first trip back to clark

I am home from the Philippines, where there was little time or adequate internet connection for blogging, but lots of photos were taken. The next few posts will be catch up photos as *I* catch up on sleep, mail,  and home tasks. 


Angeles City, outside of Clark. I am traveling from Manila to Subic Bay, having worked at Brent's Manila campus all week, and now traveling to the Subic campus, three hours away, where I'll have the weekend off and start teaching again on Tuesday morning. Clark was an hour from Subic, and Brent's driver Roy was kind enough to take me there on the way.

When I rolled down my window to take a photo in Angeles City, a small child ran to my car with her hand outstretched.
There is no longer an American presence at Clark, as the Air Force left in 1991 after the Mount Pinatubo eruption covered Clark in volcanic ash (and a typhoon made matters worse), and the Philippine government refused to renew the American contracts for an air force base at Clark and a naval base at Subic Bay.

Clark was a ghost town for close to a decade after Pinatubo. Today the Philippine Air Force occupies part of Clark, some commercial flights fly into and out of Clark, and Filipino businesses have taken over some of the structures. The Clark Development Corporation is working on redeveloping Clark. People have moved into the more desireable empty barracks and houses.
At one time, Clark Air Base was the most urbanized overseas military base in the world. I lived there from 1970 to 1971 and graduated high school at Wagner High on Clark. The building below was part of a complex that housed the base commander and administrative offices. It is now home to the Clark Development Corporation. So much of Clark was covered with ash for so long...
My former high school is now home to Clark Aviation -- a pilot school -- as well as Philippine Immigration and the Philippine Justice Dept.
We drove from the high school up to hill housing, where I used to live. All the homes on the hill look like this now.
I was not allowed to pass into the housing area. This is the guard house at the entrance to hill housing. I was told that the land has been sold to Korean and British interests and will be eventually turned into a golf course and new housing.
The guards had guns and I didn't argue. But this was Saturday. I was scheduled to return on Monday, which I did... and I did get up to my old house. Stay tuned.
If you are interested, you can find all the captioned photos of the first trip to Clark here.

I was dropped off at The Camayan, in Subic Bay, after this trip, and spent the weekend recovering from a hard but rewarding week working at Brent's Manila campus. Next, the Camayan over the weekend, and the trip back to Clark and my home there, which is now jungle, but hey. It was a memorable trip back in time, and involved a motorcycle ride and lunch with my new friends, the armed guards, in their nipa hut. It was unforgettable.

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