No longer just a stopover between Manila and Northern Luzon, Pampanga has grown into a culinary destination, a leisure place, a thriving business district, and for the lucky few, a relaxing living environment close to the city.
Because of recent infrastructure developments, the Central Luzon province has become increasingly accessible especially for those who work in Metro Manila and drive home to cities like San Fernando, Clark, or Angeles, or vice versa. (The present-day business slowdown is not expected to delay construction timetables in any meaningful way.)
Angeles, especially, has become a prime location for city dwellers looking for real estate that’s close to the metro but still distant enough to provide the laid-back vibe that provincial life offers.
Perhaps the most exciting infrastructure development in the area is the planned Clark Global City in Clark Freeport Zone in Mabalacat, Pampanga, an hour away from Angeles. The goal for the 177-hectare development is for it to become the country’s new center for business, culture, and entertainment. In 10 years, it is expected to host an expansive mall, a 5-star hotel, a resort and casino, office buildings, dormitories, and even a university.
The new terminal of the Clark International Airport (CIA) is also expected to be finished in 2020. When fully operational, the new terminal will triple the current airport passenger capacity adding another eight million to the current capacity of 4.2 million. This will provide travelers in the North with another option for domestic and international flights, and will hopefully decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City.
Traveling to and from Pampanga is also easier thanks to numerous transportation developments. For regular commuters, there are now three point-to-point (P2P) routes that serve the region: CIA-North Avenue in Trinoma, Quezon City, NAIA Terminal 3-CIA, and Robinsons Galleria-CIA. As the development of Clark Global City continues, more public transportation options connecting Pampanga and Manila are expected to be established.
In addition, the recently approved Malolos-Clark Railway project is expected to cut travel time from Manila to Clark and vice-versa to an hour. Spanning 53.1-kilometers, the project will have seven stations including one in Angeles and another at the Clark International Airport — which will be partially in operation beginning 2022.
Clark also remains to be an attractive location to investors, and that attraction has also spread to nearby Angeles and San Fernando.
Massive new commercial developments have already begun in Angeles such as shopping centers, new business franchises, and office buildings. Urban planning and development experts have always pointed out the possibility of locating businesses outside Metro Manila to decongest the capital, and Angeles and its neighbors have welcomed small and medium businesses with affordable office space, skilled workers, and robust broadband connections.
The Subic-Clark Cargo Railway Project is also set to begin construction before the end of 2020. The railway will run for 71.13 kilometers, divided into two sections: a 64.19-kilometer main line connecting Subic Bay Freeport Zone and Clark Freeport Zone, and a 6.94-kilometer link to the Subic Bay Port’s New Container Terminal. It’s expected to cut Subic-Clark travel time to just an hour — granting more opportunities for businesses to grow as goods can then move faster between the two Freeport zones.
Lively Leisurely Living
Aside from arguably being the culinary capital of the country, Pampanga also has a rich cultural history and many leisure options for those who simply want to take in the more relaxed pace of provincial life.
Holy Week in April has also become a cultural attraction in Pampanga featuring centuries-old religious observances such as the reenactment of the passion of the Christ.
Food plays a huge part in the culture of Pampanga. More than the now-iconic Kapampangan cuisine, cities like Angeles and San Fernando also host a large population of Koreans which has given rise to affordable and delicious Korean barbecue restaurants. Many quaint hole-in-the-wall establishments also provide more unique dining options–both local and foreign.
For investors or new homeowners looking for the next big location, check out Aldea Grove Estates, Avida Land’s first residential project in Angeles City. Here, you can experience the home of inspired Pampanga living, with the hustle and bustle of the city just minutes away. Visit avidaland.com for more information on this development.