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photos, Weekend Panoramas

Weekend Panoramas 3: Porac-Clark

Last weekend I went on a site hunting trip for my Landscape Architecture thesis. I must admit, this site hunt gave me a valid reason to roam around the plains of Pampanga, an academic as well as a leisure/educational activity. I have regretted not exploring Surigao del Sur and Nueva Vizcaya when I still had the chance – I was born and had lived in Surigao del Sur for the first 13 years of my life, then we moved to Nueva Vizcaya in the next 6 years – so I wanted to explore the province where I currently live in before my parents get the opportunity to move the family somewhere else.

I brought along my roommate and my forever spontaneous gala partner, Gaye. Geared up and excited, we prayed and prayed for the skies to clear on the weekend. I had three prospective sites in mind for my thesis, all (intentionally) in Pampanga.

I planned for us to see Miyamit Falls at Sapanguwak, Porac last Saturday, but the tricycle driver turned out to be an idiot. He said he knew where Sapanguwak was when actually he doesn’t. To cut the long story short I, Gaye, my Dadi, and his friend walked around the field beside SCTEX for almost two hours, lost and confused without a map (not that fields do have maps, even Google Earth can’t provide a map of a talahiban), and gave up the trek to Miyamit Falls when we finally found out that we were still far from Sapanguwak. It was frustrating, but I did enjoy walking along the tall grasses and on branching dirt roads and just getting out of the hustle-bustle of city life.

The shot above was taken while I and Gaye were walking the length SCTEX to get to Hacienda Dolores to get a tricycle to take the group to the car which was parked at the munisipyo. It was about 10AM, and the sun was beating down on our faces and necks. Pampanga, being a land of plains and fields, has its own micro-climate wherein the sun’s rays sting and the heat burns like hell. Believe me, summer in Pampanga is super-summer, and it’s not even summer in the Philippines anymore!

Next we went to the abandoned housing subdivision in Clark, Angeles. This little ghost town has fascinated me since I first saw it last April. Trees and grasses started growing on and around the derelict houses, and I can already imagine the Fern Gully-like world that will emerge if Clark Development Corporation will not destroy the structures and develop something else in the vicinity. Horror, fantasy – you can create your own story in this little ghost town.

^That’s my roommate Gaye. We found a path obscured from the road by wild plants, it went on and on through more grass to a place we don’t and can’t go. I would have loved to walk along the path to find out where it ends, but my Dad was waiting on the other side of the road. Besides, we might get lost.

I just love walking around fields and on paths, away from highways and civilization. I don’t just roam free physically, but my mind becomes active and stories start weaving out of my head, my imagination goes wild and the sky – or a mountain, or the sea, or a dead end – is the limit. I believe this is one importance of having a green space; aside from providing a place to rest and relax it provides an opportunity for the mind to think without worry, to conjure dreams and fantasies that cannot be afforded in the rigid and time-bound structure of an urban setting.

My first day of weekend site hunting was a mix of frustration and childish abandon.


About klacenklai

Klarizza Jose is a landscape architect by day, dreamer and digital artist by night, and is in an on-again off-again relationship with coffee.


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All illustrations, drawings, photos and content are © Klarizza Jose unless otherwise stated. Please do not download, copy, alter, distort, and use without permission. For inquiries please send me an email at klacenklai@gmail.com.
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