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All About District 3790

Anyone entering District 3790 from Manila, can not miss seeing the huge Rotary Wheel on top of the mountain in Bamban, Tarlac. This was constructed about twenty years ago, when the president of the Rotary Club of Tarlac was Reynaldo Cano Chua who decided that Tarlac is Rotary country. It was slightly damaged in 1991 when Mt. Pinatubo erupted and restored in 2005 as the Centennial project of the district.

We could mention some of the tourist places one can visit in the District. . . places not so publicized but worth the time to view.
Starting from the northern tip of the District in Ilocos Norte. . .
one can marvel at the pristine beaches of Pagudpud where many tourist places are not being developed to rival (in the future) the fabulous Boracay in the Visayas. Nearer to Laoag City are the Sand Dunes surrounding the ritzy Fort Ilocandia Hotel, a five star hotel in the "middle of nowhere." The place is now thriving with tourists from Taiwan which is only a little more than one hour away by plane.

Also in the area is Paoay where the then President Ferdinand Marcos built the Malacanang Ti Amianan (or Malacanang of the North) on the edge of the legendary Lake Paoay, surrounded by a world-class golf course. Underneath the awesome lake is reputed to be the sunken town, much like the fabled lost City of Atlantis! Laoag has its own International Airport with regular domestic and international flights.

Moving down to Ilocos Sur, one experiences traveling back through time. . . into the Spanish times. The whole city is like an "enlarged Intramuros" where most of the buildings were designed along Hispanic themes. Even the streets are still covered with cobbled stones called Vigan Tiles. . . except the few that were stripped and the tiles were taken elsewhere. The province also produces the biggest bulk (and the best quality) of Virginia tobacco. It can also boast of many heroes in the history of the country.

Skirting the "little province of Abra," one goes to La Union, known for its long stretch of beach front, dotted with tourist facilities and hotels of varying classifications, both for domestic and foreign tourists. With most of the regional offices located here, it has earned the name "Gateway to the North." It is also the center of education, with students from all over the Ilocos region flocking to its many schools.

Alongside the province of La Union is the mountain city of Baguio the Summer Capital of the Philippines, with its cool climate and world class facilities. It has also become a center of education, with so many schools (public and private) like the University of the Philippines, the Philippine Military Academy, St. Louis University, University of Baguio, and the other universities. Baguio City is a popular destination for conventions and athletic activities, specially golf.

And then there is Pangasinan one of the largest provinces in the country with so much attraction going for it. It is known for its many beach resorts, fishing villages and fishponds producing the best bangus (milkfish), mango orchards, and barley tobacco. The province also attracts religious tourists to the town of Manaoag where the shrine of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Manaoag is located. Of course history buffs would want to see where the "return of Gen. MacArthur" took place through the Lingayen Gulf. Tourists from all over still wonder if there are really are 100 islands in the so-called Hundred Islands in Alaminos. The City of Dagupan, which refused to die after the killer earthquake of 1990, recently established a mark in the Guinnes Book of World Record by building the longest Bangus grill in the world!

There is a new Monasterio de Tarlac which includes a new chapel housing the relic of the Holy Cross, opens every Saturday and Sunday for pilgrims. Tarlac has been dubbed as the "Melting Pot" of Central Luzon, having been carved out of the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, and Pampanga. Not too many know that the fabled Maria Clara is from Camiling, Tarlac, and that, contrary to popular belief that Clark Field is in Pampanga, 81% of the total land area of Clark Field is in Tarlac province. Here, one also finds, as mentioned earlier, the gigantic Rotary Wheel on top of the mountains of Bamban.

Pampanga has majestic Mt. Arayat jutting out of the vast plains of Central Luzon. Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon built a resting place on its side which exists up to this day, enjoyed by local tourists. San Fernando City is know for its giant lanterns envied by many. But most of all, Pampanga is know for its best tasting food and delicacies.

Historic Bataan is where one finds Mt. Samat made hallow by the blood of martyrs of World War II. This is where infamous Death March started, where American and Filipino war prisoners were made to march to the concentration camp in Capas, Tarlac. Many of them died along the way.

Zambales has politely declined efforts to industralize, as it concentrated on producing some of the country's best mangoes and inviting weary industrialists to is clean and beautiful beaches stretching along the whole length of the province. It has the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, which used to house the Subic Naval Base of the U.S.A. and is now the center for conventions and tourist facilities. The City of Olongapo is now the center of commerce in that part of the country.

As published in the February 2007 issue of the Philippine Rotary Magazine.

(provided by)

Henry Onia
RC Hundred Islands
D3790 Philippines


Dear Chairman Calum:

I read your e-mail to P.E. Henry Onia about the History of R.I. District 3790...and, without waiting for you to write me directly, I am authorizing you to make use of the article in any way or publication you feel appropriate. This authority is given by me not only as Editor-in-Chief of the Philippine Rotary magazine, but as the author of the article. I wrote that many years ago and have updated it as the need arises. Thank you so much for your appreciation...regards and more power.

Yours in Rotary
PDG Mar Un Ocampo III


Books and other writing by Paul Harris

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