The Clark Museum – Revering the Past
About the Museum
Clark Museum is our way of revering the past towards a progressive and dynamic future.
It chronicles the rich historical past of Clark, Pampanga which dates back when the American cavalry soldiers arrived to this once verdant grasslands in 1902, to become the largest US military installation outside mainland U.S.A. This was the situation until 1991 when US forces pulled out due to the abrogation of the U.S. – Philippine Military Bases Agreement and the disastrous effects of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
The Museum also serves as a reminder to the present and future generation, of events that shaped Clark’s history. It pays tribute to the resiliency of the Filipinos whose determination and hard work have made this severely damaged former US Military installation into what it is today.
Essentially, Clark has become a world-class business metropolis, composed of an aviation complex – the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, and has gained reputation as a fast-rising commercial and tourism center in the country.
Revering the Past
Building 2096 for example, which houses the Museum was originally a 216-bed hospital which dates back to September 1903. During the Japanese occupation, this was used as a dispensary and barracks. In 1979, it was renovated and became the headquarters of the 3rd Combat Group and was called “Little Pentagon” because it consisted of five quonset huts and connected to the central lobby.
The “Little Pentagon” was demolished and a new 3CSG Headquarters building was built and remained as such until Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991. Heavily devastated, PAF military personnel cleared the debris and the building was designated as PAF hospital on the first floor, and library on the second. It remained as such until PAF was transferred to its present location. Another renovation took place in April 1997 for the soon-to-be Museum.
Also displayed at the Museum are the Thomasite photo exhibits, the American’s contribution to Philippine education, and donated by the US Embassy and “doll” dioramas, portraying values and culture of the Filipinos in yester years.
Fronting the museum, are two Japanese canons extensively used against the US Forces during the liberation of Clark. The other is an old Spanish canon cast in Peru in 1778 and made its way to the Philippines aboard the Spanish warship called “Seville”.
The museum is divided into different sections:
The history of Clark would be incomplete without mention of the Aytas or Negritos, original inhabitants of this once a jungle forest. These dark-skinned, kinky-haired people called this place “ubatod”, meaning a place of origin, or original home, which provided them with food and shelter. Their way of life is depicted through dioramas , photos and numerous artifacts.
U.S. EARLY YEARS
The US Cavalry troops initially stayed in Kuliat (Angeles City) and in 1902 transferred to this densely forested area. Giving highlight to this portion besides photos, is a replica of the Stotsenburg gate posts to mark the gateway to the Cavalry Post.
The coming of the aviation era in 1917 brought about the construction of an airfield and aviation facilities. Located east of Fort Stotsenburg, it became known as Clark Field, in honor of Maj. Harold Clark, an early aviator whose plane crashed in Panama. Photos and model airplanes used by the US Army Air Force are also showcased in the museum.
WORLD WAR II
Clark Field played a significant role during World War II. Valiant efforts of American and Filipino soldiers were unsuccessful in thwarting the continuous bombing of Clark in Pampanga by Japanese planes. Clark was occupied by the Japanese Imperial Forces for four years and US liberation forces reclaimed Clark in January 1945. Featured in this period are aircraft models, uniforms, photos, old guns, bayonets and other war relics.
An extensive and protracted reconstruction of Clark started n 1946, which turned this war-damaged Clark into a premiere establishment. This period showcases the many facets and transformation of Clark as a military base and the role it played in the Philippines and globally as well. Also on display are President Manuel Roxas’ oil painting portrait, books, documents, photos and personal effects. He died at Clark on April 15, 1948 of a massive heart after delivering a speech at the Kelly Theater.
US – PHILIPPINES TURN OVER
Philippine control over Clark occurred in 1979, as symbolized by the construction of the “salakot” (farmer’s hat), signifying sovereignty over the base. A replica of the Salakot, dioramas and photos are also put on view to commemorate this historic occasion.
ALUMNI OF WURTHSMITH AND WAGNER HIGH SCHOOL
Donation of plaques, photos and year books were given by the graduates of the former Wurthsmith and Wagner High Schools at Clark during their Alumni homecoming here.
PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION
The people rose against a tyrannical rule in February 1986. Photographs of the revolution are displayed including the departure then of President Ferdinand Marcos and the first family aboard USAF planes from Clark and thence to Hawaii.
MT. PINATUBO ERUPTION
A dormant volcano for 611 years, Mt. Pinatubo, west of Clark, erupted in June 1991, and is considered to be the largest in more than half a century, and the second largest of the 20th century. At Clark, there was a massive evacuation of families of the US Military and civilian personnel. Here, over 100 buildings collapsed and another 500 were damaged extensively. Official turnover of Clark to the Philippines was held on November 26, 1991 and complete withdrawal of the US Military, immediately after. These are evidenced by photos and dioramas, including a picturesque 1.2 mile wide lake taken in 1998 which was once Mt. Pinatubo’s crater, and a post eruption terrain model of Mt. Pinatubo and its surroundings.
FORMER BASE EMPLOYEES
Referred to as the “heartbeat” of the US facilities in the Philippines. Most of them retited as a result of the Mt. Pinatubo’s eruptions and the abrogation of the US Military Bases Agreement. However, some of them work at the Clark Development Corporation and other establishments in Clark.
Business leaders, entrepreneurs and residents of Clark, have mustered the time tested capability to rebound as an emerging business center. Photos show the emergence of Clark as a bustling business community, its locators, duty free shops, hotels and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. Photos of the world-renowed annual event in Clark, the Hot Air Balloon Festival, are also displayed.
JACK AND ARIELLA NASSER ART COLLECTION
The recent addition is a collection of more than a hundred paintings donated by Ms. Ariella Nasser-Moskovitz. The paintings were artistically done by well-known FIlipino artists; depicting Filipino culture, nature and abstracts.
Museum is open Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and by special arrangement during weekends. Advance booking is required for groups numbering more than thirty (30) persons.
Entrance fee is PhP 30.00 per person both children and adults. Tour guide, teachers and children below 3 years of age are free of charge.
Incoming guests and groups will have to register at the reception desk on arrival.
For lectures, seminars and small meetings, the museum offers its function room for a minimal rental fee.
MUSEUM EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
Special events and museum activites are lined up to commemorate Clark’s many historical events. Lectures, seminar-workshops and art sessions are also conducted in-house and in collaboration with associations and special interest groups.
HOW TO GET TO CLARK MUSEUM
By private car: From the Clark main gate, drive along M.A. Roxas then trun left to Ninoy Aquino Avenue. Clark Museum is beside the Clark Hostel.
By public shuttle: From the main gate public transport terminal, take the route 2 jeepney (reverse) and alight at the Clark Museum. From Mabalacat gate, take the Clark-bound jeepney and ask the driver to bring you to Clark Museum.
The CDC Tourism Promotions Office (TPO) manages the Clark Museum and may be reached for booking inquiries through the following numbers:
Telephone: (045) 599 2854 (Museum) (045) 599 3222 (CDC TPO) Fax: (045) 599 6235 Website: www.visitclark.com
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