The Philippines is a tropical country, so it’s a great place for trips, adventures, and recreational activities. One place that has a pleasant weather all year round is Olongapo in Zambales. It is located in Central Luzon, and it is famous for summer vacation because of various adjacent beaches and bays. Therefore, it is easy to go here, depending on your starting point. Olongapo is a very interesting place not only for its beaches but also for the folklore behind the name of the place.
Because it is now famous as a tourist spot, the cleanliness is well maintained. The people of Olongapo are very welcoming, and they will treat you like one. Having a vacation in Olongapo is a very great idea because there are many things that you can do here.
LEGEND OF OLONGAPO’S NAME
Olongapo is a city of Zambales in Central Luzon. It is called “Olongapo” as a tribute to their chieftain a long time ago. The chieftain’s name is Apo. He is known for being brave and too much care for his folks. But because of these traits, he became a threat to other tribes. One day, Apo was abducted by unknown men. Everybody went out to look for Apo, and at the end of the day, a man was holding ahead and shouted “Ulo Ng Apo”. The folks believed that Apo was beheaded by unknown men. Because of this, everybody remembered the day Apo was found and named the village as “Ulo Ng Apo” turned into Olongapo. And now, the monument of Ulo Ng Apo is now part of the tourist attractions.
BEST OF OLONGAPO
– Infrastructures, Resources, and Transportation
The province of Zambales is known for having many beaches and marine adventures. Olongapo is specifically rich in bays and ports like the Port Of Subic Bay. Their public vehicles have colors specific to each destination. Olongapo is highly urbanized after the World War II attack. Nevertheless, Olongapo has long beaches and still has maintained marine life.
There are foods in Olongapo that you can also find in different places in the Philippines. But, the people of Olongapo add a little twist to regular foods that make it still unique. Like the lechon or the roasted pig. They add different herbs and spices and coat the pig with special mixes of oil to make it crispier on the outside and juicy inside. Kinds of seafood is also a staple food in Olongapo, like the bangus or milkfish. You can also try eating at Kong’s restaurant that is opened for more than 30 years and serves Chinese foods and various plates of seafood. There is also a family-owned restaurant that started in 1974 and still operating to people. This is the Rico’s Fastfood Restaurants which stands for almost 47 years in the making.
Olongapo offers high quality of education. They mold the minds of the students and prepare them for this challenging world. Olongapo also has special schools for advanced lessons. Students excel in different areas like sports, English and math, life science, and even music. Olongapo produces top students that affect the success of the urbanized area. They have the Columban College, Olongapo National High School and Elementary School, and many private schools.
– Recreational Tours
There are many things that you can do in Olongapo. If you want a thrilling adventure or a relaxing trip, you can have it here. As mentioned earlier, Olongapo is rich in beaches and bays. You can choose your recreational place from various beaches that are connected with one sea. There are also beaches with the best view during sunset, where you can enjoy while having deep talks with your loved ones.
Olongapo has created its own Inflatable Island that is considered as the most oversized floating island in Asia. It has slides, swings, launchers, towers, and a game route plan. The colourful decorations attract many tourists, that is why a reservation is a must. They have the Pink and Purple Bali Lounge, where you can rest after you play. Their main attraction is the Rainbow Playground that has a play pass ranging from PHP499 to PHP899. You can choose to play for hours or spend your time the whole day. Inflatable Island also has the Rainbow Jungle, where you can have your perfect picture for social media uploads. They also have available hotels for overnight stays. Inflatable Island also offers team building packages and other events like birthdays and weddings. Lastly, they advise to have a dress code to enjoy the water to the fullest.
SUBIC FUNLAND WATERPARK
Subic Funland Water park is also known as the Palm Tree Resort. It also has an inflatable field where you can have a game with your family and friends. Subic Funland has a great source of waves that is a perfect time for surfing. The waterpark has five packages where you can choose from that are indeed affordable. Because Subic is the centre for beaches, it is complete with restaurants, playfields, rest areas, and souvenir shops. It also has excellent service from their staff that serves the high quality of rest and recreation.
Olongapo, Zambales has various hiking areas, and one of them is the Mount Zamatam. It was newly opened last 2020 and became famous for having the best scenery of all hikes in Olongapo. You better prepare for this hike because it will take a quarter of your day before reaching its peak, depending on the weather. It is one of the most challenging trails because of its steepness and hard to reach stems for assistance. So, prepare for a bunch of water and snacks because you might feel your hunger in the middle of the hike.
WHITE ROCK BEACH
As mentioned earlier, Olongapo is rich in bays and beaches. Subic is the specific place in Olongapo if you are looking for a beach destination. On the other hand, white Rock Beach offers the best view for sunset and has all of your needs, like waterparks, hotels, and thrills.
The good thing with White Rock Beach is that they have pools attaching to every hotel if you feel exhaustion of the seawater. Aside from regular swimming, you can enjoy kayaking with friends and surfing with the waves. They also have jet skis and banana boats that you can ride for other sorts of activities. If you are sporty, White Rock Beach has a sports facility where you can play beach volleyball. Basketball and soccer. They also have a Family Fun Center where you can play bowling with your kids. And, if you want an extreme adventure, White Rock Beach has a zip line activity and activity camp for team building. You can choose if you wish to on the beachside, poolside, or the main building for an overnight stay. Each accommodation can fit large groups that promote bonding while you rest.
The Olongapo’s Spanish Gate exists since 1855 that was used as a jail and the point of passage to the naval station. The Spanish Gate was built in 1885 and was included as an official historical landmark of Olongapo last 2013. Upon visiting the Olangapo’s Spanish Gate, you will see different guard houses and a cannon that was used during the American and Spanish occupation. In addition, it has markers that you must read to learn the historical gate and has a 50-foot monument for Catholics where they can have a Divine pilgrimage for Divine Mercy devotees.
Aside from beaches, Olongapo also has rock formations like the Butig falls. The Big Falls is temporarily closed right now because of the pandemic, but it is the best hiking area in Olongapo. The Big Falls is considered as the hidden gem of Olongapo. It is an excellent trekking experience because you’ll meet a cluster of small waterfalls that create a pleasant and relaxing scenery. There are many levels or tiers in the falls that you can climb. And, every deck has different types of adventure. You can experience drinking from a ratan vine, rock formations, and huge trees where you can see bats and other species. But, the central part is the top tier where the Butig Falls is located. So, you can enjoy soaking in cold waterfalls after a tiring hike. It is advisable to go to Butig Falls from late December to late April because it is warm and has clear clouds.
Marikit Park is a place for everybody. It is a place for relaxation and bonding. Marikit Park is a great place where kids can play and learn. It is also a good place for students because it is near the Gordon College and other educational institutions. Marikit falls is a safe place for kids because fences and heritage trees surround it. Aside from heritage trees, you can also see planes, like the U.S. Navy plane and trains that are part of the history. The cleanliness is also maintained, so bring your waists as you go.
The Philippines is indeed rich in different aspects. It is famous for its natural resources that is why they have the slogan of “It’s More Fun In The Philippines”. Anywhere in the world, the vacation is more fun if you are with your family or friends. It is more enjoyable if you have someone where you can share the best destination.
Either you like sports, eating, hiking, or swimming, you can try to add Olongapo to your itinerary. There will be no regrets because you will not feel like being an outsider out while doing your things. Do not worry if you are not bringing your snacks because Olongapo has many restaurants and even street foods where your can park and eat. There are also fruits everywhere that are very essential, especially if you decided to go there during summer.
Accommodation is also not a problem. Olongapo has many hotels and houses where you can stay for days, and they have friendly staffs that have the highest quality service during your vacation. If you do not have any itinerary, you can just roam around, and every corner is the best spot.