Mexico, Pampanga is just a couple of hours away from Manila. It’s a great day trip to get away from the city because of all the things you can do there. It’s a cultural trip because Pampanga is rich in history and culture. They also have a distinct cuisine that differs from what you typically have in Manila and other Tagalog regions. They also have different theme parks if you’re after activities and adventure.
Getting to Pampanga depends a lot on how you want to go around the place. You can opt to take a point-to-point bus that will drop you off directly at the city. The thing is, if you’re commuting, this might take a lot more time. If you’re not rushing then you may be able to save by doing so. Taking a car is another option and it provides the ease of going around the city and nearby areas more.
Mexico has a lot of ways to get around it. You can opt to commute by taking jeeps, taxis, and tricycles depending on where you’re going. If you would rather have a hassle-free way of going around, bringing your car would be the most ideal. It will save you time because you don’t have to navigate your way around. Simple apps like Waze and Google Maps will save time for you.
Pampanga is a loaded trip for everyone especially if you’re heading there for a weekend. Mexico is one of the oldest cities in Pampanga. It has a lot of places for you to see and it’s so close to many other towns so it makes it easier for you to go around and see more attractions! In Mexico, it’s more of a cultural and heritage trip. The San Jose Matulid Chapel there is a great sight to see because it’s believed to be the oldest church in Pampanga that was built during the 1580s.
The Old Sta. Monica Belltower is an impressive structure made out of stone and bricks. It’s one of the last remnants of the old Sta. Monica Parish. You’ll find the newly built one in the area too along with the St. Benedict’s Institution de Mexico.
Like most cities that had strong Spanish influence, you’ll find heritage houses nearby. One of the prominent ones is the Hizon Ancestral House. You’ll find trinkets and photographs of how people lived during the time of the Spanish and Americans.
If you decide to visit the neighbouring areas, you’ll find more structures and monuments that show Pampanga’s rich history that has gotten intertwined with the Spanish and Christianity. You’ll find the likes of San Guillermo Parish Church and Betis Church as examples. Pamintuan Mansion is part of the heritage district of Pampanga and it’s a good place to learn more about Filipino life and traditions. You’ll find exhibits with photographs and old items that recall the distant past. A bonus is that this house served as the base of Gen. Antonio Luna during the American war.
If you’re after recent history then the Center of Kapampangan Studies is where you should go. They have a Vicente Manansala exhibit as well as a small dedicated area for the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. It’s a mural that shows the devastation it caused Pampanga.
If you’re the type of person who likes going to amusement parks, Pampanga has quite a number. Skyranch Pampanga has a lot of rides for you to see. They also boast a big Ferris wheel that gives a great view of the province. SandBox is also an exciting place to go to because of the unique outdoor experience. The main attraction here is the country’s tallest swing. They also have spots like air walks, rappelling, zipline, and wall climbing.
Pampanga is known as “The Culinary Capital of the Philippines”, It has a lot of restaurants and among this would be the ones made by Pampanga’s acclaimed chef, Claude Tayag. He has the well known 1956 Downtown Cafe that serves great Kapampangan food.
Bale Dutung is another spot and it’s more of a private restaurant. If you want to eat here, you would need reservations. If you want some lutong bahay style food, Cucina ni Atsing Lillian is always a good spot. She cooks on the spot and a lot of people flock here because of her.
Hotels in Mexico will be a bit smaller than in Manila. The bigger ones are located in the vicinity of Clark, but you’ll find good and affordable ones in Mexico. The good thing about this is they’re often close to restaurants and groceries in case you want to stock up.