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Ready, Set, Angeles…

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Ready, Set, Angeles…

Postby Gene and Viol » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:39 am

Mabuhay and Greetings from Angeles City, Philippines. I’m a retired American living close to Angeles City in the Philippine Islands. I thought it would be fun to write a bit about our area and life on the largest of the Philippines 7,107 islands. Most of what I write here comes from others with far more information than I can provide from just my own personal experiences. Weather traveling the world in search of the perfect vacation spot, or like me, finding a warm place in the sun to enjoy my retirement years; The Philippines is a place of beauty and a relaxed lifestyle that would be hard to find anywhere else. Following is an article about our area of Angeles City. Things to do, how to get here and the like. As time goes by I will try to write a note or two with thoughts about life here as well as personal experiences. If you have never been to the Philippines before or even if you have lived here for years, remember this is a third world country with wonderful but very poor people. Use caution and good common sense when traveling in the country at all times. And remember the old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true—it usually is.

Angeles is a city mirroring two images; that of the beauty of nature and that of the glitter and glamour of city life. If you're bound for the Philippines, then it is one city that you should visit.

Location:

The city is located in Region III, north of Manila / NCR (National Capitol Region), Philippines. It is more or less 80 kilometers 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, a stop over is usually done at Dau which is a jeepney- ride away from Angeles. There are ordinary buses and air con buses which offer affordable prices .

Private cars could be rented and taxis from the airport 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 jeenpney stop. If you're totally new to the city, a taxi ride from the NAIA Airport provided by legitimate and certified airport taxis should be utilized.

The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) is situated also 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, Hong Kong 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
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. 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 , etc. which are frequented by tourists. 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 avail yourself of the services of legitimate local guides.

My personal favorite place in Angels for a quick and affordable meal is the VFW post. Good Mexican tacos, great sandwiches, and the best cup of coffee this side of Los Angeles Calif.

From strictly a personal point of view, moving to the Philippines has to be the 2nd best thing I’ve done in life. The 1st without a doubt was finding and marrying my wonderful Filipina wife.

That’s all for this time. My sweet wife, Viol, is calling me in to surprise me with yet another delicious Filipino snack of some kind. Gosh, I have a hard life…
Gene and Viol
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Postby Winston » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:39 pm

Hi again Gene,
I've been in Angeles for almost 3 years and I haven't seen any nature at all. Dianne tells me that without a car, it's difficult to get to Mt. Pinatubo, and the tours are all overpriced. There is supposed to be a mountain and waterfall in Clark, but no public transportation there.

Any recommendations or ways to get around that? How do you get to Mt. Arayat?

The thing is, I hate depending on local guided tours cause they always overcharge. And when you live here a long time, you tend to get defensive about that, even toward innocent well meaning locals, unfortunately.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Local Touring

Postby Gene and Viol » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:49 pm

Hi Again Winston,

I’ve never been to Pinatubo and have heard it’s a dangerous place to venture. We go to Clark and the duty free stores from time to time and the park there with our little girl. But the Mt with a waterfall is news to me.

Mt. Arayat is an easy ride either by trike or if you drive, just come into Magalang and take the road that leads to the public hospital and to PAC college. During the summer months, there is a clear, cold water swimming pool inside of the PAC grounds that is fun for picnics.
I enjoy the Angeles City Flying Club on the other side of Mt. Arayat. Its still close to Magalang but out in the country. There, they have ultra light aircraft for rent and a small airport with a grass runway. Even has a pool and picnic area for members.
If you like flying or just riding in planes at treetop level its lots of fun…
Gene and Viol
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Postby Winston » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:15 pm

Are there jeepneys to Mt. Arayat? Are there paved trails there with signs?

Which VFW are you referring to, the one on Friendship or the one on MacArthur St under the gate arch? Do they have any vegetarian food there?
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Mt. Arayat

Postby Gene and Viol » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:01 am

I would guess there are jeepneys going there. I have seen some with a lot of the students going to school in that area but have no idea which ones or where they go exactly.

Don’t know about trails although there might be some for hiking. There are many paved roads there and I have been on a limited number of them only.
The elevation there is a little bit higher too. So on hot days it’s a nice area to escape some of the heat.

I have only been to the VFW that is just off Friendship Rd. Didn’t know there is another one. They might have some vegetarian dishes on their menu but have never noticed any.
Las time I was there was probably 5 months ago and I had the BBQ pork sand.
Our income level is quite low so going to places like the VFW is a rare occasion.
We try as much as possible to use our finances for the important things and some extra gasoline on the weekends…
Gene and Viol
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