June 2, 2012

One afternoon in Tarlac City

From May 12 to 24, my husband and I went on a road trip through the Central Luzon and Ilocos Regions, stopping at cities and towns that we've never visited before. My Manila goes outside Metro Manila for the next few days. I hope you enjoy the trip.

photos of Ninoy Aquino at the Aquino Center in Tarlac Tarlac City is about 105 kilometers northwest of Metro Manila. The province, which carries the same name, is best known as being the home province of the Aquino family, which includes Benigno Jr. "Ninoy", whose assassination at the airport when he arrived from exile in 1983 became the catalyst for popular discontent and opposition against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, and his wife Corazon "Cory", who became the country's first female president when People Power forced Marcos out. The Aquino Center houses their memorabilia, and chronicles their political careers and the events which led to the Philippines regaining its democracy, however flawed it still is today.

Microtel Luisita in Tarlac We stayed at the Microtel Inn & Suites at Hacienda Luisita, where we arrived during an overcast Sunday morning. Hacienda Luisita is a sugar plantation owned by the Cojuangco family, part of which they opened to public commercial enterprises. Microtel is an inexpensive, no-fuss but comfortable hotel with very helpful and friendly staff. Though it doesn't have a restaurant, the room still comes with free breakfast, which is served in the small lobby which has free wi-fi, free-flowing tea and coffee, and—most welcome and much-needed in our humidity—ice and cold water dispensers.

monument to Corazon Aquino in Tarlac City At the city center, a monument to Cory Aquino stands in the middle of a small roundabout. I had no luck trying to get a closer photo of the statue, unfortunately; I just can't figure out what camera settings I need for upward-looking shots during cloudy days.

San Sebastian Cathedral in Tarlac City The small roundabout was between a park (which we didn't visit because it had just rained and the ground was muddy) and the San Sebastian Cathedral. Since it was a Sunday and there was a Mass going on, popcorn vendors and tricycles were out in droves. I almost got run over when I crossed the street and entered the cathedral premises on the stripes; I thought they were for pedestrians but it seems that they also mark where vehicles can enter and exit the gates.

a monument to the victims of abortions at San Sebastian Cathedral in Tarlac City Because of the Mass, we couldn't take photos inside the cathedral. So my husband and I walked around outside, where we saw a sculpture of a cross and the Virgin Mary gesturing and walking towards a fetus lying on clouds and surrounded by cherubs dedicated to "the innocent victims of abortion."

Tessie's Grills and Roasters in Tarlac City We had our dinner at Tessie's Grills and Roasters, which seems to be a very popular local restaurant because of its inexpensive buffet. What caught my eye, though, were the decorations of their events hall. Roman Gladiators and Anubis standing sentry outside the doors, and I saw a mask of Tutankhamun inside when I accidentally walked in, thinking it was the entrance to the restaurant; I almost gate-crashed someone's debut. Not quite something I expected to see in the farming province of Tarlac. LUZON ROAD TRIP SERIES #1


Dina said...

Hi Hilda, welcome back (sort of)! Thanks for taking us on your road trip. You saw some very unusual things.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Goody, I love a road trip.

alex said...

our world is truly globalizing: many of the photos remind me of the US. Thanks for sharing.

Cezar and Léia said...

Good to learn (and see) a bit further into the Philippines! Thanks for sharing this. When you figure out the thing about shooting against cloudy skies, please let us know! :) Suppose you are now connected again?
God bless you!

Tamera said...

What an adventure! I'm glad you didn't get flattened by a car :^)

brattcat said...

what an interesting experience. i'm glad you weren't deterred by inclement weather, hilda. thank you for stopping by my blog despite your internet challenges. it's always good to hear from you.

George said...

This looks like a fascinating city. Thanks for taking us along on your visit.