Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pampanga Culinary and Parol Tour (part 1)

I don't usually book package tours because of two things: I dislike being rushed and I have this impression that there is a money trap somewhere. I remember availing of a package tour when I went to Hong Kong and instead of going to the important sites, the guide brought us to a jewelry factory where we were encouraged to purchase the items. The next time around we bought a guidebook and tried exploring on our own. It was definitely a lot better :)
erman holding our lonely planet guide book :)

Last year though, a particular tour caught my eye. It was Ultimate Philippines' Pampanga Ligligan Parul Culinary tour! Ulitmate Philippines is run by 4 cool guys - Anton Diaz of OAP, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks, Ivan Henares of Ivan About Town and Spanx of Manila Boy. I have been a long time reader of these blogs and know that when they travel they do it right. I was also fortunate enough to join Anton during the Havaianas 7 waves event in Bohol a couple years back. I really enjoyed the itinerary that he planned for that trip so in a way I knew that the Parol tour would be a nice one. I started inquiring almost 3 months before the trip - yep, I was pretty excited :) I also did not mind that one of the main attractions was Lechon (I don't eat pork) I just really wanted to see Pampanga's Parols up close!We started the day right by having a nice hearty breakfast at Everybody's Cafe. I have good memories at this place. My dad loved going to Dau to shop when I was younger. We would always stop by at Everybody's for lunch. Our fave viand would be their morcon but since I don't eat pork and beef anymore...
I had the Pako salad instead :) I also had a nice cup of hot chocolate. Yum!
After breakfast we headed to the historic San Guillermo Church. At first glace you wouldn't really notice that half of the church is buried! Yes, buried by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1995. Here's a photo of how it looked like before. I'm so glad that a part of it survived because it's such a beautiful church.
The floor that they have now used to be a part of the ceiling.
Window by the floorIt was a really hot day and it was great that we had a huge tub of Buko sherbet in the bus! I think I had 2 cups that day :)
Our next stop was the church in Betis. I am a bit confused with the name of this church since there are 3 names on the sign - Betis (1572) The Church (1660-1770) and The Artesian Well (1868-1898). Just drop me a note if you know :)

Anyway, this church is beautiful! It's such a blessing that it was spared from Mt. Pinatubo's wrath :)The church is filled with intricate hard crafted ornaments and the ceiling is adorned with beautiful paintings. Our tour guide, Ivan even mentioned that this was our very own "Sistine Chapel" :) Beautiful :)

Next post on the 5 way lechon at Bale Dutung and of course, the parols!


  1. Thanks for taking me on the tour,Kate..I'm looking forward to your next post...

  2. The Kapampangan Culinary tour is super sulit. Joined in last December 2008. If I have the chance I'll take again the 5-way lechon in Bale Dutung. =)

    Betis Church is also known as the Sistine Chapel of the Philippines. But I think it is called as it is, as Betis Church.

  3. I've heard of this tour from other blog friends. It must have been a great experience for you. I hope you enjoyed the delicious cuisine, lovely places and great company.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Nice photography blog & good post.You have beautifully maintained, you must tried this website which really helps to increase your traffic. hope u have a wonderful day & awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging! Meow.

  6. Hi
    Very nice tour! May I ask how much it cost? and who or what website should I go to avail of the same package. thanks

  7. @peach and @Lydia - thank you :)

    @wits - yes, super sulit! we had so much fun!

    @Rachel - thanks for visiting :) It was a really great tour! we're thinking of joining again!

    @Mrs. M - you can check out :) The parol tour is P4,800 per person



Related Posts with Thumbnails