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Subic is a sea side area on the western side of Luzon island in Zambales province within the region of Subic Bay. Subic Bay is a former US naval base that was converted into a beach town in the broader proximity of Manila. The main industry is the free port and the airport which is utilized by logistic companies.
- Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) - The gateway to Subic Bay Freeport-, a modern, international airport with 10,000 sqm passenger terminal. It's capable of handling 700 passengers at any given time and works according to international standards. There are few regular flights to Subic other than random flights by South East Asian Airlines . The airport used to be the Asian hub for FedEx - however, they have since moved their hub to China.
- Olongapo City - Surrounding Subic Bay is the city of Olongapo. This small city contains many transport routes to other Philippines destinations. Regular bus services run to Manila, IPA, Bagio, Clark and Angeles.
- Subic Bay Freeport (SBF) - It is 110 kilometers North of Manila, facing the South China Sea and is surrounded by Olongapo City and the towns of Subic and Morong. It is Northwest of the Bataan Peninsula and Southwest of the Zambales Province. It has long been recognized for its strategic location, being at the center of the fastest growing markets in the Philippines. It is at the hub of the region, and all major cities in Asia are within easy reach either by sea or by air. (3 to 4 days by sea, 2 to 3 hours by air). Aside from its strategic location, SBF has a deepwater seaport that is capable of handling the largest ships ever built, manifested when it once supported the mighty US 7th Fleet.
- Subic Bay Seaport - A major alternative port for importers and exporters in the Northern and Central Luzon areas of the country to decongest the Manila International Container Terminal. It has a total of 15 operational piers and wharves capable of servicing all kinds of sea vessels. Subic’s seaport and container handling facilities were recently enhanced with the operation of the Subic Bay International Container Terminal Services at the Sattler pier. The Freeport also has two operational port terminals: the fertilizer bulk terminal at the Boton Wharf and the grain bulk terminal at the Leyte Wharf.
Taxis are available at the main SBMA/SFZ gates with Olongapo. They can also be booked by telephone for collection anywhere inside Subic.
However, jeepneys are not permitted to operate within Subic Freeport.
Trikes are not permitted to operate within Subic Freeport
- Subic Bay Ocean Adventure See dolphins and tropical fish.
- Pamaulaklakin Trail, Pamulaklakin forest, Binictican heights (Taxe a taxi from SBMA to Pamulaklakin). 3 hours. There are very good guided treks in Pamulaklakin forest. 15 minutes taxi ride from Subic SBMA, there are 2 trails - for 30 minutes and for 3 hours. the trail takes you inside the Pamulaklakin forest, along the Pamulaklakin river. A great way to see the local fauna and flora - birds, medicinal plants,and nature. 300 Pesos.
The tourism office for the area calls Subic Bay the “Pearl of the Orient” and much like a pearl inside an oyster, its true value is hidden unless you know where to look.
Scuba diving is incredibly popular throughout the Philippines and more international divers are arriving each year. The growth of diving in Subic Bay, whilst increasing, is doing so at a slower rate - so this area still remains a hidden gem, with unspoilt sites and lack of crowding.
Subic Bay offers some of the world's best shipwrecks, all within recreational diving depths, as well as tranquil coral and artificial reefs that explode with marine life. Unlike Coron, and other international wreck diving locations, where you ride for hours to get to a wreck site, the majority of Subic Bay dive sites are a quick 15 minutes boat trip from the dive centres.
The bay is a unique 'wreck heaven' because its sheltered waters allow calm year-round diving (except in the strongest Typhoons), with short duration transits to the dive sites and a fantastic collection of exceptionally well-preserved historical wrecks.
Just how many wrecks are there in Subic Bay and around its entrance? That is a very difficult question. Unlike Coron or Truk, whose wrecks occurred over a relatively short period, Subic’s WWII wrecks covered almost the entire war period. No less than 25 Japanese ships were reported sunk during the war years. Some of these may have been removed in the late fifties as salvage operations were done to open up the bay for shipping Additional ships were sunk after the war either as targets or victims of mother nature. It is widely believed that an additional ten large ships may lie within the Bay. The area is not limited to WWII wrecks, at the entrance to the bay alongside Grande Island, is the remains of the Spanish American war wreck San Quintin. Outside the bay in deep water lie the remains of a Spanish Galleon as well as a 16th century Chinese Junk (beyond diving range).
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 did an enormous amount of damage to Luzon and the Zambales/Subic Bay area was very hard hit. A meter of ash covered the area including homes and business. Within days, a typhoon entered the area turning the ash into mud. Many homes and business collapse under the weight. One resident stated that the river looked just like the cement coming out of a cement mixer. A large percentage of the coral was killed lying under the ash.
When the Navy occupied the naval base at Subic, many of the wrecks were closed to diving. Divers however had the advantage of diving in water that was crystal clear with 40 or more meters of visibility on the wrecks that were open. The bay was the home of different varieties of sharks, dolphins, and turtles. While a few turtles still nest on the beaches the visibility, sharks and dolphins are no longer here. The visibility is returning slowly and the coral is recovering. Hopefully the turtles, sharks and dolphins will return in abundance also. More turtles and rays have been seen this year than last and the number of sharks just outside the bay also seems to be on the rise
In recent years, there have been increasingly more common spottings of Bull Sharks around the deeper wreck sites, along with Eagle Ray around the USS New York, LST and El Capitan... and Black Tip Reef Sharks around the outside of Grande Island.
Underwater Photographers have been reporting success with Macro critters, such as Harlequin Ghost Pipefish and many species of Nudibranch
The last few years have seen a dramatic growth in the number of dive operators in the Bay area. In 1998 there was only one fledgling full time operator at Subic - today there are more than 10. These dive operators serve a variety of scuba training agencies, including; PADI, SSI, ANDI, PSAI, BSAC and DSAT. They provide a collection of entry-level and specialist scuba training courses, including (of course!) basic and advanced/technical wreck diver training.
- Scuba Tech Philippines []runs PADI TecRec and ANDI technical[], sidemount[] and advanced wreck [] providing the skills and knowledge to safely dive onto and inside wrecks at all depth ranges. The instructor, Andy Davis[], is a highly qualified UK-trained technical instructor and diving author. He holds professional qualifications with PADI, TecRec, ANDI, SSI and BSAC and has amassed 24 years of diving experience. One-to-one mentoring or small groups (max 3 per course) are offered for all levels of wreck diving training; beginner to advanced. He will assist with sourcing suitable accommodation around the Freeport, Barretto or Baloy Beach areas and arranging transport to/from Subic Bay.
- Boardwalk Divers is located on the free port so benefits from quick access to the wrecks. It is run be George AngDyPay an experienced TDI and PSAI technical rebreather instructor. Set up to cater to both recreational and technical divers it has quickly become the dive center of choice for most tech divers. Guding is done by local staff members who are all trained as divemasters and technical wreck guides. [] Accommodation is at the nearby hotels - Herbie's Mansion, Boardwalk Inn and Mango Valley
- Johan’s on Baloy Long Beach, Barrio Barretto, Olongapo has very nice simple rooms to service it dive clients and their friends. Located on the beach you are just steps away from the beach to your rooms
- 2N2 dive center in Olongapo. This center with its hotel caters mostly to Korean Divers
- Inside the Subic Freeport, Vascos, a restaurant and hotel combination. They purport to be the most experienced wreck divers in the Philippines and have a museum (free entry) of artifacts to prove it.
- Ocean Adventure also has a dive center. Grande Island has just opened a dive center
- USS NEW YORK - A 120m-long hull. 27m of water between Alava Pier and the northern end of Cubi Point runway.
- EL CAPITAN - A 3,000-ton freighter, about 130m long that crashed down the mouth of Ilanin Bay.5m below the surface.
- SAN QUENTIN - The oldest known wreck in Subic, a wooden gunboat scuttled by the Spanish in 1898.
- LANDING SHIP TANK (LST) - Situated between Grande Island and the southern tip of the runway. 32m deep.
- ORYOKU MARU - Located 400m off Alava pier. 20m (60ft) deep.
- PATROL BOAT - In Triboa Bay at a depth of 20-25m (60-75ft).
- LANDING CRAFT UTILITY (LCU) - Triboa Bay. 5-20m (25-60ft).
Further details of Subic Bay Wreck Sites can be found at:
- Subic Bay and Its Wrecks by Scuba Tech Philippines []
Area Dive Shops
- Boardwalk Divers - The Boardwalk, Subic Bay Freeport - []
- Blue Rock Dive Center - Baloy Long Beach.
- Scuba Tech Philippines - Subic Bay Freeport - []
- Seahorse Tours & Souvenirs- Times Square Cinema Complex, CBD, SBFZ (6347) 252-5617 [email protected] provides dive and vacation packages using the areas leading hotels and dive operators. []
- Kamayan beach - beach beside Ocean Adventure. Entrance fee: P275
Zoobic Safari is one attraction you will find at Subic Bay Freeport's Forest Adventure Park. Embracing a 25 hectare land - local and foreign guests can expect an astonishing sight of diverse exotic animals roaming and frolicking in their natural habitat. It features a wide range of habitats present in the forest due to the terrain, presence of streams and fringing grasslands. These represent the major habitats for varied exotic animals featured in Zoobic Safari Forest Adventure Park.
Zoobic Safari has the following attractions to look forward namely:
The Zoobic Park - a Petting Zoo area in a walk through tropical jungle like were you can have a live interaction with deers, ostrich, albino carabao, bear, monkey, eagle, miniature horse, ducks and a lot more.
Savannah - A sanctuary of the wild that features a wide range of ostriches, potbellies, wild boars and guinea fowls.
Serpentarium - A real view of snakes, lizards, iguanas, turtles and a lot more cold blooded animals.
Honey Bee Farm - See how honey is produced by hard working bees.
Rodent World - An amazing collection of rodent animals. Be amaze in Mice Surprise trick in the area and watch guinea pigs being groomed in a Rodent Salon.
Egg-Ziting Story - An area showcasing the cycle of the eggs.
Animal Bone Museum - A collection of various real animal bones.
Close Encounter - An exciting close encounter (2 ft away) with Siberian and Bengala tigers and be a witness to their huge appetite while the tour guide feeds them.
Tiger Safari - A once in a lifetine adventure experience riding in a safari jeep were you will enter in a close fence structure and be fascinated to see the live tigers roaming around as they thrilled you with their vibrating appetite.
Zoobic Safari also has an educational show featuring live animals, jungle survival with Aetas and the newest Mini Moe Show were you can have fun as you see unique mini animals perform live!
Added attractions to the Croco Loco section is the guided tour which gives visitors a trek through an Aeta Village (Aetas are tribal nomadic Filipinos), a Hip-hop Bayawak (Bayawak is Filipino for Monitor Lizard) area and a view of the Garden of Adam which features an Aeta Adam.
One of the highlights of Croco Loco area is a brief stunt show of a man dressed as a chicken walking over the crocodiles in a small walkway above them.
The crocodiles section of the Safari is set to complement the other animal attractions in the25-hectare wildlife sanctuary which includes tigers, a serpentarium, ostriches and other exotic animals that can be viewed along with entertaining and informative animal shows presented by animal experts.
For more information, visit their website at [www.zoobic.com.ph]
Subic has several malls
Royal Subic: The biggest department store in Subic. They carry imported and local housewares, cooking items, and snacks. Royal Subic also carries branded clothes. Most of are surplus so they're actually cheaper. Has an extensive selection of cigarettes and perfumes.
Freeport Exchange: They are mostly the same as Royal Subic. However, they also carry some electronics (All are set for 220 volts). Freeport also carries Subic's largest supply of candy (but it's a close competition with Royal Subic)!
Pure Gold: Has recently (Early 2010)opened a huge warehouse type store with a very large selection of goods. Across the intersection from the Royal Subic.
Value City: Value City has a lot of things that other stores don't. They have a lot of quick snacks, and an extensive supply of cat food.
National Bookstore: Books, magazines, and a cafe. They are also very popular for getting school supplies.
American Hardware: A hardware stores that carries lots of useful things. All their products are imported from the United States. They have lots of items that are very rare in the Philippines. American Hardware also runs the only car wash in Subic Bay.
Bretto's: This is actually in Olongapo, not in Subic, but it's very useful. It is a meat shop. They sell lots of good meats, such as steaks, chicken saugage, and ground beef. Many FedEx people go there, as it is one of the few places that has imported US meat.They close at a early time at 11:00
Uncle Ed's: Uncle Ed's is a small convenience store in Binictican (where most FedEx people live). They have a lots of basic things and are useful if you suddenly run out of cold soft drinks, milk, or some other must-have item. Recently, they have gotten a lot of good sweets and candies, such as M&Ms, Dr. Pepper, Tootsie Rolls, and lots of other treats like that.Uncle eds is very nice store but they close at a early time, at 11:00
Island Souvenirs: Buy your Subic souvenir shirts in Seahorse Tours and Souvenirs. They very funky island shirts for as low as US $8.
Seahorse Tours & Souvenirs: you will find them located directly next to the cinema with ample of free parking in the front or the side parking lot.The majority of our items have been selected from livelihood programs and sole artist. Livelihood programs are projects originally sponsored by local government or non profit organizations with the intent of helping those in need to develop skills and a means to earn, to supplement their current income or in many cases to provide a means of support. We have found that many of the items produced as the results of these programs are of very high quality and we are proud of showcases these items.
There are several great locations for food from many cultures:
- Blue Rock resort. Good for western food. Great prices, quantity and quality.
- Sit N Bull. 14 del Pilar | Barretto. American managed and a local Ex-Pat favourite, Serves huge, US sized, portions of American, Mexican and Local flavours, big breakfasts, daily specials, delivery is available to local bars and hotels. Now has an Annex (also serving food) right on the Barreto Strip. Open 10AM till 1AM. Drinks specials can be the cheapest on the Barretto Strip.
- Texas Joe's House of Ribs, Watrerfront Rd, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, ☎ 047 252 3189, . 11am -10pm. Authentic Smoked meats and ribs. Numerous different barbecue sauces. Attentive service
The Barretto Strip has numerous air-conditioned bars, roughly 25, many of which have entertaining dancers to help keep you company. Some also have pool tables. The names of the bars change often, but currently among the best are 'Flash Rat', 'Wetspot', 'Voodoo', 'Coco Lips', 'Bunny Ranch', 'Catwalk Club' and 'Rapscallion'. 'Lava Lounge is similar and also does live music. Drinks prices are similar at all the various bars at between 65-95 pesos for local beers and spirits.
There are also numerous beachfront bars, with live music in the evening, along the front of Baloy beach.
There are also floating bars in the dry season (Nov-May), these are accessed by pulled rafts and are about 50 metres off the beach. These are great fun and you can jump off the side for a swim, then climb back on and continue your drink. These usually are open from 12PM- 9PM. There are currently two floating bars at Baloy Beach (Blue Rock and Treasure Island) and one at Barretto Beach (Arizona).
A trike between Baloy and Barretto should be not more than 50 pesos, the 10 minutes walk at night between the two can be dark in places, but not particulary dangerous, although caution would be advised.
- Sit N Bull Annex. National Highway, Barrio Barretto. Is a good place to get local advice and conversation.
- All Hands Beach Subic, All Hands Beach, San Bernardino Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, ☎ (+6347) 250-2270, . All Hands Beach Resort in Subic offers air-conditioned beachfront rooms and cottages. Bamboo huts, function rooms and pavilions are also available for family, business or special events. Php3500.00. Book direct online with the best rates instant confirmation www.allhandsbeach.com
- Arizona International Hotel , 47 National Highway, Barrio Barretto, Olongapo City, Tel 047 224 4557 or 4559, . It is minutes away from Subic.
- Asiana Hotel, No. 48 Gordon Avenue, Barangay Asinan, Olongapo City, . The hotel has a touch of Asian architecture and delicacies. Php1,200.00.
- Bayfront Hotel, Blk. 19 Lot 1 Moonbay, Marina Waterfront Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Tel: 63-47 252-3148-49/1948 Fax Number: 63-47 252-2591, Email [email protected] . Mediterranean-inspired hotel with villa set-up. Clean, comfortable accommodations. Online reservation at best rates with instant confirmation starts at USD $51.
- Casablanca Hotel Subic, Lot 14 Agronaut Highway, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, . Casablanca Hotel is a fully furnished condo-hotel that has a pool side bar, jacuzzi and restaurant that serves International cuisines. Php2100.
- City View Hotel, Magsaysay Drive, New Asinan, Olongapo City, ☎ +6347 2529978, . Php1800.00.
- Court Meridian Hotel, Waterfront Road, SBMA, ☎ +63 (47) 252-2366, . A/C rooms equipped with cable TV, private toilet and bath with hot and cold running water. Some of its facilities and services are business center, jetski, bar and restaurant. From USD 72.00.
- Elmolina Beach Resort, 135 National Highway, Barrio Barretto, . The resort offers budget accommodation beachfront of Subic's calm beach. Activities like kayaking, banana boating, snorkeling and jetskiing can be enjoyed at Elmolina Beach Resort. Php2,100.00.
- Hotel Interpark, Bldg. 663 Dewey Ave. Corner Sta. Rita Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone (one block from the Waterfront Road and the Oriental Paradise Casino), . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Php2500.00.
- Lighthouse Marina Resort, Moonbay Marina Complex Waterfront Road, CBD Subic Bay Freeport Zone, ☎ (047)252-9978, . The Lighthouse Marina Resort is a three-floor, 34-room boutique hotel capped by a lighthouse.
- Ocean View Beach Resort, Lower Kalaklan, Olongapo City, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Ocean View Beach Resort has complete amenities for beach outings and company events. It has 40 newly renovated rooms and a spacious conference facility. The beach is safe for swimming and water sport activities like, aqua bikes, jetski and banana boat all at a very affordable price. Php2,500.00.
- Olongapo Travel Lodge, Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo City, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 13:00. Olongapo Travel Lodge offers modern-designed rooms in a budget-friendly hotel. Php1,600.00.
- Palm Coast Inn, Baloy Long Beach, Bo. Barretto, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Palm Coast Inn offers standard rooms overlooking the beach and mountains of Subic. Php1,199.00.
- Palm Tree Resort, 116 National Highway, Barrio Barretto, Olongapo City, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Palm Tree Resort has sea view rooms and suites overlooking the mountains. Also has an in house restaurant that serves Filipino and English cuisines. Php2200.00.
- The Pub Hotel Subic, National Highway, Barrio Barretto, . checkin: 1:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. The Pub is located right amidst the nightlife district of Barretto. Just seconds walk away from beachfront restaurants and bars as well as the famous GoGo bars of Subic. ₱1,500.00.
- RK Hotel, SBIP Phase 1 Commercial Complex, Subic Bay Gateway Park Rizal Highway, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. The hotel has 64 well-appointed rooms, private KTV rooms, a sports bar, swimming pool, conference and meeting facilities and its own Oriental Spa. The hotel's location is very accessible to guests as it is located near Duty Free shops, spas and restaurants that serve international cuisines. Php2500.00.
- Sanjaha Inn, 64 Gordon Ave. New Asinan Olongapo City, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Php1,500.00.
- Subic International Hotel, Labitan and Sta. Rita Roads, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Tel +047-252-22-22 Fax +047-894-55-79,  This hotel used to be the US Naval Base's barracks. Rates start at around PHP2000/night.
- Subic Grand Seas Resort, 83 National Highway, Barrio Barretto, Olongapo City, ☎ +6347-222-8541, . Offers 22 Deluxe rooms, all of which have an air-conditioning, an LCD television with cable connection, and a telephone with NDD and IDD accesses. Some of its amenities include an infinity and kiddie pools, and a massage service. Best rates on official website start at PHP 2,500.
- Subic Oceanview Hotel, 202 Purok 6, National Highway, Calapandayan, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. All the guest rooms are equipped with a work area. ₱1800.00.
- Subic Park Hotel, Moonbay Marina, Waterfront Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Tel +047-252-2092 +047-252-2093 +047-250-2039,  30 comfortable rooms offer views of the bay and the forested mountains surrounding it. Book direct online with the best rates instant confirmation www.subicparkhotel.com
- Terrace Hotel, Blk 1 Lot 2 & 3 Moonbay Marina, Waterfront Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, ☎ +63 47 250-2730 to 32 (fax: +63 47 252-2733), . Studio, Junior Deluxe and Executive, Terrace Suite all equipped with TV with cable channels, coffee/tea maker and mini-bar. It also has a business center, rooftop patio and swimming pool.
- Vista Marina Hotel and Resort Subic, Waterfront Road, Blk 3 Lot 2, Moonbay Marina Area, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, . A Mediterranean inspired hotel situated along the beach. Book direct online with the best rates instant confirmation www.vistamarinasubic.com
- Win Hotel Olongapo, #27 18th St. Corner Brill St. West Bajac Bajac Olongapo City (at Victory Liner Terminal), . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. New hotel. Rooms are cozy with warm lighting fitted with wooden furniture and modern decor. Php1600.00.
- Grand Hoyah Hotel, Lot Nos 5B and 6, Block B, Manila Ave., cor. Canal Rd. CBD Area, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Grand Hoyah is a 3-star hotel located in the Central Business District of Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The hotel offers Deluxe accommodation in its Superior, Family Rooms and Suites.
- Sheavens Seafront Resort, Baloy Long Beach Bo. Baretto, Olongapo City, . checkin: 1:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. Sheavens Seafront Resort has 45 modern hotel rooms. Choose from Standard, Deluxe and Family guestrooms overlooking Subic Bay. Php900.00. Book direct online with the best rates instant confirmation www.sheavens.com
- Boardwalk Inn, Bldg 664 Waterfront Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, . checkin: 1:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Boardwalk Inn Subic is located along Waterfront Road at the heart of Subic Bay Freeport Zone's business district. The hotel is walking distance from the beachfront, restaurants, bars and nightlife of Subic Bay. ₱1,950.00. Book direct online with the best rates instant confirmation www.boardwalkinnsubic.com
- Subic Waterfront Hotel, AYC Compound, National Highway, Santo Tomas, Subic, ☎ +126.96.36.19978, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Subic Waterfront Resort Hotel offers waterfront suites and standard hotel rooms. Accommodation comes with free internet connection and access to a big swimming pool with two aqua bars open daily and nightly. Book direct online with the best rates instant confirmation www.subicwaterfronthotel.com
- Jade Hotel Olongapo, 45 Magsaysay Drive, East Tapinac, Olongapo City, ☎ +188.8.131.5278, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. Standard, Deluxe and Family rooms are available for reservations. The hotel serves lunch and dinner buffet.
- The Cabin Hotel, Schley Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, ☎ +184.108.40.20678, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. The Cabin Subic offers country side atmosphere in its dorm-type accommodation and private hotel rooms. The Cabin is located inside the Freeport Zone just 3 hours away from Manila.