Tarlac is a province located within the Central Luzon region of the Philippines. It is celebrated for its rice and sugar plantations as well as its multi-cultural ethnic groups like the Kapampangans, Pangasinans, Ilocanos and Tagalogs, who have made Tarlac their home. With its seventeen municipalities and various go-to places, any thrill-seeker will definitely find something new to try and experience, here. Allow Tarlac to leave you wanting more.
Thrill-seeker quest #1: Hike to the Asean-New Zealand Forestation Project (ANZAP) Waterfalls
If the words “grueling” and “challenging” sound enticing, then choosing to hike to the Asean-New Zealand Forestation Project Waterfalls should be on top of your list. Famously known as the ANZAP Twin Falls, the 200 feet (61 meter) high haven is the pot of gold after a six-hour trek. Note that two hours of the trek involves semi-steep ascents. This is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Hikers go through two legs of trekking before reaching the ANZAP Falls. Leg one begins at Barangay Nambalan, Mayantoc in Tarlac and ends in the campsite that leads to the falls. Barangay Nambalan is 44 kilometers (27 miles) from Tarlac City and it takes around one and a half hours to reach here, by private vehicle. Once there, at the jump-off point, the hike begins. What comes next is four hours of nature-loving and sight-seeing until the campsite is reached. For first-timers, camping out is highly recommended. Having that sense of escape from the busyness of life, by spending the night under the stars, is going to be one surreal experience. As the morning comes, leg two can begin. This next phase takes around two hours. It even gets more exciting to know that the hike leads to a bamboo forest.
After the grueling hike, ANZAP Waterfalls is a sight to behold. The misty and serene falls are well worth the climb, for sure. Once there, going for a swim or just relaxing in the scenery are some of the most enjoyable things to do and give an irreplaceable feeling.
Asean-New Zealand Forestation Project Waterfalls
Address: Barangay Nambalan, Mayantoc, Tarlac
Facebook: Tarlac Mountaineering Club
Thrill-seeker quest #2: Go kayaking along the Nambalan River
Kayaking along the Nambalan River is an exhilarating experience and it takes around one to two hours to complete. The best time to satisfy this thrill is from July to December and the best company to contact is Rapid Stream. During the weekend, kayaking for a group of ten costs around 50 USD. The package includes rides to and from town to its starting point as well as tour guide. The water adventures starts at Barangay Maamot which is an hour drive away from town.
From January to May, the Nambalan River is a bit more calm and makes for a more mellow and serene outdoor getaway. The best thing to do at these times is to have a picnic or enjoy the nipa huts on the riverbank.
Whitewater Kayaking Tarlac
Address: West of Tarlac City
Facebook: Rapid Stream
Thrill-seeker quest #3: Visit the one-stop outdoor park at Tarlac Recreational Park
Still don’t have your fill of outdoor fun? Tarlac Recreational Park (TRP) is THE place to be. TRP is managed by the local tourism agency and is located in San Jose, Tarlac. Getting here is easy with either a private vehicle, a jeepney or a trice.
The TRP has an athletics oval, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a bird watching site and a kiddie pool for family excursions. The 78 hectare (193 acre) property offers a wide array of outdoor activities like kayaking, dune buggy riding, fishing, bird watching, swimming, camping, trail-biking, airsoft, and off-road rides via ATV. Trying everything out will leave anyone’s day fully booked.
Tarlac Recreation Park is located in San Jose, Tarlac. From the town proper, the commute will take around 30 minutes. Operation hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and cut-off for registration is 4:30 PM.
Tarlac Recreational Park & Jose Yap Sports Complex
Address: Tarlac Recreational Park & Jose Yap Sports Complex, San Jose, Tarlac
Facebook: Tarlac Recreational Park
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Thrill-seeker quest #4: Try you hand at renting european made go-karts at Kart City
Who doesn’t like riding go-karts? It is every child’s dream and for the not-so-young, riding in them will instantly turn any adult into a kid again. For a fun ride with family and friends, Kart City is worth a try.
Kart City is easily accessible as it is just across SM City Tarlac Mall. It offers European made go-karts and are very customer-friendly. They even change the track configuration to fit the preferences of their regular customers. The facility also offers various activities for those who aren’t karting enthusiasts. A billiards area is available for any group of friends or family to enjoy. For those who prefer singing their hearts out, they can go for the karaoke. For food or refreshments, Chaps Café is there to satisfy any hunger pang. Their bestsellers include their Pata Tim (slow cooked pork in Chinese sauce) and pizza rolls.
Kart City is located on the McArthur Highway, Tarlac. They are open daily from 3:00 PM to 12 midnight. On Sundays, they are open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Address: McArthur Highway, Tarlac
Facebook: Kart City
Thrill-seeker quest #5: Visit the historical Aquino Center and Museum
No trip to a new country is worth remembering without taking in some of its thrilling history and culture. The best place for this in Tarlac City is the Aquino Center and Museum, in Hacienda Luisita, Barangay San Miguel. This grandiose museum commemorates the democratic legacy of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Sr. and his wife, former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino. The historic center also displays curated galleries of significant relics, photos, as well as a remake of Ninoy’s prison cell from where he was held in Fort Bonifacio. Reminiscing on how the Philippines won victory over a dictatorship, through the power of the people, is definitely worth seeing.
The Aquino Center and Museum is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For an entrance fee of 2 USD for each adult, learning about the nation’s heritage is within reach. Discounted rates apply to senior citizens and children.
Aquino Center and Museum
Address: Hacienda Luisita, Barangay San Miguel, Tarlac City
Facebook: Aquino Center and Museum
Get your thrill-seeker game face on
Now that Tarlac has introduced itself through these five thrill-seeker quests, all you need to do is make some calls, book your adventure and savor every thrilling experience. If one day is not enough then, by all means, make it a week - in fact, make it a month.
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