The province of Tarlac is located in the Central Luzon region of the Philippines and is one of the favorite stopovers of those tourists going up to Baguio City and other Northern provinces. But people only see this place as a quick rest stop point instead of being an actual tourist destination. This landlocked province has many tourist offerings and amazing features that are often overlooked by many. I have been to many provinces in the North and I can say that Tarlac has something unique which are worth to be explored. So if you are planning for a short haul road trip or spending your weekend somewhere, you might consider this province and here are the top things to do in Tarlac.
Top Things To Do In Tarlac
1. Soul Searching at Monasterio de Tarlac
This is probably the most popular tourist spot in Tarlac and I personally have this place at number one in my list. The monastery is on top of Mount Resurrection and it is located in San Jose, Tarlac which is 45 minutes drive away from the city center. For those who are looking for a spiritual journey, a pilgrimage here is a must. For regular travelers, they will not be disappointed to drive some extra miles to reach there as it is perfectly beautiful. This is the home of the relic of the True Cross of Christ (where Jesus Christ was crucified) and has the 30-foot massive statue of Risen Christ overlooking the glorious mountain view and vast land of Tarlac. It is look-a-like to the ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Monasterio de Tarlac
Address: Mt. Resurrection Eco Park, Brgy. Lubigan, San Jose, Tarlac
Contact Number: (045) 493-3002 | (0916) 250-8414
Entrance Fee: Php 50 per Vehicle
Opening Hours: Everyday 7:00AM to 6:00PM
2. Go-Karting in Kart City Tarlac
En-route to Tarlac, I was already excited to experience the adrenaline rush in go-karting. The last time I tried it was 20 years ago in the old Ali Mall in Cubao. Who would have thought that the best go-karting park now in the Philippines is located in Tarlac? This is one of the reasons why I have chosen Tarlac for our weekend getaway this time. Kart City Tarlac is one of the favorite hang out places of the true-blooded Tarlaqueño. Not only because of the thrills in the four wheels but also to appreciate great food, enjoy cold and hot drinks, sing their hearts out in the karaoke and have fun in the game room.
To experience the adrenaline rush in the tracks, you must be at least 4 feet above. They have a separate go-kart tracks for adults and kids to enjoy which are both newbie friendly. A child can go along with an adult in their double kart available. Riders are provided with proper safety gears and a briefing is also done before you get into the track and hit the gas pedal.
Kart City Tarlac
Address: MacArthur Highway, Barangay San Roque, Tarlac City (Located across SM City Tarlac)
Contact Number: (045) 4914053
Go-Karting Fee: 5 Minutes – Php 250 per person (Child/Adult)
Operating Hours: Mon to Fri 3:00pm – 2:00am | Sat to Sun 10:00am – 2:00am
3. Outdoor Activities in Tarlac Recreational Park
Tarlac Recreational Park is an all-in-one outdoor adventure destination. The site is a 78 hectares sports and recreational park named after the late Congressman Jose V. Yap. It was also the venue of the two big sporting events in the Philippines, the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Meet ( CLRAA) in 2009 and Palarong Pambansa (Philippine National Games) in 2010.
TRP (Tarlac Recreational Park) is a perfect place to relax and camp with the whole family. It also offers fun activities like Fishing, Kayaking, Swimming in their kiddie adventure pool and Olympic size pool and Biking. They also have a 2 km long ATV track but it is currently non-operational due to technical issues. I really wanted to try it so I was a bit frustrated when I knew that it was not available. So if you want to know if it’s operational on your visit, better call them first to make sure. However, there are still plenty of things to do in case they haven’t repaired those buggy cars on your trip to Tarlac.
Tarlac Recreational Park
Address: San Jose, Tarlac (along the way to Monasterio de Tarlac)
Contact Number: (+63) 9983544261
Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
4. Gastronomic Experience in Isdaan Floating Restaurant
By its name, at first i thought that this is just another seafood restaurant with overcharged items in its menu. Well actually this place is not just a seafood restaurant but its a dining haven where you can savor sumptuous authentic Filipino cuisines.
Your trip to Tarlac will not be complete if you will not experience dining in this restaurant. You can enjoy your meal in a nipa hut floating in their man-made lagoon and pond of Japanese Koi fish which you can also feed for free. The restaurant has enormous sculptures inspired by western and oriental cultures. The place is even made livelier by different performances from their in-house performers, talented cooks and waiters.
Their food is really delectable in large servings and priced just right. The only downside in this restaurant is they do not accept credit cards. Oh yeah, you read it right. No plastics in this restaurant so make sure that you have enough cash in your pockets.
Aside from dining while enjoying the great ambiance of the restaurant, visitors can also release their hatred and frustration in Tacsiyapo wall. You can throw anything from mugs, plates, bowls and even box-type television while shouting Tacsiyapo or ‘Shame on You’ in English. Price ranges from Php 25 to Php 2,500.
Isdaan Floating Restaurant
Address: MacArthur Highway, Gerona, Tarlac
Contact Number: (045)9312596
Operating Hours: 08:00am – 10:00pm
This landlocked province of Tarlac has a great tourism potential. Their government just needs to double their effort in promoting the awesome features of their province. They have many historical sites, extraordinary worship destinations, fun adventure parks, beautiful eco-trails and culinary havens. So if you want to escape the bustling Metro Manila and searching for a destination to explore, visit Tarlac and it won’t disappoint you.