OK, so you’ve been indulging in the zaniness that is Angeles City for a while and all of sudden you realize – much to your surprise – that you’re starting to get a bit….. bored.
OMG! Really? Bored of all the bars and clubs and massages and beautiful brown Filipinas seeking to make your acquaintance that seem to literally be falling out of the sky???? In short, yes.
After a while, people tend to realize that Angeles – while entertaining and much fun in the short run – can quickly turn into a case of “same old, same old.” What once was once unique and exciting now seems to grow mundane and rather dull. Yep, even for the most dedicated hedonist, the wonders of this single guy’s paradise can slowly – but steadily – lose its luster and sheen: The bars and clubs all seem to blend into each other and even exceptionally pretty girls flocking to you with incessant inquiries into your nationality and name start to become tiresome. When compared to some of the long avenues in Pattaya, Walking Street isn’t all that big, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time to see all there is to be seen. Pattaya’s delights are extensive – easily ten times the size of Angeles City’s offerings when it comes to bars, clubs and other nocturnal activities. And Pattaya has one key advantage over Angeles City – there are temples, islands, beaches and other things to do during the day there. In Angeles City, there really isn’t a whole lot to do or see.
So, generally after a week or so of hedonistic indulgent, boredom and indifference start to mount, and it’s time to start looking around once again for greener pastures and new adventures!
Thankfully, there’s Subic Bay – the perfect getaway for the adventurous traveler once the wonders of Angeles City start to lose their allure. Subic is only about 75 kilometers from Angeles and total travel time by bus takes around one and a half hours. Subic is home to several nice beach areas, hotels that are cheaper than Angeles, very good restaurants and a few clubs that can meet the needs of any adventurer.
I will try to cover all of these services in a later series of posts. Ah, it’s good to have things to look forward to… I do kinda love my job.
Bus – Angeles to Subic
The Dau / Mabalacat Bus Terminal is located about one and a half kilometers from Walking Street. You can walk to it if you want (30 minute walk, tops) or you can take a trike. The drivers on Walking Street will try to gouge you for 150 pesos for the ride or you can walk a short ways out to the main road and pick up a trike for 70-80 pesos. As we mentioned in the Manila to Angeles City post, locals only pay around 40-50 pesos for the same trip.
When you arrive at the terminal, you’ll find flocks of parked buses getting ready to head out. Most will be going to Manila, but you’ll be wanting to find service to Olongapo – the capital of Subic Bay. I usually try to take the Victory Liner bus, but I have also taken PhilTranco. These buses typically head out for Olongapo/Subic Bay every half hour or so. The cost is quite reasonable at 140 pesos/$3 USD, and the overall travel time is about an hour and a half. It is a very scenic ride and you will come across quite a few stunning vistas – especially during the first half of the trip. Once in Subic, the bus generally first stops in Olongapo at the Harbor Point Mall. Stay on the bus, as the next stop will be at the main bus terminal. As with many bus rides in the Philippines, they probably won’t stop for a rest break along the way, so make sure you take care of any biological needs before you board!
Terminal Notes: The touts around the bus stations can be quite annoying. They are very aggressive in “assisting” you with your bus trip but will want a tip when their “services” are used. They do not work for the bus companies and are just looking to turn some quick pesos. Actual terminal employees have either ID’s or company shirts (or both). Simply ignore the touts unless you actually need one.
From Olongapo to Barrio Baretto
Barrio Barreto is you ultimate destination. Once at the Olongapo Bus Terminal, head north about 100 meters on West 18th Street to the Blue Jeepney Terminal. All the jeepneys there go in the same direction, basically running a loop by the beaches. The ride to Barrio Baretto takes about 15 minutes and costs 12 pesos/.25 cents USD. Please note that the yellow jeepneys meander around downtown Olangapo – it’s the blue jeeps that go down the coastal road to Barrio Baretto. (The yellow jeepney does have its use later at night when you are on your way to most popular club destination in Subic, club Noctural.
If you don’t want to take a jeepney or are possessed of a lot of luggage, you can always take a trike from the Olongapo Bus Terminal to Barrio Baretto. This will run you about 150 pesos/$3 USD.
Time: Total travel time from Angeles City to Barrio Baretto is approximately two hours.
Costs: Trike Angeles to Dau Bus Terminal: 80 pesos/$1.75 USD. Bus from Dau bus Terminal to Olongapo: 140 pesos/$2.75 USD. Jeepney from Olongapo to Barrio Baretto: 12 pesos/.25 cents US OR Trike from Olangapo to Barrio Baretto: 150 pesos/$3 USD. If you go with the jeepney, your total costs will be 232 pesos/ $4.70. If you opt for the (somewhat) more comfortable trike, the sum will be 370 pesos/$7.25 USD. No matter how you look at it, that is quite the bargain!!!
Shuttle Bus – Angeles to Subic
A few types of shuttle bus services are available. I don’t usually recommend these as their schedules can be sporadic, are possessed of less leg room versus a full-size bus and they are rather hard to catch. Some hotels can arrange a shuttle bus service. They typically cost upwards to 700 pesos/$12 USD. Alternatively, you can take a public shuttle bus which leaves from the jeepney terminal on Fields Avenue, but again, the schedules are hard to lock down and a good number of people don’t even know about them. The public shuttle buses cost around 250 pesos/ $5 USD.
Taxi – Angeles to Subic
Taking a taxi from Angeles to Subic is a difficult – and expensive – proposition. The vast majority of the taxis you will encounter in Angeles are dropping someone off from Manila and are eager to return to the capital. Subic Bay is in the total opposite direction, and if you do find a willing driver, expect to pay upwards to 5,000 pesos for the trip. For that reason alone, taking a taxi from Angeles to Subic isn’t all that practical.
Getting Back to Manila/Angeles From Subic Bay
Once you have had your fun in Subic, it will be time to move on. For many, this will either be back to Angeles or Manila. (Keep in mind that some people chose to go to Baguio from Subic to check out the Summer Capital of the Philippines and the nearby Banaue rice terraces which are considered one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of the World!)
Getting back to Angeles and Manila is pretty easy: Simply reverse your preferred modus travelus (taxi, bus or shuttle bus). Note that you can sometimes get a reduced taxi rate from drivers who are returning to either destination – I once got a chauffeured taxi ride back to Manila for a bit over 1,000 peso.
So, I hope this post has been of some use to you. If you notice any errors, want to provide any alternate recommendations or simply want to give feedback, please leave a comment!