Angeles City is your starting point to begin your Philippine adventure. As a central leisure, fitness, entertainment and gaming hub, it’s also quite accessible to places such as Manila, Baguio, Subic, or any point abroad (via Clark International Airport).
Angeles City, which is located in the province of Pampanga, is bordered by Mabalacat to the north, Mexico and San Fernando to the east, Bacolor to the south, and Porac to the west. Initially known as a nightlife entertainment of the south, the opening of the Clark Freeport Zone and the Clark International Airport has transformed the city into a highly-urbanized tourist destination with luxury hotels and casinos, and fine restaurants.
Travelers from Boracay, Cebu and Davao, and other international locations like Singapore, South Korea, USA (via Korea), Malaysia, Macau, Hong Kong, Bangkok (via Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia), and Cambodia can fly directly to Clark, which is also known by its formal name, the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).
Ferry routes to Angeles by way of Olongapo has since been disused. A more convenient way to travel from Manila would be by bus.
You can take the Pasay-Dagupan bus route at Five Star or Victory Liner and asked to be stopped at Angeles. There are also shuttle buses that provide a direct route to neighboring Subic, Olongapo for a minimal fee.
Should you decide to go by car, you can take a taxi service from NAIA that would cost you around Php2,000-3,000. It takes an hour to travel from Manila to Angeles City via ca by taking the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) or via Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) routes.
The jeepney is a recommended mode of transportation to go around. Take the green jeepneys if you’re planning to go to the city proper or old Culiat. The blue jeepneys pass by the Balibago nightlife district via MacArthur Highway, and and SM City Clark mall.
Grey jeepneys go to the city’s nightlife district via an alternative route. White jeepneys go to the city’s public markets, and will pass by Hensonville’s bar and grill restaurants along the way. Take the yellow jeepneys if you wish to exit the city proper and go to San Fernando, Pampanga.
For privacy and short trips, you can also take the tricycle, a motorcycle attached to a sidecar. You might feel a bit snug though once you ride the sidecar, as it is built for the average Asian height.
It is always a rule of thumb to visit historical locations to get to know more about the city’s story. You can start with the Museo ning Angeles, which is located at the prime "Santo Rosario Historic District." Just across the district is the Santo Rosario Church.
The Clark Museum will be also worth of your time. The Clark Museum, which is also referred to as the Kapampangan Museum, houses many artifacts and photos of the US occupation in the Philippines that would satisfy any history buff. You can opt for a guided tour or just explore on your own for an entrance fee of P30 per person.
Did you know that you can take a picnic at a zoo that overlooks the Clark Freeport Zone, Mount Arayat, and Mount Pinatubo? Paradise Ranch is a perfect retreat if you are with a big group looking to enjoy nature or planning to relax from the stress of city living. Although open to the public, there is a “conservation fee” of Php50 per person to pay before entering.
Angeles City also has a lot to offer for active people. If you’re a watersports fan, the Deca Wake Park is a great place to do wakeboarding. You can try flying on an ultra light aircraft out of Mabiga for as low as Php1650 or take full flight lessons with the Angeles City Flying Club, which is 10 minutes north of Angeles.
You can also join the HASH House Harrier group for their weekly run every Sunday from the Anchorage Inn at 2PM (for walkers/first timers) and 3PM (for runners). Fee for joining is Php 300 (for guys) and Php 100 (for girls), which will also cover your drinks on the run and at the end.
Pampanga is the home to the sisig, which is a dish of fatty, sizzling pork bits served on a hot plate. So it only makes sense to try the best sisig ever at Aling Lucing’s at Corner G. Valdez and Agapito del Rosario Streets. Try also the pangat na ulang or giant shrimps cooked in a creamy, sour sauce, cooked binulo style (cooked inside bamboo poles) at Binulo Restaurant on MA Roxas Highway.
The halo-halo version of Pampanga at Corazon Street, Nepo Subdivision is something to look forward for, as it only has beans, sweetened saba bananas, sweet corn, and a flan made from carabao’s milk.
Enjoy partying at Angeles City’s super-clubs, including High Society, Skytrax and The Mansion. You can also head over R&B Club in Friendship and Klub Bossa in Diamond Subdivision to witness some of the city’s best vocal talents. Open-air music bars like the Jazz Grill under the Balibago bridge and KM 91 in Mabiga, Mabalacat are gaining popularity as well.
If you’re looking to go on a date with a loved one, try the Skybar located at Azzuro Hotel on MacArthur Highway to enjoy some of the Angeles City skyline.
You would not have a problem securing a play to stay in Angeles City, as there are a lot of hotel accommodations to choose from depending on your preferences and your budget. If you’re looking for an individual suite or a four-bedroom penthouses to call home to, check in at the Angeles Beach Club Hotel in Malabanias.