Pampanga is one of the northern provinces that is comfortably close to Metro Manila. Its distance makes it one favored destination for the weekend or short holidays. Likewise, Pampanga has multiple spots where you can soul-search, go on a food trip, and learn more about local Kapampangan culture and history.
Start with these six spots if you plan to tour the Culinary and Christmas Capital of the Philippines.
Mount Pinatubo might be the last place you’d think of visiting due to its disastrous past. But standing on Crater Lake will surely change your mind. The majestic view of the crystal-clear waters, rich greenery, and rock formations will draw you into Pinatubo’s overall aesthetics. Take a 4×4 off-road ride around the area to fully experience the “beautiful disaster” Mount Pinatubo is known for. This experience can also help you understand your purpose in life, and remind you that you are one of many moving parts that make earth what it is.
San Guillermo Parish Church
A trip to Pampanga wouldn’t be complete without visiting its historic churches. Travel to Bacolor, a town in the middle of Pampanga, and tour the San Guillermo Parish Church. It is a Baroque-style parish lying a few kilometers away from Solana Casa Real and the Bacolor Cockpit Arena along Jose Abad Santos Avenue.
San Guillermo Parish is known as the “sunken church” because one of its structures has been partially buried by the lava flow of Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991. The church has since been renovated and it currently houses the Museo de Bacolor.
Puning Hot Springs
Located at the foot of Mount Pinatubo, the Puning Hot Springs is one of the destinations you can drop by with your 4×4 off-road vehicle. After your hike around Crater Lake, take a dip at the twelve thermal wading pools and enjoy their unique views. You’ll also get to see a gorgeous glimpse of the landscape formed by Pinatubo’s lahar flow.
Clark Museum and 4D Theater
Polish your Philippine history knowledge by touring Clark Museum and 4D Theater at the former US base in Clark, Pampanga. The museum houses memorabilia dating back from the American colonial period and World War II. At the 4D Theater, you’ll see murals and interactive displays of Clarks’ rich culture and past.
The Angeles Museum
Another museum to tour is the Angeles Museum in Santo Rosario Street. Built in 1922, the Angeles Museum is the spot to visit to look at the various displays of the city’s rich culinary and cultural history. The museum is right across the Municipio del Pueblo, another heritage structure in Angeles City.
Mount Arayat National Park
Pampanga’s only mountain, Mount Arayat, offers a breathtaking view of water and landscape to hikers and non-hikers. Go to the Mount Arayat National Park, stroll along the trails, and take photos of the landscape and various pools at the bottom of the mountain.
Pampanga offers many destinations for you to enjoy alone or with company. Include these six must-visit sites in Pampanga and delve into the diverse cuisine, culture, and history of its different towns.