ELEMENTS: The Mount Samat National Shrine

Dambana ng Kagitingan

(Shrine of Valor)

Mount Samat National Shrine also known as Dambana ng Kagitingan is a landmark in the mountains of Bataan. This site is a historical memorial shrine built to honor and remember the Filipino and American soldiers who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

The park where The Mt. Samat National Shrine stands was commissioned in 1966 by President Marcos for the 25th Anniversary of World War II. The shrine also includes a war museum with paintings of different Philippine heroes and the armaments used by the Filipino, American, and Japanese forces in the battle.

This National Shrine was built to honor and remember the Filipino and American soldiers who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. It has a huge significance to where it stands since the time it was built until now because much blood were poured out in this mountain during the Battle of Bataan. The place where the National Shrine stands was the last place where the Filipino soldiers stood. Mount Samat is considered as a sacred ground and every Filipino should pay a tribute to this shrine as a respect to those people who gave up their lives for us to cherish the freedom they fought for. It dominates the space because it stands on top of Mt. Samat and it is given more emphasis because it is surrounded by trees.

The shrine consists of a Colonnade and the large Memorial Cross. The most prominent feature of the shrine is a large Memorial Cross, standing tall at 95 meters, finished with granolithic marble. This tourist spot is often combined with other heritage attractions in Bataan, such as Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. From the colonnade and the cross, there is a panoramic view of Bataan, Corregidor Island and on a clear day, the city of Manila situated about 50 km (31 mi) across Manila Bay.  The moment we look at Bataan’s Memorial Shrine, our eyes will be led firstly to the most top of the cross when it is viewed and seen in real life. The white cross stands for the soldiers who fought and lost their lives in the Battle of Bataan.

Photo Courtesy of Team Jaizel © 2019

The elements of arts can be observed which shaped the monument. The large Memorial Cross is 3-dimensional since it has length width and volume and can clearly be seen to take a geometric shape. The illustrations of the soldiers engraved at the bottom of the cross are in the form of biomorphic shapes and can be observed to have a rough texture. The composition in space can also be seen as the trees around the cross are surrounding the Memorial Shrine to give emphasis to the cross and its symmetry shows balance and organization in the art form.


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