Central Luzon Category

Sunken Church of Bajaoen

January 10, 2015

I was fascinated when I first learned about the sunken church in Lake Reschen in Italy which was submerged along with many other houses and buildings when a hydroelectric dam was created in the 1940s. What remains above the water is the church steeple which provides a haunting yet picturesque... (read more)

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

February 27, 2014

I’ve previously featured two sights in Bagac, Bataan and these are the Friendship Tower and Montemar Beach Resort. I’m now going to feature another sight from this town and this is the popular Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (official website, Wikipedia). Named after José “Gerry” Acuzar, owner and chair of the... (read more)

SCTEX–TPLEX Junction

November 3, 2013

Just in time for the All Saint’s Day long weekend, the soft opening of the first phase of the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway or TPLEX finally proceeded last October 31. To celebrate this milestone (pun intended), we are marking the point where the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway ends and the TPLEX begins. The... (read more)

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

July 28, 2013

Arguably the Philippines’ biggest white elephant, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (Wikipedia) cost the country 2.3 billion U.S. dollars to construct, and remains unused to this day. This power plant was conceived by former President Marcos in response to the 1973 oil crisis and construction started in 1976 in Morong,... (read more)

White Rock Beach Hotel

October 20, 2010

Well, here’s a resort in Subic Bay that seems to be trying to be everything: White Rock Beach Hotel. It’s basically a beach resort with all the usual amenities for leisure and team-building (like an open field and a wellness center) and facilities/equipment for water sports (like for jet skiing... (read more)

Pamintuan Mansion

June 12, 2010

Happy 112th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence! To celebrate this historic day, let’s go to Angeles City and virtually visit the Pamintuan Mansion, the site where Gen. Aguinaldo celebrated the first anniversary on June 12, 1899. By that time, the fledging Philippine Republic was in the midst of... (read more)

Potipot Island

April 16, 2010

My officemates went to Potipot Island one Saturday last March and their pictures of the trip on Facebook piqued my curiosity. Knowing that Google Maps had high-resolution satellite imagery of the Zambales coastline, I quickly searched for the island and found it with no problem since it was amply documented... (read more)

Aquino Center

August 3, 2009

To honor the memory of the late President Corazon Aquino, let’s virtually visit the Aquino Center in Tarlac City. This museum, which lies just a stone’s throw away from the previously featured Plaza Luisita, houses the legacy of Sen. Ninoy Aquino and Pres. Cory Aquino. The museum houses various memorabilia... (read more)

Subic International Raceway

May 27, 2009

Eleven months ago, I featured here in Vista Pinas the Carmona Circuit. That racing circuit is primarily for karting and motorbike races and can’t support Formula Three type races. Well, the Subic International Raceway (Wikipedia) is one that does and in fact, it was one of the courses regularly visited... (read more)

HILAGA Philippines (Paskuhan Village) and Ligligan Parul

December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone! To celebrate this wonderful season—Vista Pinas style, let’s go to the acknowledged Christmas Capital of the Philippines, San Fernando City in Pampanga. At the San Fernando Exit of the North Luzon Expressway, across from the previously featured SM City Pampanga and Robinsons Starmills Pampanga is the former... (read more)

SM City Pampanga

November 10, 2008

I’m doing a double feature for Vista Pinas this time: Robinsons Starmills Pampanga in the previous post and SM City Pampanga in this one. I think it’s apt since these two malls of the two largest mall operators in the Philippines stand right across each other in San Fernando City... (read more)

Robinsons Starmills Pampanga

November 10, 2008

I’m doing a double feature for Vista Pinas this time: Robinsons Starmills Pampanga on this post and SM City Pampanga in the next. I think it’s apt since these two malls of the two largest mall operators in the Philippines stand right across each other in San Fernando City and... (read more)

Plaza Luisita

September 28, 2008

Anybody who has taken a road trip to northern Luzon from the Metro Manila area is sure to have taken a stopover at Plaza Luisita at the southern part of Tarlac City. And why not? Plaza Luisita is such a nice place for a stopover and Metro Manilenyos who love... (read more)

Barasoain Church

September 15, 2008

Last week, Google updated their satellite image data in Google Earth (see my main blog post) and now that the update finally arrived in Google Maps sometime in the past few days, we can now see the poblacion of Malolos City in high-resolution goodness and this means that Barasoain Church... (read more)

Montemar Beach Resort

September 7, 2008

I’ve never been to the Montemar Beach Resort in Bagac, Bataan but I definitely want to try staying there given the chance. One criteria that I consider for a beach resort to be good is if it faces west and Montemar definitely fits the bill. Why west? Well, I love... (read more)

Clock Tower of Baliuag

June 2, 2008

Photo by Circa 1900. (GFDL) In the town plaza of the poblacion of Baliuag, Bulacan stands the Clock Tower, reputedly the only self-supporting clock tower in Bulacan. The clock tower is one of the popular Heritage tourist attractions in this town, and one of the most pictured landmarks in Baliuag.... (read more)

Anawangin Cove

May 25, 2008

Only a mere five kilometers from the previously featured Capones Island is Anawangin Cove, an undeveloped paradise tucked into the mountains of San Antonio, Zambales. The main beach at this cove (that big white stretch of shore to the upper-right of this article’s map thumbnail) is a very popular camping... (read more)

Capas National Shrine

April 10, 2008

Today is April 9, which is a national (working) holiday called Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), and we now get to see the 54-hectare Capas National Shrine in Capas, Tarlac. This shrine is built on the grounds of Camp O’Donnell a former American military base that was the final... (read more)

Old Capas Death March Monument

March 17, 2008

We’ve featured Mount Samat Shrine last year and this WWII monument is a tribute to all the Filipino and American soldiers that died when Bataan and Corregidor fell to the Empire of Japan and also for those that succumbed later during the infamous Bataan Death March. Well, there is a... (read more)

Philippine Merchant Marine Academy

January 7, 2008

One of the lesser-known industries in which Filipinos dominate globally is the seafaring industry. According to this GMA News article, the Philippines accounts for 28% of the world’s shipping crew with about 250,000 officers and crew members. In a distant second is the whole Indian subcontinent which only has 100,000... (read more)

Subic-Tipo Expressway Tunnel

October 18, 2007

The Subic-Tipo Expressway (also known as the Subic-Tipo Road) was constructed from April to October 1996 to provide a direct route into the Subic Bay Freeport Zone without having to go through Olongapo City cutting the travel time by around 30 minutes. This expressway is managed by the Tollways Management... (read more)

Mount Pinatubo’s Crater

October 6, 2007

I was only ten years old when Mount Pinatubo erupted in a cataclysmic way on June 15, 1991. I don’t remember much about it except waking up one morning a few days later to see everything blanketed in snowy white ash. This eruption occurred barely a year after the 1990... (read more)

Capones Island

September 25, 2007

There’s something weirdly romantic about a rocky cliff-strewn island off a mainland coast (think Ko Phi Phi Ley from The Beach). But there’s nothing romantic about Capones Island. It’s not a tropical paradise. It’s rocky. And it’s mostly barren. But it invokes instead a sense of adventure that would appeal... (read more)

Friendship Tower of Bagac

September 17, 2007

The Friendship Tower in Bagac, Bataan was erected by the Risshō Kōsei Kai, a Japanese Buddhist lay organization, as a sign of friendship and peace between the Philippines and Japan. The tower was inaugurated on April 8, 1975 on the day the Japanese celebrate the birth of Buddha. This day... (read more)

Grande Island Resort

August 14, 2007

I remember seeing this nice small island in the middle of Subic Bay back when I went a few times to Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales and Bataan. I thought that it would be a nifty place for a private resort. Well, apparently, Grande Island is a resort and... (read more)

Ocean Adventure

June 22, 2007

When people go to Zoobic Safari, they also usually go to Ocean Adventure two kilometers to the northeast. If Zoobic has tigers, crocodiles, and ostriches, Ocean Adventure has dolphins, sea lions, and false killer whales. Visit their official website to learn more. Photo by Martin Sordilla. Among their attractions are the... (read more)

Zoobic Safari

May 8, 2007

Billing itself as the “only tiger safari in the Philippines,” Zoobic Safari can be found inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. People visiting Zoobic Safari almost always also visit Ocean Adventure where you can find dolphins. But, going back to Zoobic (what a clever name), tigers are not the only... (read more)

Mount Samat Shrine

April 10, 2007

Today is the Day of Valor (in Filipino, Araw ng Kagitingan), a national holiday in the Philippines. On April 9, 1942 during World War II, the Bataan Peninsula fell to the Japanese Imperial Army and the American and Filipino forces were forced to surrender and then the infamous Bataan Death... (read more)

8 Waves Waterpark

July 6, 2006

A not-so-secret resort hideaway is tucked in rural San Rafael, Bulacan. This resort is the 8 Waves Waterpark, whose centerpiece attraction is the 2,789 m² wave pool. It’s called 8 Waves because the wave pool can supposedly produce 8 different kinds of waves. Open since 2000, the resort has been... (read more)

Petron Express Center (Marilao)

May 1, 2006

For the past several years now, there has been a proliferation of gasoline stations/strip malls along the South Luzon and North Luzon Expressways. These stations/plazas, which we still have no official name for (suggestions include “gas malls,” “megastations,” and “gas plazas”), are a usual first stop-over or meeting place for... (read more)

North Luzon Expressway Terminus

March 30, 2006

Mabalacat, Pampanga is where the northern end of the North Luzon Expressway is located, specifically in Brgy. Sta. Ines, 88 kilometers from Manila. From here, motorists going further north can go through the traditional route to the west along MacArthur Highway (passing through the previously mentioned Bamban Bridge) or they... (read more)

Mount Arayat

March 16, 2006

Rising like a lone wolf from the flat plains of Central Luzon is Mount Arayat, located in the Pampangan municipality of the same name. This kilometer-high extinct volcano silently greets vacationers from Manila going to the northern parts of Luzon. In Google Local, Mount Arayat was easy to spot even without... (read more)

Pulilan Church

March 14, 2006

The Parish of San Isidro Labrador in Pulilan, Bulacan is dedicated in honor of Saint Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, and the patron saint of Madrid, Spain, as well. In fact, the town was called San Isidro Labrador before getting renamed as Pulilan from “Pulo ng Ulan”. The town’s main... (read more)

Bamban Bridge

March 12, 2006

Crossing the Sacobia-Bamban River system is the Bamban Bridge along the MacArthur Highway between Mabalacat, Pampanga and Bamban, Tarlac. This Nielsen-Lohse basket arch bridge is one of the most modern and sleek-looking bridges in the country; see this ground-level photo from DPWH. The original Bamban Bridge was destroyed in 1991 when... (read more)

Fontana Water Park

March 8, 2006

The Fontana Water Park is one of the many attractions at Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino at the Clark Special Economic Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga. The Water Park features an electronic wave pool and three giant slides, among other wet and wild pools. To the west is the Fontana Casino... (read more)

Bayanihan Park

February 28, 2006

The Bayanihan Park is located in the heart of Angeles City in Pampanga. At the western end stands the main entrance to the Clark Special Economic Zone (marked by the large white circular structure). To the south of the park is the infamous red-light district of the city. And the park... (read more)


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