A day at the beach restores the soul.This is a paradise for the stressed people from the city.Subic is a sweet haven for a quick recreation.Its sandy beaches face Subic Bay, a popular dive site due to its shipwrecks and coral species. The town’s 19th-century Spanish Gate is a legacy of its past as a Spanish naval base. To the east, Subic Bay Freeport Zone features casinos and a golf course. Farther around the bay, theme parks include Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure.
Subic is roughly around a two-and-a-half-hour ride from Manila. If you’re driving your own car or renting a vehicle for your trip, the travel time could only be two hours.
From Balintawak interchange (North EDSA), drive through the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).
At the Balintawak Toll Plaza, pay and get your toll card.
Continue driving to the Dau Toll Plaza at the end of NLEX. This takes about one hour and a half and around 71km from Balintawak Toll Plaza.
Then, take SCTEx on the ramp at the right, about 3km from the toll plaza.
Get your toll card at the SCTEx toll booth. Continue driving to the Tipo exit at the end of the SCTEX. This usually takes 40 minutes and a 57km-drive.
Drive to the Subic-Tipo Highway toll booth (about 0.80km). Pay at the toll booth.
Enter the Subic Bay Freeport through the customs booth to acknowledge the guard.
Trip Time: 2 hours.
Distance: 153km from EDSA Balintawak
Buses that travel to Subic are Victory Liner and Saulog Transit. Victory Liner has terminals in Pasay City, Caloocan, Sampaloc, and Cubao. Victory Liner trips start at 4 A.M., available in one-hour intervals. Bus fare to Olangapo costs around P230-290 for both buses.
Upon arriving at the Olongapo City Bus Terminal, you can reach Subic Bay by jeep. The city jeeps and tricycles are color-coded and have specific routes that go around Subic Bay. Check the different routes below:
Yellow: Sta.Rita/Pepsi to Main Gate
Red: Gordon Heights to Main Gate
Orange: Public Market to Pag-Asa
Brown: Cabalan to Public Market
Green: Mabauyan to Public Market
Blue- Public Market to Subic Town
The Main Gate houses a terminal of buses that will take you to various destinations inside the Freeport. There are also coasters and minibuses available that can take you to your accommodations. Taxis are another option but they’re way more expensive than other public transportation.
Finding a place to stay in Subic will never be a problem for tourists. Subic has a string of hostels, hotels, and resorts that will fit any budget.You may check out Agoda.com and Travelbook for options on accommodation.
Majestic! That’s how I would describe Southern Leyte, when I had a chance to visit the place 6 years ago. I took one week off from my corporate job to unwind and have a vacation from this place, and I did not regret any minute of it.
Here are the top five reasons why you should discover Southern Leyte:
- Beautiful beaches. Southern Leyte has a wide range of beaches. From Pure-white-sand beach, rocky beach to pebbly beaches. Name it, they have it all! There are lots of beaches in the area where you can access via a motorcycle like MACI beach. Or if you like a more isolated beach, you can go to the mesmerizing beach of Canigao Island
2. Incredible mountains. If you’re not a beach lover and would prefer to have on a hike or go trekking, Southern Leyte is the place to be. It is indeed a hidden jewel of Eastern Visayas as it has one of the best beaches in the country and admirable mountain views. One of their proud mountains is Mt. Cabalian, where you can find Lake Danao, a lake within a volcano. Interesting, right?
3. Mouth-watering food. One of my most favorite foods from Southern Leyte is what they call “chorizo”. It’s like a mini longganisa, and perfect to be paired with fried rice and dried fish. They also have the best “sinugba” or grilled pork and chicken. Which leads us to the next reason why I love Southern Leyte:
4. Affordability. Did you know that for 500 php (10 USD), you can get a food bundle for 10-15 people? The food bundle would usually include 10-15 pcs of “puso” or rice pack, one large order of grilled pork, grilled chicken and grilled squid. You can visit Mak-duko duko restaurant in Maasin City, Southern Leyte to try this food bundle. But even if you go to other restaurants within Southern Leyte, it would definitely not hurt your food budget as they offer affordable food.
5. Peaceful. Maasin City, Southern Leyte has got to be the most peaceful city I’ve been to. Since I’m a Caviteña who was working in Alabang Muntinlupa at that time, peace and quiet are very rare. Every day, I had to endure chaotic and long traffic. People are always in a hustle in the busy city. Just imagine how relaxed I was to be in a place where the noise of a chirping bird and ocean waves are all that you can hear. It’s just pure magic.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack that bag of yours, and book a flight now to Southern Leyte. But of course, only after this pandemic is over. See you there!