Angeles | Philippines
Angeles, officially the City of Angeles, (Kapampangan: Lakanbalen ning Angeles; Filipino: Lungsod ng Angeles), or simply referred to as Angeles City, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the region of Central Luzon, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 411,634 people.
It is bordered by Mabalacat to the north; Mexico to the east; San Fernando to the southeast; Bacolor to the south; and Porac to the southwest and west. Though the city administers itself autonomously from Pampanga, it is the province's commercial and financial hub.
Angeles is served by the Clark International Airport in Clark Freeport Zone. Being home of the former Clark Air Base (then the largest United States military facility outside the continental United States), it was significantly affected by the fallout brought about by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The economy of Angeles was heavily dependent on the American base at that time.
In 1993, a full cleanup and removal of volcanic ash deposits began and the former U.S. base re-emerged as Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ). The creation of CSEZ has helped to offset the loss of income and jobs previously generated by the presence of the U.S. base in the city. Today, Angeles and Clark form the hub for business, industry, aviation, and tourism in the Philippines as well as a leisure, fitness, entertainment and gaming center of Central Luzon.
Angeles ranked 15th in a survey by MoneySense magazine as one of the "Best Places to Live in the Philippines" in its March–April 2008 issue.
Angeles is 83 kilometres (52 mi) from Manila and 17 kilometres (11 mi) from the provincial capital, San Fernando.
In 1796, the gobernadorcillo or town head of San Fernando, Don Ángel Pantaleón de Miranda, and his wife, Doña Rosalía de Jesús, along with some followers, staked out a new settlement, which they named Culiát because of the abundance of vines of that name in the area. The new settlers cleared the woodland and cultivated the area for rice and sugar farming. Don Ángel built his first house with light materials at the northwest corner of the intersection of Sapang Balen and the road going towards the town of Porac. It was later donated to the Catholic Church and became a cemetery called "Campo Santong Matua" (today the site of Nepomuceno Coliseum).
On 12 May 1812, the new settlers tried to make Culiat a self-governing town but the friars resisted the move, led by Fray José Pometa. Ten years later, on 11 February 1822, Don Ángel filed a petition for the township of Culiat to secede from San Fernando, but it was denied. This was followed by another petition within the same year, jointly signed by Don Ángel, his son-in-law, Mariano Henson, and the latter's father, Severino Henson. He donated 35 hectares for the construction of the first Catholic church, a convent and a primary school while Doña Agustina Henson de Nepomuceno, the niece of who would become the first gobernadorcillo of Angeles in 1830, Don Ciriaco de Miranda, gave land for the new public market. Don Ángel paid the complete amount required by law just for the secession of Culiat from San Fernando. There were only 160 taxpayers then but the law required that it should have at least 500 taxpayers.
On 15 June 1991, Angeles was affected by the cataclysmic eruption of nearby Mount Pinatubo, with up to 60,000 people being evacuated from the city. It was the second-largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century and, by far, the largest eruption to affect a densely populated area. The province of Pampanga, Clark specifically, were badly hit and the agricultural lands, as well as other businesses, were covered by tons of lahar. There were no casualties reported inside Clark two days from the initial eruption because the 18,000 personnel and their families were transported to Guam and the Subic Naval Base in Zambales.
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo forced the leadership of the U.S. to prematurely abandon its military installation at Clark Air Base. This is in addition to the voting by the Philippine Senate in 1991 to no longer extend the Laurel–Langley Agreement, which allows the presence of U.S. military forces on Philippine territory, thus ending the long chapter of Filipino-American relations in the history of Angeles. The U.S. military never returned to Clark, turning over the damaged base to the Philippine government on 26 November 1991
Balibago is the main entertainment district of Angeles. It contains Casino Filipino Angeles and the famous Fields Avenue tourist belt. Entertainment-related establishments such as The Dollhouse Group, Kokomo's Hotel Group also spill to Malabañas, which is situated next to Balibago. Hotels, such as Penthouse Hotel, Lewis Grand Hotel, and Angeles Beach Club (ABC) Hotel are also abundant along Don Juico Avenue, which stretches from Balibago to Malabañas. The city's biggest mall, SM City Clark, is also situated in Barangay Malabañas.
Salakot Arch is a landmark of Angeles. From 1902 to 1979, Clark Air Base remained a U.S. territory, guaranteed by the Military Bases Agreement in 1947. In 1978, the Philippines, under the dispensation of then President Ferdinand Marcos, and the U.S. finally agreed to establish Philippine sovereignty over the U.S. bases and thus the Clark Air Base Command (CABCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines came into being, following the signing of a revised Military Bases Agreement on 7 January 1979. To commemorate this unprecedented and bold event, the government constructed a special structure based upon the design of a salakot or native hat, which soon became a widely recognized symbol of this renewed Filipino spirit.