Nayong Pilipino: Everything To Be Proud Of
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Any true-blooded Filipino would want to explore his homeland before stepping on foreign shores. But with 7,107 islands, one can’t be blamed for missing out on some of our best sights. After all, traveling can be tiring, and you can spend a few years without being able to visit each notable attraction.
If you are willing to settle for the “abridged” version of our landmarks, however, Pampanga has an answer for you. The Nayong Pilipino is a 45-acre “Cultural Theme Park” that showcases convincing replicas of just about everything the country has to offer!
Step Back in Time
Nayong Pilipino is located at the Clark Freeport Zone, which is just a short distance away from the area’s International Airport. Basically, it collects the entire country’s culture and attractions in one place. It’s like going back in time, since you can see well-reconstructed versions of the sights famous for each of the country’s many regions.
Speaking of regions, this is how the park draws its divisions. You can find areas marked by names from the different localities of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Within each of these regions, you can find a landmark that is representative of that area, along with a residence that typifies the dwellings of people from these regions. This is an eye-opener, since it’s not easy to see these local dwellings when you visit the real places nowadays. As I said, it’s like stepping back in time!
For example, you can find in the area marked “Cebu Region” a replica of the historical Magellan’s Cross. The “Ilocos Region” will showcase the beautifully-preserved Spanish Colonial Houses. There are different “villages” as well, that showcase the culture of the Aetas, Kalingas, and Ifugaos. To make it truly Filipino, there are also replicas of our heroes’ homes — Rizal, Aguinaldo and Mabini could just as well live here!
If you want to delve further back in Philippine History, you should head over to the Colonial Plaza Area at the center of the park. This commemorates our time under Spanish rule, and re-creates an authentic colonial atmosphere. There are even replica structures, such as the famed and historically-significant Barasoain Church — this replica even holds Sunday Masses! To complete the picture, you can even find horse-drawn carriages here.
You can then take it to the extreme by revisiting the old legend of how the Filipino race came to be. We’ve often been told of how a lonely bird split open a length of bamboo with its beak, giving rise to the first Filipinos — Malakas and Maganda. Now, see the story displayed in great detail at the Nayong Pilipino! There’s no better place to see and experience the story of our genesis than at a place that also embodies the rest of what the country stands for.
More Than A Pretty Sight
Nayong Pilipino defines its mission not just by bringing visitors the beauty of the Philippines in a condensed manner, but also by re-living the culture that many may have forgotten today. There are different event centers located throughout the park, such as the amphitheater and the Teatro. The latter holds various performances such as cultural dances and rondalla performances. There are 2 shows a day, every day, which is just perfect!
Near the Teatro is a playground that holds traditional “Palarong Pilipino” events, and there’s also a Children’s Playground where the little ones can sweat it off like we used to do not so long ago! This is perfect, in order to let our children experience what fun we had before tablets and the Internet came along.
There’s also a tribute to the famed Filipino trait of valor and heroism, in the form of the Heroes’ Plaza.There’s even a museum, and the country’s natural biodiversity also gets its representative via the beautiful orchids exhibited in the park.
Of course, Filipino cuisine and Filipino hospitality cannot be missed, courtesy of the in-park restaurant and cottages. There’s also a Science Park with interactive exhibits to celebrate the natural Filipino qualities of inquisitiveness and creativity.
Overall, the Nayong Pilipino is a must-visit for everyone. It won’t be too much to go all the way to Clark just to see the amazing exhibits and replicas! True, the entire place isn’t nearly as grand as other options like Villa Escudero, which is also famous for portraying the allure of the Filipino culture. But it is a lot more detailed and packs more of the country into a single visit. By visiting the Nayong Pilipino, perhaps everyone can retrace the ideals that bond them to their country, and find ever more reasons to be proud of their race!
Nayong Pilipino Historic Filipino History
Address: Clark Expo
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 2009
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