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Day Tour to Pampanga’s Historic Sites: What to see, Where to go and What to eat

Half of my weekend prior to departing for my 15 – day foray to Indonesia was spent in Pampanga. A nearby province from Manila that can be reached in 2-3 hours by land travel, this isn’t my first visit but I would say this is the time that I have appreciated much of Pampanga through its essence. Instead of man – made sites and amusements parks, NorthPine Incorporated brought me and a bunch of bloggers on a bus ride to Pampanga’s real gems of what makes it today.

Out of the 81 provinces of the Philippines, Pampanga is one of the first eight rays that fought against the foreign colonizers for independence. Every Pampangueno should be proud for that! NorthPine Inc. by the way is a real state company that sells low – rise house and lots in Pampanga located between the boundaries of Brgy. Calulut in San Fernando and Brgy. Panipuan in Mexico City. They also have very affordable and high quality housing projects Cavite, Laguna, Antipolo and Pasig. What better way to encourage  people to call Pampanga home than showcase the beauty of its province?

Our call time was at 6am so we had coffee at Starbucks Metrowalk which is our meetup place. I had to wake up as early as 3am because I am quite far.  I personally know most of the bloggers that fill the air conditioned bus  that is why I had a feeling that this is gonna be a fun whole day of going around Pampanga. We were personally assisted by the Marketing team of NorthPine Inc led by Myla Cammayo and Richard Burgos, a really witty tour guide for that day who fed lots of information about this province a nd kept us awake by doing small games inside the running bus.

Montana Views  a NorthPine Inc’s Property in Pampanga
Before we start, we checked out Montana Views.  Currently, the houses are still under construction but we’re able to see the model units which are all gorgeous. These are dream houses of every Filipino – a inspired by Modern American Country. Named after US mountains, the different  types of houses are : Ave, Bryn, Kendra, Lindsey and Quincy. The first two houses are for newly – weds  or two individuals dwelling under the same roof and the rest are for a family of up to 5 persons.

Betis Crafts in  Guagua

I have never been to a showroom and a factory of house furniture, let alone a world – class. Mr. Jose and Myrna Bituin, showed us how they build their products from the scratch  and seeing the finished ones which are so damn gorgeous and luxurious. These aren’t the typical sofa or bed you see in a Filipino home but what they got will make you be proud of them. Betis Crafts have supplied a London posh supermarket store, made the chair of Miss Universe Sushmita Sen in 1999 and currently producing lots of at the Royal Palace of Quatar. Started in the 70’s, they are the pioneers in intricate wood carving in Pampanga that reminds every Filipino we can be successful so long as we put all our passion and talent a hundred percent all the time.

San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor
Also named as Bacolor Church, when Mt. Pinatubo erupted, half of it was buried because of the  hardened ash falls and rocks in early 90’s. There’s a number of local and international tv shows plus movies were shot here. 

Betis Church in Betis
The second church we checked  out was much interesting inside than its look outside. St. James the Apostle, is a National Cultural Treasure  and also dubbd as “The Sistine Chapel of the Philippines” because of its majestic murals in the ceilings done by Simon Flores, a Filipino painter. These sights remind of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. Unfortunately, I have no shots inside because some sanitary pads, I just got my period in the middle of this trip. 

Lunch at Cucina in Atching Lilian
We personally met Mrs. Lilian Borromeo, known as the Culinary Queen of Pampanga. Her restaurant is not the modern type but one that reminds of my grandma’s  old kitchen or in Pampanga is called cucinang matua. We had the best of what to eat in Pampanga for lunch: sisig, bringhe, suam na mais and a pako salad  with thin slices of a monitor lizard’s egg. I super love her dinuguan version or pork blood stew which really surprises me because it isn’t colored ‘red’ just because of what it is made. She is known to have authored culinary books and often featured on TV shows  about Pampanga’s dishes

For dessers and sweets, check out the best halo halo – shaved ice mixed with condiments and fruits   I have ever tasted in my life. If only I can bring more home, I will.  While dropping by at NorthPine Land Satellite Office, we were served Kabigting, a halo halo without sugar but it tastes heaven. In replacement, the creators of this from Mount Arayat uses pastillas instead.

Pamintuan Museum
I love visiting old Spanish houses. In fact, I have roamed around the country without forgetting to see one whenever I am new in a province. Pamintuan Museum is one of the many beautiful ancestral houses of rich families you should visit in Pampanga.  This mansion used to be one of the headquarters of Gen. Antonio Luna and Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur. It is creepy to walk around the house by yourself because of some weird stuff I felt.

Holy Angel University
A tertiary school in Pampanga serves as a repository of what this province has gone through and properly documented. The retablo I have seen is so striking that I took quite a lot of photos.   We first checked out the gallery of Vicente Manansala, a National Artist from Macabebe. Shown are his sketches, paintings and memorabilias donated  by his family.  The library in this school doesn’t only have books but also holds birth and death records of its people. We also seen a few of the Museum of Kapampangan Art where we were told about the many firsts of this province that dates as early as 3000 BC. Retelling the history of Pampanga won’t be complete without the Mount Pinatubo. We watched a video  about the lives of Aetas, an indigenous community that thrive near this volcano.

We want to thank NorthPine Land Inc. for letting us discover Pampanga once more. If you are looking for a house and lot in Pampanga, I would definitely recommend choosing Montana Views. You can contact Jurie Roa, the resident Head Sales Network Manager, check or calt +632-637-1531.

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