Have more than just a stopover in this underrated province with this travel guide
Tarlac is a landlocked province in what is known as the Central Luzon Plain. It’s most famous for crops like sugar cane, and is rife with historical significance.
Yet, somehow, it has been relegated as a mere pit stop for those heading north. Go beyond the road tripper-friendly establishments and check out some of the bests this province has to offer.
Victor’s Lechon and Barbecue
All that activity would surely leave you famished, and good thing there’s Victor’s – a popular roadside grill that serves juicy rotisserie chicken. The interiors are nothing fancy but the food is tasty and well worth the price.
Victor’s Lechon Manok and Barbecue is located along the MacArthur Highway in Tarlac City. For reservations, call (45) 491-0538.
The Game Room Sportsbar
To cap off the day, head to the Game Room – the in-house restaurant of Kart City. This place has a chill, hangout vibe with its sleek paneled bar and pair of billiard tables. The menu is a tried and tested combination of Filipino favorites and Western staples like sinigang, burgers, and the pair-it-with-a-beer crispy pata.
The Game Room Sportsbar at Kart City is open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Mondays to Fridays, and 10AM to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Monasterio de Tarlac
Nestled on Mt. Resurrecion in the town of San Jose, Monasterio de Tarlac is famous for two things: A 30-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer, and a relic of the True Cross. The Monasterio also has a view deck that affords a panorama of undulating hills and swaths of forests.
Monasterio de Tarlac is open to the public daily from 7AM to 6PM. Call (45) 493-3002 for more details.
If you’ve a need for speed, then Kart City’s the place to be. Realize your dreams of becoming a racing superstar (if only just for a few minutes) by hopping on a go-kart and challenging your friends to a round of racing in Kart City’s tracks.
For only PhP250/head you can enjoy a five-minute go around Kart City’s tracks. Kiddie carts are also available for rent for Php120. The place is located just across SM City Tarlac and is open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Luisita Golf Park
If you’re into the sport, a trip to the Luisita Golf Park is a must. Its world-class facilities have played host to many international competitions and is hailed as one of the country’s finest. The sprawling property also makes for a great background for your Instagram shots.
Luisita Golf and Country Club is located in Luisita Industrial Park Road, Tarlac City. For inquiries, call (45) 985-0810.
Tarlac Recreational Park
The Tarlac Recreational Park alone can make your trip worth it. It has an oval track, and courts for badminton, basketball, and tennis. It also has a mini waterpark that features an Olympic-sized pool and a set of kid-friendly waterslides. There’s also a lake for fishing and several picnic tables. ATV rides and wall climbing can also be done here.
Tarlac Recreational Park is located in San Juan de Valdez, San Jose, Tarlac. Contact (0999) 885-3981 or (45) 493-2471 for rates and reservations.
Aquino Center and Museum
Located within the Luisita Industrial Park, the Aquino Center and Museum is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Tarlac, particularly for history buffs. This place houses memorabilia and personal effects of Ninoy and Cory Aquino, which won’t find anywhere else. The museum provides valuable insights from one side to what transpired during Martial Law that ultimately led to the EDSA Revolution.
Aquino Center and Museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has a regular entrance fee of PhP100/head. Students may avail of the discounted rate of PhP50/head. Contact (45) 985-0968 for group tours and other inquiries.
If you want to escape the fast-paced city life, but don’t want to sacrifice its comforts, Microtel Luisita is where you should spend the night. The hotel, with a highly photogenic facade, is located inside the Luisita Industrial Park and just a few minutes away from the Aquino Center and Museum.
With its chiropractor-approved mattresses, a good night’s sleep is always guaranteed. Plus, the hotel offers transportation services to take you to any of the places mentioned above. They can also customized tours depending on you and your group’s preferences.
For reservations and inquiries, call (45) 985-1770 or visit www.microtel-tarlac.com.
There are buses bound for Tarlac in terminals in Pasay and Cubao. Buses heading to the Ilocos region also pass through the province. Victory Liner, Partas, Five Star, and Genesis are some of the bus lines that have regular trips to Tarlac.