Your Ultimate Guide To A Rich Historical Tour in Bataan

by Marianne Domingo

Bataan sits in the western side of Philippines' capital city, Manila. Several historical and exciting places are found within the parameter of this place. If you are up to digging into the past and significant historical events in the country, Bataan is a good one to start.
Once upon a time in December 1941, an invasion led by the Japanese began in the Philippines. With an overwhelming force, the troops succeeded in capturing the capital city. The joint forces of the Filipinos and Americans seemed like not enough to defeat the Japanese, and because of the lack of support from naval and air support, they were forced to retreat to the Bataan Peninsula.

The Mt. Samat National Shrine War Museum
The details of this event can be seen and read in the Mt. Samat National Shrine War Museum. It is located in the town of Pilar, province of Bataan in the Philippines.

This museum showcases a wide collection of rare photographs, paintings, and even armaments of the Japanese, Filipino and American forces during the battle. The highlight of the museum is the huge diorama of the Bataan depicting the events.

Shrine of Valor
The Shrine of Valor or Dambana ng Kagitingan is situated at the peak of Mount Samat. The height of the cross is 92 meters tall with arms 30 meters wide. The observation deck located inside the arms of the cross can be reached via the elevator in the center. At the base of the cross is an 11-meter sculptural slabs and relief that depicts significant historical scenes and individuals in the Philippine culture. It was designed by the National Artist, Napoleon Abueva.
Zero Kilometer
After a very interesting exploration at Mount Samat, you can drive to the Zero Kilometer mark. It is located near a fork road, where the left will lead you to Montemar Beach and the right to Bagac Town Proper. The Zero Kilometer is the starting point of the Death March which started on April 1942. The Allied Forces of Filipino and American troops were forced to march day and night to reach the prison in Capaz, Tarlac.
Philippine-Japanese Friendship Tower
Not so far from the Zero Kilometer mark is the Philippine-Japanese Friendship Tower. This remarkable landmark was established by the Rissho Kosei-Kai, an organization of Buddhists in Japan with the help of Bataan Provincial Government on April 8, 1975. The tower, which honors the victims of World War II and is also a symbol for a fervent desire for peace.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Half of the day is probably spent on visiting the above-mentioned spots in Bataan. Now it's time to check in for an overnight accommodation Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is the perfect choice of lodging. It's not just a mere place to stay at but is also among the country's most-visited destinations due to its richness in history, culture, and more.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a beach resort that showcases Filipino heritage, from the intricate details of the furniture to everything that surrounds the place. Here you can find a collection of old and restored houses, some are replicas but most are original and actually came from different places in the Philippines. The whole site was cleverly conceptualized by Mr. Jerry Acuzar, whose passion for historical architecture prompted him to build Las Casas.

It is recommended to join walking tours so you can fully appreciate the several and noteworthy historic mansions. You will enter a few houses that display old house tools and decorations that our parents and grandparents will love to see again.

If you are as equally as passionate in knowing Filipino heritage and learning historical events all over again, take a fun and fulfilling tour of Bataan.