Subic, or more specifically Olongapo City, is where we opted to rest our heads for a few days before returning to Manila after Mt Pinatubo. There is an American naval base located close by, which was a driving force in the growth of the city. During World War II it was destroyed twice, leading it to be moved a little further north to its current location. A history ridden with struggle between The Philippines and The United States led to tough times as the governments warred, but the city was eventually surrendered to The Philippines fully in the 1950s. In the early 90s the contracts between the two countries were not renewed and thus the base ceased to function. Now, the former naval base adjacent to the city is known as the Subic Freeport Zone.
We were torn between two hotels along Baloy Long Beach Road, eventually opting for the Blue Rock Resort on the tip of the shore. Shortly after checking in I noticed that Robin was slightly frazzled – a first time sight for me. This was only exacerbated when we arrived to our room, which was fine… until I noticed the mirror on the ceiling. He told me that we drove by the red light district (I later noticed that there were a ton of hmm… shall we say ‘dancer’ bars), and he was a little disappointed that he had chosen this location. I personally thought it was absolutely hilarious, and cheered him up by fully embracing the situation. What else can you do, right? Better that than let it ruin our time!
With the promise of going elsewhere for some comfort food, we got fully settled in. I was taking to the room nicely, until I needed to use the facilities. There I was minding my own business on the loo, and I looked up to see a disgusting cockroach staring back at me!! I screamed as I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, trying to get the words out through deep breaths. Robin saved the day as he killed the little bugger, and that was when we decided to take a short break from the Blue Rock Resort and grab some food from the Harbour Centre, a nice little mall complex.
Upon our return, we taped up some holes along the accent boards where we thought the cockroach may have came from, and made some weather stripping for the door as we noticed there was a decent gap between the floor and the bottom of the door. As mosquitoes seem to adore me (I blame my delicious maple syrup blood), I did not want to wake up to be covered in bites. A few quick fixes and some beers from the minibar later, we were both satisfied and we settled in for the night.
As the past two days were quite busy and a little hard on the legs, we decided to take it easy and have a quiet beach day. We didn’t leave the resort once, and just sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed some good ol’ Vitamin D! Unfortunately the water had very small jelly fish so we couldn’t stay in for long. They weren’t big enough to really hurt but the small short stings got pretty annoying, pretty fast. So to stay cool we opted for some delicious piña coladas on the beach, a great alternative.
The cocktails at the resort were quite tasty, and definitely had their fill of alcohol. Unfortunately they were a little on the expensive side as they were similar to Canadian pricing, but sometimes you have to spoil yourself a bit. The food on the other hand was fantastic and it’s reasonably priced. I treated myself to a half dozen oysters which worked out to be ~$8CDN and were so fresh! They have a huge selection of food, with most dishes priced between $5-$10CDN for fairly large portions.
With full bellies we decided to enjoy the sunset from the top floor of their floating bar! It allowed for a great view of Subic Bay as well as the shoreline. Although shortly after there was a huge downpour of rain, which I welcomed since during the day it felt like 42°C! A little toasty for my icy Canadian heart. After a few more cocktails we retreated to our room to order some room service, enjoyed some TV (Robin wouldn’t let me enjoy the Filipino love ballads on MTV Pinoy), and called it a night.
The next morning we checked out, enjoyed the Blue Rock’s view one last time over a yummy Filipino breakfast, and then we were homeward bound for Manila after a quick stop at the Pamulaklakin Trail! Despite the rough start, the pros outweighed the cons and we left the Blue Rock Resort satisfied with our stay.