a Memorable Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off (7.30am-12.30nn)

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Related Posts:
Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung – The Best Kapampangan Restaurant in Pampanga
a Memorable Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off (7.30am-12.30nn)
Lunch with Claude Tayag and Among Ed (12.30pm to 4.30pm)
Ligligan Parul – Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival (4.30pm to 12.30mn)

Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung-16

First of all, Merry Christmas to all Friends of Our Awesome Planet !

At 1am last Sunday, I was driving Ivan Mandy and Spanky to their house in Oroqueta. We just finished our first and ultimate tour showcasing the Best of Pampanga. All of us were physically tired of the 17-hour Pampanga journey but our spirits were still high. We knew that we just executed the first and Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off. It was the confluence of events, friends who enjoyed the same interest in travel and 4 bloggers clicking at the right moment that made this Pampanga experience a memorable one.

We would always say it is not a tour but an experience to remember. We wanted to create an experience with people who entered as strangers/ foreigners and who exited as friends because of the memories that we shared.  We will share with you the entire tour and our contacts. We would encourage other people to create their own tours or explore Pampanga on their own. Our vision is to elevate the level of tours delivered in the country showcasing the Filipino hospitality and creativity; and the great food we have in our country.   

Allow me to share with you the Ultimate Kapampangan Show-off Experience….
(Please let us know what you think about it.  And maybe you would want to join us next time.)

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Tour Kick-Off
We started on time for the 7.30am meet up in Starbucks 6750 and by 9am we were already in Pampanga. We had 16 participants + 5 bloggers (Spanky, Ivan H, Ivan M, Anton and Bikoy who joined us to film the entire event). We filled up the entire coaster and took a mental note to limit participants to 15 people on our future tours.

Originally, we had a dilemma of using a coaster or a bus. We wanted the cozy type of experience that a coaster offers but if we were to increase our profits we need to target a bus. In the end, our consensus was to use a coaster for future out-of-town trips.

Everybody's Cafe-2

We designed the tour to have surprises the entire day. We liked the idea to give goodies/ pasalubongs (ala Oprah style) throughout the day. Also, the coaster was loaded with drinks — mineral water, juice and beer.

The first surprise was Imang Salud Dayrit’s San Fernando ensaymadas. We all give them a bayong to carry their goodies and we gave them this huge ensaymada (6 inches in diameter) which cost P150 each. It literally melts in your mouth in softness, a yummy buttery taste and topped with generous servings of queso de bola. One of the participants had an Anton Ego’ Ratatouille experience when he took a bite of the ensaymada. Flashes of childhood memories flooded his head and he raved about it throughout the tour.

Imang Salud Dayrit’s San Fernando Ensaymada’s
Legaspi Sunday Market (7.30am to 2pm)
Telephone: +63 920 947 8819

Tour Kick-Off-2

On our way to Pampanga, we showed some videos about Pampanga but unfortunately, the coaster’s sound system produced poor quality sound. And so, we took a mental note to find the best coaster out there that we can use for the tour (please post a comment if you know one).

In Cebu Pacific fashion, Spanky led the group in singing Pampanga’s famous song:

“Atin Cu Pung Singsing”

Atin cu pung singsing (I once had a ring)
Metung yang timpucan (With a beautiful gem)
Amana que iti (I inherited this)
Qng indung ibatan (From my mother)
Sangcan queng sininup (I stored it as well as I could)
Qng metung a caban (In a hopebox)
Mewala ya iti (But i just suddenly disappeared)
E cu camalayan! (I didn’t notice)

Ing sucal ning lub cu (The heartache inside me)
Susucdul qng banua
(Is as high as the sky)
Picurus cung gamat
(My crossed hands as I pray)
Babo ning lamesa
(Are upon the table)
Ninu mang manaquit
(Whoever would find that)
Qng singsing cung mana
(inherited ring)
Calulung pusu cu (My poor heart that’s aching)
Manginu ya queya! (Shall forever worship him/her)

Bacolor Church
At around 9.30am, we are already in our first stop — The Bacolor Church. Our gameplan in the morning is to only give them light food for breakfast and to give them a workout to prepare them for Claude Tayag power lunch. The Bacolor church survived the 1991 lahar and this is what’s left of the church.

Bacolor church
Bacolor is an old Filipino town and before 1991, it has the most number of well maintained ancestral houses among the Pampanga towns. Just read Toto Gonzalez‘ remembrance of Bacolor, Pampanga before 1991 in his blog Remembrance of Things Awry. Just look at the above photo of the mighty Bacolor church before it was submerged in lahar. Just imagine the number of houses buried in Bacolor.

Turrones de Casoy

After boarding the bus, we gave out our second surprise — Turrones de Casoy (P59/each). This is an original Kapampangan pasalubong where you have to eat the paper wrapper which taste like the host during communion.

Tita’s Special Pampanga
Tita’s Commercial Building, Olongapo-Gapan Road,
Dolores, San Fernando Pampanga
Tel# (+63 45) 961-7071 to 72 and 961-1562

Betis Church-14
Next stop was Pampanga’s oldest church — Betis Church in Guagua, Pampanga. It is compared to the Sistine Chapel because of the mural paintings on the church’s interior by local painter Victor Ramos which were mistaken to be Simon Flores originals (a famous painter active in the 19th century).

Betis Church-9
The best time to visit is when there is a wedding. We were on time for the 10am wedding and we stayed throughout the wedding procession. We were surprised to see a lot of kids and sponsors as part of the entourage. It was beautiful to say the least.

Buko Sherbet-3

After Betis, most of the participants would agree that the Buko Sherbet of San Jose, Pampanga was the best surprise of the entire day. I only heard about the legend of this buko sherbet from Ivan and Spanx. The minimum order was 5 gallons and we brought it on board the bus. It was a hit! The sherbet was smooth and sweet. But the best part of it was, you keep coming back for more. Hindi siya nakaka-umay.  Aidan would have seconds, even thirds of this.  Suddenly, I miss my boy.

Roger’s Ice Cream & Sherbet
San Jose, Panlumacan, San Fernando, Pampanga
Tel no. (+63 45) 961-7564   

Santos - Hizon House-16
It was very difficult to enter one of the ancestral houses along Consunji street in San Fernando, Pampanga — not unless you are with a relative. Thanks to Spanx!

Santos-Hizon House. Built at the turn of the century by the couple Teodoro Santos and Africa Ventura. Purchased by Maria Hizon, a nurse of the Pampanga Chapter of the Philippine Red Cross during the Philippine Revolution. Was inherited by her brother Augusto Hizon ans is currently owned by his heirs.

This ancestral, exemplifying the architecture prevalent during the american colonial period, is an important heritage edifice of the city.”

Santos - Hizon House-6

As we were eating our Buko Sherbet, the Ivans shared the story of this ancestral house. My dream house is to have a replica of this house overlooking a beach.

Santos - Hizon House-5

Thanks to the Hizon family for giving us a grand tour of the house. Merry Christmas!!

Related Posts:
Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung – The Best Kapampangan Restaurant in Pampanga
a Memorable Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off (7.30am-12.30nn)
Lunch with Claude Tayag and Among Ed (12.30pm to 4.30pm)
Ligligan Parul – Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival (4.30pm to 12.30mn)


10 thoughts on “a Memorable Ultimate Kapampangan Show-Off (7.30am-12.30nn)

  1. How I wish I can be in your tour someday. My daddy was a retired US Navy. When he was still alive, I asked what the best place in the world he had been. His answer, our home. Definitely there is no place like home. It would be ashame that some tourists knows our country better than Filipinos themselves. I started first touring our country from Baguio, Boracay, Cebu, Davao, Palawan, Tagaytay! Our country is better to explore than other countries. I had been to Hongkong and the USA ( San Francisco, LA, Nevada, San Diego, Orange County, Imperial Valley, Camarillo) but definitely iba yung feeling! The song of the hotdogs about Manila is really true. Hinahanap hanap kita Manila! I remembered that when I had my first Christmas in San Francisco. I had been assigned in Pampanga for 3 years during my residency training but havent really explored the place that well! Thanks for the wealth of information you had been giving to us!

  2. Hi Anton,
    I was supposed on that tour but had to cancel. I would really like to go on this tour. Please let me know when the next one will be.

  3. hey anton!
    thanks for this comprehensive and gorgeous series of posts, kaya pala ang tagal lumabas,
    you really put your heart into it.
    and on behalf of the hizon clan,
    dacal a salamat, abe!

  4. Hi Anton,
    Greetings from Pennsylvania. Have been a regular and avid reader of your blog. Keep it up!
    On February, I will be attending our high school reunion in Manila. With some of my friends, we would be very interested to do the same Pampanga tour that you and your group did. Do you think you can help us how to go about it?

  5. Hi Anton,
    Makes me proud that I’m half kapampangan and culinary tours are conducted in our province. There’s so much to see, learn and savor with the dishes that Pampanga has to offer. As my mom and grandmothers would say, the best tasting dishes are not found in the restaurants of Pampanga but in the houses of kapampangans whose love for cooking is truly an art.
    Thank you for the feature…

  6. Hi Anton. I would be very interested in joining any of your future tours. If you can please email me in case I get too busy to check your blog. I just recently (a week ago) started reading your blog and I will certainly try some of the more interesting restos that you have featured. God bless you and your family.

  7. hi, i am a full-blooded Kapampangan… i was even born on the hospital in front of the Bacolor, sadly it’s not there anymore…
    I experienced all the food and places that you mentioned growing up. For me, it was just one of those things that you take for granted. Hearing how others appreciate our food and places makes me feel proud about being a Kapampangan. Now, I’m itching to have my buko sherbet (it tastes best if it has grated dayap)…

  8. Hi Anton,
    I am working in a call center right now and It’s my hobby whenever I do not have a chat ( I am a technical support cha agent, I am searching the net to know more about our Kapampangan history and heritage because more than being a Filipino, I am most proud of being a Kapampangan blood and I always tell my friends on how great Kapampangan are. The hospitality that we have and how we value frienship. The foods and the places, and your blog is one way of justifying the greatness of being a Kapampangan. Thanks.

  9. Hi Anton,
    I wish you have a tour also in July or Aug. We are coming in July to the phils. for a famliy vacation. I read always your ourawesomeplanet site to get some latest things and new things going on to the philippines specially to all of your balikbayan. Thanks and Keep up the good work.

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