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Lakbay Norte 8: An Exploration Up North + 6D/5N CLARK – SUBIC – AURORA Itinerary

Living in the north has its so many advantages, amidst of its province-like feel, going places to places and discovering historic destinations are within reach. Thank you for the North Luzon Expressway for uncovering possibilities to visit one place to another without being stuck on the road for longer hours. Well, we reached Baguio via Kennon Road in a span of 4 hours from Manila having a maintained speed of 80-100kph while on NLEX-SCTEX-TPLEX compared to the usual 6-8 hours in the absence of expressway. So yeah, gone are the days for the longer trip and cheers for more time in discovering new places, learning new things and more road trips with family and friends.

Meanwhile, to kick off the year of the pig with travels, I was glad to be part of Lakbay Norte 8 Familiarization Tour, organized by North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB) and NLEX Corporation. It aims to promote beautiful destinations that could boost a rapid growth of tourism in North Luzon. And this year’s familiarization tour dubbed as Lakbay Norte 8 was all about re-discovering Clark, Subic and Aurora, in partnership with Victory Liner, Inc., Genesis Transport, Inc., Greater Clark Visitors Bureau, Subic Bay HATS Visitors Board and Aurora Visitors Bureau, Department of Tourism – Region 3, PTT and Jollibee Food Corporation. That was a 6 days and 5 nights of exploration up north.

Lakbay Norte 8: An Exploration Up North + 6D/5N CLARK – SUBIC – AURORA Itinerary
Lakbay Norte 8

During the tour, we stopped by at the Traffic Management Control Office of NLEX Corporation in SCTEX. Here, we learned about the ongoing and upcoming projects to serve the commuters way better. What captured my attention was the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 that starts from Karuhatan, Valenzuela City to C3 Road, Caloocan City that will help decongest the Port Area and would lessen the travel time from 1 hour to 10 minutes. And guys, it is already opened yesterday, February 28, 2019. Another project that I am excited about is that, NLEX connecting to the southern part of Manila (SLEX). Can’t wait to lessen my travel time from my work in Makati to our home in Marilao and vice versa. Definitely, great things are bound to happen in the north!

Lakbay Norte 8: An Exploration Up North + 6D/5N CLARK – SUBIC – AURORA Itinerary
The Traffic Control Management of NLEX Corporation at SCTEX

Meanwhile, summer is already coming and I know you are already planning and looking for a cool place to go to with your barkada, kapamilya and kapuso. Thus, I am going to share our 6D/5N Clark – Subic – Aurora Itinerary of unveiling wonderful places while making delightful experiences in Central Luzon. Your welcome!  

Day 1 || CLARK – Of great coffee, heritage tour, water-venture, glamping and unique experiences!

  • Gas up at PTT Station and learned about PTT Restroom 20, the first class restroom and well, the luxurious toilet amongst gas stations, you can use it for only Php20 which goes to the charity. Located at Bamban, Tarlac, a few kilometers away from the Clark northbound exit of SCTEX.
  • Breakfast at Café Amazon, which is also located at PTT-SCTEX.
  • A heritage tour at Angeles visiting Pamintuan Mansion, the 141-year-old Holy Rosary Parish Church and Le Gilid ni Pamintu Museum.
  • Animal feeding and vegetable harvesting at Tibby’s Farm.
  • Water-venture at Aqua Planet, the largest water park in the Philippines.
  • Dinner in the dark at Zoocobia Fun Zoo.
  • Glamping + cheese & wine kind-of-night at El Kabayo Clark Stables Picnic Grounds.

Lakbay Norte 8: An Exploration Up North + 6D/5N CLARK – SUBIC – AURORA Itinerary
highlights of Day 1 - CLARK

Day 2 || SUBIC – Of being MAD (Make A Difference) with nature and a relaxing sunset sailing!

  • Breakfast at Jollibee, Friendship, Angeles City branch.
  • Trekking at El Kabayo Subic Trail with MAD Travel and with some of the aetas as our local guides.
  • A posh stay at Le Charmé Suites - Subic.
  • Sunset sailing via Subic Sailing Club
  • Dinner at Teppan 101

And before our road trip continues up north, we had a quick visit at The Lighthouse Marina Resort and had a quick meet & greet with Jollibee to start our day with happy vibes ‘coz with Jollibee, “bida ang saya!”

Lakbay Norte 8: An Exploration Up North + 6D/5N CLARK – SUBIC – AURORA Itinerary
Highlights of Day 2 - SUBIC

  • Snack time at Balud Camp Beach Resort
  • Early dinner at Boardwalk Restaurant
  • Check-in at La Patricia Resort
  • Relaxing moment at Charlie Does
  • And more catch-up sessions with booze and music at Yellow Fin Bar & Grill

Well, the next day in Aurora was loaded of learnings and new discoveries with more food trips in between. 

  • Trekking to Ditumabo Falls (also known as Mother Falls)
  • Play at the mini golf course at Joker’s Hideaway
  • A visit to an organic farm, know the process of making wine with wine tasting (of course!) at Azbahen Leisure Farm Resort
  • Lunch at La Patricia Restaurant
  • An afternoon with the waves at Nalu Surf Camp
  • Enjoy foods, cocktails and music at Myrtle Food Park
  • Of course, there’s more to taste and enjoy! At Kubli Bistro, I enjoyed the All Meat Pizza + the all-time Pinoy favorites such as sisig, dinuguan and more, while a live acoustic band was serenading the diners.

The following day, it’s more of water activities in Aurora (yes, you read it right! Aurora is more than just a surfing destination) and more foods! 

  • Had an ocular visit and kayak-ing at Nature Green Resort
  • Boat tour, banana boat and UFO ride with Bouyancy Water Sports by Seasta Beach Reort
  • Swimming at Diguisit Beach and a boodle lunch came after at Cobra Reef Resort.
  • Visited the Baler Church, Doña Aurora house, Quezon Park, Museo de Baler and the Baler icon as part of the Historical tour.
  • An afternoon siesta and local chocolate making at Mumunsi Café; I liked the hot chocolate though.
  • Check-in at CUBE by Costa
  • Dinner at Bike Kings.
  • Cocktails and socials at Cube by Costa

Lakbay Norte 8: An Exploration Up North + 6D/5N CLARK – SUBIC – AURORA Itinerary
Highlights of Day 3 - 6 at AURORA

The days passed by just like that, definitely I had a great time for me not to check what time of the day it is during the trip. And when I thought that I already visited most of the awesome places in Baler, boy, I was wrong! There’s more!!! So, before we say an ibid goodbye to the people who made this trip awesome, we went to the following: 

  • Visited the 18 on Buton by Costa which is good for yuppies and millennials.
  • Bought pasalubong at Nanay Pacing’s; must-buy is the peanut butter.
  • Art appreciation kind-of-morning at Vincent Gonzales Art Museum.

So yeah, these places have a lot to offer so might as well, include these on your bucket list! Whether you’re up for an adventure, nature tripping and trekking, or just want to lounge and relax then you may opt to go to Clark, Subic, and Aurora! Stay tuned for more posts about what I can say about these hotels and resorts, share some experiences about the adventures, the food trips, the stays, and everything in between.

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