"Born and grew up in Tarlac" Tarlac by Penelope4
Tarlac Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 9 photos
If you’ll look at the map, you’ll agree that Tarlac is in the middle. No wonder we call it the Melting Pot of Central Luzon. Folks who travel to Baguio City from Manila or vice-versa have to pass through Tarlac City. Tarlac is best known for its sugar and rice plantations and of course for its Tocino, Longaniza and if you’ll ask me, for carabao’s fresh milk. As farmers have not been earning enough from growing crops, some have ventured to fishponds and other businesses such as ceramics or managing a fleet of tricycles (similar to rickshaws but with motorcycle engines).
Some memories of my childhood…When we were kids, my parents took us, during weekends if we were good, to the playground adjacent to the Tarlac High School and government offices. The playground is not huge but as a child, it was, to me, a paradise. Caretakers saw to it that the place was clean and that the grass was green. There was seesaw, swings, slide and some barracks to strengthen your muscles. In the mid-70s, one of favourite family hangouts was to go to the moviehouse during weekends. Afterwards, families went to restaurants to eat. Even now, eating out is a favourite pasttime. Tarlac, known for fine cooking, can boast of many restaurants and bakeries. People love to eat. Aside from having 3 meals a day, we have merienda in the morning and merienda in the afternoon. You’ll never go hungry in Tarlac if you have some coins in your wallet.
Tarlac is landlocked by four provinces, namely: Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Pampanga and Zambales. Where I live, you could see mountains and farms. The language spoken is Pampango but everybody speaks Tagalog. In some parts of Tarlac, Ilocano is spoken. I’ve visited the Tarlac Museum and I would recommend it to Balikbayans and tourists.
I am a Tarlaqeña. Born in 1965 to a couple who didn’t realize, when they were forced to get married, that they will stick through thick and thin. I was given a name my father has chosen for me. Nobody remembers what my mother’s choice was but well, she did not fight for her right so I am now suffering.
When I was born, I had my parents at “Hello”. Well, honestly, no. I guess, like most of the babies, I cried right after seeing my parents and the doctor. Why? They scared me at birth because they looked so stressed out and I, just a few seconds old, didn’t want to come out naked at all and was stared at with delight (or amusement? – whatever!). It was awful.
At the age of 6, I joined the Kindergarten but the teacher decided to upgrade me to Grade 1 and at the age of 11, I finished elementary school. Santo Cristo Elementary School was one of the best public schools in town at that time (I heard it’s been the best in decades) and I had to put up with some teachers there. Anyway, being a girl, my parents thought education was not of prime importance because men took care of women in my generation. So I went to Tarlac High School and graduated in March 1981. My adolescent life was so designed by my teachers and classmates and my mother that I thought I had enough of Tarlac when I finished secondary education. But looking back now, my best years in the Philippines were spent in my native town. Yes, 14 long years – fortunately dominated by wet seasons. We had typhoons and rains which made me very happy because we did not have to go to school! Typhoon No. 3 was my favourite number. I loved floods as a child. I remember my first time to ride boats because the water rose high. Filipinos during those times helped each other, cared for each other and it was more fun than suffering!
In Tarlac, I experienced how it is to live in abundance. So many mangoes, watermelons, coconuts, caimitos and fish in our kitchen! My mother loves fruits and she made sure we had enough fruits at home. We had almost always good meals at lunch and dinner but breakfast sucked. To feed us three times a day, my mother had to help my father earn extra bucks and so she put up this small store in our house and you bet, as early as 6 a.m., we had our first customer. Mother did not have time to prepare breakfast. We had a helper or two. The helper(s) had to help sell at the store too so we poor kids had to eat hotdogs or eggs everyday for breakfast.
If you are not from the Philippines and you happen to be visiting Tarlac, consider spending some time in the malls if... more travel advice
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