Angeles City, Philippines: Northern Luzon’s Entertainment Capital
Angeles City, aka “City of Angels” is Northern Luzon’s entertainment capital. According to locals, Angeles City is where many dreams come true, but it is also where many hearts get broken. With a population of 310,000+ people, the city is located in Pampanga province, which is to the northwest of Manila. Though considered the entertainment hub of Luzon, Angeles City has so much more to offer than just nightclubs and bars.
The city is also famous for its different culinary delights. It is from here that the famous Filipino dish, known as “Sisig,” originated from. The city is also home to various, and rather significant, significant historical sights, and also offers a great shopping experience.
Angeles City Philippines: Origins
The city began as a simple jungle clearing settlement that was established by San Fernando’s town head, Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda, and Dona Rosalia de Jesus, his wife.
This little settlement was known “Culiat” because vines mostly occupied its surrounding area. In 1829, the settlement separated from the town of San Fernando to become a municipality on its own after which it was rechristened “Town of the Angels” or “El-Pueblo-de-Los-Angeles” named after its founder, Don Angel, and the patron saint, Holy Guardian Angels or Los-Santos-Angeles-de-Los-Custodios.
In the year 1899, the growing town became the main center of operation of the newly formed and independent Philippines Government. However, that current state of affairs never lasted long as in August 1899, the U.S would attack the city leading to a battle that’s considered to be longest ever to happen during the American-Filipino war. The war raged for three months.
The Establishment of the American Base In Angeles City
On 1st September 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order that led to the establishment of Fort Stotsenburg, which would later become Clark Air Base, in Sapang Bato.
This army base was America’s main stronghold in the Filipino nation until the Japanese attacked and occupied it on New Year’s Day in 1942.
In an interesting twist of events, the base then became Japan’s main staging point in that part of the world. It is from here that Japan conducted air operations against Americans in the Pacific frontier. Japanese warplanes that participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf were operating from the base. The U.S would later recapture the base in January 1945.
When the nation of Philippines gained its independence from the Americans on the 4th of July, 1946, the U.S through the American-Philippine Military Bases Agreement (1947), maintained territorial sovereignty and integrity over Clark Airbase as well as Subic Naval Base.
The presence of these American bases in the region greatly contributed to the growth of Angeles City as it became home to lots of foreigners, especially in Balibago, the city’s entertainment district.
The Handing Over Of American Bases To The Philippines Government
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo on the 15th of June, 1991, caused severe damages on Clark airbase and Angeles City. As a result, America handed over its bases to the Philippines government before their official tenure ended in November 1991.
Under the leadership of President Fidel V. Ramos, Clark Airbase was transformed to become (CSEZ) Clark Special Economic Zone. The airport, on the other hand, was later rechristened “Diosdado Macapagal International Airport after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s father. The transformation of Clark and the city has led to the area becoming Luzon’s hub for tourism, business, aviation, as well as industry.
Historical Sites In Angeles City
Angeles City has quite a rich history that shouldn’t be missed when visiting the city. Here is a list of some of the most significant historical sites you will find in Angeles city and which are worth visiting.
– Bale Herencia
– Bayanihan Park
– Founders’ Resident (Bale Matua)
– Fort Stotsenburg
– Holy Rosary Church (Santo Rosario)
– Lily Hill
– Holy Family Academy Building
– Post Office Building
– Pamintuan Mansion
– Juan D. Nepomuceno’s Center for Kapampangan Studies
– Balibago “Fields Avenue Entertainment Center”
– Salakot Arch
If what you are looking for is entertainment, then you’ll be glad to know that the nightlife in Angeles City won’t disappoint.
Field Avenue, Angeles City’s nightlife strip, is home to 500+ nightclubs and bars and has survived even the closing of the U.S bases.
The area remains a popular rest and recuperation (R&R) center for lots of men who enjoy the fast-paced and vibrant nightlife of Angeles City. Here, it does not matter how old you are or how you look, as long as you have a seemingly endless supply of “Uncle Sam” bills in your pocket to fork out, you’ll always enjoy the company of young, attractive girls.
Field Avenue is a drunken haven 7-days-a-week with some bars even operating 24-hours a day. You won’t have a problem communicating with people in Field Avenue since English is a widely spoken language here.
It is worth noting that Angeles City isn’t everyone’s cup o’ tea. If what you are looking for is warmer climate, beautiful sandy beaches, and blue waters, then this is not the place for you. The city is an inland one with the nearest beach being 1½ hours away. However, it does have a name as Northern Luzon’s entertainment capital. As for me, I’d prefer sipping a cold San Miguel as I watch the ocean and paradise. But, hey, each to their own, right!