A regional guide to Central Luzon

Central Luzon is home to seven of the Philippines’ most bustling provinces. Pampanga and Tarlac are just two of the most popular, and each has its own unique attractions and personalities. This is a part of the world that’ll require a lot of your time to fully explore, but it’ll be time well spent.

At a glance

Central Luzon is the place to be if you’re seeking Filipino food. Producing the largest amount of rice for the country, Luzon is no stranger to cooking mouth-watering culinary creations with this staple ingredient. Great food creates a great culture, so if you’re looking for a story-telling stop off, make some time for the Spanish inspired architecture in Bagac’s heritage park.

Alternatively, if 328 kilometres of sweeping coastline sounds like more your thing, Aurora is the place to be. Finally, if dramatic ecological landscapes are what you’ve been after, then the active Mt. Pinatubo volcano is where you should be heading. Like we said, this region has it all.

What to see

For a true taste of Central Luzon, head down to Pampanga to enjoy the Philippines’ famous Kapampangan cuisine historically inspired by Spanish, Malay and Cantonese flavours.

Learn to cook with the famous chef Acheng Lillian where you’ll make your way down to the vibrant market, select the freshest ingredients and let Lillian guide you into creating your own Kapampangan dishes.

There is no way you could find yourself in Central Luzon without taking a trip to Zambales to visit the startling Mount Pinatubo. For the intrepid explorers amongst you, hop into a 4X4 and drive inland, trekking through streams and rocky pathways before coming face to face with the stunning aqua blue Pinatubo Lake.

And for those seeking serenity, stroll up to the top of San Jose Mountain in Tarlac where you’ll be greeted by the towering Monasterio de Tarlac statue overlooking stunning mountain views. This is the perfect spot for a tranquil picnic.

Why we like it

The diversity of experience available in Central Luzon allows you to explore every wonder that the Philippines has in just one region. There is so much adventure to be had, but our favourite without a doubt is the Mt. Pinatubo Volcano. If you want to gain a real perspective on the beauty of Mt. Pinatubo’s lake, take a helicopter over the emerald green crater and be astounded by its size. There is no natural wonder as dramatic as this in the Philippines.