It was a hot and humid weather that greeted us when we started to shoot for #ProjectIceCream. This was the fourth serving of the project and my second in attendance. The project featured the designs of Instagram friend, @vansquared32, and modeled by her muses - IG: @aizeecream, IG: @mellangela, and Kim.
In contrast with previous shoots where the beach is the background, Van chose a venue that is closer to home - the Tarlac Recreational Park. The sprawling complex sits on a 78-hectare land in San Jose, Tarlac City and boasts of world-class sport facilities in the midst of verdant greens of the province. It played host to the Palarong Pambansa in 2010 and the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Meet in 2009 and 2013.
The TRP, also known as the Jose V. Yap Recreational Sports Center, was the brainchild of Jose Yap who envisioned a sports complex in Tarlac City that would be at par with international standards. But it was his son, Victor Yap, who made the dream a reality during his term as Governor of the province. At present, the recreational park is a favorite hang-out of locals and tourists who are up for either a lazy or a very adventurous afternoon.
The Fiery Muse of Passion
@mellangela was at her element during her shoot. She was first garbed in a yellow gown where she glowed with fiery passion. The flowing yellow gown with its intricate designs was a fit to the tee. She was simply fierce and as fierce as the sun that was beating down on us during the shoot.
In the same way, the Tarlac Recreational Park is a product of passion for passion. It is a sports complex so you can expect to be treated with facilities that will spark the inner athlete in you. At the center of the complex is the track oval and the grandstand. This is where the young passionate minds once stood to face their opponents and their victories.
TRP has complete sports amenities for budding athletes – running tracks, basketball courts, Olympic-size pools, etc. Its design is one that mirrors excellence and inspiration. I guess this is where inspiration takes their first step in the mind of a would-be athlete. This is where a young mind feels the excitement of every practice and every game that would take them to achieving their dreams.
Our muse had the same energy and passion when she shifted from her yellow dress to the one in orange. You could still feel the same emotions from her even with the change. This was her – a person that is passionately driven to pursue her dreams. She would valiantly face every obstacle and challenges with a fierce attitude because she knows the reward that goes with every sacrifice, just like the athletes and budding athletes who stepped into this complex.
The Vibrant Muse of Life
Vibrant and bubbly, Kim is probably the wackiest among the three muses of v4. She is comfortable with herself that she can crack her own jokes about herself. But after she dons the make-up and the gown, you can watch her burst into sophistication.
The Tarlac Recreational Park is more than just a sports facility. The sprawling park is also a place for those who love nature because of the lush greeneries within its complex. It is so vast that dirt trails were set up along its rugged terrain where guests can hike, bike, or even take the ATV to explore its dirt trails.
A small man-made lagoon can also be found within its complex and it completes the vibe of being close to nature. The lake provides a great place for meditation or for some peace and quiet. The lake is also a great spot to watch the sun as it sets along the horizon as you enjoy the cool afternoon breeze.
Elegantly wearing the vibrant colors of blue and green, Kim evokes the vibe that is full of life. Her laughter breaks the monotony of the photoshoot. She gives life to the amazing works of @vansquared32 and she does it with relative ease. The way she stares and the way she arches her body speaks before she breaks into her joyful laughter.
The Regal Muse of the Heart
At the heart of this project is @aizeecream. If I am not mistaken, she was one of the reasons why #Project_IceCream was conceptualized. Her tandem with @vansquared32 had given birth to creative works from the couture until the actual photo outputs. As our muse steps into the scene, the team is amazed by her transformation. She is elegant in pink and the color matched her personality.
At the heart of the Tarlac Recreational Park is the vision to provide a Tarlaquenos with a facility that will help develop the ideals of perseverance and sportsmanship. It provides access to local athletes to world class facilities where they can develop their sports skills and talent.
The Tarlac Recreational Park has reinvented itself to not only cater to the sports-minded but it has creatively molded itself to become a favorite destination for families. Its water facilities include an Olympic-size pool and a small leisure play area for kids. It now offers recreational activities like biking and kayaking where you get to explore the nooks and crannies of the park. It is still in the process of arranging other interesting activities that will definitely attract more locals and guests to the park.
Regal in a purple gown, our muse is one lady that has no qualms in reinventing herself. She loves the adventure and she is not afraid to face the uncertainties. She is always ready for the unexpected with a character that she wears on her sleeves, in this case, on her gown. She knows that it all boils down to what is in her heart, no matter how she reinvents herself.
Post Travel Notes
The Tarlac Recreational Park is a good weekend destination for those looking for a quick weekend or day escape where they can try a laid back atmosphere. It is a good spot for family bonding as the park has a lot of activities that will allow you to bond.
A lot of improvements still needs to be done for the park to be able to address the needs of its guests, like a decent café or accommodations. There is a huge potential for the park to make a bigger mark as a weekend destination with the improvements and the planned additional recreational activities.
As I sat on top of the grandstand enjoying the breeze and the view of Tarlac City from afar, it was nice to see that I am enjoying the realization of a vision of a local official to improve the lives of his fellow Tarlaquenos. We cannot discount that it was Jose Yap’s passion, life, and heart that brought the project to life... just like our three muses.
Getting there: You can take a bus going to Baguio or Pangasinan and ask to be dropped off at the bus stops in Tarlac City. Most of these buses make Tarlac City one of their stopover points. From these bus stops, you can take a tricycle to bring you to the Tarlac Recreational Park.
Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.