For our weekend getaway, we hopped on a plane to Clark, Philippines amidst a thunderstorm, were stuck on the Tarmac for 2 hours, and finally made it to Clark International Airport at 2 30am, 3 hours behind schedule.
Upon first impression, I was not blown away by the ghetto walkway to the airport, the creepy men who kept catcalling, and the taxi drivers that ripped us off and kept snapping phone pics of us. What an interesting welcome to Angeles City, the “Disneyland for men” red light district.
At 3am, we arrived at Deverra Hotel, smack in the middle of Don Juico nightlife strip. After checking in, we decided to explore. The city, literally, does not sleep. For the next two hours, we snacked on street food and Jollibee, saw 256884598 old white men with their Asian escorts, and soaked in the sheer energy that pulsed around us.
5am. Piled into our exec suite king bed, and proceeded to pass out until noon.
For the rest of the day, we walked the streets of Angeles City, explored SM Mall, tricycled to Oasis Hotel. We floated around the lovely pool and sunbathed lazily on lawn chairs while chatting about life, sipping San Miguel beers and devouring chicken adobo.
By the time we squeezed on to a Jeepney (the spunky Philippine version of a Thai songthraew decked out with cool slogans, feathers, and American pop songs blasting on the radio), I think Andrea and I had already fallen in love with this place. After handing over our 9 peso fare, we joined the locals and sang along to Jessie J’s Price Tag. Priceless.
Angeles City is no Manila or Boracay, and is probably not the best place for two Asian girls to travel, but it’s energy completely won us over. The simplicity and openness in lifestyle, the harmony of local culture and modernization, the coexistence of peace and chaotic bustle. Philippines is love, and definitely not what I expected.