Tarlac Recreational Park
Let’s have a sports party!
Well at least that’s what my sister and I wanted. So we sent out invites to friends to come along with us to Tarlac Recreational Park or TRP (officially called Jose V. Yap Sports and Recreational Complex). It’s a 78 hectare hilly terrain with different sports facilities such as football fields and courts for basketball, volleyball and sepak takraw. What’s amazing is that you can enjoy these for free!
I’ve been there several times and have been impressed with its continuous development. My first few visits in 2011 did not include a lot of activities. I mostly ran the tracks with some friends. My second visit involved a picnic with friends before a white water kayaking adventure (not in the same place). But as of today, there are more available things to do.
LET’S HAVE A SPORTS PARTY!
Beginners to professional runners will love this place like I did (a casual runner). They have an Olympic-size oval where one can comfortably practice different kinds of runs since the rolling terrain provided goes uphill and downhill. I also went trail running before and enjoyed wandering with pleasant landscape views.
I always see bikers in the area whenever I’m in San Jose. This gave me an idea to invite my biking friends over. Ronnie and Robbi rode from Tarlac City to TRP and for their round trip, it took them an estimated distance of 26km. I asked them how come bikers like the place, Ronnie shared four points.
- The road is challenging because of the steep hills.
- Bikers run on asphalt road which provides a nice ride.
- There are no heavy vehicles in the road, adding safety for beginners and professional bikers.
- The destination has a rewarding view.
Aside from road biking, mountain biking is also possible with its vast and various terrains. Bikers should also be excited with the BMX track in progress.
The complex also provides a grass field which enables visitors to play soccer. I’m not a soccer player but our friends: Dan, Rafael, and Francis are so they played on the greenery. With the luxury of space that the place provides, who wouldn’t enjoy kicking the ball as hard as you can and still see where it’ll go. However, Daniel said the soccer field could use a permanent marking. Plus, better grass management for a better playing experience if it can’t afford an artificial turf yet.
When I saw their ATVs (all-terrain vehicle) near their office, I had a feeling they had started to rent it out. Oh joy! I was right. I’m so happy because I have always wanted to ride one. However, we didn’t rent the ATVs that day. Instead, we rode on Daniel’s Nissan Patrol off road to explore the area beyond the lake. It was fun following the tracks made for the ATVs and seeing running random farm animals roaming around. Unfortunately, the sun started to set so we headed back to the city for dinner.
We had limited time in TRP so were unable to try all the new activities. Upon getting the TRP’s info sheet, I’ll definitely go back and make sure I experience the others.
TRP can provide a friendly camping environment for beginner campers. They have source of water, toilet, and tents for rent. You can bring your tent too. Since I haven’t camped out before, I hope I can arrange one with a beautiful full moon and sparkling stars in a clear night sky.
I’ll practice swimming in TRP next time since I don’t know how to seriously swim yet. They were just constructing the pool for kids the last time we went there. I didn’t notice that the pool had an Olympic standard! Cheers to that. TRP is not only for the serious athletes but also for those who are looking for fun.
More Water Sports
Kayaking in TRP lagoon offers calm and steady ride (compared to Rapid Stream’s adrenaline pumping white water kayaking). They also have pedal boat for rent for those who don’t want to paddle. People now can also fish here and bring home four big fishes! Surely, my little cousins from Australia will love these activities once they arrive on April.
For those looking for picnic grounds or a lazy day with nature, TRP rents out cottages, tables, and chairs. I suggest that you have your picnic anytime except 10am to 3pm where the sun shines the strongest. It can get pretty hot.
They also have the pavilion, PA (public announcement) system, and projector & widescreen for rent for special occasions.
- Is it for free?
Entrance is for free but activities are not.
- How much will it cost for the activities?
It depends on what activity and how long you’re going to use the facility or equipment. Learn more by checking out this page.
- How to get there?
As of now, the easiest way is via a private car. I don’t know any public transportation directly going or passing by TRP (except maybe if you hire a PUV). Here’s a map.