The province of Bataan is best known for its historical and cultural attractions. The Battle of Bataan is famous for being one of the last stands of American and Filipino soldiers before they were overwhelmed by the Japanese forces during World War II. The Bataan Death March, where the infamous march started, was also named after the province.
But aside from its historical sites, Bataan is a rising eco-tourism destination with beaches, mountains, turtle sanctuaries, bird-watching sites, springs and waterfalls. Bataan lies within two major peaks, Mount Natib and Mount Mariveles, which are ideal destinations for adventure-seekers. If you’re a mountain biker or hiker, you’ll want to check out the natural trails that Bataan has to offer. Continue reading →
The beauty of the Philippines really shines in other provinces and islands. Destinations like Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Boracay are top draws for foreign tourists. However, many international travelers have to travel through Metro Manila, the capital and main gateway to many of the other destinations before they can get there.
Tarak Ridge. The name alone (a combination of the words “tarik” which means steep and “tabak” or hunting knife) should have given me a clue of what to expect. Standing 1,130 meters above sea level, this mountain in Mariveles, Bataan offers a scenic view of Bataan, Corregidor and neighboring islands. On clear days, you can see Manila Bay all the way up to Cavite. But to enjoy the stunning view, you first have to go through a moderately challenging hike through dense grasslands and steep trails that involves clambering over roots and holding on to branches for support.
The maze of narrow corridors with pipes snaking through the ceilings, hulking machinery and elaborate control panels looked like something out of a classic Science Fiction or horror flick. I couldn’t help imagine being chased by zombies as we walked along the dark hallways and climbed the industrial stairways of the building that has been sitting idle for three decades.
There are certain destinations in the Philippines that make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. Places like Vigan in Ilocos Sur, Corregidor in Cavite and Intramuros in Manila offer that old-world charm that makes you appreciate history more. Our adventure trip in Bataan had us not just visiting destinations, but jumping from different time periods. From the cobbled streets and Spanish Colonial Houses of 18th Century Philippines to the elaborate control room of a nuclear power plant built in the 1980s, we literally went back (packing) in time.