If you’re thinking that Bataan is less appealing and less gorgeous than other places and you haven’t considered it in your list of must-see Philippines destinations yet, then you may want to squander your time in reading this Bataan DIY Itinerary and Travel Guide post and I might persuade you to revisit your list.
How we got there:
We took a Genesis bus bound for Mariveles from Pasay. (Fare: P200.00 per person)
a. Genesis Pasay Terminal is adjacent to McDonalds, Pasay Rotonda and at the rear of Sogo Hotel, Pasay Rotonda. Another major bus line you may consider is Bataan Transit which shares a terminal with Five Star in Cubao.
b. If you intend to visit Balanga first, immediately inform the bus driver to drop you off in Balanga City.
c. The earlier you leave Manila, the better. (Trust me on this)
5:30 a.m. – Bus left Pasay Terminal
8:45 a.m. – We arrived in Balanga City. We had breakfast at Jollibee which is just across the bus’ drop-off point.
9:30 a.m. – We took the tricycle going to Crown Royale Hotel. (Fare: P10.00 per person) Tricycles queue outside Jollibee. Hop a ride to reach the Balanga City proper.
I recommend Crown Royale Hotel mainly because of its cheap price considering its proximity to Plaza Mayor de Ciudad Balanga (City Plaza) and Central Terminal. The type of accommodation we got already includes breakfast and complimentary water.
After visiting the church, we went to Central Terminal which is a few walks away from downtown.
10:00 a.m. – In Central Terminal, we rode the jeep bound for Cabog-Cabog to reach Mt. Samat at Brgy Diwa, Pilar, Bataan. (Jeepney Fare: 20.00 per person)
10:30 a.m. – We arrived at the foot of Mt. Samat.
To reach the summit of Mt. Samat, you could either ride the tricycle for 100 per person (one way) or endure the 8-kilometer uphill walk for 2-3 hours. There’s no way we could reach the top without fainting and getting famished, so we decided to take the tricycle.
Along the way, we didn’t see any human beings walking uphill. So I was like, “thank God, we decided not to be frugal this time.”
10:50 a.m. – We reached the entrance to Mt. Samat National Shrine (Dambana ng Kagitingan). (Entrance Fee: 20.00 per person)
We requested the tricycle driver to wait for us until we finish the tour because when we got off, we noticed that there were no other public vehicles waiting there.
We didn’t waste time because we needed to face another steep uphill stairs to reach the foot of the Giant Cross.
This giant cross has an elevator that can take visitors to a viewing room encased inside the arms of the cross. (Elevator Fee: 10.00 per person)
1:00 p.m. – We visited the museum. (Entry pass: The ticket given at the entrance gate.)
1:10 p.m. – We left the Mt. Samat National Shrine and headed back to the intersection at Brgy. Diwa.
1:30 p.m. – When we’re waiting for a jeep bound for Balanga Central Terminal, a tricycle driver approached and offered us a ride to Balanga City proper for 30.00 per person.
You can opt for this because you have to wait a little longer for jeepneys.
2:00 p.m. – We reached the Balanga City proper and decided to have lunch at Seafood Island. The Seafood Island is in Centro San Jose Mall which is in the premises of the City Plaza. They serve reasonably priced delicious seafood and non-seafood.
6:00 p.m. We had our dinner at a certain grill restaurant (I forgot its name) which is close to Balanga Central Terminal and Elison Hotel. They got very delicious sisig!!!
7:00 p.m. We enjoyed the magnificence of Plaza Mayor de Ciudad Balanga (City Plaza) at night!
7:30 a.m. – We checked out from Crown Royale Hotel
8:00 a.m. – We went to Balanga Bataan Central Terminal and took Bagac-bound jeep to get to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. (Estimated Travel Time – 1 hour)
a. Inform the Jeepney driver beforehand that you’re heading to Las Casas so he can drop you off at the nearest stop.
b. Ride a tricycle to take you inside the Las Casas (Fare: 10.00 per person)
9:00 a.m. – Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
We chose the 9:30 a.m. workshop tour and our guide toured us in the outer part of the Las Casas and showed us how bricks, artworks, among others are being done. The finished materials are the same materials they are using for the improvement of the entire resort.
After the tour, we ate our lunch at one of their freaking expensive restaurants! Their restaurants are ALL pricey unless you’ll go for pasta and other light food, so we really got no choice. We opted for a restaurant that serves Filipino cuisine.
Our heritage tour did not start until 2:30 pm so we had ample time to explore the place by ourselves.
You may visit the Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower which is nearby the terminal of jeepneys bound for Balanga Central Terminal.
So, you have seen our itinerary and pictures but still, you’re gonna ask me if it’s really worth going there? I mean, there are more places which are far famous, so why Bataan?
Is it really worth going there?
I’ll just let this picture speak.
For more information about Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, you may visit their website.
Notice: The pictures posted here are owned by the blogger. All photos with watermark “THEBLOGGERAM.BLOGSPOT.COM” were exported from Bloggeram’s old site (thebloggeram.blogspot.com).