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Visit the Historical Sites of Pampanga


Pampanga was the first province and richest province created by the Spaniards in the Philippines in 1571. It was named after the Indung Kapampangan River, the largest river in the former empire. Ancient Pampanga's territorial area used to include portions of the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales in the big Island of Luzon of the Philippine Archipelago. The province of Pampanga has also a part in Philippine history. Many historic events happened in the province that will remain a part of the province and the country.

by Jhaypee Guia on October 19, 2012

Pampanga was the first province and richest province created by the Spaniards in the Philippines in 1571. It was named after the Indung Kapampangan River, the largest river in the former empire. Ancient Pampanga's territorial area used to include portions of the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales in the big Island of Luzon of the Philippine Archipelago.

The province of Pampanga has also a part in Philippine history. Many historic events happened in the province that will remain a part of the province and the country.

Here is the list of historical sites that can be found and visited within the province. 

Bacolor Municipal Hall

Bacolor, Pampanga

  • Former site of the house of one of Bacolor's most illustrious families, the Venturas. Construction was completed in July 8, 1953 under then Mayor Manuel de Jesus, a project of Sen. Pablo Angeles David, another favorite son of the town.

Clark Air Base

Clark, Pampanga

  • The former Clark Air Base (now Clark Freeport Zone) is the biggest American military installation outside the United States.The area occupied by the former military base covers some 33,653 hectares and is composed of flat, rolling rugged and even mountainous terrain. It used to be the home of the US 13th Air Force and 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing whose peace-keeping mission covers the entire Pacific region. It is endowed with a 2,500 hectare aviation complex equipped with two 3.2-km parallel runways that remain unmatched by any other airport in the country today. Clark is envisioned to become an Aerotropolis-an airport-driven development. This blueprint of progress is aimed to trigger the growth in Central and Northern Luzon through the full utilization of the airport as a premiere gateway.

 

Clark, Pampanga

  • Prior to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991, this hospital was the US Air Force's best and most fully-equipped hospital in the Asia-Pacific region. Years after the Americans left Clark, the place became desolate and awaiting reconstruction.

Clark Air-raid Bunker Tunnel

Clark, Pampanga

  • Situated at the northwest corner of the Kamikaze west airfield in a hill called "babang dapu" (meaning "crocodile jaw") as named by the Aetas.This is the only known Kamikaze tunnel that remained intact after World War II. It was constructed quickly as an air raid bunker for Cmdr. Taimai Asaichi-commander of the 201st Air Group, 1st Air Fleet, Imperial Japanese Navy, the very first Kamikaze unit of World War Il. It was constructed in late October 1944 and provided protection for Cmdr. Tamai and some of his Kamikaze pilots during deadly U.S. air raids. A marker was installed by the Clark Development Corporation on September 1, 2002.

Clark Barn Houses

Clark, Pampanga

  • These barn houses were built from 1910 to 1913 at a cost of $1,309.90 each and used then as officers quarters. Following a tropical style of architecture, these barns were built of Oregon pine shipped from the United States. They were the first permanent structures to be built inside the fort after it was founded by the 5th U.S. Cavalry Regiment in 1902. Over the years until 1922, hundreds of barns were built inside the fort. However, constant battle with termites, typhoons, and humidity made maintenance impractical. By mid 80s, most of these barn houses were demolished. The barn houses along the Parade Ground (officers row) remained and is now called the centennial block. The huge Acacia (monkey pod) trees shading the barns were also planted in 1903. A marker was installed by the Clark Development Corporation on September 1, 2002.

Commander's House

Clark, Pampanga

  • Fondly known as the "White House" because of its color, this was the residence of the base commander of the US Air Force. It now serves as the Presidential Guest House.

Don Honorio Ventura College of Arts & Trade

Bacolor, Pampanga

  • Formerly known as the Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Bacolor, it is believed to be the oldest vocational school in the Far East. It was founded on November 4, 1861 by Rev. Fr. Juan P. Zita and Don Felino Gil. It was built in honor of Honorio Ventura, a Pampanga politician, philantrophist, and former Secretary of the interior (born in 1887). It was destroyed by fire in 1869 and reconstructed in 1892. It was used as barracks for Filipino soldiers of the Spanish army in 1896; as a munitions factory in 1897; as a provincial capitol of Pampanga 1901 - 1904; as Pampanga Trade School, 1909; as barracks for Japanese soldiers, 1942 - 1944; burnt in December 1944; and rebuilt with US AID 1946. It was converted into a regional school of arts and trades on October 28, 1956.

Kamikaze West Airfield

Clark, Pampanga

  • An airfield that the Japanese pilots (called human bombs) used to stage the same air operations (as in the west airfield in Mabalacat) by launching kamikaze (divine winds) attacks against American and allied forces during the last world war.

Kelly Theater

Clark, Pampanga

  • This heavily damaged building was erected in 1953, but the present structure is actually the second Kelly Theater. The original was built in 1947.It was intended to be a gymnasium, but was later converted into a theater. President Manuel Roxas gave his last speech here on April 15, 1948 before succumbing to a cardiac arrest shortly after. Both theaters were named after Capt. Colin Kelly, a B-17 pilot, who died in combat against the Japanese forces in 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Kelly as the first American hero of World War II.

Lily Hill

Clark, Pampanga

  • The name "Lili" was given to the Americans by Aetas which means "lost" in Kapampangan because it stands apart from nearby hills and mountains. The Americans changed it from "Lili" to "Lily". Since 1903, the Americans used Lily Hill as an observation post and the Japanese followed suit when they occupied Clark. Major Higuchi Tsugisaburo, the base commander of Clark Field from 1942 to 1945, dug several tunnels for air-raid shelters and storage. During the last battles for Clark Field in 1945, Major Higuchi with 800 of his men (the 31st Support Group) fought bitterly for a last stand battle against a U.S. Army Force from the 145th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division, where more than 600 Japanese soldiers died. In 1955, the Americans opened some tunnels and found two Japanese warplanes and plenty of war materiel attesting to Japan's strong defense of Clark. A marker was installed by Clark Development Corporation on September 1, 2002.

Lily Hill Japanese Tunnel

Clark, Pampanga

  • A Japanese tunnel and garden was built in the middle lower portion of the Lily Hill with the permission of the U.S. Air Force. This was a sign of friendship extended by the U.S. Air Force to the Japanese whose relatives died here during the intense war when the Americans took back Clark Field from the hands of the Japanese in January 1945 where over 600 Japanese soldiers died. The marker which the Japanese inscribed in this sacred garden of worship reads as follows:" TO THE MEMORY OF THE GALLANT JAPANESE SOLDIERS WHO DIED DURING THE BATTLE FOR CLARK FIELD IN 1945." It is the same place where the Statue of World Peace Shrine - the great statue of the Goddess of World Peace - was installed on October 25, 2002 by the Municipality of Mabalacat in cooperation with the Japanese war veterans and their families.

Malig Residence

Bacolor, Pampanga

  • Located in Brgy. Cabambangan, Bacolor, it is believed to be the oldest house of its type in the town. Built by the Spaniards who came first to the Philippines, it was the home of the friars who established their church in the town.

Old St. Scholastica Bldg.

City of San Fernando, Pampanga

  • Completed in 1931, it was the former building of the famous academy in Pampanga - the third Benedictine school in the Philippines.

 Pampanga High School Building

City of San Fernando, Pampanga

  • Built in 1912, it was the main building of Pampanga High School up to 1935, and counts President Diosdado P. Macapagal as among its alumni (Class 1929). It is one of the so-called Gabaldon buildings built and named after Assemblyman Isauro Gabaldon of Nueva Ecija who authored Act 1801 that set aside P1 million for the construction of such schoolhouses all over the archipelago. Known as the "Parthenons of of the golden years of Philippine public education system," it is in these buildings that three generations of Filipinos learned the Three Rs.

Pampanga Provincial Capitol

City of San Fernando, Pampanga

  • Seat of government of the province of Pampanga, the original building was constructed after the provincial capital of Pampanga was transferred from Bacolor to San Fernando in 1904. It was the site of a major battle between guerilla forces and the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. The building dates back to the 1930s.

San Fernando City Hall

City of San Fernando, Pampanga

  • The current structure was completed in 1917 during the administration of Mayor Antonio Abad Santos. It was restored in 2003 by Mayor Rey B. Aquino.

San Fernando Train Station

City of San Fernando, Pampanga

  • Standing amid residences in Barangay St. Nino in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, are the ruins of what was once a busy and historic train station of the Manila-Dagupan Railway. Unknown to many, the station was a silent witness to every turning point of the town's history, from its inauguration in 1892, up to the infamous Bataan Death March. It most definitely played an essential role in making the town boom into a great city-one that is rooted in its rich heritage and culture. It was opened on February 23, 1892 as part of the Bagbag-Mabalacat stretch of the Manila-Dagupan Railway System and was inaugurated by Governor-General Eulogio Despujol and Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda. On June 27 of the same year, Dr. Jose Rizal stopped over in San Fernando to recruit members to the Liga Filipina. Late afternoon of December 31, 1941, the Japanese Army bombed an ammunition train said to be parked in front of the station, ready to be transported by the United States Armed Forces in the Far East to Bataan. The Japanese Zero flew at around 4 0' clock in the afternoon and dropped three bombs which caused fire to some portions of the station. In April of 1942, thousands of Filipino and American prisoners-of-war, most of whom were dying of hunger, fatigue and various illnesses, were stuffed like sardines into the box carts, and sent to their final destination at Camp O' Donnell in Capas, Tarlac (Capas National Shrine).

Tabacalera House

City of San Fernando, Pampanga

  • Originally owned by Tabacalera to house its representative, Don Ramon Lopez, the first floor served as the office of Tabacalera. It was later purchased by Simeon Ocampo. During the Japanese Occupation, it served as the headquarters of the Kempeital.
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