Mt. Arayat National Park gets a facelift

See the P10 million newly renovated Mt. Arayat National Park with new facilities and attractions which are now open for foreign and local tourists alike this summer season.

Located 95 kilometers north of Manila in Barangay San Juan Bano, Arayat, Pampanga, the national park is a major tourist destination in Central Luzon that can attract 5,000 persons in single day.

Alex Balagtas, tourism office of Arayat said the new features and amenities of the national park are five swimming pools including a mega one, cottages, villas, picnic areas, children’s playground, hiking, biking, and camping sites for vacationers to enjoy.

Balagtas said adults and children alike can have a unique experience with the swimming pools as the water is being supplied by pristine spring water direct from the mountains.

Balagtas, a former vice mayor of Arayat said the spring water coming from the mountain has medicinal value particularly for senior citizen suffering arthritis.

According to the former vice mayor, those who want to experience the cool evening wind even during summer can stay overnight at the peak of the national park for P1,500 for ten persons under the watchful eyes of the 30 highly qualified tourists guides trained by the Technical Educational And Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Central Luzon.

He said that even President Manuel Quezon who declared the mountain as national park in 1933 and Dona Aurora used to relax at their Kaledian Estate at this mountain resort every weekend

The resort mountain has total area of 3,715 hectares of agricultural land wherein about 100 hectares was fully develop for recreational areas specially for hiking and amounting climbing, Balagtas said.

At sunrise you can see the stunning views of Central Luzon specially in the southern part (Arayat) which is the famous Pampanga River, in the north is Pampanga Agricultural College (Magalang), while in the west is the Zambales and Bataan mountains and in east is the famous Sierra Madre ranges.

The villas are for rent at Php1,500 each that can accommodate ten persons while the cottage fir Php1,000. Parking is no problem at all as huge open spaces is available.

The general entrance fee is Php 70.00 per persons. During peak season, tourists can reach as many as 5,000 persons a day assisted by full time 50 regular staffs of the resort, Balagtas said.

Former President Quezon, the second of the sixteen of the presidents of the country declared Mt. Arayat as a national park in 1933 by the virtue of Republic Act. 7690.

The national park was previously run by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources until it was transferred with the local government unit on the basis of a memorandum of agreement entered into between them of 1983.

The Mt. Arayat is the home of 86 species of wild birds, 49 species of trees, 14 species of mammals, and 11 species of reptiles. (Romeo Dizon)

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