We were allowed to rent the car that was located at the resort with Reggie the caretaker as our personal driver, so that was great. For only 1500 PHP (28.30 USD) he took us to some of the biggest attractions and landmarks on the Bataan peninsula, in particular: Mount Samat and the national shrine called Dambana ng Kagitingan.
Mount Samat is quite a historic mountain where an epic battle was fought between the Japanese and the Filipino and American soldiers, back in 1942. Ultimately, the Filipino-American soldiers lost on the battle and the Japanese then led the captive and exhausted soldiers on the gruesome Death March, that in turn led to many Filipino and American soldiers dying along the way, trying to get to their end destination named Camp O'Donnell (one of the most gruesome concentration camps of WWII).
To commemorate and honor all the brave soldiers that tried to prevent the Japanese from taking over the Philippines while risking or giving their lives, a great national shrine has been built and situated on top of Mount Samat: the Dambana ng Kagitingan or Shrine of Valor.
We were able to go all the way to the top of the mountain by car so that was quite convenient; and we ended up at a parking place right near the big memorial cross. From the parking place, stunning views were already been seen as well as from viewpoints closer to the base of the cross. It was possible to go with an elevator to the arm-level of the cross, where a viewing gallery was nestled giving a stunning 360-degree view over the whole Bataan peninsula through the windows on the arms of the cross.
The Memorial Cross was one more way to honor the bravery of the fallen soldiers, but close to it was a big shrine built called Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor). We were going to check it out.
Connected with a stairway covered with bloodstone, which was said to be stained by Japanese blood, the Shrine of Valor was indeed close nearby, and we went down to take a look. With the Philippine flag proudly waving in front of it, the National Shrine called Dambana ng Kagitingan felt indeed like a place with strong historic, emotional value to it. People were respectfully walking around and the whole place, including the gardens surrounding it, were exceptionally well taken care of. For a better view and information source about the Shrine of Valor you can check out this article.
The Dunsulan Falls were not far away, so it only made sense to check that one out as well. The waterfall is located at the foot of the mountain, so a short ride to a dirt road parking place led us to the entrance of the falls. The entrance fee was 50 PHP (0.94 USD), and after paying that, we entered a very well maintained area surrounding an aesthetically beautiful waterfall clattering a round basin pool. I think it's a waterfall worth going to since Dunsulan Falls, has amenities like bath and changing rooms, picnic tables, and also a tree hopping adventure in between the high trees.
The Dunsulan Falls are not only beautiful to look at; it makes for a great swimming opportunity as well! Melody took the chance of having some greatly refreshing swimming time after our trip to Mt. Samat, and I do think it's highly recommended. I didn't have clothes for swimming but Melody said it was very cold (meaning nice) and just great water.
I took the opportunity to fly the drone over area. I was able to take some quite nice aerial footage of the Dunsulan Falls before I accidentally flew my drone inside a tree. The drone fell down into the water, right before Melody's head. We were very lucky that it didn't land on top of her pretty head so I was glad with that at least. Also I was very please to know that the footage was still saved onto the memory card.
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