The second time I went to Subic with the same company I work with if for the company’s team building. The team building was in JEST Camp.

J.E.S.T. Camp

JEST or (Jungle Environment Survival Training Camp) is located near the Argonaut Highway. JEST Camp is famous for its different activities as a survival school. It is a good venue for team building because they have survival training, games and obstacle courses.

There are different survival courses to choose from like Wild Child, Hunter Gatherer, Survival Bootcamp, Campfires, Tribe (Team Building), and Camp Craft. The motto of the camp is “Know more, Carry Less.”

One of my favorite during our team building activities was watching the birds from the Magaul Bird Park performing on the stage. The Magaul Bird Park has the most diverse types of birds.
Another one I liked was the Angry Bird Arena, were a person threw an angry birds pillow while he was swinging towards the cliff. Another wonderful experience is the boodle fight lunch.

Subic International Hotel

After Jest Camp, we went to Subic International Hotel for an overnight stay. The hotel is located in Sta. Rita St. in Subic Bay Freeport Zone. It is near the Ayala Harbor Point where we went to have Starbucks coffee in the morning. The company went to Golden Dragon for lunch before heading back to Manila. The Golden Dragon is a famous Chinese restaurant along Canal Road. It is a few blocks away from the hotel

The Cliff and White Orchid in Subic

There are so many different resorts in Subic and Olongapo City especially in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales.

The Cliff Seagrapes Royale Subic

The fifth time in Subic Bay was with three friends. We went to The Cliff Seagrapes Royale or also known as The Cliff is located at Km 133 in Baloy Long Beach Road. It is already near San Marcelino, Zambales. We went to the room and check out the place.

To date, they have renovated the rooms. The Cliff has a cove beach shoreline overlooking Subic Bay.
They also have a swimming pool and jacuzzi.

In the morning we went down thru a pathway going down the beach area. It’s called The Cliff because the resort is on the cliff and you have to go down to enjoy the waters of the Subic Bay. They have a staircase going to the beachfront where we enjoyed the view and the rocks.

Wild Orchid Beach Resort

The first company outing I went to another company is the Wild Orchid Beach Resort. Wild Orchid is also a part of the Baloy Beach in Subic Bay. Our room was near the beachfront. From our room, we could see the White Castle Island.

They have the Scaliwag Restaurant that is open for 24 hours. The restaurant called The Captain Bob’s Steakhouse and Barefoot Bar is in front of the bay with a spacious garden setting and live music at night. The other restaurant is called Fishbone Café and Moby Dick’s Mermaid Tavern. They also have a gym, and guests can avail of the water sports activities.
They have the pool in front of the room called Wild Orchid Beach resort pool. They also have a conference room, condo units, and 83 available rooms for guests.

Grande Island Resort

Grande Island used to be a part of the U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay. A harbor defenses called Fort Wint was located here. The island is in the middle of Subic Bay in the municipality of Morong, Bataan.
My fourth time in Subic was in Grande Island for an outing with my colleague in one of the companies where I worked before. We went to the Grande Island Resort Ferry Terminal on the Waterfront Road and left the van in the parking lot of the terminal.
We rode a boat going to the island which took about 20 minutes heading to the island. The island was huge with a 42 hectares property in the middle of Subic Bay, just in front of the Camayan Beach Resort and in Silaquin Zambales.
We waited at the lobby before checking-in to our rooms and were transferred by using golf carts from the lobby of the resort. Going back to the lobby we walked and checked the resort to see the different amenities like – ATV cars, golf carts, billiards, swimming pool, beach, water sports activities, team building facilities, jogging trail and fitness area.

We went to the beachside and stayed there for a while before we decided to go back to our rooms to change. We enjoyed swimming in the pool before having dinner.
The following day, we rode an ATV and explored the island. It was a dirt road going up the cliff. It was a great view on the other side of the island which was home for different birds.
Grande Island Resort is a sanctuary for old century-old trees, diverse marine life and different migratory birds.

Subic Bay Beaches

Subic Bay is 110 kilometer northwest of Manila and is also the easiest getaway from Manila since it’s only two hours away from the city. Subic Bay is surrounded by the towns of Subic and Olongapo City, both in Zambales, and parts of Morong, Bataan.
The Subic Bay Freeport Zone is a part of the economic zone and is a secured and fenced area.  I’m not sure how many times I went to Subic Bay and Subic Freeport Zone, but my first time was during college days. My barkada in college known as the Gorgeous’s or we were fondly called d’G’s decided to have our trip together before our graduation.

Dungaree Beach

We stayed in one of the housing for the American soldiers before they turned it into vacation villas. Subic Homes is located in Samahan Heights, Binictican Drive with the American style houses. We went to the beach called Dungaree Beach and enjoyed swimming. Dungaree Beach is located at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The water is calm and the beach is isolated from the much-crowded area along Subic Bay.

Another attraction in Subic is the Duty-Free shops. During our stay, we went to Royal Duty-Free to buy some foreign goods. At night we had fun playing bowling in Cosmic Center. The Cosmic Center was an old place with restaurants and a bowling center.

Baloy Beach

The second time I went to Subic Bay was after college when I was finding a reason to get out of Manila and went to a friend’s house in Olongapo City. We then went to a white sand beach called Baloy Beach. Baloy Beach is located along Baloy Long Beach Road in Olongapo City. From the beach, you can also see the White Castle Island.

Camayan Beach

The third time I went to Subic Bay was again an all-girls trip and the first stop was the Zoobic Safari. We participated and learned from the ethnic tribe lessons in the wilderness and we check the different animals in the Zoo. We had fun with the birds in the Zoo.

We went for a day trip tour in Camayan Beach. We spent it in the Camayan Beach Resort where were rented a cabana on the beachfront. Camayan Beach Resort is a private resort located in Camayan Wharf in West Ilanin Forest Area. It is a part of Morong, in Bataan. The resort also offers water sports activities, indoor and outdoor games.

Camayan Beach Resort is beside the Ocean Adventure Subic Bay and half of the group went to the Dolphin Show in the afternoon while the rest enjoyed the water in the beachfront.

Surfing Sites in the Philippines

The Philippines is blessed with beach breaks in the swells of the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea. There are so many different reef breaks throughout the archipelago. Surfing has become more popular in the Philippines.
Below are the surfing sites I visited while traveling in my country. I am not a surfer but I love seeing people learning to ride the surfboard. I love watching the experts doing their skits and dancing with the waves.

Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte

Siargao is the number 1 destination for experts, intermediates and newbies. The surfing capital is exposed to strong swells from the Pacific Ocean.
The widely known surfing spot that made Siargao famous to the international community is Cloud 9. Cloud 9 is blessed with a world-class wave and rated as one of the best surfing spots in the world. It is known worldwide for the perfect barrelling right-hand reef break. The waves are recommended for experts only.

When it gets crowded in Cloud 9, surfers go to the QuickSilver Surfing area. It is also called Cloud 9’s little brother and also has a similarity with the right-handed wave. It is best for intermediate and beginners. Near QuickSilver is Jacking Horse which is also best for intermediate and beginners
Other famous spots are called the Cemetery Pesangan Right and Cemetery Pesangan Left, with a jump-off near the Pesangan Cemetery in General Luna good for intermediate and beginners. Other breaks are for experts is the Tuason Left, Tuason Right, Pacifico and Burgos break.
There are other spots known by the locals which can be good for intermediates.
The best months to surf in Siargao is between September to May. Though there are waves from June to August which also good for newbies. The local and international surfing competitions are held every September.

How to get there

It is located in the northernmost tip of Mindanao. There are no International Flight going to Siargao. Direct and connecting flights to the island are available in Manila, Clark, Cebu and Davao. You can try the airlines like Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Skyjet. The airport in Siargao is called Sayak Airport in Del Carmen.

Surfing Schools

Siargao Surf Camp, Harana Surf School, Turtle Surf Camp, Kermit Surf Resort, Kanawy Surf School

Baler, Aurora

Baler is one of the most popular surfing sites in the Philippines as it is known as the “Birthplace of Philippine Surfing.” The Baler gigantic waves have made it in the international surfing community after the filming of the 1979 War Film ‘Apocalypse Now.” The production crew left the surfing boards to the locals and the surfing was born. Charlie’s Point is the surfing spot where the memorable scene in the movie was shot.

Baler boasts a meter high waves during the surfing seasons of September to February. During the months of March to June, the waves are calm and are perfect for beginners.
Cemento Reef can be experienced with a 4.5-meter barrel which is usually the spot for the annual Aurora Surfing Cup. This is a perfect spot for the experts. For beginners, Sabang Beach is a good place for surfing lessons. Other surfing spots in Baler are Dicasalarin Point, Lindy’s Point and Dalugan Bay.

How to get there

It is 6-hours away from Manila and 3 hours away from Clark. There are buses coming from Manila going to Baler. If you’re traveling from Clark International Airport, the best way is to hire a 4×4 going to Baler.

Surfing Schools

Aliya Surf Camp Resort, Mahdox Surf, North Shore Surf Camp, Big Z Surfing School Surf Spot

La Union

The primary surf beach is in San Juan, La Union. La Union or ‘Elyu’ is known as the “Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines.” The waves can reach 2.5 to 3 meters during the surfing season. The best time to visit with the challenging swells is from October to march. The La Union Surfing Break is held annually during October.

The three peaks in San Juan are named Beach Break, The Bowl and The Point. Other surfing areas near San Juan are Sunset and Car-rile
There are other towns in La Union for surfing, it is in the towns of Bauang and Bacnotan. For Bauang, there’s a beach break near the cemetery and an abandoned beach resort. The famous surf spot in Bacnotan is Darigayos.

How to get there

It is located in the Northern part of Luzon. It is 6 – 7 hours away from Manila and 3 hours away from Clark. There are buses from Manila and in the nearby town in Clark called Mabalacat, Pampanga.

Surfing Schools

San Juan Surf Resort, Sebay Surf Central, La Union Surf School, Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa

Daet, Camarines Norte

Another beach along the coast of the Pacific Ocean for riding the waves is Bagasbas Beach in Daet Camarines, Norte. Several summer surfing festivals are held in Bagasbas beach for beginners. Surfing board rental and surfing lessons are available along the stretch of Bagasbas Boulevard.

Bagasbas Beach is also widely known for Kite Surfing. The best month to go surfing in Bagasbas is from July to January.

How to get there

There’s a direct bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte and travel time is 8-10 hours. The airport is located in Naga, which is a 2-hour drive to Daet.

Surfing Schools

Bagasbas Kite & Surf Shop, Bagasbas Whitewave Hotel and Surf School,

San Antonio, Zambales

Magic Left is a popular surfing spot in Zambales. It is called Magic Left because it offers a long left-handed wave it produces at the Pundaquit Bay. Another beach break called Mags is also good for intermediate to advance.
Other surfing spots are located in Liw, Liwa, San Felipe called Hig 5 Lahar. Another one is in Crystal Beach Resort, San Narciso.

How to get there

Its close proximity to Manila which is only 3 hours away and an hour away from Clark makes it a popular weekend getaway for city surfers.

Surfing Schools

Crystal Beach Resort, Quicksilver Surf School, Zambales Surf Camp, Liwalize It Surf Camp, Kapitan Liwa Surf Resort

Other Surfing Sites in the Philippines

1. Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte
2. Real, Quezon
3. Mercedes, Camarines Norte
4. Puraran, Baras, Catanduanes
5. Nagtabon Beach, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
6. Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental
7. Lanuza Bay, Surigao Del Sur
8. Guiuan and Calicoan Island, Eastern Samar

Potipot Island

It was a one and a half land trip to San Antonio to Candelaria after our Anawangin trip We went to Dawal beach resort in the town of Candelaria for an overnight stay. After having lunch in Dawal, we asked for a boatman to take us to the island.

Potipot island is a 15-20 minutes boat ride from the jump-off point in Candelaria, Zambales. The Island is a small island in Uacon on the West Philippine Sea. It has fine white sand and lots of trees which shades the tourist on their camping site. From docking of the boat and the payment of the entrance fee, we went around the island starting from the left side.

There were no visitors at the side of the island. My friend Maki and I were all alone exploring this side of the island. Potipot is a very small island that you could explore within an hour.

We stayed in some part of the beach in the secluded area. After an hour we then reached the part of the island with the tourist and campers. There were nipa huts in the area and you could also avail of tents for overnight stay. But it gets fully booked. We stayed there for some time before heading back to the beachfront of Dawal.

From the beachfront of Dawal, we waited for the sunset while overlooking Potipot Island. We sat at the fine black sand on the beach in Uacon.

For other post about Zambales, please check Anawangin Cove, Capones Island and Camara Island

Anawangin Cove, Capones Island and Camara Island

We went to San Antonio in Zambales during the height of Southwest monsoon. After 3 hours of driving from Manila, we reached San Antonio, Zambales and asked direction going to Pundaquit.  The road going to our resort was a little rough and we also crossed a signal from a Chinese radio station with our local station.

Canoe Beach Resort, Pundaquit

After 15 minutes from the town proper, we reached Canoe Beach Resort.  It is a resort with good amenities like a swimming pool, with a beautiful beachfront – overlooking Capones and Camara Islands, a nipa hut to stay and a coffee shop.  The beachfront was also a site for surfers and there was an incoming event for surfing when we got there.  We booked a room for an overnight stay good for 3.  We then asked for a boatman to take us to Anawangin.  The sky was dark on the horizon when we left the resort.

Anawangin Cove

We headed to Anawangin cove with a small boat.  The sea was not rough going there.  As we enter the coast of Anawangin, everything was breathtaking.  The rich greenish trees of the mountainous area that surrounded the cove and the white sand beach engulfed our adventurist site.  Anawangin is a place for camping.  There are restrooms and store for campers.  We weren’t there to camp but just to enjoy the view and to swim with the waters.  I love the line up of trees in the cove.

It rained while we were in Anawangin and decided to go to Capones Island after the rain.  We didn’t know that after the waters of the cove as you turn left to the open sea, it was raining hard and the waves were violent.  Our boat was not that big.  There was a thunderstorm in the open sea, as we saw lightning struck the waters.  It was scary and longest boat ride I had for a short distance journey from Anawangin to Capones Island.

Capones Island

It was still raining when we arrived in Capones and we weren’t able to explore the lighthouse.  We were on the other side of the island. We only took shelter because of the raging waters and the thunderstorm we encountered in the open sea. After 30 minutes we went to Camara Island.

Camara Island

I love sand bars between waters.  Camara has a long stretch of the sand bar.    We stayed here for a while before heading back to the beach resort.