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Sunday, March 4

At Magsaysay Drive in Olongapo

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The bus ride from Dau to Olongapo is seamless and fast, since it traverses the lengthy Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). The student fare was P112 for this one hour trip. Along the road you will witness an endless rice field, some mango orchards, hills cut-and-filled to pave a better way (yes, some of the hills were excavated) and a world class asphalt pavement road. There are no traffic jams, not until you reach the main gate to Olongapo from Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). From there, the speed of the vehicle will abruptly slow down. It was already 4 P.M. when we arrived at the Victory Liner terminal in Olongapo.

NOTE: We had no pictures in Olongapo City (downtown), so photos posted in this section are from places like Zoobic Safari and Treetop Adventure in SBMA.

The next thing was to reach our Olongapo hotel, and in our case, we only knew the hotel is located along Magsaysay Drive. So we hired a tricycle to go to Ridge Crest Hotel (please check How to Go to Subic Attractions & List of Expenses for jeepney routes). The trike fare per head during that time was P10 (and therefore we paid P30 for it). The hotel is a small one, and it is side by side with establishments. Magsaysay Drive is a busy street in Olongapo, so for those travelers who don’t want noise and pollution, hotels along Magsaysay Drive are not recommended.

Our room was located on the third floor, and well the room was okay. What I don’t want during our stay is its odor. The room was like not used for several weeks already. Nevertheless, a room with personal ref and TV, plus hot shower for P1650 good for 3 is a “yes” for us.

We ate our supposedly packed lunch (not lunch time anymore). And after that, we walked a bit outside. And for that, we realized we were surrounded by so many night bars! Yes, so if you look for night bars in Olongapo, go ahead to Magsaysay Drive. And for those who don’t know about this, Olongapo Mall (along Magsaysay Drive) was demolished for a bigger mall to erect. SM City Olongapo has just opened on February 10, 2012. So if you want some kind of city life, book your hotel along Magsaysay Drive. Both night bars and shopping don’t end. And they don’t end because this part of Olongapo is alive anytime of the day and night (or just night?). I still remember the time when we ate our dinner at McDo, and that was already past ten in the evening. And man, kids were still playing in McDo’s play house! Imagine, past ten in the evening and kids were still alive as if it was daytime? People were still alive at this evening! I am not accustomed to this lifestyle, simply because here in Baguio, only select places are still alive by night. McDo along Session Road at past ten in the evening is already at par closing time. Well, you have to spend some nights in both Baguio and Olongapo and you will eventually see the difference. (Or is it Olongapo’s day by night? I actually had not slept well that time!)

So there, we woke up early, called up for three cups of water (for our Milo) and ate our breakfast. We went outside to look for a taxi (or van). Luckily, we were told by the hotel staff that we can hire a taxi along Magsaysay Drive, and that we don’t need to go to SBMA to hire one. By the way, fixed rate for a one way taxi ride to Zoobic Safari/Tree Top Adventure/Ocean Adventure is at P400. And you need to hire the taxi for a round trip (P800) since there are no taxis around those destinations, if they are not scarce. What we did is negotiate with the driver that we’ll hire him for our destinations (Zoobic Safari, Tree Top Adventure and Ocean Adventure, and side trips at Bat Kingdom etc.) for P1000. But unfortunately, due to time constraints, we just went to Zoobic Safari and Tree Top Adventure Subic (skipping Ocean Adventure), and because we requested so much to the driver to go to duty free shops and finally bring us to the terminal in Olongapo (far from SBMA), our fare went up to P1,400. It was already past nine in the evening when we arrived at the terminal for a bus bound to Baguio.

So by 11 A.M., we were already in Zoobic Safari. The long road was actually heading to Morong in Bataan, and a winding one with forests and seas along the sides. Yet, we did not expect that this tourist attraction in Subic is really a hit! There are a lot of people when we were there, and some of them were foreign tourists.

NOTE: Subic mentioned here is the SBMA, a freeport/economic zone at the tip of Olongapo City, Zambales. Subic town north of Olongapo is a different place.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Nice blog but the pictures were less i need to ask about the snake though is it poisoness? i accually dont like the snakes but they are dangerous. i saw a snake once in my life in Dubai desert and that was scary.

    2. I don't have any idea if that snake's poisonous (cuz I'm not listening to the tour guide when he was discussing about that thing haha). But you don't have to worry cuz the snake's inside a cage..it won't get any chance of biting you. :)


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