Mount Samat is located in Pilar, Bataan. The province itself has a lot of historical context and Mount Samat is no exception. The large cross, known as the “Shrine of Valor” or “Dambana ng Kagitingan”, was built in remembrance of the historic Battle of Bataan. It is an iconic monument of the province and can be seen from miles away. It stands as 92 meters from the ground and serves as an elevator that leads up to a viewpoint. One can get to know more about what happened in those times from the museum and other establishment erected within the area.
The view is pleasant, showing hikers the outlines of mountains nearby. The air is cool and refreshing, the perfect company as you go up the winding steps. Take note that the site gets quite a number of visitors throughout the year. This causes a long line when taking the elevator to reach the viewing deck. Plan your trip to get the most out of the experience.
Elevation: 553 m above sea level
Days needed to complete hike: 1 day
Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 30 minutes
Jump-off point: Barangay Diwa, Pilar, Bataan
The trail is easy to follow since it is already an established path. In no time, you will reach the top of the mountain where you can study about the historical event that took place there. You will pass by a park where a museum, gazebo and some stores can be found. Follow the cemented steps leading up to the cross to reach your destination.
On a side note, Mount Samat is the perfect side trip when you visit other attractions within the area. Although a nice experience altogether, it is only a very short trek. Why not visit Dunsulan Falls or Tarak Ridge while you’re at it?
It’s important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go on the day itself. Here are some ways to get to your destination:
From Manila, ride a bus to Balanga, Bataan. After getting off, take a jeepney bound for Bagac directly to the jump-off point. There is a registration center on site where you pay the necessary fees. No local guides are required since the trail is very straightforward.
Another alternative is to take your own private cars to the area. You may drive up to the middle of the trail very close to the top and continue your ascent on foot. It is also possible to rent a jeepney that will take you up Mount Samat. This is highly recommended since the hike is meant for a side trip and hikers will not spend a long time in the area.