“Travel is rebellion in its purest form. We follow our heart. We free ourselves of labels. We lose control willingly. We trade a role for reality. We love the unfamiliar. We trust strangers. We own only what we can carry. We search for better questions, not answers. We truly graduate. We, sometimes, choose never to come back” –Author Unknown
Regarded as the culinary epicenter of the Philippines (and heralded as the local land of talented cooks and chefs with a unique flair for reinventing local dishes) Pampanga is a province that offers you more than just scrumptious sisig and other Filipino delicacies.
Although it is undeniably that one go-to place for food enthusiasts, Pampanga is also an avenue for unique adventures. Furthermore, the place is replete with historical structures such as ancient churches which make for a riveting retelling of the Philippine saga that took place in the local province. Indeed, the province is deeply entrenched with history and blessed with natural and man-made scenery—so much so that it has something to offer for every individual who might wish to visit.
Living up to its name of being “The Culinary Center of the Philippines, one can also expect a string of homegrown restaurants and cafes that feature some of the province’s known and beloved dishes. These are presented to you by individuals who are proud of their culinary prowess—some of which consider to be a heritage. San Fernando, the capital city is nationally acclaimed for its distinct Easter tradition which involves a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ—an event which tourists from all over the world would come by to witness. However, the crucifixion re-enactment is not the only event that has garnered intrigue and sparked interest. San Fernando is also known for its popular Pampanga Christmas lanterns that are not only gigantic in size but are colorful and would sing as well. There are quite a lot of things to do in Pampanga that it has been considered one of the leading Philippine provinces slated for economic growth. Apart from the colorful history and unique culture, the province is rife with tourist destinations as well as nightlife attractions.
HOW TO GET THERE
As Pampanga gets a regular influx of visitors to the city each day, you can expect a series of buses plying to the different parts of the province daily from the metropolis. You do not need to worry about strict time schedules either as they usually leave on an hourly basis. If you wish to head towards San Fernando City, look for buses such as Saulog Transit and Victory Liner. However, if Angeles City is your destination, catch a Philtranco bus.
SIGHT-SEEING ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT
History enthusiasts and culture buffs would be pleased to know that the province of Pampanga has quite a lot to offer them in terms of tourist attractions. Some of the ancient churches one should visit is the San Guillermo Church, Betis, and St. Peter the Apostle Church. Individuals who have a penchant for natural sights would enjoy visiting the Scenic Candaba Swamps and Mt. Arayat. Meanwhile, history and culture aficionados should definitely drop by the Museo Ning Angeles.
FOOD TO TRY
As Pampanga is known to be the culinary capital of the country, it would be a shame if you did not at least try some of their most famous food offerings. Apart from giving the iconic restaurant Atching Lilli’n’s a visit and of course, trying the world-famous sisig, you should definitely try some of Pampanga’s more exotic food offerings. If your stomach can take it (and if you have the nerve to try), go ahead and sample Pritong Palaka (fried frogs), adobong balut (sautéed fertilized duck egg), deep-fried camarus (Deep fried mole crickets) and yummy heart beat. Kick your trip up a notch by turning it into a gastronomic adventure. Sure, they might not exactly be food fares that you would normally eat on an everyday basis, but you might find that you actually have the palate for them.
FESTIVAL AND EVENTS
If you like scheduling your trips to parallel festival and event dates, then it is best to know what the events and festivals you can potentially witness in advance. Some of Pampanga’s well-known and beloved events include Ibon Ebon Festival which is held every February 8 through 10. It is dedicated to the Candaba Swamp which would serve as a temporary settlement to a flock of migratory birds from the different parts of the world. If you have a unique interest for our avian friends, you might want to witness this event. Alternatively, you can also opt to witness the Philippine International Hot-Air Balloon Festival which falls roughly at the same time on February (usually on the second Thursday). It features events such as hot-air balloon competition, aircraft maneuvers, and a series of other aerial demonstrations.
Indeed, if you want to experience a little bit of everything, try visiting Pampanga, Philippines. In just one trip, you will already experience a fraction of the very best the Philippines can offer—from the food to the activities.