Archive for clark airbase

fields of dreams

Posted in artifacts, events, history, lifestyle, locales, people, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by mijodo

ladies of the night in colorful wigs

This may not be the place that our Department of Tourism promotes to travellers abroad as through the years, the area has created quite a “reputation.”

The stretch of Fields Avenue, even without the American soldiers now in Clark Airbase, still packs an impact to the newcomers. The iridescent lighted neon signs during the evenings, the boombastic sound of rock or discotheque music echoing from the bars, and the alluring body movements within the confines of such nitespots, tempt the man, not just to peek but  probably to savor the offerings of such establishments. 

Young ladies, many coming from far-flung areas  in Visayas and Mindanao are still the biggest come-ons of Fields Avenue in Angeles where an ample number of foreign male tourists have been top customers. Many would easily condemn such nubile women for eking out a living through lascivious manner. But in such desperate lives, who knows, true prince charmings may just pick them out from their dreariness, and probably have successful and happy lives, somewhere else. Such stories have happened many time over, but of course, there also have been horrid stories of abuse and doom. And yet we just pray that somehow, something magical can come out from this avenue which should lead them to a dreamy place of true transformation and contentment.

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man and the machine

Posted in artifacts, events, lifestyle, locales, people, sports, technology, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2009 by mijodo

the seduction of flight

In Greek mythology, Icarus was so obsessed with flying that he created wings for himself.  Eventually he made the leap off a cliff and flapped his wings. He was able to fly and enjoy his freedom until the sun singed the feathers of his wings. Eventually the whole wings burned. And Icarus perished at the end.

Despite the possibility of injurious accidents and fatal mishaps, people  have been seduced in creating technology which can  fly them out in a distance, either as a mode of transportation or just a form of fun and recreation. 

And in the recent Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Clark (,https://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/full-of-hot-air/),  the event showcased, not only hot air balloons, but  all other variations of machines and contraptions which propel people to fly and undulate in the air – from the traditional skydiving to the more sophisticated paragliding using ultralights. The crowd admired  how man and the machine maneuvered and created stunts several hundred feet above.  Some would do tandem choreography; some would do death defying freefalls.

In the same event, there was a display of  aircrafts which many have been most important to the commerce and military in our nation building.  There one could ogle at the sleek Dornier Jet Aircraft which is being used by some to transport  tourists from one island to another here in the Philippines .  In another part of the strip, inside the hangar, there was the F5-A aircraft which has been used by our elite  Blue Diamond Squad, the air demonstration unit of the Philippine Air Force.

It was not necessary that a particular flying machine be a vehicle for transportation for people to enjoy . During the festival, there were several men who had  amorous relationships with their remote controlled planes. Vicariously, people still got the intense rush of flying when seeing planes sped up and did some sommersaults . Of course, one can simply be entertained by young girls and boys fly the different sizes and forms of  kites tugged by the wind.  In true manner, obviously, the death of Icarus never made a dent on the continuing romance between man and the flying machine.

full of hot air

Posted in artifacts, events, lifestyle, locales, people, technology with tags , , , , , , , on February 14, 2009 by mijodo

 

almost in choreograph fashion

It was said during this time, the r&b group Fifth Dimension would croon its iconic song “Up Up and Away” through the loud speakers, signalling some success. But not this time, after all, there were no “beautiful balloons,” up in the air.

It was the first late afternoon of this year’s  Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.  And the event has been running for some years now at Clark Field, particularly near the 410 hangar. But since the wind was a little strong at more than five knots, the scheduled flight of the ballons (which by the way have been the first in history to successfully carry  humans in flight) had to be cancelled altogether.  People who had earlier tried to set up the ballons to take flight were now just packing up the envelope (balloon). There was too much effort for nothing. But then it was better to be on the cautious side.

The following morning, the second day of the air show festival, at about six when it was still a tad dark,  the wind was now at two to three knots, perfect for balloon flights.  Envelopes together with the baskets, usually in wicker , were placed distanced apart on the dry grassy field.  On each balloon, people were busy preparing for the lifts, creating some episodic flames toward the envelopes. One could see different balloons take forms and shapes.  Some would carry out the traditional  parabola in rainbow colors. Others were sponsored by various companies thus balloons took forms  of coffee mugs or cola bottles to promote their products. And at times some were animals such as an elephant and a tiger.

From starting  flaccid to being half erect, the hot air balloons were ready to sail away through the clouds. One by one, each balloon punctured the skies. The now bigger crowd appreciated the majesty and the magnificence of each balloon that slowly floated away, almost in choreographic fashion. Mesmerized by the whole new vista, the people were excitedly taking pictures and the vidoes of the balloons.  The luckier ones had the chance riding in the gondolas. Of course they had to shell out 150 dollars for the  novel experience.

Throughout, the speakers were churning out 1980s new wave music, not exactly the popular and maybe, cheesy Fifth Dimension ditty. But just the same, it was likely that people’s hearts and minds were humming “up, up and away, my beautiful, my beautiful balloon…”

supposedly little philippines

Posted in architecture, artifacts, locales with tags , , , , , on August 22, 2008 by mijodo

It used to be that Nayong Pilipino was near the vicinity of the Manila Domestic and International Airports in Pasay City. In that sprawling area, I remember the many depictions of the the more famous spots of the Philippines from Mt. Mayon’s perfect cone shaped figure to the several different indigenous Filipino homes where souvenirs could be bought cheap. It was the perfect area to see the “whole” Philippines to tourist who have neither the time nor the money to travel the nation’s numerous islands.

And I knew of the numerous plans to transfer Nayong Pilipino to different locations elsewhere (still near the airport) due to the expansion of the runways of the Ninoy Aquino International II terminal. In fact, there had been a contest for designers who can conceptualize best a spanking new Nayong PIlipino.

But all of a sudden, there was news that the Nayong Pilipino was transferred a smallish area at the old Clark Airbase in Angeles, Pampanga. I was perturbed with the decision. Surely, Pampanga can boast of another new tourism spot, but I was not sure of the viability of the transfer. It could be too far for those wanting to get a glimpse of what Philippines can offer culturally and in terms of travel spots.

Sad but true, Nayong Pilipino at Clark now has not been well maintained. And the time we were there, there was a handful of visitors thus even shops and eateries had to close.  After just a couple of years in the area, one could see colors of the kiping (rice chips) adorning the houses, depicting the Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Quezon already faded. And the represented spots were very limited to Barasoain Church, Banaue Native Huts, Intramuros, and Vigan Houses among others. Well good thing for us visitors, the place did not ask for entrance fee. (On second thought, the place should have asked if only for its upkeep)