It was a Sunday filled with fun as I, together with my niece and nephew, traveled to Pampanga to bond.
The trip to Pampanga was actually for the last day of the 22nd Philippine International Hot Air Baloon Fiesta, and our little tour of San Fernando City came as an impromptu sidetrip when Clark field became too hot for comfort at around 9 AM.
We arrived at SM Pampanga in San Fernando City a little before 10 AM. The mall was very long that the other end looked so far away when you’re at the opposite end.
Sunday mass inside the mall was still ongoing that time and the mall was yet to open. We were told, however, that one of the mall’s Jollibee branches was already open so we walked to the other end just to have breakfast/brunch.
After touring around the mall a little (we had no choice because the fastfood we went to didn’t have it’s own restroom), we took another jeepney ride to palengke (public market) which was at the downtown area.
It was scorching hot, and roaming around the streets of San Fernando City’s downtown area (or any other place, for that matter) in the middle of the day was no easy task.
It’s hard to go around a city you’re not familiar with with no pre-planned itinerary. We had little knowledge of what to do in San Fernando City so we just searched the internet to look for tourist spots.
We agreed with the old San Fernando Train Station-turned-war museum, so we asked around on how to get there and were told to take the jeep waiting in front of SM City San Fernando Downtown.
We asked to be dropped off at the capitol (as instructed by the McDo guard whom we asked directions from) as the road leading to the old train station is almost opposite the capitol’s first gate.
The old San Fernando Train Station is historical as it was the last stop of the Filipino and American soldiers who were forced to walk 104 kilometers by their Japanese captors during the infamous Death March in 1942.
Inside the restored landmark were life-sized statues of Death March soldiers, pre-war photos of the train station, old train ticket, and an old telephone, among others.
Sadly, there was a pre-nuptial photoshoot going on when we got there. They were just inside the gate when we arrived but eventually transferred inside the building and we felt we had to leave.
My niece and nephew (okay, me too) suddenly felt the toll of the day while we were waiting for a ride back to SM City San Fernando Downtown. I had no sleep the previous night because we left the house midnight and that’s still a few hours before sleep visits me. My two companions, on the other hand, were able to get a couple of hours before we left.
It would’ve been nice to go around some more to see some heritage houses, but our feet were already tired from all the walking we did since the early morning of that day.
San Fernando City, Pampanga is just an hour ride from Cubao, though. We can always go back to explore more.
Check out the video of our San Fernando City, Pampanga trip below.