Discover The Flavorful Places of Pampanga With Philtranco
Unlock a whole new experience with Philtranco.
Known for it’s great service for decades, Philtranco has been the top choice for land travel around the Philippines – from Luzon to Mindanao. Established in 1914, Philtranco is one of the largest and oldest bus company in the Philippines and even in Asia. Its central station is located at Pasay City featuring automated passenger and baggage check-in system, fully-airconditioned pre-departure area, and 24/7 staff committed to serve every Filipino while maintaining the safety, orderliness and cleanliness of the station.
Last November 29, Philtranco brought us to Pampanga to discover its flavorful places that awaits to be unlocked. Known as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, Pampanga is a province located in the Central Luzon region of the Philippines. Not only it is known for food but also because of its rich historical wonders.
(ALSO READ: A Quick Day Tour Experience in Calapan Mindoro)
Two hours away from Manila, we reached our first destination through Philtranco Premium Deluxe bus, St. James The Apostle a.k.a. Betis Church in Guagua, Pampanga. Established in 1607, Betis Church is one of the oldest and elite chuches in the country and has been declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum and NCCA. The church was dedicated to Saint James the Apostle who is also the patron saint of Guagua, Pampanga.
Next stop is JB Betis Woodcraft, a few minutes away from the church. Established in 1978, JB Betis Woodcraft (aka Betis Crafts) is one of the leading exporter of woodcraft furnitures and is acknowledged as the leader in hand-carved and solid wood furniture and accessories. Some of their wonderful pieces can be found in the Malacanang of the South, Kensington Palace, and in the hotel featured on Sex and the City 2 movie. Yes, their pieces are definitely world-class. In case you’re wondering, they customize their designs according to their client’s preferences.
After Betis, Philtranco brought us to Bacolor to visit the San Guillermo Church. Known to be the “half-buried” church, San Guillermo Church was one of the affected area when Mt. Pinatubo errupted in 1991 reducing the facade in to half from the original height of 12-meter high. The original door is not visible anymore because it was buried by mud and ash.
Next stop in Bacolor is Aling Laring’s Special Kakanin where we saw how they make Tamales and Suman. Aside from these, they also make other rice cakes. Aling Laring is dubbed as the “Tamales Queen” for pioneering the production of Tamales in 1972. FYI, Tamales is a native rice delicacy popular in Pampanga especially in Cabalantian (Bacolor). They say that the best tamales can be found there.
After the first half of our day tour, we had our lunch at 25 Seeds restaurant in Angeles, Pampanga. 25 Seeds is a farm to table restaurant owned by the famous Chef Sau Del Rosario. Located in Dycaico Ancestral House at Sto, Rosario, Angeles City, 25 Seeds offer delectable yet healthy dishes (and Instagram-worthy too!) where majority of the ingredients are from their own backyard farm or locally produced. They also offer exotic dishes like Camaru or fried crickets. Yes, I ate it. It doesn’t taste bad at all. I guess it’s true, don’t judge the book by its cover. Chef Sau Del Rosario was there when we visited his restaurant and even demonstrated how he cook his own version of Tamales.
After having our lunch, we then headed to Susie’s Cuisine (also in Angeles) to buy pasalubong. Susie’s Cuisine was established in 1972 and is owned by Mrs. Anicia Aysin. It’s actually not just a pasalubong store but also a restaurant offering several dishes such as the famous Pancit Luglug and native rice cakes.
Located in the midst of modernization, our next stop is the Museum of Philippine Social History also known as the Pamintuan Mansion. Built in 1880, it was the ancestral house of the Pamintuans, hence the name, turned into the first ever social history museum in the country. It mainly focuses on showcasing the local tradition, history and culture.
Next stop is the Center of Kampampangan Studies which is located in Holy Angels University. It was developed to preserve and promote the culture, heritage, and language of Pampanga.
And it’s a wrap! We had our early dinner at Aling Lusing’s Sisig (also in Angeles). Aling Lusing’s Sisig is the most popular place in Pampanga for sisig making Angeles the :Sisig Capital of the Philippines”. The founder, Lucia Cunanan, was even dubbed as the “Sisig Queen”. Yes, she and her restaurant do deserve it because the sisig was so delicious! I wanna come back again for it.
Lastly, we had our dessert. Who doesn’t love desserts? We had our halo-halo from Kabigting for to-go since it’s already evening and we don’t want to get stuck in the traffic. Kabigting’s Halo-halo is one of the pride of Arayat. It’s delicious and I like it because it only has few ingredients but I still love Razon’s Halo-halo.
It was indeed an amazing and flavorful experience. Flavorful not only on our stomachs but also on our minds as we learned a lot of things, mostly historical and cultural, during the trip. It was a great and comfy trip. I love that Philtranco has comfy seats that allowed me to take quick naps in between the tour. Great to know that Philtranco has now a route to Pampanga (aside from Clark). In case you are interested to discover Pampanga with Philtranco, you may check their website at www.philtranco.net and follow them on Facebook. For reservations and inquiries, please do contact them directly.
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