Two Unique Activities to Try in Subic Bay

Thursday, February 14, 2019

mad travels tribes and treks

Subic, to me, had always meant duty-free. Shopping. Imported goods. Seaplanes (for some reason). And AFAMs (yep, I went there again. Can’t help it. Sorry). Yet amid retail black holes and fieldtrip destinations, a couple of out-of-the-ordinary activities exists in the freeport zone.

SAIL INTO THE SUNSET
Jagged outlines of the Zambales Mountain Range, and a scattering of cargo ships make up part of the Subic Bay landscape. That sounds like a strange combination, but when the gleam of the golden hour gilds the placid water, everything turns majestic.
subic yacht club

Be in the thick of it all by boarding a vessel from Subic Sailing Club.

You have a choice among yachts, sailboats, speedboats, jet skis, and kayaks. If you want to go the traditional route, paraws (double outrigger sailboat) are also available for rent.
subic sailing club

The rates will, admittedly, put a huge dent in your pocket – yacht rental starts at Php40,000. But if you have the budget and are looking for a different way to see Subic Bay, then maybe consider this.

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Subic Bay 

Aside from rentals, the Subic Sailing Club also organizes boat tours to nearby coves like Nagsasa, and Talisayen. Then there’s the Yacht Parties held every summer.
subic bay sailboats yachts

Boat races, like Regatta, are also put together by the club. Should you want to learn how to hoist a mast and make like a sailor, sailing lessons are also offered here.
subic bay sailing club

For more information, follow the Subic Sailing Club on Facebook. Or send an inquiry on their website.


GO ON A MAD HIKE
Subic, admirably, despite donning a modern facade, manages to retain a chunk of its natural heritage. Right on the border to Bataan is a tract of forest the indigenous Aetas call home. Within it is a hiking trail known as El Kabayo.
tribes and treks subic

MAD (Make a Difference) Travel had extended its Tribes and Treks program to this side of Subic Bay. Working with members of the Pastolan tribe, the El Kabayo Trail showcases both culture and nature.

The path is relatively easy. Meandering. With gentle inclines. Canopied with soaring trees like Ficus variegata (known locally as tangisang-bayawak), Parkia javanica (cupang for the non-tree nerd), and Lagerstroemia speciosa (now I’m just showing off – that’s banaba), the trail remains cool even in high noon. Patches of bamboo copses punctuate the forest, tapering into picturesque arches that cast a subtle emerald tinge.
mad travel hiking subic

trails in subic bay

Related Adventure: DIY Hiking Guides

Leading the way through this trail are men of the Pastolan tribe. They mutter tree names with so much familiarity, it’s almost as if they’re old friends. Watervines, from which trekkers could “drink”, are picked out with ease from thickets of shrubs.
subic bay aeta tribe

pastolan tribe aeta

Knowledge of plants are shared all throughout, all the way to a grove where the men demonstrate the famed jungle survival skills the Aetas are known for. Starting from carving utensils from bamboo, the demo ends with the trekkers having attempts at making fire from bamboo stalks and wood dust.


The trail then backtracks before taking a different turn towards the cascade with the same name. It’s a nice idea to swim here if you have enough time.
waterfalls in subic

A lunch prepared by Pastolan women are then served back at the jump-off. After, they share their practice of using traditional herbal medicines, even offering plant cuttings for one to take home.

Speaking of take-homes, woven bracelets made by the tribefolks are also for sale.
unique pasalubong from subic

Should you be interested in this activity, you may head over to Mad Travel’s website or Facebook page.


What other unique things have you tried in Subic?


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