Mabuhay! It means "Welcome!" in Philippines. And here, you truly are.
On Tourism Philippines Guide, you'll find friendly unbiased updated travel information for touring Philippines, what to see and what to avoid. More [+]


Posted by on Apr 11th, 2009
Filed Under: Featured, Subic

Subic Bay

The perfect weekend retreat, Subic Bay offers a wonderful ambience for travelers seeking for a place where they can unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. If you have been spending your week working really heard amidst a very busy city, Subic Bay would be a great place for you to relax and spend time with loved ones.

Subic Bay is part of Central Luzon, specifically in the province of Zambales. It is a 3-hour drive from Manila, taking the North Luzon Expressway; and it is about 30 minutes away from Clark, where the US Air Base is located. If you are somewhere in the area, you should definitely stop by Subic Bay and be charmed by its simplicity and loveliness.

Philippines Subic Bay Sun Set
Sun Set Subic Bay by danielygo

Why Not Go

If you are a person who would like to frolic on the beach, Subic Bay may not be what you are looking for. It is a place surrounded by nature’s trees and mountains, and though it does have so many beautiful features, exotic white sand beaches is not one of them.

Why Go

Subic Bay has always been a haven for weary people who would like to invigorate themselves on a weekend getaway. The air smells so fresh and the streets are really clean. People are always very hospitable, always greeting you with friendly smiles. You can find so many places to go in Subic Bay; from a zoo, to theme parks, camping areas, farms and even a place where you can be awed by some amazing sea creatures. Regardless if you are young or young at heart, there is definitely something waiting for you in Subic Bay.

Best Time to Visit

Philippines Subic Bay Sun Rise
Sun Rise Subic Bay by onat

The best time to visit Subic Bay would be during the summer months in the Philippines which are from March to May. Sunny seasons would allow visitors to be able to go out and do everything they have listed in their itinerary. Most of the sights to see in Subic Bay have outdoor locations so when it rains, it will be difficult to explore and experience the area.

Where to Stay

Philippines Hotels and Resorts

Save up to 75% on hotels in Philippines

For those under a budget, you can stay at Johan’s Beach Resort. It is located right beside the Subic Bay beach with accommodations ranging from dormitory kind of sleeping quarters to large family rooms. The room rates start at 1,000 pesos or roughly $20. You can also stay in more luxurious hotels such as the Legenda Hotel which boasts of very luxurious rooms situated at the center of lush gardens. This 5-star hotel can provide you with a grand relaxation abode at 4,500 pesos per night, or about $93. Both of these hotels are found right in the heart of Subic Bay Freeport Zone so you will really not have any trouble locating them.

Where & What to Eat

If you are in Subic Bay, one of the restaurants you should not miss is Gerry’s Grill where you can find native Filipino dishes and efficient services from friendly staff. It is situated along Waterfront Road. If you are craving for some fresh sea food, you can go to Mangos Seaside Grill and Restaurant where you can find a wide array of choices on the menu, and one of their specialties is the Grilled Prawns which is amazingly delicious. This restaurant is located in Barrio Barretto. You should also not miss out on Meat Plus Cafe, right along Sampson Road, where you can taste their New York steak and of course, their heavenly banana fritters topped with vanilla ice cream.


The life of Subic Bay is at the Boardwalk. Located along the Waterfront Road, it is a strip of restaurants, bars and clubs where people often gather to spend a fun night. You can also try your luck at the Subic Bay Resort Casino and who knows, it might just be your lucky day. On the other hand, if you want to spend a more quiet evening with family or friends, you can go to Xtremely Xpresso Café along Dewey Avenue and have a cup of any of their delicious espresso beverages.

My to do List

Philippines Subic Bay Ocean Adventure Park
Ocean Adventure Park by danielygo

• The first thing you should do when you get to Subic is to see its renowned Ocean Adventure Park where you can see dolphins and killer whales in action. You will also be able to witness Sea Lions impressing the audience with their tricks. They have souvenir items for sale so you might want to buy some stuff to bring to people back home.

• Next, you should go to Zoobic Safari where you will find the only African Tiger Safari in the country. Ocean Adventure and Zoobic are about half an hour away from the Freeport Zone.

• Then if you love to dive, you must not miss the opportunity to experience one of the best wreck-diving in the Asia Pacific region which is located in Subic Bay.

• If you like horse-back riding, Subic Bay also has the El Kabayo Equestrian Center where they raise imported horses, and have allotted a wide area where you can freely ride the horses.

• And of course, if you are at Subic Bay, you should not leave without experiencing the sunset cruise. It offers a magnificent view of the sunset that you and your loved ones can enjoy, cruising in one of the yachts at the Lighthouse Marina Resort.

Stay Away From

Philippines Subic Bay Monkeys
Subic Monkeys by d2digital

Well, if you are afraid of monkeys, you should be wary when travelling in Subic Bay because they abound with these little creatures. Other than that, there isn’t really any danger in Subic Bay because it is such a small, friendly and secure environment.

Getting There

From Manila, you can take a bus ride to Clark which would cost you around $6. You can take one of the PhilTranco buses because they have air-conditioning, and from Clark you can take another bus ride to Subic Bay which will take about half an hour. Bus schedules are regular but you might want to take an early morning trip to be sure. On the other hand, you can also opt to rent a taxi and for about $50, you can get to Subic Bay in 3 hours. Additionally, you can travel by plane from Manila to Clark, but you should do this only if you really are in a hurry. It is always best to take the leisure route to Subic Bay.

google custom search on Tourism Philippines

Roz Visarra has always been fond of travelling. As a young girl, she would travel with her parents in the Visayas and Mindanao because their relatives are from all these areas. She currently resides in Cebu, the Queen City of the South and looks forward to her next travel. Learn more about me [+]

Tourism Philippines thrives on the knowledge of the community. Got a tip, photo or even a guide on a place you been to in Philippines? We will love to hear from you!

12 Responses to “Subic”

  1. Grace says:

    For hotel choices, one can try the Lighthouse Marina Resort. I was there recently, and was quite impressed with it. Lighthouse Marina Resort was setup about 2 yrs ago (2005-6 i think*), housing about 30 amazing rooms with beachfront – prices on the higher end tho’. It is located in the Freeport Zone , near the boardwalk, thus choices of food is unlimited.

    • pktan says:

      Yap. I stayed there on my last trip too. heh, the room is so nice that I just want to slack there the whole day — oh, love the bath tub! Nice and big : ))

  2. Tracy says:

    I will be coming to Philippines, Manila for a conference for 1 week, will have a weekend free for my own travel plans. So is it worth it to go to Subic as compared to the many other more well known destinations? How will you rank Subic against the likes of Palawan, Boracay etc etc.

    The main problem i feel is that the lack of transport options to get to Subic, without the ease of flying, the road trip will definitely take up a large portion of time.

    Another key concern is, is it safe to travel by buses at night?

  3. Ryan says:

    Hi Tracy,

    Palawan and Boracay should be on top of your list if you have the time. While there are transport options going to Subic from Manila via (Olongapo) – transport within Subic is scarce- you have to hire a car within the SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Area) to get around (SBYC-Cubi Point-Zoobic-Ocean Adventure-Camaya Beach). Buses are relatively safe. We hired a car to take us from the Yacht Club to Zoobic and it is not cheap.

    But if you can make a 3D-2N trip, fly to Palawan or Boracay or Bohol to make most of your trip. Subic is best for overnight trips. The beaches arent that nice and the beach right next to Ocean Adventure isnt that nice and is crammed with families. The beach is relatively clean, but there are some sharp rocks. Unless you want to go diving (Subic has very good wreck dives) or you want to go on an survival trail with the natives around the area- skip it and head to Boracay or Palawan or Bohol.



  4. ManilaBay says:

    Great pictures! Manila is the best destination for vacation!

  5. david says:

    i was just looking through your advice on subic bay. i am the owner of The Lagoon Resort which is opposite johans dive centre, whilst agreeing with you about where you could stay here i just wondered why you only chose one place, as i have said i own the resort opposite johans and i would recommend my resort (obviously). but also there is many other good places to stay. my point is please do not only recommend one place, at least mention others even if you only have first hand knowledge of only one.

    • pktan says:

      Hi David, most of the places to stay or eat that we recommend on the site are based on personal experiences, that’s why they are recommended by the author. Obviously there are many great places out there, that we might have missed, but I rather take that chance than to recommend one that’ll leave a bad experience for anyone who read our guide and tried a service / place.

      We do intend to work on having a directory that will list out most (hopefully) services, but that’s still a work in progress.

  6. Kenneth says:

    A friend of mine told me there is a great restaurant called YATS Restaurant. It has a great wine cellar also. I can’t find it on the Subic Map. Does anyone know where it is?

    I have been to a number of restaurants in Subic, all are pretty mediocre and honestly quite disappointing, even the ones inside good-looking hotels.


    • Ryan says:

      Hi Kenneth,

      YATS International Wine Club is located in Clark not in Subic. It’s at Building 1988 Mimosa Drive Mimosa Leisure Estate. Phone number – +63.045.599.5600.
      There is this decent Italian restaurant in Subic whose name escapes me, but the owner has a cute pug which I christened as “Frank” from MIB. The food was okay, not spectacular and the place a bit laidback. We usually go to Gerry’s Grill every time we are in Subic – but yeah, I’d have to agree, so far nothing has ever caught my attention cuisine-wise whenever I am in Subic.


  7. Dennis says:

    I was at Yats about 3 weeks ago with my girlfriend.

    We had a private room (just for 2 people)

    The service and knowledge of the wines was superb, ambience perfect for a romantic dinner and the presentation was first class.

    Price was around 8000p which, whilst not cheap was worth the cost.

    Only problem is I contracted some stomache bug which is still causing problems.

    As I had partaken of much wine over a 3 day period (celebrations can last forever cant they??!!) I cannot lay the blame at Yats door.

    Id reccomend the place as THE place to eat around Clark

  8. Iani says:

    I also please wanna know details about the forest trail in Subic?
    Thank you.

    • pktan says:

      Hi Iani,

      It is located at the Subic Bay Freeport area.

      Pamulaklakin Forest Trail offers 3 types of treks all with a native guide (local Aetas, an ethnic group who have lived, toiled and continued to thrive in this area for hundred of years now)

      1. A mini jungle tour which is a 30 minute trek.
      2. The jungle trek which lasts anywhere from 2 to 3 hours.
      3. Overnight jungle tour which involves trekking and sleeping in the forest.

Leave a Reply