First Line of Defense Monument at Layac Junction in Dinalupihan

Ride, dine and explore Bataan on two wheels

First Line of Defense Monument at Layac Junction in Dinalupihan

Bataan province is synonymous to the historic battlefields of World War II whose observance peaks at the Araw ng Kagitingan on April 9 of every year.

But beyond this solemn memorial day, motorcycle aficionados can ride and dine in style and discover the gorgeous countryside of the province until the end of the year.

Riders looking for a touch of class can bask on the tempting Explore Bataan promo of The Oriental Hotel and Resort in Mariveles, which includes a room rate of P3,888 for deluxe cellar and P4,888 for deluxe executive, which goes with breakfast for two and a 10-percent discount at the Cocoon Restaurant and Forest Grill.

Bataan Tourism Center in Balanga City

Road trippers can pamper themselves at the circular pool and get signature massages at the Asian-themed spa after a long ride.

The Oriental’s partner tour operator, Aura Mosca has unique itineraries or customized tours for guests, which combine nature, adventure, culture, and cuisine.

But for those who prefer the do-it-yourself mode, here are some of the suggested and Instagram-worthy must-see spots:

Riders at The Oriental Bataan

First Line of Defense Monument. A larger-than-life tableau of the USAFFE 38th Infantry Division at the Layac Junction in Dinalupihan who bore the brunt of the first Japanese attacks in 1941, and liberated the same area in 1945.

Bataan Tourism Center. Located in Balanga City, this one-stop government information center has a diorama, mini-museum, audio-visual room for war documentaries and tourism videos, a pasalubong store, and a public park with gardens, lagoon and amphitheater.

World War II Surrender Site. The spot inside the Balanga Elementary School where Filipino and American troops surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942, and is depicted through life-size bronze tableau and a war museum.

City of Balanga Wetlands and Nature Park. A 34-hectare mangrove forest which is habitat to some 9,500 endemic and migratory birds in the Manila Bay wetlands. It is best seen at dusk when the avians return from their hunt for food.

Riders at the Mt. Samat Dambana ng Kagitingan

Dambana ng Kagitingan. Bataan’s touristic and historic icon, this is a World War II memorial complex which immortalizes the uncommon valor of soldiers who defended the country against Japan. Its centerpiece is a 92-meter concrete cross and a war museum memorabilia on top of Mt. Samat in Pilar. At the foot of the mountain are recreational facilities, forest trails, waterfall and natural pool.

Death March Km. Zero. A memorial plaza in Mariveles where some 70,000 prisoners of war were gathered by the Japanese for a grueling 100-km. walk to their prison camp in Capas, Tarlac.

Five Fingers Cove. A picture-perfect series of coves where guests can go hopping aboard outrigger boats.

Morong. A coastal town on the peninsula’s far end which is known for its fine sand coastline dotted with cozy beach resorts and the conservation center for sea turtles.

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The Oriental Bataan lobby