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| History of Bataan|
Bataan peninsula is located southwards from the western shores of central Luzon, forming the enclosed and well-sheltered Manila Bay to the east that is nearly cut off from the open China Sea in the west. The narrow outlet separates the peninsula from Corregidor Island and Cavite to the south. The provinces of Zambales and Pampanga form common boundaries to the north. About 80% of Bataan is mountainous or hilly with Mount Mariveles and Mount Natib dominating the interior. Most of the agricultural portion of Bataan is in the north and east. The province experiences two pronounced seasons; dry from November until April and the wet from May to October. During World War II it was the scene of heavy fighting between Allied and Japanese forces from January 6, 1942, to April 9, 1942. Bataan fell to Japan on April 9 and was retaken by an American force on February 17, 1945.

HISTORY

Several villages in the coastal plains of Bataan were already thriving communities when Spanish missionaries found them in the 1570s. Bataan, then known as Vatan, was part of the vast Capampangan Empire that included what now are the provinces of Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and some portions of Bulacan, Zambales and Pangasinan, These coastal villages were inhabited by natives who were predominantly fishermen, farmers and craftsmen. Meanwhile, the hillsides were inhabited by nomadic Aeta tribes.

Bataan was established in 1754 by Governor General Pedro Manuel Arandia. Before this, the region was divided into two parts: the Corregimiento of Mariveles and the Province of Pampanga. The towns of Mariveles, Bagac, Morong and Maragondon, Cavite comprised the Corregimiento of Mariveles that was under the jurisdiction of the Recollect Order of the Roman Catholic Church. The province of Pampanga included the towns of Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Abucay, Samal, Orani, Llana Hermosa and San Juan de Dinalupihan. The latter group was under the charge of the Dominican Order. Limay, the twelfth town of Bataan, was named only in 1917.

Long before the outbreak of Word War II, Bataan already earned herself a secure place in the history of the Philippines. The prince of Filipino printers, Tomas Pinpin, a native of Abucay, who either authored or co-authored some of the oldest books in the Philippines and printed them himself between 1610 to 1639 in the printing press located inside the Abucay Catholic Church. In 1647, the plundering Dutch Naval forces were resisted in Bataan, the defenders ultimately chose the glory of death to the ignominy of surrender.

Bataan was among the first provinces to rise in revolt against Spanish tyranny. Two of her sons, Pablo Tecson and Tomas del Rosario, figured prominently in the Malolos Convention in 1898, and were instrumental in ensuring that the Filipinos enjoyed religious freedom. Cayetano Arellano of Orion became the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Revolutionary Government, and later on became the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

When the Pacific War broke out in 1941, the selection of the peninsula as the locale of the last defensive stand by the USAFFE against the invading Japanese forces brought fame and infamy to Bataan. The loss of life and property cannot be estimated. Bataan then became the symbol of valor and tenacity in its hopeless stand against the much superior invading Japanese Imperial Forces. Today, a national landmark called the Shrine of Valor (Dambana ng Kagitingan) stands majestically on top of the Mt. Samat in Pilar as testimony to the gallantry and sacrifices of the men and women who with their blood, tears, and sweat made the grounds of Bataan hallow. People, Culture and the Arts

Most of the 424,000 people living in Bataan are Tagalogs. Kapampangans comprise a significant minority of less than 10% and are concentrated in the municipalities adjoining the province of Pampanga. Recent rapid industrialization has lured...
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