Travel Back in Time
PROVINCE OF FREEDOM AND VALOR
Best known for the annual Araw ng Kagitingan
celebrations that fall on April 9 (also known as Bataan
Day), the province of Bataan is a beautiful place that is
rich in World War II history. One way to get to know the
place better is through these historic landmarks…
BY GERALD P. GRANA
MOUNT SAMAT SHRINE
What lies in these historic halls are memories of our beloved fallen
Filipino hero soldiers who fought during World War II. The most
recognizable is the Shrine of Valor, with relics such as old cannons,
ammunition, and WWII memorabilia. It also has an underground museum.
BATAAN WORLD WAR II MUSEUM
Containing relics from World War II such as historic documents, infantry
uniforms, water cantees, military dog tags, maps, ammunition, rifles, and
hand held guns, this place reveals the horrors of what war can do.
SURRENDER SITE MARKER
Located inside Balanga Elementary School in Balanga City, this marker
is a reminder that the site was used as a command post by Japanese Lt.
Gen. Masaharu Homma at the time of Bataan’s surrender. Major Gen.
Edward King and his party signed the documents for the surrender of the
USAFFE forces in the Philippines under a mango tree on April 9, 1942.
That mango tree still exists up to now.
PLAZA MAYOR DE CIUDAD DE BALANGA
Most areas in Bataan seem like the typical sleepy countryside,
but Balanga City, its capital, paints a different picture—it
exudes European vibe and old world charm. The grand Plaza
Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga, located at the heart of the city,
can’t be missed. The charming Plaza Hotel is both beautiful and
quaint. During nighttime, the Plaza comes alive with the regal
spectacle of lights and dancing fountains.
BATTLE OF BATAAN
With Bataan being a key figure in World War II, the Bataan
Death March celebrated on April 8 is no longer just a day of
mourning for our fallen Filipino soldiers, but a day to renew and
reawaken the spirit of heroism that is in each and every Filipino.