Subic Bay, for a quiet holiday


Far from the most popular beaches in the Philippines, just steps from Manila, is Subic Bay. Formerly a base of the U.S. Navy, the bay now welcomes thousands of tourists a year. Building on its recent success, many attractions have developed around the place. If you have to pass through Manila and don’t want to stay in this huge city, this will be the perfect place to relax. But what does the place offer you? How do you get there from the capital? Together, let’s discover the history of this bay, and let ourselves be carried away by its beautiful landscape.

History of Subic Bay

A naval base since 1885, Subic Bay was a strategic location for all settlers of the time. Originally used by the Spanish, it was sold to the Americans in 1899. Located on the edge of the China Sea, it was taken over by the Americans by the Japanese in 1942. The latter kept it until 1945, when the United States triumphed over Japan over the archipelago. An important strategic point, it was home to the Philippines’ largest foreign base until 1992. On this date, the base is handed over to the Filipino people following the liberation of the country closed until 2015. It was then rehabilitated as a naval base and currently hosts more than 4,000 soldiers.

What to do on the spot?

But the bay is not just a military installation, fortunately on site, you can find beautiful beaches that will allow you to spend a moment relaxing while sunbathing. As the water is generally at the correct temperature, you can also swim while enjoying the translucent beaches of the Philippines.

You can also enjoy a unique experience at the Subic Safari. Here, the animals are at large. This is particularly the case for the magnificent tigers who roam in their huge enclosure. The peculiarity of this place is that you will have to get in a car equipped with a cage to be able to move around the place. The regular tigers, will take the opportunity to come and ask you for a piece of meat to satisfy. Unlike other zoos in the country, Subic Zoo can claim to take care of these animals.

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You can also enjoy a survival training in the jungle at Jungle Environment Survival Training Camp, instructors will teach you all the basics to survive in extreme situations. The program will learn how to make a fire, set up a shelter or find clean water.

However, there will also be attractions to avoid. This is especially the case of the Ocean Adventure which will offer you to swim with dolphins. The problem here is that animals are drugged to avoid hurting you and move into shallow pools. Tourists can then, with a certain fee spend time with the animals and take a souvenir photo. As with the whale shark parks in the southern Philippines, we don’t recommend this place.

How do I get there?

Getting to Subic Bay is easy. All you have to do is reach north Manila, and more specifically the SM North shopping centre. From there, you can find dozens of buses heading to Clarks Airport. Tell the driver that you are going to Subic Bay and the driver will notify you when you get off. At the first stop, you will then have to wait for the next bus to the bay and take it. For the journey from the north of Manila, it will takes about two hours. Preferably leave early in the morning, between four and five o’clock to avoid traffic. Your journey will then be less long.