Clark Freeport Zone – Rapidly Developing With Lots Of Action

Clark Freeport Zone is located in Mabalacat City in the province of Pampanga, about 100kms north of Manila. The area is a redevelopment of the former US Air Force base in the Philippines. Being a former military base, the area has modern infrastructure facilities, generous fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, professional support services and other amenities.

Today, Clark forms the hub for business, industry, aviation, education, and tourism in the Philippines as well as leisure, fitness, entertainment, and gaming centre of Central Luzon (source: Wikipedia). The GGLC (Global Gateway Logistics City) development, a Kuwaiti funded project in Clark, is the first aerotropolis in the Philippines. It is also the biggest infrastructure project ever in the Philippines. The project culminates in the construction of a number of different facilities. This includes a hospital, residential housing, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, hotels, retail outlets, restaurants, convention centres and offices – virtually a whole new city.

Clark has lots of surrounding attractions to enjoy

Aside from what I have mentioned, as far as a tourist destination, there isn’t really that much to see or do in Clark. However, one of the main features, being a former US Air Base, is that it does have an international airport. The GGLC development is centred around the airport. Further to this, there is planning in place for a high-speed railway system that will connect the airport, to Metro Manila, once the additional two terminals have been built by 2025. If you were planning to visit some of the more northern attractions of Luzon, such as the Banaue Rice Terraces, Subic Bay, Biak Na Bato or Mt. Pinatubo, then flying into Clark is a very viable option depending on where you coming from.

One of the main tourist attractions in Clark is the annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. This is held every Valentines weekend. This event has evolved into the longest-running sports aviation event in Asia and attracts thousands of people from all over the world. There are a number of activities including kite flying, aerobatic exhibitions, skydiving, paragliding, microlight and ultralight flying plus much more.

Golf courses in Clark

If you are into golf, Mimosa Golf and Country Club is a world class 36-hole golf resort that is well worth a visit. Set against the foothills of the Cabusilan Mountains, featuring Mt. Pinatubo, the scenery is spectacular. With 125 Mediterranean inspired, luxurious villas, and six restaurants, this is a fantastic retreat for a relaxing weekend away from the big smoke of Manila, or a central base if you are planning to explore other parts of northern and central Luzon.

The annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Clark

The annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is growing in popularity and is a spectacular sight with hundreds of hot air balloons scattered across the sky. Thousands of people flock from all around the world to take part in this unique event.

Mimosa Golf and Country Club

Mimosa Golf and Country Club is a challenging course, particularly since its recent redevelopment. With over 5,000 mature trees on the entire estate, there is plenty of wood to hit!

Mt. Pinatubo lurking quietly in the background of Clark

Mt. Pinatubo, lurking quietly in the background of Clark, was responsible for the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. Time will tell if it erupts again.

Clark Museum (Museong Kapampangan) and 4D theatre

Clark Museum (Museong Kapampangan) and 4D theatre has some very interesting history that is exhibited in a story format.

How to get there

For about P2,500, you can also negotiate with a taxi to take you to Clark from Makati.

Plane: There are a number of low cost airlines that fly into Clark, mostly from the Asia region, however, Emirates and Qatar Airways also fly into Clark. The number of airlines flying into Clark will increase once Terminal 2 and 3 have been completed.

From Makati, Clark is about 100kms north, or about a two hour drive via the NLEX and SCTEX.

There are a number of buses bound for Clark, but the best bet is the Philtranco Pasay terminal in Pasay. The cost one way should be less than P200. Once in Clark, there are plenty of jeepneys and taxis available to transport you.

Dezza´s Tip

As you can fly straight into Clark (depending on where you are coming from), my tip would be to coordinate your schedule to fit in with the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. From there, you could visit Biak Na BatoSubic Bay, Mt. Pinatubo, One Hundred Islands, Banaue Rice Terraces and many more of the amazing places in central and northern Luzon all by road.