Monthly Archives: July 2009

Day tours in and around Angeles City #2

Day tours in and around Angeles City.

Day Trip Number #2

Recently I got a text from Shagger imploring me to accompany him on a bike ride. I am not sure if this was because he felt the need to get me back on the bike after my recent spill or maybe because he hadn’t really taken his bike for a decent ride in a long time. Anyway I said yes and so with Ronalie (no nose) armed with camera we took off on our second day trip.

After leaving home it was up Don Juico Avenue past Roadies heading towards Friendship Highway

Along the way we passed Stargate with it’s ever attentive guard guarding the portal

Past Easy Riders where we revved the bikes especially hard just to let them know we were around

Cross over Friendship Highway (the old Friendship Gate is on your right hand side) and head towards the new Friendship entrance to the base.

Just keep on following the road past the new Friendship Gate and very soon you are on a classic provincial road travelling through the now vegetated lahar fields

Very soon you will come to the new Expressway which heads towards Subic. After reading the signs promoting the development of this road for so many years it is really quite exciting to see it is actually getting somewhere near completion.

After crossing over the new Highway it’s a bit bumpy as the roads are half sealed and half lahar. The lahar is actually quite a pleasant driving surface and does not pose any real problems for adventurous travelers.

Fairly soon you come to Barangay Margot where the rural lifestyle begins to dominate proceedings. This is truly a rural area and only 15 minutes drive from Fields Avenue.

The locals were a little curious about our presence who are these crazy white guys on their noisy bikes

After Barangay Margot you will come to the last entrance to the base. If on a bike make sure you are wearing your helmet if going into the base and for car drivers make sure your seatbelt is on.

After the base entrance there is a small water hazard which the first time we did this trip proved a small problem wetting a spark club. However this time we heeded the advice of Thotoy and came prepared with condom covered spark plugs.

Then the next town of any significance is Sabatoda.

In Sabatoda life moves at a more sedate pace

In fact in many ways this is a very civilized little town

But even in the provincial areas modern industry is the order of the day

After travelling through Sabatoda it’s a slight downhill run to the bridge which marks the true beginning of your provincial expedition.

The view from the bridge.

Life here is very basic and close to the environment.

After the bridge it is a steady climb on a lahar road heading towards the infamous Mount Pinatubo

Passing through some very basic provincial areas

Where existence is somewhat primitive and basic at the best of times

But there are constant reminders that we are not that far from civilization such as the pristine jeepney which we found was utilized by Roadslut on his last staff outing.

As you progress up the hills the vegetation becomes more tropical and jungle like with banana trees Mango trees and lush undergrowth dominating the surrounding area.

After reaching a high point of the hills it was time to make a decision either turn round and head back to civilization or carry on up the mountains heading towards Mount Pinatubo. We decided heading back was the best option and this decision was duly prompted by miss no nose Ronalie complaining of a sore ass.

I had a look at the road as it headed onwards and it looked fine for travelling. I have no hesitation in recommending this trip to any adventurous traveler. The road heads towards Mount Pinatubo and eventually intersects with other back roads which in turn connect to Subic. Due to time constraints we did not take this road but plans are underway for this expedition in the vey near future.

As you travel through the small villages religion is always present and the signs remind you of the predominance of the Catholic Church.

As always there are the local sari sari stores which are considered a “nice business” by the majority of Filipinos

Carry on down the road heading past the new Friendship gate entrance to the base.

Turn the corner and it’s back to civilization

As the journey comes to a close I thoroughly recommend a trip along Friendship and a stop off at The Cold Drop for a drink and some good food.

This is a great Day Trip and will take you about 2 hours driving at a sedate pace and allowing for stoppage time. This is a good trip because you really get to see the provincial life style of the Filipinos yet you are literally in the very near back blocks of Angeles.

Evidence of the devastation from the Mount Pinatubo explosion is everywhere yet life goes on and it is a testimony to the Filipino hardiness to see how they have adapted. This trip will afford you glimpses of a hardy somewhat basic life and increase your understanding of the country we all love so much.

Day tours in and around Angeles City #1

Day tours in and around Angeles City

There are actually quite a few short day trips that visitors can partake in within close vicinity to Angeles. These tours afford an excellent view of the local countryside and the Filipino rural lifestyle. In this article I have highlighted two tours which I do regularly on my motor bike but they would be just as good in a car. These tours are only short and take about 3 hours including stoppage time however they really give you a great feeling for the countryside and the lifestyle of the Filipinos living there.

Tour 1: Angeles – Magalang- Arayat.

Head down Fields Avenue until it meets Mcarthur Highway cross over Mcarther and continue along Mountain View Road. Just follow Mountain View Road until you pass City Hall on your left and come to a roundabout. Go into the roundabout and veer left following signs to Magalang. Cross over the bridge which spans the highway and continue straight. Next big town will be that of Magalang.

Magalang is a medium sized town but well worth stopping in to have a little stroll around the markets. It’s an interesting experience to look at all the shops and the different appliances they are selling. These shops are very indicative of the lifestyle in the area surrounding Magalang.

Keep going straight until you come to an intersection. At the Intersection is a Caltex and a patron service station. Turn right and just keep going straight. Follow this road for approximately 20 Kilometers and you will then come to a sign pointing towards the town of Arayat. Take a left turn 50 meters after the sign and you are heading towards Arayat.

Keep going straight and after about 30 minutes travelling at a leisurely pace you will come to the town of Arayat. Arayat is only a small provincial town but it is worth stopping and just having a stroll around. The people are friendly and most will be only too pleased to show you around. Here you can expect some surprised looks as many of them don’t get to see foreigners very much.

After Arayat simply turn around and retrace you’re your journey back to Angeles.

Here are some pictures of some of the things you can expect to see and experience when you take this trip.

Perimeter road heading down towards Fields Avenue. This picture was taken just around the Oasis Hotel area.

Down town Fields Avenue busy as always.

Mountainveiw Road

Heading down Mountain View road leaving Barangay Balibago

Down this road there are many produce stores including pineapples


and even oversized chickens which to us foreigners are normal sized chickens.

The roundabout after city hall

Round the round about and veer left following signs to Magalang

Over the bridge which spans the North bound Highway.

On the outskirts of Magalang there are many little stores which serve the produce needed for day to day existence. Note the many different types of rice. This is the Philipine rural equivalent of 7/11.

Its a nice road heading into Magalang proper with pot holes and cracks predominating.

Building nippa huts seems to be a thriving business in this area.

Great views of Mount Arayat for all those who travel this road.

The entrance into Magalang township.

The Magalang public market. It is perfectly safe and kind of fun to stroll around here looking at all the different produce that is for sale. You will be amazed at what you can find here.

Outside of Magalang it becomes more rural very quickly.

As always the obligatory trike with a sack of rice on top.

Splendid views of Mount Arayat.

Can never go anywhere in the Philippine countryside without seeing a rice field.

Here’s a more cost efficient way of getting around. It may not be quick but you get where you want to go eventually.

Heading out toward Arayat it is a very nice drive as you sit back and absorb the scenery.

The Journey takes you through many pictureque little towns.

Outside of the towns there is some great scenery to be enjoyed.

Turning left following signs to Arayat you are now on the main road to the town of Arayat.

There is some awesome views of the Filipino countryside along this road.

The road is great and not much traffic.

As long as you discount the occassional Caribou.

Along this road there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy a quiet snack whilst savouring the beautiful countryside.

If you wish to you can go to the town of Arayat and have a look around but I tend to turn around and head back rather than go into Arayat town.

There are some interesting old houses to be seen in Arayat.

You will always encounter a little traffic on the way home

This is an excellent one day trip and takes about 3 hours including stoppage time and driving at a leisurely pace. This trip affords you a glimpse into the rural lifestyle around Angeles which in many ways represents the real Philippines much more so than the bars.

From a tourist perspective trips such as this give you a real feel for what this country is all about and actually make the perfect break from bar hopping and drinking.

This article was written by Mjibbo