Pilar Travel Guide

  • looking out of the window on the arm of the cross
    looking out of the window on the arm of...
    by monina_c
  • Pilar
    by monina_c
  • Mt. Samat & Memorial Cross Partly Hidden By Clouds
    Mt. Samat & Memorial Cross Partly Hidden...
    by cyndymc

Pilar Highlights

  • Pro
    machomikemd profile photo

    machomikemd says…

     Pride of World War II 

  • Con
    LeoM profile photo

    LeoM says…

     Bathrooms kinda suck....if your a female. 

  • In a nutshell
    LeoM profile photo

    LeoM says…

     A shrine to honor heroes who fought for freedom 

Pilar Things to Do

  • Visit the Shrine of Valor in Mt. Samat

    I think it is a must for every Filipino to go and visit the Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan) atop Mt. Samat! I have been there several times but it still is special! It is not the immensity of the cross nor the climb to it that takes my breath away but the significance of it!It makes me proud to know that contrary to the belief of some, my...

  • Mount Samat: A memorial to the brave

    During the Second World War the armed forces of Imperial Japan swept through many areas in the Philippines. The remaining American and Filipino forces were forced to retreat to Mount Samat and the island of Corregidor in the Bataan Peninsula under war Plan Orange as formulated by General Douglas McArthur. After three days of fierce fighting over...

  • Go Up To The Arms Of The Cross

    The Memorial Cross has a height of 92 meters from the base, and its arms are set at 74 meters from the base, with a length of 30 meters or 15 meters per side. Inside the arms of the cross is the Viewing Gallery where tourists can (on a fine sunny day) see a panoramic view of Pilar and neighboring towns. My grandson and I were excited to see the...

  • Have a Picnic With Your Family & Friends

    On our way down the foot path & stairs from the Memorial Cross, we met some people carrying pots/casseroles and picnic baskets. I asked a woman if they were going to have a picnic, and she said yes, they always have a picnic at the top, under the trees. I admire them for taking all the trouble to go up with their load of food. I guess the quality...

  • Philippine History Through Sculptural...

    Upon reaching the Memorial Cross, I rested for a while and immediately shot a souvenir picture of my grandson. There was a long queue to the elevator that brought tourists up to the viewing gallery, so I had ample time to appreciate the sculptural bas-reliefs on the base of the cross. National Artist Napoleon Abueva was commisioned to produce said...

  • Dare Go Up Through The Zigzag Foot Path...

    Behind the Colonnade, you'll find the zigzag foot path and stairs. Carved on the steep slope of Mt. Samat, the foot path and stairs involves a climb of 14 flights. Surprisingly, I didn't find the climb very tedious because in between flights of a few steps of the stairs, you'll walk on a foot path where you can slow down and rest, and breath in...

  • Explore The Colonnade

    As you go up the stairs past the flag pole, you will see the Colonnade. It is an impressive marble-capped structure with an altar, esplanade and museum. As you go up the esplanade, you will notice the 18 bronze insignias of the USAFFE with 19 scriptural murals at the parapet. Complementary to these are 18 flag poles with colors of the USAFFE...

  • Experience History As It Unfolds At The...

    "Dambana ng Kagitingan" or Shrine of Valor offers you the experience of reliving history. It was the brainchild of then President Ferdinand Marcos who thought it would be befitting to have a memorial erected in Mt. Samat to pay honor and tribute to the gallant and patriotic Filipino and American soldiers of the United States Armed Forces Of The Far...

  • Take Note: There Are Two Parking Areas

    Most of the time, vehicles automatically drive straight to the parking area infront of the stairway to the Flag Pole and Colonnade. If you park there, you have to traverse the 14 flights of zigzagging stone-laden path and stairs at the back of the Colonnade to go up to the Memorial Cross. While the refreshing wind and trees make the climb easier,...

  • Prepare Exact Amount for Entrance &...

    To avoid delay and inconvenience at the gate, prepare exact change for your entrance & parking fees: P20/pax entrance fee for local tourists (slightly higher for foreigners); P20 parking fee for car. I noticed that there is a discount for students and senior citizens, but for teenagers, the gatekeeper will automatically charge the same rate for...

  • Watch for The Km.19 Death March Marker

    Coming from Balanga, keep a watchful eye on the left side of the road and watch for the Km. 19 Death March Marker. This commemorates the site of the historical battle between the Filipino & American soldiers of USAFFE and the Japanese Forces.A short distance from this marker is the road going up to the Shrine of Valor.

  • Dambana ng Kagitingan Shrine

    Bataan is Famous Around the World due to the Bataan Death March and Due to the Valor of Philippine and American Troops under the USAFEE who fought a delaying action in the Bataan Peninsula agianst the Japanese Imperial Army that delayed their plans and saved Australia from Invasion. This Shrine is consecrated to the valor of fighting men who...

  • Visit the Memorial Cross

    Going up to the top of the cross is supposed to be the highlight of visiting Mt. Samat. During our visit, we were dissapointed because the service elevator was not working, still under repair, so we were not able to go up. The management also did not allow the visitors to use the stairs.

  • The Trees: A Photographer's Delight

    After roaming around the giant cross, try to observe its sorroundings and you'll notice that there are other things for you to appreciate, like these lovely trees here that caught my attention.

  • Hike Up the Stairs

    Hiking up the stairs is really tiring that you need to stop for a while and take a rest. Resting lets you notice the beautiful sorroundings or anything that catches your attention, take pictures, and then you'll notice that hiking is turning out to be fun at all.

  • The Helipad

    A good place to pause for awhile and take a little time to appreciate the beauty of nature in Bataan. Just be sure no chopper is landing and gets you crushed...joke!

  • The View

    Great view especially towards the Mariveles side. Greeneries and what was left of it. On a clear day (minus fog or smog ... whatever) you may see as far as Pampanga towards North and Manila at the East.From here you may also see NPC's power plants and Petron refinery.

  • The Stairs

    You can't really say you've been to Samat if you haven't tried the stairs! At least the one from Museum up to the base of the cross. Not to worry because the hike is pleasant and the stairs are paved properly. For the more physically-challenged...you may proceed driving up to the helipad. It would have been more memorable to try the stairs from the...

  • Mt. Samat (the giant cross)

    *as of June 2007entrance fee for local tourist is only P10. sorry i forgot how much for foreigners.parking fee - P10elevator fee - P10just give ur entrance ticket to the person in-charge(guardia civil men at the entrance of the museum) if u want to go inside their little museum.Mt. Samat is open till 5pm.the view is nice when ur there. u can see...

  • The Memorial Cross

    It is a towering structure made of concrete and steel. It is 92 meters from the base and the arms' length is 15 meter on each side. It is 555 meters above sea level...513 steps to the top or 416 steps to the arm. In recent years, the building was fitted with an elevator so everone could enjoy the beautiful view from above. Pity since the elevator...

  • Visit the "Shrine of Valor"

    A visit to Bataan would never be complete without going to the famous "Dambana ng Kagitingan". The place stands out and the cross could be seen from nearby towns as the cross was built at the top of a mountain...Mt. Samat. April 9th of every year, the place hosts "Bataan Day"....a national holiday in the Philippines wherein the government and the...

  • The Glass Window

    And who would have thought of leaving the cross without the ceremonial and ever popular pose by the glass window? Certainly not me! :0)Please look at the pictures here...different strokes for different folks eh!

  • The Colonnade

    The Colonnade is made of white marble with an altar and a beautiful stained glass mural...has 19 marble reliefs and parapet...18 bronze insignias of USAFFE division units...2 bronze urns and 18 flag poles with colors of USAFFE.You'll never miss this place! This is very beautiful spot and is one of my favorite.

  • The Museum

    At the side of the Colonnade is the museum. Entrance for this is free...be sure to have your parking ticket with you and present it to the man in-charge at the entrance. At the entrance there are flags and big guns which are popular things for visitors to have their souvenir photos. Then there is a winding stair that will lead you to the main hall....


Pilar Transportation

  • Car/Private Vehicle

    The main tourist destination in Pilar is the Shrine of Valor at Mt. Samat. It is most convenient to go there by car/private vehicle because it is a long uphill walk from the national road.From Metro Manila: Drive through the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), entry toll fee is P36 (for class 1 private cars). Exit at Dau, toll fee is P138 . Enter...

  • Wooden Scooter

    .Filipino ingenuity at its best!We saw this really remarkable mode of transportation on our way to the cross. Children use this to save their energy when going down the slopes of Samat. Since we are going up while they're going down, we let it pass though half-heartedly. We promised to look for it on our way home. And we were not disappointed. See...

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Pilar Warnings and Dangers

  • Don't Go To The Public CR Alone

    Unless due to extreme necessity, don't go to the public CR at the Shrine of Valor alone. There is a CR attendant at the door, but he is more concerned with checking if tourists dropped a donation (P3 or P5, depending on what you do inside) for using the CR. He won't concern himself with checking on you, unless perhaps if you scream. My concern here...

  • Overloaded Small Elevator

    Based on feedback by friends who have been to the Viewing Gallery of the Memorial Cross before, ONLY A MAXIMUM OF 5 persons were allowed inside the elevator. That is why I got a bit scared when the elevator man called in 8 persons instead of 5, and there was no distinction made, whether the person was on the heavy side or not. I know there were a...

  • Are You A 7-Footer or Taller?

    Please note that the Viewing Gallery is only 18 ft. by 90 ft. with a 7-foot clearance. So if you are a 7-footer or taller (I may be wrong, but I think very few people reach that height, but just in case...), then you'll be better off skipping that place...unless you're willing to stoop until you get seated on a chair by the window, then stoop again...


Pilar Off The Beaten Path

  • mlt_t's Profile Photo
    the ground view

    by mlt_t Written Feb 25, 2003

    you're going to go back, go back and go back again and again and fall in love with the view and the peacefulness of sorrounding

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    • Family Travel

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Pilar Favorites

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  • about the town

    Pilar is one of the municipalities included in the Industrial Hub of the ’W’ Growth Corridor. Being adjacent to the provincial capital and main commercial center Balanga, Pilar is the next site for industrial development in Bataan

  • " ARAW NG KAGITINGAN" history

    The Pacific War started on 08 December 1941 with the Japanese Imperial Forces and the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). On January 1, 1942, major units of the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) retreated to Bataan, Corregidor for a “last ditch stand” against invading Japanese, until assistance from the Unites States...

  • Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor)...

    The Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), a natural shrine atop Mt. Samat, is a regularly visited historical/tourist spot in Pilar.Natural shrine atop Mt. Samat, which immortalizes the agony of the Filipino and Americans against the forces of aggression and articulates. The Commitment of the Filipino people in freedom and dignity... The...


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