Historic and Adventure Filled Bataan Travel Itinerary Guide

Traveling to Bataan should not be a problem as not only is it only a few hours from Manila, there are many buses available traveling this route. I went to Bataan last Christmas. As expected. There was a line as long as the Great wall of China. I finally boarded the Bataan Transit bus (in Cubao) at around 10 AM, after about two hours queueing. I was passing by the tree filled empty lots along the NLEX when the conductor asked me for 270 php. Not bad for an airconditioned four hour trip. My destination that day was Mariveles, Bataan. Balanga city though is just three hours away from Manila.

When I researched for things to do in Bataan, what caught my attention immediately are the many old churches in Bataan. On Christmas day, my friend and I visited three different churches. The first one that we visited was the church at Orion. Orion is around thirty minutes away by tricycle from the Daang Pare tricycle terminal. When I first set my eyes on this church, the first thing that came to my mind was that it is old.Old but well preserved or renovated. What gave me the hint that it was old is its architecture. Most old Philippine churches I noticed have the same kind of architecture: an ornate facade with a rectangular body behind it. I would love to talk in terms of architecture, I however did not pay much attention to my humanities subject back in college. I did remember our teacher showing us a photo of a church in Europe which features a similar type of architecture. I however didn't have any luck trying to search for it online. On a slightly different note, I realized that the only type of architecture I know is Baroque, and I don't even know what it means.

I especially love the bell tower (which architecture-ignorant me thought was a dome) attached to its side. It gives a very grand feel to the church.

Inside, the church even becomes grander.

The next church tha we went to was the church in Pilar, Bataan. It is old as well but one can guess from the state of the building. I believe the mother of my friend said that it is the oldest church in Bataan. From the looks of it, it probably is. I would've wanted to climb the bell tower and had a picture of me taken there but the church closed early that day.

The church's fa├žade is dotted with religious images enclosed in glassed windows. In contrast to the church in Orion, the bell tower in this church is found on the center, atop the main body of the church. The body I assume is square shaped.

This photo shows an arch on top of a door is very characteristic of old churches. How I wished I had a name for it.

The last church that we went to was the church in Abucay, Bataan. This church is about thirty minutes from the terminal in Abucay. The jeepney fare was around 10-15 php (if my memory serves me right).

As you may have noticed, the architecture is very similar to that of the church in Orion. Only this one looks very much older.

After viewing all these churches, one might feel bored and restless. So the next place you should visit is the inland resort in Balanga city. This resort has many amenities. It has a restaurant, a snack bar, a swimming pool, a butterfly farm, and an aviary. Activities include calesa riding, rapelling, wall climbing, zip lining, and kayaking (along the Talisay river).

There is an entrance fee to the resort which gives you access (I think) to the swimming pool, the aviary and the observation.We however did not pay this since we were there only to do zip lining. Zip lining costs 300 php per person but just add 200 php and you can get their package which includes rappeling and wall climbing. I especially loved the view from atop the zip line platform. I could see endless rows of trees, and far away was mount Samat which houses the "giant cross".

If you'r into history, you can also visit the WW2 Death March Memorial Shrine. Along Bataan, you can also see death march markers.

This photo features kilometer zero, the starting point of the death march.

Other places of interest in Bataan are its numerous beaches. Here is one of them that we visited.

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