Subic Bay free port, the former American naval base in the Philippines that has been transformed into a bustling free trade zone and industrial complex, offers not only employment for thousands of Filipinos, but leisure and recreation to tourists as well.
There is Ocean Adventure that offers whale and dolphin shows on weekends and Zoobic, a close encounter zoo where you can go near the animals.
Near the Ocean Adventure parking area, for instance, sits a restaurant cum resort that offers fresh sea foods and white beach for swimming. Entrance fee is about $4.
There’s also a horse-back riding range where you will learn how to ride on mares and ponies.
For the nature seekers, there are creeks, mountain trails, Mangyan villages, forests and even a bat sanctuary. For a few dollars as fee, you will learn survival techniques from Mangyans. They were from the groups of jungle survival trainers that trained the famed Green Berets at the height of the Vietnam War.
For the sportsmen, there’s a golf link and a winding road for bikers on weekends.
The complex also hosts softball and baseball diamonds and modern tennis courts. There is also an arcade for kids and students.
The complex also hosts international schools, Korean and Chinese restaurants and a race track for weekend road warriors.
For the high rollers and gamblers, there’s a casino in one of the hotels near the beach front. Other facilities include villas, cottages and hotels. There are also duty free shops for your daily needs. On weekends, especially during holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s Day, the administrators host live-band concerts and other shows for the vacationers and Sunday promenaders.
Just recently the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority hosted an international triathlon participated in both by foreigners and local tri-athletes.
You can go fishing in one of the piers inside the complex that also hosts one of the world’s deep harbors and an international airport that can accommodate even B747s.
Outside the complex, predominantly in Subic town, you can enjoy nightlife with the presence of night clubs, resorts, music lounges and videoke bars particularly at the Barretto district.
Clubs, especially on weekends, remain open until 4 a.m. or until there are no patrons.
For accommodation there’s White Rock Beach Resort and Hotel. You have the choice to use the beaches or a big swimming pool where a big white boulder is in the pool’s middle portion, thus the name White Rock. Adjacent to White Rock is Paradise Resort, which is operated by a Japanese group.
Nearer the former base, is Olongapo City where Ocean View resort offers boat rides, or even aqua cycles. Entrance for day swimmers is $1 and less on weekdays.