If you have a car or a motorbike, I suggest you try a road trip to Tarlac. I have two places on the way for you to stop by. First off, Monasterio de Tarlac, this monastery on top of the Resurrection mountain is a peaceful place for you, your loved-ones and friends. Having a 30 foot statue of Christ standing over the beautiful view of province of Tarlac. This is surely one place to get on your bucket list.
The travel time from manila to Tarlac is around 3-4 hours, 2 hours of city driving and more than an hour of driving with nature. Definitely worth seeing after a long drive.
By the time you reach Mt. Resurrection, you are going to see bikes and other vehicles parked on the side of the road from time to time, that’s because you’ll start your way up and the road gets elevated. You’ll most probably be having a hard time keeping up so just be careful while driving.
As soon as you reached the peak, you’ll be welcomed by security guards. There is no entrance fee and it is open to the public daily from 7:00AM to 6:00PM.
Here are some of the Instagram-worthy spots to see on the monastery.
How to get there?
From Manila, take the North Luzon Expressway then exit Santa Ines Toll Plaza in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Proceed towards North to Tarlac City. Upon reaching the Barangay San Sebastian you will see the Hon Kee Tea House on your right or Vilmar Restaurant on your left, take a left turn to the bypass road towards the town of Camiling. Follow the 36-km road to Barangay Lubigan in San Jose, Tarlac.
The monastery is located at the heart of the 278-ha Tarlac Ecotourism Park in Barangay Lubigan, San Jose, Tarlac.
Now, let’s talk about food and this is not your ordinary food in an ordinary restaurant. I’m talking about Isdaan Floating Restaurant in Tarlac.
Dishes range from 150php to 500php.
Important: You have to be early because the queue gets a little longer as early as 10am especially on weekends and holidays. They also serve their food for around 30 to 45 minutes so get your food ordered first before going around the place.
Here are some of the fun and exciting activities to do in this place.
A. Tacsiyapo Wall
Have you ever heard of the word “tacsiyapo?” well if not, it is a popular local expression which means “shame on you!”. You might be thinking, what is it about? The owners of this restaurant figured out a way to help their customers as well as their employees on their “anger management” issues. You can throw mugs, plates and vases and oh a TV as well to a wall with targets (words) like “Taksil”, “Magnanakaw”, ‘Ex-wife”, “Manunulot” and other infidelity-related issues (lol). I tried mugs which are worth 20php. As I mentioned earlier, this is also available for their employees. They have a special and exclusive wall that says “mareklamong customer” haha, alright I agree, they also need this anger-venting wall.
B. The Challenge
They have this game wherein when you are able to cross the crocodile river (not real crocodile) back and forth holding a pail full of water while giant monkeys pee on you. They will give you 1 kilo of fish of your choice (cooked or fresh). I did try this game and I won a kilo of fish, Hooray! Such a fun experience.
C. Feeding frenzy
Since this is a floating restaurant, you’ll notice fishe ponds around. You can ask for a fish pellets on waiters and you can feed the fishes while waiting for your food.
D. Sculptures worth having a photo with
I was not able to take many photos of the food, but their best sellers are actually any grilled fishes. They have various of fishes to choose from and other “lutong bahay” to offer for you that you’ll surely love.
They also serve rice on a small rice pot good for 1 person. So cool.
We’ve really enjoyed this trip and will surely come back.