is a quarterly publication of the
Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
Table of Contents
Gregorio D. Garcia III
Vivencio B. Dizon
President and CEO
Clark: It works. Like a Dream.
By the Numbers: Clark
We Win As One: PH begins countdown to 30th SEA Games
Enhancing mobility in Clark through bike sharing
Fast Talk with the New CIAC Chief
Eat, Sleep, Relax, Repeat: A guide to Clark's best hotels
Happy workers behind Hansa's plush toys
Snapshots of BCDA Events
Freeports and Ecozones
A Diner's Digest: Cheap eats at Clark's newest food park
Icon: Fort Stotsenburg
Editor-in-Chief: Leilani Barlongay-Macasaet
Executive Editor: Maricar Gay Savella-Villamil
Managing Editor: Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez
Art Director: Ana Trina Sulit
Associate Editor: Patricia Ruth Cailao
Writers: Michelle San Juan-De Vera, Lanquin Seyer Gacusan
Photographers: Samuel Luke Galivo, Garry Cativo,
Lanquin Seyer Gacusan, Dennis Borja Meneses
Clark Development Corporation
Clark International Airport Corporation
John Hay Management Corporation
Poro Point Management Corporation
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council
ON THE COVER
Take off: The Bases Conversion and
Development Authority unveils its
vision for Clark through a new brand
"Clark: It works. Like a dream."
BCDA Corporate Center
2/F, Bonifacio Technology Center,
31st Street cor. 2nd Ave.
Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City, Philippines
Renders/Photos: Budji + Royal Architecture + Design
Illustrations: Philippines SEA Games Organizing Committee
Circulation: Mareynel Toquero
Everyone wants to move to the big city.
It offers good money, good jobs.
It’s a place to be productive.
But the paradox is that cities don’t work for
people, even though they’re full of them.
It’s a pressure cooker of congestion, pollution
and rent you can’t afford.
Clark is different.
Because it was built from scratch,
crafted to be built for people.
It has the vibrancy of a city without the pressure of city life
and the energy of a culture that is happy and inclusive.
Clark is a city that works.
what you can do
when you’re in the
Welcome to Clark.
Like a Dream.
By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ
FFrom a former US military base, Clark has
successfully transformed into a showcase of a
And to better tell this story of transformation, the
Bases Conversion and Development Authority
(BCDA) and Clark Development Corporation
(CDC) launched Clark’s new brand “Clark: It
works. Like a dream.”
Last December, guests were given a VIP flight
experience as they headed for a new Clark, a
business hub, a travel and lifestyle destination,
and a vision for modernity all rolled into one.
The new Clark brand integrates the four
districts—Clark Freeport Zone, a major growth
driver in Central Luzon; Clark Global City, the
next business hub in the country; the Clark
International Airport, envisioned to be an
alternative premier gateway to Asia; and New
Clark City, the first smart, green, sustainable, and
Held at the Clark Convention Center and attended
by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea,
Cabinet officials, investors, and BCDA partners
and locators, the brand launch showcased the
past of Clark and the vision for its future.
Imagine a city with efficient and accessible
public transportation, massive parks and open
spaces, high-speed connection, and pedestrian
and bike-friendly lanes—a place to do business
and raise a family. With big-ticket projects
lined up for Clark under the Build Build Build
infrastructure program, all of these are set to
become reality in the near future.
NEW CLARK CITY
CLARK GLOBAL CITY
CLARK FREEPORT ZONE
CLARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
This is what we want the
Clark brand to be– the
access to live the quality
of life that we all deserve.
V I N C E D I Z O N
President and CEO, BCDA
“In the next few years, Clark will transform
completely because of the game-changing
projects under the Build Build Build program,”
BCDA President and CEO Vivencio Dizon says in
“It is the dream of every Filipino to live and work
in a city that provides the quality of life that we
only see now abroad, that unfortunately we do
not yet see in the Philippines. And this is what we
want the Clark brand to be—a brand that gives
the Filipinos, whether you’re rich or poor, young
and old, the access to live the quality of life that
we all deserve,” says Dizon.
For CDC President and CEO Noel Manankil, the
new brand relays the message that Clark was
built for people.
“Clark is a city without the hustle and bustle of a
typical city life. And while it develops faster than
before, it still upholds culture and tradition. I
think that makes Clark much more appealing to
investors and with the new Clark brand, it radiates
its identity with just one glance,” says Manankil.
CDC, which manages the Clark Freeport Zone,
has made Clark an attractive destination to both
the local and global markets not only because of
the endless investment opportunities, but the
ease of doing business.
“The Clark brand encapsulates CDC’s vision for
the Clark Freeport Zone, a synergy of business
and leisure,” Manankil adds.
Jaime Melo, president and chief executive officer
of the Clark International Airport Corporation
(CIAC), says that “what was once relegated as just
a dream for Clark airport is now working in full
In partnership with the Department of
Transportation (DOTr), BCDA is constructing the
new terminal building of the Clark International
Airport. Passenger capacity is expected to
increase to 80 million yearly at full development.
Aside from improving connectivity, BCDA is
also building New Clark City. The country’s next
big metropolis, New Clark City is envisioned to
decongest Metro Manila as government agencies
transfer their headquarters and satellite offices,
as well as further propel economic growth in the
Clark is more than just duty-free shops, hot
air balloon festivals, and good food; it’s a place
where people mean business but makes sure
that life is always well-lived.
It’s amazing what you can do when you’re in the
right place. Welcome to Clark.
Provinces: Pampanga and Tarlac
Cities/Municipalities: Porac, Angeles City, Mabalacat City, Bamban, Capas
Hub for business, industry, aviation, education, and tourism in the Philippines
Size: 33,000 hectares
An hour-away from Balintawak via North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)
Exits: Clark South Interchange and Clark North Interchange
Districts: Clark Freeport Zone, Clark Global City, New Clark City, Clark International Airport
Located at the heart of Central Luzon
RESEARCH BY: GARRY CATIVO
CLARK FREEPORT ZONE
CLARK GLOBAL CITY
Main Zone is located within the cities of
Angeles and Mabalacat
Fully integrated logistics, tourism,
manufacturing, & agro-industrial
Inside the Clark Freeport Zone
(Quick access via SCTEX Clark
KEY FEATURES Mixed-use central business
10-year development spread
out in eight phases
NEW CLARK CITY
CLARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
smart, green, sustainable,
Inside Clark Freeport Zone
2,367-hectare Civil Aviation Complex
Hosts 656 flights per week (454 Domestic
flights, 202 International flights)
First airport in the Philippines to be
ISO 9001:2015 certified for its International
and Domestic passenger facilitation process
PH begins countdown
to 30th SEA Games
By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ
A“At age 14 years old, I only wanted one thing in my
life and nothing more. It’s to become a national
athlete. And 10 years later, in 2015, I became the
first Filipino triathlete to win the gold medal in
the South East Asian (SEA) Games triathlon.”
Nikko Huelgas proves that dreams do come
true. It was in 2015 when the then 23-year-old
triathlete finished the men’s triathlon just 1:03
ahead of the silver medalist.
“That’s what sports does. That’s what the South
East Asian Games does. It gives us dreams. It
gives us the purpose to do something…So keep
dreaming big. The bigger you dream, the farther
Huelgas, chairman of the Athletes Commission,
made a passionate speech during the launch
of the SEA Games Countdown Clock at the
Bayanihan Park in Clark, Pampanga.
At exactly 7:00 p.m. on November 30, the
clock—patterned after the SEA Games logo—was
unveiled and activated.
Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, We, Win, As, One!
Hundreds of national athletes, SEA Games
Federation members, dignitaries from the other
10 participating nations, and the Philippine SEA
Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) led by
its chairman, former Foreign Affairs Secretary
Alan Peter Cayetano, gathered for the countdown
The countdown, a time-honored tradition of
international games, signals the start of a series
of activities, functions and gatherings leading
up to the opening of the 30th SEA Games in
November 30, 2019.
“As we count down the days to the 30th SEA
Games, we remain steadfast in our dream for
Render from: Budji + Royal
gold. Some may call us the underdogs but as
Filipinos, we have always been up to a challenge.
We love it. We relish it. The resilience to overcome
adversaries has become the hallmark not just
of Filipino athletes but of every Filipino,” says
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President
Vargas recalls that in 2005, when the Philippines
last hosted the SEA Games, it won 113 golds, 84
silvers, and 94 bronze medals.
For next year’s SEA Games, there are 56 sports
to be played by nearly 10,000 athletes from
11 countries. The 11 countries are Brunei
Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,
Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
Clark will serve as the main hub of the 30th SEA
Games in 2019, with the construction of worldclass
sports facilities in the New Clark City Sports
Village, which includes the Aquatics Center, the
Athletics Stadium, and the Athletes’ Village.
“With these facilities and more in the works, it will
only be a matter of time that we are once again at
the top of the medal tally,” says Philippine Sports
Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch”
“To our national athletes and to those aspiring
to represent our country, believe in yourselves
because we believe in you. Together, we can make
great things happen,” he says.
PHISGOC Chairman Cayetano says the SEA Games
is an opportunity for the region to be inspired by
athletes and to “stand together and do great things.”
“As we bring our athletes to the spotlight, we see in
them the spirit of a true ambassador. We see in them
what is best. We see in them commitment, passion,
sacrifice, and the spirit of one who does not look
at what’s possible or not. The athlete is there to get
The opening ceremony will be held at the Philippine
Arena on November 30, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
for Clark airport
TThe Bases Conversion and Development
Authority (BCDA), in partnership with the
Department of Transportation (DOTr), has
awarded the operations and maintenance (O&M)
contract for the Clark International Airport
to a consortium led by Changi Airport Group,
operator of the number one airport in the world.
The National Economic and Development
Authority Investment Coordination Committee
(NEDA-ICC) confirmed the award in December
The bid was awarded after the Special Bids and
Awards Committee conducted a stringent and
very transparent process with the International
Finance Corporation of the World Bank (IFC-WB)
as its transaction adviser, and the Public-Private
Partnership Center (PPPC).
The winning four-member North Luzon Airport
Consortium (NLAC) includes Changi Airports
Philippines Pte. Ltd., a 100%-owned subsidiary of
Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd., operator
of Changi Airport in Singapore. The other three
members are Filinvest Development Corporation,
JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and the Philippine
Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc.
NLAC’s financial bid offer of 18.25% annual
gross revenue percentage share is almost twice
the minimum rate set at 10% as approved by the
All the requirements and provisions in the 25-
year Concession Agreement will protect not only
the interest of the present government but also
future governments from undue and contingent
risks and liabilities.
The expansion of the Clark International Airport
and the development of the entire Clark Freeport
and Special Economic Zones are among the
centerpiece projects under President Rodrigo
Duterte’s Build Build Build program.
To further accelerate growth in Central Luzon
and nearby areas, the government is also
building New Clark City, envisioned to be the first
green, smart, and sustainable metropolis in the
country; the Subic-Clark Railway, a 70-kilometer
cargo railway connecting Subic Bay Freeport
Zone and Clark Freeport Zone; and the Manila to
Clark commuter railway.
200k jobs eyed with New
Clark City Industrial Park
500-hectare parcel of land in New Clark
City will soon be developed into a mixed-use
industrial park that is expected to generate
around 200,000 jobs in the country.
This $2-billion dollar development will
be explored by the Bases Conversion and
Development Authority (BCDA), and the China
Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC), Ltd., a
registered company in the People’s Republic
of China involved in the development of water
conservancy, hydropower, thermal power, power
transmission and transformation, highways,
railways, among others.
Last November, BCDA signed a framework of
cooperation with CGGC signifying the beginning
of collaboration of the two parties for the project.
Under the framework, CGGC shall share its
expertise with BCDA in the fields of overall
planning, design, development, engineering,
construction, utilities development, investments,
operation and all other relevant developments
for the proposed industrial park in the New
Clark City. CGGC will also submit a proposal for
the development of the property which should
adhere to the New Clark City’s Comprehensive
Master Development Plan (CMDP), the vision
of the NCC and should strictly comply with all
pertinent government standards.
Through the agreement, CGGC solidifies its
interest to invest in and develop the said project.
BCDA for its part will designate a 500-hectare
parcel of land in New Clark City for the project,
provide CGGC with New Clark City’s CMDP and
extend assistance to CGGC .
“We want to emphasize the importance of this
cooperation in strengthening the economy and
strengthening the relationship between China
and the Philippines. This industrial park in New
Clark City will be the first of its kind,” said BCDA
President and CEO Vince Dizon. Signing for
CGGC is their Chairman, Wang Jianping.
This is a government to government type of
development aimed at contributing to the
Philippine economy and strengthening bilateral
trade and investment promotions between
This development is anchored on the
Program for Cooperation on Industrial Parks
Development entered into by the Philippines’
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the
Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of
China (MOFCOM) in 2017, as a vital contribution
to the Philippine-China Six Year Development
Program (SYDP) for Economic Development
The program is one of the 29 exchanged
agreements witnessed by President Rodrigo
Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping during
the latter’s visit in 2018.
Clark is PH’s first 5G city
CClark, a major economic hub in Asia, was
launched as the first 5G city in the Philippines.
The Clark Development Corporation (CDC)
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
with telecom company PLDT and its wireless
subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. to
launch Clark Freeport Zone as the country’s first
Smart 5G City. CDC is a subsidiary of the Bases
Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
The 5G technology allows ultra-fast connectivity
in a wide range of applications like traffic
management, enhanced passenger experience
at the Clark International Airport, and in
manufacturing, logistics, and retail, among
BCDA President and CEO Vivencio Dizon said
5G technology “will really change the way we
connect with each other.”
“It’s not just about the speed, the bandwidth,
or the low latency, it’s about the immense
opportunities that 5G provides; opportunities
that are not even here yet like the IOT or the
Internet of Things where you can shut off your
aircon wherever you are or watch your child
sleeping even if you are a thousand miles away
on a business trip,” said Dizon.
The 5G’s capabilities will also improve the
mobility experience in Clark, said Dizon, citing
for instance its use in the bike-sharing program
that will soon be launched at the Freeport Zone.
Under the MoU, PLDT and Smart, together with
technology partner Ericsson, will fire up the first
5G cell site this month.
“With Clark at the helm of our 5G deployment,
we are opening immeasurable opportunities
to build the homes and enterprises of the
future,” said Juan Victor Hernandez, Senior Vice
President and head of enterprise for PLDT and
“5G ushers in a new era of intelligent services
to power smart cities of tomorrow,” Hernandez
Aside from ultra-high speeds, the key
features of 5G include enhanced mobile
broadband services, massive machine type
communications, and ultra-reliable and lowlatency
PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Ernesto Alberto
said Clark is an ideal area because of the vision
“They have a vision of a smart city, if not a smart
environment, not only for business investors
but people who are actually locating there as
they’re really encouraging a smart lifestyle of
connecting everything, from connected vehicles
to connected devices, to IOT, connected homes
and all that sort,” Alberto said.
SMART NEWS CITIES
Enhancing mobility in Clark
through bike sharing
By PATRICIA RUTH CAILAO
BBike sharing in the Philippines will no longer
be just a concept as the Bases Conversion and
Development Authority (BCDA) and Clark
Development Corporation (CDC) start efforts to
launch the program soon in Clark.
In a bike-sharing program, stations are set up
wherein people can rent a bike, use it for a certain
time frame, and return it at a different station.
“Clark Freeport Zone is a sprawling city with a
lot of areas inaccessible to public transport. Bike
sharing will address the mobility gap that is now
experienced in the zone,” CDC Vice President for
Engineering Services Alveen Tabag points out.
According to Tabag, most people in Clark rely on
jeepneys when travelling from home to work.
Jeepneys however operate within limited routes.
“With the rapid development inside Clark, the
number of jeepneys inside the zone might not be
able to meet the demands for having more public
transportation,” says Tabag.
Some areas in the Zone cannot even be accessed
through commute, like the newly-renovated
Clark Convention Center where big events in
Clark are being held.
BCDA and CDC are planning to test the program
through a pilot run this year at the Philexcel
Business Park in M.A. Roxas Highway.
“The bicycle racks are now stationed in the
Philexcel Business Park, and CDC plans to run
the project with 50 bicycles,” Tabag says. He adds
that the Philexcel Business Park is an ideal venue
for bike sharing because the park is gated and a
Upon full development of the program, more
bicycle racks will be designated in Clark for the
program to eliminate sidewalk obstruction while
increasing available space for the bicycles, and
ensure driver visibility.
BCDA and CDC also aim to run the bikesharing
program through a mobile application,
temporarily called as “ePadyak” for easy access
among users and to better monitor the use of the
Cities like Beijing and Los Angeles have adopted
bike sharing to fight pollution and traffic
congestion but in running the bike-sharing
program, BCDA and CDC see prevention as key
so said urban problems won’t arise in Clark.
Aside from the environmental benefits of bike
sharing, cycling encourages people to choose
active transportation, especially for short trips,
which is a health benefit as well. It’s a great
chance for commuters to exercise while saving
Fast talk with the
PH’s own new CIAC Chief
‘Rungis’ food market
The Clark International Airport Corporation’s
(CIAC) Corporate Communications Office gets
up close and personal with President
and Chief Executive Officer
Jaime Alberto Melo.
Date of Appointment: October 15, 2018
What is it that you are
J. Melo: I consider myself a nationalist, maybe
a passionate Filipino, if I stretch it. That’s why I
lasted 31 years with the flag carrier. Pinoy to the
What’s the best book you’ve
read this year?
J. Melo: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It’s
a biographical action horror mash-up novel by
Seth Grahame-Smith; an exciting read on one of
the greatest historical figures from 19th-century
America who turns quite comical as the central
character of an original vampire tale.
What motivates you to get out
of bed in the morning?
J. Melo: Contributing positively in my small
area—which is CIAC. Either the thought of
working on the gains I achieved the previous day
or the thought of improving oneself.
If somebody tells you it can’t
be done, how do you get it
J. Melo: Can’t be done? We just delve into reasons
it can’t be done. Solve all reasons one by one and,
most often than not, it can be done, indeed.
What are you most proud of?
J. Melo: My children.
Which leader would you love
to chat with at a conference?
What’s the one question you’d
ask him or her?
J. Melo: Dr. Jose Rizal. How would you address the
issue of corruption in the Philippines?
Prior to his appointment as President and CEO,
Mr. Melo served as CIAC Vice President for Airport
Operations. He was also VP for Business Development.
Melo holds an Economics degree from the University
of Santo Tomas, and a Masters degree in Business
Administration at the De La Salle University.
He was a longtime executive of Philippine Airlines
having worked for the flag carrier for 31 years. He
takes over CIAC at the most opportune time when the
Build Build Build flagship program of the Duterte
administration, including the Clark airport expansion
project, is in full throttle.
Eat, Sleep, Relax, Repeat:
A guide to Clark’s
By MICHELLE SAN JUAN-DE VERA
FFrom the expansion of the Clark International
Airport and the construction of New Clark City
to attracting more investments and increasing
tourist arrivals, Clark has rapidly become the
‘it’ city of the country today. But more than
the infrastructure developments, Clark is also
becoming the go-to destination of both local and
foreign tourists who are looking for a quick break
from the fast-paced city life.
If you are planning to visit Clark and still don’t
know where to stay, here’s a list of hotels where
you can book your vacation:
Clark Marriott Hotel
From the international hotel chain brand, Clark
Marriott Hotel opened its second hotel in the
country right inside the Clark Freeport Zone last
Known for its world-class customer service, this
17-storey hotel structure is the highest within
the zone giving its guests the most scenic view
of the growing business district in Central Luzon
as well as the Zambales mountain range. It has
260 spacious rooms, a grand ballroom that can
accommodate almost 400 guests, five restaurants
and bars, and amenities such as swimming pool,
fitness center, kids club, and a spa that can soothe
those aching muscles from the stress of work.
Clark Marriott Hotel is located beside Widus Hotel and
Casino and is the first 5-star luxury hotel in the area. For
reservations, call (045) 598 5000
Widus Hotel and Casino
One of the pioneer hotels inside Clark, Widus Hotel
and Casino has been at the top of the most favourite
places to stay in Pampanga by both local and
foreign tourists. The hotel boasts of its spacious
rooms which are spread out into Tower One which
houses the 119 suite rooms—all stylishly designed
and equipped with modern amenities, and Tower
Two which houses the hotel’s 114 tropical-inspired
rooms overlooking the swimming pool.
Guests can also look forward to their signature
breakfast buffet at Salt Restaurant; and for those
who are looking for entertainment, the Prism
Lounge is the perfect spot to unwind and have a
few drinks while listening to live performances
from the best bands in town. With everything
that it has to offer, Widus, pronounced as “with
us”, is definitely one of the best there is in Clark.
So the next time you are in Pampanga, make
sure to sleep, dine and unwind at Widus along
Manuel A. Roxas Highway.
For reservations, call (045) 499 1000
Also one of the newest addition to the list of mustcheck-in
hotels inside Clark is The Mansion—a
boutique hotel inspired by the United States of
America’s majestic estates and Europe’s serene
This quaint hotel is composed of 28 rooms which
makes it perfect for guests who want to have
privacy and relaxation. Dining is not a problem
with the Mansion Bar & Grill offering all-day
dining at the hotel’s lobby lounge. The hotel is
also perfect for family bonding as it offers an
extensive jogging and bike paths, two swimming
pools for both adults and kids, a playground, and
a playroom. You can even use their bikes and
pool inflatable floaters for free!
The Mansion is located inside The Villages, a secluded
community within Clark Freeport Zone and is home
to the Clark International Sports Complex. For
reservations, call (045) 499 8098
Quest Plus Hotel and
Conference Center Clark
Formerly known as Holiday Inn, Quest Plus Hotel
and Conference Center Clark or simply Quest, is
one of the top hotels for businessmen as it offers
comfort and technology—perfect for those who
want to juggle work and leisure.
Aside from its well-maintained rooms, Quest
also offers high speed internet and venues for
small meetings making it an ideal working
environment while enjoying the services of
Clark photo from: HikersBay
a luxury hotel. For those who are looking for
physical activities, the Mimosa Golf Course and
eQuinox fitness center are the suitable places
for you. Guests and diners can fill their bellies
with great food at the hotel’s all-day dining
restaurant—Mequeni Live, which brags of its
nine interactive live stations.
Quest is quietly tucked inside the Filinvest Mimosa+
Leisure City also along Manuel A. Roxas Highway. For
reservations, call (045) 599 8000
Royce Hotel and Casino
Known as one of the top entertainment
destinations in Central Luzon, Royce Hotel and
Casino is not only popular for its casino but also
for the regular band and comedy performances it
hosts daily. With its elegant theme of brown and
gold, the guests are given that royal feeling upon
entering the hotel’s sprawling lobby. The hotel
offers 202 modern and classy rooms equipped
with all the much needed amenities for its guests
to enjoy. Families and big groups who want to
spend a night or two at the hotel can also enjoy
the Empire Bar and Lounge which regularly
features live bands and performers for night of
fun, laughter, and great music. And to complete
your stay at Royce, dine in at the famous Italian
restaurant Amare by Chef Chris which offers the
signature Rolliza (also know as Panizza), various
pasta and salads—the same name behind the
popular C’s Italian Dining.
Royce Hotel and Casino is located at corner Manuel
A. Roxas Highway corner Ninoy Aquino Avenue. For
reservations, call (045) 499 3238
With its strategic location in Central Luzon plus
its own airport right at the heart of the zone, Clark
is sure to be accommodating more and more
tourists from Metro Manila, Northern Luzon and
nearby Asian countries. So the next time you plan
a staycation, make sure to put Clark in your priority
list and experience what this place has to offer.
When the enemy
is no longer the enemy
By MARICAR GAY SAVELLA-VILLAMIL
In "Heroes," BCDA tells the stories of ordinary
Filipino soldiers doing extraordinary duties
for love of country.
I“I spent the prime of my youth in Samar.”
It was in 1988 when the young lieutenant
Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., went up the
mountains of Samar—his first assignment
right after graduating from the Philippine
Military Academy (PMA) Maringal Class of
In those remote areas, he saw what he
thought and described as the “the last
bastion of Communist insurgency in the
Philippines” noting the extreme poverty
of fellow Filipinos. The young Burgos
recalled that the only sign of progress then
was the national highway. In one of the
most interior villages he was assigned, 35
percent of the female population suffered
from goiter, a condition caused by the lack
of iodine—a manifestation of malnutrition.
There was no trace of a government that
could help them. They had no choice but to
support the New People’s Army (NPA), who
were there with them.
“In many far-flung barangays that
we’ve been, we were the only agents of
government who have reached those
areas. We assumed the roles of doctors,
priests, pastors and counselors. Yung mga
gamot kong natitira for combat operations
binibigay ko na lang sa kanila upon leaving.
‘May adda ba kayong bulong?’ they would
ask. ‘Bulong’ means medicine.”
He stayed in Samar for five years, where he
experienced more combat encounters and
skirmishes with NPA terrorists.
An encounter he could not forget was in
1989 during his first assignment as platoon
leader, when his troops overran an NPA
After a successful takeover of an NPA
encampment in the mountains, those left
behind in the seized community were
women and children. With them is a
wounded male combatant.
“Walang gagalawin! (No one is to be
As the leader, he made sure that his unit
extended all the help they can give to the
NPA families, despite being the hostile
audience. To get help and rescue them from
the clutches of NPA terrorists, the unit had
to bring them down the mountains.
The way down the mountains took
them days. The troops provided the
families temporary shelter. Immediately,
government agencies began to arrive
according them health care and proper
nutrition. News on the attention and the
aid given to the rebels’ families spread out
quickly. Pleas and testimonials of the saved
families were heard over the radio. Soon
enough, their NPA relatives in hiding, found
their way down the mountains to surrender.
“Insurgency is not for the military alone
to solve. The root causes of insurgency
are poverty, lack of education, injustice,
malgovernance, etc. They (rebels) were
misinformed and coerced and even
brainwashed by their leaders to believe that
they will be killed by government forces if
they give up their firearms and return to
government fold. They are all victims.”
He stressed: “Paano na sila kapag lisanin
namin ang lugar?”
He saw that the “whole of government” or
the “whole of nation” approach was the
Indeed, this experience in Samar had the
greatest impact in his life and equipped the
young Burgos to seek a holistic approach
in ending insurgency in the countryside.
Addressing insurgency requires the
convergence of efforts of all stakeholders
and enhanced inter-agency coordination.
Fast forward to today, that lieutenant is now
a household name in the Armed Forces of
the Philippines (AFP).
Brigadier General Burgos, was the
former AFP Public Affairs Chief and AFP
Spokesperson, holding post on March
10, 2010. He held this position for more
than three years—serving the longest and
spanning five AFP Chiefs of Staff. After
this, he commanded the Civil Military
Operations (CMO) Group of the Philippine
Army and later on, became the Army’s
Assistant Chief of Staff for CMO, G7.
Now, he is the Commander of the 202nd
Infantry (Unifier) Brigade, 2nd Infantry
(Jungle Fighter) Division of the Philippine
Army. The Unifier Brigade, while
under his helm, was recognized for two
consecutive years as the Best Infantry
Brigade in Southern Tagalog and Infantry
Brigade of the Year in Southern Luzon.
They are tasked to secure the vast area of
CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas,
Rizal and Quezon).
Back in 2008, he also commanded the 80th
Infantry Batallion at Occidental Mindoro,
where he ably led the unit to be adjudged
as the best maneuver battalion in Southern
He asserts: “In any given situation, in any
position that you hold, you can always make
a difference. Everything you do must be
driven by a purpose.”
BGen Burgos shares his principle in life-
-summarized in “three Ps”: Passion,
Patience and Perseverance.
“I always innovate. I desire for continuous
improvement and progressive changes. I
make it a point to uplift standards. It should
be beyond than the usual. Positive and
meaningful change. Hindi paurong.”
In his military career, BGen Burgos has
served the United Nations (UN) as Executive
Assistant to the Force Commander in East
Timor in 2000 and as Military Adviser to the
UN Chief of Mission in South Sudan, Africa
in 2006 and 2007.
“Doon ko nakita na world-class tayong mga
Filipinos. May mga Filipino peacekeepers
doon and staff ng UN. In the international
arena, Filipinos excel among other
nationalities of the world. Ang galing ng
Pinoy. I’m really proud to be Filipino.”
It was in South Sudan, Africa where he
worked as a military observer and at the
same time, a UN Staff. Working for the UN
was truly rewarding as the then younger
Burgos was able to make a meaningful
contribution to the United Nations.
BGen Burgos cited his expertise in internal
security operations as key to being selected
to handle this vital position. His exposure
to the problem of insurgency in the country
prepared him for such a task. Crucial to
this assignment was our English-speaking
abilities and people skills.
Bayanihan is key
“Pinakamahirap mamatayan ng sundalo.
Una, kasamahan mo yan. Pangalawa, di
ko matanggap kasi kapwa Pilipino ang
He deeply laments this and finds it
unacceptable—prompting him to choose
“Communication is where I see the
He emphasizes: “You can never go wrong
with bayanihan! We need networking
with civilians, the local government units
(LGUs), the non-government units (NGOs).
We need to communicate, cooperate and
collaborate early on. Di yan matatatapos
kapag nakapatay ka ng kalaban. May family
yan eh. You are not presenting a solution to
the problem but aggravating it further.”
He stresses that soldiers desire for peace
more than anyone. They are the first
casualties of war, after all. They want peace
so that they can focus on external defense.
His expertise in engagement and civil
military operations did not escape
recognition. Among his awards are four
Distinguished Service Star Medals; three
Outstanding Achievement Medals; a Bronze
Cross Medal; two Meritorious Achievement
Medals; and dozens of Military Merit and
History would celebrate battles won by the
barrel of a gun. But there are more battles
won through bayanihan. Behind these
encounters, is a Filipino soldier working for
peace and constantly desiring for the enemy
to no longer be the enemy.
“I owe my success to the support that I get
from my family. From them, I draw my
strength and inspiration,” he beams.
A generous heart
The young Burgos always wanted to be a
doctor. But the opportunity to study for free
was more inviting.
The only son and youngest of four siblings,
BGen Burgos chose to join the Philippine
Military Academy (PMA). For this, he
passed up the opportunity to study in
universities where he qualified—University
of the Philippines and the University of Sto.
Through the years, BGen Burgos, who was
fondly called Boyet by family and friends,
was known for having a big heart.
Among his personal advocacies are his
life-long commitment to support the Pinoy
Batang Bayani Program of the Philippine
Army in partnership with Tuloy Foundation
Inc (TFI), which General Burgos and Father
Marciano “Rocky” Evangelista of TFI
started in 2013. It is a program geared at
supporting youth rehabilitation—ensuring
that they grow up embracing discipline,
patriotism and nationalism. The program,
which is still ongoing is being facilitated
by highly trained army soldiers for street
children of TFI, every Tuesdays and
Thursdays of the week.
By building key partnerships with public
and private enterprises, BGen Burgos
has succeeded in building meaningful
relationships that transcend boundaries.
Beyond building rapport, they are able to
realize their shared advocacies.
“We have to go beyond our reach. We have
to think out of the box. If you keep doing
the same thing over and over, then do not
expect a different result.”
For General Burgos, being a soldier is a
profession where one commits to sacrifice
his life for the country.
For this, he is grateful to the present
administration for the recognition given to
the military who is “put in the pedestal.”
BGen Burgos expressed his gratitude for
the trust given and attributes this to their
capability to “get the job done.”
BGen Burgos describes the Filipino soldier:
“The soldier is a role model for patriotism
and nationalism. He is a significant
contributor to nation-building. A soldier
loves the country so much that he or she
is willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice—in
exchange of freedom, and independence of
our citizens and for the protection of our
communities and in securing our land.”
History would celebrate battles won by the
barrel of a gun. But there are more battles
won through bayanihan. Behind these
encounters, is a Filipino soldier working
for peace and constantly desiring for the
enemy to no longer be the enemy.
Happy workers behind
Hansa’s plush toys
By LANQUIN SEYER GACUSAN
RRuel Mamitag has been with Hansa Creation for
30 years and it has been quite a journey for the
master machine cutter.
Hansa, based in Clark, Pampanga, has been
creating plush toys and hand-sculptured animal
reproductions for the young and young at heart
“Everybody loves animals around the world.
Kids love animals. Adults love animals. We just
produce them in a plush,” says Hansa Founder
Behind these toys are the hands of Hansa’s
dedicated workforce, who have found family and
home in the company.
Mamitag, 58, and one of the pioneer employees
at Hansa from its original headquarters in Pasig
City, shares why he loves what he does and what
has made him stay for a very long time.
“Maganda yung pagtrato ng Hansa sa mga tao
nila. Kasi kung hindi maayos ang paghawak ng
kumpanya sa mga tao nila hindi ka magtatagal.
Maayos yung pakikisama ng management sa
manggagawa. Hindi iba yung turing nila sa amin,
parang isang pamilya.”
Mamitag also recalls when his only son was still
alive but suffering from cancer. He needed a
huge amount to finance his son’s medication
and operation, and when he approached the
management, he did not go home emptyhanded.
“Everytime na lumalapit ako sa management,
tumutulong sila. Kapag kailangan ko sila,
nando’n sila para sa akin. Labis labis yung
pasasalamat ko sa Hansa kaya sinusuklian ko
rin ang kumpanya sa pamamagitan ng mas lalo
ko pang pagsisikap sa trabaho.”
He says he values the work he does for Hansa.
“Lahat ng mga laruan at project na dumaan
sa’kin hindi ko malilimutan. Sobrang paborito
ko yung ginagawa ko dito bilang machine cutter.”
The goodwill that Hansa creates in the workplace
is reciprocated with hard work and love the
workers put in every toy.
“Pangarap namin na umasenso pa lalo ang
Hansa para yung mga empleyado umasenso
din,” says Mamitag.
Management support fuels
passion, hard work
American businesswoman Mary Kay Ash once
said, “We treat our people like royalty. If you
honor and serve the people who work for you,
they will honor and serve you.”
The same principle is what drives Hansa
management. Their staff is their primary
concern. They do not look at their employees’
educational attainment; rather, the management
looks at their workforce’s passion, dedication
and will to do the work.
“To us, having a college diploma is not what’s
important, it’s the willingness of the person to
learn and be passionate about the work that we
do in Hansa,” Human Resource Officer Mariah
There are still, however, a few difficulties in the
workplace; one of which is maintaining low to
Malig recalls the experience they had when
Mamitag was at his lowest point. He needed to
take a leave from work several times to take care
of his son. It was not easy for Hansa to allow long
absenteeism but as soon as Mamitag returned
to work again, Hansa did not hesitate. They
welcomed him with open arms.
“In general, it’s not okay. We’re very strict when
it comes to attendance. As much as possible, the
allowable leave is only five days, especially when
it’s not health reasons. Pero we’re still humans at
bukod sa hindi biro yung pinagdaanan ni Ruel,
matagal na siya dito. Pamilya na namin siya dito,”
Mamitag is not an isolated case. Hansa has other
employees, too, who will suddenly not report to
work because of minor reasons, like waking up
late or not being able to catch a public transport
at the Clark Freeport Zone gates. But Hansa
extends its patience and understanding as much
as they could to encourage their employees to
become better and work harder.
“They would look at you hindi kung ano yung
mali mo but kung ano yung natutunan mo sa
Hansa. They would look at you kung ano yung
maitutulong mo sa kumpanya. That’s how we
are here,” says Malig.
Encouraging the employees to report to
work daily and achieve perfect attendance
is a challenge to Hansa, and for this, they
continuously develop HR programs that would
boost good work ethics among its workforce.
About a year ago, Hansa launched its free meal
program that aims to help employees lessen
their meal expenses by providing free lunch
every Thursday. A year after, the results have
been very positive. Before, about 50 employees
absent themselves from work per day, but the
free meal program helped decrease this number
In the same year, Hansa also began its perfect
attendance incentive program that gives an
additional Php300.00 to Php400.00 increase for
any one who can maintain a perfect attendance
record in a month.
Hansa knows it still has a long way to go to
maintain a happy workplace, but what’s
important is that it has the heart to start
Doing their part for the
Not only does Hansa care for its people but it is
also mindful of the environment.
Hansa’s stuffed animals are filled with fiber
made from recycled polyethylene bottles. All
Hansa toys undergo strict and tedious planning,
making sure that materials used for each
creation is eco-friendly.
Hansa also does its part in educating children
about animal protection, and the effects of
global warming and irresponsible destruction of
forests to animals.
The toy maker partnered with museums,
conservation organizations and educational
institutions, and opened its headquarters in
Clark for educational tours for students to learn
about the habitat and behavior of animals.
The next time you see a plush toy with a Hansa
tag, remember that so much love was put into it
so you too can share that feeling with someone
else. –With Michelle San Juan-De Vera
FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES
A round-up of BCDA's milestones in the past quarter.
November 5 - Clark launched as first 5G city
The Clark Development Corporation inks agreement with PLDT and Smart Communications
Inc. to launch Clark Freeport Zone as the country's first 5G city.
November 18 - Bank of China and China
Telecom visit Clark
BCDA and Udenna welcome Bank of China and
China Telecom Group during their visit in Clark, a
premier investment destination.
November 21 - Seminar on Smart Cities
BCDA and Japan External Trade Organization hold
a seminar to enhance the Philippines and Japan's
partnership in developing smart cities.
November 23 - Athletes’ inspection
of new sports facilities
National athletes are given a glimpse of the Athletes'
Village units being built at the New Clark City
November 27 - Inauguration of BCDA office
Former President and House Speaker Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo and US Ambassador Sung
Kim lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new
BCDA office in Clark.
December 7 - NEDA visit in New Clark City
A 60-member delegation led by Socioeconomic
Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia holds a site visit
in New Clark City.
December 17 - Signing of JVA on
water, wastewater project
BCDA inks joint venture deal with the PrimeWater
consortium for the lowest water rate in the country.
FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES
A BRIEF HISTORY
TOURISM IN CLARK
Clark can trace its roots to 1912, when the Philippine Air School was established with one aircraft. This would
evolve into having a first runway at Fort Stotsenburg in 1919, with buildings, barracks, golf courses, and other
military installations after World War II. The end of the Cold War marked the scaling back of men and equipment;
the US turned over Clark to the Philippine government. These days, Clark is a business and lifestyle
destination. Everything can be found inside its 4,400-hectares; schools, an international airport, industrial
parks, tourist destinations, places of worship, and recreation, all within reach in seven to 10 minutes.
Located in the heart of the Philippines' Central Luzon region, Clark is part of the Pampanga province, bounded
on the north by Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, Bulacan on the east, Bataan on the South and on the west by Zambales.
It is a natural entry point to the Asia-Pacific region, with only three and a half hours flying time away
from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Korea, and other key points in Asia.
1 - Nayo
2 - Clar
3 - ON
4 - Pun
5 - Clar
6 - Clar
7 - Air
8 - Dec
9 - Clar
10 - Mim
11 - Clar
12 - Aq
13 - Din
14 - FA
FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES
- Clark Museum
- ON Spa & Massage
- Puning Hot Spring &
- Clark International Sports
- Clark International Speedway
- Air Force City Golf Course
- Deca Wake Park
- Clark Sunvalley Country Club
- Mimosa Golf & Country Club
- Clark Safari and Adventure Park
- Aqua Planet
- Dinosaurs Island
- FA Korea Country Club
15 - Hilton Hotel
16 - Widus Hotel and Casino
17 - Quest Hotel and Conference Center
18 - Midori Clark Hotel and Casino
19 - Xenia Hotel
20 - Royce Hotel and Casino
21 - Clark Marriott Hotel
22 - Fontana Hot Springs and Leisure Park
23 - Amare by Chef Chris
24 - Choi Garden
25 - Binulo
26 - Seafood Shack
27 - House of Chops
28 - Soo Hyang Restaurant and Cafe
29 - Meat Plus Cafe (Northwalk Clark)
30 - BBQ & Co.
31 - Grill Seoul Korean BBQ Restaurant
32 - Cafe Mesa
33 - Peppers 21
34 - Salt and Crab
35 - Wooden Table
36 - Kokoburi
37 - Matam-ih
38 - Chiba
39 - DECO Central
40 - Hansa Creations
41 - Classic Speed Incorporated
Wondering what else to do in
Clark? Book now with GoTours.
For more details, visit
FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES
Saving the lost man
By JULIA IGNACIO
Clark Development Corporation
Honesty is what matters most.
God knows what we do and He will always
return it a thousand fold.
FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES
I“I am very hungry. My friend, can you help me?”
“Those were his first words when he first
approached us,” said Patricio Gutierrez as he
described their first encounter with the man who
had been missing for 33 hours, roaming around
and searching for his way out of the mountain.
“Patrick” as he is fondly called by many, was just
having a normal day bonding with his friends in
their area in Sapang Bato when a tall white man
with clothes covered in mud emerged before
The man was Scott Alan Washburn whose name
was all over the news as a massive search for him
“If I remember it correctly, it was a Tuesday
when he was reported missing. Now that I think
about it, I thought that day was also a blessing
in disguise for me and Rafael Pan. Maybe he
was also sent by God to give us grace, only in a
peculiar way,” said Patrick as he recalled how
Washburn met them.
Seventeen years ago, in the month of June,
Lieutenant Scott Alan Washburn from Celina,
Ohio, was part of a group of US Navy hiking
along the slopes of Mount Pinatubo when they
were unexpectedly attacked by a heavily armed
communist group. During the attack, Washburn
got separated from his group while his other
team members were able to return to their base.
Emerging from his hiding place when the rain
started, Washburn was determined to find his
way home and the thunderstorm did not stop
him. He followed the path of a river and walked
for more than three hours until he found an area
occupied by the Aeta in Sapang Bato.
As he reached the area, he encountered Patrick
and Rafael Pan who helped him and brought him
to the Clark Security Office and later be reunited
with his family.
“When we saw him, we were startled. I was
hesitant to offer him any food because we were
only eating cassava. The others were also afraid
to take him because they thought if we helped
him, we might be accused of kidnapping him.
But I told them we should help him and bring
him to the authorities, and guide him back
home,” Patrick said.
Patrick, along with Pan, took the courage of
guiding the foreigner. It created a mark which
would later change their lives.
“After taking him to the Clark Security Office we
were offered reward money, but I said we don’t
need the money. I said that more than anything,
we want him to return to the U.S., and for him to
tell his countrymen that we, especially our tribe,
are a group of good people,” Patrick narrated.
Recognizing their effort, Patrick Gutierrez and
Rafael Pan were given formal jobs at Clark
Development Corporation (CDC).
“The opportunity of being part of CDC was
probably more than enough to change not only
my life but also the life of my family. I was only a
worker earning P150 a day which is not enough
to make ends meet. But being here at CDC, I have
been able to provide the needs of my family. More
importantly, we are able to show others that we,
as Aetas, can also do it and live the life we want.”
When asked what he would want to say if he
were given a chance to meet Washburn again
he said, “His mom’s last words to me when they
were about to board were ‘thank you’, so I’ll also
say those same words to him. I will say ‘thank
you’ so much for coming into our life. Because
of you, we were able to be in this position, and
you are a person sent by God to change our lives
forever. We saved him but I think, in a way, he
also saved us.”
Before we ended the interview, Patrick summed
up his philosophy back when he helped the lost
man. “Honesty is what matters most. Whoever
we are, whatever we do, as long as we don’t step
on other people, let us help those other people in
need because God knows what we do and He will
always return it a thousand fold.”
FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES
Therapy in the woods
By ZYRELLE DEL PRADO
John Hay Management Corporation
DDo you need a break from your stressful life? Are
you looking for a place to relax? Moving slowly in
this fast-paced life may sound strange for some,
but believe us when we say that spending quiet
time with nature may just be the best vitamin
you’ll ever need. This is called “Forest Bathing.”
Forest bathing or “Shinrin-yoku,” a form of
nature therapy, was developed in Japan in the
1980s. “Shinrin” means forest and “yoku” means
bath. Shinrin-yoku simply means bathing in the
forest or taking in the forest atmosphere.
Studies show that visiting a park helps one relax
and rejuvenate. Some of the benefits of “Shinrinyoku”
include reduced stress and blood pressure
level, improved mood and sleep patterns,
increased ability to focus, positive energy level,
and accelerated recovery from surgery or illness.
To achieve these benefits, however, you must
fully commit to being one with nature. The first
rule? Turn off your phone. This will allow you to
completely focus on yourself and the stillness
of your surroundings. If you come with family
or friends, agree to remain silent until after the
walk when you can share your thoughts and
Up north, Camp John Hay offers a forest bathing
zone for local and foreign tourists. It has a twokilometer
stretch passing through the Yellow
Trail, Blue Trail and the U.S. Embassy Gate.
Various art installations like bamboo wind
chimes and towering stones are randomly
found along the path giving tourists a more
relaxing vibe. These artistic crafts are made by
local artists. A few meters from the entrance, an
energy rock can be found. It is believed to release
positive energy when you touch it.
The next time you feel the need to disconnect or
just want to be alone with your thoughts, recharge
through forest bathing at Camp John Hay.
FREEPORTS A DINER’S AND ECOZONES DIGEST
Cheap eats at Clark’s
newest food park
By PATRICIA RUTH CAILAO
IIf you want to eat out and try a variety of dishes,
food parks are the best choice. And when in Clark,
Comercio Central offers the most affordable and
fun dining experience.
Aside from showcasing delicious food, Comercio
Central has been dubbed as a “lifestyle market”
as some booths sell organic products, clothes,
and accessories. It reopened in November 2018
with additional concessionaires to draw in more
tourists during the holiday season.
Visitors are entertained by live band
performances. A mini playground was also set
up at the Clark Parade Grounds for kids to enjoy.
When stopping by at Comercio, be sure not to
miss out these food stalls:
Not surprisingly, this stall always has the longest
line of customers because Filipinos love grilled
food or inihaw. Pinoy favorites like sisig, liempo,
isaw, pork and chicken barbecue range from P20
to P120. The prices of their combo meals range
from P60 to P100.
K Street Food
Delight in spicy Korean street food with dishes
like Tteokbokki, Kimbap, Odeng, Korean Corn
Dog, Korean Fried Chicken, Fried Crab Stick, and
Kimari (fried laver roll). Their food costs between
P50 to P100.
This stall serves grilled German and Hungarian
sausages, and chicken wings with rice, potato
wedges, or French fries. Prices range from P100
House of Waffles
Delicious big waffles are served here in different
flavors such as Nutella, Mango Cheesecake, and
Oreo. Satisfy your sweet cravings with less than
Who says you can’t enjoy coffee at night? Their
ice-blended drinks can be mixed with fruity
flavors. Drinks cost P60 to P70.
Groups of friends can also have a light drinking
session at this stall which serves local beers,
cocktails, and soju. Drinks are below P200.
Comercio Central is located at the Clark Parade
Grounds and is open from Friday to Sunday, 4
Expect more promising quick eats and
Instagram-worthy stalls as the Clark
Development Corporation will soon launch
another food park in the area.
This historical landmark served as the entrance pillars to Fort Stotsenburg during the
Japanese occupation in Clark Air Base. Found intact in 1965, it was transferred to the Old
Base Operations Building and in 1984 was moved to the southern boundary of the Parade
Grounds as part of the overall plan to showcase the Clark Air Base's long and rich history.