Friday, January 1, 2010

Destination.... SUBIC BAY, Zambales part 1 of 2..... Subic Bay, Zoobic Zoo, Vasco's Hotel/Bar and Restaurant, Maritime Marine Museum

Dubbed as Philippines number one destination for extreme adventures and sports, Subic stands out as the one of the recommended destinations in the country. It is well known for its diversity in both cuisine and culture. Some would describe the panoramic views and leisure activities here as experiences of a lifetime. Others would call it PARADISE...

Finding lodgings here won't be a real problem. There are lots of acommodations that will fit your budget, from a backpacker's budget of $20 to $ 30 a night to an executive suite will range from $ 60 to $ 230 a night.

You will find a mix of different cuisine here. You will find the best of  the Philippine's dishes and dishes from other countries. You will find almost everything you are looking for from coffee shops, snack bars to fine dining restaurants.

If you are planning a trip to Subic, make sure that you set aside enough time, becasue there are a lot of things to see and do. My son, Iggy and his wife Cris and I decided that we go to Subic for the New Years Celebration. Iggy recommended that we try out a new place to stay ( actually it is not that NEW at all.. )... the name of the hotel/restaurant/bar with a mini museum is VASCO'S at Magellan's Landing. This little hotel is around 30 minutes drive from the CBD ( central business district - or downtown Subic )... I would say VASCO'S is quite unique since some of its rooms are over the water.

 My room was one of them --- It had a view of Subic's harbor and the navy pier.

Their menu is comfort food, offering a wide selection of international dishes. You can have Asian favorites from Filipino staples to curries ( which was quite spicy for me ).  --- their food may not be the best in Subic, but it is more of a place where you can enjoy a night out with your friends. A lot of foreigners drink here.

You dine on a terrace hanging by the bay and when it's night, under the stars beside the brilliant lights of Subic Bay. Dining by the sea with sails as ventillation ( fans ) which makes one feel you are inside a galleon. This ambience is unmatched here, and it sure gives Vasco's the charm it is known for.

Vasco's has its own maritime museum. Currently this museum has some artifacts from the pre-Hispanic ( from the Spanish era when galleons flocked our seas in search of the Pearl of the Orient) and Japanese artifacts from World War II which were submerged in the rich history of Subic Bay. A lot of blue and white artifacts that date back when the Chinese set foot on our islands in search of trade. Most of their items are still intact.  The entry to this museum is free.

Our first stop after checking in to Vasco's, we headed off to ZOOBIC SAFARI. On our way to Zoobic Safari somewhere near the MANGROVE TRAIL I saw a family of local monkeys by the road.... staring and waiting... I was wondering why they were all there by the roadside... as if waiting for someone... It  was my cue to get off the car and try to get some photos...


... then all of a sudden ... two big SUVS stopped right infront of these monkeys and they seemed to be throwing out something at them... THEY WERE FEEDING the monkeys!! To all those who are reading this blog and have decided to go to SUBIC ... please ... DO NOT FEED the MONKEYS you see by the roadside... YOU ARE ENDANGERING THEIR LIVES!!... You are training these wild monkeys to wait for cars to pass by and give them food... These monkeys HUNT for their FOOD .. not WAIT for cars to give them food!.. I was just wondering... what if one day... NO CARS will pass their way --- these monkeys will die of starvation !! so please... if you pass some of these wild monkeys on the road... just TAKE their photos and drive pass them... do not FEED THEM!

As we reached the Zoobic Safari.... there were a lot of cars and people walking around... I immediately proceeded to the ticket office to buy our entrance tickets. My first objective was..... GO DIRECTLY to the TIGER SAFARI and not go thru the animal show, visit their zoo etc..... but... the girl at the office told me I have to pay the same rate as if I go through all these side shows..  I was left with no choice... I purchased 3 Adult tickets and an infant ticket ( that was free provided the baby was below a year old ).

The tour guide led us to the Serpentarium which showcases a variety of iguanas, lizards, snakes, turtles and other reptiles. Iggy and I got tired from following the group so we went straight to the petting zoo. In the petting zoo I saw deers, cassowary, mini-horses, wild boars, monkeys and many other animals roam around their wide cages.

Here are some photos which I took inside ZOOBIC ZOO...

We were not able to go with the group to the Tiger Safari ( I found out --- this ride would only take you at least 10 minutes ) inside the safari jeepney which has 12 adult tiger roaming around. However, I was able to go to this Tiger Safari earlier this year with my sister and the best time to go and see these tigers and be able to feed them is late morning. You have to buy some fresh chicken before you enter the enclosed park where the tigers are and when the jeepney stops ... you put the fresh meat on the top of your jeepney and here come the big cats to get their meal... and of course..... a good photo opportunity for you too!

Touring Subic is indeed an adventure. You can try any of the fun activities offered here and enjoy the tropical sites.

Vasco's Restaurant/Bar/ Hotel and Maritme Marine Museum
Lot 14 Argonaut Highway
tel. nos.     +6347  252 1843

Zoobic Safari
Located at the Ilanin Forest in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Admission Fee : 449 pesos


  1. Thanks, Asunta. There is so much to see and enjoy. Thank God I don't have to take a plane each time I want to see some of the alluring, interesting, and beautiful places in the world...for, some of them you have shared with us through your well-organized and structured photo albums...and that is good enough for me. Thank you so much for documenting your visits and tours, so we, too, can be part of your travel group.

  2. Love your photos as usual. You make me feel that I was travelling with you save the fact that I didn't taste all those goodies you photographed. Well, good for my waistline.


  3. It will be great to watch Cats, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.