Tuesday, February 15, 2011

things to do in clark

after less than an hour of bus travel from capas, we finally reached angeles, pampanga. we had our breakfast in another fast food joint (jollibee) adjacent to dau bus terminal. we still hadn't figured out on how to get to clark where we planned to kill the time before our flight later that evening.

clark is simply the colloquial term from its longer and descriptive name, clark air base which had not been in operation since 1991, the year when the american soldiers bade goodbye to angeles. it was only after several years when the vast abandoned land became what it is now, the clark special economic zone and slowly gained life and economic flourish.

there are of course more enjoyable activities aside from what i will enumerate here. we only chose to do/experience these activities given the limited time and money we had.

1. Hang around in SM Clark

we couldn't afford to miss our flight since we must surely get our arses back to work to sustain our any future travel endeavour. so, sm clark it is. when i go to places, i usually stay away from malls or department stores but this time, i had no choice.

 SM City Clark

getting to clark premises can be i think, a tourist trap. the seemingly tourists that we were, carrying unusual loads and crossing the road twice clearly gave way the cluelessness on where we supposed to go. yes, a lot of men in what looked like to be a jeepney stop offered us a Php50/person ride to clark. of course, we didn't buy that. someone was nice enough to point us the direction where we could take a jeepney to sm city clark.

it just took us around 5 minutes to reach the road where we can hail a jeepney bound for sm clark. from the bus terminal, one needs to walk until an intersection and cross a street. i found it weird that pedestrians were not allowed to cross where the usual walk/don't walk sign supposed to be. well, for one the signs were not there and there are conspicuous signs that it's illegal to cross there. in order to cross the street, the pedestrians would have to walk further and just simply cross the street, with no apparent signs and the flowing vehicles.

anyway, we only paid PhP7 each for our jeepney ride to sm clark. we were right after all.

Around SM City Clark
from the top. i would like to try that bungee fun but i had only seen kids whom i envied bouncing off the trampoline. i didn't bother to ask though, afraid that i would know the truth that it's not for adults. most of the time, we were only lounging at sm's food court, making the most of their free wi-fi and the fountain is just outside. bought that frixion pen in national bookstore because it's always out of stock in cebu. the pen was suggested by my friend in manila since the ink can be erased. funny thing was that all along, i already had 2 frixion pens which i bought from japan in 2009 and i hadn't known what it should be. haha! and these were really nice and intricate exhibits of an alien and a predator!

2. Horseback Riding in El Kabayo

since we had a lot of time to kill, we needed a more outdoorsy feel other than the  air-conditioned mall and decided to try horseback riding!

Clark Freeport Zone Gate

sm clark is outside the gates of the freeport zone while the el kabayo, where we were heading is inside.  at first, we tried to enter the clark's gate on foot and we should have thought otherwise when all the guards seemed to be alarmed as they saw us approaching. before we could even reach the gate, this security guard admonished us that we could not pass through and we should instead take the designated jeepneys.

Lesson Learned: Don't just walk in to Clark Freeport Zone.

El Kabayo

maybe we had to thank the guard for suggesting us to take the jeepney since el kabayo is really really far. by the way, there is a terminal for the designated jeepneys and it can be reached by a long skywalk from sm clark. just ask around on what jeepney that goes inside clark.

Horseback Riding in El Kabayo
el kabayo offers various packages to make your horseback riding fun and exciting. i can remember a package wherein one would have to cross a river but that would take a long time and it's expensive.

for this one, we had a 15-minute? (i can't exactly remember.) lease of the horse and took turns on horseback riding across the field. we had it for PhP350. a good deal already for first-timers like me!

3. Shop in Duty Frees 

 Clark Duty Free - Liberty Plaza

i was disappointed with this shop because their display of apparel and shoes was like in a bazaar. it was so china. they had also stocks of chocolates, biscuits and candies. we had to shrug off our thought that we could surely get the same kind of goodies in supermarkets since until that time, we had almost nothing but ourselves to take home for our dear ones.

there was also another duty free shop in front of liberty plaza but it was not appealing at all. maybe, they have to consider redesigning their entire architecture and landscape to let everyone know that they're still in operation and indeed a duty free shop, which everyone delights. also, offer good deals that customers can't find in the usual groceries or department stores.

why am i suggeting this if my experience was not that good? well, it's part of clark and it comes with the whole clark experience. you may have a better experience than us.

4. Go Around Air Force City Park

we saw these old fighter planes while we were heading to el kabayo and my brother, a sucker for fighter planes, rockets, and all those geeky stuff had asked us if we could stop by here.

there's really nothing much to do here except to enrich one's knowledge in history. these planes were from the world war 2, during the era of our grandparents. one thing i like about the park is its grass and i would love to sit here on a lazy afternoon and read a book, maybe about wwII. :D


these 4 were the only things we did in clark. though, there are a lot of tourist attractions that clark boasts in their website. i am especially intrigued by fontana waterpark.

size of clark measures up to thousands of hectares as written in this wiki. so, it's dead imposible to just walk to get to places. during daytime, there are few jeepneys around clark with a PhP7 minimum fare at that time. these jeepneys also cater to the workers of the sprawling factories in clark.


travel period: aug 6-9, 2010
1. my guide to vigan

2. vigan day tour

3. all day agony to clark
4. things to do in clark


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