Mt. Samat Bataan Travel Guide
Bataan Province has a very important role in the Philippines’ history. It is known for the trudging Death March during the Japanese invasion where thousands of Filipino and American troops went through a menacing 65-mile march en voyage to prison camps in San Fernando, Pampanga. Many of them died of murder starvation, dehydration, and exhaustion – a grim tale.
Mt. Samat in Bataan is one of the two sites that stood out in the fight against the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, another one is Corregidor Island in Cavite. Mount Samat served as the last bastion of the allied forces of the Philippines and America. It is now a memorial place that gives honor to people who gave so much in defending the Philippines against Japanese aggression. A very fitting tribute.
For history buffs, Mt. Samat Bataan is a must-visit place to learn and rekindle memories of our forefathers. It is a living reminder of Filipinos’ fortitude and bravery.
HOW TO GET TO MT. SAMAT BATAAN
Address: Pilar Bataan
Bringing your own car is a good idea as you may drive up until the Dambana ng Kagitingan parking area where you only need to walk for a minute to reach the foot of the prominent enormous cross. Also, albeit the travel is long, the scenic views are very soothing to the soul.
- Get through the NLEX and SCTEX towards Subic, get off the Dinalupihan exit before Subic.
- Turn right after the toll gate. Just drive straight. You will pass by the towns of Hermosa, Orani, the Tech City of Balanga, then Pilar. After around 45 minutes of drive from the SCTEX exit is an intersection.
- Take the right turn. The Dambana ng Kagitingan at Mt. Samat is a good 30 minutes away.
Or simply open a navigation app and you’re good to go. Steep roads await, so we highly recommend that you use a capable vehicle and check your brakes.
By Commute / Public Transportation
- Ride a Genesis bus bound for Balanga, Bataan. The first trip is at 3AM from EDSA, Manila. Travel time is 3-4 hours.
- When you reach Balanga, go to the jeepney terminal and ride a jeep with Cabog-Cabog or Bagac signage. Tell the driver to drop you off at the jump-off point of Mt. Samat which is in Barangay Diwa, Pilar, Bataan.
- You can start the 8-kilometer trek from here or hire a tricycle to bring you up until the Mt. Samat Bataan gate. The tricycle rental rate is ₱400. There is an on-site registration center where you have to pay the necessary fees. No local guides are.
WHAT TO SEE IN MT. SAMAT
Aside from the amazing nature views, there are two iconic architectural sites you can see in Mt. Samat Bataan Shrine that will leave you in awe. Both were designed by Arch. Lorenzo Del Castillo:
- The Colonnade – this marble structure contains an esplanade, an altar, and an underground museum. Inscribed on the walls are tales discussing the historic Battle of Bataan. The underground museum houses items from the war. The strategic map of the whole of Bataan by General Douglas MacArthur is one of the things you can find there that might interest you.
- The Memorial Cross or Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan) – perched on top of Mt. Samat, this towering cross stands an imposing 360 feet / 555 MASL. An elevator serves the tourists to reach the crossbeam which serves as the view deck. From the top, you will see the breathtaking views overlooking the whole Bataan peninsula as well as the provinces of Pampanga and Zambales.
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday from 8AM to 5PM
Elevation: 553 MASL (meters above sea level)
Jump-off point: Barangay Diwa, Pilar, Bataan
Entrance fee: ₱30
Mt. Samat Bataan served as a great, educational side trip after our overnight camp at Bataan Pawikan Conservation Center where we released hundreds of baby pawikans back to the wild. Watch our surreal experience in the video below:
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