ONLY a few hours away from Manila and with lots of attractions, Subic Bay Freeport Zone has always been a favorite getaway destination for those living in the metropolis. I remember during my college days, we would hold our team buildings, outings, and planning sessions in Subic, where we could also enjoy the beach and the fresh sea breeze. We had friends living there so it was also easy to head over to Subic for some weekend relaxation.
Moreover, it was a joy being in this former US Naval base as motorists really abide by the traffic rules (first to stop, first to go) even where there aren't any traffic enforcers in sight.
Throughout my working years in the capital, I've always frequented Subic, sometimes just for a day trip, or passing through for other nearby destinations, or simply stay in one of the resorts within the vicinity.
Most of the time, we would stop by in the duty-free stores to shop for some goodies that we can seldom find in Metro Manila. Here are some of the things you can enjoy when you visit Subic.
1. Forest trails
On my first visit there, our host toured us in the forest areas of Subic. You have to be careful when you enter this portion of Subic. Yes, there is still a virgin forest in Subic. The indigenous tribe of the Aetas are still found in certain parts as they also do survival training. In case you don't know this yet, there are waterfalls found in these forests.
Environment groups also do certain activities here for research and study that will help protect the ecosystem. You can do some bird-watching and other things fit for nature lovers.
2. Adventure parks
Whether you prefer sea creatures or land animals, Subic has it for you. The place has many nature parks where children and kids-at-heart can enjoy a close encounter with various animals. There's Zoobic Safari, Ocean Adventure, JEST camp and so much more. Subic is home to various entertainment facilities that are ideal for the entire family.
3. Swimming or water activities
If you're out to enjoy the waters, whether a relaxing swim by the beach or an adrenaline-pumping activity, Subic has something ready for you. The last time I was there, my friends and I stayed at Kamana Sanctuary, tucked in one of the beach fronts of Subic. There are also nearby islands you can explore if you are up to it. Subic also has great spots for snorkeling and diving.
4. Binge on food and shop till you drop
Oh, yes, Subic is teeming with restaurants that you can enjoy. From Japanese and other Asian cuisines to Western food to local delights, there are plenty to choose from when you're in Subic. And if you want to do a bit of shopping, there are plenty of stores around Subic that will surely catch your eye.
5. Historical landmarks and monuments
Get around Subic and see the various monuments and landmarks found in the area. There are different places of interest within and near Subic that can give you additional information about our history.
A weekend is not enough to see and experience all of Subic. But it's a place worth revisiting so I always don't mind going back to Subic again and again.
All photos are by this author. Claire Marie Algarme blogs at http://firsttimetravels.com. Follow her as @firsttimetravel on Twitter and Instagram and like her Facebook page First-time Travels blog.