Bataan Family Road Trip

April 28, 2014 Travel

It had been a while since our last family outing. With the heat in Manila becoming unbearable, we decided to embark on a road trip. 

Bataan was our chosen destination due to its proximity to Manila. The province has a lot to offer—its mountains are popular among mountaineers, its beaches remain unspoiled, and it is 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

Our road trip started at 4:30 AM. We left Metro Manila in the dark, and as we drove along the North Luzon Expressway, the sun began to rise. Our first stop was Subic

We arrived early and noticed that most restaurants were closed. We decided to have breakfast at McDonald's and parked in front of Royal Subic. While waiting for it to open, we did some last-minute shopping for supplies.

Adopting a turtle at the Pawikan Conservation Center

Before checking into our resort, we decided to make a detour to the Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan, injecting a bit of voluntouring into our escapade. We took the scenic SBMA-Morong Road all the way to Barangay Nagbalayong.

Bataan beaches are renowned for nesting sea turtles or pawikans. Unfortunately, their numbers are rapidly decreasing in the Philippines. 

The Pawikan Conservation Center is dedicated to promoting the conservation of these creatures. The entrance fee is only 20 pesos, and guests also have the option to adopt sea turtles at 50 pesos per hatchling.

Our family decided to release a few pawikans into the sea, and it was a joy to watch these little cuties race to their natural habitat.

Rest and Relaxation at Sunset View Resort

We planned our vacation weeks in advance, but up until the last minute, we were still debating our accommodation, unable to secure reservations. Eventually, we decided to embrace the spirit of adventure, donned our hats, and opted to choose a resort upon arrival.

After inquiring at a few resorts, we settled on Sunset View Resort. We booked a family room with three queen beds for only five thousand pesos.

Our bonding time continued amidst delectable cuisine, a splendid view of the beach, and the captivating beauty of the sunset. Given that it was a weekday, only two groups were staying, allowing us to practically have the resort all to ourselves.

What I had truly anticipated was a taste of the day's fresh catch, making this sight a delightful prelude to the sunset.

The staff kindly arranged a table for us on the second-floor terrace, conveniently close to our room. This thoughtful gesture spared me the challenge of navigating stairs with crutches. I spent most of my time on the second floor, enjoying a splendid view of the pool and the beach, and I didn't mind it one bit.

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

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a historical village showcasing houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. 

They used to be my clients, and I wanted my family to visit. 

These old houses have been carefully moved and reassembled in a heritage park with cobblestone streets, plazas, and sculptures. Each house is a testament to a bygone era, dismantled, transported, and reassembled with care.

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

Paying homage at Mt. Samat Shrine

Next stop: Mt. Samat.

When my grandfather passed away, the family received flowers from Malacanan. It was in recognition of my grandfather's contribution to the construction of the Mt. Samat National Shrine. Years later, my dad continued his work in maintaining the elevator inside the shrine.

The Mount Samat National Shrine, or Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), is a historical shrine erected to honor and commemorate the heroes of World War II. The cross is situated at the summit of Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan, standing at a height of 92 meters with a viewing gallery at the arms of the cross.

I visited this shrine years ago, so I did not join them this time 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 visiting, and she had 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 truly the best.

Going home

At about 8:00 PM, we were already headed home with our 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 included a little history, culture, and environmental preservation.

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