Though it may not have the most sterling reputation, Angeles City is nonetheless an interesting place to see as a visitor to the Philippines. Boasting a surprising number of museums and churches to balance its entertainment facilities, this place will appeal to more than just hedonists.
Angeles City City Guide: A Brief History Of Angeles City, Philippines
Angeles City is a first-class city located in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. The city has a rich history, having been inhabited by various indigenous groups and foreign settlers throughout the centuries.
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the area where Angeles City now stands was inhabited by the Sambal and Kapampangan tribes. The Sambal were a seafaring people who lived along the coast, while the Kapampangan were an agricultural society who lived in the interior. The Kapampangan established a settlement in the area called “Kuliat,” which means “the place where there are vines.”
Spanish Colonial Era:
In 1571, Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived in the Philippines and established Spanish colonial rule. The Spanish established a town in the area that is now Angeles City and named it “Culiat.” The town was named after the Kapampangan settlement that existed there before the arrival of the Spanish.
During the Spanish colonial period, Angeles City became an important trading center due to its proximity to Manila and its access to the Pampanga River. The town grew in importance and became a center for agriculture, with crops such as rice and sugarcane being grown in the surrounding areas.
American Colonial Era:
In 1899, the Philippines came under American colonial rule after the defeat of the Spanish in the Spanish-American War. The Americans renamed Culiat to Angeles in honor of the then-governor of the Philippines, William McKinley’s wife.
During the American colonial period, Angeles City continued to develop as a commercial center, with businesses such as banks, hotels, and department stores opening up in the city. The city also became a center for the US military presence in the Philippines, with Clark Air Base being established in the nearby town of Mabalacat.
World War II:
During World War II, Angeles City was occupied by the Japanese forces, and Clark Air Base was used by the Japanese as an airfield. The city was heavily damaged during the war, with many buildings destroyed.
Post-World War II:
After the war, Angeles City was rebuilt and continued to grow as a commercial center. The city also became a popular destination for American servicemen stationed at Clark Air Base.
In 1991, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, which is located near Angeles City, led to the closure of Clark Air Base and the evacuation of the American military personnel stationed there. The closure of the base had a significant impact on the local economy, but the city has since rebounded and has become a popular tourist destination.
Today, Angeles City is known for its vibrant nightlife, as well as its rich history and cultural heritage. The city has a number of historical landmarks and attractions, including the Holy Rosary Parish Church, the Museo ning Angeles, and the Pamintuan Mansion.
Angeles City Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Philippines
While Angeles City is best known for its hedonistic activities, there are still enough attractions around to interest the cultural traveller. Start at the Clark Museum, as this institution contains artifacts, film, and other exhibits which illustrate the colourful history of this part of the Philippines.
Topics covered include war history, local geography, and the story of the Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption, which was one of the biggest of its kind in the 20th century. Some may balk at the 200 peso entrance fee, but it permits access to a 4D theatre that will bring this region’s story to life.
If the Clark Museum has only got you warmed up, learn even more about the region by checking out Museo Ning Angeles. Housed in a building dating back to the 1920s, exhibits within contain dioramas which do well at giving people a look into how life was like more than a century ago.
From representations of local churches to the native dress of local indigenous peoples, there is a lot to take in, but be sure to plan your day so you arrive here by 4 pm between Monday and Saturday, as this institution closes at 5 pm, and is closed on Sunday.
Get even deeper into local culture by visiting the Center for Kapampangan Studies during your visit to Angeles City. Dedicated to the preservation of the language and traditions of this group of people, this small but detailed museum on the campus of Holy Angel University will fascinate and inspire you with a culture that diverges significantly from the modern Filipino way of life.
Of particular interest is the traditional alphabet of the Philippines, but take your time while you are here, as there are plenty of intriguing displays to be found here.
Finish your tour of Angeles City by dropping by Holy Rosary Parish Church. Recognized as a national historic site, it has had a checkered past since its founding in the late 19th century. While it is a lovely place of worship in the present day, the land behind it was used to execute Filipino rebels from 1896 to 1898.
During World War II, its belfry was destroyed in an air raid but was promptly repaired within a year of the incident. Be sure to catch a mass during Holy Week – there is no better time to soak up the religious life of the Philippines than at the most emotional time of year for Christians.
Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Angeles City, Philippines
Want to immerse yourself in Filipino culture and have lots of fun at the same time? Check out Nayong Pilipino Clark, a theme park dedicated to everything it means to be part of this country. Within, you’ll find miniature representations of iconic Filipino destinations, from the Chocolate Hills of Bohol to the Banaue Rice Terraces.
Additionally, there are souvenir shops which source and sell handicrafts made by artisans from around the country, so if you are about to take off from Clark and you still have people to buy for, get it done here.
It’s an open secret that Filipinos are in love with retail therapy – while you are in the Angeles City area, stock up on essentials or buy yourself something nice at SM City Clark. In addition to the numerous stores and brands contained within, a recent renovation has given this place an expanded food court, making it a popular gathering place for local youth.
You’ll also find a sizable bowling alley and an IMAX theatre here as well, making it a great place to entertain yourself when tropical showers are making outdoor pursuits undesirable.
Make the most of the amazing weather Angeles City gets through much of the year by soaking it up at the Aqua Beach Club. Despite the name, this entertainment hot spot is nowhere near Subic Bay – however, its rooftop pool is still the best place to be in town on a hot sunny day.
When you aren’t lying by the pool, there are three floors inside where you can dance the day and night away. With free entry for ladies, new DJs spinning all the time, and cabanas on the roof that can be rented out for private use, there is no better spot in Angeles City to let loose and have a good time.
Before catching your flight out of Clark Field, spend 10-15 minutes to explore Air Force City Park. Within this green space, you’ll find retired planes from the Filipino Air Force sprinkled throughout like sculptures. With plenty of shade here, it is a popular place for locals to picnic, so feel free to join them if you are in no rush to get to the airport.
Top 10 Things To Do in Angeles City, Philippines For Visitors
here are the top 10 things to do in Angeles City, Philippines:
- Visit the Holy Rosary Parish Church – This centuries-old church is an architectural gem, and its intricate design and beautiful stained glass windows are sure to leave you in awe.
- Explore the Museo ning Angeles – Take a journey through the city’s rich history and cultural heritage by visiting this museum, which is housed in a beautifully restored colonial-era building.
- Visit the Pamintuan Mansion – Once the residence of one of the city’s most prominent families, this beautifully preserved mansion offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Philippines’ elite in the 19th century.
- Take a food tour – Angeles City is known for its delicious cuisine, and a food tour is a great way to sample some of the city’s most popular dishes.
- Relax at Nayong Pilipino Clark – This park offers a relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, with its beautiful gardens, tranquil ponds, and traditional Filipino architecture.
- Visit the Air Force City Park – Located on the site of the former Clark Air Base, this park features decommissioned planes and helicopters, as well as a museum dedicated to the history of the base.
- Try your luck at a casino – Angeles City has a number of world-class casinos, where you can try your hand at a variety of games.
- Hit the nightlife scene – With its vibrant bar and club scene, Angeles City is a popular destination for partygoers.
- Visit Mount Pinatubo – This active volcano, located near Angeles City, offers a unique opportunity to hike and explore the stunning landscape surrounding the crater lake.
- Shop at SM City Clark – This massive shopping mall has everything from high-end fashion to local handicrafts, making it a great destination for souvenir shopping or a day of retail therapy.
What To Eat and Drink in Angeles City, Philippines
Angeles City, Philippines is a culinary hotspot that boasts a wide variety of delicious and unique dishes. Here are some must-try dishes and drinks:
- Sisig – This dish is a local specialty made from chopped pig’s head, onions, and chili peppers, and is typically served with rice.
- Tocino – A sweet and savory Filipino breakfast staple, tocino is thinly sliced pork that has been marinated in a sweet mixture of sugar and spices.
- Adobo – A Filipino classic, adobo is a savory stew made with chicken or pork, vinegar, soy sauce, and spices.
- Balut – This popular Filipino street food is a fertilized duck egg that is boiled and eaten with salt and vinegar.
- Halo-halo – A refreshing dessert made with shaved ice, milk, and a variety of toppings, including sweet beans, fruits, and jellies.
- San Miguel Beer – The Philippines’ most popular beer, San Miguel is a crisp and refreshing lager that pairs well with spicy dishes.
- Buko Juice – This refreshing drink is made from young coconut juice, which is a natural source of electrolytes and is perfect for beating the heat.
- Calamansi Juice – A tart and refreshing drink made from the juice of the calamansi fruit, which is similar to a small lime.
- Taho – A sweet and creamy snack made from silken tofu, arnibal (a sweet syrup), and sago pearls.
- Lechon – A Filipino favorite, lechon is a roasted whole pig that is seasoned with spices and herbs, and is often served at special occasions and celebrations.
Top Restaurants In Angeles City, Philippines
Angeles City is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide variety of restaurants offering delicious local and international cuisine. Here are some of the top restaurants in Angeles City:
- Binulo Restaurant – This restaurant specializes in traditional Kapampangan cuisine, and is known for its delicious sisig and adobo.
- Cafe Fleur – Owned by award-winning chef Sau Del Rosario, Cafe Fleur offers a modern twist on traditional Filipino dishes, using fresh, local ingredients.
- Apag Marangle – Located in a traditional Filipino-style village, Apag Marangle serves up traditional Kapampangan dishes in a rustic, outdoor setting.
- Susie’s Cuisine – A local favorite, Susie’s Cuisine serves up a wide variety of Filipino comfort food, including palabok, empanadas, and bibingka.
- BIF’s Smoke and Grill – This popular restaurant is known for its mouthwatering grilled meats, including steaks, ribs, and chicken.
- Piccolo Padre – A charming Italian restaurant with a cozy atmosphere, Piccolo Padre offers a variety of classic Italian dishes, including pasta, pizza, and seafood.
- Seoulia Korean Restaurant – A must-visit for Korean food lovers, Seoulia offers an extensive menu of Korean dishes, including bulgogi, bibimbap, and kimchi.
- Wildflour Cafe + Bakery – This popular cafe and bakery offers a range of delicious baked goods, as well as a menu of brunch favorites and sandwiches.
- The Hues Boutique Hotel Restaurant – Located inside a chic boutique hotel, this restaurant offers a sophisticated atmosphere and a menu of international cuisine.
- Royce Hotel and Casino – This luxury hotel and casino offers several dining options, including the Chinese restaurant The Empire and the Japanese restaurant Amare by Chef Chris.
Tours For Visitors To Angeles City, Philippines
Here are some of the top tours available for visitors to Angeles City:
- Walking tour of the city – Explore the historic and cultural sites of Angeles City on foot, with a knowledgeable guide to show you around.
- Food tour – Sample some of the city’s best cuisine on a food tour, which will take you to local restaurants and street vendors to try traditional Filipino dishes.
- Clark Freeport Zone tour – Visit the Clark Freeport Zone, a former US military base that has been transformed into a bustling economic zone, with casinos, restaurants, and shopping centers.
- Mount Pinatubo tour – Take a day trip to Mount Pinatubo, an active volcano located near Angeles City, and hike to the crater lake for stunning views.
- Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta tour – If you’re visiting in February, don’t miss the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which features colorful hot air balloons from around the world.
- Cultural village tour – Learn about the traditional way of life of the Aetas, an indigenous people of the Philippines, at a cultural village tour.
- Aqua Planet water park tour – Cool off at the Aqua Planet water park, which features water slides, wave pools, and other fun attractions.
- Nayong Pilipino Clark tour – Visit Nayong Pilipino Clark, a cultural theme park that showcases the traditional architecture and way of life of different regions of the Philippines.
- Golf tour – Angeles City is home to several world-class golf courses, and a golf tour is a great way to experience them.
- ATV adventure tour – Take an ATV tour through the countryside surrounding Angeles City, and explore scenic trails and rural villages.
Angeles City Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels
Angeles City offers plenty of accommodation options to suit any budget and preference. Here is a guide to some of the best accommodations in Angeles City:
- Clark Marriott Hotel – This luxury hotel is located in the heart of the Clark Freeport Zone, and features spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, and several on-site restaurants.
- Prime City Resort Hotel – This modern hotel features comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool, and a fitness center, and is located near several shopping and dining options.
- Quest Plus Conference Center Clark – This business hotel features spacious rooms and suites, a fitness center, and a ballroom and meeting rooms for events and conferences.
- Oasis Hotel – This boutique hotel features beautifully decorated rooms and suites, a pool, and a restaurant serving Filipino and international cuisine.
- Central Park Tower Resort – This newly opened hotel features stylish rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, and a rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city.
- Clarkton Hotel – This hotel features comfortable rooms, a pool, and a spa, and is located near the Clark Freeport Zone and several golf courses.
- Red Planet Angeles City – This budget hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price, and is located near several shopping and dining options.
- Swiss Chalet – This charming guesthouse features cozy rooms, a garden, and a restaurant serving Swiss and Filipino cuisine.
- Wild Orchid Resort – This resort features spacious villas and suites, a pool, a spa, and several restaurants and bars, and is located near several golf courses.
- Horizonhill Hotel – This hotel features comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool, and a restaurant serving Filipino and international cuisine, and is located near several shopping and dining options.
Day Trips From Angeles City, Philippines
Angeles City is a great base for exploring the surrounding area, which is rich in natural beauty, cultural heritage, and fun activities. Here are some of the best day trips to take from Angeles City:
- Mount Pinatubo – Take a guided tour to Mount Pinatubo, an active volcano that last erupted in 1991. The trek to the crater lake is a challenging but rewarding experience, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Subic Bay Freeport Zone – This former US naval base is now a thriving economic zone, with several attractions including a theme park, an aquarium, and a jungle survival camp.
- Nayong Pilipino Clark – This cultural theme park showcases the traditional architecture and way of life of different regions of the Philippines, with replicas of landmarks like the Chocolate Hills and the Banaue Rice Terraces.
- Puning Hot Springs – This natural hot spring resort is located in a remote area surrounded by mountains, and offers a unique spa experience with mud packs, hot and cold pools, and a natural sauna.
- San Guillermo Church – This centuries-old church in Bacolor was partially buried by lahar during the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, and is now a popular attraction for its striking façade and historical significance.
- Pampanga Culinary Tour – Take a food tour of Pampanga, known as the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines”, and sample local specialties like sisig, tocino, and adobo.
- Sandbox at Alviera – This adventure park in Porac offers a range of activities including ziplining, ATV rides, and an aerial walk.
- Hiking at Mount Arayat – This mountain near Angeles City offers several hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including the Kapampangan trail, which passes by a waterfall and a cave.
- Paradise Ranch – This nature park in Clark offers horseback riding, zipline rides, and a petting zoo, as well as a butterfly garden and a fishing pond.
- Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar – This heritage resort in Bataan features a collection of restored heritage houses from different parts of the Philippines, as well as a beach and several restaurants.
Angeles City Transportation Guide
Angeles City, Philippines has several transportation options to get around the city and to nearby destinations. Here is a guide to the different transportation options in Angeles City:
- Jeepneys – Jeepneys are the most common mode of transportation in Angeles City and throughout the Philippines. These colorful vehicles are typically used for short trips around the city, and are affordable and convenient.
- Tricycles – Tricycles are also a popular mode of transportation in Angeles City. These motorized vehicles can accommodate up to three passengers, and are commonly used for short trips within the city.
- Taxis – Taxis are available in Angeles City, but they are less common than jeepneys and tricycles. Taxis are more expensive than other modes of transportation, but they are more comfortable and convenient for longer trips.
- Ride-hailing services – Ride-hailing services such as Grab and Angkas are available in Angeles City, and can be a convenient and affordable way to get around the city.
- Buses – Buses are available for longer trips to nearby cities and provinces. Several bus companies operate in Angeles City, with routes to destinations such as Manila, Baguio, and Subic.
- Rental cars – Rental cars are available in Angeles City, but they can be expensive and driving in the Philippines can be challenging due to heavy traffic and poor road conditions.
- Motorcycles – Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation for locals, and can be rented by tourists as well. However, riding a motorcycle in the Philippines can be dangerous, and it is important to wear a helmet and follow traffic rules.
Overall, jeepneys and tricycles are the most common and affordable modes of transportation in Angeles City, while taxis and ride-hailing services are more convenient for longer trips or when traveling with luggage.
Where To Visit After Your Trip To Angeles City?
If you have some time after your trip to Angeles City, there are several nearby destinations worth visiting. Here are some suggestions:
- Manila – The capital city of the Philippines is only a couple of hours away from Angeles City by bus or car. Visit the historical sites like Intramuros and Rizal Park, or explore the modern malls and restaurants.
- Subic Bay – A former US naval base turned eco-tourism zone, Subic Bay offers a variety of attractions including beaches, water sports, zoos, and adventure parks.
- Bataan – This province is known for its historical sites, including the Bataan Death March Memorial and the Mount Samat National Shrine. The beaches in Bataan are also popular for swimming and diving.
- Zambales – Another nearby province with a long coastline and several beach resorts. Visit the surfing town of San Juan or the scenic Capones Island.
- Baguio – A mountain resort city famous for its cool climate, Baguio is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Visit the parks, waterfalls, and hiking trails.
- Pampanga – The province where Angeles City is located has several other attractions worth visiting, such as the heritage town of Betis, the Giant Lantern Festival in December, and the hot air balloon festival in February.
- Batangas – This province south of Manila has some of the best beaches and diving spots in the Philippines, as well as historical sites like the Taal Heritage Town and the Batangas City Museum.
- Palawan – This province is known for its stunning beaches, limestone cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. Visit the Underground River, El Nido, or Coron for some of the best views in the country.
- Boracay – Another famous beach destination, Boracay is a small island in the Visayas known for its powdery white sand, vibrant nightlife, and water sports activities.
- Cebu – The Queen City of the South has a rich history and culture, as well as beautiful beaches and diving spots. Visit the Magellan’s Cross, the Taoist Temple, or the Mactan Island for a glimpse of the city’s heritage.
- Siargao – A small island in the northern part of Mindanao, Siargao is a popular destination for surfing, island-hopping, and beach parties. It also has a laid-back vibe that attracts many travelers.
- Vigan – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vigan is a well-preserved Spanish colonial town in the north of Luzon. Walk along the cobblestone streets, admire the ancestral houses, and try the local delicacies.
- Dumaguete – A university town and a gateway to several nearby attractions such as Apo Island and Siquijor, Dumaguete is a charming city with a vibrant arts and culture scene.
- Batanes – A group of islands in the northernmost part of the Philippines, Batanes is known for its rolling hills, stone houses, and picturesque lighthouses. It’s a great destination for nature lovers and photographers.
- Sagada – A mountain town in the Cordillera region, Sagada is known for its stunning views, caves, waterfalls, and hanging coffins. It’s also a popular destination for trekking and camping.
Whether you prefer history, nature, or adventure, there are plenty of destinations near Angeles City to explore and discover.
Angeles City Travel Guide: Final Thoughts
Angeles City is a vibrant and exciting destination in the Philippines, offering a mix of culture, history, and modern amenities. From its lively nightlife to its delicious food, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Angeles City. Whether you’re exploring the historical sites, shopping at the malls, or enjoying the local cuisine, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
But Angeles City is also a gateway to many other destinations in the Philippines. From the beaches of Subic Bay and Boracay to the mountain towns of Sagada and Baguio, there are so many amazing places to visit in this beautiful country.
Overall, Angeles City is a great starting point for any Philippine adventure. With its convenient location, friendly people, and endless attractions, it’s a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Philippines.
In the heart of Pampanga, a city awaits With history and culture, and exciting dates Angeles City is the name, a place to explore From the streets to the parks, there’s so much more
The nightlife is alive, the music never ends From the bars to the clubs, new friendships you’ll make as friends The food is amazing, flavors you’ll savor Kapampangan cuisine, a taste to remember
But the city is more than just parties and cuisine There’s heritage to uncover, and stories to glean From the Holy Rosary Parish, to the Museo ning Angeles You’ll discover the city’s rich past and its angles
Take a walk down the Fields Avenue strip See the street vendors and their wares, take a sip Of the refreshing buko juice or the beer And watch the world go by, without a care
But if you’re looking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle Take a day trip to nearby places, and explore with muscle Visit the crater lake of Mount Pinatubo, or the beaches of Subic Bay And feel the serenity of nature, in your own way
So come to Angeles City, and let it surprise you With its vibrant culture, and its welcoming milieu And take home memories, that will last a lifetime Of a city that’s lively, and oh so divine.