The Historical Balanga City

Bataan is a very famous historical place for the Philippines. Going to Bataan, you will a mark in the called the Bataan Death March Marker which is seen in the town of Orani.

The capital city of Bataan is Balanga.  What are the famous places to see in the capital? In the center of the city are the following:

Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral – Parish of Saint Joseph

Balanga Cathedral, formally known as Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph was declared as a diocesan-shrine and is the seat of the Diocese of Balanga. The cathedral was formally declared as a Diocesan Shrine on March 19, 2015.

Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga

Across the street from the façade of the cathedral is The Plaza Mayor.  The plaza mayor is a plaza of the famous Plaza Hotel Blanaga City with a statue of Jose Rizal. Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga is an old hotel in the middle of Balanga City. It is a 3.5 hotel with 34 guest rooms.

The hotel also has the mall in the adjacent building. On the right side of the hotel is the town hall.

Bataan World War II Museum

The museum houses inside the compound of the Balanga City Elementary School. It is near the surrender site and located at Jose Basa Street. The museum is dedicated to the Filipino and American war soldiers and war veterans. The World War II museum has different artifacts and dioramas about the events that took place during World War 2.

It consists of two floors where you can see some original memorabilia used during WWII even some parts of the plane that crashed in the Tarak Ridge.

Right across the museum is the Surrender Site. Other landmarks to see are Dona Francisca Park, Bataan Tourism Center and the Zero Kilometer Death March Marker.

Samal, Bataan

Samal is a coastal town in Bataan. It was known for sea gypsies migrated in Luzon in the early 14th century and settled in Bataan. They introduced the pearl and capiz culture.
The Parish Church of Saint Catherine of Siena was founded in the municipality on April 20, 1641. Saint Catherine of Siena became the patron saint of the municipality and a feast on her name was celebrated every 30th of April.

Historically, the church and the convent were burned by the Katipuneros in 1896 and as rebuilt in 1903.

Kamana Sanctuary Resort and Spa

My grandiose Subic Trip was for our Kick-Off Meeting with the same company where we stayed in Kamana Sanctuary Resort and Spa. It is an exclusive resort and one of the best resorts in Subic. It is located at West Ilanin Forest. It is also near Ocean Adventure which is also in Morong, Bataan.
Amenities include an infinity pool, conference rooms, a big garden, separate rooms on the coast of Subic Bay. A hidden rock formation on the side of the beachfront.

There are different types of rooms to choose from like the Casitas, Deluxe Single, Deluxe Twin, Hotel Suite, Deluxe Twin with Loft and Standard Twin. Their restaurants serve luscious and delectable dishes that will suit your palette.

The view of mountaintops and lush rainforests surrounds the resort. The sunset is also a beautiful site in Kamana. It is along the coastline of Nabasan Beach and Nabasan Wharf.

Grande Island Resort

Grande Island used to be a part of the U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay. A harbor defenses called Fort Wint was located here. The island is in the middle of Subic Bay in the municipality of Morong, Bataan.
My fourth time in Subic was in Grande Island for an outing with my colleague in one of the companies where I worked before. We went to the Grande Island Resort Ferry Terminal on the Waterfront Road and left the van in the parking lot of the terminal.
We rode a boat going to the island which took about 20 minutes heading to the island. The island was huge with a 42 hectares property in the middle of Subic Bay, just in front of the Camayan Beach Resort and in Silaquin Zambales.
We waited at the lobby before checking-in to our rooms and were transferred by using golf carts from the lobby of the resort. Going back to the lobby we walked and checked the resort to see the different amenities like – ATV cars, golf carts, billiards, swimming pool, beach, water sports activities, team building facilities, jogging trail and fitness area.

We went to the beachside and stayed there for a while before we decided to go back to our rooms to change. We enjoyed swimming in the pool before having dinner.
The following day, we rode an ATV and explored the island. It was a dirt road going up the cliff. It was a great view on the other side of the island which was home for different birds.
Grande Island Resort is a sanctuary for old century-old trees, diverse marine life and different migratory birds.

Subic Bay Beaches

Subic Bay is 110 kilometer northwest of Manila and is also the easiest getaway from Manila since it’s only two hours away from the city. Subic Bay is surrounded by the towns of Subic and Olongapo City, both in Zambales, and parts of Morong, Bataan.
The Subic Bay Freeport Zone is a part of the economic zone and is a secured and fenced area.  I’m not sure how many times I went to Subic Bay and Subic Freeport Zone, but my first time was during college days. My barkada in college known as the Gorgeous’s or we were fondly called d’G’s decided to have our trip together before our graduation.

Dungaree Beach

We stayed in one of the housing for the American soldiers before they turned it into vacation villas. Subic Homes is located in Samahan Heights, Binictican Drive with the American style houses. We went to the beach called Dungaree Beach and enjoyed swimming. Dungaree Beach is located at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The water is calm and the beach is isolated from the much-crowded area along Subic Bay.

Another attraction in Subic is the Duty-Free shops. During our stay, we went to Royal Duty-Free to buy some foreign goods. At night we had fun playing bowling in Cosmic Center. The Cosmic Center was an old place with restaurants and a bowling center.

Baloy Beach

The second time I went to Subic Bay was after college when I was finding a reason to get out of Manila and went to a friend’s house in Olongapo City. We then went to a white sand beach called Baloy Beach. Baloy Beach is located along Baloy Long Beach Road in Olongapo City. From the beach, you can also see the White Castle Island.

Camayan Beach

The third time I went to Subic Bay was again an all-girls trip and the first stop was the Zoobic Safari. We participated and learned from the ethnic tribe lessons in the wilderness and we check the different animals in the Zoo. We had fun with the birds in the Zoo.

We went for a day trip tour in Camayan Beach. We spent it in the Camayan Beach Resort where were rented a cabana on the beachfront. Camayan Beach Resort is a private resort located in Camayan Wharf in West Ilanin Forest Area. It is a part of Morong, in Bataan. The resort also offers water sports activities, indoor and outdoor games.

Camayan Beach Resort is beside the Ocean Adventure Subic Bay and half of the group went to the Dolphin Show in the afternoon while the rest enjoyed the water in the beachfront.