Tag Archives: day time

A Trip to the Street Market

This morning on a quick ride out to get some breakfast Shagger and I noticed a small market that seems to have just popped up overnight.

After breakfast we picked up the girls and decided to check out this new market.

Once we arrived we got a closer look at what was for sale.

As expected there was a varied range of fruits and vegetables on sale. The seller was quite friendly and the prices were good. The girls seem unexplainably entertained by the produce.

Additionally a moderate range of affordable clothing for women and children were on sale, along with a sizable range of cheap jewelry and trinkets.

Across the street was another group of stores the first selling crockery and cutlery, another with CDs and the last with books, posters and assorted goods.

The atmosphere around the market was very relaxed which is something rather missing in the larger indoor shopping centers.

I have to say it is rather remarkable how these places can just appear anywhere then build and build until the authorities come through and drive them out at which point they will just start the process up all over again somewhere else.

We asked Ronalie (No Nose) to ask the store keepers which days of the week they are running. After about twenty minutes she comes back and says “One guy said they are open everyday the lady at the dress shop says it is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Finally the Food lady says it is open only two days a week (no idea which two)”. Admittedly we were not too surprised as this kind of response seems to be a typical Filipino answer.

Finally after a long hot thirty minutes of shopping we cooled off with a refreshing drink of buko juice, buko meaning coconut.

El Kabayo

El Kabayo
Gil Puyat Ave corner Panday Pira
Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga
Tel +(63) 916 519-9146
Fax +(632) 852-3117
Email: clarkridingstables@gmail.com

Roll em out round em up Rawhide.

That’s right folks it was the Blues brothers, not literally but the sound track from the movie playing through the music system at El Kabayo. Ok so what is El Kabayo I hear you asking and I’m glad you did because that is the focus of this article.

In our never ending quest to supply readers with information on what to do in the daytime when in AC, Shagger and I recently took a trip out on the base and discovered El Kabayo.

El Kabayo is a term which normally refers to Thotoy but in this case it is the name of a mock old western town, featuring horse riding trips. This is a fun day out especially if you take a Filipina with you and we thoroughly recommend when in AC you pay it a visit.
El Kabayo is situated along the Mabalacat gate road out on Clark airbase. To get there go through the Friendship gate and turn left, continue up the road until you reach a second set of lights and turn left again. Follow this road veering left continue past the outside air force museum and turn right following signs to the Mabalacat gate. El Kabayo is approximately three kilometers down this road on your left hand side.

El Kabayo is done up as a mock old western town and features the facades of buildings typical of this era.The buildings except for the general store and the saloon are all facades and behind the exterior walls are stables where the many horses are kept. As you enter the El Kabayo compound, walk into the general store which is in fact the office and main reception area. Enter here and you will be asked to pay 350 peso for a half hour ride on the horses.

After paying the 350 peso walk outside and you will be greeted by the stable hands / horse instructors. If you are an experienced horse rider tell them and they will let you ride around the compound for half an hour by yourself, if inexperienced which most of us probably are, then tell them and they will guide the horse keeping a tight hold on the reigns whilst you ride.

When we arrived Shagger and the girls went inside their office paid their money and were presented with safety helmets which are required usage for any riders. After this they were greeted by the stable hands who promptly told them “for a while” which in local parlance means wait here while we decide which horses are best for you.

After riding her Thotoy kabayo the night before in Neros

Ronalie thought she was ready to take on the real thing however when seeing the actual size of the horses both girls had second thoughts.

Just then Shagger had the bright idea of getting the girls acquainted with their rides by feeding them carrots.

The girls were a little afraid of the horses thinking they may get bitten when feeding the carrots so it was time for a demonstration of the correct procedure.

But no matter how the stable hand tried he couldn’t install enough trust in the girls to actually feed the horse.

Somehow they seemed unimpressed and no matter what methods of persuasion were used the girls weren’t about to start feeding the horses at least not the four legged ones.

After brief acquaintances were made it was time for the girls to mount their steeds and prepare for a ride. I thought this would be quite a challenge but the stable hands at El Kabayo had obviously been through this scenario many times before and from out of nowhere produced some wooden steps.

The girls were rather tentative at first and very unsure about these big beasts between their legs.

With all riders mounted it was time to head out on the trail.

The Shagger man seemed pretty confident as he toured the course using only one hand thus freeing up the other hand to snap photos whilst riding. Impressive move Shagger.

After she settled down and had gotten used to the riding Mr’s Mjibbo was all smiles. Later on I asked her did you have a good time horse riding and she replied “yes mahal I like it but the saddle keep rubbing my peanut”. No wonder she was smiling all the time.

It took Ronalie a while to relax even though her horse looked like it was sleep walking. In the end she was heard to say “much better I ride Thotoy because he smaller and closer to the ground”.

Shagger seemed right at home on horseback.

For the 350 peso you basically get half an hour ride. The ride is a pleasant stroll through a grassy tree lined park.

Along the way they met many locals who were quick to offer friendly salutations and they even had their own 4 legged guide in the form of the local Labrador.

Meanwhile back at the ranch yours truly was busy taking snap shots of the El Kabayo compound.

Inside the saloon is in fact a tastefully decorated eatery with large wooden tables capable of seating and feeding numerous guests.

Pictured here is an ornate saddle inside the general store.

A quick glimpse at the coffee table demonstrates the concept behind this place.

Inside the general store there are numerous merchandise items for sale.

They were going to take them for two laps around the riding circuit but Shagger seeing that Ronalie was not exactly comfortable decided to head back to the ranch. At the rides end the wooden steps magically appeared again and the girls s disembarked hastily.

Once the actual ride was over No Nose Ronalie seemed to relax and was all smiles.

But when questioned she openly admitted she preferred the Honda steed to her four legged steed.

All in all we had a great day out at El Kabayo. The girls were a little tentative at first especially Ronalie when she saw how big the horses were compared to the Shagger horse she was used to riding. However, after a while both girls relaxed and enjoyed the ride. This is definitely a fun way to spend a couple of hours with your honey-ko and it’s something different to do in the daytime.

We were in fact looking for Paradise Ranch but ended up at El Kabayo which we came across first. As a result Paradise ranch is on the agenda for our next trip.

El Kabayo
Leisure & Trail Rides
Riding Lessons
Riding Tours

My Bangka Boat Trip

My Bangka Boat Trip By Ronalie

One of the things I have never done is ride on a boat so when I found out we were going to Subic for the Miss Blue Rock Beauty Competition I asked Shagger if we could take time and go for boat ride while we were there.

I had no idea that this weekend in Subic would be so amazing as I did not expect to win anything in the Miss Blue Rock competition because there are so many pretty and sexy girls here in Philippines.

We woke up the next day after celebrating all night and I still can’t believe what happened the night before, it was already after lunch time and Daddy Martin and Shagger were already gone doing some work for AE

I new they were busy and wound probable not takes us for a boat ride so Jen (daddy’s wife) and I decided to use some of the money I won the night before to hire a Bangka boat ourselves and go for a ride.

We found a guy on the beach in front of our hotel and he said 600p for one hour ride. We went back to our rooms and packed some stuff then we went back to the boat and I ask to the bangkero what will happen if we sink me and jen we are a little bit scared because maybe we not good swimmers. The Bangkero laugh at me and said no one sinks in Subic Bay it very quiet water so off we went.

Jen was scared to go at first and wanted to wait till the boys came back

But once we were on the boat she was happy because she had the room key

The very first place we went past was the Blue Rock floating bar and Shagger and Daddy were there on top of roof and they have a girl! We tell to the driver to take us there and we stop beside the bar.

Daddy and Shagger come down and ask what we are doing; I said you promise to take us on boat ride not play with a girl. They see our angry faces so they climb onto boat and come with us but now our boat is tangled in ropes from the floating bar. After a little time we get free and off we go to look at the islands

First we traveled along the shore and we seen many poor peoples houses next to some very nice places

After we traveled for a while we turned out towards some of the islands in the bay

Passing some rocks sticking out of the water I was thinking if our boat hit these and sunk I would choose the big island

The first island had building on it so I asked how they can build a house with no roads and no shops, Daddy and Wayne they just laugh at me. :blush:

The next Island had no buildings just a tower and they said its to tell the boats at night not to crash into me :crazy:

I really enjoyed our ride in the Bangka but it was a bit scary when the land was so far away :sauer:

Sitting looking out at the ocean I started thinking about the night before and still could not believe what happened to me, maybe it was just a dream :/

I was happy when we were back near Blue Rock and I could see the castle and I think that’s where the mermaids live

I am sorry to bore you with my boat trip but it was a very special weekend for me and the first time I experience like that, I had such a fun time 🙂

BY Ronalie

Day tours in and around Angeles City #4

Up the Mountain and back again.

“Gooday mate” shouted accross the bar and the bell ringing like there was no tomorrow. Yep Les ‘the fuck monkey’ was back in town.

Now I hadn’t seen Les for quite a while so after he ran riot in the bar reacquainting himself with anyone and everyone, we settled down for a quiet little session. He was on his fifth Jack Daniels and coke when he looks at me and says “when are we going for a ride mate”?

Now I know Les is a motorbike enthusiast and can ride like a demon so I cautiously responded “how about on Monday or Tuesday my days off”. Sounds good to me replied Les “I will go to nice bike and rent a Honda Steed so we can do a fucking thunder ride mate”. A thunder ride as the name implies means going fast, in fact it means going fast the entire time with no let up for traffic, caribous, or stray dogs who wander across the road like they own it.

At this point I had a quiet little chuckle to myself because I knew full well the Honda Steeds were all rented out and I couldn’t imagine Les doing a thunder ride on a little 125. Wrong again, Martin.

Come Tuesday I am round at Shaggers place when we get a text from Les let’s go boys it’s time for a ride. We meet up at Nice Bike and sure enough there’s Les and his mate Peter on the massive 125’s.

This is a sight for sore eyes and I was just about to laugh when Les turns to me and says “try to keep up mate”. Ok that was enough the gauntlet had been thrown down and who was I not to respond.

Les and Pete on their massive 125 rice burners.

We started off crossing over Macarthur Highway (a major achievement in itself) and heading down Mountain View road towards city hall. We were just negotiating some traffic when I felt the back of my bike wobbling. I glance in the rear view mirror and sure enough there’s Les giving my rear tire a little nudge.
Enough was enough so I pulled on the throttle and with a roar left Les eating my dust. We proceed along Mountain View road past city hall and come to a roundabout. Here we veered left following signs to Magalang.

We get through the town of Magalang with Les up to his usual antics the whole time. At one stage Shagger was minding his own business riding along at a sedate pace when Les goes flying past him on the massive 125. No problem for the Shagger man he was going slowly letting No Nose Ronalie take pictures but he was a bit perturbed when 5 minutes later he sees Les riding back towards him on the wrong side of the dirt road with every nut and bolt of the 125 shaking as he hits the pot holes. Turns out Les had lost his cap and was a bit worried about his bald scalp getting sun burnt. This procedure happen no less than 4 times and I am sure the local motorists were wondering what the heck was wrong with this crazy foreigner riding on the wrong side of the road, chrome dome shining in the sun and dirt flying everywhere.

We get to the end of the Magalang road only to find Les has a flat tire and wouldn’t you know it 20 yards away is a vulcanizing shop. Some people have all the luck.

Now was time for a little rest stop while the guy fixed the tire ably assisted by Les.

Les lending a helping hand.

Ronalie used her rest time wisely. Here she is trying to find her nose with the help of Shaggers bikes mirror.

15 minutes later all tires fixed for a mere 100 peso we were ready to hit the road again. With me in the lead our convoy headed out towards Mount Arayat. Along the way there is a little traffic but nothing to cause any prolonged delays.

Many small front yard businesses in the provincial areas.

We travelled about 20 minutes along the road then took a left turn following the sign posting to the town of Arayat.

Once you hit this road things get decidedly rural and it is like being in another world. Along the way we stopped at a local church so I could pray for my safety whilst riding with Les.

Could do with a bell like this in Neros.

Mount Arayat dominates the surrounding countryside.

The town of Arayat is a small rural sort of place but it is a distinct worry when a group of school girls call out hello daddy and the local cops are having a quick snack 30 feet away. Needless to say I did not acknowledge their calls.

After the town of Arayat we turned left again heading towards the actual mountain. Some weeks previously we had been told by the owner of Bar Hopping bar about some rock pools in the Mount Arayat National park and I was now on a mission to find them.

We pulled over in the town of Arayat and asked directions. This caused quite a stir for Ronalie who was the object of much attention being the only Filipina in a group of four foreigners. Once she had gotten the directions she hid behind Shaggers bike so the prying eyes of the locals would leave her alone.

We had a short conference on the roadside in Arayat and decided we were going to try and find these elusive rock pools.

The big conference in downtown Arayat.

Back on the bikes and Shagger asks me “Martin do you know where your going?”, to which I replied “not really but I have to find those rock pools”.

We travelled about ten kilometers then there was a sign saying Mount Arayat National Park next left. Ok now I knew I was on the right track and the rock pools were getting closer by the minute.

Taking a turn to the left we then stopped for Peter to cool down a bit and take in some refreshments. He had just come from the Australian summer but even that couldn’t prepare him for the humidity of the Philippines.

We literally descended upon a little eatery where cool drinks and foot long hot dogs were consumed. The lady running the store thought all her Christmases had come at once being visited by foreign celebrities, whilst other locals just gaped at us in awe.

The little eatery wasn’t quite ready for a horde of hungry foreigners

The infamous foot longs now renamed as the Thotoy Dog.

At one stage I asked Shagger why do some Filipinos just stand around and look at you with vacant eyes, mouth wide open. He replied “because they are waiting for a miracle, everyone knows that”.

Some of the locals checked us out as we devoured the foot longs.

Well after an answer like that I decided it was time to hit the road again so saying our goodbyes we roared away heading towards the mountain. After about 5 minutes ride we arrived at the Mount Arayat National Park.

Out here it is like another world and as we rode through the local township it seemed like the entire towns inhabitants had lined the street to gawk at these strange foreigners and cheer us on.

A very basic existence in some of the poorer rural areas.

Heading through the town we then took a right turn and it was then the going got a little rough. Normally I am the slowest rider so the boys put me up front and I don’t get left behind but I noticed when we hit the dirt road I was all of a sudden at the tail end wallowing in the other riders dust.

Once again here I am swallowing dust.

The dirt road is a gradual incline and gets a little rough in places but basically it is easy to negotiate and good fun to travel on. We travelled upwards with Mount Arayat looming up ahead when suddenly we came to a sort of hideaway retreat from which came the sound of a religious sermon and people singing.

Very clean and well maintained compound.

After the compound the road carries on to virtually the top of Mount Arayat.

I was curious to have a look but then thought the better of it as stories of weird Filipino religious cults came floating into my head.

This was an interesting place and even included a number of tree houses.

Some members of our species came down from the trees whilst others have climbed back up them.

Now I was in a dilemma. I still hadn’t found the illusive rock pools but it was getting late and darkness would soon be upon us. Weighing up my options I decided a ride back in darkness along a dirt road in the middle of nowhere was not really my idea of fun, so as a result the rock pools would just have to wait until another day.

The ride coming back was seemingly faster than the ride coming out and there are some great stretches of deserted road where you can get some serious speed happening.

With the sun sinking low on the horizon I was looking forward to a cold shower and a little tumble with the missus.

We negotiated our way through traffic and made it back to our respective homes and hotel safe and sound. Mr’s mjibbo had just arrived back from Manila and was not particularly impressed with her grubby man covered in dust and grime from the road, so it was time for a quick shower and then off to Stargate to party with BeauBrummel on his last night as manager.

The trip to Mount Arayat National park is really worthwhile and would make the perfect day trip for anyone wishing to get out and see little of the countryside as well as meeting the locals and seeing how they live. Pack some food and refreshments as the various food outlets along the way are primitive to say the least.

Day tours in and around Angeles City #3

Angeles City and the Philippines

Day tours in and around Angeles City.

I was just getting ready for an early afternoon appointment with the owner of the Orange Lion Hotel when I get a Yahoo message from Shagger

Shagger: What’s happening?
Mjibbo: Just getting ready to go Orange Lion for meeting with the owner.
Shagger: Sounds like a good place to have late breakfast and I’m bloody hungry
Mjibbo: Sure why not
Shagger: After that lets go for a ride
Mjibbo: Well I really wanted to do a few bar reports
Shagger: Well I just thought it might be a good idea to go for a ride because I have to go down to the Ponderosa Hotel anyway which is on the way and then we can go from there.
Mjibbo: Why do I have the feeling we are not going to do any bar reports?
Shagger: See you at my place 20 minutes not Filipino time ok.

With this I hurried up into the shower, pushed SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) to get ready which is a major achievement in itself, and headed towards Shaggers place.

First stop the Orange Lion hotel where we sat outside enjoying a delicious breakfast which people with an ordinary lifestyle would call lunch.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Cross over MaCarthur Highway and head down Mountainview Road towards City Hall. Along the way we stopped to view the construction of the new Ayala Mall. Judging by the amount of space utilized this will be a huge mall substantially bigger than SM on Clark.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Through the roundabout and veer right following signs to Magalang.

Angeles City and the Philippines

On the road to Magalang.

Angeles City and the Philippines

As you head towards Magalang you pass La Terazza housing development which seems to be conspicously absent of any houses being developed.

Angeles City and the Philippines

No nose Ronalie and Shagger enjoying the ride. Our respective girls are getting really good at snapping photos from the back of the bike.

Angeles City and the Philippines

The outskirts of Magalang.

Angeles City and the Philippines

The thriving little town of Magalang. Here agricultural produce tends to dominate. These are bags of feed for the financially important pigs.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Go through Magalang and when you reach an intersection turn right. You will go over a series of little bridges and then things begin to get decidedly rural.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Here Mount Arayat dominates the landscape.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Angeles City and the Philippines

Corn fields grow adjacent to the rice fields.

Angeles City and the Philippines

We travelled along towards Mount Arayat but since I had already done a report on the trip to Arayat I decided we should take a right turn and head out to an undefined place just to see what happened. Next thing you know we were literally in the middle of the rice fields.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Past the local cemetery which none to surprisingly seemed to be the best kept plot of land in the surrounding area.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Another turn to the left and there we were in the middle of nowhere. literally in the middle of nowhere. However this didn’t seem to phase Ronalie who thought this may be a good chance for a little exploration and prove that she was right at home in the province.

Angeles City and the Philippines

And even a game of hide and seek.

Angeles City and the Philippines

In fact she was right at home amongst the rice fields and was last seen sprinting through them heading towards Mount Arayat.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Some of the locals were looking on and didn’t seem particuarly impressed.

Angeles City and the Philippines

White men on big bikes and a crazy Filipina running through the rice fields was all a bit much for some of the locals. Still life goes on and this man had to feed his animals no matter what strange things were going on in the neighbourhood. I asked swmbo why he was carrying grass on his head, she gave me her best disdainful look and said “Mahal you cant feed the Carabao rice”.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Here’s another one of the locals with freshly killed nights supper in his hands. We did notice the chicken looked particuarly srcawny and just hoped it wasn’t meant to feed an entire family.

Angeles City and the Philippines

One more gaze at the rural surroundings the majestic Mount Apo and the gathering grey, rain laden clouds and we decided it was time to head back.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Angeles City and the Philippines

On the way back there was a little more traffic but nothing to really worry about. In fact you don’t really hit major conjestion until you hit MacArthur Highway.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Angeles City and the Philippines

Not all vechiles can be expected to maintain a steady speed and this includes the local garbage collector.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Back to the roundabout and turn right following signs to Clark.

Angeles City and the Philippines

This will take you along Mountainview Road where there is a lot of rural produce vendors. Their prices are significantly cheaper than Fields or in the malls.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Continue heading straight and in no time at all you are back in good old Barangay Balibago the home of happy mongerers.

Angeles City and the Philippines

Angeles City; The Golfing Experience

So what can you do in Angeles during the day? There has to be more to Angeles than just bar hopping and drinking?

These are the type of comments I hear nearly everyday so I thought I would supply an answer. Here is one alternative to endless bar hopping and drinking, yes you guessed it, a game of good old golf.

Wether you play golf or not this is a truly fun activity and there are of course unique aspects to playing golf in the Philippines.

Since we were heading out to the base we decided to meet at the Clarkton Hotel a well known landmark.

We were planning to play on the base at the 9 hole Airforce golf course so it was up to the Friendship gate then left and follow the road up to the next set of traffic lights. At the traffic lights turn right and follow the road then its the first turn on your left. Follow this road through the airforce compound and you arrive at the golf course.

This is only a nine hole golf course and it has certainly seen better days however for part time golfers who are more like slash and hack merchants such as myself and Shagger it is the perfect venue.

They have a small club house where people meet prior to teeing off.

They have clubs and balls for rent and at very decent prices.

Initially we were told there were no golf clubs and no golf buggies but after 15 minutes the golf clubs miracuosly appeared and we were good to go.

They also have golf buggies for rent or at least they used to and as you can see by the picture their golf buggies have seen better days.

Perhaps the most fun thing about playing golf in the Philippines is that there is always a nice looking caddy ready to accompany you around the course.

It’s a bit hard to play golf without golf balls so we called over one of the local vendors and bought a dozen balls for 100 peso. Obviously at this price these are not new balls but there is a bunch of guys who hang around the golf course and everyday you can see them searching through the undergrowth and water traps finding balls to resell.

First to tee off was Shagger and I have to say he looked a bit tentative as he lined up the ball with his 3 wood. Seeing how uncomfy he was I asked have you ever played golf before and he replied what I do doesn’t rate as playing golf.

Shagger took 2 swings at the ball but eventually connected and then it was time for a stroll down the fairway with no nose Ronalie negotiating the bumps in her high heels whilst trying to take photographs.

After a while no nose got tired of following us around and decided to try her luck on the green. With putter firmly in hand, Shagger carrying the high heels and a little advice from the caddy she lined up the ball like a true professional.

Now Bodo lives in PNG and actually plays golf quite a bit. I think his handicap is 13 and I can’t figure out why he wants to play with hackers like myself and Shagger apart from a genuine love of the game.

As you can see from the pictures the course was brown and dry. When we commented on the lack of watering my caddy looked at me somewhat disdainfully and replied “Mr. Martin this is not a golf course this is a desert”.

Funnily enough after we mentioned the watering it began to drizzle and Bodo was found underneath the umbrella with his caddy.

The course runs adjacent to the old army barracks which are still very much in use for housing the current generation of Philippine soldiers.

The course has a number of obstacles including large ditches which are spanned by wooden bridges. These bridges proved a bit of a problem for Ronalie in her high heels.

There are still remnants of the American troop days but of course many of the facilities created by them have gone to ruin through lack of maintenance.

The course has several areas of roughage and the way Shagger and I played we seemed to be spending more time in the rough than on the fairway. In fact I thought Shagger was more like an intrepid explorer than a golfer.

Half way through it was time for a drink at the local canteen. This having to walk around the golf course was thirsty work.

Bodo didn’t bring his golf gloves so he had to make do with tissue paper borrowed form the canteen.

At times Shagger resembelded a true professional and he is now waiting a call from Tiger Woods inviting him to join the professional circuit.

By the time we reached the last fairway we were about ready for a nice cold drink and a sit down in the clubhouse.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity we hit the club house and relaxed with some nice cold drinks.

Having been dragged around the course in her high heels Ronalie was seriously unimpressed and had no hesitation in expressing her feelings to the men folk.

The caddys lined up for a final photo shoot and it was all smiles as they waved us goodbye.

To hire the clubs, buy the balls, pay the course fees and tip the caddy it cost us about 1500 peso each which is a very decent price for an entertaining nine holes.

If you are a golf enthusiast or if you are just looking for something different playing 9 holes here makes a refreshing break from the regular routine of bar hopping and drinking.

The caddys are actually quite good players themselves and will always offer advice and helpful hints as you play the course.

This is a fun day and a refreshing break from the normal mongering routine.

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