MAGALANG, Pampanga—Nestled at the foot of the fabled Mount Arayat, this bucolic town is embarking on a serious promotion as another tourism hot spot with its heritage, cultural and ecotourism sites.
Mayor Malu Lacson and Vice Mayor Norman Lacson said they are actively promoting the town’s tourism potentials, not only as a Holy Week destination for pilgrims at “Banal na Bundok” (Holy Mountain), where the 14 Stations of the Cross are built, but also a year-round destination for tourists.
Most of its splendor yet undiscovered, this town is the northeastern municipality of Pampanga connecting it to the neighboring province of Nueva Ecija.
“Our town is a beautiful place and we want its attractions promoted,” Mayor Lacson said. She and the vice mayor met with the Capampangan in Media Inc. last Friday at Abe’s Farm, one of this town’s top destination.
The mayor said they are showing tourists the only remaining heliograph towers in the country. These are old structures that used to send and relay signals to warn soldiers of an impending attack by the advancing enemy.
Built by the Spanish forces in the 1800s, a tower in Barangay Santa Cruz and another in San Isidro await official recognition as National Cultural Treasures by the national government, Mayor Lacson said.
She said Magalang is a place blessed with sites for heritage and cultural ecotourism.
The mayor said Abe’s Farm is now a popular dining and spa resort at the foot of Mount Arayat, which is frequented by local, as well as foreign tourists and food connoisseurs from all over the world.
She said this town is also known as the Sweet Tamarind Capital of the Philippines, thus, paving the way for it to be known as another culinary attraction as it promotes home-made pastries and candies by Carreon and Pabalan, two homegrown stores.
Municipal Tourism chief Ryan M. Miranda, said that aside from the towers and the scenic hillside settings, Magalang has other attractions, like its town hall that was built in the 19th century.
He also said the San Bartolome Church right across the town hall is another grand structure preserved through the Spanish and Japanese wars.
The Banal na Bundok, in Barangay Ayala here, features life-sized Stations of the Cross from its foot at the First Station until the 14th Station, which is 1.6 kilometers toward the summit.