Does anyone know if there is a Bataan historical/battlefield tour similar to the Corregidor one? You know where you ride a ferry to Bataan and do the tourist bit, go up Mt Samat, go to Mariveles, etc then back to Manila at the end of the day?
Something interesting. I wish I can go. Below is information sent to Michael Houlahan of the Phil. Scout Heritage Society regarding commemoration for the 65th anniversary of the Bataan surrender (Araw ng Kagitingan). Even if not part of an organized group, it would be interesting to go.
-------------- Greetings from Bataan,
re your requested info re 2007 65th commemoration of Bataan surrender. copy to Peter, Fred, and Sara for FYI.
As of today, there's no specific schedule of activity for next year's Bataan commemoration. But what to be expected are the following:
one week of festivities in Bataan like marathon, parade, trade fair, and the April 9 ceremony at Mt. Samat Shrine to be attended by the Philippine president, U.S.ambassador, japanese ambassador, Col. Rafael Estrada, and other dignitaries and historians/veterans.
This has been traditional since Pres. Marcos built the shrine during the 60's. The ceremony is always solemn, it starts at 9:00 am, after a helicopter had spread out rose petals from the sky. The band would play the national anthems of Philippines, U.S., and japan. Then the first three top dignitaries I've mentioned would approach the shrine and lay wreath. After that, they would parade with the flying colors toward the grandstand, then speeches would follow. There would be a huge shade for the audience.
For my guests, I always make sure that they are seated at the front, and the American Veterans/death march survivors to be seated at the grandstand, together with the dignitaries.
All attendees are required to be at the gate of Mt. Samat before 8:00 am.
How to go to Bataan from Manila:
The best way is by SunCruisesferry from CCP to Orion Bataan, it's a pleasant one hour ride via vessel that's also being used to go to Corregidor. Fare one way: P300 or $6 per person approx.
for an organized group, a guide can be organized to take the guests from the hotel to the ferry, all the way to Bataan.
Where to stay in Limay, Bataan, 10 minutes from the ferry terminal: Seaview Holiday Home, an exclusive place owned by Edna Binkowski, offers free shuttle from the ferry terminal and back, cultural entertainment, a relaxing pool, a pleasant stay, and historical tour.
Best to stay at least two nights before the April 9 Mt. Samat ceremony, to enjoy the parade that shows great choreography of some of the WWII events during the Battle of Bataan.
Other activites to do while in Bataan: Reflect on the death march by walking few miles, Edna Binkowski would guide.
visit the zero kilometer in Mariveles and Bagac and check the death march markers along the road. Visit the other memorials: Gen. King surrender site in Lamao, Wainwright surrender site in Cabcaben, the memorial for the forgotten Filipino-American Nurses in Limay, Battle of the Tuol Pocket, Pantingan Massacre, the life size replica of surrender party in Balanga Elementary School, Battle of the Layac junction statues that deficts the delaying tactics against the japanese invaders by the North and South Luzon forces, that also describes the Avengers of Bataan (liberators), see the hidden dramatic view of Sisiman cove where the PT boats were docked and where the nurses where evacuated to Corregidor before Bataan was surrendered, places where Claire Phillips (American Mata Hari) stayed during the battle.
Edna Binkowski would describe the Battle of Bataan that the pop history guides don't.
Day trip to Montemar Beach Resort to enjoy the beach.
Visit the Hellship Memorial in Subic, visit the jungle survival training camp, stay overnight in Subic.
The above program offered by Edna Binkowski is limited to small group.
Let me know if you need more info, thank you for calling.
I think the tour described above was especially put together for the 65th anniversary of Bataan Day. However you could inquire with Edna Binkowski as she would know better about any existing tours or if she conducts these small tours on an ongoing basis. I'll send you her contact info via PM. -victor