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Travel Destination: Angeles City

Angeles City mirrors two distinct images: that of the beauty of nature, and that of the glitter and glamor of city life. If you are bound for the Philippines, then you should visit  the City of the Angels.

Location:

The city is located in Region III, north of Manila / NCR (National Capitol Region), Philippines. It is about 55 miles from the Capital.

Access:

From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), one can take an airport taxi to nearby bus stations (Victory Liner, Rabbit, Dagupan Bus lines most buses going up north pass by Dau the entry point to Angeles City.) The Victory Liner is the most comfortable, based on the author’s experience. Only the Rabbit Bus lines however, has a station inside the city. For the other buses, you could alight at Dau, which is a jeepney – ride away from Angeles. There are ordinary buses and air con buses, which offer affordable prices.

You could rent private cars and taxis from the airport that could bring you directly to Angeles, but it would be more expensive than the bus fares.

If you decide to take the bus until Dau, then you could ride a jeepney from Dau to Angeles. You have to walk though, the short distance from the bus station to the jeepney stop. If you are totally new to the city, take a ride from the NAIA Airport provided by legitimate and certified airport taxis.

The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) is inside Clark Freeport, (which was previously the US Clark Air Base.) Travelers from different entry points could now land directly at the airport. Flights from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Incheon Korea, Singapore, Hongkong and Thailand are quite affordable.

For first time-travelers, it is not advisable to hail a taxi outside of the airport for these are no longer covered by airport rules and may not be guaranteed for your personal safety. Accidents can happen in any part of the world no matter what safety precautions are in place if you don’t travel wisely. One could easily be lost in the crowded, metropolitan mazes.

Within Angeles city, jeepneys and tricycles are readily available.

Recommended places to visit:

If you’re a nature enthusiast, the remains of Mt. Pinatubo would be a good place to go. The remains of the eruption in 1991 are still indelibly etched on the landscape. The oldest house-Pamintuan’s residence found at Sto. Rosario St. could be a treat for you. The intricate designs of the house reflect the influence of the Spanish occupation. The Clark Special

The Beauty After the Onslaught - Mt. Pinatubo, photo by lacesdews
The Beauty After the Onslaught - Mt. Pinatubo, photo by lacesdews

Economic Zone could be a peaceful place to visit, just to see how the former – US Clark Air Base – looked like. It occupies a large area in the outskirt of the city. There are also several duty-free shops . Taxis can be hired at the gates of Clark or at taxi stops outside SM Clark ( a leading Filipino Mall, found just near the gates of Clark).

Several popular hotels are also within Clark’s perimeter: Mimosa and Holiday Inn to name some. Mount Arayat stands majestic in the center of Pampanga and is less than an hour’s ride from the city proper. It is the only mountain found in the heart of the province.

Mother Nature abounds and local folks usually spent some respite there during the summer months. A guided tour would be advisable if you want to include it in your list.

The museums, churches and old Spanish houses are worth a visit too.

It would be wise not to venture without a competent, local guide. Balibago – one ride from the city proper – is where most tourists stay. There are several hotels in this area, Swagman, Oasis , and many more.  These are frequented by tourists from different nationalities.  Night life is also spectacular.

There are several bars and bistros (some are opened 24 hours), which cater to foreigners who prefer the night life.

Whatever places you decide to visit while in Angeles City, you should be a wise traveler. Always have a map of the city with you, bring only valuables that you need when going out. For maximum enjoyment, stay in groups and employ  the services of legitimate local guides.

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