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“Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living your life.” -Paul Theroux

In the heart of Luzon, flanked between Zambales to the west and Bulacan to the east lies the gastronomic capital of the Philippines, Pampanga. Long before it got its well-known moniker today, the province was once known as La Pampanga which was designated by the Spaniards. The unique appellation stemmed from the encounter the Spaniards had with natives who were living along banks or “pampang” in Spanish of the Pampanga River in 1571, marking it as the first Spanish province in the Luzon Island. Today, this quirky little province is home to the world-renowned sisig and the finest Philippine dishes. Apart from Pampanga’s obvious flair for culinary masterpieces, the province is also known for its annual Easter re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and come Christmas season; holiday revellers can enjoy seeing the giant Christmas lanterns. The province has come a long way from being known as the land of natives living by the riverbanks, but their long and colourful history remains.

Apart from the diverse tourist attractions and the bustling nightlife, Pampanga also houses world-class resorts, casinos, golf courses and duty-free shopping. With all these attractions, you are guaranteed a myriad of activities whenever you are in the city. From the heritage sites, historical churches to the array of various restaurants, your one-day itinerary to Pampanga is sure to be full of things to do. Here are some of the places you should definitely not miss during your visit.

1.)     San Guillermo Parish Church (Bacolor, Pampanga)

It is a known fact that the Philippines traces some of its roots to the Spanish colonization, and a concrete evidence of that is the remnants of Spanish culture and heritage sites. Apart from that, the country is peppered with ancient and historic churches. Pampanga has its fair share of them. The San Guillermo Parish Church, an old church originally established by Augustinian Friars in 1576 used to be a placed of worship but is now known as a local tourist spot owing to the devastation that hit it back in 1995. Half of the church is buried from the lahar flow caused Mount Pinatubo’s eruption. Aside from taking photos, one should never miss visiting the museum located in the church complex.

2.) JB Betis Woodcraft (Guagua, Pampanga)

Next, to the San Guillermo Church, your next visit should be JB Betis Woodcrafts in Betis Guagua, Pampanga where you can appreciate the finest wood creations made by wood connoisseurs. From furniture to statues, every wooden creation is an evident showcase of their expertise which is obvious from the meticulously fine details etched in their products. If you are looking to fill your home with locally made furniture that is nonetheless impressive, the town of Betis is your best bet.

3.)  Atching Lilian’s (Mexico, Pampanga)

What is a trip to Pampanga without indulging your palate and sampling some of its finest epicurean delicacies and famous dishes? And what better way to satisfy your appetite than beginning it with a hearty and savory lunch? In a grandiose ancestral Mexico, Pampanga lives Atching Lilian, one of Pampanga’s culinary virtuosos. Considering that she is a master at her craft, Atching Lilian is a known culinary historian and hosts a cooking show. A tour to her place is not only limited to eating her food but would also entail a tour in her kitchen where she would show you her antique cookware collections as well as a demonstration of how making San Nicolas cookies, Pampanga’s famous dessert. Everyone visiting is required to bring their big appetites with them as after the tour you are treated to a buffet of food she has specially prepared. Included are some of Pampanga’s famous dishes such as Tamales, Morcon and Dinuguan.

4.)  Betis Church (Guagua, Pampanga)

After lunch, a visit to another church is in order. Though relatively unknown, the town of Betis has its own local version of the Sistine Chapel which is the St. John the Apostle Church (Betis Church). Built in the 18th century by Augustinians, the Betis Church is incredibly well-maintained, and the imposing structure remains majestic until today. Considering its grand architecture and impressive wall murals, the church is rightfully protected as a National Cultural Treasure. Though a lot of pictures of the church have surfaced online, nothing beats seeing this marvellous and historic structure for yourself.

5.) Pinatubo Museum

End your trip with a visit to the Pinatubo Museum, one of Pampanga’s newest tourist attractions and is a recent addition to the Center for Kapampangan Studies. With its opening just last June 14, 2016, on the 25th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, the museum features a mural timeline of the history of Mt. Pinatubo. Additionally, one can observe the many various exhibits by Joel Mallari and mural sculptures by Arnel Garcia.

Never lie is the golden rule to lead a righteous life; but there are situations that demand to break the rules. A lie that is meant to harm no one, and is spoken to avoid a trouble is a good lie like at the time of traveling. Going to new places, exposes us to the risk many unwanted situations. Uncalled for attention, risk of harassment, theft and a host of awkward situations can arise out of nowhere, and plain innocent lie to run out of such troubles is totally appropriate.

Here are 5 most often told lies which are quite safe to be told when traveling (especially when alone) –

I am here with my friends

Solo travelers are the most susceptible targets of mischief mongers. So lying about having some company with you can help you avoid their uncalled for attention and steer them clear from your way.

No, it is not my first time here

Pretend that it is not your first visit to the place. This will give the impression you probably understand the place and the its ways. For instance, cab drivers will not run you around the long route to make you pay extra.

Yes, my boyfriend/husband is about to Join Me

For women travel alone, it is best to pretend to have male company around. It will keep the evil-minded creatures at bay and will send the ‘not interested/unavailable signal to the cheap gawkers.

I am staying at a relative’s place/ I don’t exactly remember the address of that hostel

When strangers try and make conversation, it is okay. But if they try to extract personal information, dodge them. Don’t share your personal number or the address of the place you are staying at. Saying that you are living with a local relative is the best way out.

“Hi, yes my GPS is on.” Say that Loud on Phone; to be heard around

This is one of the safest lies, while traveling in a taxi in the night hours. The driver will be cautious on knowing that someone on the other side of the phone is monitoring your movement and any untoward action can lead to bad consequences.

I English Not Well

To keep the annoying sticky touts from following you all along the way, pretend not understanding the language. Speak broken form of the language he is speaking. Do not let him know which language you understand, and have baffled expressions.

“My first journey from Saharanpur to Delhi by Car”

I have started my journey for Delhi from Saharanpur. The total distance was about 193 kilometers. I was with my one friend. So we have taken the route from Clock tower of Saharanpur. The time was about 8.30 am in the morning. The weather was really good at that day. It was little cloudy that day. After driving around 1 hour 30 minutes we have reached around to Muzaffarnagar. There we have relaxed for around 20 minutes and again started our journey.

The highway was really good. I really enjoy the drive. And after driving around one hour we have find one good restaurant on that highway named as Cheetal Brand. This food court was really good. You can find out different types of food and drinks there. On the highway you can also find different types of local dhabbas (hotels). But in my openion Cheetal Brand was really awesome. It is also in reach of everyone. After that we have also enjoyed a lot on the Muradnagar river. There we find the famous Lemon water (Shikanjvi). We have spent around 30 minutes there. And it was a very good feeling by putting the legs in water. And then again we have started the journey.

After going through the Ghaziabad highway we have reached Noida. And from there we have reached Noida Sector – 37. And from there we have taken the way for Kalindi Kunj. And we reached to Delhi in that way.

The total time that it took was around 4 hours via NH1 (National Highway 1) but as we have taken so many stops in our trip that’s why it take 4 hours. But if you drive without stopping more then it will hardly take around 3 hours 30 minutes if there is no jam in the way. I have used at so many places Google navigation to find the best route. So you can also take the help of Google Maps and Navigations so that you can find the routes that are free from traffic. Overall it was a great fun. These types of journeys are having more and more fun within small budget. These are like cheap travel trips. Below are the cities that we have covered during our journey.

Route from Saharanpur to Delhi - Get Tourism Info

Story by: Sanaul Haq

Going on a trip by car is an amazing experience. There is a lot of fun and adventure in such type of trip. There while travelling by the car we should keep some things in our mind to avoid any kind of accident. But surely you will enjoy the most by travelling with the car apart from any other medium like train, aeroplane etc. You can play games, sing songs and stop wherever you want. But all these things should be planned before the journey.

Here we are trying to make a list of things that you should remember while planning to travel by a car.

  1. Gadgets

Always carry a GPS system with you and mobile phones are always necessary during a journey. And charge all your gadgets properly before moving. Your all mobile phones, GPS System, music (ipods) systems etc. should be properly charged. You should also carry a power bank with you. If in any emergency you want to charge any of your gadget then you can use this power bank. Take your camera with video facility to capture the moments. Always use the mobile apps for proper navigation and all. You can use various travel app for searching the nearby hotels, restaurants, fuel pumps and food courts etc.

  1. Water Bottles and Food Stuffs

Carry atleast 4-5 water bottles with you. And 2 extra for the car. If you are traveling for a long distance then you should carry such amount of water bottles because you don’t know when you will need how much amount of water. Sometimes during long journeys car radiator also become hot. So in this case we needs water for this. You can also take cold drinks with you according to your requirement. Always take dry food stuffs with you so that you can take them during the journey like Chips, french fries, burgers, pizzas etc.

  1. Car Sitting Capacity

The number of person in one car should be according to the number of sits in the car. If you are on a long journey then never sit more people in a car more than the capacity of the car. Because this will creates problem for you. Use multiple cars in this case.

  1. Entertainment

Always take some entertainment stuffs with you while traveling on a long distance. Because sometimes on long distance people other than the driver sleeps in the car. And this is very dangerous because sometimes driver will sleep while driving so this will leads to the cause of a big accident. So always try to awake yourself and the driver also. Play some good sound tracks in the car. You can also play some game in the car like puzzles and singing a song etc. You can also do conversation with everyone in the car so that everybody feels energetic and enjoy the ride.

  1. Luggage

Always take the luggage based on your requirement. Try to take suitcase and bugs that are having good locking facility. You should also carry one carry-on bag. Take one hand bag also in which you can put the necessary things that are required time to time.

  1. First Aid Box

Always put one first aid box with you while traveling. Some people have the problem of vomiting during travel in the car so always keep the medicines of such type also that helps them.

  1. Servicing of the Car

Before starting your journey you should check your car that it is not having any problem. You should check the engine oil, break oil etc. Take the toolkit with you while moving. Always take one extra tire with you.

  1. What to wear during a journey

Always try to wear some comfortable clothes on a journey like half paints, pajamas. If you wear jeans or paints then maybe you feel uncomfortable during a long journey so try to keep yourself in comfortable zone.