Many may not be aware of this fact but the Clark Freeport Zone is located in Pampanga, located next to Angeles City and linked to Metro Manila via the North Luzon Expressway, or NLEX. It also offers access to different localities across Pampanga, where one can enjoy the flavors of Kapampangan cuisine (many claim the best culinary delights of the Philippine originate in Pampanga, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental).
After a flight route between Bacolod-Silay Airport and Clark International Airport was announced back in December 2017, Iloilo City will also have a route as Cebu Pacific Air will begin providing flights next month. Aside from the connection offering an opportunity to bypass the chaotic traffic of Pasay City, it also serves as a gateway to northern destinations such as Cavite, Pampanga, Subic, Baguio City, the Ilocos provinces, and more.
Tourism officials and those in the travel industry must take advantage of the connection—don’t think of Clark as a “main point of travel” but a “convenient gateway to other parts of north Luzon.” In addition, some may fly to Clark with Metro Manila as their destination since, as mentioned in an earlier column entitled “Visit Luzon (via Clark),” there are air-conditioned buses that travel every hour between Clark and Metro Manila.
Clark is also home to luxury hotels and casinos, including stores with imported merchandise.
At the same time, Bacolod City must attract tourists from northern Luzon. Tourism promotion must be developed in order to attract Kapampangans to taste Bacolod chicken inasal, fresh lumpia, various pastries, La Paz batchoy, buko pie, and lechon baboy. Additionally, there are also diving sites, historical landmarks, and other spots to visit; not to mention, the world-famous Ruins of Talisay City.
Hotels and other lodging establishments must also provide reasonable rates.
This column greets Pinky Hautea, Greg Flores, Pushpa Tan, Tintin Mansinares, Rodel Parcon, Jonathan Lobaton, Karen Dinsay, May Castro, Marlin Sanogal, Lito Go, Jennylind Cordero, Linus Jimenez, Pike Santander, George Jardiolin, Mimir Guanco, Bobby Tee, and Virgie Minez/WDJ