Characterized by an endless expanse of grassy plains and rice fields, the province of Tarlac in central Luzon has long been bypassed or only used as a quick stopover by travelers making their way to Mt. Pinatubo, or more popular destinations father north like the cities of Baguio or Vigan. There are several hotel accommodations available for you, if you decide to overnight. If you’re looking for a place to stay, find discounted rooms in Tarlac here.
Here are five exciting reasons to spend more time in this often overlooked province:
Learn about the legacy of democracy at The Aquino Museum.
Refresh what you’ve learned from your history class at The Aquino Center & Museum in Barangay San Miguel, Tarlac City, where the historic legacy of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Sr. and his wife, former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, are housed in well-curated galleries featuring their relics, memorabilia, photographs and even a reconstruction of Ninoy’s prison cell in Fort Bonifacio. The prominent couple were heroes of the 1986 People Power Revolution against the dictatorial regime of President Ferdinand Marcos.
The Aquino Center & Museum, Hacienda Luisita, Barangay San Miguel, Tarlac City; Tel. +63 45 9850968 or +63 45 9850969. The center is owned and managed by the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation, Makati City; Tel. +63 2 8925360 or +63 8922950. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The museum is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, except on New Year’s Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Christmas Day. For other holidays, please contact the museum.
If you need a place to stay in Tarlac City, visit Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Tarlac, walking distance from the museum.
Contemplate at the mountaintop retreat of Monasterio de Tarlac.
As you climb the meandering road to Monasterio de Tarlac, one realizes that the province of Tarlac does not merely consist of flat lands. Situated on a 20-hectare upland donated by the provincial government in 2003, the secluded monastery overlooks a remarkable landscape of hills and mountains, dominated by a whitewashed statue of Jesus Christ with outstretched arms. It was established by The Servants of the Risen Christ, a monastic community founded in Bamban, Tarlac in 1998, and serves as the sanctuary of a relic of the cross of Jesus Christ, inherited by the congregation from the Diocese of Essen in Germany, where the relic was housed for more than 1,000 years.
Monasterio de Tarlac, Mount of Resurrection, Eco-Tourism Park, San Jose, Tarlac; Tel. +63 45 4933002 or +63 9162508414; Email: email@example.com. The monastery offers accommodation at PHP 800, inclusive of meals.
Masses are held everyday at 10:30 AM, except Thursdays. On Sundays, masses are held at 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM.
Milk goats and munch on fresh cheeses at JSJ Goat Farm.
What better time to tick off “milk a goat” off your lifetime bucket list than the Year of the Goat? Visit the JSJ Goat Farm in Gerona, Tarlac to mingle with hundreds of bleating goat and sheep of native and imported breeds from the US and Australia. Established in 2001, the 10-hectare farm markets their goat milk and cheese products under the Aussie brand. Taste their delicious, freshly-made products like goat’s milk in original and chocolate flavors, feta cheese, traditional kesong puti (white cheese) and pastillas (milk candies).
JSJ Goat Farm, Barangay Caturay, Gerona, Tarlac; Tel. +63 9282515888.
Aussie products are available in Metro Manila at the following outlets: KYL Trading, 24 Banawe St, Quezon City, Tel. +63 2 9951996 or +63 2 7120092; Banawe Soy Bean, Banawe St, Quezon City; Jash Mart, SG-42 Suki Market corner N. Roxas St, Quezon City and Wilson St, Greenhills, San Juan City; and Ying Ying Tea House, Dasmariñas St corner Yuchengcho St (formerly Nueva St), Binondo, Manila.
Bike, kayak and drive a dune buggy at Tarlac Recreational Park.
Looking for an all-in-one destination for outdoor adventure? Check out the Tarlac Recreational Park (TRP) with your entire family or big group of friends. The venue of the 53rd Palarong Pambansa in 2010, this sprawling sports and adventure park has a wide range of amenities like an Olympic-size swimming pool, football field, athletics oval and race track, as well as various outdoor activities like ziplining (PHP 100 per ride), camping (PHP 100 per head), kayaking (PHP 50 per head for 30 minutes), fishing (PHP 100 per day), mountain biking (PHP 50 per 30 minutes), airsoft (PHP 250 per game) and exciting off-road rides on ATVs (PHP 200 per 20 minutes) and dune buggies (PHP 300 per 20 minutes).
For inquiries about the Tarlac Recreational Park, located in San Jose, Tarlac, contact Sustainable Tourism Development Project, Provincial Capitol Building, San Vicente, Tarlac City; Tel. +63 45 4932471; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel the adrenaline rush of go-kart racing at Kart City Tarlac.
Conveniently located right across SM City Tarlac, Kart City Tarlac (KCT) boasts of a world-class karting facility with outstanding race tracks for both adults and children and European-made go-karts that will more than satisfy your need for speed. After your exciting laps, dine by the trackside recreational complex consisting of dining outlets, karaoke rooms and a game room offering darts and billiards.
Kart City Tarlac (KCT), MacArthur Highway, Barangay San Roque, Tarlac City (Located across SM City Tarlac); Tel. +63 45 4914053; Open daily from 3:00 PM to 1:00 AM; Go-kart rentals: PHP 130 for five laps and PHP 200 for ten laps.
This trip was made possible through Lakbay Norte 4, a media trip held from January 29 to February 1, 2015, and organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB), a non-stock, non-profit organization spearheaded by the Manila North Tollways Corporation, builder and concessionaire of the North Luzon Expressway.