I grew up knowing Zambales as a summer destination for us, where endless beach resorts lined up its shores. More than its coastlines, there are more destinations you can enjoy, alone or with your friends and loved ones. Privileged to part of the Eco Farm and Heritage tour organized by the Department of Tourism – Region III, we are set to experience first hand more of Zambales’ tourism destinations:
The province produced one of the well-loved presidents in the Philippines – the late Ramon A. Magsaysay. His untimely death brought a huge dent in the Philippine Political History. In honor of his great legacy, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines maintained a 3 Gallery Museum in Castillejos – Museo ni Ramon Magsaysay. Not hard to spot as the museum is just beside the national highway. The galleries feature three aspects of the late president’ – his personal life, his family and his untimely death. I paid particular attention to his political career – how he was able to garner support and love from the Filipino public. The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 08:00AM to 4:00PM.
I am amazed by learning his political feats during his time since these are some of the details I forgot during my elementary years. Also, his actual clothing on display made me feel as if he was there. What is cool also is the presidential table set up you can have photography with.
The Casa San Miguel is actually an art and music school that has certainly an “instagrammable” façade. Its adobe brick wall and art deco design is a feast on the eye. Given a brief tour, we are whisked through its main music hall, the gallery for resident artists, the actual music classrooms, the dining area, and its view deck.
I think the building itself is a perfect place for a photoshoot. The school started last 1993 offering violin, viola, and other stringed instrument lessons. They also offer In House Programs that would benefit the students of convenience and living in an artsy setup.
As Zambales has huge portions of flatlands, farm tourism is expected. The Team Dagui Farm, a family corporation, that operates many farms in the province, runs in a sustainable community set up. Upon entry in their very farm in San Antonio, we are greeted by one of its owners, Sir Loui Dagui. The first activity is he showed us the processes in Bee Farming. I am lucky to experience holding personally the artificial beehives and also actually tasting the honey from it.
Aside from produce, they have huge livestock farms, from bovines (cattle) to caprines (goats). There are free-range goats and chickens you will notice. Also, we are able to feed the adult goats and a goat kid.
Included in the farm experience is the boodle fight lunch, sharing meals under the shade of trees and dishes cooked in a traditional way, using bamboo. After a tiring farm tour, we sat on a prepared long table with the view of the mountains and serenaded by the rustling of leaves. We are then served with rice and chicken soup cooked in bamboo – the aroma and flavor are savory with the aroma of bamboo!
Nearby, there are picture points you can pose on and try their archery set up.
Another destination is Julyan’s Farm. They feature the seasonal sunflower blooms and other vegetable produce. We are welcomed with the playful pet doggos and colorful arches adorned with growing vines. Although I can see a beautiful snack spread, we have to listen and understand the basics of how they operate the farm. The best season to visit the farm is every summer.
They start planting in February. From May to October, they are closed during the rainy season. Since a portion of the farm is located on a lower altitude, they get to be inundated and have to repeat the cycle of preparing the farm bed over again. After some photoshoots and Q&A sessions, we are able to munch their tasty local snacks and refreshing drinks.
With having a long sandy shoreline, Zambales is also a pawikan nesting site. Part of the itinerary is visiting Pawicare in San Narciso. The advocacy started from 18 poachers but turned now as active volunteers of the advocacy group.
One of their activities is patrolling from sunset to sunrise covering almost all of San Narciso’s coastline to stop poachers from plundering pawikan nests. Sir Ato and Sir Fronda, one of the heads of the group, discussed some facts about Sea Turtles.
Here are some facts I have learned:
- 5 out 7 Sea Turtle Species can be spotted in the Philippines.
- October to March is laying season
- At the age of 35 until 100+, the female sea turtle can lay eggs
- Sea Turtles control jellyfish population
- Sea Turtles impacts fish spawning as they trim seagrass
- With the advocacy already running for more than 8 years, they have recorded a significant increase in sea turtle landing from 3000+ to 8000+.
After a good learning session about the sea turtles, we are able to witness the momentous release of hatchlings. Please bear in mind that you are not allowed to touch or hold the hatchlings. Let them freely approach the waters.
We capped the day by visiting a pottery site in San Narciso – Clay Avenue Ceramics. Ms. Mia Casal, the owner of the pottery shop, explained to us the history and steps behind the painstaking process of pottery. She imports raw clay from other places and brings them to San Narciso where she is doing the transcending molding and shaping of individual pieces. She also discussed the critical and lengthy drying process, the baking, glazing, and finishing.
Ms. Mia is welcome to give pottery lessons. You can contact her through their Facebook page. We are served with light snacks and beverages using her very own stoneware plates.
This Eco Farm and Heritage tour is set by the Department of Tourism – Central Luzon and handled by Sir Peter Lising of M.A.G. Travel and Tours. The overall experience is unforgettable and exhilarating as more destination in our region is now open for tourism. Our heartfelt thanks to Ms. Marilou Pangilinan of the Department of Tourism-III for taking care of us during the stay. The warm and attentive care of Sir Peter Lising is notable as participants are pampered on the next level. Thank you also to Ms. Maria Domitela Mora of the Zambales Tourism Office.
You can contact M.A.G. Travel and Tours through mobile numbers 0927-486-2597 and email email@example.com for quality group or personalized tours.
See other destinations in Central Luzon
- Pampanga Heritage Churches
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