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Friday, September 11, 2009

Dambana ng Kagitingan, Mt. Samat

"Dambana ng Kagitingan" which means Shrine of Valor can be found in Mt. Samat in the town of Pillar, Bataan. It was built in 1966 in memory of the soldiers (death march) in World War II. The memorial cross is made of concrete, steel, and marble which is about 92 meters high and the arm's length is about 15 meters each. Inside the cross, you will ride an elevator to reach the arms of the cross and see the nice views of the mountain. The shrine has a colonnade that houses an altar, esplanade, and a museum.

"Nabiag nga Bato" sculpture at the base of the cross depicting significant battles and historical events. The shrine is visited annually by Veterans from different places on Bataan Day (9th day of April) to recall and honor the past.

"On April 9, 1942, Bataan fell. It was at this juncture that the death march occured. The prisoners of war were forced to march from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga without food and water and guarded by the Japanese who treated them inhumanely. Those who broked the ranks were whipped or beaten with a riffle butts while those who could not keep up with the pace of the forced march were left behind to die or given merciful death with a shotgun" - as it is written in the drawing.

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