Angeles City is not just about beer and women but there are a wealth of things to keep you occupied in Clark Freeport Zone (it is the size of Singapore), which you can enter by the Main Gate by jeepney near SM Clark or by taxi. Of course many people arrive at Clark airport with one of the several budget airlines that operate from there, and even stay at one of the resorts, hotels, country club or leisure park inside Clark F Z. There are theaters, monuments, historical buildings to see. To keep you occupied there is horse-riding, golf courses, country clubs, theme parks, a zoo and a nature park. There are spas, hot springs, casinos, shops, ultra lights, target ranges, speedway and duty free shopping. And if that is not enough there are many first class restaurants.
It is not surprising that many visitors arrive at Clark and never leave the Freeport Zone.
Another old building dated from 1860 is now used as a restaurant and private banquets as well as other functions. The best carpenters came from Vigan, the famous city in the north to construct it. In 1988 the owner, Jose Paras started to renovate it and is now very popular due to its colonial history.
One of the oldest buildings in Angeles has been converted into a pizza joint--- serving pizzas and pastas---the original owner would turn over in his grave. It was originally constructed in 1840 by the first mayor of Angeles, Don Ciriaco De Miranda, and was evened used as a grains warehouse until the 1960's, but it was later restored and now the restaurant is a favorite among the locals.
In 1824 Don Angel Pantaleon De Miranda (founder of Angeles) constructed his new house with some materials he managed to save from his old house such as stone and tree trunks which he used for the foundation, and it is now the best preserved and oldest house in Angeles. There is a historical plaque on the outside wall which unfortunately is not in English. And more bad news---there were security guards outside the house and obviously it was being used as some type of offices, so visitors are unable to gain access to this building in Sto Rosario Street.
Don Mariano built this house in the 1890's for his son who was the mayor back then, but General Luna lived there while head of the Revolutionary Army against the Americans at the turn of the century. Emilio Aguinaldo, General Mcarthur and Japanese Kamakazi pilots also occupied the house. The Central Bank of The Philippines purchased the house in 1981, restored it then became regional headquarters of the bank.
Museo ning Angeles is housed in a historical building which should be a museum piece itself. There are not too many artifacts there as it only opened in 1999, but it is free to enter (although there is a donation box) and the museum staff will show you around. The building was constructed in 1921 and served as the municipal hall until it was converted to the museum. Downstairs you will see a room with Don Angel Pataleon De Miranda in it who was the founder of the city in 1976 . Back then it was just a small barrio called Culiat but Don Angel attempted to make it a self governing town but the church was against this and prevented him from doing so until 1829 when it became its own municipality. It was renamed El Pueblo De Los Angeles in honor of the great man.
Still downstairs you will find photographs and displays of action during the war and the development of the city. Upstairs there is a culinary room which shows old kitchen ware and utensils from previous times as well as photographs of local food as Pampangans were known as first class cooks.
Between 1877 and 1896 this church was built by local men aged from 16 to 60 that were forced to do so under Spanish rule. A few years later it was used as a military hospital by the Americans.
The church is located in the old part of the city across the road from the museum in Sto Rosario Street. Inside you can see paintings around the walls, chandaliers.
Located in Sto Rosario Street the university was the first private Catholic school in the country that was established in 1933 and stands on a 7 hectare campus with over 17,000 students. I was first attracted to it aas i noticed a courtyard with around 12 statues in it, but unfortunately the guard would not admit me, even to take a photograph. The view from the street is quite restricted and i was unable to find a suitable vantage point to capture a decent photo of the statues. The main building was a large ugly concrete edifice, but whether there are older buildings on the campus, i am not sure.
Nearly every town in the Philippines has a Abad Santos Street and often a statue and Angeles is no exception as his statue is found in Santo Rosario Street standing proudly outside the museum. He was born in 1886 and was acting president (as Pres Quezon chose to leave the country to shelter in the USA) of the Philippines before the Japanese executed him in 1942. He was born a few kms away in San Fernando and studied law in the United States, later returning home and working as an attorney at the Bureau of Justice.
He was captured with his son by the Japanese in April 1942, taken to a concentration camp, refusing to co-operate with the enemy, and later taken to Mindanao where he was shot to death 3 weeks after his capture. His last words to his son made him into one of the country's heroes---
"Do not cry, Pepito, show to these people that you are brave. It is an honor to die for one's country. Not everybody has that chance
In SM CLARK you will find a fish spa which my wife thought had very reasonable prices. Tibiao is located in the left wing of the mall if you are looking at it from the front. Little fish will nibble the dead skin on your feet or also nibble at the dead cells around your wound and clean it while doing so. She chose the fish spa for 30 minutes and the steam chair and thoroughly enjoyed it once she got over the fish tickling her feet. There are several fish spas in malls throughout the country.
Angeles City public Market is known as Pampang Market located on Fransisco Road, but it is best to visit before 10 am as several stalls are closed around lunchtime, especially the meat and seafood department. You will be able to see the trucks bring the produce from the countryside and taste some local snacks such as maize which is boiled or BBQ'd. One can buy fresh apples and oranges there that have probably been imported from Taiwan or China. Markets are always good to take colorful photographs. As markets go, it is one of the biggest that i have seen in the country.
Walking street is closed to traffic from 4 pm to 4 am as hoards of sex tourists wander up and down visiting the bars and clubs where you can see scantily dressed Filipinas dance and put on various shows. It is located at the eastern end of Field's Avenue. Some bars advertise Happy Hour Beers at 75 pesos but during the evening it would be difficult to find a beer under 90 pesos. Bars and go-go joints line the street on each side but not really much point in going here unless you are a sex tourist. Girls stand outside each bar/club trying to persuade you to enter, but once you are inside the ladies will try and get you to buy ladies drinks at 150-200 pesos a shot. The girl will probably order an expensive shot of whisky or vodka with coke, but unknown to the tourist the drink will probably be nothing more than a sprite or a coke. The more drinks the customer drinks, the more commission the girl will get. Some bars the girl will not get a salary but work for commission only. if a customer wants to take the girl out of the bar the fee will be between 1500 and 2200 pesos which will be split between the girl and the bar. Apparently the police are cracking down a bit on this custom and some bars do not let the girls leave unless the customer buys around 10 ladies drinks and no buy out fee is charged. Best to avoid entering any of these places unless you know what you are doing.
Bayanihan Park can be found a few hundred meters before you reach the main gate of Clark. it was formerly called Astro Park during American times when the base was here. This is also the location of Salakot Arch which was moved to the park after the Americans pulled out. it is a round structure where locals can relax and enjoy a picnic. People can also shelter here from the fierce sun or heavy rain, and it is sometimes used for special functions.
There are also basketball courts at one end of the park so locals can enjoy their favorite sport.
At 3000 Pesos per person for a half-day activity, it is one of the more expensive things to do, but afterwards you realise it is money well spent for a memorable day.
Phone and book a day or two before. We took a large taxi as there were 6 of us, but if you want to get there cheaper, I believe there is a jeepney you can catch.
This is a very organised place, you arrive and are seated for buffet lunch and then taken by 4 x 4 on a fairly hair raising journey to the hot springs, a series of hot pools created at the side of the Lahar mountain. As you move from one pool to the next, increasingly higher up the pathway, the temperature rises to the point you can stay in the pool less and less.
When you have had enough of the pools, you return to the 4 x 4 and are taken to another 'station', where you lie in a hot sand-pit and your body is buried (apart from your head, in the interests of keeping you alive), and this is apparently good for your circulation!
After 10 minutes or so you are released form your sand-coffin and given a relaxing mud-pack. These experiences are all the funnier if you are with a group of friends.
After this, they have shower facilities and you get dressed and are taken back to the restaurant area by 4 x 4. The 4 x 4 takes you through a river valley with fantastic views, but driving at speed through sometimes 2 feet of water, where you feel a boat would be more appropriate.
The general feeling from everyone in our group was that you felt relaxed afterwards, had fun and definately not a trip to be missed. HOWEVER, this is probably not a visit for people who are unsteady on their feet, some of the pathways can be slippery around the hot springs. Bring flip-flops or shoes that if they are wet, you don't care about too much!
This place is a 3.5-ha, outdoor large-scale museum featuring the best of the country's cultural diversity, history and heritage. The former replica of the Barasoain Church is now ready for liturgical services while the convento is now available for religious and social gatherings.
Labuad village is where ethnic Kapampangan crafts and artworks will be on sale. There is a showcase of the tribal villages of Ifugao, Kalinga and Muslim communities. Included in the historical showcase are the ancestral houses of Jose Rizal, Emilio Aguinaldo and Apolinario Mabini.
This heritage expo is free to the general public for now but when I visited the place, they were still finishing up the place thus still a little construction going on.
Don Juico Avenue, Balibago, Angeles, 2009, Philippines
Good for: Couples
Don Juico Ave, Malabanias, Angeles City, 2009, Philippines
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
1888 Vian Street, Balibago, Angeles City, 2009, Philippines
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples