Subic Bay

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For other meanings, see Subic Bay (disambiguation).
A 1902 nautical chart of Subic Bay

Subic Bay is a coast found on the western part of Luzon, one of the three major island groups in the Philippines. Located in the first district of Zambales, it is about 100 kilometers away from Manila Bay and is composed of over 16 barangays.

During the American occupation of the Philippines, the area's shores served as a major United States Naval Facility called the U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay. At present, it has been transformed into a commercial and industrial hot spot and referred to as the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The area is currently under the control of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.


As early as 1884 under the Spanish occupation, the area has steadily held a potential to become a naval port. The Spanish Army stationed in the area was defeated by the American Army when a confrontation broke out between the two forces in 1899. Immediately after, the bay area was developed to serve as one of the major repair stations for American fleets and vessels.

At the start of World War II when American Forces left the Philippine territory, control over Subic Bay was returned to the Philippine Government, which then took measures to convert the area into a commercial zone and a free port.

The name "Subic" comes from the word 'hubek' (pronounced as 'Subiq'), which means "pillow head." Naming of the area is credited to Miguel Lopez de Legaspi's grandson named Juan de Salcedo. The Americans who came to the country called the place "'Subig'" (due to mispronunciation). The pronunciation was reverted back to "'Subiq'" sometime after."


Like all the other places in the Philippines, Subic Bay experiences a tropical climate, divided into two seasons. The wet season takes place from November to May and the dry season, which experiences less rain showers, takes place for the rest of the year.

The average temperature falls at 26 degrees Celsius or 80 degrees Farenheit.


Tourists frequent Subic Bay mostly for its extreme sports facilities. Resorts and sports centers in the area provide equipment for activities like yachting, parasailing, seaplane trips, camping, survival training, canoeing, and kayaking, among others.

Beach resorts in the area are frequented for snorkeling and scuba diving activities.


A number of festivals are traditionally held in Subic every year. They include the following:

  • 'Sinakulo' and 'Pabasa' are held yearly during the Holy Week. 'Senakulo' is a street play that dramatizes the passion of Jesus Christ, while 'Pabasa', which is usually held in churches and houses, involves chanting verses that depict the life and death of Jesus.
  • Scootourista Festival is geared to promote trade in the place. This festival is usually celebrated with rallies, parades, and a grand motorcade that starts from Olongapo and moves to Zambales and Bataan before finally ending in Subic.


  • Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Official Website of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. [1] (Accessed on 22 July 2010).
  • "Subic Bay: Philippines Extreme Adventure Destination." Subic Board. [2] (Accessed on 22 July 2010).
  • "Subic Festivals." Subic Board.[3] (Accessed on 22 July 2010).
  • "Subic Tourist Information." Subic Board. [4] (Accessed on 22 July 2010).

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