entrance fee: Php 50

Bataan Tour Package and Rates

Historical Tour Php 1, 250 per head
Bataan Tourism Center, Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga, Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral Parish of Saint Joseph, Surrender Site Memorial. Bataan World War II Museum, Rolling Tour at Flaming Sword, Mount Samat Shrine of Valor, Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower, Zero Kilometer Death March Marker & Bataan Technology Park

Historical + Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Day Tour Php 2, 710 per head

Bataan Tourism Center, Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga, Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral Parish of Saint Joseph, Surrender Site Memorial. Bataan World War II Museum, Rolling Tour at Flaming Sword, Mount Samat Shrine of Valor, Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower, Zero Kilometer Death March Marker & Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Bataan Eco-tour Php 1, 405
Bataan Tourism Center, Lumutan Falls, Ambon-Ambon Falls, Pawikan Conservation Center or City of Balanga Wetland and Nature Park

For more information about Bataan Tourism Center, please check the following:
Facebook: @bataantourism
Website: www.bataan.gov.ph/tourism
Instagram: @beholdbataan
Email: bataan_tourism@yahoo.com
Phone number: 0917-671-6995

2 comments

  1. Hello! Where do I avail of these tours?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Faith, check nyo lang po ang Facebook or Instagram ng Bataan tourism or email nyo po sila :) Ilan po kayo? Pwede ko kayo marefer sa tour guide.

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