It was a weekend well-spent in Subic. 🙂
We planned this weekend with the kids and made sure there’s a day to enjoy swimming and just bumming around, a day with the dolphins at Ocean Adventure , and a day at the Zoobic Safari to check out the tigers and other animals in the zoo.
On Our Way to Subic
Early morning, and we were ready for our 3 hour journey to Subic, the former American military camp which has been transformed into a Freeport Zone as well as a major playground . It actually took less than 3 hours as we drove through the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX), past the San Fernando Exit, then into the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac express way or SCTex. This relatively new expressway connects Subic Bay to the Clark area, just a half hour ride away. Subic is also another gateway into the Philippines with an International Airport now serving a number of budget airlines. One can also choose to take the bus (Victory Liner) from Manila to Subic.
Legenda Hotel is not everyone’s favorite in Subic, but if one is searching for a good family room, this is the place. We got ours complete with its own living area and a very roomy bedroom and a walk-in closet! Easily, the walk-in closet was a hit with the kids. Remember how we all enjoyed hiding in closets when we were kids? Well, this one is really more like a small room with a boudoir. And the kids loved it. Soon after we arrived, my young swimmers checked out the pool and worked up an appetite for lunch. I can’t recall the name of the restaurant near Legenda Hotel, but let me just say we ate there quite a number of times. The resto opens up to the beach, and is just a short walk from the hotel. Here, one chooses his seafood dish as the fish, shrimp, crabs, prawns, clams , squid and other wet creatures vie for your attention while they are all lined up on the tiled tables. After making your choices, you now decide how you want your seafood cooked. We did not mind having to wait a while while our lunch or dinner is getting cooked. There was always that chance to venture out into the sandy shores and feel the breeze from the bay. Every meal time was preceded by the kids needing to wash off the sand stuck between their fingers. Never mind that sand also found their way through their toes.
Off to Ocean Adventure
That same afternoon, we went to the Ocean Adventure at the Camayan Wharf. This marine park can easily take a whole day, with those lectures and various shows with those wonderful mammals. The Dive with the Dolphins and Whales was the highlight, but we sadly learned that this requires an additional fee of nearly US$80. No way, Jose. But looking at my 2 little elves broke my heart. So I did the next best thing. I explained to the little ones that the fees are just too much but there is a chance the park attendants and ushers may ask for volunteers during the dolphin show. Now, those eyes brightened up instantly and you bet they eagerly waited for those magic words. Finally, when the show emcee asked for a volunteer, my 10 year old grandniece didn’t leave anything to chance and proudly stood up and walked towards the emcee, thus pre-empting any other would-be volunteers. Woo hoo! That saved me US$80! The photos will show how she enjoyed this portion of the show where she fed the dolphins, danced with them, and allowed them to “squirt” water on her. For all that, she even was rewarded with a bag of goodies! Er, not bad…….
Adventures in Zoobic Safari
Over dinner, we talked non-stop about their adventures as we also filled them in for the next day’s adventures. How they can wake up the next day with so much energy after a late night just playing around the big family room, is beyond me. After a hearty buffet breakfast at the Legenda Hotel, we again took off this time for Zoobic Safari. The entrance to the zoo is about US$10 for adults , and about US$7 for the kids. Again , there was a show before the stroll around the zoo. Still smarting from yesterday’s spirit of volunteerism, our young girl again volunteered to bottle-feed the tiger cub. She did not stop there. Patricia also volunteered to play with this tiny snake which twirled around her tiny arms while we all sat watching . Her brother Martin was not as adventurous, but he enjoyed the whole show, and was just as eager to check out the rest of the zoo. It was a very humid day, but we survived it. We also survived our next adventure, where we all piled inside a jeepney with window bars. The bars were there to keep away the tigers. What happened was as soon as we piled in, the jeepney took off and entered an enclosed park where tigers roamed free. Someone from the park threw a chicken dinner for the tigers to feast on. What happened next got Martin screaming at the top of his lungs. The tigers jumped on the roof of the jeepney as they savored their chicken dinner. Other tigers , not as quick, walked side by side our jeepney…….and they all looked hungry. Martin laughed and screamed, laughed and screamed. The other passengers in the jeepney did the same.
Our last day in Subic should have been a day in the forest with the monkeys, but we instead opted to spend it at the Subic Yacht Club for another day of swimming. All that humidity can easily warp your brains and change your mind. So, no monkeys, no canopy walks and ziplines for us today. But it was again another day well spent. Just 4 days and 3 nights here in Subic……all in leisure. By the time we drove out of the Subic Freeport Zone, the kids were ready to hit the sack. All energy gone. It was a longer drive back to Manila. Perhaps because all excitement has been exhausted and we were not exactly looking forward to another week of school and work.
More photos in my TravelBlog site.