i don’t remember ever setting foot in tarlac. so i was quite pleased and excited when i was asked for a lecture in tarlac city over the weekend. A and the little pumpkin tagged along and were mostly asleep during the trip.
it was a bit tiring and traffic was bad on NLEX because of the vacationers and long weekenders. more cars mean higher probability of accidents and breakdowns. on a regular day, because NLEX and SCTEX are now one road network, the trip should only take less than 3 hours from taguig. (i remember Baguio taking only a little over 4 hours from cubao! imagine that!)
well, they are expanding the roads, adding additional lanes, so tiis-tiis lang muna.
arriving late on saturday meant lectures until early evening. by the end of the day, i was really really pooped out. the next day, we started late since the students stayed up late downloading data and doing stuff unrelated to my work. but by the end of the afternoon, we were off and on the road again. it was a rainy trip back to pampanga where we spent the rest of the long weekend. it got a little scary because of the poor visibility but since there were few cars, it was easy to navigate. besides, i have waze. 🙂
SCTEX had less maintained roads compared to NLEX. NLEX was very smooth and quiet but SCTEX had parts where it sounded like you were on an airplane and the tire roar from the rough roadway was as loud as a plane engine. hopefully, they put on a new layer of asphalt soon and make traveling a lot quieter.
the scenery was great, fields stretching as far as the eye could see. taking frequent trips from pampanga to manila and back in college, i thought what i saw was pretty nice flat plains. but tarlac from SCTEX was different. no houses. no trees. just open fields of sugarcane with Mt. Arayat veiled in clouds. it was a serene sight.
There wasn’t much to see in Tarlac City. The nearest tourist spot would be the Aquino Museum in Hacienda Luisita. we were pressed for time so i made a mental note to come back another time. actually, it was Monasterio de Tarlac that was first on my list of to-visit sites. perhaps when we get to do this road trip again, we could.
P.S.: i forget that Tarlac is still a Kapampangan-speaking province. i enjoyed overhearing Kapampangan conversations of staff at La Maja Rica Hotel. 🙂