Subic-A A +A
Friday, March 28, 2014
SINCE I was young, I am a visitor of the then Subic Naval Base. Many people would think of the now Freeport every time they hear or read the word “Subic”, while not knowing that Subic is in fact a municipality of the province of Zambales.
The sea inside and outside but near the Freeport meanwhile, should be aptly called “Subic Bay” as it is a body of water (bay) that is located near the town.
It's quite unfair for the town to call the Freeport, the beaches and the seas of the Subic Bay as “Subic”. Nevertheless, the municipality holds the distinction of having the name of their town as the source of the name of the Freeport.
On the other hand, there are those which combine the city’s name Olongapo with Subic. Some beach goers brags about swimming in “Subic, Olongapo” for their summer outing.
Others think of the Freeport as part of Olongapo City including its forested areas and its beaches. In truth, majority of the Freeport originally belongs to the municipality of Morong in Bataan, until the establishment of the former United States Subic Naval Base.
The Subic Naval Base was then an autonomous entity which enjoys diplomatic immunity as enshrined in the military bases agreement between the Philippine government and the United States of America. It’s like being in America when you are inside the former military base during its heydays.
The sea of Subic Bay is an ideal body of water for ports. It has an ideal depth and width for big and small ships to dock. The sea is not rough except of course during the occurrences of typhoons in the area.
This is the reason perhaps why the Americans established there their base for their US Navy that also includes an airport for their Navy planes then.
The bay is the gateway to the South China Sea and is also adjacent to Manila Bay thus, its accessibility is a plus factor for commercial or even military ships.
Now as the Subic Freeport, it has become more accessible by land with the establishment of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx). It’s a ideal transshipment hub for cargos that are transported through ships or airplanes. It was once the home of the Federal Express (FEDEX) in the Philippines by the way.
There are malls inside the Freeport, aside from the duty free shops that were established when the American naval forces left the country. Restaurants that offers simple to fine dining are aplenty.
The Subic Freeport is also blessed with fine beaches, resorts and other tourist destinations. Being considerably near Metro Manila and other parts of Central Luzon, it’s a favorite destination during summer.
Swimming, diving and other water sports are just some of the activities we can find on the beaches of the Freeport. I have experienced scuba diving at the place and found some corals and wrecks of ships that date back to the First and the Second World War.
There are adventure sites too like its zoo and a park where visitors can swing on trees in the midst of thick forest where monkeys and other wildlife animals abound.
Now that its summer, it’s fun to be in Subic and experience the adventure and enjoyment inside “Subic.”
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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 29, 2014.