THE PROVINCE OF BATAANOccupies the whole of Bataan Peninsula on Central Luzon region in the Philippines. Its capital is Balanga City, bordered in the north side by provinces of Zambales and Pampanga.
The province is known for the “The Battle of Bataan” during World War II. This is the exact place where American and Filipino soldiers had their last stand before they were overwhelmed by the Japanese forces in World War II.
In 1570, “Vatan” or what is now known as Bataan were already thriving communities with natives who are into fishing, farming and craftsmanship as their means of livelihood and nomadic Aeta tribes lives in the hillside.
Bataan used to be divided into two regions: Corregimiento of Mariveles comprising the towns of Mariveles, Bagac, Morong, Maragondon and Cavite which is under the jurisdiction of the Recollect Order; and the Province of Pampanga which comprises the towns of Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Abucay, Samal, Orani, Llana Hermosa and San Juan de Dinalupihan which is under the jurisdiction of the Dominican Order. In 1647, Dutch Naval Forces landed in the country and attempted to seize the islands from Spain which led to a massive massacre of the residents in Abucay. Then in 1754 Governor General Pedro Manuel Arandia established Bataan.
During World War II in 1941, Bataan bear witness to the gallantry and sacrifices of the men and women marking the grounds with their blood, tears, and sweat against the Japanese Imperial Forces. On April 3, 1942, Japanese began an all-out assault on the American and Filipino troops left on the peninsula and Bataan fell on April 9 which led to the Bataan Death March, with 70,000 captured American and Philippine soldiers marching more than a hundred kilometers from Bataan to Tarlac.
The Bataan Peninsula is a rocky extension of the Zambales Mountains, separating the Manila Bay from the South China Sea. It also features Mount Natib in the north, the Mariveles Mountains in the south and Mount Samat in which the historical marker for the Bataan Death March is situated.
Currently, Bataan has a population of 552,000 with a growth rate of 2.12%. Most of the people are Catholics and predominantly uses Tagalog dialect. In terms of weather, the province has relatively two pronounced seasons which is dry season commencing from November to April, and the wet season starting from the month of May and ends in October.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN BATAAN
Farming, fishery and forestry are the main sources of livelihood in Bataan. Rice production covers 21,041 hectares of land. Other crops are corn, legumes, root crops, vegetables, coffee and fruits such as mango and banana. Extension services are rendered to farmers such as technical assistance and training by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
On the other hand, 7,888.26 hectares of land are used for fishponds and mangroves, with 1,800 to 2,200 kg of bangus, sugpo and tilapia produce. There is also a livestock and poultry production such as cattles, carabaos, goat raising, hog raising, ducks and chicken production.
ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN BATAAN
The province of Bataan has always been linked to the culture and economy of Manila, what the province produces is exported to Manila. The residents of Bataan commemorate various festivities and events such as Bataan Day every April 9 featuring War veterans and their families coming from all over the country reminiscing the past and celebrating the bravery of soldiers who offered their lives for freedom. Fun-filled activities such as photo contest, exhibits, quiz bees, beauty pageants, trade fairs, and drum and bugle competition or exhibition also takes place. Another celebration is the Paskuhan sa Mabatang during December in which all the houses and establishments in Barangay Mabatang are adorned and lighted with various Christmas decors.
Bataan is known for making net and fishtraps produced in various forms and shapes. Each net type responds to various needs and uses.
The province also processed fish such as “Tinapa” and “Tuyo” or dried fish which is exported to various parts of the country.
MUNICIPALITIES OF BATAAN
Bataan is subdivided into 11 municipalities and 1 city:
Abucay Catholic Church
The Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. This is also where a fierce battle between the Dutch and the natives took place, as well as the first printing press in the country.
Abucay Municipal Building
This is where the Death March began.
This is where the Aetas tribe lives.
Bataan Economic Zone
The Zone is situated in Mariveles. It houses various major industries such as Petrochemical Industrial Park, Bataan Technology Park, Hermosa Economic Zone and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
Bataan Export Processing Zone
This place is where foreign and local companies produce items for export.
Bataan Nuclear Power Plant
This is located in Bagac and is the only nuclear power plant in the country.
Catholic Church Belfry
This site was used for Japanese artillery bombardment of Mount Samat.
Dambana ng Kagitingan
This natural shrine of valor is situated atop Mount Samat.
Death March Marker
This marker is located in Orani commemorating the long march or walk going to the prison camp of Filipino and American soldiers after being defeated by the Japanese Forces.
This marker was built in honor for the valiant men and women who fought for freedom.
This place is ideal for picnickers and swimming.
Final Battle Site Marker
This marker symbolizes the courage and heroism of Bataan soldiers.
First Line of Defense Marker
This is located in Dinalupihan. It serves as a marking ground for Filipino and American soldiers’ first strong line of defense against the Japanese Imperial Forces.
This Mountain is considered as a weather forcasting device by the residents especially for coming typhoons.
This is where the fiercest battle during World War II took place.
Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower
This tower symbolizes new beginnings, peace and reconciliation.
Roosevelt National Park
This is a forest reservation ideal for outdoor games, camping, and game hunting.
This spring is ideal for outdoor recreation with a sulfuric swimming pool.
Tomas Pinpin Monument
This monument was built in honor of the First Filipino printer or publisher of the earliest books in the country during 1610.
Travel by air is yet very limited. Bataan has no modern airport, only low standard airstrips and helipads are available to government and private airplanes and helicopters. There are 5 industrial enterprises that have that have these airstrips for their usage.
The Philippine Rabbit, Genesis, Aladdin and Pantranco Bus Liner ply the Bataan-Manila route while the Victory Liner services the Bataan-Olongapo route.
Passenger vessels consist of a ferry boat with three trips plying to and from Mariveles and Manila and EPZA 1 which ferry EPZA quests. Dicking point is at BASECO, Port of Mariveles. Because of the short distance to Corregidor, passengers prefer to travel by boat at a convenience as well as view the historical place.