Bataan Photo: Kate R.

Bataan

Old cannons, war monuments, and memorial shrines are just some of the historic markers you’ll find in Bataan, a province famous for its crucial role in Philippine history during World War II. Retrace the steps of valiant heroes, travel back in time to the Spanish era, and discover stunning natural and architectural wonders by stepping into this historic province in Central Luzon.

Standing proudly on the summit of Mt. Samat is the majestic Dambana ng Kagitingan, or “Shrine of Valor.” Originally commissioned in 1966, this memorial complex commemorates the Filipino and American soldiers who fought against the Japanese Imperial Army in the 1942 Battle of Bataan.

One of its main structures, the Colonnade, is an open museum filled with the artistic masterpieces of various national artists. Journey up the bloodstone-paved footpath from the Colonnade and you’ll find the colossal Memorial Cross. Within its arms is a 30-meter-long viewing gallery where guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Bataan Peninsula, Corregidor Island, and Manila Bay.

Brush up on your Philippine World War II history by visiting the Zero Kilometer Marker in Bagac, the starting point of the infamous Bataan Death March. You can also head to Balanga Elementary School to see the Bataan World War II Museum and the Surrender Site Monument, which depicts the surrender of thousands of soldiers to the Japanese following the Fall of Bataan in 1942.

Bataan is also home to seven stunning centuries-old churches, which were declared as perpetual pilgrimage sites by the Diocese of Balanga. Travelers can take a tour of these grand pieces of religious architecture, starting with the 427-year-old Baroque-style St. Dominic Church in Abucay.

Continue church-hopping around the province by visiting the San Pedro de Varona Church in Hermosa, St. Catherine of Siena Church in Samal, St. Joseph Cathedral in Balanga City, Our Lady of the Pillar Church in Pilar, St. Michael the Archangel Church in Orion, and the Church of Orani.

If simply touring heritage sites isn’t enough for you, try taking a leap back in time and getting a taste of the Spanish-era life by visiting Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar. Take a short boat ride to this heritage resort and you’ll find a charming replica of an 18th century Philippine town, complete with authentic colonial houses and cobblestone streets.

Unleash your inner Ilustrado by riding a horse-drawn carriage, or calesa, participating in cultural shows and festivities, dining in style at the sophisticated Cafe Marivent, and winding down in first class heritage houses like Casa Bizantina and Paseo de Escolta.

Believe it or not, you can also take a mini-tour of Indochina at the Bataan Technology Park. This research facility overlooking the South China Sea houses a rich cultural display of Southeast Asia. Walk around the grounds and you’ll find beautiful monuments based on Buddhist temples, Angkor Wat, and the Vietnamese Monument.

Nature lovers can head over to the Pawikan Conservation Center to learn more about Bantay Pawikan’s efforts to protect the turtles of Bataan. Their volunteers patrol the beaches of Morong and guard the eggs laid by sea turtle species like the Hawksbill, Green Turtle, and Olive Ridley.

Those looking for a little more adventure can brave the challenging hike up to Mt. Natib or the five-to-six-hour climb up the craggy terrain of Tarak Ridge. You can also trek to the towering cascades of Kairukan Falls or Pasukulan Falls and plunge into their cool waters.

After a long day of roaming around Bataan, travelers can sit back and relax on the picturesque beaches of Morong. One hidden paradise worth discovering in Morong is Westnuk beach, a stretch of powdery sand and clear waters tucked away within a government complex located west of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (hence the name, Westnuk).

Make sure to sample popular Bataan delicacies like coco jam, cashew butter (peanut butter made with cashews), tinapa (smoked fish), and the seafood of Balanga during your visit. Dessert lovers should definitely check out Geno’s Ice Cream, a beloved ice cream shop in Orani that’s best known for its deliciously creamy gabi (taro) ice cream.

Top Rated Restaurants in Bataan Browse All

  1. Gourmet Garage
    4.2 Stars
    Deli
    9 Reviews View
  2. Bunker Bob's
    4.0 Stars
    Italian
    9 Reviews View
  3. Stregato Gelateria
    4.2 Stars
    Ice Cream
    6 Reviews View
  4. La Bella Teodora
    4.7 Stars
    Italian
    3 Reviews View
  5. 1754 Pizza
    4.3 Stars
    Pizza
    4 Reviews View
  6. Marivent Café
    3.9 Stars
    Café
    7 Reviews View
  7. Casa Unisan
    5.0 Stars
    Spanish
    2 Reviews View
  8. The Reef Bar & Restaurant
    3.7 Stars
    Filipino
    8 Reviews View
  9. Shakey's Pizza
    4.0 Stars
    Pizza
    4 Reviews View
  10. Fortune Hongkong Seafood Restaurant
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    2 Reviews View

Top Rated Hotels in Bataan Browse All

  1. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Hotel
    4.7 Stars
    Hotel
    73 Reviews View
  2. Anvaya Cove
    4.7 Stars
    Hotel
    40 Reviews View
  3. Montemar Beach Club Resort
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    18 Reviews View
  4. Kamana Sanctuary Resort and Spa
    4.1 Stars
    Hotel
    16 Reviews View
  5. Sinagtala Farm Resort & Retreat Park
    4.8 Stars
    Hotel
    5 Reviews View
  6. Pamarta Beach Bali Resort
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  7. Camaya Sands
    4.3 Stars
    Hotel
    6 Reviews View
  8. Forest View
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  9. The Plaza Hotel Balanga
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  10. Morong Star Beach Resort & Hotel
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    3 Reviews View

Top Rated Places in Bataan Browse All

  1. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Hotel
    4.7 Stars
    Hotel
    73 Reviews View
  2. Anvaya Cove
    4.7 Stars
    Hotel
    40 Reviews View
  3. Montemar Beach Club Resort
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    18 Reviews View
  4. Ocean Adventure
    4.3 Stars
    Aquarium
    25 Reviews View
  5. Dambana ng Kagitingan
    4.4 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    14 Reviews View
  6. Mt. Samat
    4.4 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    14 Reviews View
  7. The Beanery
    3.9 Stars
    Coffee
    33 Reviews View
  8. Kamana Sanctuary Resort and Spa
    4.1 Stars
    Hotel
    16 Reviews View
  9. Tarak Ridge
    4.4 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    9 Reviews View
  10. Subic Treetop Adventure
    4.2 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    11 Reviews View

Popular Areas in Bataan

  1. Balanga

    Balanga

    31 Places
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  2. Morong

    Morong

    26 Places
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  3. Mariveles

    Mariveles

    10 Places
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  4. Bagac

    Bagac

    10 Places
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  5. Pilar

    Pilar

    6 Places
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