Behold this beautifully detailed old photograph of Angeles City railway station. Although it’s now in complete ruins, remnants of its existence can still be found today.
Urban explorers won’t have too much difficulty finding its old route through the city – but they should remain alert and avoid finding themselves on “the wrong side of the tracks”.
Although much of the old line runs through a cripplingly poor area, at least one of the neighbourhoods has a notable claim to fame.
It was in a small shack alongside the disused tracks that Aling Lucking earned her nickname as “the Sisig Queen” for creating the classic Filipino “beer food”.
The story has it that chefs at the Clark Airbase had no use for pigs heads, and would simply throw them into the trash. This was soon noticed by enterprising locals, who agreed to take them, along with other “waste” items, such as chicken livers.
With these ingredients Aling wove her magic to create a dish that even brought legendary connoisseur Antony Bourdain to her humble eatery.
It’s worth noting here that she didn’t just revolutionise the one dish, but the region’s entire food culture. Suddenly, the wealthy were happy to step outside their air-conditioned comfort zone, and dozens of low-income entrepreneurs followed her lead, many making their fortunes.
Sadly for the Sisig Queen, at the age of 80 she was found bludgeoned to death near her home in 2008. The murder has never been fully explained, but the finger of suspicion points towards her husband, a heavy gambler.
As for Angeles City railway station, hopes are high that President Duterte’s “build, build, build” infrastructure drive could see it back in business. Watch this space.…
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