Bataan Peninsula was the scene of harsh fighting between American-Filipino forces and the invading Japanese forces. On April 9, 1942, the Bataan defenders surrendered to the Japanese. About 70,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers were captured.
The Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan) atop Mt. Samat in Pilar was built in 1966 in memory of those soldiers of World War II.
It consists of the “Colonnade”, a marble capped structure with an altar, esplanade and a museum. Inside the museum you can learn more about the battle of Bataan and the Death March that followed. The captured US & Filipino soldiers were forced to march more than a hundred kilometers from Bataan to Tarlac.
The Memorial Cross is a towering structure made of concrete, steel and marble. It is 92 meters high and the arms’ length is 15 meter on each side. It is 555 meters above sea level. An elevator goes up to the arms of the cross where the viewing galleries are found. The exterior finish of the cross at the base up to an 11-meter level is capped with “Nabiag Nga Bato” sculptural bas relief’s depicting significant battles and historical events.
The Shrine is visited annually by war veterans from different places on Bataan Day (April 9) to recall and honor the past.
Where: Mt. Samat is only 130 km away from Manila and travel time is about two to three hours by land and an hour by ferry.
My rating: 8/10 Impressive structure. Mount Samat Shrine is an ideal place to brush up your history lessons or learn more about the battle of Bataan & the Death March. It is a nice one day excursion.
Info from: My Sarisari Store
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