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Fun things to do in Bataan

Updated on October 10, 2012
our first view of a heritage house from the reception area's window
our first view of a heritage house from the reception area's window | Source

Bataan, Philippines

My childhood friends and I have a yearly trip. For this year we were torn on where to go since we had a busy schedule at work and we only had a quick weekend getaway. We had decided to go to Bataan which is a three hour drive away from Manila.

Our priorities in the trip were to go to the Pawikan Conservation Center, tour the Nuclear Power Plant and to stay at one of the heritage houses at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.

Nuclear Power Plant

Our first stop was the Nuclear Power Plant at Morong, Bataan. We came there just in time for our 9AM tour, but luck was not in our side since the entire Morong area had power failure, and we of course can't tour a nuclear power plant in the dark. We left for Pawikan Center while waiting for electricity to return.

Normal cost of tour is 150P inclusive of free use of beach. We were no longer asked to pay since no tour happened.

Sea Turtle Conservation Center

The Sea Turtle/ Pawikan Conservation Center was less than 30 minutes away from the Power Plant. It was my second time at the conservation center. I previously visited the place with family months back. The Conservation Center in the area is home to original nesting grounds of the Olive Ridley Turtle species. The people there were busy preparing for their Pawikan Festival which happened last November 27. During the said festival there were presentations from different schools of dances and batch release of baby sea turtles. When we went there last April, there were a few baby turtles that could be released by visitors for 50P donation.

There is a visiting fee of 20P. We were more assisted when it wasn't their festival during our last visit. Although my friends still had their chance to pose with the rescued sea turtles.

Shirt cost was at 250P. They had more prints this time and even had turtle stuff toys for sale. All proceeds of the sale as well as donations will go to funding the conservation center.

One of the rescued Olive turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center
One of the rescued Olive turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center | Source
Baliuag II - our place for the weekend
Baliuag II - our place for the weekend | Source
Escolta at night - a replica of the Escolta houses during the 18th century
Escolta at night - a replica of the Escolta houses during the 18th century | Source
A casa at night
A casa at night | Source

We went back to the Nuclear Power Plant to check if electricity was back on - to no avail. Instead we were brought to the Westnuk Beach which is also owned by the Philippine National Power Corporation. We walked around the beach and took pictures. Not a bad place to take a dip, but we were in no mood to swim.

Afterwards was lunch at the NPC Hotel and Training Center, yes, it is also a part of the National Power Corporation. There were no guests in the place and we had the entire restaurant by their swimming pool all to ourselves. Lunch was heavy - lots of servings of shrimps, stir fried buttered beef, sinigang na manok (chicken in sour soup), bottomless serving of white rice, fresh fruits on a platter, and fresh coconut juice for our drinks.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

After a heavy lunch, we then set for Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar which had several heritage houses from the 18th century rebuilt in a huge area. The place also had a restaurant, swimming pool, massage area, shops, and a beach. I enjoyed this experience the most since it was something new for me. We stayed at Casa Baliuag II which was used as a function hall during the 18th century.

We had a tour around the vicinity and were able to enter Casa Hidalgo and Casa Lubao where the Filipino version of Zoro was shot. My favorite portion of the tour was when the guide showed us the path of the Aliping Sagigilid (servants). They really ran around the house at the side areas and only go inside the house every time they serve the food or do other chores.

The tour guide also told us about the history of each Casa/ House and you can read some of them at Las Casas' website. Although the others are not written there such as the scary/sad history of Casa Unisan wherein almost the entire family was killed by robbers except for the youngest child which was hidden by the nanny. This casa has been turned into Cafe Marivent to avoid any reason for discomfort. We did have our breakfast and lunch there with no complaints. Dinner was just outside the Cafe since there was a cultural show every 7:30PM.

Total estimate for dinner was 1750P. Yummy Paella Valenciana was 950P and had generous servings of sugpo (large shrimps) and mussels. Callos tasted good, Pinaputukang Maya-Maya fish, not that much.

The stage is set for the festival. Picture was taken after our night patrol
The stage is set for the festival. Picture was taken after our night patrol | Source

We went back to the Pawikan Conservation Center at 9pm for the night patrol. We didn't know what we were actually going to do, only when we arrived did they explain that we had to check around the stretch of beach for Sea Turtle eggs. It was a 1 hour walk back and forth over the darkness. The guide would point the flashlight for a little while over the water and sand then turn it back off (so as not to scare the sea turtles).
Despite the long walk, we were unsuccessful - we didn't find any sea turles laying eggs. Not even laid eggs. Richard, our tour guide, just showed us a demonstration on how to check for laid eggs. Although they keep their tactic confidential so I can't blog about it.

swimming pool at Las Casas
swimming pool at Las Casas | Source
Shrine of Valor
Shrine of Valor | Source

The next day we were off to an early swim at their beach and pool. It was like a private swimming pool since no one was there in the morning. After was free breakfast at the cafe of either tocino, longganisa, or daing na bangus fish with orange juice and a choice of either coffee or native chocolate (tablea). For dessert was a plate of tropical fruits.

There was a mass at Casa Hidalgo which was great since I didn't want to miss mass on the first day of Advent.

We had our photos taken by Fotografia dela Escolta at the La Tiendecita. It was fun since we had to dress up and the photos were printed in sepia. While waiting for photo prints, we got empanaditas from the Panaderia store (120P - yummy small bread with cashew inside) as well as souvenirs from their Tiendesitas.

Lunch was Binakol Chicken (chicken with coconut soup and meat) and Bagnet Pinakbet (fried pork over veggies and shrimp paste). Rice at 35P each, main course at approximately 504P each dish.

On our way back to Manila, we took pictures at the Filipino-Japanese Friendship Bell (monument of the sign of friendship between the Philippines and Japan) and at the Shrine of Valor (monument in recognition of the soldiers during World War II)at Mt Samat.

Bataan Tour Google map by munchwaffle
Bataan Tour Google map by munchwaffle | Source

Budget and Schedule

Date and Time
Location
Price per Pax (6 people)
Comments
Nov-26/ 6AM
McDo Quezon Ave
333.33
For 2000P worth of gas
6AM - 9AM
Q.Ave to Bataan
0
Travel Time
9AM - 10AM
Tour within the Power Plant
0
Supposed to be 150P for tour + free use of beach.
10AM - 11AM
Pawikan Center Visit, Morong Bataan
20
Entrance Fee
11AM - 12PM
Back to Power Plant
0
Free use of beach, Morong Bataan
12PM - 1PM
Lunch
185
at the NPC Hotel
1PM - 2PM
Travel to Las Casas, Bagac Bataan
0
turn at Camacho Street
2PM - 4:30PM
Check-in/ Rest
3125
Cost of house is 15750 + 3000 incidental deposit (refundable). The house can have maximum of 8 guests
4:30PM - 5:30PM
Guided Heritage Tour
0
There are different times for the tour - last one is at 4:30PM
5:30PM - 7:30PM
Free time
0
Picture/Rest
7:30PM - 8PM
Dinner at Cafe Marivent
291.67
Estimate 1750P
9PM - 11:30PM
Back at Pawikan Center
0
Night Patrol
Dec-27/ 7AM - 8:30AM
Wake up/ Free time
0
Swimming/Picture
8:30AM - 9AM
Breakfast
0
Free with the house (for 8 people)
9AM - 10AM
Mass
0
Held at Las Casas. There is also a nearby church but the mass time is at 7AM
10:30AM - 12PM
Photoshoot at Fotografia Escolta
358.33
950P for 2 5R and 4 4R prints in sepia. 200P for additional 3 prints 4R in either colored or sepia
12PM - 12:30PM
Check-out
-500
Returned incidental deposit
12:30PM - 2PM
Lunch and souvenir shopping
203
Price for the meal only
2PM - 2:30PM
Picture at Fil-Jap Friendship Tower
0
Will pass by going to Shrine of Valor
2:30PM - 4PM
Picture at Shrine of Valor
23.33
Dambana ng Kagitingan is 13.6km from Las Casas (1hr to 1.5hr). Entrance fee of 20P each, 20P parking.
4PM - 7PM
Go Home
150
Dinner at McDonalds Quezon Ave - back to reality :( :)
 
Total:
4189.67
 

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    • munchwaffle profile image
      Author

      munchwaffle 6 years ago from Philippines

      thanks for the comment freecampingaussie! Do visit the Philippines :D

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 6 years ago from Southern Spain

      I enjoyed your hub, the pictures made me want to visit !

      Found you while hubhopping