Old Sta. Monica Church Belltower
Have you been to one of the proudest towns of Pampanga? I am sure, the first time you have heard this town, you thought of a country and confused that there is also a place named that way in the Philippines. Mexico is one of Pampanga’s prides when it comes to attractions and landmarks that pictures the province’s natural wonders.
When visiting in Pampanga, don’t pass the chance to visit Mexico. You are lucky if you have family living in the place, but if you don’t have, I can tour you to the town’s landmarks that may get your attention to visit the place.
- Abacan Bridge also known as the San Jose Malino-Anao Bridge is one of the old structures in Mexico which connects the town’s northern and southern villages. The Abacan River is one of the largest waterways in Pampanga which stretches from upstream Angeles City to Mexico. The stream merges downstream with the larger Pampanga River.
- Hizon Ancestral House is the home of Kapampangan culinary authority Lillian Lising Borromeo. The heritage house was built in 1916 and was originally owned by the family of Dona Maura Hizon-Lorenzo, a descendant of Mexico’s early settlers Dona Paula David-Hizon and Don Vicente Hizon.
- Maximino Hizon Monument is the Monument of the greatest Kapampangan revolutionary hero stands at the grounds of the Municipal Plaza on the side of the Municipal Hall. The Monument was built in memory of General Maximino Hipolito Hizon, a brave and extraordinary young man who joined the Katipunan in 1896 and became the Comandante General of Pampanga in the latter part of the revolution. Born in May 9, 1870 in Parian, Mexico, he supported the Revolutionary Government of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. Hizon also played an important role in the Philippine-American war under Aguinaldo’s regime. One of his most difficult missions was to recapture Manila from the Americans. When he was captured along with the other Katipuneros, Apolinario Mabini, Artemio Ricarte and Mariano Llanera, he chose to be exiled rather than collaborate with the colonizers.
- National Grid Corporation is the largest sub-station of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Central Luzon is based in Mexico. NGCP is a private corporation that maintains and operates the power transmission network of the Philippines. NGCP is a joint venture of the State Grid Corporation of China, Monte Oro Grid Resource of the Philippines and Calaca High Power Corporation. NGCP took over TransCo on 15 January 2009. The corporation was inaugurated in Manila by Zheng Baosen, vice-president of the State Grid Corporation of China. This venture is the biggest investment made by China in the Philippines, in which 40% is owned by China
- Old Sta. Monica Church Belltower is the only remnant of the Sta. Monica Parish Church that was built by Spanish friar, Fr. Jose dela Cruz in 1665. The tower is made of stone and bricks. It is believed to be one of the oldest remaining structures in Pampanga that depicts the Hispanic period and the deep Catholic faith of the people of Mexico.
- Rotonda Sto. Domingo is one of the few structures that serves as turning point for different major roads in Mexico. Rotonda Sto. Domingo has two roads leading to Sta. Ana town and the town proper.
- San Jose Matulid Chapel is believed to be the oldest church in Pampanga. Although there are no written records that show the exact construction of the chapel, the locals claim that it is older than the Sta. Monica Parish Church which was built by the Augustinian friars in 1665. San Jose Matulid chapel could have been built in the late 1580’s.
- Both the Sta. Monica Parish Church and the St. Benedict’s Institution de Mexico were built by Fr. Jose dela Cruz in 1665. However, prior to this account, another author claimed that the church and the convent were severely damaged by earthquakes in 1645 and 1658. Should this be true, the structures could have been older and were only restored in 1665. The old church reveals characteristics of a typically Mexican-Aztec architecture with its massive and, round columns. In 1922, Rev. Fr. Felipe Roque constructed a beautiful façade of the church which still stands today.
Tourist may enjoy also the beauty of Mexico in many ways. Here are some leisure parks and subdivisions of the place best to spend free time and relax.
- The Lakeshore is a world-class residential, commercial and recreational development project of Central Country Estate Incorporated. Cradled in the rich and fertile plains of Central Luzon, the Lakeshore is 300 hectares of prime land have been terra-formed and enhanced to give rise to a living environment that is one of the most unique in the Philippines. At the heart of The Lakeshore lies a 12-hectare man-made lake that is framed by the majestic visage of mythical Mount Arayat. The Lakeshore is located in the villages of San Rafael, Nuevo Victoria, Divisoria and Panipuan.
- Sorrento is a 20-hectare first-class residential park developed by Camella Homes. It has a high note to life, charming and with an accent of old world distinction, the themed houses takes inspiration from Italy's classic villages. Its home feature arches, columns, and large windows allowing for an abundance of natural light, a beautiful sunset and a panoramic view of the scenic country side. The lush landscape plus themed houses truly add to an increased valued property. Elegant Crown Asia and Classy Camella home models are available and sold in variety of lot sizes where the customers can choose from. Sorrento offers Bungalow houses with floor area ranging from 40 to 200 sqm. Sorrento is located in Barangay Panipuan, about five minutes away from the NLEX Mexico Exit.
- Beverly Place is a project of the Sta. Lucia Realty, Beverly Place is one of the new places that offer everything that gives convenience to residents. A mixed-use, self-contained community, Beverly Place is designed to become the premiere shopping and business capital of Central Luzon.
- There are other subdivisions in Mexico town that are equally comfortable and spacious, most of which became a sanctuary to those who love the fusion of an urban and rural setting. These are the Ligaya Village in San Antonio, Panorama Heights, Golden Estate, Villa St. Raphael, Villa de San Agustin and St.Peter’s Village all in Camuning, Nueva Villa in Sta. Cruz, Sto Domingo Village in San Jose Matulid, El Grande Mansionette in Lagundi, Lapid’s Ville and Sta. Clara Subdivision both in Sapang Maisac and Northville and Royal Meadows in Tangle.
Where to stay?
Sogo Hotel –Located at Barangay Lagundi, Mexico in front of SM City Pampanga. It is one of the popular motorists’ hotels in the province. It has clean and affordable rooms that range from P250 to P750, from three hours to 24 hours, respectively. The hotel is strategically located near the City of San Fernando, the capital city of the province.
Getting to Pampanga
Motorists and commuters will arrive in Pampanga in just 1-½ hours by car or bus from Manila through the North Luzon Expressway exiting via San Fernando, Angeles or Dau Toll Plaza.
All bus lines linking Manila with Baguio, Pangasinan, and Ilocos pass through the province. Philippine Rabbit serves the provincial capital (San Fernando) from Manila. Victory Liner links Angeles City and Olongapo City. Baliwag Transit and E. Jose Transport operates route services from Olongapo City to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija via San Fernando, Pampanga. Arayat Express also serves the San Fernando-Cabanatuan route. Other buses that pass through the towns of Pampanga include Dagupan Bus Lines, Dangwa Tranco, Five Star Bus Co., Farinas Transit, Franco Federico Lines, Maria De Leon Trans, Partas Trans Co. and Viron Transit.
Also, there are jeepneys and/or mini-buses in each town or city that serve inter-zonal points towards other parts of the province.