It feels good to make someone smile in the morning.
An Aeta vendor couldn’t contain her happiness when I and a fellow travel blogger bought her kamote, a root-crop that she was selling. I remember her bright smile, then she told us that it was her “buena mano” or her very first sale that day. When she left, I continued looking at her. She went on the other side of the road where a lot more of her root-crops can be found. I saw her pulling out the money from us, and spread it lightly touching all the remaining kamote. That made me smile.
I was loving Clark, Pampanga so far, our first day of familiarization tour sponsored by DOT Region 3. I enjoyed our morning coffee and bread, and I also liked what I was seeing – a fusion of nature and some buildings. Clark, Pampanga is a delight to explore.
After our satisfying coffee, we were off to our first stop, The Clark Museum and 4D Theater.
Clark Museum and 4D Theatre
Each of us were given 4D eye glasses when we entered the Theater. It was such an interactive experience as we watched a film about Clark, Pampanga’s history. Our chairs moved and some sprinkle of water came out at the top part of the theater as the story of Clark was presented focusing on how it all started until the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
How the unfortunate calamity destroyed Clark, how it rebuilt itself from the ashes to a fast-rising tourism destination that it is today.
I learned a lot about the history of Clark, and I can personally relate with the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. We were living in Taguig then, far away from Mt. Pinatubo, but I remember waking up as a kid and I saw our place and our home’s roof filled with ashes. Imagine the magnitude of its destruction to the people living near the eruption?
Our tour followed by exploring the Clark’s Museum. It’s a huge collection of Clark’s history, culture and traditions. The museum is composed of 4 galleries, each depicting important aspects of Pampanga’s heritage.
Gallery One is all about the geological and geographical context of Clark. Where it is located featuring the rich nature that surrounds it like mountains of Arayat and Pinatubo. The second gallery focuses on people of Pampanga and Central Luzon, their way of life and also the trade and industry that reflected their traditions and natural resources.
Gallery 3 is all about the history of Clark Air Field and how it has affected the lives of its people. While the 4th gallery features Clark that has risen from the ashes, the modern and rising tourism and business destination that it is today, The Clark Freeport Zone.
While traveling to our next destination, it was also a chance for us to know more about Clark. Our tour guide explained every details of places that we passed through like the barn houses, historical offices and others. She grew up in Clark, so she shared a lot of interesting stories of her childhood. I really enjoyed it.
Clark Sun Valley Resort and Country Club
Our next stop is Clark Sun Valley Resort and Country Club, one of the highest points in Clark, Pampanga.
It’s a premiere resort and real estate development with residential areas perfect for those who want a home overlooking nature. It’s just amazing how a huge golf course was also built going up the hill.
But I can say that the best part is the spectacular view of the mountains and river from the resort, an awesome way to chill.
We roam around the place and the manager even shared us the future developments and projects. A new 5 star hotel is about to be built there, and more houses and residential projects are awaiting to be launched. With these developments come with more infrastructure and business projects. Just imagine Clark in about 5 years from now.
Hansa Creation (Toy International Philippines)
Probably one of the most interesting spots we visited is Hansa, a company located in Clark that creates real-life looking stuffed animals handmade by Filipino workers.
This is one of the pioneering investors in Clark economic zone, and most of its products are exported abroad. One staff from the company shared that the tiger used in the movie, Life of Pi, was created by Hansa. Also, they’re the preferred suppliers by Zoos and Wild Life Parks in the world
The company has viewing or exhibition rooms which showcase their products, real-life looking animals such as bears, snakes, dogs, penguins and a lot more. We had a chance to explore these rooms and we were all delighted with those real-life looking animals! I was particularly amazed with how they were able to create these, it takes a lot of dedication and attention to details.
Note: If you want to visit Hansa and experience their creations, contact them directly below.
Hansa Creation Inc.
Hansa Bldg., Andres Soriano St.
Clark Freeport Zone, Clarkfield
Telephone Numbers: (045) – 599-3333 / (045) 599-2143
I remember experiencing Nayong Pilipino when it was still located in Paranaque, years ago. But since it was transferred in Clark, this was my first time visiting it. Nayong Pilipino is a 45-acre theme park environment showcasing typical Filipino villages, cultures and traditions. It is like traveling the entire country in one place. It’s like a miniature representation of anything about the Philippines and its rich culture.
The place is divided through different regions in the country like Cordillera region, Ilocos regions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
We entered a theater and watched a cultural presentation. It was a delight to watch talented and young Pinoys perform our very own songs and dances. It’s a great way to spread awareness of our unique culture which admittedly is slowly declining especially among the younger generations. The street parade is also something that you shouldn’t miss when you visit Nayong Pilipino.
Adult – P 150
Senior – P 120
Children – P 100
Later that afternoon, we were given a chance to get a glimpse of the newest and one of the biggest water parks in the Philippines. Aqua Planet is a 10-hectare property inside Clark Freeport Zone with 25 modern attractions!
Though Aqua Planet is still not yet open to public, we were given access to this promising water park. Watch out for their official opening and launch in 2018. It will be announced on their website and social media accounts.
We capped off our day by celebrating the launch of “Commercio Centrale”, a lifestyle weekend market at the Parade Grounds of Clark Freeport Zone.
Commercio Centrale showcases food and culture that will be more focused on the Kapampangan traditions. Though, we saw some commercialized food stalls there and some international cuisines, we still felt the celebrations that is uniquely Filipino. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Governor Lilia Pineda. We even had a chance to chat with them.
Later that night, more food was served! There were also some performers. It was a night filled with smiles and celebration. It was a nice experience and a privilege to be able to celebrate Tourism and Kapampangan culture in one awesome day.
“Bring Home A Friend”
The entire event and program was in line with the national campaign of the Department of Tourism dubbed as “Bring Home A Friend.”
It is a national campaign of DOT to make 2018 the homecoming year of Pinoys and their friends abroad. Bringing home a friend to the Philippines is not just a way to share our rich culture, it is also a chance to win exciting prizes. Yes, you read it right. Just bring home a friend from abroad, join the campaign and get a chance to win some awesome prizes!
Mechanics and ways to join can be found here, Bring Home A Friend.
It was a day filled with excitement and learning more about Clark Pampanga. All the tourist spots that we visited from the Nayong Pilipino to Comercio Centrale are meant to create an impact that will make visitors come back to Pampanga, come back to the Philippines.
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