Angeles City Sightseeing - Philippines
Angeles City in Pampanga is known as either the “Entertainment Capital of the Philippines” or “The City of Angels.” These titles, in short, insinuate and magnify on the lively nightlife in the city. But Angeles can offer something more to tourists than fun and shopping followed by animated and dynamic evenings. There is fascinating sightseeing in Angeles, Pampanga at day time.
Tourists, especially Americans, will find Fort Stotsenburg in Sapang Bato a worthy destination for sightseeing in Angeles, Pampanga. It was here that American exploratory forces, led by Colonel John M. Stotsenburg, first established camp for the 6th US Cavalry in the 1900s. Angeles folks today also refer to this as the “Parade Ground” where military events observed by both the RP and US military were celebrated prior to 1991, the year the American Forces withdrew.
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Old Pamintuan Residence
In the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Major General Arthur MacArthur, Jr., father of the famous World War II General Douglas MacArthur, came to the Philippines to survey the Philippine insurrection. He stayed at the Pamintuan Residence in Angeles City where General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippine Republic and head of the Revolutionary Army, had earlier established government. Today, it is worth visiting when sightseeing in Angeles, Pampanga. Called the Old Pamintuan Residence, it shelters the Banko Sentral (central bank) ng Pilipinas.
When roaming around the vicinity of Sto. Rosario in Angeles City, tourists will never miss the nostalgic Bale Matua, an old Spanish mansion considered the oldest building in Angeles. It is also called Founder’s Residence, built in the early 1800s by Angeles City founder Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda. The high edifice is of stone—typical of the early Spanish mansions in the country—and the gate still retains its elaborate Spanish designs reminding visitors of what things used to be in the city. Dropping by here during sightseeing in Angeles, Pampanga can cultivate in visitors a wistful longing for the past.
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In 1899 the “Deposito” was built to facilitate delivery of religious icons and paraphernalia from the local Roman Catholic Church to Spain. At first glance the name would invoke images of bank transactions like depositing and withdrawing to minds of tourists. But later, upon closer scrutiny, they’d see that Deposito is the city’s Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center today. It’s the same building erected in 1899. The American forces later used it as a stockade for imprisoning their errant soldiers. Much later, the local government made it a post office in 1967.
In 1840, there was a barn or farm storehouse erected by Angeles City first governor, Don Ciriaco de Miranda, and called it the Camalig. It’s still there today along Sto. Rosario Street. So what makes this barn special for a sightseeing in Angeles, Pampanga? It’s fully restored today and converted into a pizza house and restaurant. The next real special thing is how local sausages and spices are used to make the pizza so delicious. In fact, Angeles folks fancy it as the national pizza of the country.
Santo Rosario Church
There is a church in Angeles that took almost 20 years to build in 1877. Here, at Santo Rosario Church, tourists can still see the old church that was built using excruciating forced Filipino labor so the friars could spread to them God’s love. Later, the Spanish Army executed natives suspected of rebellion at the church backyard. When the Americans came they used it as a hospital. Visiting it in a sightseeing in Angeles, Pampanga would be exciting, as the whole building still stands there intact.
The cozy bars, pubs, and restaurants can spice up the Angeles City nightlife, but sightseeing in Angeles, Pampanga during the day time is made meaningful by visiting the past through the city’s historic sites.
Bayanihan Park in Angeles City redefines the meaning of an all purpose park. While most sites are content with providing benches and gardens, this one goes much further.
For those who want to engage in a little workout, there is a basketball and volleyball court, making it ideal for sports enthusiasts. If you want a more quiet activity, there is also an area reserved for kite flying. At different times of the year, Bayanihan Park also hosts several fairs, bazaars, and even religious ceremonies.
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Although the official Apu Festival in Angeles City is held in October (in commemoration of Christ), there is a celebration of sorts that takes place every Friday near the chapel where the statue is located. The highlight is the Apu Market, which is truly one of a kind. Every Friday, stores and stands appear everywhere near the vicinity of the chapel (making up the Apu Market). There you can purchase everything from cheap clothes to local handicraft to house decors, etc. At 12 midnight, everything is packed up, to resume the following Friday.
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Fontana Water Park
Nestled inside the Clark Special Economic Zone, the Fontana Water Park in Angeles City, Pampanga is the main attraction at the Fontana Leisure Park and Casino. Comparable in many ways to the various resorts in other countries, it features several pools, slides, and an electronically operated water pool that can create all sorts of fantastic waves. There is also a golf course in the vicinity.
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Mount Pinatubo is located between the provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga and Zambales. Silent for over 600 years, the volcano erupted in 1991, with a force so strong that it was declared the second most powerful of all time in the 20th century. Producing large amounts of lahar, smoke, ash and pyroclastic material, it would destroy several buildings and towns.
Since its eruption however, the volcano has remained quiet, and has become one of the most popular tourist spots in and around Angeles City in Pampanga.
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Mount Pinatubo Flight
One of the most exciting activities that you can do in Angeles City, Pampanga is to fly over the famous Mount Pinatubo. From the Clark airport, the journey will begin as you fly by Crow Valley, which used to be a bombing range. Climbing over 6,000 feet the plane will go over some ridges before passing over Mount Pinatubo.
At over 6,000 ft you will be able to clearly see the lake within the crater. A brilliant turquoise, it provides a sharp contrast to the grayish rocks surrounding it.
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Mount Pinatubo Trekking
There are several routes that you can take if you want to go trekking here, but the most recommended is the Capas trail. It is also advised that you undertake this activity in the summer months (Jan. to Apr.).
From Capas in Tarlac, the Mount Pinatubo trek begins. Riding a vehicle (preferably a jeep or 4x4) you will pass by the Bangantungul (a village for the native Aetas), and several deserts composed of lahar. You will cross creeks, rivers and cliffs, culminating in a visit to the crater. Today, tourists in Angeles City never fail to make the trek to this famous volcano.
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Mimosa Golf and Country Club
Situated against the mountain foothills, Mimosa Golf and Country Club is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. This parkland course is a scenic oasis complete with lush greens, mature trees and shimmering lakes. The course is designed for golfers to play around with the gentle terrain, fairways and valleys. Mimosa Golf and Country Club has courses friendly for the beginner and challenging enough for the experienced golfers. Other facilities include sauna, Jacuzzi, spa services and specialty restaurants. Green fees, which are fees charged for playing the golf course, starts at P1300 for guests that are accompanied by club members, and 2700 pesos for guests staying at the Holiday Inn. Mimosa Golf and Country Club is located at Villa 1095 Travelers Palm Street, with a telephone number of 63-45-599-7000.
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Dau Greenville Resort
Dau Greenville Resort is a family-friendly pool resort that features many waterslides for the enjoyment of pool guests. The resort features children’s swimming pools equipped with safe waterslides and life-sized statues of zoo and jungle animals. There is also an Olympic-sized pool for the more experienced swimmers. There are also fishing activities where guests can request the type of dishes they want. Entrance fee for adults and kids costs 70 pesos for day swimming, and 90 pesos for night swimming. Cottage prices start at 150 pesos for a maximum of six persons. There are also air-conditioned lodges for an overnight stay. Dau Greenville Resort is located at the Dau Entry in North Expressway in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Reservations for cottages and lodges can be made through 63-45-331-3977.
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Hot Air Ballooning
The Clark Freeport Zone hosts the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival where different countries compete to pilot and design their balloons. This three-day event is the much-awaited aerial sports competition event in the country. Competitors from all around the world come up with different designs and exhibitions to bag the title. Other than the hot-air balloons, spectators are entertained by the balloon designs and other aerial demonstrations, such as skydiving, flag jumps, choreographed kite-flying, aerobatics, flying formations and many others. The Hot Air Balloon Activities and Event is located at the Clark Freeport Zone with an entrance fee of 100 pesos per person.
Bale Matua is one of Pampanga’s spectacular and well-photographed landmarks, as it is a 75-year-old mansion owned by a sugar magnate, Don Alejandro Lopez (b.1883) of Guagua. Bale Matua is an imposing residence that is built Spanish-style architecture and Greek revival style. The façade of the mansion is decorated with Grecian columns and accented with a foliate curve. Complete with early twentieth century furniture decorated in Spanish-colonial style, Bale Matua has become a symbol of Pampanga’s early high society and a showcase of the lifestyles of Pampanga’s wealthiest men.
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The Clark Museum or the Kapampangan Museum showcases the history of US occupation in the Philippines. It also features US Military presence after the Philippine Independence, as well as the relationship between the Philippine and the US Armed Forces. The Clark Museum also displays Pampanga’s tragic experience with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and its rise as one of the country’s main economic zones. The Clark Museum is located at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Angeles City in Pampanga.
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Air Force City Golf Course
Air Force City Gold Course is a simple nine-hole golf course that provides ample opportunity for golf sports and other activities. Air Force City Golf Course charges their guests and players an affordable rate of 600 pesos, and 200 pesos for a whole day caddy. The golf course is located at Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
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Marina Hills Golf Course
The Marina Hills Golf Course is operated by the Marina Hills Golf and Country Club. This golf course near Angeles City is an eighteen-hole golf course that is open to the public. Entrance to the Marina Golf Course requires neither membership nor the company of a member. Green fees at the Marina Golf Course start at 600 pesos. The Marina Hills Golf Course is located at the McArthur Highway at Mamatitang, Mabalacat, Pampanga near Angeles City, with a telephone number 63-45-331-7664 for inquiries and bookings.
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Clearwater Country Club
The Clearwater Country Club serves as an ideal getaway as it provides a quiet retreat in the Clark Freeport Zone. This Country Club promotes a stress-free environment with its quiet lodgings, relaxing facilities and fun activities. Guests can also enjoy horseback riding, dining, swimming and strolling on its lush gardens and manicured greens. Lodges are available in the form of family inns and lakeside rooms. The Clearwater Country Club is located at at the Clark Freeport Zone with a telephone number of 63-45-599-5949 for inquiries.
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Expo Pilipino is a cultural theme park in Pampanga that proudly displays Philippine culture and history. The park shows various artifacts, landscapes and other displays that have relation to the Philippines’ ancient and colonial periods. Guests experience a time travel as they visit the two main attractions of Expo Pilipino—the pre-colonial division and the colonial division. The pre-colonial division proudly shows the culture of the ethnic tribes of the northern Philippines long before the Spanish occupation through exhibits, native cottages and demonstrations that are accurately designed. The colonial division, on the other hand, displays the Spanish regime on the archipelago through replicas of Spanish-style houses and other edifices. Expo Pilipino is located at Clark Field, Pampanga with a telephone number of 63-45-599-2813.
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Paskuhan Village, or “Christmas Village”, is a Christmas-themed park whose aim is to offer the Christmas experience all year round. Known for its giant Christmas trees and lanterns, the Paskuhan Village is a famous venue for capturing the warm and sentimental sensation provided by the world’s much-awaited season. There are also venues for other activities in the Paskuhan Village, such as museums, swimming pool, rock-climbing facilities, and botanical and animal sanctuary gardens. Paskuhan Village is located at San Fernando Pampanga near Angeles City.
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Named after a colonel who had fought in one of the battles during the Aemerican occupation, Fort Stotsenburg serves as a reminder of one of America’s military posts in the Philippines. Fort Stotsenburg had been the home of the American Cavalry, some of which are the cavalry of General George Cluster, and the all African-American unit that became famous for the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba. Fort Stotsenburg proved to be useful due to its fertile grass for the American Cavalry Horses. Today, the memories of Fort Stotsenburg are manifested in the twin concrete pillars that served as gateposts during the camp’s existence. Fort Stotsenburg is located at the Parade Grounds in the Clark Air Field in Pampanga.
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Angeles Sports and Country Club
The Angeles Sports and Country Club is an ideal getaway for relaxation with its amenities that enable guests to fully relax and enjoy the place. Amenities include a luxurious swimming pool long enough for some serious swimming or idyllic lounging. There is also a nine-hole golf course that is decorated with manicured grass and lush trees. Other amenities include sunken pool bar, children’s pool, play area, sauna and in-house restaurant. The Angeles Sports and Country Club provides lots of activities that guests will never notice the time. This country club resort is located at Zeppelin Street in Hensonville, Angeles City.
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Nayong Pilipino is a cultural and historical theme park that proudly displays the Filipino culture, heritage and history. Guests are oriented and acquainted with the Philippines through the park’s impressive collection of artifacts, memorabilia and accurate replicas. The site is divided into two—the pre-colonial and the colonial period of Philippine history. The pre-colonial period proudly displays the richness of the culture of the Northern Philippine ethnic tribes through replicas and live demonstrations by the living descendants of the country’s first settlers. For the colonial portion, guests are welcomed by a replica of the magnificent Barasoain Church—a Catholic church built by Spanish priests and later, a witness to the Philippines’ major turning points in contemporary history. The Nayong Pilipino is located near the Expo Pilipino at Clark Airfield Pampanga.
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Clark Air Base is a former military facility utilized by the Americans located in Angeles City in the Philippines. It was one of the largest American military bases outside of the territory of the United States apart from being one of the most urbanized. Before the American military left the Philippines in 1991, it played important roles in major American military operations. With the Air Base returned to the Philippines, it was tuned into a Freeport zone housing numerous duty-free shops and lots of commercial establishments offering tourists and locals many recreational activities.
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Gocarts in Clark Freeport Zone
If you find yourself being bored one afternoon, then one of the activities that you can do is trek to the Clark Freeport Zone of Angeles City might provide one perfect diversion for such situations. The diversion to be checked out in Angeles is Gocart where you will be able to drive homemade carts around circuits that will certainly give you that exhilarating feeling of being in a race. The carts that one will be able to try out in Gocart are mostly home-made, cobbled-together contraptions which might make riding in them a little discomforting particularly for those who are accustomed to seating on leather upholster. Nevertheless, trying Gocart is an enjoyable experience especially if one has not tried carts before or if one wants to learn the basics of driving and being behind the wheel.
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Ultra Light Flights
If adrenaline rush is one’s cup of tea then flying ultra light flights in Angeles City would be one of the perfect activities for one’s nerves of steel. Ultra light flight aviation is basically flying with the use of lightweight and low-flying airplanes. The small planes make ultra light flight aviation an easy and relatively affordable hobby.
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Angeles City Flying Club
If you are inclined to do some ultra light flying then contacting Angeles City Flying Club is the best course of action. They are the primary organization dedicated to promoting the hobby of flying through lightweight aircraft. The club offers introductory courses for those who are planning to take up the hobby. The Angeles City Flying Club is open to everyone who has a passion for flying and if you are one who is always in the city and is into flying those lightweight aircrafts then joining the club will be a reasonable move.
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Duty Free Shops on Clark
If, on the other hand, you are more inclined to spend your afternoon doing some shopping, then dropping by the duty free shops in the Clark Freeport Zone of Angeles City will be the best itinerary for you among all of the activities that can be done in the Clark Freeport Zone. There was a time when going to Clark for its duty free shops was the only course of action available to people who want to get their hands on imported goods. With retail outlets all over the country now being able to offer such goods to customers, the once numerous duty free shops in the Clark Freeport Zone are now reduced to handful that still offer imported goods that were once hard to find. Shopping in the duty free shops is still one of the viable activities that one can do in Angeles City especially if one chances upon the once-in-a-blue-moon good deals that the shops offer.
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Mt. Arayat Treks
Trekking to Mount Arayat National Park is one of the more worthwhile activities that can be done in Angeles City. Apart from the grounds where one can loiter, the park has many other amenities, including fresh water pools which will provide the perfect refreshment come summer time. Mount Ararat also has a grotto which will require one a hundred-climb step to reach it.
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Easter Ceremony in Pampanga
The Easter Ceremony in Pampanga happens during Holy Week and culminates on Good Friday with the Easter Service. The self-flagellation is the highlight of the celebration where several flagellants get nailed on the cross as a reminder of Jesus Christ's Passion.
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Fiestang Kuliat serves as a thanksgiving celebration of Angeles City residents to their patron saint and a celebration of the local residents' resiliency.
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