When I hear Subic, I don't immediately think of the beach. I know for a fact that Subic has beaches to offer but I am familiar only with the Freeport zone which means shopping, big hotels, and lots of dining options. I don't see Subic as a place for a quick respite. It is my first last Independence Day to go one of the beaches of Subic. I did not expect much because it isn't really famous for anything. There were lots of foreigners mainly because there is an American Navy Base here. But if I have the option this would not be my first choice. Though, as I mentioned, if you are looking for a quick respite, on a tight budget, and don't have enough time, Subic will probably your best option. It is only 2-3 hours away from Manila, hotels are not expensive, and food is also not expensive (and served in huge portions). It may not be the most beautiful beach the Philippines has to offer but is definitely a place worth visiting - even just once in your life.
How to Get There:
My dad gave us a ride going to Subic so we didn't have any problems getting there. You can go to NLEX and then exit at SCTEX and then enter Subic Bay Freeport Zone, exit at Kalaklan Gate, turn right (I forgot the name of the highway, sorry!) and then just traverse that road. There will already be a wide array of hotels and resorts to your left and right. Choose whichever you fancy. We decided to stay at Trader Ric's which we already booked prior to going to there via agoda.com. It was an okay hotel: not the fanciest of hotels in the entire stretch of beach but it is decent with very friendly staff.
If you are riding public transportation, Victory Liner offers hourly routes to Subic. To/from Cubao, fare is only 208.00PHP. If to/from Pasay, fare is 218.00PHP (if I remember correctly). The bus does not go through SCTEX so travel time is longer. It took us about 4 hours to get to Manila from Subic. You can grab a tricycle or jeep from your hotel to the bus station. We opted to ride the tricycle and it cost us 150.00PHP. It is very expensive but more convenient for us than taking the jeep because of our backpacks.
Where to Stay:
The good thing about Subic is that there are so many hotel options. You will never have difficulty finding a place to stay. We decided to book via Agoda just to be sure but I think even if we didn't there would still be plenty of rooms available for us in various hotels. Here are some of my recommended hotels:
- Blue Rock Resort
- Trader Rics
- Wild Orchid
- Subic Grand Seas Resort
- White Rock Waterpark and Beach Hotel
- Treasure Island Resort
- Subiza Beach Resort
In all honesty, I don't really know how much we spent in total for this vacation. We stayed there for 2 nights and 3 days. I'll try to give you an estimate and a breakdown of how much we spent for each item. Please note that all prices indicated are per person:
I don't think total expenditure could have been lesser if we brought our own food. But it is a vacation and I want to eat good food so eating in various restaurants is a must.
Subic may not be the most beautiful beach I've seen but it is an okay beach if you want a quick getaway. It is near Manila and you don't have to spend too much. Just don't expect too much because you aren't going to get Boracay or Siargao or Camiguin here.