What more could be a better way to celebrate the Philippine Independence Day yesterday (June 12) than a peek to the country’s sights, culture and history in Nayong Pilipino. Its a themed park that oozes with nostalgia and celebration of the Filipino spirit. The few hectare community alike features various elements and sceneries that gives glimpses of Philippine’s history & culture.
Nayong Pililipino showcases realistic replicas of some of the most significant structures and places in the Philippines such as the Barasoian Church, Ifugao and Aeta village, the houses of Mabini, Aguinaldo and Rizal and it even had a mini-banaue rice teracces.My half-day adventure on the park led me to visit the following attractions:
1. Historical Structures
Unlike the typical diorama that shows miniature replicas, the Nayong Pilipino have real-life replicas. Each buildings, from the facade to the actual height and design, were copied. And so, you visit an alternate real structures of historical places all in one park which is very convenient because you don’t have to go to various places to see each one.
A roster of replica structures circles the Spanish colonial inspired plaza. The rustic cobblestones, bougenvillas and a multi-layered classic fountain rears its demeanor charm. It takes you back to the old Philippines when the go-to place is “the plaza”.
The plaza faces the life-sized replica of the famous historic structure Barasoain Church in Malolos Bulacan. Barasoain Church was famous for housing the first Philippine Congress in 1898 that led to the Philippine’s First Republic’s inauguration. Hence, the church was considered as one of the most important churches in the Philippines.
In between the plaza and the compound historical prominent houses is a pathway turned photo gallery exists. Here you can see the photos of Philippine heroes and some Filipinos in costumes channeling the Filipino spirit of nationalism.
Prominent Houses in Philippine History
If I would describe this compound in one word, it would be “surreal”. The residences here are replicas of houses of Jose Rizal, Philippine national hero; Andres Bonifacio, The Father of Revolution and the Aguinaldo Shrine where Emilio Aguinaldo whom is the First President of the Republic of the Philippines, first wave the Philippine Flag on June 12, 1898.
2. On Culture
Visit two of the provinces in Cordillera Administrative Region on a whim. Experience the indigenous culture of Ifugao and Kalinga through the mini-villages that depicts the traditional life in the mountains. Apart from this villages, the park also have Museo sa Nayon that shows the most intricate and rare traditionally weaved fabrics in the Philippines.
Ifugao in its entreaty is a province where the roots of Ifugao people sprang.The Ifugaos had been around for thousands of years now. They are famous for the creation of the majestic Ifugao rice terraces which became one of the seven wonders of the world and a UNESCO heritage site. It was considered an important creation that relates to farming since it was created the traditional way without the help of machines.
Similar to Ifugao, Kalinga is a province where a tribe traces its origin. The term Kalinga came from words Ibang and Gaddang which means Headhunters. It was said that headhunting was designed for nobles in the past so the Kalingas take pride to themselves. If you haven’t been to Kalinga, it is known for waterfalls, hot springs and rivers that certainly attracts many tourists.
Museo sa Nayon
The museum is known for having the largest collection of traditionally weaved fabrics in the Philippines. Most of the fabrics are rare because they date back as early as hundreds of years.
3. Additional Amenities
Apart from culture and history, the Nayong Pilipino also have other attractions. It includes:
Numerous varieties of Orchids are being grown at the Nayon Pilipino’s greenhouse. If you want to grow your own orchids, you can buy seedlings at the cottage situated before you enter the Orchidarium.
The restaurant offers a lot of food choices that you can choose from. Whether its for breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner, they have it all. Just take note that the place mainly serve Kapangpangan dishes.
Bahay Kubo and Bahay na Bato
There are Bahay Kubo (Filipino Nipahut) and Bahay na Bato (Stone house) that you can rent or lodged in for days. This is a very enticing offering for people who wanted to stay in the city but at the same time want to experience the traditional Filipino vibe.
Buy personalized Nayong Pilipino stuffs for at least php100. They have fans, shirts, bags, wood carvings and etc. You can spot souvenir shops as you roam within the park.
My time spent in Nayong Pilipino is fun and emersing . It is a family and child-friendly park that allows visitors to experience leisure while knowing more about the Philippines. I just hope that they have food kiosks around so not many people flock in Salangi restaurant.
Open Hours & Days: Monday to Sunday, 8 am to 6 pm
Entrance: Adult, 150; Senior Citizen, 120; Kid, 100
Trivia: Nayong Pilipino was formerly situated beside NAIA 3 in Manila, then transferred in 2007 in Clark, Pampanga.
Where: Nayong Pilipino-Clark
Travel Origin: Nueva Ecija
Travel Time: 2-3 hrs