History of Subic Bay

Every year, millions of people flock to the Central part of the Philippines, Subic Zambales to experience the crystal blue water and fine sand.


However, Subic Bay hasn’t always been the summer destination that is today. In fact, it was not even accessible by road until 1932. It was only when a roadway was carved through the mountains and connected it to


This only began to change in 1992 when the Americans handed it over to the Philippine Government. But in the history of Subic Bay, the place only serves as a naval base for the Americans and Spaniards.


Spanish conquistador, Juan Salcedo is the first recorded person that visited the place. In 1572, he described it as deep water, sheltered anchorage and a healthy environment in his report to King Philip of Spain. However, the area is not fully operational until the 1800’s. Because the Spaniards are using Cavite as a port as it is nearer to Manila Bay. It was only in 1884 when Spanish King Alfonso II declared Subic as a ” naval port and the property appertaining thereto set aside for naval purposes.”

Subig Bay Map


Before the name “Subic” was developed, it was first called as “hubek” meaning “head of the plow”. After years, it turns to “Subiq”, and later change to “Subig” because of American influence.

American Rule

The United States acquire this as a resettlement after winning in the Spanish- American War. It was constructed in 1956, after being completely ruined during the Vietnam and Gulf War. For years, the U.S.A. and the Philippines continued to negotiate an extension but the talks broke down due to outlying concerns and issues.


Subic Bay Metropolitan Area

After the Mount Pinatubo erupted and because of the extension of the Philippine-U.S. Bases Treaty, the American troops handed it over to the government. Under the Republic Act 7227 in 1992, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is created. Since there, the place economy boom and become a good place to build infrastructure and made investments. The area is now also known for its beaches, aquarium and dolphin show and jungle tours.