Just a 3-hour bus ride from Metro Manila is the area known as the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ), commonly known to locals as simply“Subic.”Not to be confused with the neighboring town of Subic, this special zone covers the former U.S. Naval Base on the coast of Subic Bay. Some of the surrounding areas have also been incorporated into the SBFZto form a single economic zone. With its special status, Subic has quickly risen to become an economic powerhouse that helps drive growth for the whole of Central Luzon and even the Philippines.
Years of development have turned Subic into an urbanized area itself, in addition to being a useful waypoint towards the many beach resort towns up north into Zambales. But within SBFZ itself, you’ll still have plenty of options to have fun adventures.Here are just a few options you can try out.
Rent a Yacht and Go Around Cruising
As a former naval base, the harbors in Subic Bay Have been easily turned into merchant ports, shipbuilding dockyards, and marinas. This has also made it convenient to dock yachts and other civilian marine vehicles in the area. Also taking advantage of the infrastructure are local entrepreneurs who have even started up yacht-renting businesses to cater to all sorts of tourists. As such, if you’re up for something fancy, you can rent a yacht for a quick cruise around Subic Bay.
Indeed, there’s nothing quite like enjoying Subic and the former military harbor than by sailing along the coast. Companies like La Banca provide yacht cruises that can accommodate up to 30 people, with options for overnight accommodations. This also provides a unique alternative to simply staying at hotels in Subic. If you have some extra money to spare, tours of nearby islandsare even offered for added variety.
Have a Fun Ocean Adventure
Located at Camayan Wharf in the West Ilanin Forest Area, Ocean Adventure prides itself in being Southeast Asia’s first open-water marine theme park. Here, you’ll find a wonderful collection of ocean wildlife. Their facilities also house multiple aquariums that showcase the diversity of life in our planet’s seas.
There are even scheduled events throughout the day for everyone to enjoy. And if you want to be up close and personal withmarine mammals, you can also participate in activities that involve dolphins and sea lions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a curious child or a lover of ocean wildlife, you’ll certainly have a great time at Ocean Adventure.
See Exotic Animals at the Zoobic Safari
If sea creatures aren’t your thing, then you’ll want to give Zoobic Safari a try. As the name suggests, this huge forest adventure park within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is set up to be experienced like a safari. Indeed, Zoobic Safari covers an area that’s 25 hectares big. Luckily, there’s a shuttle service inside that’s made up to look like a steam locomotive to take you through a guided tour.
Inside Zoobic Safari is a wide variety of land animals from all over the world. Some tamed or domesticated animals can even be petted and fed.However, the main showpiece here is the Tiger Safari, which involves traveling through a tiger-inhabited area within a protected vehicle. Sometimes, the tigers will even hop unto the top of the vehicle, making it a likely highlight for your visit.
Bounce Around at the Inflatable Island
Inflatable Island is a floating theme park that’s billed as the biggest in Asia. Coming in at 4,200 square meters, there’s plenty of room to have a bouncing good time. Once you’re inside, you’ll have plenty of options to have some wild fun. The list includes different sets of slides, towers, bridges, swings, and even human launchers—which are all basically oversized balloons.
If you’re coming with a big group, they even offer different packages for different types of events. This means that you can have birthday parties, reunions, photoshoots, and more. You can even schedule team-building events for your company or organization. Just make sure to follow their safety rules to avoid hurting yourself or other guests and to avoid damaging the inflatable structures.
Since its end as a major naval base, the transformed Subic Bay Freeport Zone has become more than a local commercial and logistics hub. It’s also developed as a great tourist destination of its own. Make sure to visit the above-mentioned attractions, and have the most fun you can once you’re there!