Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Subic Bay Freeport Zone

If one is just interested in going to a good beach, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is not the best place to go. However, for one who has varied interests, then the Subic could be an ultimate experience all in just one place. For sports lovers one can play golf, basketball, badminton, tennis and even baseball or softball. One can also do horseback riding. Subic is also ideal for mountain biking with different levels of terrain from easy cemented roads to the extreme mountain trails. There is also a jungle trekking and survival training which one can have at the Pamulaklakin Forest Trail, JEST Camp (Jungle Environment Survival Training) and Subic Bay Nature Park. This forest trekking or jungle survival is handled by the Aetas who taught the Americans the technique of jungle survival during the Vietnam War. There is a place to play airsoft/paintball or shooting. There is a swimming pool by the yacht club and of course the beach at the Camayan Beach.
For tourists who would just like to enjoy the sights, there is the Ocean Adventure where one can see the dolphins performing acrobatic shows. At the JEST Camp one can also see exotic birds, a butterfly garden, insectarium where they have displays of varied kinds of spiders from all over the world, bonsai trees, among others. There are still other adventures and activities that the Subic Freeport offers which can cater to the different interests and tastes of the tourists. All these activities are capped with the evening entertainments at the Freeport where all the restaurants, bars and clubs can be found.
For accommodations, one has the choice of the many hotels that have sprung in Subic or rent the houses that have been left by the Americans. For families and large groups the latter kind of accommodation would be suitable as they can minimize on expenses. They can cook their own food and have privacy as well.

There is only one beach resort that is open to the public in Subic, the Camayan Beach Resort. The waters are not as clear like in those beaches with pure white sand. Entrance to the resort was a bit high, 275 pesos per person and a thousand pesos rent for the cottage and corkage fee for drinks that are brought inside.

As we were about to leave in the afternoon, a tribal band started performing by the beach.

With our host Director Baby AzaƱa (right).

Some of the members of the group that went to Subic posing by the entrance of the beach resort before boarding the tourist bus.

Got the chance to do mountain biking around Subic. The rate for the bike was 150 per hour and 75 for the guide. They had different levels of terrain to bike on from the easy flat ones to extreme mountain terrain. With 42,000 hectares of forest reserve you can have all the exciting time flexing your muscles trying to discover every nook and cranny of the reserve.

At the yacht club.

Got also the chance to do a forest trekking. As I did my morning walk near the house that we rented, while my companions were still soundly sleeping, I passed by Pamulaklakin Forest Trail. Asking around, I was informed that I could get a half hour, a 2 or 3 hour or overnight jungle discovery tour. Since my time was limited as we were about to leave that morning I took the 30 minute forest trek. With a native Aeta as guide, we went into the forest. From time to time he would point to the different trees and vines around and shared their various uses. For instance certain barks of trees could be used as medicines, another bark he pointed could be made pliant and used as a pale to gather honey comb. The palasaingin, a kind of rubber tree, the sap could be placed in a bamboo and made as a torch; for another tree the sap would be gathered together and after a day or two could become fresh drinking water. To another tree, its bark and leaves when pressed and grinded could be used to catch shrimps and small fishes. Although not poisonous, the substance irritates shrimps and so they can be easily caught.

There is a male and a female balete tree. The one only the left is a male as the roots would grow from the ground up, while the one on the left is a female balete as the roots came from above and came down to the ground.
My Aeta guide describing the usage of the bark of this tree.
I was informed by the Aeta guide that there were formerly 3 Aeta tribes in Subic: Benictican, Kalayaan and Boton. But these three have already merged as they are all blood relatives and they now call themselves Pastolan tribe. There is another tribe just outside of Subic called Botolan. The guide said they owe a lot to the father of Dick Gordon who stood for their rights before the Americans. He was the one who championed the cause of the Aetas inside the Subic base, asking that they be permitted to stay inside the base as they have been there since time immemorial.

Monkeys abound in the reservation around Subic.


llama's journal said...

I love the pic. You have a bright future as a photograapher. i love the reggae band to.=]

Can I link my blog here? As apart of my summer seo: Camayan Beach Resort

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?

Can someone help me find it?

Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.


kamagra said...

Stunning photos, it sure looks like a magical place.

Expat in Philippines said...

You have a good blog - among the best I have seen of Subic bay.

I recently did a trek in Pamulaklakin forest (Subic bay) ( Photos and travel report posted here -

and yes, it still is quiet similar to the photos you have posted.

I liked your blog so much - I have put a link to it, under the "further reading" category.

You can seen photos and details of my travels around the Philippines here - http://expattraveller.blogspot.com

David said...

PS - My Pamulaklakin trail blog is here