Bataan Family Road Trip

April 28, 2014 Travel

It has been a while since we went on an outing as a family. Since the heat in Manila was becoming too unbearable, we decided to go on a road trip. 

We chose Bataan because of its proximity to Manila.  The province has so much to offer.  Its mountains are popular destinations among mountaineers.  Its beaches are unspoiled.  It is also home to the country's historical landmarks.

Here is a log of our family's 2014 summer escape.  

Day 1

Duty Free shopping at Subic

At 4:30 AM, the road trip began. It was still dark when we left Metro Manila. The sun started peeking when we were already at the North Luzon Expressway. Subic was our first destination. 

It was still very early when we arrived. Most restaurants were closed so we ended up having breakfast at McDonalds. After breakfast, we parked in front of Royal Subic and waited for it to open for our last minute supplies shopping.

Adopting a turtle at the Pawikan Conservation Center

Before we checked in at our resort, we decided to drop by the Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan to inject a little voluntouring effort in our escapade. We took the scenic SBMA-Morong Road all the way to Barangay Nagbalayong.

Bataan beaches are known for nesting sea turtles or pawikans. In the Philippines, the pawikans are fast decreasing in number. The center promotes conservation of these creatures.  Entrance fee is only 20 pesos.  Guests also have an option to adopt sea turtles at 50 pesos per hatchling.

So, our family decided to release a few pawikans to the sea and it was a joy to watch these little cuties race to the sea.

Rest and Relaxation at Sunset View Resort

We did plan our vacation weeks in advance but up until the last minute we were still arguing where to go until we couldn't get any more reservations.  So, we just decided to don our adventure hats and just look for the resort when we get there.

We asked a few resorts until we found one we all agreed on.  It was Sunset View Resort. We got a family room with three queen beds for only five thousand pesos.  

Our bonding continued over good food, great view of the beach and beautiful sunset.  Since it was a weekday, there were only two groups staying.  We practically had the resort all for ourselves.  

What I was really hoping for was some fresh catch so this was a welcome sight before sunset.

The staff were kind enough to set us up a table at the second floor terrace near our room so I didn't have to go up and downstairs to eat because it was too difficult with crutches.  I practically stayed the whole time on the 2nd floor but I didn't mind.  I had a good view of the pool and the beach.  

Day 2
Travel back in time at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a recreated village with houses dating back from the 18th to the 19th century transplanted from its original location and preserved in this heritage park of cobblestone streets, small plazas and lots of outdoor sculptures. Each house was dismantled, transported and reassembled brick by brick.  

This includes Casa Hidalgo, the old University of the Philippines' School of Fine Arts; Casa Lubao, which was a Japanese garrison during World War II; the grand Casa Bizantina, used to be rented by the Instituto de Manila, now known as University of Manila; Casa Unisan, built in 1839 complete with trap doors; and Casa Biñan, which is a replica of the house of Teodora Alonzo with the original the original wooden door, stairs and a few planks.

Paying homage at Mt. Samat Shrine

Next stop: Mt. Samat.

When my grandfather died, the family received flowers from the late President Ferdinand Marcos.  It was for my grandfather's contribution in building the Mt. Samat National Shrine.  Years later, my dad continued his work in the upkeep of the elevator inside the shrine.

Mount Samat National Shrine or Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valour) is a historical shrine built to honor and remember the heroes of World War II.  The cross is located at the peak of Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan.  It is 92 meters high with a viewing gallery at the arms of the cross.

I visited this shrine years ago so I did not join them anymore since it was too difficult for me to climb the stairs leading to the cross. I think my mom was the happiest because it was her first time to visit and she always wanted to go.

Filling up at Aling Lucing

After a whole day of traveling, we were hungry so before we headed home, we dropped by Angeles City to eat at the place where sisig, one of the family's favorite meals, was created.  We had difficulty finding the place but it was worth it.  

The sisig here is really the best. 

Going home

At about 8:00 PM, we were already headed home with tummies filled, lots of fond memories and enough photos to share on our social networking site.  It was a great two-day vacation that was not just about rest and relaxation but also with a little history, culture and environment preservation.  

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