Lakad Pilipinas

Tarlac Travel Guide and Itinerary

The province of Tarlac in Central Luzon is really not known for tourism. In fact, some even dub it as the toilet stop of Luzon; the area being frequented only by motorist needing to relieve themselves on their way to another province. But my visit to Tarlac opened my eyes to its many tourist spots and food places unbeknownst to even some of the most veteran travelers in the country. Tarlac has a lot of tourism potential; it has historical places, museums, adventure parks, religious destinations, hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and gastronomic places.

With this travel guide, allow me to help you get lost in Tarlac.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, April 18, 2014

The Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake

The Smashing Pumpkins were rumbling through the chorus of Today on my iPod as I climbed the final steps towards the viewing deck of Mount Pinatubo. I was panting a bit, not really used to hiking for hours in the shape I’m in. I stepped towards the chasm that looked down upon the crater of the volcano that has caused so much trouble to people of Central Luzon and suppressed a gasp.

Everyone knows what a cliché it is to have a view take one’s breath away. But you won’t care about that once your eyes lay upon Mount Pinatubo’s glimmering emerald crater.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Can you imagine quality restaurant cuisine being served at a fraction of the price? This restaurant located at Barangay San Vicente in Tarlac City does so. No, they’re not on sale, nor are they closing up; that’s just how they price their servings. And they do it every single day of the week.

Welcome to Primadeli Ristorante, one of Tarlac City’s best kept gastronomic secret.

This open-aired fine-dining restaurant started serving Tarlaqueños with their Sicilian-inspired cuisines two years ago. The kitchen crew is orchestrated by Chef James, the very hands-on restaurant owner, who whips a fusion of Italian dishes mixed with Western and Asian flavors.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, April 11, 2014

ATV at the Tarlac Recreational Park

My ATV rumbled through the arid dirt track of the Tarlac Recreational Park. I sped past a dune buggy; my hands shaking wildly as the ATV bounced through a rough patch of the road. The sun was gloriously shining above, the wind whipping through my whole body, my camera dangling just below my neck; the only thing missing was an AC/DC song blasting through as soundtrack and everything would’ve been rock n’ roll perfect.Lakad Pilipinas at the Tarlac Recreational Park - Photo by Dandi GalvezThe change from absolute calm to supreme mayhem couldn’t be more jarring.

Our group from Microtel Luisita’s Tara Quin Tarlac Tour has just visited the hilltop sanctuary of Monasterio de Tarlac before heading to the Tarlac Recreational Park. It is arguably the hub of sports activity this side of the province.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Risen Christ at the Monasterio de Tarlac

A thirty-foot statue of the Risen Christ towered over the rolling landscape of the Province of Tarlac. We were at the hillside retreat of Monasterio de Tarlac for Tara Quin Tarlac, a familiarization tour spearheaded by Microtel Luisita to open the floodgates of tourism in the region.

A Monk at the Monasterio de Tarlac

A monk from the Servants of the Risen Christ Monastic Community approached us, welcoming us to the Mountain of Resurrection where the monastery is built on. We asked a few questions and he gamely answered, explaining the origins of their order and the monasterio itself.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tarlac JSJ Goat Farm Tour

Garbed in white, black and brown coats, the goats in a farmland somewhere in Gerona, Tarlac stared curiously at our group as we went pass their pens. It was the second day of the Microtel Tara Quin Tarlac tour and the first itinerary for the day was much to everyone’s surprise, is a goat farm.

Kesong Puti at the Tarlac JSJ Goat Farm Tour

We were told beforehand to limit our breakfast at Microtel Luisita since we’d be having another one at the JSJ Goat Farm in Gerona. While I really have no aversion to anything goat, I surmised that we’d be having goat cheese at the said farm. And I was right, kesong puti made from goat milk and pandesal started to make its rounds as we sat down near the farm’s entrance.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on

Dampa sa Tarlac

In Manila, the word Dampa is synonymous to a single thing, seafood. I didn’t know that the same is true when I headed north to the province of Tarlac. Located on one of the main thoroughfares of the city is a seafood restaurant with the word Dampa linked to its name.

Dampa sa Tarlac

The Dampa at MOA and its neighboring Dampa Macapagal have always been my favorites when it comes to pigging out on seafood dishes. The prices are relatively cheaper compared to restaurants, so I can eat as much shrimps, squids and all things that swim under the sea.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, April 7, 2014

The Capas National Shrine in Tarlac

Whispers silently echo through the black circular walls of the Capas National Shrine in Tarlac. The sky was devoid of clouds and the mid-afternoon sun shone hard, full and unfiltered. It was sweltering hot, but somehow, these whispers sent a shiver down my body.
The Capas National Shrine in TarlacOn the 9th of April 1942, around 60 to 80,000 Filipino and American soldiers, those who survived and surrendered after the Fall of Corregidor, were herded by the Japanese occupational forces at Mariveles, Bataan.

These prisoners of war were then forced to march for hundreds of kilometers, passing through the towns of Pampanga and Tarlac, their numbers dwindling every day due to hunger, disease and fatigue until they reached Camp O’ Donnel in the town of Capas.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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