Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
View of Morong from Orani
A souvenir shirt from Bataan Tourism Center


B A T A A N 

Most travelers reckon that Bataan is better off the way it is -- dangling away from the touristic route of Metro Manila to the rest of mainland Luzon. Like that single house in your neighborhood that resembles a mausoleum, it's located at a detour where life seems dreary. You try to avoid it on your way from school or work as much as you can until rumors of a mystical event there tickles your interest.

The reality is that the province is more than any hype. It shines where it's most random... like a friend's house where you crash for impromptu snacks. It's where you kill time and end up with precious memories.

Pasukulan Falls of Abucay
To appreciate a visit of the peninsula, one needs to take one attraction at a time. Set a pace that lets your immersion become relevant to your sensibilities. Are you fond of beaches? It has lots of it. Giddy for remote attractions? It has secluded waterfalls and intrepid hike trails. Craving for local treats? There's no shortage of such delights in Balanga and the rest of its 11 towns. As a matter of fact, there's more than one reliable lodging in the area to serve as your base for a tour.

For someone who's visited the province more than once, I can ascertain that an overnight stay there is worth repeating again and again. And, here are just a few reasons why:

La Salle Beach
1. Soak-worthy Beaches

Bataan can rival Batangas for near-Manila beach attractions. As a matter of fact, it has more than one such destination that locals flock to every summer. Westnuk Beach of Morong is the most popular for exuding a private cove vibe. The good news is that the province also has the vast stretches of the La Salle Beach and Stella Mariz Beach. Even the public beach in Bagac looks decent enough to get your bronze on.

Read more about Bataan's beaches here.

The woodland view in Orani
2. Attractive Woodlands and Waterfalls

The farming plains of the peninsula are not much to look at, but that doesn't have to deter you from venturing into its remote woodlands where the terrain can get chilly and sloping in many spots. The town of Orani has a village called Tala where hikers hie off to for day hikes and more. It can serve as a great alternative to a vacation in Tagaytay. One secluded waterfalls to discover there is Pasukulan that's accessible via a trail that traverses in Abucay.

Read more about Bataan's woodlands and waterfalls here.

The Colonnade of Mount Samat
3. Life-changing Historical Landmarks and Museums

You can't go wrong in including visits to historical landmarks and museums in your itinerary when you're in Bataan. It's a must to gaze at the majestic Memorial Cross and Colonnade that dominate Pilar's Mount Samat. Apart from its citadel-like aesthetic, the attraction is beloved by Filipinos for its significance to the country's World War II past. There's even a museum in the same site where cameras are not allowed. For a similar experience in another location where gadgets with cameras are allowed, the Bataan WWII Museum can be a memorable side trip. Right outside it is where the Surrender Memorial can be found.

Read more about Bataan's landmarks and museums.

Souvenirs from the Bataan Tourism Center
4. Sought-after Local Delights

Local tourists go as far as Baguio to buy a soft broom or walis tambo when most of it are actually produced in this side of the country. Some of it are even displayed at the Bataan Tourism Center. And with Capiz getting most of the attention for quality seafood, Filipinos are missing out on the presence of Amanda's Marine Products, a leading Bataan-based company that manufactures and exports sauteed shrimp paste, fish sauce, salted anchovies, dried and smoked fish.

The place also has a homegrown coffee shop (The Beanery) and ice cream store (Geno's) that can give Metro Manila establishments a run for their money. As for local cuisine, the dining destination of Joyous Tangway is one restaurant to visit in Balanga.

Read more about Bataan's local delights here.

Vista Tala Resort and Recreational Park in Orani
5. World-class Accommodations

Now that you have a list of attractions to enjoy in the province, a tour base is the next one to settle. Whether it's a luxury hotel or a bespoke resort, an accommodation in the area is not hard to find. In Balanga, The Plaza Hotel is the newest one to consider with its old world facade and exciting location next to the Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga. For a mountainside escapade with a swimming pool to boot, Orani's Vista Tala Resort and Recreational Park is the establishment of choice. Should you prefer the mountain views of Morong, Vista Venice Resort is a great alternative.

The Plaza Hotel-Balanga
Read more about The Plaza Hotel-Balanga.

Read more about Vista Tala Resort and Recreational Park.

Read more about Vista Venice Resort.

Rain or shine, Bataan is worth your time. Visit it today and create new memories of soak-worthy beaches, attractive woodlands and waterfalls, life-changing historical landmarks and museums, sought-after local delights, plus world-class lodgings!

Special thanks to Bataan Tourism Center


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