NOVEMBER 15, 2017
Because of the ASEAN holidays back in Nov 2017, T and I spontaneously thought of going out of town for the long weekend. She suggested Bataan and since I haven’t been there, I agreed to go there.
From Cubao, we rode an air-conditioned Genesis bus bound for Mariveles. We overestimated our travel time and reached the area of our Airbnb at 5AM. There were no street lights and we hopped off the bus at the wrong drop off… Good thing we were already near the Airbnb and I was able to contact the host before our phone’s signal turned to nil.
After catching some sleep, T and I went to DAMBANA NG KAGITINGAN (Shrine of Valor), a historical shrine built on Mount Samat to honor the Filipinos and Americans who fought during World War II.
Before seeing the iconic 92-meter cross, we encountered the colonnade which houses sculptures made by National Artist Napoleon Abueva and stained glass murals designed by Cenon Rivera.
Near the colonnade is the entrance to the underground museum, where war memorabilia are displayed – weaponry, uniforms, photos from the war, path of the Death March, and miniature display of mountains and their use during the war.
Our final stop was the cross but to get there, we had to climb hundreds of steps that zigzagged the area.
Upon reaching the cross, I was in awe of how huge it was. The sculptures found at the base of the cross were also works of Abueva.
The staff said that we would have a better panoramic view of Bataan if we go to the viewing gallery inside the cross. Unfortunately, during our visit, the elevator was under maintenance so we didn’t get to see it.
Still, there are other spots around the area where you can get a scenic view of Bataan. Our tricycle driver showed us one location and it was just breath-taking.
Next location we visited was Las Casas – stay tuned for the next post under Bataan 2017 trip.