Friday, July 22, 2011

Region 3 - Central Luzon (Part 2)


Continuation of Region 3 - Central Luzon (Nueva Ecija & Pampanga)
Region 3 - Central Luzon

Nueva Ecija - Rice Bowl Of The Philippines



Nueva Ecija is the largest province and the biggest rice producer of Central Luzon, thus, often referred to as the “Rice Bowl of the Philippines.”

Among its main attractions is the 
Pantabangan River, the country’s first multi-purpose infrastructure, which stands today as a phenomenon in Filipino engineering feats. Another is the Pampanga river, cutting across a rich valley floor, famed for irrigation, the generation of hydroelectric power, and the mitigation of flood damage.

Nueva Ecija is also the agri-tourism pilot site in 
Central Luzon due to the presence of the Central Luzon State University in the province.

Its other worthwhile attractions include the 
Minalungao National Park, Rizal Hot Spring, Burburayok Springs and Pajanutic Falls, Barrio Puncan in the town of Carranglan, among others.

Geography

The province is the largest in Central Luzon. Its terrain begins with the southwestern marshes near the Pampanga border. It levels off and then gradually increases in elevation to rolling hills as it approaches the mountains of Sierra Madre in the east, and the Caraballo and Cordillera ranges in the north.

Political Subdivision

The province is divided into four congressional districts, which consists of 28 municipalities and four cities.

  1. Aliaga
  2. Bongabon
  3. Cabiao
  4. Carranglan
  5. Cuyapo
  6. Gabaldon (Bitulok & Sabani)
  7. General Mamerto Natividad
  8. General Tinio
  9. Guimba
  10. Jaén
  11. Laur
  12. Licab
  13. Llanera
  14. Lupao
  15. Nampicuan
  16. Pantabangan
  17. Peñaranda
  18. Quezon
  19. Rizal
  20. San Antonio
  21. San Isidro
  22. San Leonardo
  23. Santa Rosa
  24. Santo Domingo
  25. Talavera
  26. Talugtug
  27. Zaragoza
  28. Cabanatuan City
  29. Gapan City
  30. Palayan City (Capital)
  31. San Jose City
  32. Science City of Muñoz

Language/Dialect

Tagalog is predominantly spoken by the Novo Ecijanos, comprising 67.7%, followed by the Ilocano dialect at 29.93%. Other dialects are Pampango, Pangasinan, Bicol, and Ilonggo.

Major Industries

Nueva Ecija is one of the top producers of agricultural goods in the country. Its principal crops are rice, corn, and onion. The province is often referred to as the “Rice Bowl of the Philippines.” Other major crops are mango, banana, eggplant, and garlic.

Fishponds are unevenly distributed throughout the province but the largest concentrations are in 
San Antonio, Sta. Rosa, and Cuyapo.

Several areas have mineral deposits. Copper and manganese have been found in Gen. Tinio, Carranglan, and Patabangan. The upper reaches of Carranglan and Palyan are said to contain gold.


History


In 1705, Spanish Governor General Fausto Cruzar created the province and named it Nueva Ecija after his hometown Ecija in SevilleSpain.

In 1818, Nueva Ecija annexed a long strip of territory facing the 
Pacific Ocean in the east that extended from Palawan (now in Isabela) in the north to Infanta in Tayabas (now Quezon) in the south. In 1848, it acquired the towns of Gapan, San Isidro, Cabiao. San Antonio and Casiguran were separated from Nueva Ecija and annexed to Tayabas. Palanan was transferred first to Nueva Ecija then to Isabela. With the subsequent separation of Infanta and Polilio Island, Nueva Ecija’s isolation from the sea became complete.

Nueva Ecija was one of the first eight provinces that took up arms against Spanish rule in 1896. During the Filipino-American War, General Emilio Aguinaldo retreated to the province and, on 
May 9, 1899, made Cabanatuan the temporary seat of his government until it was moved to Bamban, Tarlac. General Antonio Luna was killed on June 5, 1899 in the convent of the town’s church.

American forces, after occupying Nueva Ecija in 1899, established the provincial seat of government in 
San Isidro. Other provincial capitals had been Baler (now in Aurora), Bongabon, and Cabanatuan. On June 19,1965, Republic Act No. 4475 created the city of Palayan as the new capital.

Tourist attractions:

Gapan  -  The first Augustinian mission in lowland Nueva Ecija was founded in Gapan in 1595. It is home to a Roman Catholic church of Byzantine architecture built from 1856 to 1872.









Historic Barrio Labi (Bongabon)  -  The resthouse of the Quezon family is located in this barrio, along the National Highway going to Baler Aurora. It is also the place of death of Mrs. Aurora Quezon, wife of former Philippine President Manuel Luis Quezon.





Gen Luna Statue and Marker (Cabanatuan City)  -  A statue of Philippine hero General Antonio Luna astride a horse stands at the plaza in front of the cathedral on the exact spot where the brave general was assassinated in 1899 in the city that adopted him subsequently.




Triala House  -  Owned by revolutionary leader and Novo Ecijano General Manuel Tinio. Built during the early Commonwealth period, it features ornately designed turn-of-the-century furniture and a life-size figure of esteemed Nove Ecijano Don Kapitan Berong in stained glass.




Sedeco of San Isidro  -  The Grand Sedeco house in San Isidro, which General Emilio Aguinaldo frequented, marks this gallant town that has proven time and again to be cradle of Filipino heroes. It was here that General Frederick Funston planned the capture of Aguinaldo, first President of the Philippine republic, during the Philippine-American war.



  

Wright Institute of San Isidro  -  One of the first high schools established outside Metro Manila during the American period.





Dalton Pass  -  Located in Capintalan, Carranglan, the five-hectare area blessed with a cool climate houses the monument of General Dalton and a tower that borders the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Viscaya. Uphill is a WW II memorial in black marble where a historical account of the war had been etched in English and Japanese.




Camp Pangatian (Cabanatuan City)  Began as a military training camp for twenty years until converted into a concentration camp for allied prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation. A popular tourist destination among war veterans by way of the WWII Veteran’s Homecoming Program.  







Churches of Puncan, Carrangcan, and Pantabangan  -  Church ruins of identical Augustinian architecture can still be found in the three upland missions.




















Minalungao Park  -  Declared as a national park, it features a breathtaking view of the narrow but deep Penaranda River. On both sides of the river bank are 16 meter high limestone walls. The ridge formation of white sculptured limestone walls shows the might of the great river.





Mt. Olivete (Bongabon)  -  A hundred-step stair leads to the church built by the Adarnista spiritual community on the mountaintop. Frequented by pilgrims who bathe in and drink the water of its springs believing it to be medicinal.




Gabaldon Falls  -  The lure of Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. The ten-feet falls are surrounded by huge rock formations and rippling ice-cold water. Located within the 200-hectare Sabani Estate Agricultural College.




Diamond Park (San Jose)  Strategically located at the gateway to the Cagayan Valley, it is a haven for picnics and sightseeing. Its hundred-step stair leads to lamp-lit pagodas nestled on hilltops and offering a panoramic view of northern Nueva Ecija.  









Pantabangan Dam  -  Built in 1974 along the Pampanga River to serve as reinforcement against flood, and provide irrigation, additional electricity in the entire Luzon island, the dam was built by Filipino engineers under the supervision of the National Irrigation Administration. Pantabangan Dam is now one of the most visited tourist spots in the province. The place offers a scenic view of the surrounding area. Tourists will also appreciate the dam's engineering wonders.




Philrice  -  The Philippine Rice Research Institute, located at Maligaya, Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, is the central station of agricultural experimentation, it is the only one of its kind throughout the country. It was created to develop and implement a natural rice research and development program, sustain the grains made in rice production and solve location-specific problems of the rice industry. A variety of rice wine is produced at the center.




Central Luzon State University (CLSU)  Located in the outskirts of the town of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, the 658-hectare main campus of CLSU is famous for its old shady trees, model farm, vegetable and ornamental plant gardens. Nueva Ecija has been referred to as the “Agricultural Central of Luzon.”  



Agricultural Museum (CLSU)  -  A socio-cultural arm for information in Central Luzon, it is the first and the only one of its kind in the country. The materials on display are preserved and maintained to promote the cultural heritage of Filipinos in Central Luzon. The museum has six sections: rice and vegetable planting implements; household ingredients utensils; personal apparel; hunting and fishing implements.





Living Fish Museum (CLSU)  Showcases indigenous and tropical freshwater fishes collected form different provinces in Luzon.

CLSU Concrete Tank Culture for Tilapia  -  Munoz, Nueva Ecija - This one-of-a-kind breeding farm showcases intensive culture of tilapia in concrete circular tanks, with provisions for continuous water exchange and aeration. Each tank is stocked with 6,000 tilapia fingerlings. Estimated output is 1,000 kg. of table-size fish after four months of culture.






Philippine Carabao Center   (Munoz, Nueva Ecija) The Philippine Carabao Center was created in 1993 as an offshoot of the Carabao Development Program, through Republic Act 7307. It is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, mandated to "conserve, propagate and promote the carabao as a source of draft animal power, meat, milk and hide, to benefit the rural farmers." Services at the center include: artificial insemination, bull loan, production of quality breeding animals and germplasm, technical assistance and training and carabao-based enterprise development. The center breeds and cross-breeds, through artificial insemination, animals called Murrah Buffaloes, a species of the dairy type from India, Bulgaria and some countries like North and Latin America. This type can produce an average of eight liters of milk daily in 300 days. Top-performing ones can produce 12 - 15 liters per day. 







Gross Ostrich Farm  -  Located in Brgy. Tagumpay, San Leonardo, Gross Ostrich Farm grows, breeds and propagates imported ostriches both for human consumption and for tourism such as sale of decorative eggs, leather wallets, colorful feathers and other by-products. Ostriches reach a height of about 7 - 8 feet, weighs 110 - 130 kgs, runs at a speed of 60 km/h, has a lifespan of 50 - 80 years and a breeding life of 20 - 25 years. Tha farm produces fillet meat at P600/kl, steak at P500/kl and stir fry at P400/kl. On-site farm visits to view the "big birds" in their natural habitat are organized for students and professionals alike.



Other Landmarks & Attractions:


















General Luna Falls (Rizal)  -  The easternmost barrio of Rizal nestled uphill on the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range boasts of one of Central Luzon’s hidden treasures: a towering waterfall of more than a hundred feet descending widely across a rocky mountain wall into over twenty pools of varying levels and depths.

Palaspas Falls  -  Located in San Jose City, it is ideal for picnics and bathing especially during summer.
Tabacalera of San Isidro  -  Centuries-old brick walls of the Tabacalera in San Isidro remain as witness to the Novo Ecijanos’ 100-year oppression, from 1782 to 1882, when the province became the center of the tobacco monopoly in Central Luzon and was thus restricted from raising other crops

Gapintalan (Carranglan)  -  Maintained by the Kalanguya tribal community from Ifugao, its rivers and low-lying hill are ideal for hiking and communing with nature. A gateway to the Cagayan Valley, it was a strategic location during WWII’s liberation period. Tunnels, war artifacts, and stories of gold digging abound in the area.

Other Special Interest:

Taong Putik Festival of Aliaga  At the crack of dawn, scores of mud-covered, barely dressed devotees make their appearance, asking for alms and candles form the wide awake town folks. This practice mimics a biblical myth about St. John the Baptist, who was said to have done the same thing in his lifetime. A special mass culminates the occasion, reinforcing its spiritual nature to the people of Aliaga.  

Holy Week Rituals of Puncan  -  The unique Holy Week rites of Puncan, one of the oldest towns in Nueva Ecija, are woven in folklore. Aside from the differing dialect, Pangasinense, widely used in Puncan, its distinct Lenten rituals include a hide-and-seek routine between the “Flagellante” and “Hudyo,” a chidren’s parade, and a choreographed version of Christian penitential rites in which participants with charcoal-smeared faces beat bamboos.

Farm Tours  Tour of agri-based institutions of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija, including a farming technology tour at the Central Luzon State University and plant tour of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice) and Philippine Carabao Center.
  
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Pampanga - Culinary Center Of The Philippines

        Steeped in history and blessed with natural and man-made scenery, Pampanga offers several sightseeing options for visitors. Pampanga has always enjoyed the title, “The Culinary Center of the Philippines.” It is populated by resourceful hardy folk who are justifiably proud of their famous Kapampangan cuisine.

        The capital city of San Fernando is world-famous for its annual Easter re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is also famous for the Pampanga Christmas lanterns.

        The province has remnants of a long and colorful history. It houses a booming night life and tourist destinations. It is the site of world-class resorts, casinos, duty free shopping, and golf courses.

History:

        Pampanga was already the site of thriving settlements along riverbanks or “pampang” before the Spaniards came. The inhabitants were referred to as “Kapampangans” or “the people by the river bank.”

        Upon exploration by Martin de Goiti, Pampanga was established in 1571. In 1754, a strip from Dinalupihan to Orion was ceded to Bataan. In 1848, the province lost five towns to Nueva Ecija, and San Miguel to Bulacan. By 1860, its northern district was made into a separate comandancia. This district was made a part of Pangasinan in 1874, and the towns of Mabalacat, Magalang, Porac, and Floridablanca were returned to Pampanga.

        Since the early 20th century, the province has been a hotbed of agrarian troubles mainly because many of its estates were under powerful landlords. During World War II, Pampanga was the base for a guerilla unit known as “Hukbalahap” which resisted the Japanese. The Huks later formed the nucleus of local communist insurgency after the war but it was suppressed in the early 1950s. These communist insurgents resurfaced as the New People’s Army in the 1960s.

Pampanga was the home province of Diosdado Macapagal, ninth President of the Philippine republic, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, incumbent and 14th President.

        Pampanga is populated by resourceful hardy folk who are justifiably proud of their famous Kapampangan cuisine. Sisig is pork cheek, grilled to a crunchy perfection, chopped and mixed with chicken liver, onions, calamansi and fresh sili. Kamaru are mole crickets sautéed in garlic and onion. Other must-taste fare are pindang babi or damulag, which is sweet cured pork or carabeef; burung talangka, which comes from the fat of salt-preserved little crabs; buro, or fermented rice with small shrimps; and betute, or stuffed frog.

Geography

        Pampanga is located in the central part of Central Luzon. It is bounded on the north by Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, Bulacan on the east, on the south by Bataan, and on the west by Zambales. The province’s total land area is 218, 068 hectares or 2, 180.68 square kilometers.

Political Subdivision
Pampanga is composed of 20 municipalities and two cities (540 Barangays) & subdivided into four political districts.

  1. *Apalit
  2. *Arayat
  3. *Bacolor
  4. *Candaba
  5. *Floridablanca
  6. *Guagua
  7. *Lubao
  8. *Mabalacat
  9. *Macabebe
  10. *Magalang
  11. *Masantol
  12. *Mexico
  13. *Minalin
  14. *Porac
  15. *San Luis
  16. *San Simon
  17. *Santa Ana
  18. *Santa Rita
  19. *Santo Tomas
  20. *Sasmuan
  21. *Angeles City
  22. *City of San Fernando (Capital)

Language/Dialect
Kapampangan, English, and Tagalog are spoken and understood anywhere in the province.

Major Industries
Farming and fishing are the main industries. Rice and sugarcane are the major crops. Others are banana, mango, and eggplant. The rivers and fishponds produce fish, shrimps, and crabs


Tourist Attractions:

 Apu Chapel  -  (Angeles City, Pampanga) This is the shrine of the Our Lord of the Holy Sepulchre (Apung Mamacalulu). Devotees from all over Pampanga flock to this shrine every Friday to venerate the supposedly miraculous image of Jesus Christ lying in the sepulcher. It is also every Friday when people buy household items, clothing including audio-video equipment in a makeshift market called "tiangge" at bargain prices.

Holy Rosary Cathedral   -  (Angeles City, Pampanga) Located at the intersection of Sto. Rosario and Sto. Entierro Streets, the Holy Rosary Church was constructed from 1877 to 1896 by the townspeople of Angeles by forced labor system known as "polos y servicios" imposed by the Spanish colonial government. From 1899 to 1900 the church was used by the US Army as a military hospital. In 1896 - 1898, the backyard of the church became the execution grounds to the Spanish forces in shooting down Filipino rebels and suspects. It has a beautiful transient and measures 70m. long, 20m. wide and 12m. high. The dominant element of façade is the symmetry created by recessed arched windows which are in harmony with the segmented ones.
  



Apalit Parochial Church   -  (Apalit, Pampanga) Located at the town plaza, it was built in the year 1629 - 1630 and designed in Baroque architecture. The painting on the ceilings and dome are filled with beautiful paintings and are worth studying. The style of the façade is reminiscent of European neo-classic churches. It was rebuilt by Father Antonio Redondo between the years 1876 - 1880. Its towers were finished in 1896 by the Rev. Toribio Fanjul, who purposely made them low to minimize the effects of earthquakes.





Ivory Image of St. Peter’s Shrine (Apalit, Pampanga)  Called “Apung Iru” by the townspeople and venerated the whole year round. In 1844 the image had been transferred to its shrine in Capalangan




St. Catherine Parish Church (Sta. Catalina Church) -  (Arayat, Pampanga) One of the oldest churches in Pampanga and known for its classical architectures. The church measures 70m. long, 16m. wide and 12m. high. The presbytery, ceiling and the main altar have been recently renovated. The original stone of the façade has been covered with cement and painted white.




San Guillermo Parish Church  (Bacolor, Pampanga) It is one of the oldest and largest churches in Pampanga. It was constructed by the Augustinian friars in 1576 on the lot of Don Guillermo Manabat, a rich landlord believed to be the founder of Bacolor. The church was restored by Fr. Manuel Diaz in 1897. The church measured 56m. long, 15m. wide and 12m. high. It has a central nave and an ample and well-lighted transept with windows. The main retablo, side retablos and pulpit are gilded with gold leaf. The richness of the decoration of Bacolor is indicative of the advanced stage of its baroque style. In spite of the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which half-buried the church on Oct. 1, 1995, masses are still held every Sunday morning.  



St. Andrew Parish Church  -  (Candaba, Pampanga) The simplicity of line and scarcity of ornamentation are the main traits of the façade of this church, the triangular pediment with its protruding center helps maintain the simplicity of line. A new feature of the façade is the depressed three-centered arches of the windows on the second level. The second level is separated by a cornice decorated with geometric designs.




St. Joseph Parish Church  -  (Florida Blanca, Pampanga) Pseudo-Gothic elements blend subtly along the classic design of the structure. The flame-like arch of the main entrance and lateral doors provide contrast to the triangular pediment. The structures are simple and the large voids lend drama to an otherwise bare design.




Betis Catholic Church  -  (Guagua, Pampanga) The jewel in the crown is the Betis Church (Santiago de Galicia Parish), built in the early 1700s and repaired continually throughout the 1800s. The unadorned exterior does not prepare the visitor for what he's about to witness inside: the main altar (retablo) with ornate carvings and saints peering out of their niches like ancient dolls, and the paintings on the ceiling that attract comparison with the Sistine Chapel. NCCA declared this church a National Treasure, one of only ten churches in the country bestowed that honor. The main attraction is the original ceiling mural done by the famous painter Simon Flores (1839-1904). Not to be missed are the original Simon Flores painting of the Holy Family, the artesian well (dug in ).




Church of Lubao  -  (Lubao, Pampanga) Built in 1572, by Architect Fr. Antonio Herrera, the Augustinian mission constructed this church in 1614-1630 out of locally made bricks and sand mixed in egg albumin. The church was occupied in 1898 by the revolutionary forces, used as hospital in 1899 by the American forces, and was destroyed in 1942 by the Japanese shelling. It was then repaired in 1949-1952 under the direction of Fr. Melencio Garcia. It measures 82.45m. long, 21.12m. wide and 10.50m. high. The walls are 2.46m thick. It has one nave originally painted by Italian artists, Dibella and Alberoni. The five story belfry 15.31m. high remains unrestored.




St. Nicholas of Tolentino Parish Church  (Macabebe, Pampanga) It was founded in 1575 under the advocation of San Nicolas de Tolentino. The church measures 70m. long, 17m. wide and 11m. high. The façade of the church has scantly ornamentation and its architectural symmetry is lost amid and the various forms assumed the windows and the main entrance. Simple neo-classic lines of the façade.




Church of Magalang  -  (Magalang, Pampanga) San Bartolome Church - Established by the Augustinians in 1605, it was the scene of the encounter between the followers of Andres Malong led by Melchor de Vera and the Spanish troops in 1660. Moved to San Bartolome in 1734, the church was swept by Parua river in the flood of 1863. It was re-established in Barrio San Pedro on December 13, 1863. The 3-aisle church is made of stone and wood. It is 55m. long, 21m. wide and 7m. high. Interplay of arches, as seen on the main entrance, doors and niches, pediments and fenestrations, including those of the bellowers and adjacent convent suggest a touch of baroque.




St. Michael Archangel Parish Church  (Masantol, Pampanga) The church was built by the parish priest of Macabebe who attended to the spiritual needs of Masantol. The center bell tower is of renaissance influence. The cemented façade contrasts with natural texture and color of the original stones at the sides.  




Minalin Church  The Minalin Church (Sta. Monica Parish), located on the town's highest ground called burul (the town had moved to its present site due to flooding, hence 'minalis,' later corrupted to minalin) but despite its elevation, silt from the river has already invaded its beautiful church. The peeled palitada reveals the original red brick walls, giving the church its unique old-rose touches. The ancient mural paintings in the adjoining convent, one of which is a primitive-looking map with details of trees, ducks, crows, a boat, a hunter and a crocodile. A detail not to be missed are the corbels and beams in the convent and high up in the church's ceiling, with carvings that some say depict pre-Hispanic pagan deities like naga (serpent), dapu (crocodile) and galura (eagle), but Siuala ding Meangubie believes they depict only one creature, bulig (mudfish).  




Sta. Rita of Casia Parish Church   -  Sta. Rita of Casia Parish Church (Sta. Rita) – Building of the church had to be delayed until late 19th century due to economic adjuristicial conditions. The single-nave church is 55m long, 13m wide and 10m high. It has a large and well lit transept. The solid brass façade has baroque characteristics and the single columns are relatively slender.




St. Catherine Alexandra Church   (Porac) The original structure is very much intact but slight revisions have been made to the inside. Quite remote, the church underwent restoration in the 1980’s. The church is 52m long, 12m wide and 9m high.  





Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando  -  (City of San Fernando) – The present church may have been built by the end of the 18th century, constructed most probably by Fr. Sebastian Moreno, its parish priest in 1756, and was restored in 1808. The church measures 70m. long, 13m. wide and 11m. high. The round majestic dome rising from the rotanda of the transept is reminiscent of the baroque style with some renaissance touch. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. President Emilio F. Aguinaldo and his cabinet viewed the Phillippine Revolutionary Army from the windows of the convento on October 9, 1898. The church and the convento were burned by the Philippine Revolutionary Army on orders of Gen. Antonio Luna on May 4, 1899. It was again destroyed by fire in 1939, and later restored by Architect Fernando H. Ocampo.




San Luis Church   -  (San Luis, Pampanga) is located in a place that used to be called Cabagsac, referring to the proliferation of fruit bats. In fact, today, a fishnet is permanently installed high above the altar precisely to catch thousands of bats that are roosting inside the church. The interior is dark, has an ambience of antiquity and mystery and overpowering odor of bat urine. The main attraction is the three-tower facade, perhaps one of its kind in the country. Not to be missed is the ancient cemetery located in a hidden corner at the back of the church, with some tombstones dating back to the 1800s and bearing the names of the town's prominent families, including Taruc.




Sta. Lucia Parish Church   -  (Sasmoan, Pampanga) The church is 45m long and 11m wide and 6m high. An author described it as “very beautiful and of very good condition.” When looking at the complex of church and convent, one is stuck by the impression that the round and rectangular openings are capriciously aligned. This makes the façade both interesting and unique. Attracts devotees from all over the provinces to honor Sta. Lucia and ask their petitions. She is believed to be a miraculous saint.




St. Anne Parish Church  -  (Sta. Ana, Pampanga) The church is 58m long, 14m wide and 13 m high. The recently applied coat of red and white paint has turned this centuries old church into a gaudy 20th century anomaly. The massive hexagonal four-storey bellower has blind and open recesses, keeping with the symmetry of the façade. It ends in a balustrade dome topped by a cross.








Christmas Lanterns  -  Every third of December, the City of San Fernando mounts the very popular Giant Lantern Festival. It is a parade of ornate and cleverly illuminated giant lanterns, some of which reach up to 40 feet in diameter and make use of as many as 1,600 light bulbs.




Cutud Lenten Rites   -  The City of San Fernando is world-famous for the Cutud Lenten Rites, which are held every Good Friday, or the Friday before Easter. The rites are a re-enactment of Christ's Passion and Death, complete with a passion play, culminating with the actual nailing of at least three flagellants to a wooden cross atop the makeshift Calvary.








Hot Air Balloon Festival -  It is an annual tournament of balloonists from various countries held in Clarkfield during the month of February.




Angeles City Aerial Sports   -  The City of the Angels has long been the principal aviation center of the Philippines, first as the site of the Clark Air Force Base and more recently as home to some exceptional opportunities for personal flights of fancy. The Clark Special Economic Zone hosts one of the largest annual hot-air balloon festivals in Asia, and Angeles is targeted to become an international center for hot-air ballooning. But the real excitement here are the ultralights – tiny, fragile-looking aircraft made of steel tubing, covered with Dacron, and held together with wire. Ultralights are tougher than they look, and have a commendable safety record. What’s more, they put the pilot right out in the open air – you really experience the sensation of flight.



Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ)  -   It is home to the popular Fontana and Mimosa Leisure Park, Mimosa Casino, duty free shops, and world-class golf courses. The Clark-Arayat Ecoutour is an exciting tour of Clark Ecozone coupled with a nature trip to Arayat National Park, in addition to a tour of Gardens of the World in Pampanga.









 




Kamikaze East Airfield  -   Site from where the first Japanese Kamikaze pilots took off for their last mission as human bombs in October 1944.



Archdiocesian Museum and Archives (City of San Fernando)  -  Houses antiques and exquisite works of art depicting Pampanga’s rich cultural heritage.



Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies (Angeles City)  -  Houses a research center, museum gallery, and theatre that provide access to materials on Kapampangan culture and history.

Old Pamintuan Residence (Angeles City)  -  Venue of the first and only celebration of the First Anniversary of Philippine Independence. Also served as the seat of the short-lived Philippine republic.








Founder’s House (Angeles City)  -  Located along Sto. Rosario Street in the old section of Angeles is the oldest structure and best-preserved ancestral house in the city. The house was built in 1824 by Don Angel using materials salvaged from his older house built in 1811.

Deposito (Angeles City)  -  Located along Sto. Rosario Street, it was built sometime in the 1800s to serve as the depository of costly silver-gilt floats that were used the town’s several religious processions.

Bale Herencia (Angeles City)  -  Located at the corner of Lakandula and Sto. Rosario Streets, it was built in 1860 by carpenters coming from Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

 

Camalig (Angeles City)  -  A restored grain storehouse nestled between the two oldest houses in Angeles along Sto. Rosario Street. Built in 1840 by Don Ciriaco de Miranda, the first gobernadorcillo of Angeles.

Nepomuceno Ancestral House (Angeles City)  -  Located along Sto. Rosario Street, it was the home of Don Ciriaco de Miranda. Built in 1840, it was inherited in 1868 by Don Ciriaco’s niece, Dona Agustina Henson de Nepomuceno.

Museo ning Angeles (Angeles City)   -  A center for the rich cultural history of Angeles City. Periodically features exhibits on the history, culture, and tradition of Angeles City and its people.



Marcos Santos Residence  -  Served as the headquarters of Japanese Kamikaze pilots during the World War II.

Expo Pilipino  -  (Clark, Pampanga) Expo Pilipino is the Philippine National Centennial Exposition and centerpiece of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. The exposition, located in Clark Field, Pampanga, is a celebration of the Filipino's history, culture, and achievements in the past 100 years, as well as aspirations for the next millennium. Its exhibits were discontinued during the administration of former President Joseph Estrada. Today, its 35,000-seat capacity amphitheater is a favorite venue for concerts, ecumenical services and political rallies.
  



Pampanga Agricultural College  -  (Magalang, Pampanga) Located at the foot of Mt. Arayat, this state-owned college is the center for agri-based education in the province. It has model farms, housing facilities for its faculty, conference pavilion and a swimming pool for local residents. Its pristine natural environment make way for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Among the activities that may be launched here is a mountain trekking adventure to the heights of Mt. Arayat or a refreshing dip in a natural spring resort close by.

Marcos Village   (Mabalacat, Pampanga) An authentic Ayta village complete with their tribal rituals and customs.  




Hilaga Cultural Village  -  San Fernando, Pampanga - Located at the mouth of the San Fernando Toll Exit along the North Luzon Expressway, North Philippines Hilaga (formerly Paskuhan Village) was transformed into a cultural, historical, tourism, trade, and entertainment village by former Secretary Richard J. Gordon in 2003. Its design and concept make it a virtual window to the cultural and historical heritage of the four regions of the North Philippines as well as a showcase for their indigenous products, and arts and crafts. The star-shaped pavilions at the center pays tribute to the skilled lantern makers of San Fernando which produces the biggest lanterns in the world. The complex features a 1,000-seat capacity air-conditioned pavilion for conventions and special events, an open-air ampitheater for outdoor activities, air-conditioned exhibit halls, trade booths, garden restos and an 60-seat capacity conference hall.





Mt. Pinatubo / Lahar Area -  The world-famous eruption of Mt. Pinatubo was heralded the world over as the biggest geologic upheaval of the 20th century. The Mt. Pinatubo Sky Tour takes visitors to a breathtaking view of the volcano that once ravaged Central Luzon. An annual Pinatubo trek, known as "A March to Peace and Tranquility," is held every November 30 to commemorate the great eruption. An ecumenical worship highlights the annual sojourn.


Mt. Arayat (Arayat)  -  A dormant volcano with an area of 3, 715.28 hectares. Legend says it is the home of Mariang Sinukwan, a fairy who protects the mountain’s vegetation and wildlife. At the foot of the mountain is Mt. Arayat National Park, a picnic site with lush foliage, natural waterfalls, two swimming pools, and a countless variety of unique and interesting flora and fauna.







Candaba Swamp and Wild Duck Sanctuary  -  (Candaba, Pampanga) The Bird Sanctuary of Candaba is a paradise waiting to be discovered hopefully by bird watchers and not by bird hunters. Migratory egrets and indigenous birds like the rare salaksak and batala can be observed especially during dry months when the fishponds turn to rice fields - when large numbers of egrets descend on shallow pools teeming with snails and small fish. The best time to visit the swamp is from October to January when these wintering birds make Candaba their home during harsh temperatures.





Hanging Bridge  -  (Candaba, Pampanga) It is known as the Candaba Suspension Bridge. The bridge's design and framework were patterned after the famous San Francisco Bridge in the U.S.

 

 

Sito Palakol Resort  -  (Florida Blanca, Pampanga) Located in the northeastern part of Floridablanca, about 8 kms from the town proper and 31 kms from the City of San Fernando, Sito Palakol along the Gumain River is known as the "summer place" to the local community. It is blessed with a continuous crystal clear water that does not drain even during summer months. Its source of water comes from Mount Abu atop the Zambales mountain which is believed to have a large natural water reservior.

Furniture and Woodcarving Industry  -  (Angeles City, Pampanga) Woodcarving and furniture making are two of the oldest professions in Angeles City as its local population has become highly skilled in the art over a hundred years, especially catering to Americans during the Clark Air Base period . A furniture village near Clark Field in Brgy. Cauayan showcases world-class quality furnitures owned by businessman Ruperto Cruz including factories for export-quality rattan and wrought-iron furnitures . Other towns known for this enterprise are the towns of Lubao and Guagua, particularly Betis made famous for its guitar-making industry. In fact Betis artisans are known to have produced the first wooden chandeliers installed in Malacanan Palace.


Other Attractions & Landmarks :
















 








 








Special Interest:

Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ)  -  Home to the Fontana and Mimosa Leisure Park, Mimosa Casino, duty free shops, and world-class golf courses.

Mt. Pinatubo Sky Tour  -  Omni Aviation takes visitors to a breathtaking view of the volcano that once ravaged Central Luzon.

Angeles City Flying Club  -  Offers a safe, wind-in-your-face, flying experience via the Ultra-lights.

Angeles City 4 Wheelers Club Offers treks to laharlandia. See the Lahar Canyons, Gate of Heaven, and other sites around Mt. Pinatubo.  

Clark-Arayat Ecoutour  -  An exciting tour of Clark Ecozone coupled with a nature trip to Arayat National Park in addition to a tour of Gardens of the World in Pampanga









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