Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) covers a significant portion of Clark Air Base, the former US Air Force facility in Pampanga. It has reinvented itself and is now the leading tourism, leisure, fitness, gaming, and entertainment hub in Central Luzon.
Most of Clark Air Base has been converted to the Clark International Airport, the jump-off point to CFZ. There are regular local and international flights from and to the airport.
CFZ is an hour and 45 minutes away by car from Manila. If you don’t want to get stuck in an unexpected carmageddon, there’s a Premium Point-to-Point bus service from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Robinson’s Galleria, and Trinoma to SM City Clark. Fares start at P200.
It’s best to bring your own car or hire a rental vehicle to take you around CFZ – this way you can tour comfortably at your own pace.
Steeped in history, CFZ has been a witness to Philippine-American relations over the years.
Located close to the main gate of CFZ, The Salakot was built to commemorate the historic signing of the Military Base Agreement in the early 1950s.
Meanwhile, the US Memorial Cemetery is home to 8,000 soldiers who fought and perished during the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars.
There’s also the newly-renovated Clark Museum, which displays various memorabilia, artifacts, old photographs and dioramas that showcase the history of Clark and its neighboring areas.
CFZ is a theme park paradise. Aqua Planet Waterpark has 38 water slides, rides, and other attractions. Crowd-pleasers are the Spiral Slide, which as four different slide routes; Super Bowl, a four-person raft ride; and the Octopus Racer, where you can speed down loops and tunnels.
Take the kids for an educational tour around the Philippines through Nayong Filipino. The cultural theme park has replicas of national landmarks and villages of indigenous groups.
Go horseback riding at El Kabayo Riding stables and feel like you’re in a rugged Western town straight out of a cowboy movie. There are challenging trail rides, carriage rides, and basic riding lessons there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
See birds and wild animals up close at Zoocobia. You can even pick, buy, and bring home mangoes from an orchard during mango season.
Guys can enjoy a round of golf at Mimosa Golf and Country Club, go-karting at the Clark International Speedway, or rent gear at Clark Kayak and Boat Rental for a fun day out at sea.
For the ladies, CFZ has duty-free shopping; enjoy deals on imported apparel, cosmetics, wine, and chocolates. New Well-Being Spa offers massage and facial treatment services.
Get a taste of classic Italian dishes at C’ Italian Dining – their panizzas are worth the drive. Meanwhile, Meat Plus is a certified CFZ institution, popular for its mouth-watering and affordable steaks.
Matam-ih (which translates to “delicious” in the Aeta dialect) Authentic Kapampangan Cuisine serves Kapampangan favorites and well-loved Filipino food; they have exotic fare (think frog legs and crocodile meat) on the menu, too. Diners troop to Koko Buri for their Korean-style fried chicken, rice toppings, hot pot, and noodles.
Nightlife options at CFZ will please the quintessential partyphile. Hotels have gaming, live music performances, and chic bars where you can relax and enjoy a cocktail (or two) after an activity-packed day.
Clark Freeport Zone has an impressive selection of hotel casinos where you can enjoy a luxurious weekend coupled with a game of high stakes. There’s Widus Hotel and Casino, Midori Clark Hotel and Casino, W Clark Hotel and Casino, and Royce Hotel and Casino. Business travelers can check in at the Marriott Hotel Clark, Park Inn by Radisson Clark, and Quest Plus Conference Center Clark.
Looking for a child-friendly getaway? Fontana Hotel and Villas – Fontana Hot Spring Leisure Parks has spacious villas, the highlight of which is a five-bedroom, two-storey villa that has a swimming pool. Within the complex is the Fontana Water Theme Park, which has a world-class wave pool and giant slides.