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Destination Subic

About Subic Bay

Subic Bay has been recognised for many centuries as a deep safe harbour. The Spanish were the first to realise Subic Bay’s potential, using the bay in the17th century as a port to defend and maintain the Philippines as past of their empire. In the following decades the Spanish decided to build a navy base utilising the safe harbour and its natural resources.

Following the loss by the Spanish to the US in 1898, the US established a naval repair and supply base in Subic Bay. Subic Bay was only accessible by sea up until 1932 when the zig zag road was cut through the mountains linking Subic Bay and Olongapo to the rest of the Philippines.

In 1941 Subic Bay was bombed by the Japanese and was held by them for the next four years, until the US took back the Philippines in 1945. The control of the navy base returned to the US. During the two invasions by both the Japanese and the US, a number of naval ships were either bombed or scuttled in Subic Bay Philippines. They have now created an underwater tourist hit, with scuba divers from around the world enjoying the wrecks in there underwater graveyards.

In the following years the Philippines gained independence, however the US maintained control of the Subic naval bases, an agreement was signed between the two countries giving the US 99 years of free use of the facility. Subic Bay becomes a strategic site for the US in maintaining a strong presence in Asia, especially with the outbreak of the Vietnam war.

In 1991 Olongapo and Subic Bay was covered in nearly half a metre of ash from the eruption of Mt Pinatubo. In 1992 the Subic Bay Freeport was created, later that year the last of the US naval ships left Subic Bay, as the renewal of the treaty between the two countries was rejected by the Philippines Senate.

The Subic Bay Freeport Zone is now well on its way in becoming an economic, commercial and tourist destination. The Subic Bay Freeport is booming with international class restaurants and duty free shopping.


The population in SBF is estimated at 3,000. Right next to SBF is Olongapo City with a population of approximately 194,260.

The adjacent provinces to SBF, Bataan and Zambales, have populations of 557,660 and 433,542 respectively as of 1995. Region III or Central Luzon, encompassing the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan, and Zambales, has a combined population of 8.030 million as of May 1, 2001.


Like the rest of the Philippines, the climate in SBF is tropical.

There are two seasons:

  • Dry, from November to May.
  • Rainy, from June to October.

The climate is without extremes. Average temperature is 80° Fahrenheit or 26° Celsius.

The climate of Philippines is marked by comparatively high temperature, high humidity and plenty of rainfall. The climate of Philippines resembles the climate of the countries of Central America to a large extent. Philippines enjoy a predominantly tropical climate.

On an average, the mean annual temperature of Philippines is 26.6°C however Baguio doesn’t follow the average temperature. In Philippines, January is the coolest month with a mean temperature of 25.5°C while the warmest month is May with a mean temperature of 28.3°C. the mean annual temperature of Baguio is 18.3°C and thus it referred to as the summer capital of the Philippines.

The entire nation of Philippines has a high relative humidity because of high temperature and the surrounding water bodies. The average monthly relative humidity of Philippines varies between 71 percent in March and 85 percent in September. The warm temperature and high relative and absolute humidities together give rise to high sensible temperature throughout the country of Philippines.

The different regions of Philippines do not enjoy a uniform distribution of monsoon and it primarily depends on the direction of the moisture-bearing winds and the location of the mountain systems. The mean annual rainfall of the Philippines varies from 965 to 4,064 millimeters annually.

Based on temperature and rainfall, the climate of Philippines can be categorized into two predominant seasons comprising of the rainy season, from June to November; and the dry season, from December to May.

Where Is Subic Bay

Subic Bay is located in Zambales Province, Central Luzon Region or Region III. It is on the west coast of the main island of Luzon about 120 kilometres north of the Philippine capital, Manila. The coastal area is surrounded by mountains with lush impenetrable jungles, ideal for trekking. The bay opens out into the South China Sea.