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Sunday, February 26

On the Spot! Camiling, Tarlac

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Doon sa nayon ng Camiling, Tarlac

Part 3 of Camiling-Clark-Subic Getaway

Camiling is a first class municipality located at the north tip of Tarlac, adjacent to Bayambang in Pangasinan. Most of the locals here speak Ilocano, so if you know how to speak in Ilocano, you are good enough to go. Though if you will be able to figure out, Ilocano accent here is different from the accent of Ilocano in Baguio. Life in Camiling is simple, just like any other towns, but is very accessible and houses some cheap hotels and establishments like Jollibee and Chowking. There are no big malls, only supermarkets which can cater enough your basic needs. If you want to experience the best of Camiling, go here by third/fourth week of October, when the annual Chicharon and Iniruban Festival (iniruban = green sticky rice) is being held. Or go to Camiling on May 6-8 for fiesta. :)

Saint Michael the Archangel
WHAT TO SEE: Ruins of the old Camiling Church (built in the 1800s), the newly built Camiling Church, the adjacent park, Leonor Rivera’s Ancestral House
WHAT TO EXPECT: rural life, simple town

We planned to ride a van by 9 AM (earlier than 9 AM actually but the trip was delayed because passengers were scarce). From Baguio, it will take you to Camiling in three hours by van. The van terminal is located at the back of the University of Cordillera annex, in front of the end of Shanum Street adjacent to Abanao Extension and Kisad Road. The fare was P200. So by lunch time, we were already there. I still remember when I first listened to that popular song of Maldita, “Porque” at first I thought was a Spanish-Tagalog song (but later found out through research that the language used was actually Chavacano which so much sounds like Spanish).

My parents prepared for our lunch with some bunch of inquiries to my friends. After that, we went to our rice field at the back of our house. I am not into it, but my friends do. They want to see some fields for photo ops. They wanted to go to a mango farm, but well we don’t have one. But at least they have experienced how life is in Camiling—with some cows, chickens, dogs, and cats around. And you don’t have to buy for your vegetables because you just pick them up at the backyards. I am not sure what this is, but this frog can walk (not jump) on four feet (just like a dog), can climb a corner of a wall (not exactly what the lizards do, but it can climb the wall!) and is only the size of a calamansi fruit. The fruits in the picture are not oranges but calamansi. Anyone out there who knows about this creature? (Photo taken in our place in Camiling.)
Rice fields, Camiling

After some afternoon snacks, we took a trike ride (P10 per head) to the Camiling Church. There we took some pictures. I told them that the old church was burned down into ruins in 1997. So sad, because it is one of the oldest structures in Camiling. And unknown to most, Camiling is an old town engineered to be a town in the past. What I mean is its layout. The four basic structures that a town must have are its church, market, municipal hall, and the park (with a river flowing smoothly near the structures). They must be adjacent from each other. Streets were laid out by blocks, and outer barrios were connected through the end of the streets. If I were to plan for Camiling’s future, I will reconstruct the old church, since it symbolizes the town’s rich past and history.

Camiling, Tarlac

Taep, or Ipa in Tagalog

Camiling Church ruins

Anyway, what people can expect in Camiling are old structures (including the ruins). A short time for photo ops, we walked to the plaza where a fenced “camiring” tree was planted. You might have already known the etymology of the town’s name by now. Camiling eventually evolved from a tree which is abundantly growing in the town. Camiring is somewhat similar to a mango tree, except that the leaves when brushed through your skin may cause rushes. I don’t know if towns in Tarlac are somehow derived from certain plant names, but did you know that Tarlac came from an abundantly growing grass there which is called “malatarlak”? Perhaps you already knew that “Manila” was derived from “nilad” and “Baguio” from “bag-iw”. Well, you get to search that out.

Entrance to new Camiling Church

After they saw that camiring tree where the town’s name was taken, we walked to Leonor Rivera’s Ancestral House. For those who don’t know her, Leonor Rivera was once the sweet lover of our national hero Jose Rizal. Interested about this huh? You know that “Maria Clara” in Rizal’s novels “Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo”? That was actually her. Rivera and Rizal were lovers, true lovers. But Leonor Rivera’s parents don’t want Rizal to be her husband. So when Rizal went to Europe, her parents got the chance not to give Leonor her letters from Rizal. Of course, Leonor would think Rizal doesn’t love her anymore because she doesn’t receive any of his letters. Such a tragedy that to make a long story short, Leonor Rivera married (reluctantly) Henry Kipping, a British Engineer who was one of the many engineers who laid out the train route from Manila to Dagupan. And the cause of Leonor Rivera’s death was for you to check that out.
Camiling Church

When you go to Camiling, their ancestral house was still in good condition. I haven’t been inside their house, but many people who have visited their house said that you will see some of the memorabilias of both Leonor and Jose. If you are into this kind of trip and tour, try to get their early and knock their gate. They might just let you in for a while. The house I guess is still a private property, and I am not sure how many generations of their ancestry have already lived that house.
Camiling Church, Camiling, Tarlac

So there we haven’t gone inside of their house and pretty bad that afternoon, the rain poured out heavily. After the tour, we got back to our house to watch some 3D movies, sleep and get the energy we need for tomorrow’s endless fun in Clark. J

By the way, if I got the chance to find the history of Camiling in my laptop, I will post it one of these days.

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  1. can you give me the location of the mansion? Maria Clara mansion... thanks and God bless. oh nice post here. keep it up

    1. It's along Rizal Street in Camiling. It's a white house.

    2. you should be including exact address for the locations that would be a big help


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