Tarlac Tour Through the Car Window
The following Friday, Tutubi and his colleagues boarded a van on the way to Dagupan and passed many interesting places where people only see outside their car window.
The cruise at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) was a breeze and took the exit at the end of the highway.
On passing Capas town, a town made famous by the infamous Death March of World War II from where the endpoint is now the Capas National Shrine while in Sta. Juliana, also in Capas is the most popular jump-off point for trekking Mt. Pinatubo as well the presence of an Aeta community and Korean-owned Pinatubo Spa.
On reaching Tarlac City, caught sight of the Hacienda Luisita, owned by the powerful Cojuanco clan, and the site of recent bloody encounters of the peasants and military. From a distance, the old monument of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino that used to stand at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas in Makati. Nearby are vintage tanks, airplanes, howitzers and other military ordnance at the Armed Forces Museum inside the Philippine Army Base, Camp Aquino (formerly called Camp Ord).
Feeling hunger pangs, decided to stop and partook lunch at Vilmar Restaurant, a Filipino restaurant open since 1956, on the highway at the corner of the road leading to Camiling. There they feasted on Filipino fare of longganisa (native sausages), pork skewers, adobo pusit (squid), stinking buro isda (fermented fish), kilawin, lechon (roasted pig) with a serving of Lita's pastillas for dessert. (Tutubi didn't take pictures of the food for fear that there'll be nothing left to eat if he took photos). Now satiated, proceeded to take the road going to the town of Camiling known in history as the hometown of Carlos P. Romulo, who became president of the United Nations General Assembly and chairman of the United Nations Security Council (Read also "The Fooling of America")
One of the daughters of Camiling, Leonor Rivera, was one of Jose Rizal's girlfriends and sweetheart for more than ten years. She was immortalized by Rizal in his novel Noli Me Tangere as Maria Clara. The Maria Clara Museum houses the memories of their love that never was.
The Camiling River looked inviting for some water fun like rafting that reminded Tutubi of his riverine adventures of his childhood while the ruins of Camiling church gave the idea of the immensity of the place of worship before the conflagration that destroyesd the heritage structure.
Tutubi's empty gaze outside the car window was interrupted when the driver made a wrong turn and had to ask for directions going to Dagupan but they finally their way to their destination famous for the tastiest variety of bangus (milkfish): the Philippines national fish!
Bonuan Boneless Bangus, Dagupan food finds and a sidetrip to more than a hundred islands in Alaminos :)
Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx)
posted by backpacking philippines @ 9:15 PM,
- At Oct 10, 2007, 3:54:00 PM, Dennis said...
Nice travelogue, Tutubi! Though w/o pictures, the narration is vivid and we almost experienced the ride.
Also you can take pictures of the food while holding the camera in one hand and the food in another. That way, they will not get ahead of you in eating hehehe.
- At Oct 11, 2007, 12:16:00 AM, Photo Cache said...
vilmar was "the" place to go to in my childhood. they served the best pancit luglug with overflowing sauce, they also have those pancake-szied kutchinta that mom never fails to order with our luglug. i am glad it is still in business despite the influx of chain restaurants. yeah, me too i would have wanted to see some pics as well.
- At Oct 11, 2007, 11:00:00 AM, carlotta said...
cool post, i get the pictures in my mind as i read it =)
i better watch out for vilmar then on this coming new year.
- At Oct 11, 2007, 11:37:00 AM, said...
Nice travelogue. With the descriptions, I can mildly imagine it in my mind though I've never been to Dagupan before.
- At Oct 12, 2007, 5:51:00 AM, germs said...
sir tutubi..i grew up in the town next to camiling..beach side..if you know where the beach side is.hehehehe.masarap sa vilmar...kaso me kamahalan..sa ibang turo turo na lang ako.hahhahaha
- At Oct 12, 2007, 1:38:00 PM, nini said...
glad to know that vilmar is still up for business. we passed by that place many times when dad was travelling back then. i still remember the taste of their palabok noodles, masarap talaga.
- At Oct 18, 2007, 3:40:00 PM, Swipe said...
Stumbled onto here from Abaniko's. Sorry, but I'm slightly confused, I used to live in Tarlac and I know that Camiling is nowhere near Capas. Or was this in reverse chronology?
- At Oct 18, 2007, 4:10:00 PM, tutubi said...
dennis, try words w/o pictures for once :)
photo cache, vilmar is one of those classic and dependable "where to eat" in that part of the world. that's why it's still there
carlotta, it's a stop-over for people passing by
kyels, ask rhoda about dagupan :)
germs, wala naman beach starlac a...ilog lang but that may be some esoterinc knowledge you have there
nini, vilmar's reputation for good palabok and pancit luglug precedes them.
swipe, sorry. i made an error. you're right it's capas, tarlac, then camiling coming from pampanga. made the corrections already.
do drop by again
- At Oct 18, 2007, 4:45:00 PM, Swipe said...
no worries tutubi. glad I could be of service.
- At Nov 2, 2007, 7:41:00 PM, Ruy said...
Vilmar Restaurant- I'm often in Tarlac but I've never eaten here. I'll definitely try it out. Thanks for the info!
- At Feb 23, 2009, 5:04:00 PM, said...
I grew up in nearby town of Gerona, and each time my parents took me to Tarlac town, we always snacked at Vilmar. They had the best pancit palabok in town.