Pampanga is often times associated with people who cook amazing food. In fact, some even call this city the culinary capital of the Philippines. Staying true to its name, you will find most Filipino dish favorites were made in Pampanga.
Aside from having a number of culinary favorites, there is actually so much more than having a full stomach when you are in Pampanga. Here are the top 5 things that you will find in Pampanga:
The Pampanguenos are artisans not only in cooking but as well as in other things. When you are in Pampanga, you will find rows and rows of stores that sell home furniture that will fit different tastes. Your stereotype of furniture made in the province will surely be broken when you see even just a few pieces. Case in point –
Seems imported, doesn’t it? This chair is only one of the number of chairs offered by More Than A Chair in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
This piece looks more local, but is tastefully crafted. This is a piece from Triboa Bay Living – a furniture and lighting brand that mixes classic with contemporary style. Did you know that this store supplies furniture to a number of businesses in Europe, Africa, Australia and South America? And all these you can get from your very own backyard!
Of course home decors will not be complete without your year-end Christmas lights – another thing that Pampanga is very famous for. So famous that they have their annual festival dedicated to it.
When it comes to home pieces, there is so much more. Every town you visit is a new artisan’s town waiting to be discovered.
Another admirable thing about Pampanguenos is their unwavering resiliency. In 1990s, nobody would have expected the city to be fast progressing because of the devastation that it has encountered from the eruption of the volcano, Mt. Pinatubo. They literally rose from the ashes and “made lemonade out of lemons”. Presently, one of the things that they have found to use the volcano ash for are furniture, sculpture pieces for the house, and entertainment parks.
One such entertainment park is called Sandbox. This land that is over a thousand hectares big is now an outdoor activity place for families, friends and even corporate outings. In here you will find the country’s tallest swing, you can go on the Aerial Walk Challenge as if you are walking in the sky or you can go for the more conventional adventure, and ride an ATV. Of course with a park this big, these are not the only attractions you will find in the place. There is so much more to see – just drop by Porac – a town very close to Manila.
Another unique place is Dinosaur Island in Clark, Pampanga. You will find anything and everything dinosaur here. If you have kids or kids at heart who are fond of dinosaurs, then this is the perfect place to visit. You can choose to go on a trail, or just stay indoors and go to the museum. There is also a jungle safari that will surely leave you breathless. As a bonus, you will also find a museum that has replicas of the wonders of the world.
Another increasingly popular park is Zoocobia by the Zoomanity group. Aside from the zoo, you will find a lot of other fun things to do here, that is why this would be the perfect place to go on a field trip. Not being a typical zoo and park, you can have a close encounter with different bird species, try feeding baby farm animals, and even pick your own mangoes when they are in season.
Remember that Nayong Pilipino that used to be by the Ninoy Aquino National Airport in Manila? It has now found a new home in Pampanga. Enjoy and marvel at different national treasures for generations in this place. From the stories of how we came to be like Malakas at Maganda, to commemorating our national heroes Dr. Jose Rizal and Apolinario Mabini. You can also learn more about the native Filipinos by seeing the Ifugao and Kalinga Villages.
Of course, what is a city without a theme park? This is why Pampanga has its very own Sky Ranch. Enjoy the usual Sky Ranch favorites as well as the dining experience in the park.
One thing that people also like in Pampanga is the abundance of Korean food – most of which are along Friendship Highway. You will find restaurant after restaurant that offers a wide variety of Korean dishes – a cuisine that is surely a favorite of many.
If you like the more native style, try Binulo in Angeles City. It is a restaurant that is frequented for its delicious Filipino cooking. If you want a taste of the Kampampangan cuisine, then this place sums it up for you – you can even eat all the dishes with rice cooked from bamboo!
Another notable place is Aling Lucing Sisig in Angeles Pampanga. This place is very well known for its sisig, a Filipino dish made from parts of a pig’s head and liver.
Have a sweet ending to your meal by buying dessert from LA’s bakeshop in San Fernando Pampanga.
One of the year-long anticipated events in the country is held in Pampanga as well. This is the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Held around February, participants from all over the country – and even the world – visit Pampanga to showcase their hot air balloon.
Of course, there is the Giant Lantern Festival, where Pampanguenos parade their most beautiful lantern creations or in Tagalog, is called “parol”. Some years ago, they had a district called “Paskuhan Village”, this is a lane made up of rows of lights and lantern stores. “Paskuhan”, coming from the word, “Pasko”, is the Tagalog of Christmas – it’s called such because it feels like Christmas every time you walk down that lane. This festival feels like one giant moving “Paskuhan Village” and is truly an even you should not miss.
Speaking of resilience, Pampanguenos has fully bounced back as they offer Mt. Pinatubo Trekking to tourists who want an exhilarating adventure. You can also go for the more Western adventure feel by going to El Kabayo Stables in Subic Bay.
Apart from all these things, the best part is that living in Pampanga does not cost as much! It can even cost half of what you spend when you live in Manila. This is a fast-progressing city. Aside from having infrastructure necessary for successful trade, they also have an international airport where people from around the world can easily access the place.
Pampanga living is one great experience after another. The food, the sights, the entertainment, even the crafts – each of these contribute validate the saying, “Pampanga’s Best”.