General Tourist info Angeles City - Philippines
Angeles City in Pampanga Province is known worldwide as the entertainment capital of the Philippines. This bustling city has numerous classy restaurants, bars, discos, and shopping outlets that keep the city’s nightlife active and fun-filled. However, Angeles, Pampanga has something more than these. It has many historic places worth visiting.
A city with a deep and rich history, Angeles boasts some of the most important historical landmarks in the Philippines. Among the sites you will want to visit include the Old Pamintuan Residence, which for a time functioned as the seat of power of the Philippine Republic under the helm of General Emilio Aguinaldo. Another historical site that is worth checking out is the Holy Rosary Church, built in the late 1800s.
Other sightseeing spots are the Bayanihan Park, Lily Hill (an outpost during World War II), the Holy Family Academy Building and Fort Stotsenburg, which served as headquarters of the US military for an extended period.
Angeles City has survived several obstacles thrown its path, including the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, to become one of the most prosperous and business friendly cities in the entire country.
The former Clark Air Base has been transformed into the Clark Freeport Zone, the place for technological innovations and scientific research in the Philippines. The bustling trade and commerce has been in part due to the development of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, facilitating the growth of various industries.
The improved infrastructure in and around Angeles City have in turn boosted the local business enterprises such as those involved in the making of local handicraft, furniture and garments. There are also several souvenir shops, retail stores and shopping malls in the city, as well as restaurants and hotels.
The weather and climate in Angeles City can be divided into two seasons: the wet and dry. The dry months are from November to April, which are characterized by high temperatures typical of a tropical country. The rest of the year is the wet period, marked by dropping temperature, rains and the occasional typhoons, although not as strong as in the other regions.
On the average the temperature fluctuates between 21.6 to 34 degrees Celsius. On a monthly basis the rainfall average can range from 0.0 to a high of 1,380.0. mm. The higher averages occur during the rainy season of course.
Angeles City is about 9.6 miles (or 16 km) away from the capital of Pampanga. It is flanked by Magalang and Mabalacat on the north and northeast. South of Angeles is San Fernando, while Floridablanca and Porac lie on the western border.
Angeles City has an elevation of 90 meters (300 ft), with a total land area of 16.6 square kilometers (25 sq. miles). There are 33 barangays and a population of over 300,000.
The North Luzon Expressway
The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) is an 88 km (54 mile) highway that was built so that a link between the provinces of Central Luzon and Metro Manila could be established.
The NLEX route begins at C4 in Quezon City and proceeds to Caloocan, Valenzuela and passes by the province of Bulacan, and also goes through San Simon, Mexico and Angeles in Pampanga. The expressway terminates at Mabalacat, where it converges with the MacArthur Highway.
The toll at NLEX has two categories: the open section charges a fixed rate depending on the vehicle type. The closed section has a variable fee, depending on the vehicle class and the distance that it will travel. There are numerous payment schemes available, including prepaid magnetic cards and tickets.
The speed limit at NLEX is set at 80 km (48 miles) when in the vicinity of Metro Manila. When traveling along the rural stretches the limit is set at 100 km (60 miles). This applies to all eight lanes.
Through the use of several CCTV (closed circuit television), these speed limits are closely monitored. Other features of the NLEX are telephones, message signs and information about the traffic situation and rest areas.
The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway
The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) commences at the Freeport Zone in Subic Bay, Zambales, and passes through Angeles City in Pampanga before it ends at Tarlac City.
The SCTEx runs for 94 km (53 miles). There are currently two toll plazas, the fee depending on the vehicle type and the distance involved. There are ten exit points, including one at Tipo (through Subic), and Clark Logistics in the Freeport Zone in Angeles City.
Clark Freeport Zone
The Clark Freeport Zone (the former Clark Air Base) is located near Mabalacat and the northwestern section of Angeles City, Pampanga. From Metro Manila it is about 40 miles (about 60 km) away.
Encompassing thousands of hectares, the zone has been specifically designed by the government to be the center for industrial development. Today there are several IT related industries and edifices in and around the zone. There are also golf courses and other recreational facilities.
The Pampanga Cuisine
Angeles City and Pampanga are known for a lot of things, but without doubt among their biggest attractions are their delicacies. Pampanga is known throughout the Philippines for extraordinary delicacies and cuisines that are now also becoming famous in other parts of the world.
As one of the leading producers of sugar in the country, it is no surprise that Angeles and Pampanga produce some of the tastiest desserts in the world. Some of the most well known are the turrones, cream puffs, egg custards, and marzipans. The tibok-tibok is a local dessert that combines corn with the milk of water buffalos, resulting in a sumptuous treat.
Other traditional Pampanga cuisine includes the bringhe, rice mixed with coconut milk; rice cakes and leche flan (brulee combined with milk and eggs). Other delicacies you should try include Quilayen Talaba (oysters dipped in vinegar), Sale Manok (chicken soup), Galantina (a stuffed chicken) and the very popular Estofado Na May Tubo, which is stewed pork.
There are also several fine dishes for fish and vegetable lovers, including Sarsuela Ning Magat (different types of seafood), Buro at Hito and Lumpiang Pancit, noodles that come with rolls full of vegetables.
The Kapampangan Language
Kapampangan is the most widely spoken dialect by the local residents in Pampanga and Angeles City (as well as English and Tagalog of course). It is also known as Capampañgan, Pampango, and Pampangueño. It is also spoken in various parts of Tarlac, Zambales and Bataan.
Although it is widespread, there is very little that is known of the origin of the language, except that it is related to the Bolinao and Sambal languages, which are spoken in Pangasinan and Zambales respectively.
The Angeles City Bahay Bata Center
The Angeles City Bahay Bata Center was created to provide a home for street children. Opened in 2001, the Center has three floors, four dormitories, a library, medical facilities, a basketball court and a school. Currently it accepts male children ages 8 to 17, and who have suffered abuse, been orphaned or abandoned by their parents.
Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base was the site of the United States’ Air Force camp and headquarters in the Philippines. Situated some 5 km west (3 miles) off Angeles in Pampanga, it functioned as a military base during World War II and also provided support for the Americans’ campaign in Vietnam. Since the US military left, the place has been transformed into the Clark Freeport Zone.
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Clark Air Base History
Clark was actually a small part of Fort Stotsenburg, the military fortress the Americans built in 1903. During World War II the place changed names, becoming Clark Field and Army Air Base, until it was agreed (after the war) that it be called Clark Air Base.
Following the end of the war, the air base in Angeles City became a sort of stopover for American pilots headed for discharge, or aircraft that required maintenance. Clark Air Base would also serve as the focal point for numerous military operations, including deployment of the Photo Mapping Squadron to Korea for reconnaissance missions.
After the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and the rejection of the Laurel-Langley Act, the American Armed Forces withdrew from Clark and Subic.
Clark Air Base Today
The destruction wrought by the volcano and the departure of the Americans left Clark and Angeles City in an economic slump. This would not last long, as the entire base was rehabilitated. Today the former Clark Air Base has turned into the Clark Freeport Zone. There is an international airport, a special economic zone, and several historical and cultural landmarks have also been installed.
Angeles City: a Historical Overview
The city of Angeles was incorporated in 1829, following the decision to turn the small barrio called Culiat into a municipality named El Pueblo de los Angeles (the Town of the Angels). Under Spanish rule, the barrio would become a town renowned for various businesses, including the production of wine and sugar. It would also be the seat of power of the Philippine government under General Aguinaldo.
The town would continue to prosper under American occupation from the late 1800s onwards until World War II. After the war and the city liberated, the United States and the Philippines signed an agreement whereby the US would maintain territorial and sovereign integrity over Clark Air Base in Angeles City and Subic Naval Bay.
The vote of the Philippine Senate to deny an extension for the Laurel-Langley Act (which permitted the presence of the American bases in the country) and the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo, slowed the growth of Angeles City, but it eventually recovered and has turned into a progressive metropolis.
Geographically speaking, Pampanga lies in the midst of Central Luzon, bounded on the north by Nueva Ecija and Tarlac, Bataan on the south, and Zambales and Bulacan on the west and east side respectively. Pampanga encompasses a total land area of approximately 2,200 sq. km (1,300 sq. m). Its population is estimated at nearly 1.3 million.
The main source of livelihood of the people are fishing and farming. The province is currently known for its production of various types of vegetables and fruits, including eggplant, crabs, bananas, mangoes, among other crops. However, the economy and tourism are booming and its cities provide several first class malls, restaurants, resorts and recreational facilities.
In 1892 Angeles, then named “Kuliat” due to thorny kuliat vines flourishing in the place, was established by a Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda. Later it was named after him and a host of other religious patrons. With the coming of the Americans in the 1900s and the establishment of the air and naval bases in the locality, Angeles, Pampanga started to prosper.
In the 1990s, however, with the eruption of Pinatubo and other political factors, the American bases started withdrawing. Fear spread among Angeles folks that the city might suffer economically as a result and many establishments might close. But the perception was proved wrong. Today, Angeles, Pampanga is sill the liveliest and brightest Philippine city at night, and ever progressing as a countryside city worth visiting during the day time.
The climate in Angeles, Pampanga is similar to its surrounding lowland localities—enjoying either mild dry or wet seasons the year round. It’s pleasurable visiting the city in summer or during the cold months from November to February. Angeles, Pampanga is seldom adversely affected by tropical storms which averages 25 elsewhere in the country.
Among the cities in the central plain of Luzon, Angeles, Pampanga is easily traversed on land by public buses, jeepneys, and tricycles, as well as private vehicles, which both ply major and minor city routes. Touring Angeles is convenient with all the accessibility afforded by the available public transportation.
As mentioned, there are lots more places to see in Angeles, Pampanga aside from the establishments that keep Angeles nightlife on the go. Being a major historical place in the hinterlands of Pampanga, this city is a cradle of historic sites. There is the Fort Stotsenburg in Sapang Bato where the American forces were based. It was also a popular parade ground when the Filipino and American military celebrated special events.
Angeles, Pampanga is not just about the American Period or Occupation. It has the Old Pamintuan Residence which used to be the “Malacanang” in Central Luzon during the reign of the First Philippine Republic led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. It also housed the Central Headquarters of General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. in the 1900s.
How about the oldest building in Angeles, Pampanga? It’s named Founders’ Residence and built in 1824 by Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda, the city founder. There’s also the Camalig built in 1840 along Sto. Rosario Street. It used to be a barn but now renovated and housing a popular pizza parlor and a restaurant. Or, tourists may drop by the Holy Rosary Church built from 1877 to 1896, the Old Post Office Building (the Deposito) built in 1899, the Bale Herencia constructed in 1860, and the Holy Family Academy Building which had a special role in World War II, among others.
Aside from archaic buildings, Angeles, Pampanga also has historic centers. Like Juan D. Nepomuceno’s Center for Kapampangan Studies which serves as a library, theater, and museum. There are also historic localities like the famous Lily Hill played a major role in World War II and there’s a duty-free store there today. Or visit the Bayanihan Park and see the popular “Salakot” Arch often featured on local TV.
Going around Angeles, Pampanga is made easier with friendly folks ready to point tourists to beautiful places in the city. Most of them can speak English, although the dominant vernacular is Kapampangan. Ilocano and Tagalog are also spoken. Rest assured, Angeles folks can quickly adapt to any language. Angeles, Pampanga truly is a cosmopolitan city.