I consider Olongapo City as one of my home towns for the simple reason that the grassroots of my family came from this place. It was indeed a perfect place to spend quality time with your family and friends not merely because of its beaches but also for awesome night life that it is offering.
I am a certified beach lover. Beaches might not be as good as those in the Southern region of the country but I can say it is good enough for people who want to escape the busy life in the metro. And Hey.. They have Camayan Beach! It was just three to four hour drive from the Metro depending on the traffic. Other mode of transportation is through buses (Victory Liner) going to the heart of the City itself.
Its city life is not too far from that of Malate but I felt safer loitering around in this place probably because I consider this place a home though I barely stay in this place during my childhood. It was way more tidy that the sidewalks in the metro and big thanks to those implementing cleanliness in the city. Kudos to you guys.
Shopping Malls are not as classy as those in Greenbelt but they just have Duty Free and recently SM Olongapo. Duty Free was situated inside the base though but they have free shuttle going there. That was when I last went there, I am not so sure nowadays. If Baguio City has Camp John Hay, Olongapo have SBMA. If Manila has Ocean Park then Olongapo have Ocean Adventure.
As far as I remember, my grand mom who was from this place told me that the name of the placed was derived from “ulo ng apo” which means head of God. Perhaps, that is the reason why there was a head in one of the major roads in the City. I cannot forget “Jilibee” which is obviously derived from one of the famous fast food chains in the country. But wait.. It is not a fast food chain but a grocery store. My family have some funny stories on this store during their childhood which I just over hear sometimes in the past.
If you you are planning to go to this place, try going to White Castle which is located in the middle of the sea besides boat ride is not that expensive. You can even spend few minutes there and swim but remember to bring cash because you need to pay 10 pesos extra per head. I remember my brother who brought 100 pesos but was lost while we are still on our way. And forget to do that awesome jump when you went there but be extra careful because it is at times slippery.
We are staying in SBMA most of the times especially if my grand mom is going home for she is renting a house for her entire stay. No idea how to rent a place there though because everything was taken cared by my relatives. What I know is, it is indeed expensive. Life inside is a bit boring for there is nothing much to do. Majority of my time was spent in activities that include laziness.
There it was! Olongapo City is my other – other home.