ONE OF COUNTRY’S TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS & FACILITIES
Against a backdrop of greenery, clean air, incredible foliage(including 100 year-old Acacia trees), majestic hills and warm people, the Clark Freeport Zone has emerged as one of the country’s top tourist attractions.
Managers of the Clark Freeport, (upgraded from its previous “Special Economic Zone” status by virtue of a Congressional act passed last year) had branded it as “Asia’s Most Affordable Gateway”.
BUDGET, DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES AT CLARK ZONE
This affordability can be attributed to the proliferation of low cost carriers that have mounted budget flights to and from the Clark airport – Otherwise known as Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). Regional carriers such as Tiger Airways – a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Asiana, Hongkong Express have been successful in their operations at the prized jewel of Clark.
Not to be left out are the domestic flights to key destination such as Laoag in thenorthern Philippines, Cebu, queen city of the south and Boracay island, a paradise for white sand beach lovers. Flights by domestic carriers are very affordable. As an example, Cebu Pacific flight to the fabled city can be as low as
On the other hand, flights to Singapore, Macau, Hongkong, Kula Lumpur can cost as low as $50.00. Recently, China Southern Airlines announced it would start flights to Guangazhon, China from Clark DMIA. Clark indeed is making good more than its moniker and slogan, “Asia’s Most Affordable Gateway.” Such a catch phrase has made a-catching – of not only passengers, but also a growing interest on the booming tourist, aviation and economic enclave the Clark Freeport has become.
HOW CLARK FIELD WAS NAMED
Originally called Fort Stotsenberg, renamed Clark Field, in honor of Harold M. Clark, U.S. Army Signal Corps. Born in Minnesota and reared in Manila, Clark was commissioned a second lieutenant of Cavalry in 1913. He was a pioneering aviator. He later died in an aircraft accident in Panama.
A WALK THROUGH HISTORY
Once in Clark, there abound limitless possibilities as to what can be enjoyed in and around the Freeport. To start your day in Clark, begin with a leisurely walk on the lush green grass and tree-layered old Fort Stotsenberg Parade Grounds with its many markers and monuments. With a visit to the nearby Clark Museum, located on the Eastern edge of the historic Parade Grounds, this stroll can serve as a kick-off to understanding Clark’s rich heritage from the Aetas indigenous people beginnings, with heavy-focus on its military past to its current status as a business and leisure hub.
CLARK MUSEUM AND POINTS OF HISTORIC INTEREST
Clark Museum is a repository of artifacts and other materials that serve as testimonies to the evolution of Clark from a mere grazing area for horses of the US Cavalry men into today’s bustling leisure spot. History and culture lovers would appreciate this museum and other areas of interests in Clark. Also, stop by the Gallery of Kapampangan Crafts which Displays various crafts made in by native Pampangan artisans.
Dinosaurs Island is a recent addition to Clark. Ride the Safari Train through the jungle to view your favorite dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus Rex,Stegosaurus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Pterodactyls, Velociraptors and much more. This sophisticated computer animated adventure park is waiting for you and your family to experience what was once only a book or movie experience.
PARADISE RANCH INDIGENOUS PRESERVE
Paradise Ranch is a unique, one-of-a-kind facility built to benefit and supply funding for the indigenous Aetas people found in and around Clark. This facility features an animal sanctuary with huge ostriches, beautiful peacocks, horses and a butterfly park. Paradise Ranch is located in the sub-zone of Clark, called the Secobia Valley, across the bridge, just outside the Clark Expo gate. Enjoy a picnic lunch and outdoor activities at this peaceful place.
ZOOCOBIA ANIMAL EXPERIENCE
Zoocobia is much more than a place to view animals. Here you and your family will get an opportunity to be educated all while experiencing a setting that is remote, pristine and simply gorgeous. The park is ideal for large groups from schools,churches or other organizations. The opportunity to have up-close and personal animal experiences is priceless at Zoocobia. Set in the lush, forested foothills of the northern extension of the Clark Freeport Zone, Zoocobia is an ecological experience of impressive proportions.
The Freeport has its own uniqueness in terms of Clark Picnic Grounds Parkofferings when it comes to sports activities. This is because of its rich luscious green parks. Families, officemates or schoolmates or group of friends can enjoy running, biking or play tug of war, Frisbee or any outdoor game that would surely gives you physical exercise as well. Aside from these activities, one can opt to play badminton, tennis or basketball at some of the beautiful parks and sporting areas in Clark. Some of the parks include, Bicentennial Park, along Jose Abad Santos Ave, Parade Grounds Park, close to CDC Offices and Clark Picnic Grounds, along Gil Puyat Ave. on the way to Mabalacat, which offers horseback riding.
FONTANA – A UNITED STATES STYLE WATER PARK
Located within the elegant and sprawling Fontana Leisure Park, amongst the popular Fontana golf courses and Villas, you’ll find a U.S. style water park. This facility has all the wet and wild thrills you want in a water amusement park. The motif is one of a tropical/jungle with large prehistoric creatures integrated throughout. You’ll find rides for all ages from extreme wild rides to a kiddies’ play area. With life guards and attendants throughout, Fontana Water Park is the ultimate family-fun place to cool off from a hot and humid Philippine day. The Fontana Villas and related facilities is an ideal spot for your next group event.
At El Kabayo, you can rent horses by the hour and even take horseback riding lessons. Either way, the elegance of horseback riding will empower you and your family with feel of an equestrian.
CLARK INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY RACE TRACK
Clark International Speedway (CIS) is a 4.189 km permanent race track located in the Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, The full course has a total of 18 turns, and is considered a Grade 4 course by the FIA. The course can be split into 2 separate shorter courses. The West Course is 1.960 km long and has 12 turns while the East Course is 1.900 km long with 8 turns and a 970 meter drag strip. This track hosts regular racing events for cars and motorcycles. You can view such prominent races here as the Philippine Touring Car Championship, Philippine GT Championship, Philiippines National Drag Racing Championship, Toyota Vios Cup, Philippine Superbike Championship, and the Petron FlatOut Race Series. The Asian V8 Championship and Circuit Showdown have also made this tract part of their circuit.
How about firing at the Clark Eagle Shooting Range. Here you can rent a gun for the entire day and shoot to your hearts desire, all in a controlled environment. Ammunition is paid for by the round, or you can bring your own. If you are not familiar with the art of shooting, you can take a lesson or two.
HIKING & TREKKING
While at Clark, you are only a few kilometres from Mt. Pinatubo. This volcano entirely buried towns and killed hundreds of people. To truly experience this amazing power first-hand, you will need to 4-wheel in and then do some trekking. This is a can’t-miss experience for those able to make the trek! Seeing the blown away mountaintop of Mt. Pinatubo firsthand, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is sure to leave you breathless and inspired.
AIR FORCE CITY PARK
Air Force City Park is a unique recreational facility for kids young and old. If you have ever desired to be a air force fighter pilot, this is your opportunity. Bring the kids and climb aboard fighter jets, helicopters and anti-aircraft gunnery. Turn the propeller of a real WW-II fighter; the engine is still in place…you can actually feel the compression as you move the prop. Where else can you fulfill your Top Gun fantasies? When you are done with your tour of real war-time aircraft, the kids can play on a multitude of playground equipment while you relax at the small snack bar or read a book available at the library in the back of the concessions area. This place is guaranteed to satisfy the entire family.
OMNI AVIATION – MT PINATUBO SKY TOUR
Schedule your aerial trip and get a fantastic view of Mt. Pinatubo. A 45-minutes ride of exploration of the gorgeous nature and magnificent view above the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those curious about our mighty mountain neighbor.
At Clear Water, a members and corporate leisure club, you can enjoy American-style camping, fishing and the white pristine beach of a man made lake amid quiet, peaceful surroundings. Also available here are boating, kayaking experiences.
THE SKILL AND CHALLENGE OF GOLF
For a more serious variety of sport, Fontana and the world famous 36 holes of Mimosa offers some of the best golf courses in the Philippines. These courses were developed by world-class golf course designers. They are truly courses to be appreciated, many holes are set amid very old Acacia Rain Trees. Golf carts are available and you can always end your day at the 19th hole.
GAMES OF CHANCE – CASINOS IN CLARK
For those who appreciate the game of chance, they can visit the following casinos: the Widus Hotel Casino, the Royce Hotel Casino, the Hotel Stotsenberg Fortunegate Casino, the Midori Hotel Casino, and the D’Heights Resort Casino.
Clark Hostel Budget Lodging Affordable yet comfortable lodging in the Clark Freeport Zone is easy to find. Let us introduce you to a few places that won’t break your bank account, yet provides nice comfort and amenities. Blue Bianco and Clark Hostel can be booked for P2500/night and under, while the mid-level Oxford Hotel starts at P3000/night. You may be able to obtain even better rates during promotional periods at these hotels.
MORE ELEGANT AMMENITIES
For bigger and better amenities, swimming pools, nice restaurants and bars, along with casinos and night-life, hotels and resorts such as the Holiday Inn, Hotel Stotsenberg, Monte Vista Villas, Fontana Leisure Park and “The Clear Water member & corporate resort” are the choices.
HEALTH SPAS AND SALONS
To look your best while sightseeing and enjoying the good-life in Clark, why not pamper yourself, with a spa treatment, message, manicure, pedicure or facial; or possibly try a new hair style? You will find several unique health spas located in the Freeport Zone:
New Well Being Spa is the newest and most state of the art spa with features like New Well Being Spa in Clark Zone, Philippinesa three-stage hot Bulgama, charcoal room, ice-room sauna treatment. The huge pool area is surrounded by new and stylish condo units and wonderfully landscaping, help add to the luxury experience of this spa. If you’d like have a nice meal in the restaurant or cafeteria.
Coco Spa in the Holiday in at the Mimosa Leisure Park encapsulates you in a Philippine tropical motif, situated alongside the Holiday Inn swimming pool.
The Grand Mimosa Spa is situated in the Lush Mimosa Leisure Resort, this spa can be found at the Stotsenberg Parade Grounds/Café Mesa side gate to Mimosa. Come in anytime to this spa for some pampering and relaxation. They are open extended hours for your convenience.
There is a third spa in the Mimosa Resort in the Korea Town area in the leisure park. This spa tends to cater to the rather large Korean community in the Freeport.
A PLETHORA OF EATING ESTABLISHMENTS IN CLARK
If you are looking for some quality food in Clark then your choices will surprise you.
- Grill Seoul Korean BBQ, in the newly built restaurant row area of the Parade Grounds serves high-rated, authentic Korean food, in a slick, new building establishment and a unique ambiance dining environment.
- Soo Hyang Restaurant & Cafe also in the newly build restaurant row area offering authentic Korean food, specializing in their slow-roasted whole duck.
- Vietnamese Noodle is clean, affordable and fast authentic Vietnamese food.
- Amare by Chef Chris in the Royce Hotel, will take you to the European side of the world with fine, authentic Italian dishes and fantastic pizza.
- Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar welcomes fine diners to its doors.
- Cafe Mequeni in the lobby of the Quest Hotel offers a all-day fabulous buffet.
- The Mequeni Lounge also in the Quest Hotel offers a more relaxed dining experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Salt Resto at the Widus Hotel and Casino gets you all-day casual dining and a expansive lunch and dinner buffet in a great hotel environment.
- Goji Kitchen + Bar in the new, 5-star Clark Marriott Hotel offers all-day buffet and breakfast in a casual environment and a host of vegetarian options.
- Matam-ih will satisfy your search for authentic Kapampangan cuisine. Why come to Pampanga without trying their famous cuisine?
- Café Mesa offers siphon brewed coffee from UCC Japan. Situated on a corner property of the Parade Grounds, also serving a variety of Filipino and other dishes. At night, this relaxing restaurant turns into a bar.
- The Red Crab across from Cafe Mesa in the Parade Grounds area will accommodate your seafood craving while in Clark.
- Salt & Crab is another popular seafood restaurant in the new business section of the Parade Grounds area of Clark that is more than just seafood but steak, pasta, and local cuisine.
- The Hacienda Cafe offers international cuisine and delightful cakes and pastries in the Hotel Stotsenberg.
- The S-Bar, also in the Hotel Stotsenberg will satisfy your craving for milkshakes, smoothies and fresh juices along with other exotic ice blend drinks.
SHOPPING WHILE IN THE CLARK FREEPORT
Shopping comes inseparable in a place like Clark and most definitely in the Philippines in general. Clark also hosts its very own Shoemart, otherwise known as SM Holdings Company Mall, the country’s leading mall chain. SM City Clark near the main gate is one of the latest in the chain and a personal extension of Clark exemplifying a a class-act mall. You’ll love SM Clark’s outdoor fountain-embellished dining area complete with a Duty-Free Stores in Clark Zone, Pampangastage showcasing local and national talent.
Clark is also home to a several duty-free stores all situated in one place along Claro M. Recto Highway in the Freeport. Find imported items from the U.S. and many other countries. Find deals on the imported goods from abroad you’re looking for. You’ll enjoy an entire days worth of shopping at stores like, Pure Gold, Value City, Arjan, Parksons amongst others.