Bataan is a province of the Philippines occupying the whole of Bataan Peninsula on Luzon. The province is part of the Central Luzon region. The capital of Bataan is Balanga City and is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga to the north. The peninsula faces South China Sea to the west and Subic Bay to the north-west, and encloses Manila Bay to the east.
The Battle of Bataan is famous in history as one of the last stands of American and Filipino soldiers before they were overwhelmed by the Japanese forces in World War II. The Bataan Death March was named for this province, where the infamous march started. This is also a location of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant located in Municipality of Morong.
The Bataan Peninsula is a rocky extension of the Zambales Mountains, on Luzon in the Philippines. It separates the Manila Bay from the South China Sea. The peninsula features Mount Natib (1,253 m) in the north and the Mariveles Mountains in the south, which includes Mount Samat, the location of the historical marker for the Bataan Death March.
Mariveles, at the tip can be reached through jet ferry plying the Mariveles to Manila route that has an approximate travel time of 40 minutes.
Bataan featured prominently during World War II. Prior to the 1941 Japanese invasion, the US Army stored nearly 1,000,000 US gallons (3,800 m³) of gasoline here.
Shortly after the Japanese Army invaded the country in December 1941, the combined US and Filipino forces were being gradually overrun and General Douglas MacArthur moved his troops to the Bataan Peninsular in an attempt to hold out until a relief force could be sent from the US. Japanese forces started a siege of the peninsula on January 7, 1942, and launched an all-out assault on April 3. The majority of the American and Filipino forces surrendered on April 9 and were forced to march more than a hundred kilometers from Bataan to Tarlac, which became known as the Bataan Death March.
The Bataan Death March (also known as The Death March of Bataan) took place in the Philippines in 1942 and was later accounted as a Japanese war crime. The 60-mile (97 km) march occurred after the three-month Battle of Bataan, part of the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42), during World War II. In Japanese, it is known as Batān Shi no Kōshin, with the same meaning.
The march, involving the forcible transfer of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war captured by the Japanese in the Philippines from the Bataan peninsula to prison camps, was characterized by wide-ranging physical abuse and murder, and resulted in very high fatalities inflicted upon the prisoners and civilians along the route by the armed forces of the Empire of Japan. Beheadings, cut throats and casual shootings were the more common actions — compared to bayonet stabbings, rapes, disembowelments, numerous rifle butt beatings and a deliberate refusal to allow the prisoners food or water while keeping them continually marching for nearly a week in tropical heat. Falling down or inability to continue moving was tantamount to a death sentence, as was any degree of protest or expression of displeasure.
Mount Samat is a mountain in the Town of Pilar, Province of Bataan, Republic of the Philippines that is the site of the Dambana ng Kagitingan or "Shrine of Valor".Along with the island fortress of Corregidor, Mount Samat was the site of the most vicious battle against the Japanese Imperial Army in 1942 during the Battle of Bataan.
Suffering heavy losses against the Japanese all over Luzon, Filipino and American soldiers retreated to Bataan Peninsula to regroup for a last valiant but futile stand. This retreat to Bataan is part of a United States strategy known as War Plan Orange.
After fierce battle lasting 3 days, 78,000 exhausted, sick and starving men under Major General Edward P. King surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942. It was, and still is, the single largest surrender of U.S. and Philippine Forces ever. These forces were then led on the Bataan Death March.
The mountain is now a war memorial. A huge white cross stands as a mute but eloquent reminder of the men who died there. It also acts as a tourist attraction with a war museum nearby that has a wide array of displays from paintings of the Philippine heroes to armaments used by the American, Filipino and Japanese forces during the heat of the battle.
People and Culture
Famous people in Bataan
Tomas Pinpin (Abucay) - the "Prince of Filipino Printers" or the "Patriarch of Filipino Printing." He learned the art of printing about the end of 1608 in the Dominican-owned printing press in Abucay. In Abucay, Father Blancas employed in 1609 young Pinpin as an apprentice at the printing shop and taught him the art of printing. Later, the main elementary school in Abucay was named after him, Tomas Pinpin Memorial Elementary School. His statue can be found in the quadrangle of this elementary school.
Romi Garduce (Balanga) - mountain climber who reached Mount Everest.
Mel Tiangco (Pilar) - popular television newscaster and television host; head of GMA Kapuso foundation.