We were booked at Las Casas to celebrate our anniversary. To make the most out of our Bataan trip, we searched for possible side trips along the way. And we found one amazing landmark worth visiting — Mount Samat National Shrine / Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan).
Mount Samat is one of the historical shrines in the country where some battles during the Word War II took place. Back in 1992, Filipino-American soldiers fought with the Japanese forces wherein the latter won which led to the horrific Death March. You can observe within Bataan the kilometer markers along the roads walked by the soldiers involved in the Death March.
To remember the fallen soldiers who fought the battle during the war, Mount Samat National Shrine was built. It’s located near the summit of Mount Samat at Pilar Bataan which can be seen along the main road.
Mount Samat Cross
It seemed so far away at first as the mountain top was far from the road but with the help of Waze, we made it easily. Tricycles can be hailed if you’re going to commute. There were some bikers and skate boarders along the way so extra caution should be practiced.
We went straight to the giant cross through steep curvy roads. The view at the foot of the cross was amazing. The temperature was noticeably cold together with the strong breeze of fresh air.
For just P20, you can reach the viewing floor at the top of the giant cross using an elevator. We gave our tickets to the guard and he guide us as the lift climbed. Upon reaching the top of the 36-story cross, you can see the mountainous area, the manila bay and coastal areas of Pampanga and Bulacan.
You can open the windows to feel the gusts of wind above and have a better view of the surroundings. There are plenty of windows to accommodate guests.
Colonnade and Museum
After exploring the view atop the largest cross in Asia, we then headed to the next attraction in the shrine called the Colonnade. Beautiful stained glassed and engraved stone walls were showcased in which stories of the past can be read.
Beneath the Colonnade was the museum wherein you can see vintage photo gallery, weapons, uniforms, and other equipment during the war. They said it was haunted but what I felt was the hardships experienced during that era that can be seen on many old photos.
Via Bus: Ride a bus bound to Balanga, Bataan then jeepney to Cabog-cabog. Ride a trike all the way to the shrine
Via Ferry: Ride a ferry bound to Bataan at Ferry Terminal MOA.
Private car: Use waze.
Entrance Fee: P20
Parking fee: P20 to P30
There are sari-sari and souvenir stores at the foot of the giant cross.
No flying of Drones
Video recording are not allowed inside the museum
You can take the ladder from the cross to the pinnacle vice-versa
Opening hours is 8AM to 5PM everyday
Here’s a link below to our Las Casas Trip.