Last Tuesday, April 9, was Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) in the Philippines. It’s a holiday to commemorate the soldier veterans who suffered in the Bataan Death March during World War II. Because April 9 was a Tuesday, my brother and I took a leave from work last Monday and our family headed to Bataan! FYI, we didn’t go to Bataan in lieu of Araw ng Kagitingan. We have planned a short vacation several weeks before and it slipped our minds that we’ll be in Bataan coinciding with the holiday hehehe! Anyway, here’s our two-day stay in Bataan 🙂
We left Manila on April 8 at about 6:30AM passing through the old route (JASA) to reach Bataan. Our first stop was Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) near the summit of Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan. We arrived there at about 9:30. The entrance fee to the place is P30 for foreigners, P20 for Filipinos and P10 for students. The parking fee for small and big vehicles will be P20 and P50, respectively.
We weren’t able to go inside that building. I think the story of the Death March is engraved on its walls. Too bad I don’t really know what’s in there 😦 it was blocked from the public in preparation for the program the next day where the President of the Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, is the esteemed guest. We were able to visit the underground museum but of course, taking of photos are prohibited.
This cross is the Dambana ng Kagitingan. It stands 302 ft. tall and tourists may go up to the horizontal bar of the cross.
The entrance/elevator fee is just P10. Up there, you will get a view of the province of Bataan — though I don’t think you’ll see the whole province as it is very big. The place is very high! I’m not afraid of heights but when we were there I got soft knees for a second when I peeked out of the window. Haha 😛
Then we headed off to Bagac, another town of Bataan 🙂 There we saw the Fil-Japanese Friendship Tower. It is very visible as it is just on the roadside. It was built by Rissho Kosei Kai Group in 1975 and it symbolizes a period of reconciliation, peace and friendship between the two nations after the war. (Information taken here.)
From there, we proceeded to West Nuk, a resort in Morong, Bataan. It is owned by the Philippine National Power Corporation (NPC). Its location makes it a somehow private since it is in a cove 🙂 The resort was fully booked when we inquired a few weeks ago, we opted to camp out on the shore. It has been years since we last used our tent so we really got excited for this trip. We even bought a new tent since our old tent cannot accomodate the four of us anymore haha 😀
The sand was creamy and powdery and the waters were clear. There was enough breeze to beat the summer’s heat and humidity. Though the resort was fully booked, the beach was still not crowded 🙂
In the evening, we had bonfire and roasted sausages and marshmallows. It was my parents’ first time to experience roasting on a bonfire and they really enjoyed it despite the heat of the flames haha 😛
One activity that is usually done when you’re in the beach at night is star gazing and here are two of the shots my brother took 🙂
The second day of our trip will be on a separate post 😀