Mexico: Pampanga’s rising star


MEXICO, Pampanga. A historical yet progressive town located at the heart of the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, Pampanga.

Not to be mistaken with the country in Northern America, Mexico town is adjacent to Pampanga’ capital, city of San Fernando, and is just a few hours away from Metro Manila. The town houses some of the famous historical sites and notable landmarks of the Philippines.

A one-day visit at this beautiful and rising town will not be enough to discover and appreciate its wonders. But as a Kapampangan who proud of its roots, let me take you to a virtual tour on one of the Pampanga’s pride.

One of the famous structure that houses one of the famous Kapampangan personality, the Hizon Ancestral House. It is the home of Kapampangan chef and culinary authority Atching Lilia Lising-Borromeo. The ancestral house located at Barangay Parian, Mexico Pampanga. Originally owned by the family Doña Maura Hizon-Lorenzano, the old house now serves as the kitchen on the culinary wonders of Atching Lilian.

Maximino Hizon monument, the structure made in remembrance to one of the greatest Kapampangan revolutionary hero can be seen at the Municipal Hall grounds. Hizon was born and raised in Mexico, Pampanga. He joined the Katipunan in 1896 and has played significant roles on the revolution for the independence of the Philippines. One of which is embodying the role of Commandate General of Pampanga during the latter part of the Spanish colonization.

Mexico - Old Santa Monica Church Bell Tower

The Old Santa Monica Church Bell Tower is the only remnant of the Sta. Monica Parish Church which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1880. The Belfry tower is made of stone and bricks is believed to be one of the oldest remaining structures in Pampanga that depicts the Hispanic period.

Mexico - San Jose Matulid Chapel

San Jose Matulid Chapel is believed to be the oldest church in Pampanga. Although there are no written records that show the exact construction of the chapel, the locals claim that it is older than the Sta. Monica Parish Church which was built by the Augustinian friars in 1665. San Jose Matulid chapel could have been built in the late 1580’s.

The Rotonda Sto. Domingo is also a notable structure located in Mexico, Pampanga. It serves as the turning point for different major roads in Mexico. It also leads to four towns in the province namely Sta. Ana and Mexico of the province’s third district and San Simon and San Luis of the fourth district.

Mexico, Pampanga is also the home of many historical traditions and cultural festivals. Some of which are:

A celebration of “Mexico Day” is also held during April 24th. This is the date of establishment of the town and parish church (April 24, 1581). A procession of different patron saints of every barangay is held during this day.

The celebration of Mexico Town Fiesta is set on May 4 in honor of its patron saint, Sta. Monica (mother of St. Augustine).

On September 4, the people of Mexico celebrate the feast of Virgen dela Consolacion y Correa (Our Lady of Consolation and Cord; Patroness of the Augustinian Order) during which they receive blessed cinctures imitating the gesture of the Virgin Mary giving her own cincture to Saint Monica during her grief and sorrow at her son’s misgivings.

September 10 is considered the Sanikulas Festival: a festival made in honor Saint Nicolas. During this time, bread/cookies (a local delicacy in the town with arrowroot as their main ingredient) are given away and eaten. The pastries are believed to be blessed and miraculous and are eaten by children, elderlies and sick people. Atching Lilia Lising-Borromeo is also famous in baking San Nicolas cookies.

Over the years, Mexico, Pampanga also underwent major development. Some of its agricultural lands were converted into private subdivisions which are now visited for their distinct amenities. Some of which are:

  • Lakeshore – a world-class residential, commercial and recreational development project of Central Country Estate Incorporated. It is famous for its 12-hectare man-made lake that is framed by the majestic visage of mythical Mount Arayat. Lakeshore is usually used as location for movies, TV series, and pre-nuptial and debut shootings.
  • Sorrento – a 20-hectare first-class residential park developed by Camella Homes. Houses here are notable for its Italian class villages-inspired designs.
  • Beverly Place – is a project of the Sta. Lucia Realty. It is said to be designed to become the premiere shopping and business capital of Central Luzon.

For a quick stay, Mexico, Pampanga also houses a Sogo Hotel branch. It is located in Barangay Lagundi, right in front of the longest mall in the country, SM City Pampanga.

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Lea Ann David