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Angeles, Pampanga is popularly known as the host of the former U.S. military facility considered to be the biggest outside America, which is Clark Air Base. After the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 which severely affected the base, the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone was constructed to help the city regain its economic growth. Both Angeles and Clark are now considered as the major commercial and entertainment hubs in Central Luzon including tourism as it is also home to the Clark International Airport. If you’re bound for a visit to the north, here are 8 things you can do in Clark, Pampanga.
Take a tour around Clark Museum and the 4D Theater
The Clark Museum offers an extensive collection of artifacts, dioramas, replicas, murals, old photographs, as well as interactive displays that portray the rich history of Clark, Pampanga. The 4 galleries depict the geographical and industrial profile of the city including the portrayal of the bravery and ingenuity of the Filipino spirit through the locals. You may also buy one-of-a-kind merchandise from the Clark Museum Souvenir Shop related to the museum’s theme. The 4D Theater is the highlight of the museum experience wherein the 48 viewers can watch a 20-minute documentary film with in-theater effects such as wind, bubbles, and mist.
Try your gaming luck in the casino-hotels
Clark is popularly known as the gaming hub in terms of casinos. Some of the casino-hotels found in the area are Midori, Royce, Widus, and Fontana Leisure Park. These places are frequented by tourists and locals alike and one of the reasons for the boost in the city’s tourism industry.
Immerse in the local cultural heritage at Nayong Pilipino Clark
This local attraction showcases the Philippine culture and heritage featuring museums such as the Money Museum and the Textile Museum. You can also find replicas of select landmarks all over the country such as the Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna, Barasoain Church, and the Mabini Shrine in Tanauan, Batangas. Visitors can also sit and relax at the picnic grounds while watching traditional dances and other contemporary performances.
Splash away at Aqua Planet Water Park
Aqua Planet is located at the northwest end of the Clark Freeport Zone. It covers an area of 10 hectares and considered as the largest water park in the Philippines owned by BB International Leisure and Resort Development Corporation. It has 38 water slides and other attractions such as the two wave pools, one for the adult and one for the children, as well as a giant funnel slide. Other attractions are the Tornado, the Super Bowl, the Aqua Loop, and the Octopus Racer. It can accommodate up to 5,000 guests in a day.
Witness the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
This is a yearly event held every second week of February and tagged as the longest-running event in Asia in terms of sports aviation. It’s a 4-day festival where hot air balloons parade high up in the air accompanied by aerobatic exhibitions, skydiving, formation flying, and a whole lot more of activities on air and on the ground. Some of the booths offer snacks and souvenir items and you may also ride one of the hot air balloons by paying a certain fee.
Go on a shopping spree at Puregold Duty-Free Clark
If you’re on a hunt for imported goods and other hard-to-find merchandise in our local stores, Puregold Duty-Free Clark is the store to be. Located inside the Clark Freeport Zone, you can buy anything “American” in this store from sodas, toiletries, to drinks, chocolates, among others.
Take photographs of aircrafts at the Air Force City Park
This is a recreational facility for both the young and the old. You may climb aboard any of the aircrafts you see displayed along the inner streets of Clark. Aircrafts vary from helicopters, fighter jets, to anti-craft gunnery. It is an ideal park for the family with a snack bar and a library to pass up time.
Unleash the adventurer in you at Dinosaurs Island
If you think that Jurassic Park only exists in movies, Clark also has its own version which is the Dinosaurs Island. There are different dinosaur-themed areas inside the attraction such as the Dino Trail, the Insectlandia, and the Unearth Museum. This is perfect if you and your family would like to experience a pre-historic educational tour.
The Clark Development Corporation under the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 grouped the four developments within the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone namely the Clark International Airport, the New Clark City, the Clark Freeport Zone, and the Clark Global City. The latter is a planned mixed-use development in Mabalacat, Pampanga and still located within the Clark Freeport Zone. It will occupy 177 hectares and about 47 hectares have already been developed. The project is expected to be completed in 10 years.
These are only some of the real estate developments happening up north and as commercialization and urbanization continue to progress in these areas, Clark, Pampanga might indeed be one of the best places to explore outside Metro Manila.
Read our previous journal for more tips and advice.