After you read the list, you can find out why I decided to compile this list of Bataan tourist destinations, here on this other post and how I was able to compile the list on another post.
In the list below, use the locations in bold as search terms in Waze to set your destination. Distance shown is the distance from the Bataan Tourist Center. Click on the links to get a Google Street View of the area.
1. (23 km): Layac - World War II First Line of Defense Monument
- This is a group of statues of soldiers at the Layac rotunda/junction and marks the first strong defensive position and first battle of combined Philippines USAFFE Troops against Japanese invasion during WW II.
2. (21 km): St. Peter of Verona Parish Church / Hermosa Plaza / World War II Commemorative Markers Left & Right
- The two Commemorative Markers are located on the left and right corners close to the sidewalk at the front of the Hermosa Catholic Church. Hermosa Plaza is across the road from the church.
- Founded in May 8, 1756, the church is one of the seven town parishes founded by the early Spanish Dominican Fathers designated by The Diocese of Balanga as perpetual pilgrimage churches and sites in the entire province of Bataan.
3. (18 km): Orani Town Plaza / Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish Church / World War II Filipino soldier monument
- This church was founded on April 21, 1714. It was damaged, repaired, and rebuilt in the 19th century. The church is one of the seven town-parishes founded by the early Spanish Dominican Fathers designated by The Diocese of Balanga as perpetual pilgrimage churches and sites in the entire province of Bataan.
- The town plaza is across from the church and features a monument of a lone Filipino soldier. The other statue on the other side of the plaza is of Jose Rizal.
Bonus: (21 km) Vista Tala Resort & Recreational Park / Sinagtala Farm and Resort / Saint Josephine Bakhita Parish Church
- Vista Tala Resort is one of two resorts within the designated boundaries of the Bataan National Park.
4. (10 km): Parish of St. Catherine of Siena
- The Parish was founded in 1596. Samal Church is the second oldest church in Bataan. It was rebuilt in 1903 and is one of the seven town-parishes founded by the early Spanish Dominican Fathers designated by The Diocese of Balanga as perpetual pilgrimage churches and sites in the entire province of Bataan.
5. (8.7 km): St. Antonine of Florence Parish Church / Mabatang Barangay Plaza / Tomas Pinpin monument / Main Battle Position Marker
- The first line of defense of Bataan, called the main battle position, extended from Mabatang, a short distance north of Abucay, on the east, across Mt. Natib to Mauban on the west coast, a distance of twenty miles. This marker is located on the left side of the entrance to the church.
- Tomas Pinpin is recognized as the first Filipino printer. He was born in Mabatang. His monument is inside the Mabatang Barangay Plaza, across the road from the church.
6. (6.7 km): Abucay Municipal Hall
- First site of the Catholic Church built by Father Juan Ormaza de Santo Tomas, Santa Rita Eduarte and Pedro Balanga in 1587 that served both as residence, chapel and hospital.
- This was used as a garrison by the Japanese in World War II.
- The Parish was founded June 10, 1588. The Abucay Church is over 400 years old, the third oldest in the country and the oldest in Bataan. Tomas Pinpin, the first Filipino printer worked here at the Abucay Press. The church was damaged in the Sept. 16, 1852 earthquake. The church is designated a national historical landmark by the national historical comission.
- In front of the church is the Filipino Soldier Monument dedicated to Filipino soldiers.
- In the front of the school is a memorial statue of Tomas Pinpin
- A monument erected for the repose of the many WW II dead souls on the fields of Gabon, Abucay. It was built by Mie-kin Daichi Shichmucho of the Japanese Sohtahsih sect in September 1970.
10. Bataan Tourism Center
- This should be the first stop for any tourist in Bataan. Their maps are very helpful in showing the tourist locations you need to go to. One of those maps was extremely helpful in compiling this list.
- There is also a small museum and photo exhibit that you can experience here as well as a shop that offers souvenirs and native delicacies.
- The marker is in front of the Provincial Capitol. This is dedicated, 9 April 1952, to the memory of the gallant Filipino and Americans soldiers as well as civilians, who fought and died side by side in the defense of democracy.
- The church was founded on April 21, 1714. The mother of all the churches in the Diocese, her belfry was used as a site for Japanese artillery bombardment of Mt. Samat during the Second World War.
- Plaza Mayor de Balanga opened in 2013 modeled after Salamanca in Spain. It features dancing fountains beautifully lighted at night.
- The tallest buildings in Bataan are located here. Aside from The Plaza Hotel and City Hall, there is also the Centre Plaza Mall.
- The marker is located in front of the school while the museum can be found behind the school. The Surrender Site was used as a command post by Lt. Gen. Homma at the time of Bataan’s Surrender wherein Major Gen. King and his party signed the documents for the surrender of the USAFFE forces in the Phlippines under a mango tree on April 9, 1942.
- The museum houses several World War II memorabilia and a diaroma showing the Bataan Death March. The museum will also show a short film on Bataan during the war. A guide will bring you to the site of atrocities of Japanese soldiers that occurred in the area to the left of the school. The guide will describe what happened and will also tell ghost stories.
14. (7.2 km): Bird Watching Site for Migratory Birds / Balanga Nature and Wetlands Park
- The Balanga City Wetland and Nature Park, which is approximately 11 hectares, serves as an outdoor recreational area for picnics and bird-watching. The Department of Tourism has recognized Balanga City as one of the newest bird-watching sites in the Philippines. There are 80 species of birds – most of which are migratory – found in the city from August to March. Balanga has been a yearly stopover of these migratory birds, thousands of which come from Canada, China and other countries.
- You must navigate narrow streets to get to the park. The shoreline has a lot of trash that seems to have washed ashore from Manila Bay.
15. (10 km): St. Michael de Archangel / Orion Town Plaza / Cayetano Arellano Monument
- Orion was established by the Dominican priests on April 30, 1667. The present-day 19th-century church was built by Father Jose Campomanes, OP after an earthquake in 1852 which destroyed the previous structure.
- The Orion Church is one of the seven town parishes founded by the early Spanish Dominican Fathers that is designated by The Diocese of Balanga as perpetual pilgrimage churches and sites in the entire province of Bataan.
- Cayetano Arellano was the first Filipino Supreme Court Chief Justice. He was born in Orion and his monument is in the town plaza which is across from the church.
- Hardin ni Balagtas is a garden with the monument of Francisco Balagtas, who is one of the, if not the, greatest Filipino poet. Balagtas was born in Barangay Wawa.
- The garden is located somewhere within the merged Barangays of Wawa and Pag-Asa in Orion, Bataan. Taking Pabiluang Street should take you close to the location.
17. (8.4km): Nuestra Seniora del Pillar Parish Church
- The Pilar Church is one of the seven town-parishes founded by the early Spanish Dominican Fathers designated by The Diocese of Balanga as perpetual pilgrimage churches and sites in the entire province of Bataan.
- The 7th town and parish founded by the Dominican Fathers after Abucay (1588), Samal (1596), Orion (1667), Orani (1714), Balanga (1739) and Hermosa (1757), Pilar was made an independent vicariate on March 10, 1801.
- Inside the compound of the church, there are two trees that are believed to be a century old.
- Believed to be about 120 years old, this sampaloc tree is listed as a vintage natural landmark and a “living witness” to history by the National Historical Institute.
- This monument features a large hand wielding a large sword. A symbol of the Filipino courage and gallantry in the face of external trials to the nation’s democracy and peace.
- This marks the location of the final resistance of Bataan defenders before their surrender. The Final Battle Site Marker is along Governor J.J. Linao Road, just 300 m away from the Balanga Marker. Coming from the Flaming Sword/Pilar Junction, it is on the left side of the road, past a small waiting shed, about 1 km before you reach Mt. Samat Road.
- The Balanga Marker is not easily accessible.
- Atop Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan, the shrine was built to commemorate the gallantry of approximately 75,000 Filipino and American soldiers led by Major General Edward "Ned" P. King, Jr. The most distinct feature of the shrine is the Memorial Cross, a 92-meter marble, steel and concrete structure built 555 meters above sea level.
- The museum is underneath the shrine and the entrance is located on the left of the shrine.
- Dunsulan Falls is found in the heart of the forested hill behind Mt. Samat. It is five meters high and 40 feet deep. Though the falls is not ideal to swim, it is actually one of the most photographed falls in Bataan which is flocked by many tourists every year. There is an entrance fee but it is quite cheap exchange to a worth trek to the falls.
23. (25 km): Fil-Jap Friendship Tower
- Located at Bagac, the monument built by Rissho Kosei Kai Group in 1975, symbolizes that after the war, there is a period of reconciliation, peace and friendship between the two nations.
- The Death March of the Filipino and American prisoners of war in 1942 started from two points in Bataan, on April 10 from Mariveles and on April 11 from Bagac going to Camp O’ Donell in Capas, Tarlac. An obelisk and a bayonet thrust to the ground now marks these sights
- This is a resort that features centuries-old houses that have been relocated from all over Luzon and preserved
Bonus: (35 km) Vista Venice Resorts
- This resort is one of two resorts found within the designated boundaries of the Bataan National Park.
- Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant that was completed but never fueled. The plant has never been used but is still being maintained.
- Pawikan Conservation Centre is home to the original nesting sites of the Olive Ridley turtle species. The Center began in 1999 as a community-based program initiated by a local organization called Bantay Pawikan, Inc. to save the pawikan from extinction.
- The center's volunteers consist mostly of former poachers and egg collectors who have turned to pawikan conservation advocacy. With the help of the United Nations Development Program's Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program and the provincial chapter of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, more communities and neighboring towns adopted the conservation effort.
- Morong Church is more than 400 years old and is one of the oldest churches in Bataan. Its structure was made from coral stones, erected by the people of Morong under the Spanish.
- It was only in 1607 that Morong was officially founded as an ecclesiastical parish and as a pueblo including the Coral Stone Church by the Recollects and was officially founded by Fr. Rodrigo de San Miguel who placed it under the protection of the Our Lady of the Pillar.
- The Our Lady of the Pillar Parish of Morong, Bataan, (one of the oldest seats of Catholic faith in the Philippines) originally orchestrated from the elements of the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque sources. It culminated its 400th Year foundation anniversary on October 12, 2007.
- The Boat People Museum was set up to commemorate the former Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Morong, Bataan which was used in 1980-1994 as a temporary resettlement and preparation area for boat refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
- The Philippine Refugee Processing Center was a village in Morong, Bataan which was used from 1980 to 1994 as the final stop for Indochinese refugees prior to their final settlement in Canada, Australia, France, Norway and the United States. Migrants were mainly from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos who took flight mainly via small fishing boats. Many were rescued by passing cargo ships and some actually landed in the Philippines.