Pampanga is the perfect place if you want to go far enough from the city—but not too far. It’s blessed with natural and man-made IG-worthy scenery and known for recreational activities and great food, but aside from the usual list of things to do and see, here are some places you can visit if you want to go off the beaten path.
Museo Ning Angeles
Heritage District, Santo Rosario St, Angeles, 2009 Pampanga | Open daily from 9AM to 5PM.
The building, which was built circa 1920, is already a museum piece by itself. It was acknowledged as an “Important Cultural Property of the Philippines” by the National Museum in June 2012 and houses a variety of artworks, paintings, and photos representing Pampanga’s pride—definitely a must-visit for history buffs! This place also transforms into an exhibit hall where different cultural activities are held.
San Guillermo Church
The half-buried San Guillermo Church was originally at 12 meters high before the Mount Pinatubo’s devastating lahar flow ravaged the province of Pampanga. While there are remnants of the original structure, it was years before the locals were able to restore them back to normal. One of the interesting things here is that the old windows are now used as main entrances.
Puning Hot Springs, Porac
The jungle-like surroundings in Puning Hot Springs, along with the breathtaking view of giant rock formations, will instantly give you a sense of calmness. You can even check the different temperatures of the 11 hot spring pools then try the sand spa to complete that well-rested feeling.
Bird watching in Candaba Swamp
Some people find bird watching an idle, passive activity. But it’s a great way to relax and take your mind off stress. Here, you’ll be rewarded with birds in striking colors, interesting behaviors and even a variety of unique birdsongs. You might even spot some migratory birds such as the Seven Purple Swamphen or the Chinese Pond Heron if you’ll be here between October to April.
There are steep hills all the way to the falls but you can have a free massage from the falls’ downpour to ease your cramping muscles. The water here is so clear that you can almost see the bottom; and while it’s usually very cold, it’s surely going to be a refreshing dip after a long hike.
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Here’s something for the young and young at-heart: an adventurous trip to discover different dino-stories—from getting up close to the Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Iguanodon and Triceratops, to watching the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex. There’s also a museum featuring giant dinosaur fossils and a Jurassic Jungle Safari where you can experience being chased by different dino species.
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