Death March Markers, Monument and the Capas National Shrine
Death March Monument At kilometer 106 in Capas, the Japanese forces then unloaded their Filipino and American prisoners from boxcars to continue the Death March. The dead ones, they dumped right on the spot. Built in the 1960s, an inverted V-shape marks this place in memory of the perished. On the structure’s foot and in both its sides, a sculpture that depicts the inhumanity experienced during the Japanese regime may be seen. A children’s playground has been built within the monument’s compound, ironically, to represent the now-experienced freedom of the country. It has been said that the inverted-V is visible through Google Maps.
Ninoy Aquino Ancestral House
National Hero Ninoy Aquino is a known son of Tarlac. Born in the quiet town of Concepcion, Ninoy Aquino resided at this old house, along with the memories and roots of three generations of a humble family since 1939. The Ninoy Aquino Ancestral House still holds the family’s charm as echoed by the pictures along the walls, furniture that still make the house warm, and other artefacts that shout remembrances. The ancestral house is just a walking distance from the Concepcion Municipal Hall, where Ninoy once served as Mayor before becoming the Provincial Governor and then Senator. Said hall is another historical place that appears in the current 500-peso bill.
Tarlac Provincial Capitol
The highest seat of political power of the province is located at a hill in Barangay San Vicente, Tarlac City. Built in 1909, the Tarlac Provincial Capitol stands tall and proud to this day. During the Japanese occupation, the capitol was vacated and then used as the provincial headquarters of the Imperial Army. It suffered great damages during the Second World War, but in 1946, the United States of America helped rebuild and improve its structure. Because of its historical background, the picture of the capitol’s façade appears in the current 500 peso bill.
Aquino Center and Museum
A quick tour around this museum will surely bring you back to that special time in history when the country shouted as one. This museum, dedicated to the many memorabilia of the Aquino Family, houses the mementoes of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino from when he was a photographer in the Korean War in the 1950’s, up until he was assassinated in 1983. The stories of the Martial Law, the Aquino Family during Ninoy’s senatorial stint, when Ninoy was exiled to the United States, and his return to the country – to prove that he has always wanted to serve – all echo across the walls of this peaceful and serene structure. Photos and personal belongings of the former President Corazon C. Aquino have been added since her death to honour her and the unforgettable contributions she had to freedom during the People Power of 1986. A mini-theater features short films of the couple’s lives, viewed during tours. The center, with modern facilities and spacious function rooms and convention hall, offers the perfect venue for different occasions.
San Sebastian Cathedral
The San Sebastian Cathedral is found at the heart of Tarlac City, across the Tarlac Plazuela, at one end of F.Tañedo Street. It was once the venue of the commencement excercise of the Cientifico Literaria Universidad de Filipinas in 1899, when then-Honorable Emilio Aguinaldo was the president of the republic and of the university. Now, the cathedral is one that is frequently visited by pilgrims because of the exposed Blessed Sacrament housed in a chapel inside of it. Recently constructed inside is the cathedral’s baptistery.
Our Lady of Lourdes
The park is carved along a hilly area near the national highway in Tarlac and is quite visible from the road with its imposing Grotto of the Virgin Mary pedestalled on the hill. A 100-step stairway has to be made before reaching the grotto or the Bamban caves. The area is characterized by Stretches of roadside mini-restaurants and bonsai farms – all catering to commuters bound for the north. People visit the place to pay homage to the Blessed Mother or to do mountain trekking on the side.
Carlos P. Romulo Memorial Library
General Carlos P. Romulo, born on January 14, 1898 in Camiling, is one of the most prominent and respected figures of Tarlac. He is an alumnus of the Tarlac National High School, where he received his educational foundations. When he later studied higher education in the University of the Philippines, he was considered to be an outstanding student. A journalist, author and publisher, he was able to write twelve books in the English Language. He also received 82 honorary degrees from different international institutions and universities and 74 ribbons from foreign countries, including a Pulitzer Prize. With his achievements, the Manuel Roxas Library was renamed Carlos P. Romulo Memorial Library in his honor. Said library houses countless reference materials, including those which date back to the 60’s, which are often used by students and government employees. In 2013, the library, along with Tarlac National High School, and under the initiative of Governor Victor Yap, became a beneficiary of the Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station or STARBOOKS, a resource tool that contains a huge collection of digitized Science and Technology resources in both text and video/audio formats on a wide range of topics. This adds up to the collection of knowledge the library envisions to share to the Tarlaqueños.
Maria Clara Museum
In Camiling, Tarlac, what once was the humble abode of Leonor Rivera now stands as an edifice of countless memories. Immortalized through Maria Clara in the novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, by Jose P. Rizal, many visit this mini-museum to feel what love binds the National Hero to Leonor. Preserved inside are priceless pieces like jewelry and musical boxes, photographs, and ornate pieces like furniture.