We decided to go on a road trip and take the Titan (our Chevrolet Trailblazer) on it’s first run. Off we went to Subic with our friends. Simple plan: go, explore and come back. It having been years since I was last there, I had to do some research. There were quite a number of articles that came up but this proved the most helpful: 5 Restaurants To Try In Subic.
I am so thankful for technology. Never having driven there, it paid to have my smartphone with data plan and Google maps. Not being a native and not wanting to have to ask for directions unless absolutely necessary, Google Maps was a must. It only failed once. That was when I used the phone for its basic function – calling!
We left early in the morning to ensure we didn’t have any traffic on the road and so that we could maximize the day. It was a wonderful morning. It was wonderful to get out of the city and be on roads with almost no cars. There were long stretches without a single one anywhere near. The speed limits were a bit of a bummer though but hey, better safe than sorry.
It was also strange (and annoying) that we had to pay toll fees 4 times. We were sure the trolls (in our government) set it up deliberately that way. Can’t there be a single card and you pay when you get to your final destination? Here’s what we had to pay as toll fees:
We decided to have breakfast at The Coffee Shop.
It sounded interesting since they are known to be the Home of Jumbo Tacos. So consulting Google Maps, we drove along and found ourselves in Olongapo City…at a school…and no Coffee Shop in sight. Fail! We had to stop for directions and even then the locals didn’t know where it was.
I looked up the place online and gave them a call. The guy giving directions said, “Ma’am, labas po kayo sa gate (forgot the name, sorry) tapos kaliwa kayo tapos sundan niyo lang po yung kalye”. Traslated he said go out the specific gate and turn left then follow the road. I then asked him if there was a particular landmark. He said, “Hanapin niyo po yung sementeryo (Just look for the cemetery)”. I was cracking up at this point but managed to ask for more detail. He said it was across from the Arizona Hotel. That Google Maps had accurately. I had to get off the phone quickly since I was laughing so hard. He was right! There was no way you could miss the cemetery.
We finally got to The Coffee Shop and ordered their specialty. Their version of the taco was indeed jumbo sized. Now I love to eat tacos so I have to admit I wasn’t very impressed. The shell was more like lumpia wrapper – not at all what I would want my taco made of. The filling was your typical meat, lettuce and cheese. Sour cream was served on the side. No way would this get lifted and bit into so I cracked it and made a taco salad.
Personal opinion: okay. I like that the place was clean. The place was cool – not too hot or too cold (we were right across from the air conditioner). They had outdoor seating for those who preferred it. The restrooms were clean.
Funny thing about their stalls-they were small. They were just big enough for a person to put their arms out to the elbow on both sides and a bit. The stall doors reminded me of those in elementary schools only these were only chest high so if anyone outside looked over the doors they could see you sitting there doing your business.
Unfortunately, none of us tried anything else so can’t say if any item on the menu is off the charts awesome. I guess I’ll find next time we go to Subic.
Next stop was to do some shopping! We looked around but didn’t really see anything we wanted. We did see some stuff at the Adidas store which had a sale 50-80% off.
We had parked behind the Starbucks there and discovered we could go through The Gourmet Garage (restaurant) to get to the car. Never could resist browsing and ended up buying bags of chips and boxes of juices. We also decided to stop and have dessert. Absolutely scrumptious! The staff didn’t blink an eye at customers who came in, bought pints and asked for spoons. Totally cool! I also liked that it’s a small place with only 3 or 4 tables for customers. As you can see, we chose the table with the most comfortable chairs. As my family knows, I LOOOOOOOVE ice cream. I’d have bought some of these to take home but they’d be slush by the time we got home. Savored every bite to make it count.
We had thought of having a massage but the spas we passed did not appeal to so that item did not get fulfilled. We instead decided to go to Zoobic instead. The park is big enough that we took their tram to get around. You could opt to drive your own vehicle (which I would recommend) if you’d rather not squeeze into the rows.
Seriously, it was like being back in elementary on a field trip. Immediately upon entry we already saw some tigers in cages. They were right beside the photo booths – you could choose either the one where you hold or wear a snake or have photo with a tiger. Nope, didn’t choose to do either.
We went through the gift shop and exited at the aviary. All sorts of birds, some familiar to us and a few not. There was a section they allowed us to walk in to see them up close. The birds here were right on top of where we entered. They reminded me of the velociraptors as shown in Jurassic Park. I was quite happy to move on to other parts of the park. There being lots of animals, the stench was everywhere. While we didn’t see any piles. you could sure smell it. Thankfully there was none to step on where we were asked to walk.
We then moved to the animal show. This is where the staff sang, danced and performed with the trained animals. It was hard to enjoy since we were there with a bunch of kids (on their field trip) who had very strong legs and liked to kick (a lot!) at annoying times. Whenever the emcee asked for a volunteer, one of the girls behind us would SCREAM mmmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You bet she didn’t get picked. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
There were a lot of animals in either pens, glass cases or cages – depending on their need and safety for viewers. The only difference was the tiger safari where they put us into these jeeps with bars so it’s like we were in cages. Small area. The tigers here were already trained to come if they saw a jeep – it meant food – and get the chicken which the guy in the middle would feed him. The last piece the guy threw on the jeep so that the tiger would take a ride – jeep surfing? My sweetie had bits of tiger drool on him since it was eating right beside him, just outside the grill on his door.
The rest of the zoo was meh. I’d have liked to have gone back to the first shop but was honestly too tired. It’s a long trip around the zoo and it was warm. I was quite happy to go back to the Titan and rest.
After some discussion, we decided it was time for dinner. We opted to go to Texas Joe’s House of Ribs. This place is an absolute must to go to. Located at the waterfront area, we could have spent time on the beach before heading in to eat. Being hungry, we instead opted to go on in and order. This was the perfect finish to our day. We each had the 1 pound steak which came with 2 sides. How do you know it’s good? No one was talking, just eating and everyone had clean plates. Everything was DELICIOUS!!!!! The best part, it only cost P899. Totally worth the price. I’ve had steak here back home that cost double that and didn’t even come close in taste.
Feedback on the place: It’s clean and the attendants are friendly. It was funny seeing them argue over who would do what to assist (perhaps new people). We were lucky to come in when there weren’t many customers yet so perhaps it was a tip thing? The service was a little slow but the taste more than made up for it. The restrooms were clean, well equipped and even had a chaise on the women’s side (the boys said there was none in theirs).
Overall, I would definitely come back to this place. I hope the quality stays great!
That ended our day in Subic. It was time to take the Titan and head for home. I fell asleep in the comfort of cool air and soft seat so can’t say much about the journey home. I do know that I am looking forward to the next trip.