World War II in the Philippines

Bataan • Corregidor • Manila
March 15 – 22, 2020

Tour Overview

The National WWII Museum is pleased to announce the inaugural Victory in the Pacific: World War II in the Philippines tour. This fascinating journey will begin in the lush province of Bataan, where tour participants will walk the first kilometer of the Death March and visit the remains of the prisoner of war camp at Cabanatuan, which was liberated by American Army Rangers and Filipino Scouts on the eve of the Battle of Manila.

On the island of Corregidor, 27 miles out in Manila Bay, we will see the blasted, skeletal remains of the mile-long barracks, theater, hospital, and officers’ quarters, as well as explore the labyrinth of tunnels carved deep in the rock that once sheltered embattled American forces.

In the capital, we will tour the ancient walled city of Intramuros—built soon after Manila’s founding in 1571—complete with dungeons dating back to the Spanish Inquisition, and used more recently by the Japanese secret police as a torture center. Participants will likewise visit the campus at Santo Tomas and climb the stairs to the chapel at De La Salle University, the scene of one of the worst civilian massacres during the city’s liberation.

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Tour Inclusions

  • Full-time access to expert historian and author James M. Scott
  • Full-time logistical tour manager
  • Expert local battlefield guides throughout the itinerary
  • Roundtrip Airport Transfers (when arriving and departing on scheduled group tour dates)
  • Two nights at the historic Las Casas Filipinas Acuzar Hotel in Bataan
  • Two nights at the Clark Marriott Hotel, the only five-star hotel north of Manila
  • Two nights at The Manila Hotel, site of General Douglas MacArthur’s pre-war apartment
  • One night at the Corregidor Inn
  • Private, first-class, air-conditioned motor coach transportation
  • Personal listening devices on all included touring
  • Seven breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners
  • Beer, wine, and soft drinks with included lunches and dinner
  • Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Informative map book including useful maps and archival images to be used throughout your journey
  • Personalized luggage tags and customized name badge
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Download the Brochure

Download the official World War II in the Philippines brochure for a full listing of inclusions, accommodations, and other useful information.

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World War II in the Philippines

Tour Itinerary

Destination Map

Full Tour Itinerary

March 15, 2020 - Day 1

Arrivals / Transfer to Bataan

After morning arrivals into Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), transfer to the province of Bataan. The Bataan Peninsula overlooks the northern entrance to Manila Bay with the island of Corregidor just to the south. For the Americans in Bataan in 1941, the peninsula was designated the site for a major defensive stand in the case of a Japanese invasion. Under War Plan ORANGE-3, which was the product of almost a half-century of planning for conflict with Japan, American forces would concentrate fighting in central Luzon and deny the use of Manila Bay to the Japanese Navy. After arrival to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, enjoy an evening reception and dinner getting to know your fellow travelers.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (R, D)

March 16, 2020 - Day 2

Bataan Death March

The morning tour begins at the Bataan Death March Kilometer Zero in the town of Bagac. One of two markers for the start of the “Bataan Death March,” this point marks the start of the march moving west toward Balanga. The group will symbolically walk a one-kilometer stretch of the March, arriving at marker two. Turning south, the group will visit the Kilometer Marker Zero at Mariveles, the starting point at the southern tip of the peninsula. After circling Mount Mariveles, arrive at the Mt. Samat Shrine, which honors the Filipinos and Americans who fell defending the country and serves as a gathering point for commemorations such as the Day of Valor held each April 9. The final stop is the Balanga Elementary School where General Edward King was interrogated underneath the mango trees following the surrender of more than 70,000 men.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (B, L)

March 17, 2020 - Day 3

Clark Field

The tour departs Bataan and continues to Pampanga Province and the Bamban Museum of History. The museum is a passion project of Rhonie Cauguiran Dela Cruz, who has collected numerous artifacts and items related to World War II in the Philippines. The museum is located next to several caves used by the Japanese during the fighting, with the nearby mountains acting as a refuge of the indigenous Aeta people who waged a guerilla war against the Japanese. Continue to the Capas National Shrine, which marks the location of Camp O’Donnell, the endpoint of the Bataan Death March. The Clark Field Museum continues the story of American involvement in the Philippines to withdrawal of American forces in 1942.

Clark Marriott Hotel (B, L, D)

March 18, 2020 - Day 4

Cabanatuan

Visit the site of one of the most successful commando raids in US history. Cabanatuan POW Camp held up to 8,000 American prisoners. In January 1945, a group of just over 100 US Army Rangers and 250 Filipino Scouts traveled over 30 miles behind enemy lines to reach the camp. The Scouts conducted a diversionary raid, while the Rangers attacked the main camp. Over 500 Americans were freed at the cost of 2 killed and 25 wounded. Upon returning to the Clark Field area, visit the San Fernando Train station, the location from which the prisoners from Bataan boarded rail cars for Camp O’Donnell.

Clark Marriott Hotel (B, L)

March 19, 2020 - Day 5

Battle of Manila

When Douglas MacArthur fled to Australia, he proclaimed, “I shall return.” On October 20, 1944, MacArthur waded ashore on the island of Leyte. By January 1945, MacArthur was ready to liberate Manila. On February 3, American forces entered the city and liberated the internees at the University of Santo Tomas, including the nurses known as the “Angels of Bataan.” The ensuing month-long battle resulted in the systematic destruction of the city and the death of over 100,000 Filipinos. Japanese soldiers orchestrated a series of executions and murders against the civilian population. Hear the stories of Manila during this ferocious battle on a tour of the walled city, known as Intramuros.

The Manila Hotel (B, D)

March 20, 2020 - Day 6

Corregidor

From Manila, board a ferry for the fortress island of Corregidor. Serving as the door to Manila Bay, Corregidor was called “The Rock” due to its landscape and immense fortifications. In March 1942, General MacArthur fled Corregidor under orders from President Roosevelt, leaving General Jonathan Wainwright in command. Following the surrender on Bataan, Wainwright and his men held out for another month, facing relentless Japanese bombings. On your tour, visit numerous fortifications and the Malinta Tunnel. With an overnight bag, stay at the Corregidor Inn, allowing additional time for exploration of the area. Return to your room at The Manila Hotel on the following day.

The Corregidor Inn (B, L, D)

March 21, 2020 - Day 7

Santo Tomas

On January 2, 1942, the Japanese occupation of Manila began. The Allied forces had left Manila for Bataan. American, British, and other Western civilians stayed behind and were subject to Japanese rule. At first they were confined to their homes awaiting registration. After a period of waiting, all foreign civilians were moved to the University of Santo Tomas, which would now serve as an internment camp. Over 7,000 civilians entered Santo Tomas between 1942 and 1945. Some prisoners transferred to other camps throughout the war. During the tour of the facility, the university’s archivist will discuss the history of the camp and its rebirth after the war. The tour will conclude with a visit to the Manila American Cemetery, the final resting place of 17,058 Americans who lost their lives in the Philippines and throughout the Pacific.

The Manila Hotel (B, D)

March 22, 2020 - Day 8

Departures

Transfer to Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) for your journey home or to your next destination.

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Victory in the Pacific: The 75th Anniversary Commemoration of Iwo Jima

Combine Victory in the Pacific: World War II in the Philippines with Victory in the Pacific: The 75th Anniversary Commemoration of Iwo Jima, March 20–30, 2020, and experience a more comprehensive Pacific theater of operations tour at an unbeatable value.

World War II in the Philippines

Featured Guests & Historians

Featured Author & Historian

James M. Scott

James M. Scott, a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, is the author of Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor, which was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist and was named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus Reviews, The Christian Science Monitor, and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His other works include The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan and The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a US Spy Ship, which won the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award. Scott’s fourth book, Rampage, was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the editors at Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, and Military Times. In addition, Scott has been interviewed on national television, public radio, and in newspapers ranging from The New York Times to The Washington Post. Scott also was a featured presenter on the Smithsonian Channel’s television series Hell Below and at The 2018 International Conference on World War II. Scott lives with his wife and two children in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

Featured Guest

Angus Lorenzen

Santo Tomas Survivor

Seven-year-old Angus Lorenzen’s family tried to escape northern China on a cargo ship on the eve of World War II, but landed in Manila soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor and were stranded. The Japanese seized the Philippine capital on January 2, 1942, rounded up the thousands of American and Allied civilians, and interned them at the University of Santo Tomas.

Lorenzen, along with his mother and sister, spent the next 37 months in captivity before American forces liberated them. In 1947, Lorenzen’s family settled in San Mateo, California. He later earned an engineering degree from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from California State University.

Lorenzen turned his experiences at Santo Tomas into the 2008 book A Lovely Little War: Life in a Japanese Prison Camp Through the Eyes of a Child. He also edited the 2018 anthology We Were There Too Uncle: Stories of the Civilian Prisoners of the Japanese in the Philippines During WWII. Lorenzen currently edits the newsletter for the Bay Area Civilian Ex-Prisoners of War (BACEPOW), Beyond the Wire, an important resource for survivors of Japanese internment as well as scholars of World War II.

World War II in the Philippines

Accommodations

Featured Hotel

Hotel Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar

Bataan, Philippines

Set in a reconstructed 18th-century village with cobbled streets, colonialstyle buildings, and stilt houses, this upscale resort features ornate woodwork and antique furnishings. Room amenities include free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a mini fridge, and a coffeemaker. Dining options include a formal restaurant and a bar on a private beach. Speckled with classic architecture, grandiose landscapes, and spectacular waterscapes, Las Casas also takes pride in being the only Philippine hotel to have received several international acclaims. Some of its prestigious recognitions include a listing in Historic Hotels Worldwide and being awarded Asia’s most excellent destination in 2017.

Featured Hotel

Clark Marriott Hotel

Mabalacat, Philippines

Experience five-star hospitality at Clark Marriott Hotel. This centrally located hotel in the vibrant central business district of Clark Freeport Zone, Mabalacat, Philippines, offers 260 rooms and suites with contemporary design and deluxe amenities including marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, plus minifridges, tea and coffeemaking facilities, and internet access (fee). Enjoy five unique dining experiences and Quan Spa, a full-service, on-site wellness center, a 24/7 Fitness Center, and an outdoor pool.

Featured Hotel

The Manila Hotel

Manila, Philippines

The Manila Hotel is a trip back to pre-war Manila. The hotel is the oldest premier hotel in the Philippines built in 1909 to rival Malacañang Palace. The hotel officially opened on the commemoration of American Independence on July 4, 1912. General Douglas MacArthur made The Manila Hotel his home during his tenure as the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines from 1935-1941. Architect Pedro Luna, son of master painter Juan Luna, was commissioned to build a penthouse suite for the General and his family atop the fifth floor. The Japanese occupied the hotel from 1942-1945, setting fire to the structure during the Battle of Manila. The hotel underwent extensive reconstruction after the war and has hosted numerous celebrities including President John F. Kennedy, Sammy Davis, Jr., and John Wayne.

World War II in the Philippines

Tour Pricing

Program Pricing

Price per person based on Double Occupancy 

$6,499 $5,999

Book Your Trip


Price per person based on Single Occupancy

$8,499 $7,999

Book Your Trip


Taxes and Fees of $329 per person will be added to your final invoice.


Combine Victory in the Pacific: World War II in the Philippines with Victory in the Pacific: The 75th Anniversary Commemoration of Iwo Jima, March 20–30, 2020, and experience a more comprehensive Pacific theater of operations tour at an unbeatable value. 

World War II in the Philippines

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