Located in the southwestern part of Tarlac, Capas is considered one of the most progressive towns in the province. Capas is a relatively big town divided into twenty barangays, one of which is Brgy. Estrada where Amaia Scapes Capas is located. There are good reasons land developers are eyeing Brgy. Estrada as well as the other premier barangays in this highly urbanized municipality namely Cut-cut 1st, Sto. Domingo II and Sto. Rosario.
One of these reasons is the ever-booming tourism. Capas is a hodgepodge of history, nature, and adventure. The local government takes pride in these attractions.
1) Death March Monument
Symbolized by an inverted V structure, the Death March Monument aims to glorify the valiance of more than 70,000 Filipino and American soldiers as well as that of the civilians who joined the death march in April 1942. At the foot and sides of the structure are images depicting the inhumane treatment of the Japanese regime. The monument is a historical marker located near the town proper.
2) Capas National Shrine
Formerly known as the Capas Prisoners of War Concentration Camp, the Capas National Shrine is actually an obelisk with a bell at its center. The site where the obelisk was built is the ultimate destination point of the death march. It’s a memorial to the thousands of soldiers who joined the march and died during the World War II. The 54-hectare parkland also dedicates 35 hectares to these soldiers where trees are planted in rows to represent each. The shrine is in the western part of Capas, a seven-kilometer distance from the town proper.
3) Tambo Lake
Interestingly, the eruption also leads to the outgrowth of specific spots such as this natural lagoon the locals called Tambo Lake. Before it became a freshwater lake, the place is a vast rice field. Nowadays, it is considered as the primary source of water of the Aetas living near the area. If you’ll embark on an ATV adventure going to Mt. Pinatubo Crater, you will pass through the Tambo Lake trail, experiencing the muddy river and dusty and rocky terrain.
4) Mt. Pinatubo Crater
Although geographically located in Pampanga, the Mt. Pinatubo, with the devastation left by its eruption in 1991, is one of the most visited spots. Going to the crater alone is an experience you’ll never forget. If you are planning to go there, the easiest route is via Sta. Juliana, a rather quiet barangay that witnessed a surcharge of adventurous souls almost everyday. A 4×4 ride and a 30-minute trek are required before you may savor the picturesque crater lake.
5) Mt. Telakawa
For hikers who are looking for a more challenging climb, Mt. Telakawa will surely make the cut. It is the “straw hat-shaped” mountain found on the boundaries of Sta. Juliana and Maruglu. Mt. Telakawa, which literally means ‘a pot placed upside down,’ stands at 630 meters above sea level. Its summit lets you experience a breathtaking view of Mt. Pinatubo and the vastness of the lahar field.
6) Mt. Canouman
Yet another challenging and dangerous mountain to climb is Mt. Canouman. Mt. Canouman is known as the mountain of spirits. In terms of surface area, it can be considered as the largest. The summit can be reached through a 10-hour hike from Sitio Salangui.
7) Mt. Dalin
Dubbed as the smaller straw hat mountain, Mt. Dalin is the easier hike. The best part is it’s near Peniel House of Prayer, a 300-peak prayer mountain and campsite at the same time. Mt. Peniel also has dormitories that are available for rent.
8) Mt. Bueno
Mt. Bueno is called as such because it is located in Brgy. Bueno. The mountain has some hot springs due to the volcanic heat that Mt. Pinatubo produces. Mt. Pinatubo is just 10 kilometers away from Mt. Bueno. While at it, you may also explore the Bueno Falls and enjoy its 20 feet drop.
Several other unexplored tourism spots abound Capas. So, don’t be surprised if more and more people are heading north to visit the town.