Bataan, Philippines · 5 hotels available
Make the most out of your weekend by traveling to one of the most nearby provinces in the metro, Bataan. You’ll not only refresh your history knowledge, you’re also in for a treat with the province’s challenging hikes, daring outdoor activities, lively parks and yummy exotic food!
The ever-accessible province of Bataan is one of the essential symbols of all the challenges the Philippines has gone through. Three crucial historical events took place here: (1) When the Chinese Limahong used Lusong point as a landing place, (2) When the Dutch Naval Forces committed the Abucay massacre, and (3) the Bataan Death March to Capaz, Tarlac, so it has a special place in the hearts of many.
Bataan is located at Region 3, and is only three hours away from Manila. If you’re bringing your own vehicle, take either the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), or Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), whichever is more convenient for you. However, if you’re going to commute, bus lines like Bataan Transit and Victory Liner that offer daily trips to different parts of Bataan.
Jeepneys and tricycles are the way to go especially for budget travelers. Fare depends on your destination though, but minimum fare is ten pesos.
Bataan has been known in the books as a historical site, so if you want to catch up or relive the rich Philippine history, Bataan is a must-visit. Start by dropping by the Shrine of Valor, or more popularly known as the Dambana ng Kagitingan. The site celebrates the heroism of our soldiers who fought for the country during World War II. For twenty pesos as entrance fee, you could get to the elevator ride the top for a bird’s eye view of the site.
And since we’re on the topic of commemorating the sacrifice and bravery of our soldiers, you might also want to visit the Zero Km Death March Maker in Bagac. Pay your respects at the memorial, which is only walking distance from the Japan-Philippines Friendship Tower.
At night, do not miss the chance to experience a feel of Europe by going to the Balanga Town Plaza. Be amazed at the plaza’s bright lights, cool fountain, and feel free to get lost at the surrounding restaurants and shops.
Cyclers will truly rejoice about the fact that Bataan is very biker-friendly. Did you know that triathletes – beginners and professionals alike – travel from Manila to Bataan just to train? Try renting a bike and roam around the city for a little exercise, or bond with friends and hike at one of the most popular hiking spots in the area, the Tarak Ridge.
For those feeling a bit more adventurous, you could show off your fearlessness by trying rappelling and/or rock climbing at Mt. San Miguel in Sisiman, while nature lovers would truly love bird-watching, boating and kayaking at Balanga Wetland and Nature Park.
Experience the unique combination of the Spanish feel of Bataan and the delectable Japanese food offered at Café Kyoto in Balanga. Don’t leave the place without trying their Kani and Tobiko Salad (P265), and Tempura Ice Cream (P140).
For those craving for local dishes, Ima’s Pamangan in Pilar serves yummy and nutritious Kapampangan dishes that will make you feel right at home (even though you’re not from Pampanga J). Must-tries are their bulalo and bangus with salted egg. For dessert, head to Stregato Gelateria at Balanga and choose from their wide array of gelato flavors, such as the Ferrero, Blueberry Cheesecake and Red Velvet.
If you want to just bond and chill with your friends while listening to some live music, Nico’s Terrace Grill is the place to hang out. The place is located along Capitol Drive and serves appetizing and exciting exotic food, but if you’re more of a dancer, dance and drink the night away at Razz Bar and Grill.
If you’re not on a tight budget and is traveling with a group, why don’t you try staying in at the finest Bagac hotel, the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar? Think of being having cobblestone streets, a wide, wooden staircase, bedrooms and antique furniture as your house’s features! It’s a little pricey though, as price ranges from P15,750 to P45,000 per night.
If you’re traveling within a budget though, you could check in at Fajardo Beach Resort, Montemar Breeze Beach Resort or Montemar Beach Club.
Smoking is prohibited in public places in Balanga. Anyone caught will pay a fine of 5oo pesos, so think twice before lighting that cigarette.
Prepare yourself for a lot of walking especially when going to Mt. Samat.
If your schedule permits, try not to go during the Holy Week if you want to avoid large crowds.