Zambales is a province of 12 municipalities, which are mainly popular for its lovely beaches and picturesque sunset. Its provincial capital, Iba, is a town not known only for its wide beaches, also for its street dancing performed every 28th of August in commemoration of its town patron, San Augustine.
The commercial hub is Olongapo City, a town formerly occupied for years by Americans for military purposes, and was vacated due to the massive eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991- a landform presumed inactive for hundreds of years. All economic and social events established by the americans disappeared. Life changed for the dependent townsfolk and to bring the province back to life, the emptied military base was transformed into a commercial economic free port, possessing an immense area for business and recreation. The area was placed under the Subic Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), and was transformed into an investment site and a tourist attraction. It prospered for a few years but the sudden fall of Asian economy in mid 90’s devastated all thriving businesses inside Subic.
Along with struggling recovery, Zambales inhabitants rediscovered their tourism potentials. For only few years, this province which is located northwest of Luzon recently proved its appeal to wandering tourists in the Philippines. And despite of the transport dillema around the Pinatubo’s most devastated areas, Zambales has managed to focus on their alternate resources. The beaches around towns were promoted for closest city hideaways and regardless of the absence of Subic’s duty free shops, which were regularly visited by Manila’s wealthy shoppers in the early 90’s, Olongapo City’s surrounding beaches became the most accessible weekend destination for mainly residents of Metro Manila.
Activities: Island hopping, Fishing, Swimming, Hiking