Angeles, Philippines · 12 hotels available
Balibago is a barangay located in the main entertainment district of Angeles City and as such, it is close to a number of large establishments such as SM City Clark, MarQuee Mall, and the PAGCOR Angeles casino.
The infamous walking street Fields Avenue is found in Balibago, which is a hub for nightlife with its neon-lit bar signs found up and down the street. You will also find a variety of restaurants in the area ranging from Filipino food to Western, Japanese, Korean, and even Indian and Arabic food.
Clark International Airport is just a few minutes drive away, and is largely becoming an alternative to flying into Manila’s over-crowded Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
There are daily flights to all domestic locations, as well as flights to the rest of Asia and even as far-flung as Europe.
The area is landlocked so it is not reachable by boat. This being said, there is a 50-minute ferry service running from Manila to Orion Bataan but this involves further land travel of roughly 85 kilometer which does not make it a viable option.
Angeles City is connected to Manila via the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) and is only about 80 kilometers away. Numerous bus companies have trips running to the area with “Dau” being the local terminal for the city, with tickets costing as little as P150.
Premium Point-to-Point bus services also run from various parts of Manila to SM Clark and Clark International airport. The cost is between P250-P400 depending on where you get on the bus.
Private hire vehicles or taxis to Angeles can be arranged but will cost upwards of P4,000 one-way.
Getting around the Balibago is very easy due to its location. Public transportation in the area includes the usual jeepneys, tricycles, and taxis. Private car hire for the day can also be arranged but at a slight premium.
Owing to its history as a former US Air Force Base, Angeles City and the former Clark Air Base has more than a few remnants dating back to this period. Air Force City Park has beautifully preserved military aircraft and equipment.
In the mood to learn about the Philippines’ rich cultural heritage? Take a trip to Nayong Pilipino Clark to take in exhibits including recreations of national landmarks and even replicas of the homes of indigenous groups such as the Ifugao and Aeta peoples.
Should you find yourself in the city during February, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is not to be missed. The festival features ballooning display for various local and international enthusiasts, and you can even book yourself your own hot air balloon flight.
Sample the local cuisine – Kapampangans, as the people are known, are reputed to be among the best cooks in the country with sisig, a dish made from pig ears and face with fried onions and chili, being one of their best-known dishes.
The area is also well known for their countless festivals, with La Naval Fiesta on the second Sunday being a major highlight. Also in October is the Big Bite Northern Food Festival, which celebrates the region’s rich culinary heritage.
Balibago also provides you with the perfect base to take a trip to the famous Mount Pinatubo, an active stratovolcano best known in recent times for its 1991 eruption. Activities include hiking to the crater lake of the volcano, and for those with a need for speed – ATV rentals are available as well.
A trip to Balibago wouldn’t be complete without a trip to celebrity chef Claude Tayag’s famous Filipino fine-dining restaurant Bale Dutung (House of Wood). If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, Tayag’s Downtown Café is a no-frills dining establishment. Don’t forget to try their famous Begucan Sisig!
Among the host of fantastic Western restaurants in the area, Italian restaurant Piccolo Padre stands out for its beautiful interiors and delectable food. You could easily be forgiven for thinking you were in Italy as you get transported with every bite.
For the more adventurous diners, Everybody’s Café serves up Kapampangan specialties such as betute, kamaru, and dinuguan. What are these dishes you may ask? Frog legs, fried crickets, and pig’s blood stew.
Balibago is definitely the place to be if you enjoy a night in the town! Fields Avenue/Walking Street is dotted in bars along its entire stretch, but be warned that this is also the area’s red light district. If you’re trying to avoid accidentally walking into the wrong type of establishment, take comfort in the fact that they are quite easy to spot and avoid.
Looking to cool off on a hot day? Aqua Beach Club at ABC Hotel is one of the places to see and be seen in Balibago. An all-day beach club that regularly features performances from some of the Philippines’ best-known DJs, it’s a great place to party from happy hour to well into the early hours.
In terms of accommodation, the area caters to all travelers with budget hotels easily found and even a number of more upscale hotels such as Penthouse Hotel, Lewis Grand Hotel, and Angeles Beach Club (ABC) Hotel.