Balanga City—Bataan Chronicles 2023 (Part 1)

For the first time since completing my first and only Bataan Death March ultramarathon, I’ve returned to the province to explore. What we found were more than what we expected.

Bataan is just across the Manila Bay from Metro Manila. The mountains where the sun appears to set behind as seen from the bay is in this province. But despite its relative proximity to Metro Manila, I don’t often hear it as a destination. A few weeks ago, we were looking for a place to explore that isn’t too far, and that’s when Bataan popped in.

Bataan is just a bus ride away from Metro Manila. We took one early morning from a bus terminal in Pasay City near MRT-3 Taft Ave. Station bound for Balanga City. The one we took exited in San Fernando, Pampanga and took the provincial road so it was around noon when we arrived. Not sure if there’s a more direct route, but it was definitely much longer than we expected.

Balanga City

When we alighted the bus, I felt a bit “lost.” It looked like we just dropped off in the middle of nowhere, with just some fast food stores lining the road for some comfort. I was used to buses dropping us off practically in the middle of downtown whenever we visit provincial cities so it was a little strange. Good thing that there’s a good coverage of 5G and LTE so we reoriented ourselves while having our lunch. It turns out, the national road was just outside the city, and if you think about it, is a good design so that traffic isn’t needlessly taken into the city by passersby. There were tricycles plying the area and we took one to get to the city center.

Balanga City.

The first thing on out itinerary was the Cathedral Shrine Parish of Saint Joseph. It’s been our habit to visit the local church first whenever possible to give thanks for a safe arrival and to ask for safety during our trip.

Cathedral Shrine Parish of Saint Joseph. There was a construction ongoing at the front during our visit.
Inside the church.

Right across the church is the Plaza Mayor. It’s a very interesting public space where a hotel and mall is also located.

From here, we walked towards the public terminal station (situated beside SM City Bataan) to get us to our next destination, Bagac.

Mount Samat Cross, also known as Dambana ng Kagitingan, as seen on our way to Bagac.

Bataan Chronicles 2023
Balanga City
Las Casas Filipinas, Bagac
Dambana ng Kagitingan

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