Roadtrip Destinations in Bataan: Revisiting History
Ana Margarita Olar | PinoyTrekker.com
Bataan is a humble peninsula, a rocky extension of Zambales Mountains approximately three to four hours from Manila. It hails with bits and pieces of Philippine history, having been the last fortress of Filipino-American Soldiers against the Japanese before it was finally captured on April 9, 1942. I picked some destinations in this history-laden place for bikers, riders, even road trippers. Grab a bike, motorcycle, or a car and take a look at these stopovers.
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE MARKER
Location: Rotunda, Layac Bataan.
The brave landmark was built by the 38th Infantry division Army of the United States. It is in honor of the valiant heroes of Bataan, living and dead, including the 38th Tank Company of Harrodsburg, Kentucky which is a unit of said division in December 1941 to February 1942. You can find the landmark between Bataan and Pampanga and gives me the thrill whenever I pass by this monument.
FIRST ABUCAY CATHOLIC CHURCH
Location: Abucay Town Plaza, Bataan.
The historical church was built by Father Geronimo de Belen in the early 1600s. It was burned in 1870 and rebuilt by Father Jose Diego Pelaez. The bells donated in 1839/1859 are still housed in this church.
Location: Panilao Pilar Bataan
A striking landmark, it depicts a hand holding a sword towering up in the air. It is a symbol of unwavering bravery, gallantry, and burning desire of every Filipino patriot to defend democracy in the face of adversary.
SHRINE OF VALOR
Location: Mount Samat Diwa Pilar Bataan
It is consists of the Colonnade and a huge Memorial Cross. The Colonnade has an altar, esplanade, and museum. The altar has a stained glass mosaic, and the museum contains several artifacts of World War II, but I’ve got to warn those selfie addicts as it is not allowed to take pictures of artifacts inside the museum. There is also a display of armory outside the colonnade.
The Memorial Cross is a towering structure (555 meters above sea level) of steel and reinforced concrete. It has an elevator and viewing gallery. The height of the cross is 92 meters from the base. The base of the cross has sculptural slabs and sculptural bas-reliefs depicting significant battles and historical events. It serves to depict the abyss of suffering and sacrifice of the Filipino- American Forces in fighting against Japanese soldiers during World War II.
PHILIPPINE-JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP TOWER
Location: Atilano Ricardo, Bagac Bataan
The 27-metre (89 ft) high tower is composed of three pillars interconnected by several multi-layer rings. This monument was built by Risshō Kōsei Kai, a Japanese Buddhist organization as a symbol of reconciliation and renewed friendship after a period of war.