Mount Samat Dambana Ng Kagitingan – Symbol Of Heroism In Bataan, Philippines

mount samat shrine of valor in bataan, philippinesThere are many things to see and places to check out when you move to or visit Bataan, Philippines. Of all these places, Bataan is most famous for Mt. Samat. These are due to a couple of reasons.

One, Mt. Samat offers a scenic view of Bataan from the top. It’s a great place to visit, and nature lovers will surely fall in love with the place.

And two, it played a huge role in the history of the Philippines, and it has the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), a 92-meter cross erected at 555 meters above sea level. This cross was built to celebrate the bravery of all the soldiers (Filipinos, Japanese and Americans) who fought in the Philippines during World War II.

Mount Samat is a few minutes away from Balanga City, Bataan. You can reach it via the local jeepney (traveling from Balanga City thru the Bagac-Morong Bataan beach resorts highway and back), or with a private vehicle (click here for Google map).

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If you ride the jeepney, you’ll alight at the foot of Mt. Samat, and there are two ways to climb to the top: take a tricycle or walk. The way to the top is long, and tricycles charge P100 per person, per way ($2.40 May2011).

mount samat entrance gate in bataan, philippinesAfterwards, you can ask the driver to wait for you or take a chance to find a tricycle going down. Some drivers told us they can be contacted through SMS for pick up – the rate usually ranges from P50 to P100 per person ($1.20 to $2.40 May2011), depending on your negotiations.

If you plan to walk, on the other hand, be sure that you’re fit and equipped with sufficient stamina, as the climb can take approximately two hours per way. Some joggers brave this and climb to the top as a form of exercise.

dambana ng kagitingan cross on mount samat in bataan, philippinesThe path to the top is steep, but the scenery is breathtaking. As you go higher, you’ll be awed by the view of Bataan below and of the feeling of closeness to nature.

Along the way to the top, there’s a mini park with concrete tables and chairs, perfect for a picnic (bring your food, though, as there are no stores in the park). When we passed by the park the last time we were there, a mass was being held and there were a few attendees.

(Note by AdoboRepublic: The park mentioned above is nice getaway when you’re living in Balanga city in Bataan. Because of its proximity to the main city, I often have breakfast or lunch there. It is so relaxing and the scenery is breathtaking, not to mention the clean surrounding air.)

an old machine gun on display at mt. samat in bataan, philippinesMt. Samat is frequently visited by tourists at different parts of the year, so expect to meet a lot of other visitors when you arrive at the top.

The entrance fee is very cheap: P30 for foreigners, P20 for locals, and P10 for students ($0.72, $0.46 and $0.24 respectively May2011).

There’s also a parking fee ranging from P20 to P50 ($0.46 to $1.20 May2011), depending on the type of vehicle that you bring with you.

Upon reaching the top, you’ll see the Shrine of Valor looming, a wonderful sight especially on a sunny day.

shrine of valor in bataan, philippines commemorative markerThe arms of the cross actually serve as a viewing deck, and you can climb up using an elevator (available from 8AM to 12 noon, and from 1PM to 5PM).

The fee is P10 ($0.24), but don’t be surprised if you would find a long line of people waiting to climb – this is very popular and the viewing deck is a must-see among all visitors.

Near the elevators are sculptures of Filipino soldiers fighting and holding their weapons, preserving the memories of the age past.

museum at mt. samat shrine of valor in bataan, philippinesAside from the cross, another popular place in Mount Samat is its museum. You just have to show your ticket to the security guard (the one given to you at the entrance) to gain entry into the museum. Inside, you’ll see a miniature mapping of Bataan, plus lots of photos of the death march.

There are also old guns and bayonets, home-made pistols, bazookas, machine guns, and an antique radio. There are also photos of the generals who served in the war, a photo of former president Manuel L. Quezon and his family, and the wife of Gen. Douglas McArthur.

stairway to the cross mt. samat shrine of valor in bataan, philippinesOne thing about this, though, is that cameras are not allowed inside the museum – no taking of pictures.

The place is also great for picnics, and there are stores in which you can buy food. There are also souvenir stores that sell t-shirts, key chains, hats, and gloves.

When we went there last time, we met a tour guide named Bong Mamuad. He offers a tour of Mt. Samat – either a walking tour or one with lectures for groups of visitors. Rate is P300-P500 ($7.15-$11.90 May2011). Contact number is (63-907) 219-3887.

Mt. Samat is open to visitors up to 5 in the afternoon, although it can extend when there are special occasions. If you’re visiting or living in Bataan, Philippines – this is a place you shouldn’t miss.

(Special mention of thanks to Nayzs’ friend Precy for the photos included here and at the cheap hotels in Balanga city article.)

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6 thoughts on “Mount Samat Dambana Ng Kagitingan – Symbol Of Heroism In Bataan, Philippines

  1. hello! do you still have the number of the Explore Bataan w/ FX Van and Driver? i tried calling the numbers above but looks like its not working anymore. I have two Thai friends coming next week and we’re planning to go to Las Casas Filipinas. Help please. :) thanks!

  2. hi there! i just want to ask if the entrance fee and parking fee is still the same? i currently doing some school tourism packages for our school project. i decided to create a package for bataan tour because i am so inlove with the place and the history of it. i hope you can help me. thanks!

  3. Marifrance, I’m not really sure if the entrance is still the same. I haven’t been to the Philippines for a while now.

  4. Permission to use your photo:

    To adoborepublic.net

    I am Lorenz Cabanos, a Graphic Artist from Viajero Rent-A-Car PH. I’m writing to ask for permission to use one of your works/photo, Mount Samat (http://adoborepublic.net/images/mount-samat/7-shrine-of-valor-cross.jpg), for our 2014 calendar.

    Please note that a credit line with a link to your website will be displayed prominently on the calendar, to acknowledge that the photo is used with the permission of the copyright holder.

    Kind regards and I hope to hear from you soon! Thank you very much for your help on this matter. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at creativedesign@viajerorentacar.com or l.cabanos@yahoo.com.

    Thank you

  5. Hi Lorenz, sure, you may use it at will. You don’t need to credit my site for it, but a big, big thanks if you will. Apologies for this late response.

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