Discovering Pampanga’s hidden gems

Apart from being known as “Culinary Capital” of the Philippines, Pampanga boasts of local tourist destinations that will surely bring joy and adventure.

Here are some things to see and do in Pampanga:

Museum tour

Maestro Willy Layug, a household name for ecclesiastical art, plans to open his museum in Pampanga in the future. His exhibit includes religious sculpture and paintings, among others. Layug was awarded by Pope Francis with the Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice in 2016 – bestowed on lay people for services to the Roman Catholic Church, and is the highest honor the Church awards to the laity.

Traditional metal artistry

The hammering art of Pukpuk in Floridablanca is alive and kicking as workers are now busy doing kitchenware after the COVID-19 pandemic. Their sandok (scoop), siyense (spatula), kawali (frying pan), kaldero (pot) and others are being delivered to different kitchens across the country.

Man-made eco-park

Located in Lubao, the Bamboo Hub first serves as a protective shield against soil erosion in the vicinity. It then became a tourist destination as parkgoers enjoy natural breeze in the park.

Managed by the Lubao Municipal Government, the Lubao Bamboo Hub and Eco-Park attracts around 600 visitors every weekend. Parkgoers can enjoy a playground, as well as biking and even a river cruise.

Thermal hotspring

Puning Hot Spring & Restaurant is located in Angeles and Porac. It has three stations where visitors can enjoy natural hot springs in Station 3. It will take 30 minutes to visit the three stations, but a four-wheel vehicle ride is reserved for adventure seekers. After a hot spring session, visitors can go to Station 2 wherein they will be buried into volcanic ash that is said to be good for blood circulation. Then a mudpack will be applied to guests before they take a bath and enjoy a sumptuous buffet back in Station 1.  

‘Little Cambodia’

Dubbed as “Little Cambodia,” Bale Batu is located at the foot of Arayat Mountain. Visitors can enjoy a piece of Cambodia inspired by Angkor Wat.

Heritage district

Have a trip down memory lane in the heritage district of San Fernando while boarding a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage). Visitors will see old houses that witness Pampanga’s rich history and culture. 

Food trip

Authentic Kapampangan dishes are served in Apag Marale in Guagua. They also serve exotic fare such as frogs and crickets, among others. Meanwhile, modern Kapampangan food is the specialty of Diosdado Restaurant in Bacolor.

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