Splendor yet Undiscovered, The Town of Magalang

Proudly, A Magaleno

Magalang, officially the Municipality of Magalang, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Pampanga, and also part of the First Congressional District of Pampanga where Angeles City and Mabalacat City are also included.

Connecting it to the neighboring province of Nueva Ecija, Magalang is the northeastern municipality of Pampanga.

In 1598, Magalang was mentioned as visita of nearby town of Arayat. But in 1605, it was separated from Arayat and attained township status due to bajo de la campana system.

Magalang was initially called Magalo, derived from Kapampangan word “Galo”, which means wavy and moving; describing the dangerous water flows of Parua River.

The town proper was located in Macapsa but because of the natural calamities, it was nearly abandoned. In 1734, it was moved to San Bartolome. Due to the overflow of Parua River in 1863, it was swept by the flood and transferred to the present site in barrio San Pedro Talimunduc.

Nestled at the foot of Mount Arayat, our town is another tourism hot spot with its heritage, cultural and ecotourism sites. Yes, I said it right, “our town”. I am proudly from this town, the Municipality of Magalang.

Must Know

Heliograph Towers

Our town is a place blessed with historical sites.

One of these are the two remaining Heliograph towers in the country. These old structures are built by the Spanish forces in the 1800s,  and are used to send and relay signals to warn soldiers of an impending attack by the advancing enemy. One is located in Barangay Santa Cruz, and another in Barangay San Isidro. These towers will soon be recognize as National Cultural Treasures by the national government.

The Historical Heliograph Towers

19th Century Town Hall

Aside from the towers, Magalang has other attractions like its town hall that was built in the 19th century.

The original site of the municipal building was donated by Capitan  Pablo Luciano y David, who was then the Gobernadorcillo. The first building or “Tribunal” as it was called, was built high and consisted of one story. In 1896, the building was reconstructed and it was built low but also of one story.

The 19th century Town Hall of Magalang

The San Bartolome Parish Church

Another grand structure preserved through the Spanish and Japanese wars, the San Bartolome Parish Church.

Established by the Augustinians in 1605, this 3-aisle church is made of stone and wood. It is 55 meter long, 21 meter wide and 7 meter high. Interplay of arches, as seen on the main entrance, doors and niches, pediments and fenestration, including those of the bellows and adjacent convent suggest a touch of baroque.

The San Bartolome Parish Church

Must See

Dalan ning Cruz Park (14 Stations of the Cross)

Magalang is also a Holy Week destination for pilgrims at “Banal na Bundok” or The Holy Mountain.

Located in Barangay Ayala, where I live, Banal na Bundok features life-sized Stations of the Cross from its foot at the First Station until the 14th Station, which is 1.6 kilometers toward the summit.

This grandiose dream of spreading out the Fourteen (14) Stations of the Cross on the foot of Mt. Arayat, going uphill, with an amazing overlooking view of Pampanga and nearby provinces, is a project spearheaded by SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF MAGALANG.

One of the Stations of the Cross in Banal na Bundok

The Mount Arayat

Mount Arayat is an inactive basaltic volcano on Luzon Island, Philippines, rising to a height of 1,026 metres (3,366 ft). It is located in a flat agricultural region at 15°12′N 120°45′E. The southern half of the mountain lies within the municipality of Arayat, Pampanga, while the north half and the mountain summit lies within Magalang.

The Volcano is a popular Tourist destination for people visiting the central plains. It is considered a mystical one, the legendary home of Aung/Aring Sinukuan/Sinkuan/Suku or the Fairy known as diwata Mariang Sinukuan depending on which version of the story the readers or listeners prefer. But in ancient Kapampangan folklore, it was and it is the abode of Apung/Aring Sinukuan, rival of Namalyari of Mount Pinatubo, who is in varying versions, the son of Cargon-Cargon who was mortally wounded in a fight with a giant from the Zambales Mountain Range which is said to be the home of Apu Namalyari.

The Mount Arayat

There are two trails lead to the peak of Mount Arayat. First is the Mount Arayat National Park Located at San Juan Baño in Arayat, Pampanga. It has a trail to the southern Peak, taking around 3–4 hours to reach the peak. The Southern Peak offers views of Central Luzon, including a view of Pampanga River.

The Southern Peak of Mount Arayat

 

The northern or higher Peak can be accessed  in Magalang, taking a similar time to reach the peak. This route takes you through the Arayat Amphitheatre and the so-called White Rock which legend claims to be the Home of Apung/Aring Sinukuan or Sinukuan.

The White Rock of Mount Arayat

Must Try

PSAU Cold Spring Resort

The only surviving cold spring water resort in Central Luzon.

PSAU Cold Spring Resort and Eco-tourism Park is situated 5kms from the town proper of Magalang. Located at the end of rough and rugged terrain from the entrance of Pampanga State Agricultural University (formerly Pampanga Agricultural College), approximately 2kms from the campus main gate of PSAU.

The PSAU Cold Spring Resort As the water flows from Mount Arayat

The  Sweet Tamarind of Magalang

The picturesque and agricultural town of Magalang is not giving up on its dream of becoming “The Sweet Tamarind Capital of the Philippines” through a program that aims to also contribute to the fight against climate change through farm tourism.

There are a lot of sweet tamarind trees here in Barangay Ayala and some of these are owned by my father-in-law. By the month of January, my father-in-law starts harvesting the sweet tamarind from our backyard and at the foothill of Mount Arayat. We sell them by order, but sometimes even before the harvesting months, fruit vendors go to our house to negotiate with my father-in-law for the sweet tamarind.

Sweet Tamarind from Magalang
Me, my husband and my father-in-law. Harvesting sweet tamarind at the foothill of Mount Arayat

Abe’s Farm Resort, Country Cuisine & Spa

Experience a different world and discover new adventures in Abe’s Farm Resort, Country Cuisine and Spa. Located here again, in our Barangay, Barangay Ayala, you will enjoy the quiet and relaxing atmosphere of a private mountain home or spend the night in a cozy air-conditioned Ifugao hut. You can also take a late afternoon dip in a warm pool in a garden setting and indulge your taste buds in the comforts of a dreamy bamboo and antique wood rest house, or experience a spa to reinvigorate the body and ease the mind.

The four-hectare farm also provides facilities for friends and family to enjoy. Play ping pong, badminton or simply have fun with board games. Facilities are also available for events such as wedding banquets, seminars, workshops and planning sessions.

Abe’s Farm Resort, Country Cuisine & Spa

The Kamaru Festival

The first Kamaru Festival was held on August 21, 2012. The said festival was in commemoration with the celebration of the feast of their patron saint, Saint Bartolomew.

Kamaru Festival 2012

Kamaru Festival is a blend of history and festivities in the municipality. It will be demonstrated by inter-school street dancing and free interpretation competition open to all private and public schools. Our Mayor , Malu Paras-Lacson said that the kamaru is very much similar to Magalang’s potential to “hop” to greatness. She added that the kamaru also demonstrates similarities with the resilient character of the people and is representative of the rural character of Magalang.

 

Our town is on its way to be known as another culinary attraction as it promotes home-made pastries and candies by Carreon and Pabalan, the two homegrown  stores.

Come, and know more about our town! Experience the adventure and lot of amazing things here in Magalang, Pampanga.

 

 

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