Pampanga: San Fernando City Calesa Tour

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We've been wondering how to go about around town and cities of Pampanga but I really didn't expect this to be part of it. Calesa, the national vehicle of the Philippines was just at the venue that afternoon and it was the perfect way to show us what San Fernando had to offer. We started at the town's HEROES HALL where most of the events of the city are held.

This hall houses some local government offices, conference rooms and a full sized auditorium that can probably fit around 500 peeps in one event. 

They also got some pretty impressive artwork on display which you should definitely check out.

Then our ride arrived. It was time to go around town on these contraptions. It was surprisingly comfortable. Even Az slept a bit because he found it relaxing.

We met the City Tourism Director and her staff. They briefed us a little about what we were going to see during the calesa tour. I was hoping the kutsero/coach drivers would be able to tell us while on site but maybe they'll train them later on. Then off we go!

Though it felt like a little like you were in a fishbowl and everyone was looking at you, you'll feel OK after a few minutes. The path has a bit of traffic in between so it is a bit adventurous. Old structures, previous government buildings and historical landmarks were a plenty. Didn't get to shoot some of them so you can check it out when you plan to visit San Fernando. 

I thought this was an abandoned building but the kutsero said it is still operational but harvest won't start til the wnd of November hence it's not busy. This is their sugar mill. Sugar cane from Pampanga and nearby provinces are all processed here.

You'll also pass by the provincial capitol where the Governor presides. This also includes the other government offices under her jurisdiction.

This was the old train station of San Fernando.

This place is part of our dark past where the Japanese lead American and Filipino Soldiers on a literal Death March. The sick and almost dead were put in a train coach by the hundreds. Almost everyone died of suffocation or perished with their own wounds during world war II. You'll also see Rizal's statue because he went down and recruited a couple writers here for a leftist publication. This place had walls that can speak, you should visit this place.

The tour ended at this church where previous Parol festivities were held. I think this was also named Immaculate Conception if I'm not mistaken. Most government seats were in this same area before they were transfered elsewhere.

Don't forget to drop by NATHANIEL's which houses the best and softest Puto Pao, some of the tastiest Siomai, native Mochi and the best Buco Pandan drink in all of Pampanga! Thanks to the Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators of Pampanga (ATAP) for hooking us up on this tour! We really enjoyed the first day with you guys! :)

More of Pampanga soon!

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