Nayong Pilipino: A Miniature Philippines
by Danny Tariman
It was a hot morning in Pampanga. We were in the area of Clark Air Base, beside the international airport. We decided that since we are already in Pampanga, we might as well visit the Nayong Pilipino.
The term “Nayong Pilipino” is the vernacular for “Philippine Village”. The park is clustered into various regions depicting the different regions of the Philippines. It used to be located just near the Manila International Airport but about a decade ago, but the government transferred the park to accommodate the expansion of the airport.
Once inside park, you will see a fountain with live fish at the pond. This is a good place to start your photo shoot.
Shops selling all sorts of souvenir items line the paths. Specially-printed shirts, bracelets, handicrafts, paintings, toys are the more common of these items.
A number of tribes are represented in the village-park. One of them is the Kalinga Village from the mountain province. You will see the ‘village’ with traditional native huts. You can actually climb up the hut to see the inside. There is also a replica of the rice terraces although not really a good copy.
We were able to observe a young lady dressed in traditional tribal dress, weaving a cloth. She explained to us how to insert the pin through the yarn. The finished hand-woven cloth can be made into bags, shawl, or as a wrap-around cloth.
Near the administration building is a pond with live golden tilapia. We were fortunate to have a brief chat with the Park Director himself who treated us like “special guests”. He toured us around the pond and told us some stories and his plan for the park.
Some more walk and you will find yourself to a place like a town square. The structures are like stone/brick houses that mimics perhaps the old Tagalog houses. I has also some museum artifacts. The park also had an “old” church, well just replica.
We had a photo shoot in an old caretela – a horse-drawn cart – which is the popular mode of transportation in Manila during the Spanish era. There is also an old train, I believe this is an old locomotive transferred from the Philippine National Railways in Manila.
The highlight of our afternoon tour was a cultural show of rondalla (stringed instrument like a small guitar with 12 strings, I think), and folk dance. We watched several traditional Pilipino dances: the tinikling, the pandango sa ilaw, the singkil, and many more! It was really a treat for my family to watch this show.
An educational tour for all!