I AM an early riser. Most often 4:30 a.m. There's a road at the back of my house which is half kilometer long. It is healthy. I love to walk briskly before taking my breakfast. It is a simple joy to kick my heels while the January morning weather is slapping my face. It so cool that a jacket is needed. The weather men are forecasting more low temperatures and will extend till late February. How nice.
My friend Martin Vitug loves cool climates. Too bad he can't travel to countries which have four seasons because of the pandemic. Before the coronavirus spread, he made so many travels, at the very least three times a year. Before the pandemic, I used to see his posts on Facebook that he was in the US, Korea, Japan and in Europe. If you have the money and time, why not.
I told Martin once over dinner to start exploring the Philippines. He is originally from Betis, Guagua, resided in Quezon City and now took residence in Angeles City. I also advised him to make a wide look around Angeles City. The city, like the big apple NY, also doesn't sleep, if we have to believe Frank Sinatra, the ole blue eyes. Making rounds at night particularly in the Korean town is a big treat.
Angeles is only more than 6,000 hectares. So small compared to other metropolitan cities. It has always been a melting pot. It became even more as nearby Clark Freeport thrived with business activities in recent years, with airlines flying out of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (CIAC). Once things will be normalized, people are all inoculated and there no more travel restrictions, for sure we will be witnessing business activities more than what we experienced in the previous years. (Too bad, while many countries already have the vaccines and are inoculating their people, here in our country it is still a big mess as it surfaced in the recent senate investigation. "Eddie" and tongpats are culprits). Before that, the migration of people coming from different provinces plus the dramatic increase of Koreans establishing residences was a bonanza to the city economy. The prosperity also cascaded to nearby Porac town. I remember someone made a clinical study of what Angeles City is today, and what it can become years ahead. It promises a lot of things.
Retro. Angeles after World War II was the most progressive among towns north of Manila, despite neighboring San Fernando was the capitol town and crossroad of commerce. It was because after the Japanese occupation more American servicemen arrived for rehabilitation of what was damaged by the recent war. Many were able to find work inside the American base, while the enterprising ones were able to set up businesses outside of the military installation. The type of businesses were mostly based on proximity. Kiosks and bars were initially set-up in the downtown area and gradually moved in the Balibago area. There was no institutionalized land use program.
The population ballooned, and by early sixties, then Congresswoman
Juanita Lumanlan Nepomuceno worked for the chartering of the town into a city. Rafael Del Rosario Sr. was the last town mayor and the first city mayor of Angeles upon the approval of its charter in 1964. Del Rosario tapped his friend, Professor Emmanuel Yap, who was then head of the Congressional Economic Planning Office of the House of Representatives to draw the urban planning map of the city. The drawn urban renewal growth of the city was never implemented, because Del Rosario lost his bid in the following elections. Nonetheless, the coming years after that, the growth cannot be restrained.