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The first inhabitants of the Bataan peninsula are the Ayta Magbeken people, who are one of the first Negrito ancestors of present-day Filipinos. Later on, Tagalog communities from southern Luzon migrated to parts of Bataan and the Ayta Magbeken migrated towards the mountain areas of Bataan by the end of the 16th century.
In 1647, Dutch naval forces landed in country in an attempt to seize the islands from Spain. The Dutch massacred the people of Abucay in Bataan.
Bataan featured prominently during World War II. Prior to the 1941 Japanese invasion, Bataan was a military reservation for the purpose of defending the fortress island of Corregidor.US Army stored nearly 1,000,000 US gallons (3,800 m3) of gasoline there, along with various munitions. At the southern tip of the peninsula the U.S. Navy had established a small base at the port of Mariveles.
March 1942: burning houses after a Japanese bombing raid in Bataan
Shortly after the Japanese Armyinvaded the country in December 1941, the combined US and Filipino forces were being gradually overrun and General Douglas MacArthur moved his troops to the Bataan Peninsula in an attempt to hold out until a relief force could be sent from the US. Japanese forces started a siege of the peninsula on January 7, 1942, and launched an all-out assault on April 3, a few months after the Battle of the Points, Battle of the Pockets, the attack down Trail Number Two, and a half-dozen other brutal battles. The Bataan campaign was the last time a regular cavalry unit of the U.S. Army, the Philippine Scouts 26th Cavalry, was used as a horse mounted fighting unit. On the morning of January 16, 1942, Lt. Edwin Ramsey led the last cavalry charge into the town of Moron, routing the advancing Japanese infantry. Tragically, as the troops on Bataan were continually reduced in rations, the horses were eventually slaughtered to feed the starving soldiers.
The majority of the American and Filipino forces surrendered on April 9 and were forced to march more than 100 kilometers (62 mi) from Bataan to Capas, Tarlac, which became known as the Bataan Death March.
The population of Bataan in the 2015 census was 760,650 people,  with a density of 550 inhabitants per square kilometre or 1,400 inhabitants per square mile. The demonym for natives of the province is Bataeño.
The three most prominent ethnic groups in Bataan are the Tagalogs, the Kapampangans and the Ayta Magbeken, though the third group has a lower population despite being the province's first inhabitants. The second group is mainly present at the northeast of the province, as well as in the provincial capital to a lesser extent.
Various religious groups are subscribed to by the people but Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, comprising 85.46% of the Bataan population.Aglipayan, several other Christian and non-Christian faiths includes Iglesia ni Cristo (4.47%), Evangelivcals (2.06%), Aglipayans (1.60%) and other groups.
Bataan is a location of bulk power generation, where most of the power generated is sent to the Luzon Grid. Most power plants in Bataan rely on fossil fuels, like oil and coal, but renewable energy sources, primarily solar power, form part of the total generation. The total output of existing power plants equals to 2068.1 MW, and new power plants to start operation will increase the output to 4224.1 MW.
Fossil fuel-fired plants account for 2020 MW, and are mostly concentrated in Limay and Mariveles. These include the GN Power Mariveles Coal Power Plant, with 660 (2x330) MW, SMC Limay Greenfield Power Plant (4x150 MW), Petron Cogeneration Power Plant (4x35 MW), and Panasia Bataan Combined Cycle Power Plant (620 MW). Two plants under construction, the Dinginin Power Station (1,336 MW) and SMC Mariveles Coal Power Plant (4x150) will increase the capacity by 1936 MW.
Renewable energy, primarily solar power, accounts for 48.1 MW, and is concentrated on the northern part of the province. Existing renewable energy power plants include the Bataan 2020 Cogen Power Plant (12.5 MW), YH Green Energy Solar Power Plant (12.6 MW), Citicore Solar Power Plant (18 MW), and Morong Solar Power Plant (5 MW). Three projects, namely the Solana Solar Alpha Inc. (20 MW), Bataan Solar Power Project (150 MW), and Santa Rita Wind Power Project (50 MW), are set to increase the capacity by 220 MW.
The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong, with a design 600 MW capacity, was supposed to be the first nuclear power plant in the Philippines. It was supposed to commence operation in 1986, but was mothballed amidst critical opposition to the Marcos regime and concerns on nuclear power. There is some discussion of either rehabilitating the plant, which would likely be uneconomical, or constructing a new nuclear power station.
Power distribution in the province are served by the Peninsula Electric Cooperative (PENELCO), but some large customers have their power supply sourced from the transmission grid, operated by National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), whose network of 69,000 volt lines supply substations owned by PENELCO. On Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) and barangays Malaya and Maligaya, they are served by the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) - FAB branch through its distribution facilities within the freeport.
Sea ports / terminals
Mariveles Grain Terminal - Freeport Area of Bataan, Mariveles
Seasia-Nectar Mariveles Dry Bulk Terminal - Freeport Area of Bataan, Mariveles
Port of Lucanin - Mariveles
Port of Lamao - Limay
Port Capinpin - Orion
Subic Bay International Container Port - Cubi Point, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Morong
Starting late 2017, the 1Bataan Integrated Transport System had reactivated the ferry services from Esplanade at the Mall of Asia, Pasay City to Port Capinpin in Orion. The land travel that normally takes two and a half hours becomes one hour when one chooses to take the ferry. In addition, shuttles are available to bring the ferry disembarking at Orion to drop-off points heading towards Balanga, Bataan, or going towards the town of Mariveles.
Bataan is served by a network of national highways and one expressway. Roman Superhighway, part of highway N301, and Jose Abad Santos Avenue, or highway N3 and Olongapo-Gapan Road, forms the backbone of the national highway network. Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, a toll expressway, links the province with Pampanga and Tarlac. Bataan/Old National Road and Governor J.J. Linao National Road forms the secondary network, which connects the smaller municipalities with the main highway network.
Cayetano Arellano (Orion) - first Supreme Court Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines
Francisco Baltazar (Orion) - one of the greatest Filipino literary laureates, born in Bigaa (Balagtas), Bulacan but spent his adult life in Orion, Bataan
Luz Banzon (Balanga) - wife of Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay; seventh First Lady of the Philippines
David Consunji (Samal) - chairman of publicly listed holding firm, DMCI Holdings, Incorporated
Gary David (Dinalupihan) - basketball player and television actor/comedian