Expo Pilipino (now Clark Expo) 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 entertainment park in Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga is a celebration of the Filipino's history, culture, and achievements in the past 100 years, as well as aspirations for the next millennium. This was a project of the National Centennial Commission (NCC) and the Philippine Centennial Exposition Corporation.
Its 35,000-seat capacity amphitheater is a favorite venue for concerts, ecumenical services and political rallies. In addition, the site is also the new home for the 45-acre (180,000 m2) Nayong Pilipino complex, a fully developed theme park 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 $6mAUD and the site has capacity for 15,000 students. The institution delivers a range of Australian Government accredited vocational courses, English language and customised training. http://www.clarkeducationcity.com.au/
The construction of Expo Filipino entailed a total budget of Php 3.5 billion (US$ 63.64 million). Then President Fidel Ramos directed three Government Financial Institutions: the Social Security System (SSS), the Government Service Insurance System, and the Land Bank of the Philippines to lend a total of Php 1.4 billion (US$ 25.45 million) to the joint venture.
The project was criticized for the excessive amounts of money that went to its construction. Particular targets of criticism were: a Freedom Ring (more than Php 1.2 billion); a parking lot (Php 111 million); an entry zone (Php 118 million); display villages (Php million); an artificial river (Php 76 million); and bridges on this river (Php 32 million).
Expo Filipino closed down in 1999, during the administration of former President Joseph Estrada, after sustaining heavy losses.
On December 8, 2005, Expo Pilipino which has been mothballed for more than five years reopened as Clark Expo to host trade exhibits and cultural presentations headed by the Clark Development Corporation (CDC). The theme park reopening featured concerts, world-class furniture exhibits, carnival rides and major concerts.
CDC president Antonio Ng said the opening of the Expo Pilipino was realized 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 theme 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, 24 and 25. CDC spent some Php 2.5 million for the rehabilitation of the Barasoain Church replica, amphitheater, trade halls and convention centers in the Expo Pilipino.
- 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.
- PGMA inaugurates Nayong Pilipino Complex at Clark Expo, Philippine Information Agency
- The Ghosts of GSIS, Bulatlat.com
- Ramos Visits Clark Expo, Sunstar.com.ph
- Clark Expo Revival