Clark Expo (formerly, Expo Pilipino) was the Philippine National Centennial Exposition and centerpiece of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. The 60-hectare heritage and entertainment park in Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles is a celebration of the Filipino history, culture, and achievements in the past century and aspirations for the third millennium.
The site was a project of the National Centennial Commission (NCC) and the Philippine Centennial Exposition Corporation.
It has a 35,000-seat amphitheater. In addition, the site is also the new home for the 45-acre (180,000 m2) Nayong Pilipino complex, an open-air museum featuring miniature attractions of the Philippines and its culture.
In early 2010, the site was relaunched as Clark Education City by the Australian International Training and Management group (AITMG). Initial construction of the campus cost AU$6-million, with a capacity of 15,000 students. The institution delivers a range of vocational courses accredited by the Australian Government, English language teaching, and customised training for mining, oil and gas, and affiliated industries. The facility now operates as Site Skills Training RTO 32531 - , which is one of the business units of Site Group International Limited (Site) in the Philippines. Other business units of Site in the Philippines include Site Axial, Site WorkReady, Site Online Learning, and TESOL Asia.
The construction of Expo Filipino entailed a total budget of ₱3.5 billion (US$ 63.64 million). Then-President Fidel V. Ramos directed three state-run financial institutions—Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Land Bank of the Philippines—to lend a total of ₱1.4-billion (US$25.45-million) to the joint venture.
The project was criticised for the excessive amounts of money that went to its construction. Particular targets of criticism were: a "Freedom Ring" (>₱1.2-billion); a parking lot (₱111-million); an entry zone (₱118-million); display villages (₱290-million); and an artificial river (₱76-million) that had bridges spanning it (total ₱32-million).
Expo Filipino closed down in 1999 under President Joseph Estrada, after sustaining heavy losses.
After having been mothballed for more than five years, the site reopened as Clark Expo on December 8, 2005, to host trade exhibits and cultural presentations headed by the Clark Development Corporation (CDC). The park's reopening featured concerts, furniture exhibits, carnival rides, and major concerts.
CDC president Antonio Ng said the opening of the Expo Pilipino was realised due to the directive and full support of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in boosting tourism and investment activities inside the Clark Special Economic Zone, with her Administrative Order (AO) No. 63 issued on February 17, 2003, directing the transfer of certain assets and liabilities of the National Development Company (NDC) in First Clark Centennial Corporation (FCCC) to CDC.
In connection with the reopening of the park was the Clark National Duathlon Championships on December 19, and the holding of the annual district assembly of some 10,000 members of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Pampanga and Tarlac on December 23–25. CDC spent some ₱2.5-million for the rehabilitation of the on-site replica of Barasoain Church, an amphitheatre, trade halls, and convention centres.
- Tourism, Department (2003-01-20). "Things to Do and see in Pampanga". Wow Philippines. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
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- The Ghosts of GSIS, Bulatlat.com
- Ramos Visits Clark Expo Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, Sunstar.com.ph
- "Clark Expo Revival". Archived from the original on 2006-03-20. Retrieved 2007-08-23.