Located in Pilar, Bataan, Dambana ng Kagitingan, known also as Mt. Samat National Shrine, is a structure constructed on top of Mt. Samat in April 1966 at the behest of former Ferdinand Marcos to immortalize the heroism of Filipino race and the heroes of Bataan who risked their lives in World War II. The memorial was finished in 1970.

Different engineers and artists, namely Architect Lorenzo del Castillo, DCCD Engineering Corp., National Artist Napoleon Abueva, et al., were tapped and commissioned to construct the colossal cross atop Mount Samat.
FYI, Mt. Samat, which is 555 meters above sea level (MASL), is an extinct volcano with unknown-recorded eruption.

Mt. Samat is the smallest mountain in the Bataan Peninsula where you can find the largest cross in the world, which stands 92 meters—the same as the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Mt. Samat National Shrine has a colonnade and 428-step “bloodstones” leading up to the colossal cross. The memorial cross has a total of 42 floors equipped with an elevator.

Its facade was ornamented by the late National Artist and Sculptor Napoleon Abueva—the father of modern sculpture.

Mount Samat National Shrine is one of the best historical sites in the Province of Bataan, considering that Bataan played a vital role in the history of the Japanese invasion and Allied Forces bravery in the first quarter of 1942.

The Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island in Cavite were the last remaining Allied Forces stronghold in the Far East, which were heavily equipped and fortified with artilleries and defensive lines before the said fortresses fell utterly in the hands of Imperial Japan on 9 April 1942 and 6 May 1942.

Mount Samat National Shrine is a pristine site of valor and heroism you should not miss when in Bataan.

Mt. Samat National Shrine in May 2019 ©
Mt. Samat National Shrine @ sundown
Photo credit: Donald Pancho©

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