Cebu Pacific has 3 flights per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from Cebu to Clark with a flight duration of 1 hr and 25 minutes though frequently the plane arrives ahead of schedule. We departed Cebu 4:50am on Wednesday and arrived in Clark approximately 5:55am.
There are no taxis in Pampanga, only jeepneys and trikes roaming around the city. Once you arrived in Clark, look for the air-conditioned jeepneys operating just outside the airport’s arrival area. Fare is only P50/pax. It can take you as far as the Balibago Terminal in Angeles City.
Meticulously planning a trip is a bit stressful due to several noteworthy details to consider such as the place to stay. There were several search results when I googled the internet but it was Juanita's Guesthouse that caught my attention because of the positive reviews. It is suitably located in Angeles City and a walking distance from SM Clark. Also the accommodation is very near the terminal and restaurants are lining up the streets.
The staffs are really very accommodating and friendly too. They practically know everything from what to ride when you go to a certain place to the location of the must-try eating places. And also they were very kind enough to let us check in early instead of the usual noontime check in time (we arrived there past 6am). We paid P1050/night Standard room (air-conditioned room) with a comfortable bed, TV, fridge. I personally appreciate the bidet inside the toilet.
The guesthouse also have a café of the same name which is just beside the place where they offer all day breakfast and value meals. On weekends, they have BBQ nights where you can sample the chicken tails and pork ears.
On our first day, I was really itching to sample all the food listed on my itinerary, Aling Lucing’s Sisig, Betute Tugak (Stuffed Frogs), Adobong Camaru (Crickets), Nathaniel’s Buko Pandan Salad, Betty’s Tibok-tibok among everything else.
However, we were able to taste the Stuffed Frogs (Betute Tugak) while dining at the food court in SM Clark. Good thing the said frog dish (P65/pc) is available at Kusina Manyaman which offers a wide variety of authentic Kapampangan food from exotic to more common dishes. The stuffed frog (stuffed with ground beef) tasted more like a dry fried chicken.
The following day was a promise of sampling the most inventive dishes and this include Aling Lucing’s Sisig which gained its popularity in the 70’s (1974). It was pioneered by Lucita Cunanan, the sisig inventor earning her the title, the Queen of Sisig. The place has been obsessively patronized by local and foreign tourists alike. In fact they bragged that Anthony Bourdain, Atong Ang, Jessica Soho and even presidentiable Rody Duterte visited the place and ate the celebrated sisig. My verdict, it was the best sisig I’ve ever tasted. Truly Aling Lucing live up to its name. Other than the sisig, you definitely have to try the relyenong bangus (Boneless bangus stuffed with ground meat and veggies).
Unfortunately there was only little time to try the other Kapampangan dishes. However, the sweet-tooth in me tells me to satisfy my sweet food cravings by trying out Nathaniel's Buko Pandan Salad and Tibok-tibok.
The Buko Pandan salad appeared to be more like an ice cream but when I asked the staff if it was an ice cream he said No, it was a salad. It was so smooth and creamy where every spoonful is absolute happiness. The ¼ size costs P220 which is good for 3-4 persons.
Betty’s tibok-tibok on the other hand is definitely not to miss when in Pampanga, it’s reminiscent of a Maja Blanca dessert. This pudding which is creamier and milkier because of the carabao’s milk derived its name literally from “heartbeat” because while cooking, bubbles appear and looks like it’s pulsating, like a beat of the heart hence the name.
Other must tries in Pampanga are:
Baby Back Ribs
Ice Tea Fuze Strawberry
Ice Tea Fuze Kiwi
Buko Pandan Drink
Red Velvet Cake with Wild Berries Tea
Apart from the food trip, there are a lot of activities that can be done in Pampanga. You can visit Zoocobia, Dinosaurs Island, Sandbox and Mt. Pinatubo. We were only able to visit Dinosaurs Island which houses life-sized Dinosaurs that moves and even makes a sound. It’s a theme park that adults and kids alike should visit because it’s educational and fun if you are interested in the Jurassic Era. Entrance Fee is P350 Regular Fee. Students (up to College): Private – P300 and Public P250. They are open daily, Monday to Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
The reason why we were not able to visit some of Pampanga’s tourist attractions is because we went on a side trip going to Subic. Around 7am, we went to Dau Terminal from Balibago riding a tricycle which is P100 one way good for two persons. You can either ride the Philtranco or the Victory Liner buses though I would highly recommend the Victory Liner among the 2 buses (cleaner and more disciplined drivers). Fare from Dau Terminal to Subic is P140. You need to disembark at Harbor Point Mall (Ayala Mall) and then look for a taxi. We actually haggled for the entire trip going to Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure and paid P1800 for the duration of the trip which includes dropping you off back to the Harbor Point where you can also ride a bus going back to Dau.
Zoobic Safari Day Tour Entrance Rate was P545 – Adults, P445 – Kids 4 ft and below, Free – Kids 3 ft and below
Open Every Day (rain or shine)
Phone: (047) 252-9000