10 Things to Do in Bataan
Beaches, birds, bike trails, and then some: 10 reasons to make the trip to Bataan
Few provinces have the historical mystique that Bataan evokes. The province is famous (or should we say infamous) for being the site of WWII's Bataan Death March, where Filipino and American soldiers were made to march across a long distance by their Japanese captors, and as the site of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, which was built in the 80s and never became operational. Nowadays, these have been turned into tourist attractions-just two of the many things that one can see and experience in the province. Not everything that Bataan has to offer is steeped in history, however. The province is also home to good, old-fashioned holiday fun. Check out our list and see which activity fits you.
Bum at the Beach
Beach bunnies and tanning aficionados will have a field day in one of the many resorts that line the shores of Bataan. Areas such as Bagac, Limay, Morong, Mariveles, and Orani are well-known for their beaches. Also located in the province is the exclusive Anvaya Cove, a five star resort open to members and their guests.
Located in Bagac, near the site of the Bataan Death March's Zero Kilometer marker is Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a resort that transports its guests back in time. The resort is composed of Spanish era houses that have been transported to their present site from all over the country, brick by brick. The resort offers many activities that range from learning about the houses' histories to swimming in the pool or nearby beach or trying out one of its many in-house restaurants. The resort may have an air of a simpler time, but its roster of available activities is anything but.
Bataan is a popular pilgrimage site, being home to many stone churches that date back to the Spanish era, each with its own interesting history. The Church of Abucay, for example, was the site of an altercation between Pampangueño defenders and Dutch invaders, while the Balanga Catholic Church Belfry was used as a Japanese artillery station.
... and their parents. Birdwatchers count Bataan as one of the country's bird havens, with Sibacan in Pto. Rivas, also in the town of Balanga reportedly containing one of the highest concentrations of waterbirds in the country.
Folks interested in the preservation of marine animals can stop by the Pawikan Conservation Center in Nagbalayong, Morong. The Center cares for unhatched sea turtle eggs, making sure that as many of this endangered species this side of the island hatch and make it to the sea. Guests can ‘adopt' new hatchings, hold them in their hands, and set them free. Click here for ideas on where to stay in Morong.
Feel the (Nuclear) Power
Another thing that can be found in Morong is the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. The plant was completed in 1984 but was never fuelled and until this day remains unoperational. The government is making the most of this white elephant, however, by turning it into a tourist spot. Folks can now take a tour of the controversial plant without worrying about the effects of fallout.
Run (or walk, or visit) the March
Outside the Philippines, Bataan is known as the location of the Bataan Death March, a bloody WWII affair that resulted in the deaths of many Filipino and American prisoners at the hands of their Japanese captors. Some towns in the province have markers to mark every kilometre of the 69 km march, while various institutions have plaques commemorating the valiant souls who died during that trying time. The province honors the march every April 5, with the Bataan Death March Ultramarathon held later in the month.
Climb Every Mountain
The partly mountainous Bataan offers many climbing opportunities. Popular peaks involve Mt. Natib in the Bataan Natural Park located in Brgy. Tala in Orani, the highest peak in the area. The Park also straddles the town of Morong, where Mt. Silangan is located. Whether you decide to scale from the Orani or Morong side, there are a number of accommodations for you to make your base in.
Ride Your Bicycle
Mountain bikers can take advantage of Bataan's rugged terrain. The province has a local mountain biking club whose members will be more than happy to take visitors on a tour of the province's trails.
Start a War
A paintball war, that is. Bataan is a popular site for Airsoft war games. The province has 13 different areas for Airsoft campaigns, including sites in Orani, Pilar, and Mariveles. Airsoft groups and clubs in Manila and Bataan will be able to let you know how to gain access to these sites.
Go to list of Bataan resorts and hotels