Adrenaline-pumping Pampanga


Acknowledged as the country’s culinary capital, the mere mention of Pampanga is enough to send your adrenaline pumping with the gastronomic journey that awaits you. But beyond its mouth-watering traditional delicacies, and gourmet international and fusion dishes, the province offers a physical adventure that will make a food feast really worth the trip.

Ride on horseback and relive the origins of Clark field as an American cavalry camp, known then as Fort Stotsenberg. El Kabayo Riding Stables can teach you the ropes of horseback-riding so you ride to the nature and adventure subzone, most notably the Sacobia River bed and Verdant Trail canyons reminiscent of the Wild, Wild West.

Biking in Sacobia River.

If it is your lucky day, you can witness the Monthly Horse Parade as cowboys and cowgirls recreate a cavalry parade around Clark’s greeneries, rain or shine.

Complete your cowboyland experience and feast on certified angus beef brand steaks, prime rib roast and baby back ribs at the Texan saloon-modifed Amante Ribs and Steaks, situated right beside the stables.

Another exciting ride is to pedal your way around the extensive bicycle lanes and trail of Clark which go around the landmarks such as Clark Parade Grounds, World War II markers, Clark Museum, and Air Force City, golf courses, and resort hotels.

Hardcore bikers can go straight to the Freeport’s fringes in Bamban, Tarlac with intriguing attractions along the way, such as Bella Montana Farm which overlooks Clark’s plains and Calbutan Farm which has a spring pool for a refreshing dip.

Horseback-riding with El Kabayo Stables.

You can also travel back in time on two wheels at Angeles City’s Santo Rosario heritage district, which noted for Pamintuan Mansion which was Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s wartime presidential headquarters, Holy Rosary Church, Bale Matua or Founders’ Residence, Museo Ning Angeles, and ancestral houses-turned-tourist shops, most notably the Historic Camalig Restaurant.

Pedal further to San Fernando City and neighboring towns for a glimpse of local crafts, cuisine, culture, and Instagrammable spots.

Must-sees are the century-old mansions and parol makers of San Fernando, woodcarvers and guitar makers of Guagua, the farm resorts of Magalang, the half-submerged Bacolor church, Lubao Bamboo Hub, Sta. Rita Eco-Park, and the Sasmuan Coastland Wetland which was recently inscribed in the prestigious global Ramsar Convention.

Experience a bang, quite literally, and fire several rounds at the Mt. Clark Shooting Range in Angeles City, one of the biggest outdoor ranges north of Metro Manila.

It takes pride in its wide array of shotguns, and military-grade pistols and rifles, and seven covered firing bays, each capable of accommodating three shooters at most. MCFR’s amiable instructors will warm you up with a disarming tete-a-tete, until you get a more relaxed feeling of holding a gun for the first time.

Mount Clark Firing Range.

Having trained sports enthusiasts, government and private security personnel, you can be assured of top-rate lessons on the fundamentals of practical, tactical and competitive shooting. If you want a more laid-back shooting adventure, you can try archery at their soon-to-reopen indoor range and aspire to being a modern-day Cupid.

And when you’re about to call it a day, Pampanga is teeming with options to stay—from star-rated hotels, pension houses to homey and reasonably priced lodging which can be booked online. Families and friends can book at Kandi Towers and Villas in Angeles City via the Airbnb app, and has some of the highly ranked Superhosts.

Situated just outside the Clark Freeport, the whitewashed modern condominium towers boast of amenities such as swimming pools, fitness gyms, cocktail bars and gourmet restaurants, billiards area, roof deck bars, entertainment areas, and lobby lounges adorned by freestanding sculptures.

With hundreds of fully-furnished residential apartments, the spacious two-bedroom units can easily outdo typical hotels, while its villas are world-class one-off design with opulent features which are too many to enumerate. And the great thing is you can book the luxurious accommodation through Airbnb for the price of an economy hotel.

Dotted with food outlets, convenience stores and laundry shops, Kandi Towers is like a vertical self-contained executive village which has all of your immediate needs. It is also ideal for those who want a flashy and physically distanced staycation, but just a few heartbeats away from the adventure and recreational areas.

With fun, food, and fast-paced action, Pampanga will never fail to pump your adrenaline.

Image courtesy of Bernard L Supetran

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