The Philippines’ metropolis in the making, New Clark City is said to be the country’s city from the future and it’s here, in Tarlac City, Pampanga! it is envisioned to become the first smart city of the Philippines with more green spaces than roads and buildings and it’s also designed to be disaster-resilient.
Once again, it is now open to the public 2 years after it closed its doors because of strict health and safety restrictions due to the COVID-19. It reopened last May 2022 with a bang — welcoming its visitors with loud music and mini-events like the fun run and bike event.
This project owned and managed by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) started its construction in 2016 with its groundbreaking led by the late former President Benigno III. It was former President Duterte’s flagship project and it is now ongoing under the new Marcos administration as part of the Build, Build, Build program.
What to Do in New Clark City?
If this isn’t enough to convince you to visit the metropolis in the making, well read on and learn what else awaits you in New Clark City:
Is New Clark City Open for Public?
At the time of writing, New Clark City is open every day from 6 AM to 7 PM. People are welcome to enter the city for FREE to relax, unwind and exercise away from the hustle and bustle of our crowded and “smoggy” cities.
Jogging and Biking at NCC’s River Park
Joggers and bikers can enjoy the 1.4 kilometers of jogging and biking paths in NCC’s River Park.
The park also has an abundance of green open spaces where people can sit back and appreciate the surrounding nature while they feel the blades of the grass.
Picnicking is allowed, but given the serenity of the place, we should all clean as we go even when no one’s looking!
In the 4.5 hectare park, you’ll also see numerous art installations by our fellow Filipinos scattered around.
Join Events & Watch Events
There is also a public amphitheatre where events are occasionally held.
Upon completion of the River Park, it will span a total of 9.1 kilometers.
New Clark City Facilities
In April 2018, the construction of the NCC’s Athletic Stadium and Aquatic Center started and in a record time of only 18 months, they were ready for the Southeast Asian Games 2019. In 2023, NCC’s Aquatic Center will be used for the 11th Asian Swimming Championships.
Access to Sports Facilities
At the moment, there are designated viewing areas where the public can get a bird’s eye view of the sports facilities and take some pictures.
Now, if you’re planning to set foot inside the facilities to do some personal shoots for prenups, debuts, birthdays, and the like, you should contact BCDA at least 5 working days beforehand.
New Clark City’s Athletics Stadium is definitely a piece of Philippine history being the first stadium in the country to hold a Class 1 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) certification.
This 25,000 square meter stadium designed with a Mt. Mayon theme can seat up to 20,000 people. What makes it a world-class facility is its incorporation of high-tech components such as an RFID system that is used for automatically timing runners as they reach the finish line. The stadium has a standard 9-lane main track, 6-lane warmup track and an indoor warmup track.
A total of 4 Southeast Asian Games and 1 Philippine record were set here by our fellow Filipinos!
Now take a look at this beautiful piece of architecture designed by Budji + Layug. Its design was inspired by “baklad” which is a common fish trap used here in the Philippines especially in rural and far-flung areas. It also boasts a bamboo color theme which really shouts Filipino ingenuity and creativity.
In the facility, you’ll find a competition pool that was used in the 30th Southeast Asian Games and soon in the 11th Asian Swimming Championships. Athletes can also train their water skills on dry land in the center’s fitness area equipped with all kinds of contraptions like trampolines, block foams, harnesses and even a jacuzzi!
New Clark City doesn’t just embrace nature, modern technology, and creative, smart, and disaster-resilient architecture. It also showcases high-level carpentry, woodworking, and overall world-class artistic talent by some fellow Filipino artists and craftsmen together with some international talents.
Village of Domes
It’s a literal village of domes. Wooden domes.
Designed and constructed by a team of international talents and one of our own local artists, Bernardo Pacquing, this art installation features wooden domes connected together by a series of bridges.
30th SEA Games Cauldron
Yes, that’s right, it’s the most controversial cauldron that is worth a whopping 50 million pesos and you’ll find it in New Clark City Sports Hub. This steel cauldron stands at 41 feet tall with three pillar representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Scenery at New Clark City
When you’re in New Clark City, you’ll feel safer than ever because of the surrounding mountain ranges that protects the city from the strongest of typhoons and flash floods. To the east, you’ll spot the Sierra Madre mountain range and Zambales mountain range to the west.
How to Go to New Clark City
If you’re coming from Metro Manila, you can go to NCC by taking North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) before entering Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and exiting to the NCC-SCTEX Access Road.
As of today, there are no public buses or jeepneys that travel directly to New Clark City. What you can do is travel to Capas’ Municipal Hall where you’ll find tricycle drivers willing to take you to NCC. From there it will just be a 15-minute ride.
The quickest way to get from Manila to New Clark City is by private vehicle or taxi which takes an hour and a half (from Metro Manila). Using public transportation is the cheapest option but will take around 2 hours and 40 minutes from Manila.
New Clark City is a Must-See
NCC is only at its initial phase of construction and it’s already showing a lot of promise. It’s a great place to visit especially if you’re from the congested Metro Manila. In NCC, you can get in touch with nature, but at the same time stay connected to the modern world.
The future metropolis is not just a mere tourist attraction, but it is envisioned to serve as a solution to a lot of the country’s current problems such as overpopulation, vulnerability to natural disasters, lack of jobs, pollution and congestion among others. A tangible answer to our nation’s struggles is not an everyday sight and New Clark City is here to show us that the Filipino future is bright.
Gabriel is a freelance writer and a Civil Engineering student from the Philippines. He is specializing in Construction Management and aims to one day create a positive impact in the construction industry and the world.
He is an advocate for environmentally responsible construction, the conservation of the natural environment and the protection of the Earth from unsustainable human activities. When he is not writing for his clients or doing his schoolwork, he is either reading his favorite non-fiction books, playing online games or travelling with his family!