May 01 2008, a Thursday and holiday. The family planned to have a summer get away at Subic for 2 days. Friday was a regular working day so i had to get permission to take a day off.
Off we go on a rodatrip to Subic on Thrusday morning at 6AM with the kids strapped to their car seats. Destination was Zoobic and beach, first day was to Zoobic then the next day was to hit the beach in the morning and drive back home in the afternoon.
Driving the long and rehabilitated NLEX was exhalirating (again!, i seldom drive here). The plan was to take the NLEX then exit Dau then take the new Tarlac-Subic highway. We stopped at Shell (northbound) gas station and had our breakfast at Jollibee. By about 7:30 we are back on NLEX to Dau exit. On the expressway i got a honk from my former boss who was on his way to his home province in the north. Taking Dau exit we went straight to Mabalakat and took the wrong left turn ending at town plaza then asked for direction to the Tarlac-Subic expressway. The correct way was to turn right at Mabalakat junction and at about 2 to 3 kms the Tarlac-Subic expressway is in sight, then take a right turn and a U-turn at the roundabout. Yehey! Tarlac-Subic was straight ahead. It was a good and quite road (literally and fuguratively) giving a very relaxing drive to Subic. The sides of the highway is all green either from rice fields or from grass vegetation. The mountains are green and very refreshing to look at.
Entering the Subic gate and while traversing the Subic road i was watching for the wild monkeys to appear on the side of the road. After over 5 years since my last visit in Subic, i am wondering if this creatures are still around and running freely. Yes, they are still there, kudos to the Subic officials for maintaining its forest home!
Zoobic (http://www.zoobic.com.ph/) was such heart pounding place especially during the tiger encounter. Guest takes a ride in a caged jeepney with a chicken dragged along for the tigers to follow and try to eat. The tigers would slam into the side of the jeep with only inches to your face. This are Bengal tigers that are as long as 4 to5 feet, imagine the size. What an experience !
Photos of some Zoobic animals.
The plan was not to reserve a place to stay, the plan was to camp. We then brougth our tent and camp gears along with us with the intention to camp somewhere in Subic. Camping was not possible in the beaches they do not allow it and we do not know any camp sites in Subic (what a plan!). Will someone put a camp site in Subic? that would be a treat to those who like an adventure and at the same time an affordable place to stay. Since there was no advance arrangement for a place to stay, it took us some time to find a place. Beach room accomodation was too expensive at P4,000 to P6,000 a night. We then ended up at Crown Peak and stayed at the Sapphire building paying P2,500 for an overnight stay.
In the morning (2nd day) we hit the beach at the side of the airport.
In the afternoon we took a short visit to the Royal Subic duty free just to check out the place and bougth a rubber ball for Anton and a few cold drinks for the drive back to Manila.
We hit the road back to Manila via the Subic-Tarlac highway. First attempt, we took the wrong exit towards the old route passing through towns, we then turned back to Subic to get to the Subic-Tarlac expressway. It was about 7PM when we hit the highway. The highway was in total darkness, the only source of light was from our car headlamp and those passingby. Road lighting was sparringly placed along the highway. Fortunately, the road reflectors on the sides are still clean and was functioning, giving you a good indicator of the road ahead. I wonder how this highway will look like 10 years from now?
Along the NLEX, we stopped at Petron gas station to have diner at KFC. We hit home at about 10PM.
More pictures of the trip.