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Angeles City


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Angeles City, geographically located within the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, is locally classified as a first-class, highly urbanized city. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 267,788.

On the north-western part is the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) and the city is served by the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. As the former home of the biggest American base outside of the United States mainland, it was significantly affected by the base pull-out brought about by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991.

Endowed with economic and business opportunities, Angeles is dubbed , quite rightly, as the "Entertainment Capital of Central Luzon."

In 1796, the Capitan-Mayor of San Fernando, Don Ángel Pantaleón de Miranda, along with some followers, staked out a new settlement which they named Kuliat, because of the abundance of vines of that name in the area. Located some 20 miles north of the capital city of Pampanga, Kuliat remained a barrio of San Fernando for the next 33 years, becoming a separate town in 1829, at which time it was renamed Ángeles, after "Los Custodios de los Ángeles." By December 8, 1829, when it received its first official municipal charter, the town contained some 661 people, 151 houses, and an area of 38.65 km².

As for the city itself, Angeles remained fairly small until the end of World War II, and then entered a period of tremendous growth that has resulted in its present position as the "Premier City in Central Luzon." The first American government of Angeles was established by General Frederick D. Grant on January 1, 1900 and 64 years later to that day, Angeles received official Philippine recognition as a city.

Many Americans chose to permanently settle in Angeles (particularly in the Balibago district) after the country gained independence from the United States in 1946. The Americans until the mid 1990s had a heavy population in the city due to the presence of Clark Air Base. During the American colonial period (1898-1946), a recorded number of more than 800,000 Americans were born in the Philippines. In fact, a large concentration of Filipinos with American ancestry are located in the areas of the former US base. Since the early days of Clark Air Base, Fields Avenue has become known as a centre for prostitution. This industry increased greatly after the end of World War II.

In 1991, Angeles was affected by the eruption of nearby Mount Pinatubo, with up to 60,000 people being evacuated from the city. Clark Air Base was evacuated and the 18,000 personnel and their families were transported to Subic Bay Naval Base in Zambales, most of whom were returned to the United States. With their current lease set to expire, the US military never returned to Clark, turning over the damaged base to the Philippine government on November 26, 1991.