Subic Festivals - Philippines
For people who think Subic in Zambales is just about cheap PX goods, Americanized communities, superb beach fronts, and scenic tourist places, look again. It’s also about traditional and modern Subic festivals.
Holy Week Festivals
Starting off with traditional Subic festivals, yearly Holy Weeks are special in Subic as well as in its neighboring towns. Zambales, the province that hosts Subic, is quite known for its religious zeal in observing church-based holidays. During Holy Week, Subic relaxes a bit with its commercial activities and focuses on solemn ones like “Sinakulo” and “Pabasa.” Sunakulo is a dramatization of the passion of the Christ. Pabasa is a non-stop loud recitation of the life and death of Jesus Christ by households or in churches. Holy Week Festivals are often held in late March or early April.
Like other places in the Philippines, Subic also has its own nocturnal Santa Cruzan each May. This is a royal street parade of the queens and princesses of Subic and their escorts. Participants are dressed in their best and parade in the streets sheltered under flowery and ornate arches made of light materials. The parade is accompanied by religious images carried around, followed by people holding candles. As with most Subic festivals, Santa Cruzan is done in honor of the Roman Catholic religion.
Each year each barangay in Subic celebrates its own Barangay Fiesta. A barangay is a locality in a town or city. The barangay celebration comes with a tribute to a particular patron saint. Thus, a barangay fiesta is among religious Subic festivals. It starts and ends with cheery street activities, programs in the barangay center, and food.
Fil-Am Friendship Day
July 4 is when Fil-Am Friendship is celebrated in the country. Of course, Subic, being once part of the Fil-Am Military Bases Agreement, has a special celebration for this, mostly in remembering the joint efforts of Filipino and American forces in World War II to overwhelm the Japanese Occupational Army in the Philippines. Subic festivals like this rekindle the ties between the Philippines and the US, as well as a spirit of heroism among Subic folks.
So much for traditional Subic festivals, other festivities celebrated in the locality are commercial in nature. They promote a particular trade through rallies, races, motorcades, parades, or live rock bands. Scootourista is among Subic festivals that use a motorcade of motored vehicles to and around Subic. This festival starts from Olongapo, Zambales, Bataan, and then ends in Subic. Some 3000-strong scooter enthusiasts from different clubs in the said provinces join this motorcade in October. It also features, trade shows and exhibits of scooter brands, accessories, gears, and parts. There are live bands and, of course, food.
Other Summer Subic Festivals
When April comes Subic becomes more alive with three Subic festivals: the Bike and the Philippine Olympic Festivals, and the Global Gateway Caravan. The main focus is at the Remy Field where the summer family fun activities are held. These festivals feature bike brands, designs, and make; sports and athletes from different regions in the country; and exhibits of commercial items, respectively.
Subik! Subik! Festival
This is among Subic festivals that focus on tourism. In fact, it is headed by the Greater Subic Bay Tourism Bureau or GSBTB. It’s a 3-day festival held in February promoting tourism spots in the area, and neighboring provinces, and their latest developments. The main idea is to draw more tourists to enjoy Subic frequently, invite seminar and conference organizers to the lure of the place, and encourage investors to its industrial, commercial, and even residential areas. Local and international tourism agencies attend this event. Recreation and adventurous outdoor activities in Subic are also featured, like surfing, mountaineering, camping, and hiking, among others.