One of the most historic landmarks in Bataan is the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), also known as Mt. Samat Shrine. Located near the mountain’s summit in Pilar, Bataan, the shrine commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of the Filipino and American soldiers who died in the Philippines during World War II. Pilar is also blessed to have natural tourist spots and a rich culture that the municipal government will develop and package for the enjoyment of their visitors. Through their efforts, Pilar aims to be the historical-cultural tourism center of Luzon by 2020.
Placing Mt. Samat Shrine as the centerpiece of their tourism, the municipal government plans to develop other tourist sites that will highlight Pilar’s rich culture and beautiful nature. These will be organized into packages to be offered to tourists. One noteworthy site to be developed is a World War II Food Street that will serve historically-accurate 1940s cuisine. Another is a camp that can be used as a team building and recreation area. The rationale behind these sites is the promise to provide a fresh perspective on history by engaging the tourist as an active participant rather than a passive observer.
Above all, the outcome that Pilar aspires to achieve is the appreciation of future generations of our nation’s history, as well as the improvement in the quality of life of Pilar’s citizens. As Pilar Mayor Alicia Pizarro put it during their revalida for the first stage of ISA’s Performance Governance System (PGS), “It is every leader’s dream to have inclusive economic growth in the locality that they serve and, with PGS, we see a clearer picture of the systematic processes of strategizing objectives to achieve our goals.”