Subic Bay is a former US military base that was converted into a freeport zone. Situated between the northern provinces of Zambales and Bataan, Philippines, Subic has a complete vacation package to offer which is a mix of mountain and sea adventures.
There are various hotels around Subic but my recommendation is Forest View. It is a small village that was formerly used by American military officers for their R&R accommodation. Just don’t be surprised to see monkeys roaming in the area in the early morning or late afternoon!
Lovers of sea creatures will enjoy Ocean Adventure. This is a small theme park with dolphins and seals as the main stars. The Dolphin show is always a hit with its humorous skits participated in by the dolphins and their caretakers. They also have a portion where you can swim with the dolphins.
Another live show features the seals and their trainers. Like the dolphin show, they have a skit that will surely make you roar in laughter especially the one that involves an unidentified audience. You can have a selfie with the trained seals at the end of the show.
For a respite, there is an acrobat show. Your camera will love the 20-minute of thrills provided by professional performers. A walk by the aquarium area is truly relaxing. There’s also an animal show featuring some trained animals including a bat.
And speaking of bats, there is the so called bat kingdom near the Subic airport. It is an elevated ground with giant trees that serve as a home for the bats. The best time to go there is before dusk so you can see the multitude of flying bats. But at other times of the day, the bats are visible in the trees.
For animal lovers, Zoobic Safari is the place to go. It has an open savannah that showcases various animals like ostrich and wild boar. For the adventurer, you can try the open safari to see the tigers and the only lion in close up. It’s not really scary because you will be riding in an enclosed vehicle for protection that would even allow you to feed the big felines.
You can also feed the crocodiles if you want. A man-made lagoon is home to almost a hundred crocodiles. There is a counter that sells a small bucket of chicken meat for feeding the hungry reptiles.
Capping your zoo trip is the animal show that features mostly trained birds. There are skits and tricks that children would surely enjoy. You can also have a selfie with the native Aetas who are actually working as staff of the zoo. By the way, you can walk or ride the free tram in roaming the zoo.
A few kilometers away from the zoo is the Treetop Adventure which is a forest with tall trees as the backdrop for the rides and thrills. The Canopy ride is both relaxing and exciting where the cable car is suspended at 100 feet above the ground. You can also try the Canopy Walk in the suspended bridge instead of riding the cable car.
For the able-bodied, there is a zip line where you lie face down to travel back and forth using mechanical cables. Another version is the one where you are standing which is more comfortable. And the finale is the famous Tree Drop which is actually a vertical bungee jump. According to the attendants, the Tree Drop is a test of manhood.
JEST – Jungle Environmental Survival Training camp
A very short walk away from Treetop Adventure is the JEST where you can dine in their native restaurant. Have a taste of rice and soup dishes cooked in bamboo cylinders, truly a once in a lifetime dining experience.
JEST offers incredible team building activities and featured a small maze that will test your directional ability. It has a long line of bird cages featuring colorful imported birds. There’s also a mini zoo that features imported animals aside from the butterfly garden.
One favorite haunt of beach-goers is the Camayan Beach resort which is just beside the Ocean Adventure. It also offers hotel accommodation and has a good restaurant. There are other beach resorts outside Subic which are equally good in facilities and service. One is White Rock Beach Resort for the elite while Baloy Beach caters to those with small budget.
Inside Subic are some malls and various restaurants. The commercial center is located near the gate going to Olongapo City. Another attraction is the presence of duty-free shops that are open to everyone, foreign or local tourists.
What’s noble in Subic is its mission and vision aimed for the preservation of natural resources. Reduce, reuse, recycle is their tagline which they include in all their shows.
Subic is 3 hours away by car from the NAIA airport in Manila and 30 minutes away from Clark International airport in Pampanga. Booking for accommodation is available thru online booking sites.