Have the most unique and exhilarating Kapampangan getaway with a visit to Clark and Angeles City!
WRITTEN BY JAMILLE DOMINGO
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MAC DILLERA of NORTH PHILIPPINES VISITORS BUREAU
SPECIAL THANKS TO NORTH PHILIPPINES VISITORS BUREAU
This Kapampangan municipality used to have negative connotations associated with it (such as the red districts and the traffic and chaotic streets), but because of the great efforts of its people—from the local government, to the tourism bureau, down to the locals—Angeles City is slowly rising above its past, and has now become one of the most visited destinations in the province. Check out the things you can do in Angeles City:
Go on a heritage walking tour at the Angeles Heritage Park
There are at least 10 heritage sites in Angeles City that can give travelers looking for a little bit of the city’s history a satisfying stroll. The two prominent ones, however, are the Museum of Philippine Social History (known as the Pamintuan Mansion), and the Paroquia Del Santismo Rosario (or Holy Rosary Parish Church).
The Pamintuan Mansion (which is now a museum of Philippine social history) is home to the province’s first millionaire, Florentino Pamintuan. The house also served as the site of the first anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence in 1899. Every 12th of June, the waving of the flag and the speech of Emilio Aguinaldo is reenacted here.
For more information about Pamintuan Mansion, phone Joy Cruz at (+63 916) 613 6703
Just like the mansion, Paroquia Del Santismo Rosario has also witnessed numerous historic events—its belfries served as watch towers for Filipino revolutionists in 1898, it was a military hospital from 1899 to 1904, and it served as a motor pool for the Japanese army. It’s also a sight of beauty, with marvelous Central European Romanesque design.
Be a farmer for a day at Tibby’s Farm
Tibby’s Farm is not just any other farm, it’s one that practices sustainable ways of producing food. The fertilizers are made wholly with their animals’ feces, they put no pesticides or chemicals on their fruits and vegetables, and they make sure their livestock is fed with only organic produce. This is because the farm believes that ethical and organic farming is where the county should be headed. They also educate other start-up farms, and have recently opened themselves to tourists to inspire more Filipinos (especially the millennials) to the farming industry.
For more information, phone Angelo Raymundo Valencia at (+63 917) 888 8387
CLARK FREEPORT ZONE
One of the most progressive places in the Philippines, the Clark Freeport Zone continues to transform itself into a modern industrial estate, a great transformation from being an American military base. But aside from businesses and real estate, it also caters to travelers, as proven by these offerings:
A dinner in the dark at Zoocobia
This is a real unique experience in Pampanga, as you get to dine without actually seeing your food—at least not until you’ve finished it. Zoocobia advocates for the blind by not only hiring them as massage therapists, but also by letting guests walk in their shoes with this unique activity. You will first be blindfolded as you enter the dining hall, and once you’re seated inside, the blindfold is taken off and you’re welcomed with nothing but darkness. They won’t tell you what food they have prepared for you, not until you’re all finished. It’s a very humbling experience.
The park also offers bird feeding, animal shows, pony rides, and luge cart rides.
For more information, phone Joemar Deang at (+63 919) 490 9951
Fun water activities at Aqua Planet
Arguably the largest and hottest water park in Luzon, Aquaplanet takes aqua activities to a whole new level, with its world-class facilities and over 38 unique slides. Some of those you should try include the Tornado (a long slide with intense twists and turns), the Sky Shuttle (where your floater goes high up into a steep wall and then slides down fast), the spiral slides, the lazy pool, and the wave pool.
The entrance fees at Aquaplanet are PHP750 (below four feet) and PHP950 (above four feet) during weekdays, and PHP980 (below four feet) and PHP1180 (above four feet) during weekends. The prices don’t include food, locker storage, cabanas, and towels.
Glamping and a cowboy experience at El Kabayo Clark Stables
If you want to unleash the cowboy in you, make sure you check out El Kabayo Clark Stables. It features a replica of the Old West—looking impressively straight out of an American cowboy film! There are mock-up recreations of Old West-themed stores, restaurants, a post office, a telegraph office, and many more.
You can also go horseback or horse carriage riding (if you’re feeling a little fancy). Their latest offering, however, is the glamping experience. This is perfect for families and friends, as they can enjoy each other’s company outdoors while roasting ‘smores on an open bonfire, munching on cheese and snacks, and drinking wine.
El Kabayo Clark Stables is located at Building 4350 & 4351, Gil Puyat Avenue corner Panday Pira Avenue, Clark Freeport Zone. For more information, phone (+63 916) 519-9149, fax, (+63 45) 499 0920, email <[email protected]> or <[email protected]>, or visit <elkabayo.com>
A STOP OVER AT CAFÉ AMAZON
Before you go straight to your Kapampangan vacation, don’t forget to stop by PTT Gas Station’s Café Amazon. Pump up your energy with their delicious treats and drinks—the bestseller of which are the Thai coffee and matcha milk tea!
The gas station also offers the Restroom 20, a well-maintained, beautifully-designed restroom facility. PTT Gas Station encourages guests to donate at least PHP 20 when they use this restroom to help the needy. All the donations go straight to charity. Not only do you get to relieve yourself, you also get to help others.
Café Amazon is located at PTT Stopover Km 70, SCTEX