Subic Tourist Information - Philippines
Subic is located at the southwest region of the Luzon, Philippines. It is actually sandwiched between the mountain ranges of Zambales, Subic Bay and the South China Sea. It is found northwest of Bataan and southwest of Zambales. It is about 100 kilometers away from Manila.
Today, Subic is a very popular tourist destination. Over the years, the number of Subic’s local and foreign visitors has grown considerably. The conversion of the area into an economic zone has fueled its transformation as one of the prime tourist destinations in the country. If you have seen a Subic general tourist info guide, you have seen the booming tourist activities in the area and the corresponding growth of hotels, resorts and tourist destinations as well. Indeed, Subic has become one of the best alternatives to other tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is fairly convenient for many people in Manila to drive to Subic for the weekend rather than bother with airfares to other places.
The weather in this part of Zambales is similar to that of other places in the Philippines. The dry season begins in November and ends in June, upon which the rainy season begins. On the average the temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius).
It has to be pointed out that the dry season does not mean it is already summer, but rather the absence of rain. From November to February there is very little rainfall but while dry can still be cold in the mornings. The hottest times of the year are from March to May.
Any Subic general tourist info guide will tell you that the best time to visit Subic is during the months of November to May. This is where Subic shares the dry season with the rest of the country. The climate is actually tropical and Subic does not have extreme temperature or climate. The temperature averages about 26 degrees Celsius at all times. Perhaps, it helps that Subic is bordered by mountain ranges, bay and sea. However, if you really want to enjoy all the local sights and tourists destinations, you should visit Subic when there is no threat of heavy downpours to ruin your plans. It is actually rainy in Subic during the months of June to October.
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Subic has a fairly small population. It is only about 3,000 which is considerably small compared to the neighboring city, Olongapo, which boasts of a population of approximately 200,000. In truth, Subic has the smallest population compared to adjacent provinces.
The tourist hotspots in Subic Bay are varied and rich in diversity. For those who love beaches there are several fine ones to choose from, including Skippers Beach, Christian Beach, and the beaches at Half Moon and Driftwood. Those who love to explore waters will love the Barges, Canyons Reef, and the numerous wreck sites like the San Quentin, El Capitan, Oryoku Maru and the USS New York.
Other major attractions are the Zoobic Safari where you can meet tigers, crocodiles, snakes, bears and many more animals. There is also the Ocean Adventure, a marine park featuring dolphins, sea lions and many more aquatic life forms. Other popular activities and tourism spots to visit are the Bat Kingdom, the El Kabayo Equestrian Center and Jungle Joe’s World.
Because it is near Zambales going up to the famous Mount Pinatubo is also possible. Another popular tourist activity is a crash course in jungle survival at the Jungle Environment Survival Training Center. Another popular site for adventurers is the Cinco Picos Trekking. For more leisurely activities there is the Triboa Bay Mangrove Park, the International Tennis Center and the Subic Bay Golf and Country Club.
If these things are not enough, any Subic general tourist info and tips will suggest more places that you can visit. For instance, you can join an ecology tour and visit the Pamulaklakin Forest Trails and the Pastolan Aeta Village. Of course, you can’t possibly miss the famous Subic Bay Ocean Adventure. You can also spend a day at the Redondo Beaches or go diving for shipwrecks. If the Redondo Beach is not enough, you can try other Subic beaches like the Miracle, Nabasan, Grande Island, Dungaree, Hidden, and Officer’s Beach.
You will find various resorts and hotels in Subic. It is up to you to choose your accommodations depending on what you can afford. It is, therefore, a good idea to know your options. Some of Subic’s best accommodations include the Ocean Adventure, Subic International Hotel, Legenda Hotel, White Rock Beach Hotel, Grande Island Resort and the Subic Homes.
If you don’t want to go too far for a weekend vacation or even a 2-week getaway, you can always opt for Subic. The place boasts of practically almost everything you would find elsewhere plus a lot more all with a Subic flare. Definitely worth a visit!
The History of Subic Bay
The founding of the land is accredited to Juan de Salcedo, who called it Hubek (pillow head). Based on some accounts the Americans thought the name was “Subeq” and from there the name eventually became Subic. During the Spanish-American War the area became a battleground wherein the Spanish naval forces were defeated.
The Americans took control and set up their base which would continue well into World War II. After the US forces left the area was converted into a Freeport zone similar to what transpired at the former Clark Air Base in Angeles City.
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Subic Bay Geography
The Subic Bay is situated at the southwestern point of Luzon and it is bordered on its eastern side by a vast mountain range called the Zambales Mountain Range. At the western front, meanwhile is Subic Bay, where several of its famous dive sites can be found. On a map you will see that the area is flanked to the northwest by Bataan and to the southwest by Zambales. From Metro Mania it is about 110 km away at the northern point.
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Money Changers and ATM in Subic
As the center of business and commerce in Central Luzon and one of the main economic hubs in the Philippines, almost all the major financial institutions in the country have set up operations and facilities in and around Subic.
Banks like BPI, Union Bank, Coconut Planters Bank and their ATM services are scattered throughout the city. There are also several money changers you can turn to for higher rates. Most of them, like DBS, Arlene’s and April Mae, are in Olongapo City, but there are also some in the Freeport.
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Internet Service Providers in Subic
Web access is widespread, with almost all the major hotels and resorts offering some form of online usage, several of them utilizing broadband connections for faster downloading of files and uploading of pictures and other documents too. There are also several Internet cafes where you can check your email, browse the Web and play computer games.
Just like in other parts of the Philippines there are also specialized areas where wi fi access can be used. There are also several stores that sell pre paid Internet cards that can be used on any computer. The hours on each card range from 10 t0 20 hours.
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Visa for Foreign Tourists in Subic
Getting Visas has been made easier than ever before. Unlike other locations where one has to go to the Bureau of Immigration to have their papers checked quite often, in Subic foreign tourists are entitled to the 14 Day No Visa Privilege program, which means that regardless of the purpose, be it for sightseeing or making a business investment, foreigners can stay for two weeks without a Visa. They can also select from Permanent Residency Visa, Working Permit, Subic Special Work Visa or the Special Investor Visa.
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Visa Extensions in Subic
As part of the government’s efforts to lure foreign investors and streamline the process of giving extensions to visiting tourists, the officials of the Immigration department now have the authority to issue the extensions themselves. What this means is that tourists no longer have to go to Metro Manila just to get a six month extension on their stay.
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Electricity in Subic
The power supply situation in Subic is stable and constant. There are several power producers but the biggest one is Enerzone managed and owned by the Aboitiz Group. It provides electricity to commercial, industrial and residential complexes. In addition, the government is working on the implementation and construction of other power plants, including environmentally friendly ones, to help bolster the electricity even more.
In addition to this, most of the major offices and shopping malls in the area, as well as the hotels, now avail of generators to ensure the consistent delivery of power should any form of outage take place.
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