Must-Visit Places in Central Luzon
In this article we are going to discuss the must-visit places in Central Luzon.
Central Luzon is composed of seven provinces that fall under Region III: Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales. Manila, the country’s capital, is also considered as part of Central Luzon.
Whether you are interested in historical travel destinations or simply want to wander and experience a piece of history, you should visit Central Luzon.
Must-Visit Places in Central Luzon
Here, you will find some of the country’s main attractions—or historical sites, rather.
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Barasoain Church, Malolos, Bulacan
Does Barasoain Church sound familiar to you despite not having a recollection being in this place before? That’s because you’ve really seen it before, at least in an old ten-peso or in the new 200-peso bill. The church is a heritage structure as it’s where the Malolos Congress, the national assembly of the first Philippine Republic, was held in September 1898. If you wish to visit the place, better go there in January.
Where to stay: DJ Paradise Hotel, Sir Nico Guesthouse and Resort, St. Agatha Resort
Where to eat: Bahay na Tisa, Bistro Maloleno Restaurant, Hapag Restaurant
Mount Samat Cross, Bataan
Another one of the most popular and must-visit places in Central Luzon is the Mount Samat Cross, Bataan, popularly called Dambana ng Kagitingan in elementary school textbooks. It’s a national shrine built in 1970 dedicated to the fallen Filipino and American soldiers including the 78,000 sick, tired, and hungry soldiers who surrendered in Bataan, the last known stronghold during the Second World War. These men were made to march on foot to Capas, Tarlac, a good 80-mile distance—now known as Bataan Death March. It’s best to visit the place in November to December, and don’t forget to bring a wide-perspective camera to capture the magnificent view of the area.
Where to stay: Crown Royale Hotel, Montemar Beach Club, The Plaza Hotel Balanga City
Where to eat: Fortune Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant, Stregato Gelateria Restaurant, The Beanery
Intramuros, Manila (Fort Santiago)
Intramuros is one of the must-visit places in Central Luzon for those who want to have a look of the old Manila. Intramuros was actually the central hub for commerce, government, education, and religion during the Spanish era. The city, though, was confined within walls to protect from foreign invaders. The majority of city’s structures were destroyed during World War II. Instead of stone palaces, courtyard houses, schools, churches, and monasteries, what you will find today are remnants of history, including the Fort Santiago—the stone fortress, Rizal Shrine, museums, and galleries. Complete your tour by riding the calesa around the area.
Where to stay: Bayleaf Intramuros Hotel, Manila Hotel, Ramada Manila Central Hotel
Where to eat: Barbara’s Restaurant, Ilustrado, Ristorante Delle Mitre Restaurant
Rizal Park, Manila
Here you will find the most famous monument in the Philippines, the Rizal Monument. He’s the country’s national hero, after all. This is the place where the Filipino hero met his end. As one of the biggest parks in Asia, Rizal Park has a wide grassy land, gardens, dancing fountains, which are all perfect for family hangout or relaxation away from the stressful noise and pollution of the city. It’s best to visit the place in the afternoon when the sun is not in its hottest.
Where to stay: Mabini Mansion Hotel, Miramar Hotel, The Luneta Hotel
Where to eat: Cafe Ilang-Ilang Restaurant, Harbor View Restaurant, Recipes Restaurant
National Museum of the Philippines, Manila
We can’t discuss about Philippine history without talking about the National Museum of the Philippines. It should be included on your bucket list of must-visit places in Central Luzon. This is the place where the country’s important cultural properties and sites are restored and preserved. Established in 1901, the National Museum has seen all fourteen of the Philippine presidents starting with the President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon. One of the many incredible works of art you will see in the museum is Juan Luna‘s gigantic 1884 Spoliarium painting. There’s no reason for you not to visit the place as entrance to the museum is now free!
Where to stay: Casa Bocobo Hotel, Manila Hotel, The Corporate Inn Hotel
Where to eat: My Kitchen by Chef Chris Restaurant, Raffaele Woodfired Pizza Restaurant, Sky Deck on Bayleaf Hotel Restaurant
EDSA Shrine, Manila
EDSA Shrine these days is known as one of the go-to places for individuals or groups who want to protest against the government, its officials and policies, through mass demonstrations. Actually, EDSA Shrine is a small church situated at the corner of Ortigas Avenue and Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City, Manila. It is built in 1989 as a remembrance of the peaceful People Power Revolution (EDSA I) that toppled the Philippine dictator, former president Ferdinand Marcos. It is also where the people successfully started a peaceful demonstration that led to the ouster of former president Joseph Estrada (known as EDSA II). You don’t need to join a rally to visit the EDSA Shrine. In fact, the church has several mass daily, which you may attend anytime.
Where to stay: Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila
Where to eat: Mangan Restaurant, Nasi Lemak Restaurant, Sisig Hooray Restaurant
Corregidor Island, Cavite
The last on our list of must-visit places in Central Luzon is the Corregidor Island in Cavite. Just 75 minutes away from Manila via ferry boat, Corregidor is a rocky island that lies at the entrance of Manila Bay. It had been an important fortress defense of the country since the Spanish period until the World War II. Though much of the place is now in ruins, it is still worthy of your visit. Just make sure you call the place for a reservation before going there.
Where to stay: Cabanas, Corregidor Inn.
Where to eat: Hap Chan Restaurant, Pupung Grill Restaurant