Updated: Feb 29
When it comes to boating Subic Bay is one of the best spots in the Philippines. Punctuated by naturally deep harbors, protected coves, lush underwater marine life, and tropical rainforests, its history revolves around maritime exploration dating back to the pre-colonial period. In fact, it has become the most-coveted spot by foreign naval powers—such as Spain, Great Britain, Japan, and even the United States.
As a former US naval base, it was the largest overseas military installation of the United States Armed Forces, a stronghold in Southeast Asia and the Far East until it closed in 1991 and was later transformed as the first Freeport in the Philippines. Over time, Subic Bay has evolved to one of the busiest, largest, historical and most important ports in the country as well as the most competitive international shipping services in Southeast Asia. This just goes to show Subic Bay’s strategic value and location. Hence, it is safe to say that one has not been truly in Subic if he hasn’t explored its waters which are steeped in rich maritime traditions.
Subic Bay is situated between the province of Zambales and Bataan, and is located on the west side of Luzon Island facing the South China Sea or what we call also as the West Philippine Sea. It is around 150kms away from Metro Manila passing through breathtaking views of fields and majestic mountain ranges.
The Freeport is managed and operated by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the implementing arm of the Philippine Government in developing the 67,000-hectare area of Subic Bay Freeport and Special Economic Zone into a self-sustaining industrial, commercial, financial and investment center. The SBMA intents to put Subic Bay Freeport at the cutting-edge of maritime-related industries as well as a center for tourism, health care, education, retirement, and logistics.
Subic Bay Freeport Zone, with its bustling commercial and trading atmosphere set against exquisite natural scenery, is a perennial draw for local and international visitors alike. Offering a wide array of activities, attractions, and events, it is hands-down one of the Philippines' premier recreation and adventure mecca!
Living up to its reputation as the country's best boating destination, Subic Bay proved to be an ideal venue for adrenaline-pumping water sports like jet skiing and flyboarding through Networx Jetsports located along the waterfront area. It has also become the premier yacht racing destination in the country through the efforts of Subic Sailing Club, a group of entrepreneurs, expatriates and sports enthusiast whose unbridled passion and commitment have kept the sport alive and exciting in the country. Moreover one of the most popular and memorable Subic Bay experiences would be a bay cruise overlooking a postcard-perfect sunset over the mountains and the cobalt blue sky.
Subic Bay is surrounded by all these pristine coves such as Triboa Bay, Ilanin Bay, Sunset Cove, and Anvaya Cove in Bataan while there is Sampaloc Cove, Silanguin Cove, Nagsasa Cove, Talisayin Cove and Anawangin Cove in Zambales. Some of these coves are virtually unreachable by land transportation which spared them from crass commercialism making them a top destination for those who truly treasure the raw environment.
However, despite all these, there seem to be not many boats out in the bay. For one, the costs associated with owning a boat can be out of the reach of many people. The purchase price of the boat, the ongoing cost of marina fees, insurance, maintenance, and general running costs, all add up. Boating is often perceived as a leisure activity that is difficult to become involved in first of all because you have to learn how to handle boats first and secondly due to the associated financial and time commitment factors which accompany owning a boat.
But now, there is finally a way to get around these challenges. Carefree Boat Club, a leading boat club operator in the US and Canada, has launched its very first club in Asia here in Subic Bay primarily to tackle these hindrances to boating. Its main objective is to make boating fun, easy and most of all affordable.
Ancient explorers and colonizers have basked in Subic Bay’s shimmering waters for centuries. It’s about time we Filipinos enjoy it too!