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Published: April 11th 2010
Three reasons why I consider myself in a way
as a Kampampangan: (1) My grandfather was from Bacolor (trivia: Bacolor was the former capital of Pampanga before it was transferred to San Fernando), (2) I can speak and understand Kapampangan but I must admit I can understand more than I can speak and (3) my surname is Angeles (hehehe). I have discovered the answers why I should be a proud Kampampangan during our Pampanga Tour last July 2009. Discovery #1: Kapampangans are good cooks and love exotic dishes.
We ate our breakfast at Bale Capampangan in Dolores, San Fernando. Take note at a price of Php 100 we had a filipino style buffet meal partnered with a sooo chocolatey hot tsokolate (so redundant!). It was one of the best breakfast I ever had, but the El Nido breakfast experience was still the best. I started to wonder how's their lunch buffet meal offerings. I won't miss this on my next visit. We had our lunch at Everybody's Cafe if I am not mistaken along McArthur Highway. Everybody's Cafe is equal to the Home of Authentic Kampampangan Cuisine which I have no doubt. I didn't enjoy my lunch coz I had
along McArthur Hway, Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga
nothing to eat. I don't eat exotic dishes. Everything was exotic from Piritong Tugak (Fried Frog) to Burum Damulag (Carabao's meat) except for the fried shrimps which was really ordered just for me. Seasonal fruits shakes were really good though a bit pricey. Discovery #2: Life after death on my grandfather's hometown.
Bacolor was buried several feet by Lahar from Mt. Pinatubo in 1995. San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor town proper was half-buried but the old grandeur of the church still remains. Recent fund raising program helped on rebuilding and maintaining the church. In fact, the town itself was the main shooting location of the TV series, "May Bukas Pa". The main church and rectory, mayor's house, the cemetery, the new municipal hall became instant tourist spots. We were actually looking for "Bro" but He didn't appear to us. Another church that was completely buried but currently under construction with its modern design is the Sta. Barbara Chapel (not sure if still part of Bacolor). Discovery #3: Kapampangans are excellent craftsmen.
These are evident in Betis Church's retablo mayor and murals depicting Heaven and Christ, the King. The retablo mayor needs
little maintenance because it is slowly deteriorating. We went to Betis Galleria to see live woodcarving. We met Willie Layug, a certified Kapampangan who studied sculpting in Seville, Spain. I even asked him, "Ninung mas masanting ing pagkagawa, king Paete u king Betis? He answered me without any hesitation, "Lawan mu nung sinung masanting, Betis!" Discovery #4: Pampanga is a haven for nature lovers.
Mount Arayat, the legendary home of Mariang Sinukuna, is situated in the eastern section of Pampanga. I remember when Mount Pinatubo erupted in early 90's, my father told me while looking at Mount Arayat from La Paz, Tarlac, that when the latter (Mt. Arayat) would erupt, the whole town of La Paz would be buried. But according to Philvocs, no record of eruption yet for this volcano. Abe's farm is located at the foot of Mt. Arayat in Magalang, Pampanga (ask a local for the direction). This is where you can relax yourself away from everyday stress via Nurture Spa and enjoy great foods via Abe's restaurant. I find the overnight stay with massage/spa package very expensive but I am so sure that its very worthful.
We ended our tour
with, of course, our pasalubong shopping. We bought pastillas in Magalang (the store is near Magalang Plaza), pastries in Susy's and sweet longganisa in Nepo Mart, Angeles City. Credits: Thanks Marian for all the pictures. Thanks to Dan, Novy, Dina, Leny and Marian for the memories.
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