Bataan is a province which is rich in history, it is known for World War II and Bataan Death March. It is sad to know that there were lots of people died in that war but we should not forget their courage to fight and defend our country.
There are so many historical sites that you can visit in Bataan, I have visited some of the sites last year when we had a Bataan Road Trip. We were able to check the Mt Samat, Zero Kilometer Death March Marker and Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower.
Last sembreak, we stayed in The Plaza Hotel in Balanga, Bataan, which is the capital of the province. I searched for possible places that we could visit in Balanga, Bataan for our side trip.
1. Bataan World War II Museum
2. St. Joseph’s Cathedral or Balanga Cathedral
3. Surrender Site Marker
4. Tortugas Bird Site
5. Flaming Sword
6. Balanga Nature and Wetland Park
7. Bataan National Park
Due to time constraint, we just visited three places. We were lucky that the St. Joseph Cathedral is just in front of our hotel. This church was used as an artillery emplacement during the Japanese invasion. It was renovated by Bishop Celso Guevarra, the first bishop of the Diocese.
Then we went to Balanga Elementary School where the Surrender Site Marker and Bataan World War II Museum is located. This school served as the command post of Lt. Gen. Homma at the time of Bataan’s surrender.
At the back of the school you can see the Surrender Site Marker, this marked the exact spot where surrender terms were negotiated by Major General Edward King with Japanese Colonel Motoo Nakayama (who represented Gen. Homma) on April 9, 1942 after three months of relentless siege by invaders.
We waited for few minutes because the Bataan World War II Museum was still closed. The museum was opened last February 2014, it was just a small museum where you can see pictures, war artifacts, doll diorama of Death March and 9 minutes video during World War II. Picture taking is not allowed.
Entrance fee: P50 adults
P40 senior citizens
Operating Hours: Mon to Sat, 9AM to 4PM
Even the museum is small, there's a tour guide that will tour you so you will learn new information and personal stories of World War II which is not written in history books.
Before we left, the tour guide informed us that the Torture Chamber was also inside the school. This is used by the Japanese to torture Filipino and American Soldiers.
After I took this picture, my husband asked me.
Hubby: kinunan mo ng picture?
Me: Yes, bakit?
Hubby: Wala lang, parang nakakatakot mamaya may lumabas sa picture. Dami namatay diyan.
Honestly, natakot ako and parang ayaw ko tingnan picture. Isa kong matatakutin pa naman so sa biyahe namin napapaisip ako then I realized na bakit sa cemetery, marami din naman patay pero pag dumadalaw mga tao nagpapipicture. Hehehe!
Bataan has fallen, but the spirit that made it stand- a beacon to all the liberty-loving peoples of the world cannot fall. - excepts from a radio broadcast from Corregidor.