Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mt. Samat (Dambana ng Kagitingan), Pilar Bataan

The province of Bataan is well known for many historical events which gave a significant role during World War II. Some of these are the infamous Bataan Death March where Filipino and Americans soldiers and prisoner of wars were forcibly marched; A Chinese pirate tried invading North Luzon, the Dutch forces massacred people in Abucay Bataan, and many more. With this, a memorial shrine was built in Mt. Samat to honor and remember the heroism of Filipino and American soldiers who fought during World War II.

Mt. Samat was the site of the cruelest battle against Japanese Army during the Battle of Bataan in 1942. The place then was inaugurated in 1970 putting up a big memorial cross with a height of 92 meters from the base, and was then called ‘Dambana ng Kagitingan’ (Shrine of Valor).

How to get there?

From Manila, ride a bus bound to Balanga Bataan. You can take Bataan Transit or Genesis Bus line. The fare is around Php200. Travel time is around 2 to 3 hrs. Then from Balanga Terminal, ride a Bagac bound jeepney and tell the driver to drop you off to the jump off point of Mt. Samat or the nearest stop of the shrine in Bgy. Pilar. The fare is around Php17. From the bottom of Mt. Samat, you can hike all the way up to the shrine entrance for about 6 km. But it will really be a steep curve concrete road going up. If you have your own private vehicle, travel time will be around 20 minutes to reach the entrance.  Last alternative would be hiring tricycle going up to the shrine. But I think it would really cost a lot.

Aside from the large memorial cross at the top, you will also see a colonnade that has a beautiful colorful stained glass mural designed by National Artist Cenon Rivera. There’s also an altar at the center, blue chandeliers at the ceiling, and marble lateral walls. Each of it symbolizes something about the history of “Battle of Bataan”.

at the colonnade


written history on the wall. "The Battle of Bataan"

Also, part of the colonnade is a war museum which has collections of paintings, armours, and other memorabilia used during the war.

mural glass design

From the colonnade, you still need to walk all the way up on a zigzag path that would lead you to the base of the memorial cross.

This is the base of the cross where it was designed with the murals of the Filipino heroes’ having its historical meaning behind it.

There’s also an elevator inside the cross where you can go to the top and see 360 view of Bataan Peninsula. Unfortunately, the elevator was not functioning during our visit.

Mt. Samat National Shrine or Damabana ng Kagitingan is a must visit place especially for us Filipinos. We read this on history books or taught by our teachers in school but it would really be great if we see for ourselves the place where many Filipinos have fought and sacrificed during World War II for the love and freedom of the country.

Mt. Samat National Shrine/ Dambana ng Kagitingan/Shrine of Valor
Bgy. Diwa Pilar, Bataan, Philippines

Travel Tour Package - Take Five Outdoors

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2016 with Mt. Samat Side Trip

Rate: Php 1,299/pax

-Roundtrip Transfer via Van (Manila-Pampanga-Manila)
-Admission Fee/Ticket
-Surcharges and Taxes
-Diesel and Toll Fees

02:30 AM Meet up MCDO Trinoma
03:00 AM ETD Manila to Pampanga
04:15 AM Arrive Pampanga
04:30 AM Start of Hot Air Balloon Festival/Air Show Activities
08:00 AM ETD to Bataan for Mt.Samat
09:30 AM ETA Mt. Samat (Dambana ng Kagitingan)
10:00 AM Start trek to the Cross
01:00 PM ETD Mt. Samat
02:00 PM Lunch
03:30 PM ETD Bataan
07:00 PM ETA Manila


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