The Country, The City, The Area

“Landscape shapes culture.” – Terry Tempest Williams

There are many places I could begin in a manual of this type but I thought the best place would be to describe the area geographically so that we all understand the playground to which we all want to play. This information was gathered from a number of places such as the CIA fact book as well as many books I have bought over the years on the Philippines as well as information gathered on the Internet. Some of the information may be dated, but you’ll get a general idea of what we are talking about.

The Philippines:

Spread over the blue waters between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean lie 7,107 lush green islands. It’s the meeting place of two cultures. Over the past nearly five centuries, the cultures of the East and the West have met and merged on these islands. The radical diversity sealed within that blend is at the core of the captivating beauty and charm of the Philippines, as well as the enchanting music and the fascinating sense of hospitality of its people. From the crystal clear waters studded with lush green islands of towering palms to the Baroque churches, looming watchtowers and opulent grand homes of the Spanish colonial period now converted into museums, the Philippines is a memorable experience for visitors.


Philippine history, many argue, did not begin with the coming of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Rather, it began in the 13th century when 10 datus from Borneo, each with a hundred of his kinsmen, landed in what is now known as Panay Island in the Visayas. Yet it was Magellan and succeeding expeditions from Spain who put the Philippine archipelago on the map of the world. The intrepid Magellan was dubbed the discoverer of the Philippines after he landed in Homonhon Islet, near Samar, on March 17, 1521. He was later killed in Mactan Island of Cebu in clash with native warriors led by a chieftain named Lapu-lapu.

The Philippines was a prize catch for Spain which, at that time, was locked in a fierce struggle for world colonization with Portugal. The archipelago, named Felipinas for Spain’s Philip II, was composed of 7,107 islands and islets spanning 1854 kilometers from north to south. The Philippines, also a window to the New World, stretched from China to the north and the Indonesian archipelago to the south. The northernmost tip of the country, Y’ami of the Batanes Island group, is 241 kilometers south of Taiwan while the southernmost tip, Sibutu of the Tawi-tawi group of islands, is just 14.4 kilometers north of Borneo.

The Philippines in fact is at a most strategic location making it a natural hub for commerce. Manila and Cebu are premiere centers of trade in the region. To the east is the vast Pacific Ocean and beyond it, the new World. To the west are the kingdoms of Indochina including Cambodia and Thailand while southwest is Malaysia.

There are three major geographical groups in the country: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The northern portion of the archipelago is composed of the largest island, Luzon. The Visayan region is made up of about 6,000 islands including Panay, Leyte, Samar, Cebu and Bohol. Mindanao is the second largest island and encompasses about 400 smaller islands.

Spanish colonizers succeeded in introducing Christianity in Luzon and Visayas but were unsuccessful in Mindanao, where Moslem staved off Spanish efforts. Spanish rule lasted from the 16th century to the 19th century but was marked with a series of revolts. When three Filipino priests were executed for nationalist activities, a group of reformist formed the Propaganda Movement that would later pave the way for the Philippine Revolution. A young doctor-writer named Jose Rizal was arrested and later executed by Spanish officials for his scathing criticisms of Spanish rule in the Philippines through two novels. Rizal, who was just 30 when he was executed, would later be recognized by history as Asia’s first nationalist. His contemporaries include Gandhi and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.

The Philippine Revolution was launched after Rizal’s death and was led first by Andres Bonifacio and then later by Emilio Aguinaldo. Philippine independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 on the balcony of Aguinaldo’s home in Cavite. But as Spanish rule ended, so would American domination begin. Unknown to Aguinaldo and the Filipinos, Spain ceded the archipelago to the US for $20 million. Thus, when American and Filipino forces laid siege on Intramuros, little did the Filipinos know that they would have new enemies. Intramuros surrendered by Filipinos were prevented by Americans from entering. This sowed the seeds of distrust that would eventually culminate in the Filipino-American War.

A new fight for independence was waged and this would last six years. The war ended in 1905 and the period of fighting was followed by decades of progress. In 1935, a Commonwealth government was established complete with a Constitution.

World War II broke out in 1941. Japan annexed the Philippines after heroic battle with Filipino-American forces making a stand in Bataan and Corrigidor. With the surrender, Filipinos took to the hills and waged a guerrilla war for four years. In 1945, US forces liberated the Philippines. On July 4, 1946, the US flag was lowered for the last time as the Philippines was finally granted independence.

The Philippines is an archipelago blessed with a wealth of natural resources, a rich history and unique culture. It’s attractions are as many as they are diverse, with each island offering something different, something special to the most discerning visitor. White sand beaches, lush green forests, majestic mountain peaks, age-old structures, modern cities, and rustic country sides – the list goes on and on.

The country is most popular for its beaches and deep waters teeming with a plethora of marine life. The Philippine waters have attracted a growing number of scuba divers all eager to discover the underwater treasures of the country. Most of the resorts are well-equipped with modern diving equipment and have in their staff professional diving instructors and guides. Facilities for water skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, hobie cat sailing, island hopping, and other water sports are also available. Those who prefer to keep their feet dry can still view the magical coral world through glass-bottomed boats.

The Philippines is not only for sun, sea and sand lovers. The numerous attractions present a wide array of activities to choose from whether you are in the north or the south.

For the nature lover, there is a mountain climbing, bird watching, cave exploration, and even photo safaris. History and culture buffs may learn more about the Philippines and its people when visiting the museums, centuries-old structures, monuments, and churches spread across the country. And for a taste of rural Philippine life, a tour of the farms in the provinces is highly recommended.

Golfers have also found their place in the sun here in the Philippines. The country boasts of challenging golf courses, some of which were designed by world-class course architects in the likes of Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Gary Player.

Whatever your interests are, these islands have it.

Data from CIA Fact Book:

Background: The Philippines were ceded by Spain to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. They attained their independence in 1946 after being occupied by the Japanese in World War II. The 21-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986 when a widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile. In 1992, the US closed down its last military bases on the islands. A quarter-century-old guerrilla war with Muslim separatists on the island of Mindanao, which had claimed 120,000 lives, ended with a treaty in 1996.

Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam

Geographic coordinates: 13 00 N, 122 00 E


Total: 300,000 sq km

Land: 298,170 sq km

Water: 1,830 sq km

Area – comparative: slightly larger than Arizona

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 36,289 km

Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines continental shelf: to depth of exploitation exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: irregular polygon extending up to 100 nm from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in

South China Sea up to 285 nm in breadth

Climate: tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)

Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands

Elevation extremes:

Lowest point: Philippine Sea 0 m

Highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m

Natural resources: timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper

Land use: (estimated 1993)

Arable land: 19%

Permanent crops: 12%

Permanent pastures: 4%

Forests and woodland: 46%

Other: 19%

Irrigated land: 15,800 sq km (estimated 1993)

Natural hazards: astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis

Environment – current issues: uncontrolled deforestation in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in Manila; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps which are important fish breeding grounds

Environment – international agreements: Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection,

Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification.

Population: 81,159,644 (estimated July 2000)

Age structure: (estimated 2000)

0-14 years: 37% (male 15,344,555; female 14,807,320)

15-64 years: 59% (male 23,777,245; female 24,285,565)

65 years and over: 4% (male 1,312,646; female 1,632,313)

Population growth rate: 2.07% (estimated 2000)

Birth rate: 27.85-births/1,000 population (estimated 2000)

Death rate: 6.13-deaths/1,000 population (estimated 2000)

Net migration rate: -1.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (estimated 2000)

Sex ratio: (estimated 2000)

At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female

Infant mortality rate: 29.52 deaths/1,000 live births (estimated 2000)

Life expectancy at birth: (estimated 2000)

Total population: 67.48 years

Male: 64.65 years

Female: 70.46 years

Total fertility rate: 3.48 children born/woman (estimated 2000)


Noun: Filipino(s)

Adjective: Philippine

Ethnic groups: Christian Malay 91.5%, Muslim Malay 4%, Chinese 1.5%, other 3%

Religions: Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 5%, Buddhist and other 3%

Languages: Pilipino (official, based on Tagalog), English (official)

Literacy: (estimated 1995)

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write

Total population: 94.6%

Male: 95%

Female: 94.3%

Angeles City:

The Encyclopedia Britannica describes Angeles City as follows:

“Angeles City: chartered city, central Luzon, Philippines. The city lies on the principal north-south highway and railway lines 50 miles (82 km) north of Manila. Angeles City is the site of Angeles University (founded 1962), a Roman Catholic seminary, and several other colleges. Once known as the “city of the dollar,” Angeles had an economy fueled by its proximity to the American-run Clark Air Base, which was responsible for the rapid growth of the city by providing substantial employment, housing, and business opportunities. With the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 and the subsequent decision by the U.S. government to abandon the ash-covered air base, the city’s future became uncertain. Inc. city, 1963. Pop. (1990 prelim.) 236,000.”


Southeastern Asia, Philippines, Northern Luzon Island, 90 km north of the countries capital Manila


Total: 35 hectare (including Clark Special Economic Zone)

Land: 33 hectare

Water: 2 hectare

Area comparative: slightly larger than Sacramento


Tropical marine; northeast monsoon (dry & hot) (November to April); southwest monsoon (wet & warm) (May to October)

People: (estimated August 2000)

Population: 300,000

Age structure:

0-14 years: 34 %

15-64 years: 63 %

65 years and over: 3%

Population growth rate: 2.07% (estimate)

Birth Rate: 25.85 births/1,000 population

Death Rate: 6.13 deaths/1,000 population

Net migration rate: 3.51migrants/1,000 population

Ethnic Groups: Christian Malay 91.5 %, Residing Foreigners: 3.5 %, Chinese: 2 %, Other: 3 %

Religions: Roman Catholic 86%, Protestant 10%, Muslim, Buddhist and other 4%

Languages: Pilipino (official, based on Tagalog), English (official)


Definition: age 15 and over can read and write

Total population: 98.6%

Male: 99.1%

Female: 98%


Overview: In 2000 the Angeles City economy – a mixture of high technology, light industry, and supporting services – received a further boost as a result of continued support from the City government and the Central Government in Manila into the Clark Special Economic Zone. The government has promised to continue its economic reforms to help the Philippines match the pace of development in the newly industrialized countries of East Asia. The strategy includes improving infrastructure, overhauling the tax system to bolster government revenues, and moving toward further deregulation and privatization of the economy. A major part of the Angeles City economy is its entertainment industry with endless Bars, Karaoke’s and Restaurants, plus three well established Casinos.

GDP – real growth rate: 4.9% (1999 estimated)

GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $4,600 (1999 estimated)

GDP – composition by sector:

Agriculture: 15%

Industry: 32%

Services: 53% (estimated 1999)

Population below poverty line: 17% (estimated 1999)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.8% (1999)

Industries: textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, furniture products, electronics assembly, services, entertainment services.


Telephone system: Three Service providers all with International Direct Dial

Mobile Services: 6

International Digital Services: Globe Telecom GSM900, Smart Telecom GSM900/1800 (Dualband), Piltel Analog, Islacom GSM900 domestic: domestic satellite system with 11 earth stations international: 9 international gateways; satellite earth stations – 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean); submarine cables to Hong Kong, Guam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan all via Manila Television broadcast stations: 34 (Cable connectivity)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5


Railways: none

Highways: Direct connection to Northern Luzon Expressway which connects to Metro Manila (toll)

Waterways: none

Airports: Clark International Airport – over 3,047 m

Heliports: 1

The Role of Angeles in Philippine History:

By Mrs. Josie D. Henson, B.F.A.

(Extracted from the Souvenir Program, Fiestang Kuliat 1993)

In 1796, Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda together with his wife, Dona Rosalia de Jesus, started the first clearing of Culiat, then the remotest barrio of San Fernando, Pampanga.

In 1795 Don Angel was Capitan (a position equivalent to Municipal Mayor) of San Fernando. After he had started the clearing of Culiat, some prominent residents of other towns of Pampanga at that time jestingly predicted, “Muti ne ing awak, tuling ne ing tagak, eya maging balen ing Culiat” (The crow will turn white, the heron will turn black, but Culiat will never be a town).

Don Angel refused to listen to all these dire predictions and persisted in the great task which he began. His main reason for developing Culiat was that it was situated on much higher ground than San Fernando where his ricelands were periodically underwater during the rainy season.

Culiat was named after the coarse woody vine [Gnetum indicum (Lour.) Merri. (Gnetaceae)] that abounded in the place at that time. The solemn inauguration of Culiat into a town was accomplished by Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda. This was on December 8, 1829 and it was given the beautiful name of “Pueblo de Los Angeles” in honor of the Christian name of the founder and the Holy Guardian Angels, the titular patrons of the town.

In the early days, the real fiesta of Angeles was on October 2, the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels (Los Santos Angeles Custodios). The “Naval” was first celebrated in 1834 or 159 years ago, to commemorate the devotion of the early settlers, who, with Dona Rosalia de Jesus used to bring the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary in procession whenever there was a new clearing. It was also because of this belief that the founders of Angeles adopted the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary as the Patroness of Angeles. This devotion of the founders was the reason why the “La Naval” Fiesta has always been celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of October to venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On the last Friday of October, the Fiesta Nang Apung Mamacalulu (Feast of the Lord of the Hoiy Sepulchre) is also celebrated as a form of Thanksgiving. The belief of the people is that they would be protected from untoward incidents, calamities and disasters. The first celebration of the Feast of Apu was on October 29, 1897 by the then Agustinian parish priest Father Rufino Santos Perez. This was preceded by a Quinario or 5-day Novena, in dedication to the Lord’s five wounds. This was done after a series of locust infestations coupled with hostilities between Spanish Cazadores and Pampango Insurrectos and two successive fires that razed to the ground the public market in the latter part of 1897.

Angeles has an area of 8,120 hectares and is 97 meters above sea level. By 1850, it had 742 houses and a population of 4,452. It was then producing mainly agricultural products like sugar cane, rice, bananas, ebus (buri) corn, cabo negr (sugar palm), tayum (indigo), langis (sesame), gugu, and sasa (nipa). Angeles gradually evolved into a bustling community and business center mainly from its proximity to Fort Stotsenburg which was established in 1902 and later renamed Clark Air Base during World War II. Being strategically located, Angeles also served as a distribution, trading, and commercial center for the towns of Magalang, Mabalacat, and Porac, all within a 20-kilometer radius.

The greatest role that Angeles played in history was the celebration of the first and only anniversary of our true Philippine Independence.

On January 23, 1899, news was received in the town that General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the inauguration of the Republic of the Philippines. But peace was short-lived. On February 4 of that year Filpino-American hostilities began. The town folks started evacuating to the barrios and other towns.

On May 8, 1899, Generalissimo Emilio Aguinaldo moved his seat of Government from San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, to Angeles. He transformed the Pamintuan Residence (now the Central Bank) into the presidential palace and general headquarters. On that same fateful day in Angeles, General Aguinaldo assumed command of all Filipino forces. During this time the American Army invasion forces were poised at San Fernando, Pampanga. They were being prevented from attacking Angeles by a strong defense line estabished by General Antonio Luna two months before, starting from Guagua, Bacolor, Angeles, Magalang, and Concepcion. This defense line was being held by 15,000 soldiers of the first Filipino Army.

On June 12, 1899, the first anniversary of the Philippine Independence was celebrated in Angeles. It started with a field mass at 7:00 a.m. for thousands of troops then stationed here. The Holy Mass was celebrated at the town square at barrio Talimunduc which is now the area between the Railroad Station and the Apu Chapel at Lourdes Sur. The celebrant was Fr. Vicente Lapuz of Candaba who was then the Filipino co-adjutor of the Angeles Parish Church, the Spanish curate having been rescued by the Spanish troops in 1898.

After the Mass, a big military and civic parade was formed, participated in by many Angelenos. Several Filipino Regiments were led by their officers like General Gregorio del Pilar, Gen. Manuel Tinio, Gen. Urbano Lacuna, Gen. Urbano Morales, Gen. Servillano Aquino and his Tarlac regmiment, Gen. Venancio Concepcion, Gen. Tomas Mascardo, Lt. Manuel Luis Quezon, and a Captain Jose Dizon y San Pedro, who was my paternal grandfather.

According to my mother’s Aunt Dona Carlota Henson de Ganzon (who was then in her teens) she and several young ladies were dressed in typical kimona and saya and were made to ride on top of the beautifully decorated carosas (used during processions) and were part of the grand parade.

This massive parade passed through Sto. Rosario St. then veered toward Sto. Entierro St. to pay tribute to and salute Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo who watched this historic event from the second floor window of the old Pamintuan residence amid cheers from the towns-people.

After the parade, the citizens of Angeles opened the doors of their residences to the officers and troops who partook of the famous and delicious Pampango cuisine.

According to eyewitness accounts, Gen. Servillano Aquino and some of his officers proceeded to the house of Don Teofisto Ganzon and his spouse Dona Engracia Gonzales along Miranda Street on what is now the former Narciso Nursery School. At that time, Gen. Aquino left his two small children, Gonzalo and Benigno (the father of Ninoy) under the care of the Ganzons in Angeles. The reason for this was that Gen. Aquino’s sister Brigida was the wife of Don Andres Ganzon, a son of Don Teofisto.

The first Philippine Independence Day Anniversary celebration here in Angeles has no comparison in significance because when Gen. Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence Day in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898, it was under the protection of the American Forces. But when Gen. Aguinaldo celebrated the First Anniversary of our Independence here in Angeles on June 12, 1899, it was purely and entirely defended by Filipino blood, sweat, and tears. No other place in the entire Philippines except Angeles can claim this singular and noble honor.

During the stay of Aguinaldo in Angeles a member of his staff, Lt. Manuel L. Quezon, who became the first President of the Commonwealth, stayed in the house of Don Lorenzo Sanchez (in front of the Pamintuan residence).

One Sunday morning after mass he happened to see from the window of his college-mate in Letran, Don Emilio V. Moreno (the maternal grandfather of DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan III) to whom he called out in Spanish, “Oye, Moreno, Moreno! Me gusta mucho el chocolate que hacen en este pueblo. No le tienes en casa?” “Hey Moreno, Moreno! Ilove the hot chocolate that they make in this town. Haven’t you some at home?”

President Quezon might have loved the lanzones fruits of this town too, if he had stayed here until October, because the Angeles lanzones are sweet, luscious, and have a different appeal to the discriminating taste. The original seedlings were brought here by Don Rafael Nepomuceno from Lukban, Tayabas (Quezon).

Aguinaldo stayed in this town until July when he transferred his government to Tarlac.

The Filipino Revolutionary Army and the United States Infantry engaged in a three-day fiery and bloody battle and on August 16 the latter succeeded in penetrating the town. However, the brigades of Generals Servillano Aquino, Maximino Hizon, Pio del Pilar, Venancio Concepcion, Tomas Mascardo with Col. Alberto San Miguel and later reinforced by the brigade of Gen. Macabulos, numbering about 15,000 troopers, were still entrenched and defending the Mabalacat side of the Abacan River.

On November 5, after three months of bloody and relentless fighting, the last and decisive flanking offensive movement of the American forces began with the use of cavalry. The fierce battle where both sides suffered heavy casualties, began from 9:00 o’clock in the evening until dawn.

The American units were the 32nd Infantry U.S.V. under Provost Marshall G.A. Densmore; Headquarters 41st Infantry U.S.V. Colonel Richmond; 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 8th Army Corps under Major General Arthur MacArthur, the latter using the Pamintuan residence as headquarters.

The Angelenos suffered greatly after the war. According to Father Vicente Lapuz, parish priest, there was irreparable loss to the church in destroyed properties and unpaid rentals which were never recovered and valued at $24,638. U.S. dollars.

On January 1, 1900, General Frederick D. Grant organized the first United States Civil Government in the town by appointing an Alcalde.

Although General Grant organized in 1900 the first U.S. Civil Government in Angeles, by appointing an Alcade it was one year later, July 4 that the Inauguration of the U.S. Civil Government was held.

By October of 1902 the United States Army in Angeles left the Church convent and moved to Talimunduc (now Lourdes Sur) near the Angeles Railroad Station. On the latter part of the following year they again moved further North to a place called Mangga and Sapangbato which was later named Camp Stotsenburg.

In 1904 the nearby U.S. Military Reservation started putting up at will its boundaries around “by order of the President of the United States in 1903”. Annexed to said reservation of Camp Stotsenburg was one among some private lands over which a Spanish title was granted (Composicion onerosa con el estado) on June 12, 1888 owned by the late Don Jose P. Henson for which he had been paying yearly taxes to the Government, namely, Lot No. 727 at Barrio Palusapis, Angeles, Pampanga, containing 628 hectares more or less.

The title referred to constituted a title of exclusive ownership, but the U.S. Government never returned the 628 hectares nor paid the corresponding rentals to this day.

An American historian related a story as to why the Americans moved to the place which later became known as Fort Stotsenburg. According to the American, the horses of the cavalry could not feed on the grass on the surrounding fields near their bivouac as they got sick, so they had to import hay from the United States which was sent by ship. One day one of the horses was discovered missing and a search was conducted until finally the horse was found grazing on the pastures in Mangga. The horse did not get sick after eating the grass at that place so they tried grazing the other horses there and they too did not get sick. From that time on they brought their horses there to graze until they decided to move their bivouac there. Because the cavalry was there, a building for the blacksmith was constructed and this was followed by other buildings until it became a permanent camp and was expanded to become the second largest American air base in the world — Clark Air Base. So, probably, if it were not for the horse Angeles could have been a part of Clark Air Base.

Although Fort Stotsenburg (Clark Air base) continued to expand, Angeles, even despite its proximity to the American camp, did not progress very much and was just like any other town in Pampanga.

From 1900 to 1941, the main bulk of the livelihood in Angeles was agriculture, mostly palay and sugarcane farming. Livelihood did not depend on the presence of the Base.

Some of the earliest small-scale industries in Angeles were a woodworking and wood carving industry which was started ty the late Don Teodoro Tinio (originally from Nueva Ecija who migrated to Angeles in 1919). In the early 30’s Don Juan Nepomuceno established “Reyna” a soft drinks plant which produced several flavors like sarsaparilla, orange, strawberry, lemon and soda. At around this time, “La Providora” a rattan furniture factory wa also established by the late Mayor Emiliano Valdes. The first hacendero to sell his lands in order to pioneer in industry was the late Don Jose Ma. Fermin Ganzon. In the mid-20’s he self-studied auto mechanics from books which he ordered from Spain. He personally trained people from Angeles and brought them to Manila and established one of the first auto repair shops there. One of those he trained and who profited from that venture was Francisco Mallari owner of “Kiko Bateria” later situated at Rizal Avenue. Don Jose Ganzon also pioneered the first modern poultry farm in Angeles in the early 30,’s. It was equipped with electronic incubators and electric hatcheries. He was the first to supply fresh eggs to the Base. The first movie production in Angeles was also pioneered by Don Jose Ganzon and it was a silent film entitled “Prinsesa sa Bundok” produced by Joaquin de Guzman and directed by Mr. Ganzon. The Lazatin Vinegar Plant was also established in the 30’s and is still existing up to the present.

During the war, a few cottage industries mushroomed in Angeles like carved wooden shoes made of white laniti wood. These were sold in Central Luzon including Manila. This wooden shoe industry was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Armando Nepomuceno. Another small industry was cigarette-making where homemade contraptions were used to hand-roll each cigarette. At this time most of the backyards of the houses including those of the rich hacenderos were planted to all sorts of vegetables and these were sold in the market. One might say that the Americans depended on Angeles for their fresh produce.

Angeles was liberated on January 27, 1945 by the U.S. Army’s 145th Infantry. Thousands of American troops poured into Angeles and resided on rented big residences and school buildings. The rest of them pitched tents around town. The American detachment deliberately overstocked their rations to give away or to barter with the townspeople. Angelenos exchanged fruits, chickens, vegetables and locally brewed liquor to the GI’s. From this time on the economy of Angeles quadrupled a thousand fold. Hundreds of Angelenos and people from other provinces flocked to Angeles and struck it rich. This was the beginning of the PX goods business in Angeles and a lot of restaurants and entertainment places mushroomed. This was the start of Angelenos’ dependence on Clark.

In 1947 an American construction company arrived from the USA. The Drake-Utah -Grove Co. or DUG undertook the rebuilding of Clark into a modern military air base. The majority of the male population of Angeles, its barrios, and the surrounding towns and provinces found lucrative employment during this reconstruction period of Clark (around 10,000 strong). After DUG finished the reconstruction of the base facilities, Clark absorbed more than 50 percent of the DUG employees. Livelihood dependency of Angeles to Clark started at this time and Angeles also became the melting pot of Pampanga.

On January 1, 1964, Angeles was formally inaugurated a city with the youthful Mayor Rafael del Rosario at the helm. It was also at this time that the housing boom commenced because of the Vietnam conflict. A lot of houses were needed for the U.S. fighting men and they could not be accommodated at the limited housing facilities in Clark. The various subdivisions were established like Villasol, Josefaville, Plaridel Subdivision, Villa Angela, Villa Gloria, Villa Angelina, L & S, Villa Teresa, Hensonville, Carmenville, Timog Park and others.

In 1978, the former employees at Clark started applying for jobs in the Middle East and Europe and also to Hong Kong and Singapore.

It could be said that the turning point of Angeles City’s economy was the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on June 12, 1991, and the subsequent withdrawal of the American forces from Clark Air Base, reputedly the biggest single employer throughout the country after the Government.

Last year, the former “Sin City” image of Angeles was drastically erased and together with it, the city administration and its people were given ample opportunity to trek a new economic order and along with it, the city’s new image as the culinary capital of the Philippines. During last year’s month-long Fiesta celebrations the emphasis was on the Food Fest which proved to be very successful. This year the thrust of the Fiesta Committee was geared towards the reawakening of the city’s historical and cultural heritage, which for a while went in slumber while the Americans were here.

This Historical Photo Exhibit was held at “Bale Herencia” (the old Santos residence at the corner of Sto. Rosario and Lakandula Sts.). It was opened by no less than Senator Heherson Alvarez and Congressman Carmelo Lazatin. Vintage photos of Angeles and Angelenos circa 1890’s to the 1950’s were displayed.

Prominently displayed were pictures of General Arthur MacArthur, President Manuel Quezon, President Osmena, Claro Recto, and others. Photos of native Angelenos like the Hensons, Nepomucenos, Pamintuans, Lazatins, Suarezes, Tayags, Dayrits, Paras, Lacsons, Narcisos, Quiasons, Timbols, Naguiats, Sicangos, Tinios, Santos, Gomez, Aysons, Dizons, Angeles, Davids, Sandicos, etc., were also featured..

This month-long Photo exhibit was a brainchild of three Youth Groups: Aksyon headed by Editha Estrada, 501 headed by Roden Biag and Ramsee D. Henson, and Rotaract Club headed by Eder Mutuc. There was a minimal entrance fee of 5 pesos for adults.

A 3-day Culinary Workshop was also a part of the Fiesta activities and there were more than thirty participants. It was partly sponsored by PRAGMA, the Private Sector Development Training Program of USAID (PRAGMA CORP) STMS, ACCII, CFC and Magnolia Corporation.

This year’s Tigtigan at Terakan Ken Dalan was held for 2 days and was bigger and better than last year. There were 2 name bands: The Dawn and Advent Call. This culminating activity of Fiestang Kuliat has become so successful that it is now included in the DOT’s National Tourism Calendar.

More links on Clark AB and Angeles City:

Clark Air Base – A ton of history and photos.

Clark Airbase Scrapbook – One man’s remembrance of CAB.

Maps of Clark and Surrounding Area – A large collection of maps around this area.

The Ville:

While the above are the facts and figures for Angeles City proper and a lot of what is said directly impacts the tourist, the area where most who visit this small area and what this guide is all about is located right outside of what once was Clark Air Field up along Fields Ave. I will of course speak of other areas such as Real Street and Santos street, but for the most part we can define the playground from the Oasis Hotel on upper Fields Ave down through the Perimeter Bars all the way down Fields to where it intersects with McArthur Blvd. I will go into a little on Savers Mall in Angeles City itself and about Swagman Hotel, which is not on the main strip as well as other areas, but for the most part this is the area we will concentrate on.

Of course much of what is written applies outside this small strip, it is here where we will learn to play. To write a book on the entire Philippines would be well beyond the scope of my intentions. So let’s just concentrate on this small dusty area and see what makes it tick and what you need to know to help you have a great time here.

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