Steeped in history and the beauty of nature, the North has many treasures worth exploring. Take a drive out of Manila to northern destinations like Bulacan City and Pampanga City, and get a taste of history, relaxing nature spots and fun-filled family parks. Not more than three hours of drive from Quezon City, these destinations are just another reason to love being settled at The Celandine. There’s much to love about the North that you may have yet to discover. Here are just some of the northern attractions worth exploring.
Enjoy the invigorating waters at the Verdivia Falls
No matter how much we love the city, there will always be times when it starts to feel a little too congested. When this type of mood hits you, simply head over to the Verdivia Falls in Bulacan. Its fresh, cool waters will have you feeling invigorated in no time. The falls is also surrounded by trees, so you won’t have to deal with the scorching heat of the sun. It’s truly a break away from the heat and congestion of the city. Craving for adrenaline rush? Thrill seekers can go cliff diving in the area!
Have a destressing experience on Mt. Gola
You can’t miss this iconic Bulacan tourist spot. Mt. Gola is one of the two treks located in the Biak na Bato National Park. Forming part of Sierra Madre mountain range, Mt. Gola offered a vantage point and served as a camp for the guerillas during the war against the Japanese. The place is now recognized as a heritage site. The highlight of your trip to Mt. Gola will be the view from the peak of the mountain. You’ll be reminded of why people recommend nature viewing as an effective way to destress. You can also go rafting and spelunking to add to the fun. And oh, you’d want to try the monkey bridge. You’d be all destressed out by the time you head back to the city!
Feed your soul at the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm
You know what else feels good? Lending a helping hand! At the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Bulacan, not only will you be able to help others, you also get a fun learning experience. A trip to the Enchanted Farm lets you experience being a social entrepreneur first hand, all while immersing in the community and spending time with animals. You also get to enjoy farm-fresh meals while you’re at it. You’ll return to the city with a satiated soul and tummy!
Experience a piece of Baguio at the Hilltop
Not many are aware of this but there’s a piece of Baguio tucked away in a remote area in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Often referred to by locals as the ‘Hilltop’, Barangay San Lazaro has earned the moniker ‘Baguio of Bulacan’. Here you get a good dose of fresh air and cool breeze. When the heat in QC gets scorching hot, you can simply head over to the ‘Hilltops’ and enjoy its chill weather. You’ll also love the expansive view if the Angat Dam and the Cordillera mountain range.
Indulge your adventurous spirit at the Pinagrealan Cave
There’s no need to put up with boredom, not when you can hop in a bus and find yourself at the Pinagrealan Cave in no time. The area offers a trekking experience that will satisfy any adventure seeker. Bulacan’s Pinagrealan Cave is not an easy terrain to conquer. You’d have to venture into the pitch-black darkness of the cave pathway then wade through waist-deep waters before you could make it to the cavern. Plus there’s the crazy-cold water to dive into at the cave’s inner chambers. The former hideout of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the cave has an interesting history to add to its mystic. Hop in that bus now!
Enjoy a natural wellness facility at the Puning Hot Springs
When your favorite spa in the city just wouldn’t cut it anymore, head over to the Puning Hot Springs in Pampanga. It’s a wellness facility at the Aeta ancestral land in Brgy. Sapang Bato. Surrounded by lush foliage, the Puning Hot Springs offers just the relaxation and recovery you need. You can take a dip in one of the two heated pools or eleven natural hot springs. And there’s a sand spa where you get to cover yourself with hot sand that boasts therapeutic properties. You may also have a unique spa experience at their mudpack area where they offer mud sourced from the Mount Pinatubo itself. Not even the best spa facility in the metro can measure up to this!
Have an unparalleled spa experience in the Mt. Pinatubo area
How about heading straight to Capas, Tarlac and experience Mt. Pinatubo firsthand? There you’ll find Pinatubo Spa Town, which offers volcanic mud pack and ash massage. You can also have a therapeutic dip at the Dolores and Bueno Hot Springs. Beyond just the unparalleled spa experience, you get to breathe in the beautiful views of the blue-green lake that is in stark contrast to the gray-brown crater. You may visit the Capas Shrine, a memoria shrine for the Filipino and American soldiers who perished during the Bataan March. The Telatau, a huge totem-shaped rock, in Sta. Juliana is also worth a visit.
Get transported back in time at the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Visiting Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan will have you experiencing what the Philippines was like during the Spanish era. This heritage resort is undeniably a work of art. The ostentatious Spanish-era houses, majestic canal, and quaint cobblestone streets perched by the sea will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a scene you’d only see in the movies. As a matter of fact, the place has been a favored setting for period films, including Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis and Heneral Luna. You can stay overnight at their heritage house, watch the calesas stride by and have a swim in the sea.
Unleash the child in you at the Dinosaurs Island
Sometimes destressing means embracing your childlike delight. Head over to the Dinosaurs Island in Pampanga, and experience the closest thing we have to a Jurassic Park. The child in you will love the life-size, moving dinosaurs. You also get to hop on an Adventure Ride to experience what it’s like to ride a dinosaur. Don’t miss out on the thrilling rush of being chased by dinosaurs! Give the Jurassic Safari Ride a go, and you’ll have these humongous creatures ramming their heads into your tramcar. And there’s the 7D Super Screen theater to give you a unique movie viewing experience. This place is definitely worth the short trip from the city.
Get a good dose of the outdoors at The Sandbox
Craving for the outdoors? Head over to The SandBox in Pampanga. This outdoor adventure facility has a number of unique attractions worth adding to your bucket list. There’s the Avatar One, the first rollercoaster zipline in the Philippines. It zigzags through a course that goes as high as 12 meters and as long as 180 meters. The SandBox is also home to Giant Swing, the country’s tallest swing. An obstacle course of rope and nets walkways called the Aerial Walk Challenge will have you up in the air summoning all the flexibility, balance, and agility you’ve got. The Adventure Tower will also put your abilities to the test, as you go free falling, wall climbing, and rappelling at a 15-meter structure.
Catch a glimpse of Pampanga’s history at the Air Force City Park
Learn more about the history of Pampanga by visiting the Air Force City Park. This recreational facility lets you view actual fighter aircrafts, taking you right back to the World War II era. You even get to climb in some of the aircrafts! If you’d like to do some reading, you will find a library in the park. Another popular thing to do at the Air Force City Park is to enjoy a picnic meal under the afternoon sun.
One of the many gifts of condo living is its close proximity to key city areas. With The Celandine located not too far away from Bulacan and Pampanga, you may also add provincial attractions to the list. DMCI Homes condo living is a gift that keeps on giving.