Mt. Samat is one of the top mountains that can be reached by car or any roadworthy vehicle. Seeing this mountain from afar is quite exciting. As you go nearer, you will be amazed of the huge cross atop of this mountain
We went to see the famous Mt. Samat National Shrine also known as “Dambana ng Kagitingan” (Shrine of Valour). It was my second time and I was thrilled to get up there at the viewing gallery. It was a 74-meter lift from the base, high enough to make your knees go weak.
About the shrine and the Memorial Cross:
It is built in honor and remembrance of the mighty Filipino and American soldiers who fought and died in the Battle of Bataan during the World War II. There is a viewing gallery at the arms of the memorial cross. You have to ride an elevator to get there. You will have a magnificent view of Bataan, Corregidor Island and Manila (on a clear day). At the shrine complex, there is a museum with lots of collections and memorabilia from the WWII and the Battle of Bataan.
You can also visit the following:
1. Balanga Church – An exquisite and charming place to visit and meditate.I found it to be a sanctuary of beauty and peace. I was glad for the serene experience.
2. Galleria Victoria Mall – I was surprised when I found out that this one is a mall! This new landmark in the heart of the city. It has Supermarket, Department Store, Appliance Center, Hardware, restaurants, book and grocery stores and kiosks.
3. Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga – This place was inspired by Spanish colonial architecture. Here you will also find the City Hall, The Plaza Hotel Balanga and a few dining establishments. Whether daytime or nighttime, this plaza is an absolute stunning!
HOW TO GET THERE?
At Cubao terminal, ride Bataan Transit bound for Balanga Public Transport Terminal. Travel time is just around 2 to 3 hours.There are jeepneys in Balanga that takes you to the jump-off point in Brgy. Diwa, Pilar. From there, you could take a hike or ride a tricycle for at least 150 PHP per person (depends on how you negotiate) to get to Dambana ng Kagitingan. If you are already tired after the tour in the shrine, tricycles are also available at the top of the mountain. Asking price for fare is the same and travel time will be 30 minutes or faster. On the other hand, going down to the foot by walking is much easier and faster as compared to going up. Walking this time would take 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Come and experience this wonderful place.