Hello WEEKEND and hi August! We meet again!
Aren’t you just excited to welcome another weekend and a new month all at the same time? I do! I do! And it also excites me to share another quick holiday or weekend getaway that you can enjoy by yourself, with your family or friends, and even for a memorable date on your next weekend or holiday escape. 😉
Besides Tagaytay and Batangas, another place that’s convenient to visit away from the bustling city of Manila is Clark, Pampanga. It’s just around an hour drive away from the city where you can do tons of things, relax and just recharge.
I was blessed to experience another quick but worthwhile Travelife weekend with one of my favorite travel buddies Gel Bayona.
We experienced something special too as we visited the different properties of Holiday Inn. We were like kids hopping around hotels, buffet tables, and tours and activities that made us enjoy being like kids again.
TOP 5 THINGS THAT I ENJOYED ON MY WEEKEND BREAK:
1. BUFFET PIG OUT
Okay, so my top 1 is FOOD because…well, I simply feasted and satisfied my bottomless pit once again! I really enjoyed the different restaurants and buffet offerings of Holiday Inn. From their restaurant Fab in Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, to Café Mequeni in Holiday Inn Clark, and to the special and exclusive lunch that they prepared at Holiday Inn & Suites in Makati. It was a skinny pig’s (that’s me) dream come true!
2. SWORDS AT RODIZION
So my 2nd one is….still about…FOOD! I’m sorry but I think Rodizion deserves its own and special place on my list simply because I LOVE the Brazilian barbecue skewers that they serve at their restaurant. From swords of freshly grilled pork and beef sausages, steaks and baby back ribs, and to my favorite (that balances all the meat that I consumed that evening) grilled pineapple with cinnamon! I was in heaven!
Meeting and chatting with Holiday Inn Clark’s Executive Chef Jean Mark Veron was also a plus as I got to learn a lot from his travels and about food. Holiday Inn’s staff really made our stay so refreshing and (*burp, excuse me!) satisfying!
3. BIG KIDS CAN PLAY TOO
I enjoyed the time that I had with Gel especially as we tapped the kids in us again. What we loved in Zoocobia was the different sight of the beautiful birds that we encountered at their zoo. First, I was able to feed a giant ostrich, next, Gel and I appreciated the variety of majestic birds that we have – from the Philippine Eagle Owl to the regal beauty and glorious flight of the Philippine Eagle. God is just so creative! We also rode the first and only Gravity Car in the Philippines. It was fun but I wanted more speed and well a longer track! 😀
4. SERIOUS CULTURE TALK
If you want to see the different landmarks in the Philippines in one place then you know where to go – Nayong Pilipino! The last time I went there was when I was in grade school while it was Gel’s first time. I enjoyed the Cultural show that they prepared for us while I was having my Halo-Halo. It was interesting to see young people perform the different dances that we have here in the Philippines. (I recall my obligatory Filipiniana terno and dance performances in school, lol!)
I also appreciated our culture more when I saw the painstakingly handmade century old unique patterned fabrics and cropped tops (yup our ancestors had style and were super in) that they were able to curate and showcase at Museo de Nayon. One of the cropped tops that really impressed me was the one that was made of mother of pearl (check the gallery above for pictures).
5. BEAUTY SLEEP OVER SWEATING
I can honestly say that I had one of the best beauty sleeps in Holiday Inn Clark. Their choice of soft and firm pillows, EXTREMELY comfortable bed, and crisp white linens made me feel like I was totally on cloud nine.
I brought my workout clothes and running shoes with me because I was planning to run that morning. Needless to say, my mind was willing but my body was too weak to get separated from my bed. I decided to sleep more and ditch my running shoes. It was that good!
5 ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN ENJOY IN CLARK
So many choices and activities, so little time. So when I get back, I want to try the other list that Clark offers besides their annual Hot Air Balloon Festival.
1. A CULTURAL WALK
Here’s a list of historical landmarks that you can visit and experience some cultural walk at:
US Memorial Cemetery
Monument of Col. John Stotsenburg
Pres. Manuel Roxas Marker
Former Office of the Commander of the 13th US Air Force
Fort Stotsenburg Gate Posts
Site of the Old Kelly Theater
Kamikaze West Airfield
2. PLAY AND LEARN
Going out-of-town with kids and big kids? Try these theme parks:
Fontana Water Park
Clearwater Country Club
El Kabayo Riding Stables
Zoocobia Fun Zoo
Clark Nature Park
Clark Dinosaurs Island
3. Chill and “Date” yourself, a loved one or someone special at these parks and open spaces: 😉
4. TAP YOUR ACTIVE AND ADVENTURE SIDE (YOU HAVE IT INSIDE OF YOU, REALLY)
I personally like trying new things, getting crazy and all. Here’s a list of activities that you can do:
Four Wheel Drive
Fly over Mt. Pinatubo (Ultralights)
(or Trek Mt. Pinatubo)
Enjoy some speed at Clark International Speedway
Run, run, and feel like an athlete (feel lang)
5. GO KOREAN AND HAVE SOME MUD ON YOUR FACE
After a 4×4 ride, immerse yourself at Sitio Puning Hot Springs and Spa and enjoy a “hot spring buffet” at their 13 thermal springs. Besides sleeping, after a relaxing time at Sitio Puning Hot Springs and Spa, what’s the next best thing to do? EAT! I learned that there are a lot of affordable Korean buffet restaurants in Clark. For as low as P200 you can eat-all-you-can and well SLEEP after. 😉
These are the things that I am looking forward to do and experience when I get back to Clark. Do you have other suggestions for a quick weekend getaway or holiday?
I really enjoyed my weekend in Clark and with Holiday Inn. Just look at my happy pictures on my gallery above. Looking forward to RUN instead of SLEEP (in Holiday Inn’s extremely comfortable bed) on my next visit!