Revealing the Best Places You Can Spend National Heroes Day
National Heroes Day is just around the corner, and what better way to spend the long weekend than going on a holiday somewhere scenic with your family and loved ones. You don’t need to go far to get that much-deserved rest and relaxation as there are many beautiful spots in our own beloved country where you can soak in the sights.
But this time, why not add a twist to your usual holiday by going to places that are both scenic and historic? Let us clue you in on the top destinations in the Philippines where you can celebrate National Heroes Day and learn some precious information about our country’s history at the same time.
Top Places in the Philippines to Spend National Heroes Day
Bataan is a place that is steeped in history and culture. It was here that the infamous Bataan Death March occurred, where tens of thousands of Filipino and American soldiers were forced to march hundreds of miles from Bagac, Bataan, to Capas, Tarlac. Decades after this historic event, the place bears no aura of its grim history as it is one of the most charming places you will ever come across. You can pay tribute to our brave soldiers who laid down their lives while fighting for our country’s freedom by visiting some of the town’s historic spots such as Mount Samat and Las Casa Filipinas de Azucar. Aside from historical places, Bataan also has some modern, serene spots you can escape to, like Playa La Caleta, Sisiman Bay, and Westnuk Beach Resort.
If you can’t afford to travel far during the long weekend, Manila is the perfect choice for you as it is also one of the country’s history-rich destinations. Steer clear of the tall, modern skyscrapers and seek out the sites in the city that offer you history and culture all at once: Intramuros, Paco Park, University of Santo Tomas, San Sebastian Church, Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución, and Rizal Park. Once you’ve got your fill of the local culture and history, you can relax in some of the city’s finest hotels like Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila and Makati Shangri-La.
Lovingly referred to by historians as the Queen City of the South, Cebu has long played a main role in the country’s culture, politics, and history. It was here that the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan planted a Christian cross, spread the religion of Christianity, and fought against Lapu-Lapu, a warrior chieftain of Mactan Island. Nowadays, it is the favorite destination not just of foreigners who are beguiled by its rustic yet modern charms, but also by Filipinos who want to experience a mixture of everything—modern malls and fun night spots, historic sites, cultural attractions, and natural wonders. Name it and Cebu has it, and it is all within easy reach. You can explore Cebu’s maze of modern malls today and tomorrow be having the time of your life canyoneering in Alegria.
4. Vigan, Ilocos Sur
This city was recently voted one of the New 7 Wonder Cities in the world, and you will see why once you’ve seen the place for yourself and experienced what it has to offer. One of the things you’ll instantly think of once you’ve stepped foot in Vigan is the classic phrase “old world charm.” This phrase has been used so many times to describe rustic towns that it sometimes seems like a cliché, but Vigan is a place that truly deserves to be described as such. Indeed, the town will give you the unique experience of going back in time as you will feel like you’re in 18th-century colonial Philippines with its intricate architecture, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages. It is a huge credit to the town, its local government, and its people that they have managed to preserve so much of the past even after the passage of hundreds of years.
5. Aurora, Baler
Nowadays, people consider this place as one of the top surfing destinations in the country. To Filipinos who are up to date with their knowledge of the country’s presidents, they know that it is the birthplace of Manuel Luis Quezon, the Philippines’ second president. To historians and history lovers, however, they know of this place as something else. Long before Quezon’s time, the town became witness to the historic Siege of Baler, an intensely violent battle between Spanish forces holed up inside Baler Church and the Filipino townspeople, who were forcing them to surrender. If you ever decide to visit this town, don’t forget to visit Bale Church and experience a memorable piece of history.
6. Tacloban, Leyte
The Leyte Landing Memorial Park is one of Tacloban City’s must-visit destinations. Formerly known as McArthur Park, this was where General Douglas McArthur kept the promise he had previously made to the Filipinos that he “shall return,” when he turned up at Red Beach in Palo, Leyte, on October 20, 1944, with hundreds of army ships and hundreds of thousands of American soldiers. The beach is so-named now not because of the natural reddish color of its sand, but because it was the spot of a bloody battle between McArthur’s men and the Japanese forces. Many Filipinos visit the place to recall that momentous event when the great general fulfilled the promise he had made and returned to help the Filipinos fight against the Japanese colonizers at the time.
7. Banaue Rice Terraces
If you’re looking to experience a piece of history, then the Banaue Rice Terraces is the perfect spot. When you gaze upon the beautifully formed terraces, you can’t help but wonder at the fact that such geographical wonder is man-made; that it was around 2,000 years ago when the indigenous people of the mountains of Ifugao carved these eternal monuments using just their hands and the help of some crude tools. It has long been said that if you to stretch the steps from end to end, it would reach halfway across the earth. Indeed, it is a historical marvel and one of humanity’s greatest engineering feats.