From an outsider, Subic Bay can be seen as an ultimate destination for scuba divers, a place to try sumptuous Filipino foods and explore tourist attractions. Behind all these things, this body of water holds hundred years of memories in the time of World War 2. It has become an iconic port that transport and receives goods from all parts of the world, including China, Japan and Spain.
Before the foreigners invade this place, it was known by the locals as “hubek” which means “head of a plow.” Fishermen gather here in the morning to catch fish, eventually sharing it with the rest of their families. The beach area becomes a playground where kids allot their time playing in the sand and swimming in the waters. Not only until 1898, when Spaniard’s fleet arrived on the shore and changed the way people lived here. Spanish soldiers build commercial structures to easily ship goods to different ports in China, Japan and more. Not long after, American and Japanese soldiers invaded Subic bay which marks the start of WW2. Both countries have shown power in terms of firearms, military vessels and fighting skills.
In 1992, President Corazon Aquino ordered the withdrawal of US soldiers in the country. They must move out all military equipment, supplies and installations in all bases in the country including Subic Bay. The bases were formally closed on Nov. 1992.
Fast forward to 2000s, Subic Bay has recovered from the decades of conflict and boast outstanding beauty in terms of marine life and ecology. You can now go here to indulge great food, swim on the beach, visit Ocean Adventure and try the longest zip line. Be amazed by scuba diving spots and swim under the remnants of war.
Indeed, the Subic history is rich and people can learn from it. So, next time you visit this paradise, make sure to go to museums and explore the past.