Bataan is a budding travel destination but with the launch of the ferry service from Manila, we might as well expect an increase in the influx of tourists to this historic province in the next few months. The ferry service, which commenced last in 2017, cuts travel time by 3 to 4 hours, a significant improvement as compared to land travel via bus.
The regular fee is Php799, quite hefty as compared to regular bus fares but the speed and convenience of travel more than makes up for the high cost.
Operated by 1Bataan Integrated Transport System, the ferry service plies the Mall of Asia (Seaside Esplanade Terminal) to Orion Port (and vice versa) route three times on weekdays and two times on weekends. The terminals are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Passengers are requested to arrive an hour before departure to facilitate a smooth and hassle-free check-in.
As an added convenience to commuters, there is free shuttle service from Orion Port to Dinalupihan in the northern section of the province and the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) in the Municipality of Mariveles, South of Bataan.
The ferry boat can accommodate up to 108 passengers. It is fitted with comfortable seats with seatbelts, restrooms, and television. It also has free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning.
What to do in Bataan
Bataan is a historic province located in Central Luzon. It is a peninsula, bordered by the provinces of Pampanga and Zambales in the northern tip, while the rest of the province is surrounded by the West Philippine Sea, Subic Bay, and Manila Bay.
You may either arrange a day tour or an overnight stay, depending on how long you would want to explore the province.
Some familiar destinations that you might want to visit is the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, a small village-like resort that features actual antique houses that were moved from their original locations to this place. Aside from Las Casas, Bagac also offers diving and snorkeling, and the beautiful Limutan Falls.
Tourists may also want to arrange a climb to Mount Samat where the historic Mount Samat National Shrine or Dambana ng Kagitingan is located at. This complex, with a large Memorial Cross as a centerpiece, is dedicated to the heroism of Filipino and American soldiers who fought during World War II.
Since Bataan is a coastal province, expect an abundance of beach resorts in the area for a dose of sun, sand, and sea breeze. Some of the beaches that you might want to check out are Five Fingers, Laki Beach, and Lusong Beach.