The Philippines is perhaps one of the most unique countries geographically, as it comprises of over 7,000 islands! Whenever people think about travelling to the Philippines, cities such as Palawan, Boracay and Cebu may come to mind first, but Clark is another city perfect for business or leisure.
Whether it’s your first time or nth time visiting the Philippines, you should definitely drop by Clark Freeport Zone, located in the city of Angeles, in the heart of Philippine’s Central Luzon region.
Best known for their annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta that happens every February, Clark Freeport Zone is a fast-developing economic hub and tourist destination. This destination, though, has much more to offer than just the hot air balloon spectacle.
What to Do in Clark, Philippines
Clark Museum & 4D Theatre
The Clark Museum provides a comprehensive overview of the history, geology, and way of life of a Filipino living in Clark.
The museum features four galleries, housing a collection of artefacts, true-to-life replicas, scenic dioramas, old photographs, murals and interactive displays among others significant to the history of Clark.
While at the museum, be sure to catch the 4D Theatre showcase of the 20-minute documentary, titled “Risen from the Ashes”, that tells a story about the Mount Pinatubo eruption and how the locals banded together to overcome the devastation of the eruption.
To kick things up a notch, expect in-theatre effects including wind, bubbles and mist!
The admission fee for adults is 200 pesos.
Clark Museum and 4D Theatre Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Luzon, Philippines Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9am – 4pm Closed on public holidays
What to Eat in Clark, Philippines
What was previously a 1920s ancestral home is now the lair of the 25 Seeds, a farm-to-table restaurant helmed by Chef Sau Del Rosario.
This farm-to-table restaurant that serves Kampampangan cuisine is the second brainchild of Chef Sau Del Rosario, following his success of Café Fleur.
Located in Dycaico Ancestral House, 25 Seeds focuses on serving up delectable dishes made from ingredients grown from their backyard, or sourced from local farmers.
Drawing from his vast experience working as a chef from all around the world, one of Chef Sau’s signature dishes is the Sisig Paella, an amalgamation of the traditional Filipino dish Sisig and the Spanish Paella.
Sisig is mainly made of pork’s cheek and seasoned with lime juice and chilli peppers. It is then topped on pork-infused paella. For those of you who have never tasted pork cheek, it has an interesting chewy jelly-like texture.
Another hot favourite at 25 Seeds is the Crab Cakes, dipped in Siracha Aioli. The crab cake is served hot and fresh out of the kitchen, and I found it a delightful appetizer to get the rest of the meal going.
It is dipped in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried to – dare I say – perfection. The Siracha Aioli puts the finishing touch by adding a hint tanginess to this wonderful dish.
I particularly enjoyed the homely feel of the restaurant.
Despite being almost a century old, the modern marbled furnishings complemented the traditional wooden walls, reminiscent of the ‘hipster’ cafes we commonly see in Singapore, except classier.
25 Seeds 2F Dycaico Ancestral House, Barangay Sto. Rosario, Angeles, 2009 Pampanga, Philippines Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11am – 10pm Friday to Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Where to Stay in Clark, Philippines
Park Inn by Radisson Clark
The Park Inn by Radisson Clark is a fresh and energetic brand, as reflected in their choice of décor and furnishings. In fact, every level features a different coloured theme!
To drive their point across, we had a first-hand experience of the hotel’s vibrancy when we were warmly welcomed by the staff in Park Inn. Through a display of traditional Filipino Tinikling folk dance, followed by a hearty dinner at HUES, the hotel’s restaurant, it was a welcome greeting that is surely unique to the region.
Park Inn by Radisson Clark is situated at a prime location, next to SM City Clark, a supermall outside of Metro Manila. The hotel is 10 minutes away from Clark International Airport and centrally located in the city near tourist attractions, museums and historical landmarks.
The hotel is equipped with 154 rooms – 116 Standard Rooms, 29 Superior Rooms and 9 Junior Suites.
I had the privilege of spending one night in one of the standard rooms. As I was travelling solo, I felt that the room size was perfect for one person.
The standard room came with a spacious queen-sized bed, a television, an electronic kettle with complimentary tea and coffee, a mini refrigerator and a safe.
The bathroom is equipped with basic shower amenities, and came with a rain shower. On top of that, Dove shampoo and body soap are provided for hotel guests. It also came with a hairdryer – something that is an absolute necessity for girls like me with long, thick hair that takes seemingly forever to dry.
I also noticed that the room door number had Braille on it – a thoughtful move that makes the hotel friendly for blind guests.
If you crave for a good workout, hotel amenities include a decently sized swimming pool, and a gym which opens from 6am – 10pm.
Although the gym is not very big, it is very well-quipped with barbells, treadmill, yoga mats and exercise balls – everything you need for a short stopover at Clark.
Park Inn by Radisson Clark also provides a venue for meetings and social events. The hotel has a Meeting Room that can be divided into three separate rooms, which makes it an ideal venue for small and mid-size events.
What makes Park Inn by Radisson Clark even more ideal is that it is located right opposite SM Supermall. This mall holds a wide range of shops ranging from fashion to drugstore, catering to your every need.
Park Inn by Radisson Clark M.A. Roxas Highway, Brgy. Lakandula, 2010 Mabalacat City, Pampanga [email protected]
Special thanks to Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group for making this stay possible! All opinions remain my own.