Angeles City in Pampanga, has long been a popular destination in Luzon. Home to Clark Air Base, Angeles was the main stronghold of American and Filipino Forces from 1903 to 1991. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo caused the closing of the base and the departure of the American forces, and presently, the area has been improved and converted into the Clark Freeport Zone and Clark International Airport. Infamous for its red-light district and seedy pubs aimed at US servicemen, Angeles has grown and boomed into a more mature and sophisticated destination. World-class hotels, resorts, casinos and real estate developments show the growth and potential of Clark, which should be in full bloom hopefully in the next few years. At present, visitors will still see pieces of Clark's past still peeking through the new facade, both figuratively and literally. Clark's walking street (the red-light district), old American-era buildings and deteriorating duty-free shops are just reminders of what Clark was like in its' heyday, but now it seems clear that the government and the people invested in Clark have a brighter future in mind for their city and Angeles in general.
With all the new developments in Clark and Angeles going on, the heart of Clark which is its people is still the best reason to visit. Friendly, genuine, accommodating, and fully acclimated to being in a tourist town, the people of Angeles are always happy to chat or to tell you where your next spot to visit should be. They also take pride in having great local cuisine which is why doing a culinary road trip around Angeles is a must for travelers. Famous Filipino specialties as only Pampangeños can create are plentiful, so make sure to plan your stops well to get the most out of your food trip.
Close to Manila with a lot to see, Angeles and Clark is a great option for a fun city-life weekend destination. Inexpensive, lively and fun with great food and great people, it definitely has something for everyone of all ages.
It was because of Aling Lucing that the Deparment of Tourism acknowledged Angeles City as the “Sisig Capital of the Philippines”. Even Anthony Bourdain didn’t pass up the opportunity to try Aling Lucing’s sisig.
Sisig is a kapampangan dish made out of pig head, be sure to eat here if you’re looking for authentic and classic pampangeno food. Aside from their famous sisig and other grilled items, their burong kanin is also a must try.
Holy Rosary Church
Standing in the heart of downtown Angeles, this beautiful and well-kept Catholic church was designed with fascinating architecture. Known locally as “Pisambang Maragul which means big church, it is recognized as a national historical site.
Museo Ning De Angeles
Just across Holy Rosary Church you’ll find this museum that displays memorabilia that explains the culture and tradition of the people of Angeles.
A staple buy when you visit Pampanga, they are known for their cheese bread and Spanish bread. They also have other pasalubong that you can buy like sans rival, peanuts, bottled dried fish and other delicious treats.
A good place to hang out at with your family when you want to cool down from the afternoon heat. You’ll find nice shops, restaurants, a movie theater, and a decent grocery. Location is very accessible through the expressway.
This humble eatery started as a small sari-sari store, and is now known to be one of the must-visit restaurants in Pampanga. Since it’s located in a residential area, parking is limited especially during lunch and dinner time. Try going there after lunch to avoid large crowds.
Mila’s is famous for their sisig and their tokwa’t baboy. Their tokwa’t baboy is topped with onions and celery that gives the dish a different flavor. Be sure not to miss their pako salad and chicharon bulaklak.
This long stretch of road located in the Fil-Am Highway is filled with different Korean restaurants and establishments. An interesting and lively area in Angeles, anyone going here will definitely have a great time.
A hotel made of cargo shipping containers. It’s a great place to stay if you need basic and affordable accommodations. A simple, cozy and unconventional hotel with comfortable amenities and friendly staff.
A Korean BBQ place where they offer premium meats, cold beer and soju, tasty side dishes and excellent customer service. Open 24 hours.
Souq is a wonderful place to unwind with your friends and definitely a great dating hangout.
The great food and drinks is complemented by the cozy ambiance and nice interiors, plus the staff always goes the extra mile for customer satisfaction. Interestingly designed, the restaurant doubles as a showroom for the furniture that are also for sale.
This restaurant is always suggested by the locals if you are looking for home cooked Kapampangan meals and some exotic food like barbecue crickets and froglets. For a cafeteria-style eatery, prices are a bit expensive. I guess it’s a good place to visit once.
What makes this halo-halo different from the rest is the pastillas (carabao’s milk candy) that goes in it. The simplicity of the ingredients does not overwhelm - not too sweet but very creamy.
Meaning “delicious” in the traditional Aeta dialect, Matam-ih Restaurant features an array of tasty and authentic Kapampangan and Filipino dishes on their menu. The restaurant is also known for their staff which is comprised of members of the Aeta and Abelling indigenous people. With interesting interiors and fun areas of interest, It’s a great place to check out, share a meal with your family and get a taste of authentic Pampangueno cuisine.
Once known as the most technologically advanced hospitals in South East Asia during its heyday in the 60s, Clark Hospital experienced a lot in its’ history including getting bombed and raided by the Japanese in the war to sustaining damage due to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. It was soon abandoned and left to the elements and is now widely known as one of the creepiest and most haunted places in the Philippines. Easy to find and open for you to explore, Clark Hospital is a sight to see but enter at your own risk!
Clark Museum, although not exceptionally large, has well-made and very informative displays which are great for students and tourists. For a minimal fee of 100 pesos, visitors get to learn about all things Pampanga, from its geography, flora and fauna, traditions, customs and people. Great for a quick spot to check out when sightseeing around the Freeport Zone.
You won’t get lost in Pampanga because you’ll encounter the friendliest and most helpful people along your way. Friendly, welcoming and polite, the people of Angeles and Clark are generally warm and used to tourists so it’s easy to find your way and get around the city.
Photos property of Livph