start point : STA RITA

Yesterday I went to Pampanga with a group of friends from FUNtastic Philippines. We went on a convoy of 16 vehicles, meeting up in San Fernando early in the morning. Our schedule was followed with precision so that we can visit all the places we had planned to photograph.

Thus our day looked like this:

06:30 am to 07:00 am Meet Up / Assembly – Robinsons Starmills, City of San Fernando

07:00 am to 07:45 am travel time to Sta. Rita via OG Road

07:45 am to 08:30 am Church of Sta Rita de Cascia, Sta Rita

08:30 am to 08:45 am travel time to Lubao

08:45 am to 09:30 am Church of San Agustin , Lubao

09:30 am to 10:00 am travel time to Bacolor via OG Road

10:00 am to 10:45 am Church of San Guillermo, Bacolor

10:45 am to 11:15 am travel time to Betis, Guagua

11:15 am to 12:15 pm Church of Santiago Apostol, Betis, Guagua

12:15 pm to 12:45 pm Visit to Betis Woodcarvers’ factory

12:45 pm to 01:00 pm travel time to Balite San Fernando via Megadike Road

01:00 pm to 2:30 pm Lunch at Capampangan Island

2:30 pm to 3:00 pm travel to Angeles City via McArthur Highway

03:00 pm to 3:45 pm Church of the Holy Rosary, Angeles City

03:45 pm to 4:00 pm travel time to Marquee Mall via Pandan Road

04:00 pm to 5:00 pm Marquee Mall / Halo Halo Time at Kabigting’s


I like shooting windows. Especially when rays of light cast a shadow

LUBAO: Church of San Agustin

Lubao is the hometown of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. No politics here, we only wanted to visit the church.

Church of San Agustin, Lubao

BETIS : Church of Santiago Apostol

The church in Betis is most likely the most photographed church in Pampanga. It has the most intricate interiors, courtesy of the woodcarvers and Betis artists. The painting on the ceiling is so elaborate that one can’t resist thinking of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. This church is also the only church I have visited that is adorned with drapes/curtains. In a conversation with the parish priest, he also mentioned that this church is also the only one where they have 12 apostles on the wall, with Judas excluded.








BETIS GALLERIA : Wood carvers

An intersting sidelight is a visit to Betis Galleria where artist Wilfredo Tadeo Layug creates masterpieces that go around the world.
In 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit on Ecclessiastical Art.


The artist Layug beside his inspiration, National Artist Napoleon Abueva. Abueva as a bust created by Layug looks real, as if they are both addressing the audience.


Layug’s interpretation of Guernica – – – breaking tranquility from the inside. This work has been bought by a European artist



BACOLOR: Church of San Guillermo


I will write separately about this church and its beautiful story. Meanwhile, here is the facade of the Church of San Guillermo






ANGELES CITY : Church of the Holy Rosary








CAP YOUR DAY : at the MarQuee Mall, an Ayala mall



And for this diabetic traveler and his FUNtastic Philippijnes friends, Pampanga’s other best halohalo (and I say it is better) at Kabigtings is the best part of the whole day. Of course the lunch buffet at Capampangan Island in San Fernando comes really really close.



1 Comment

When you are tired of the new Sta Rosa in laguna, then maybe it is time to explore this town before it became the cosmoploitan city that it is now. Start with the city center and see how this arch seems like it came straight out of a Parisian street.

Check out the Church next and say a little prayer. And pray for the homeless and for the innocent kids that they may forever be pure at heart. And pray for the city employees and the Sta Rosa workforce as they go about their daily routine earning a living.

waiting for a ride to work

traffic aide at work

unable to work


An interesting part of the visit to town is the MUSEO, right beside the church. It does look like this must be the old “municipio”. Interesting furniture and objets d’ art from many years past are preserved in the museum.

prominent families

faded photographs

an old lamp


I thought that it would be fun to go there on this very novel mode of transportation. I could have parked my car in Alabang and maybe I will be in Sta Rosa in no time at all, barring “traffic’ on the railroad tracks. This is waht they call “skates”. Seriously, this a a mode of transportation from point to point along the railroad tracks.

And the Sta Rosa SM is on this part of this new city.

Kidding aside, if you want to explore the old Sta Rosa, drive back from Nuvali. It is on the other side of the SLEX.