Magalang, Pampanga

Our recent overnight staycation at Abe’s Farm is still fresh in my mind, as it was the trip that introduced us to the charm of the municipality of Magalang, Pampanga. We brought our bicycles during that trip, in the hopes of being able to explore the area more quickly. I read that the Banal na Bundok was just a few kilometers away from Abe’s Farm. It is situated at the foot of Mt. Arayat, and is a tourist destination during Holy Week, as it features the life-sized 14 Stations of the Cross. Visitors would hike 1.6 kilometers to the summit to the statue of the Risen Christ.

We ended up walking as there were road works around Abe’s Farm at the time. I’d say walking was still a lucky turnout as it allowed us to stop more frequently to catch my breath. That trip was the during the peak of summer in the Philippines, where temperature in Pampanga ranged from 24 to 31 degrees celsius, and humidity was close to 78%. Though we had no intentions of trekking all the way to the Risen Christ statue, I didn’t realize the ‘simpler’ route we had in mind was still a continuously long upward climb. Even if our cycling pushed through, D would probably have managed to pedal uphill easily, but I would probably have ended up going back to Abe’s Farm no more than 200 meters cycling up.

Walking allowed us to do more stops and try out the local cafes around the area. Our first stop was Cafe Alaya, a rustic little cafe under a canopy of trees. It was particularly hot and humid that day, so I tried their iced tea which I immediately loved as it was quite refreshing. D didn’t mind the heat and he had coffee and a sandwich. We were amazed our bill was only less than 130 pesos (approximately $2.50).

After our quick stop at Cafe Alaya, we headed up the road once again. I really wished we brought an umbrella because even with caps on, the heat of the sun drained my energy. I checked my Google maps and aimed for the next cafe up the road, Kaffe Uno, which was about 845 meters away. I pep talked myself all the way up to Kaffe Uno, and as soon as I saw their gate, I was so happy it felt like I finished a marathon.

Kaffe Uno had a bigger space, and offered a wider variety of menu options. Once again I had iced tea, and we got pad Thai and chicken barbecue. We found from the wait staff that the cafe is popular with cyclists and motorists who flock the place in the early mornings. I’d say for walkers like us, Kaffe Uno’s yummy and generous food servings would be a reward altogether for being able to walk halfway through to the Banal na Bundok.

After lunch, we headed back up to our last stop: the cafe at Banal na Bundok Nature Park located another 850 some meters away. Though we had lunch and drinks, I think that last upward climb was the most tiring, and I had to ask for more frequent stops. We passed through the first six Stations of the Cross, and when we finally got to the cafe, I had my much awaited third round of iced tea.

That mini ‘trek’ gave me a chance to book an impromptu activity for our second day in Magalang – a morning tour of the Punto Spring Farm. While resting in one of the cafes, I saw it Google Maps and contacted them right away. The owner said that the farm is best visited in the morning, so we had ourselves booked for 6AM the next day. More to come about our visit to this awesome farm in my next blog!

Mt Arayat, at a distance

By MrsWayfarer

Living Free and Making a Difference

5 comments

  1. Nothing beats a refreshing cold drink and sandwiches during and after a hot day of sightseeing! It’s always that iced drink after physical effort that is so rewarding. A beautiful time outdoors for you, that’s for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I admit it was the thought of an iced cold drink that kept me going 😅 Monsoon season’s officially started here so outdoor activities are now going to be a mix of sun, sweat, and sometimes a bit of rain. I’m all for it!

      Liked by 1 person

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