Mount Samat Shrine, Pilar, Bataan.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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

This post has been viewed 17140 times by 4107 visitors.

  • lily

    andy..hello…im sorry to say but the museum is still undergoing renovations..but we are doing our best to speed up the works….the elevator is in good running condition, but you still have to wait your turn to get accomodated specially if there’s a long queue of people wanting to go up too…its a first come first served basis..

    yes, you can use your own vehicle going up the shrine… we allow vehicles to park inside the shrine.

    for queries and comments please feel free to call us up at 911-4335 or 9114296

  • andy

    lily,
    hi, are the repairs and rehabilitation works finished now? we are planning to go there on september 13. is the elevator working? can we use private vehicles to go there?

  • lily

    manny, hi, Mount Samat Shrine is open 7 days a week but from 8am to 5 pm only. :-)

  • lily

    hi cogito…firstly, in behalf of the office, i wuld like to apologize for the discomfort you went through when you visited the Mt. Samat Shrine. The museum was closed that time because it was undergoing some repair and rehabilitaion works. As for the elevator, it is stil in good running condition. In fact it is being maintained and checked by expert technicians from OTIS every month.

    I am glad that despite the sad experience you had the last time you were there, you still plan of going back to visit the place.

    Additionally, the shrine is open on Saturdays and Sundays and even on Holidays but from 8am to 5 pm only.

    thanks and God bless. :-)

  • manny

    is Mt. Samat Shrine open 24/7 ? i would like to pay my respect and give many thanks to all who sacrifice their lives for a blanket of freedom that we enjoy now and for the next generations to come…

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  • cogito

    We went to the shrine last Aug. 1 but to our dismay, as well as of the scores of other tourists, the cross was closed due to power outage. The museum was also closed for some reasons. We spent some P1,500 worth of gasoline and paid P20 parking fee and P20 per person entrance fee to see nothing. It was a very disappointing trip.

    We want to return there someday, though, and hopefully the museum and the viewing deck will be open.

    By the way, is the shrine open during saturdays and sundays?

  • mark defensor

    the place is a resemblance of heroic act, a nature’s gift and fortress of courage. Visit the place and you’ll see the difference. climbed it and feel the spirit of power, love and dedication.

    We went there last June 1 and 2 and it was a memory of a lifetime.

  • neri

    Went to Mt. Samat (Holy Tuesday) , to see the Memorial Cross as part of my Lenten Passion.. We went by foot, climb uphill and endured the steep of the mountain; It was fun coz there were families w kids, sweethearts, and groups w/ us.. More than an hour walking, I’ve seen the metal white curve fence and that was the marked, NOW u can view the Cross along the road as u go on…there was a bit happiness and I said to myself “ I’LL EMBRACE U” again, it took us another hour to reached. We decided to do some mountain climbing short cuts as others do. One, two slopes; WOW! It was a great adventure…the 3rd, I doubt; there was no visible sign that its passable and it’s a much higher slope, I said to myself, GOD will guide us thru.(snake or a trap). And finally, saw the well trimmed grass, thanks GOD!, that was the last slope of the mountain to see the entrance of the Shrine …. I never thought it was a 6.5 kms way uphill and took us about 2 hrs and 45 min. It was a sacrifice, tiring and worth experienced

    I was amazed , and shouted it was for REAL and EMBRACE it!, As we move around , the gallery, the museum; the more I’ve understand. In memory of my late father who was a WWII veteran, I recalled all the stories ( I was bout 5 yrs old sitting on his lap ) during the war, leaving behind my 2 brothers and my late mom on a dug hole, like when they were on a Death March going to Capas Tarlac, wherein at this point he was one of the lucky enough managed to escaped , suffered from Malaria and recovered..

    Thanks GOD he had survived! I am now a Registered Nurse granted as scholar from the PVAO Educational Benefit Fund. With heartfelt gratitude, as I owe my first breath to my parents, the greatest achievement I felt in my life is to resigned from my job, gave them the best of what they needed and be with them ( both of them died of Lung Ca.) till their LAST BREATH which is the hardest thing to see them leaving …..

    I salute all the WWII veterans, truely great heroes!

  • eric

    Im wondering if mount samat shrine still open during holy week. Appreciate your immediate feedback. Thanks.

  • andy lyiscott

    I am trying to find Randalie (Gumba) Kaiklian who may be the mother of my daughter, Merry-Kris. Merry-Kris may have been born in 1985 when I was in the US Navy. Can you please direct me to a private investigator or other organizations who may be able to help me? I was recently informed they may be living in Bataan Province (Bangal or Dinalupihan).

    Anderson Lyiscott
    email: [email protected]

  • heitrid

    and yes i have to confirm…THE ELEVATOR IS WORKING!!!

  • heitrid

    rehgz,

    good news for u. our office has just received a fax message from the tourism office of bataan requesting for the availability of mount samat shrine for another prayer rally on december 01, 2007.

    i was also there last year to celebrate the eucharistic mass and danced with the students coming from different schools. its a very memorable event to think that thousands of people of all ages have sacrificed to walk from Brgy Diwa going up to the Mount Samat Shrine. So tiring, yes, i agree with u, that u must have already thought of quitting but bataan people are very strong-willed. they endured everything just to reach the memorial cross. the event was highlighted with the lighting of candles. so solemn u can really feel so close to God. Hope to see u there once again!!!

  • heitrid

    maria chona,

    yes, u can reach mount samat shrine by ferry at the CCP terminal complex, roxas blvd through the mt samat ferry. but u will just be docked in the port of Orion. from there, u have to rent a van or a jeepney that will take u to mount samat shrine. again, yes u can go to corregidor from bataan. just go to Cabcaben, there are some bankas in there which will take u to corregidor…just a warning though…dont do that during high tide or rainy season, it might be dangerous. i suggest u get back to manila and get another ferry (Suncruises) which can take u to corregidor also in CCP Terminal Complex or call the Corregidor Foundation Inc. for further information and reservations. Contact nos. 8318140 or 8346857 to 58.

  • heitrid

    this is the first time ive opened this link and to my surprise!!! the shrine is already so famous and so many people have already gone there…i am so proud to be a part of the office that is administrating and maintaining it…for all u people who wants to go there but doesnt know how…just try to call me or email me on the following contact numbers…the shrine is under our administration. Our office is Military Shrines Service and we are under the Department of National Defense. Our contact numbers are: (02)9114296 and (02) 9114335. Mobile number is 09215966955 or 09156685200. Please feel free to visit our office anytime and we will gladly accommodate you and would be happy to give you additional information regarding the Mount Samat Shrine…its good to know many young people to be so interested in history…at least we have educated history the easy and fun way!!! see you at the shrine one of these days!!!

  • hello kitty girl

    grabe i was there last sept sobrang nice nung place at nakakatakot sa elevator ha imagine 30+ floor at very accomodating ang mga sundalo don kakaibang place mabuhay tayong mga pilipino,i never really forget the place i would never forget my experience there…its so great

  • maria chona

    Hello!

    I would like to visit this memorial . How can I reach it by ferry from Manila ( where and which ferry to ride?) and from this place can I go to Corregidor Island also by Ferry? if not, where in Bataan can I ride a boat going to Corregidor island. Thanx.

  • http://www.friendster.com Lawrence

    Bataan, lalawigan ng mga BAYANI”T BANAL

  • Lucile

    the steep ascend to the mountain overwhelms but the shrine will not disappoint… it is a beautiful place… the weapons used are displayed… very informative museum… but the best part of my visit was sitting inside the arms of the cross feeling the cold air and it is not just a breeze. the moment made me not want to leave…

  • http://www.2easy2travel.gttrends.net David Robichaux Sr

    I was wondering how the area looked. My dad too was a survivor of the Death March and the Prison Camps. I have
    thought about coming there if I could afford. I would also like to maybe sponsor for children of the survivors and those who died.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Reghz Pamatian

    im so proud to be a bonifide citizen of Bataan. My grandfather is also a hero during the second war and he managed to survive. I have really good memories in Mt. Samat when i was young. And now that I’m grown up, I still have the chance to go there when a mass and prayer “rally” is held there led by our Bishop Socrates Villegas. and we actually climb the Shrine by foot. so we spend like 2 and a half hours before we actually reach the cross. But it’s an amazing experience. Really..:)

  • rich fernando

    Yes you can be froud to your father and froud to those people who offered thier lives during the world war II, they are true hereos in our heart and mind. And to tell you the truth elevator is working, because i´ve been there a couple months ago and its running and it was realy organized now and its totally beautiful, it must be….. because its one the most beautiful tourist spot in BATAAN….mabuhay!!!!!!!!

  • http://jethro_dereal eric

    nice site….thankss….Mabuhay ang Pilipinas

  • http://my_sarisari_store.typepad.com Sidney

    You can be proud of your father. From what I read it was a nightmarish time of hunger, disease and death. It is almost impossible for our generation (and the generations to come) to comprehend the suffering of all those soldiers. They were true heroes.

    Yes, the elevator is working and you are not allowed to take the steps up to the top of the cross anymore.
    The place is now well maintained and it is a very beautiful spot with great views of Bataan.

    I am only a contributor to this site and don’t post very regularly. Please feel free to visit also my photo blog (http://my_sarisari_store.typepad.com) about the Philippines which is updated every day.

  • http://infraternammeam melsantos

    when that place was dedicated, long time ago, during the marcos era, i was there with my parents. my father was part of the guest invited because he survived the death march and had the Gen. Douglas McArthur medal and all those who survived the death march. it was beautiful place before. there was even elevator service. 10 years ago, i returned back and the elevator is not running. i have to climb the stairs and almost have a heart attack when i reached the pinnacle of the cross. i hope it is being taken cared of by the dept of tourism. that place should be a place of remembrance, for those who fought and defended the phils for freedom sake.