Monday, August 13, 2018

Mt Samat National Shrine in Bataan

Enroute to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, we made a quick visit to Mt Samat National Shrine.

Mt Samat National Shrine
Pilar, Bataan
Daily 8AM to 5PM
Admission fee Php 20

On Mt. Samat in Bataan stands a memorial for the US and Philippine Armies' last stand against the Imperial Japanese Army in the early months of 1942.

In Mt Samat National Shrine, a written account of the Battle of Bataan is found on the walls of the marble colonnade. We took a moment (a 10-minute long moment because it was two walls long) to read this important piece of our history.


Reading about the Battle of Bataan

Along the perimeter of the colonnade are marble sculptures depicting the battle, including the Bataan Death March, when, after the surrender, the Japanese made the Philippine and American soldiers march for 106 kilometers under intense heat, starvation, and torture.

Beneath the colonnade is a small museum with a collection of war artefacts, a 3D map of Bataan, and photographs. The power was out when we visited and there was no backup power generator. Despite the lack of electricity, we ventured inside the museum and looked at the exhibits in the dim light of our mobile phone. We almost jumped out of our pants when a voice rang out from some dark corner (it was very dark inside the museum!) scolding a guest for attempting to take a picture (no flash photography inside the museum!).

Steps leading to the large cross

Behind the colonnade are steps leading to the shrine's 92-meter tall cross. I had been to the shrine once before, eons six years ago. At that time, we were able to go up to the observatory on the arms of the cross via an elevator. But on this visit, the elevator was out of order (how long has it been out of order, I wonder) so we just took a look around the base of the cross which had sculptures depicting important events in Philippine history.

92-meter tall cross

Locked, we can't go up the observatory :(

History class was bottom on my list when I was in high school. This visit encourages me to read and learn more about our country's past.

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