While Tarlac may not be known as a tourist destination, it does have some wonders worth your time. Often overlooked in favor of more northern destinations like Baguio, a short stopover in this province isn’t a bad idea – especially in the villages located in the hilly regions. Mayantoc is one such place.
Although hailed as the Summer Capital of Tarlac, it isn’t like Baguio where one can seek reprieve from the punishing heat. Instead, what you have here is a place filled with adventures set in nature. As one of the villages located along the western mountain ranges, it’s not a surprise to find natural wonders to behold.
And if you’re looking for an escape from the spots frequented by tourists, why not come to one that offers more or less the same but is less frequented?
Things to See and Do
Outdoor adventure awaits you at Mayantoc and these are what you can enjoy:
- Kiti-Calao Falls. You reach this falls after about an hour’s trek. Located in Sitio Calao in Barangay San Jose, this falls is known to local mountaineers. It’s a 30-foot wonder and untouched by commercialization.
- Nambalan River. A 15- to 20-minute ride from the town proper of Mayantoc, this river has calm waters – perfect for swimming – and view of mountains. Cottages are offered on the shore of the river and you do need to pay an entrance fee. As of this writing, getting into the river costs PHP 10. You can board a tricycle at the Mayantoc town proper to the river; the fare as of this writing is PHP 40.
Getting to Mayantoc
Tarlac is located around 120 kilometers north of Manila. It’s known as a stopover point for those traveling to more northern destinations such as the Ilocos Region and Baguio. You can get to Tarlac by private vehicle or public transportation.
By private vehicle
Tarlac is about two or three hours away from Manila, depending on traffic conditions of course. One of the best ways to get there is through the SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway).
By public transportation
A lot of buses that ply the northern routes pass through Tarlac. Specifically, you can board a bus headed to Bolinao/Alaminos/Anda/San Carlos which pass by the town of Camiling in Tarlac. Buses that ply this route include Five Star, Victory Liner, Fermina, Dagupan Bus and Solid North – just to name a few.
Tell the driver of the bus to drop you off at “Crossing Mayantoc.” At your drop off point, get on a tricycle to Mayantoc Town Proper.
While you’re enjoying the natural thrills of Mayantoc, why not explore the rest of Tarlac? It may not be known as a tourist destination but it is home to Benigno Aquino, who famously opposed Ferdinand Marcos. You can visit the Aquino Ancestral House as well as the Aquino Center and Museum. Other interesting spots in Tarlac include the Capas National Shrine, Museo de Tarlac and the Tarlac Recreation Park. Of course, the jump-off point to Mount Pinatubo is located at Capas.
Mayantoc is beautiful on its own but while you’re in town, try to see the other wonders that Tarlac has to offer.