Dambana ng Kagitingan in Pilar, Bataan
One of the most famous landmarks in Bataan is the “Dambana ng Kagitingan” or the Shrine of Valor — perched atop Mt. Samat in Pilar — and was built to honor the bravery of the Filipinos and Americans who fought during the second world war.
The Shrine of Valor is considered to be Bataan’s icon. Its 92-meter gigantic memorial cross, and the marble colonnade where you can see the Bataan art mural engraved by Maximo Vicente, the glass mosaic designed by Professor Cenon Rivera, and all the artwork and sculptures majestically made by National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva.
Located underneath the colonnade is the museum where you can see the remnants of war — including the weaponry, Japanese uniforms, miniature mountain landscapes, and some photos taken from the video documentation during the war.
Your next destination would be the Mt. Samat Shrine — a 448-step zigzagging footpath through the bloodstone, which is said to be the rocks from Corregidor, stained by Japanese blood.
To get an amazing panoramic view of Bataan, there’s an elevator inside the Mt. Samat cross, which would take you to the viewing gallery encased in its arms.
The residents also said that Mt. Samat is the only place in the Philippines where you can get a perfect view of the sunrise and sunset.
So if you happen to visit Bataan, try dropping by at Mt. Samat Shrine and revisit the most important part of the Philippine history — the precepts of courage and sacrifice of the Second World War warriors for the love of country.
Address: Mt. Samat, Pilar, Bataan
HOW TO GO THERE: From Manila, ride a Genesis bus going to Balanga. From the Balanga Central Terminal, ride a jeepney going to Cabog-Cabog and tell the driver to drop you off Mt. Samat. From there, ride a tricycle going to the shrine. It will cost you P200 per person, back and forth.
Students – P20
Domestic Tourist – P30
Foreign Tourist – P50