When David and I got married in January, we were trying to stick to a fairly low budget. Since we didn’t have much money to spare, buying plane tickets to go somewhere exotic and out of the country for our honeymoon was totally out of the question. We still were able to have an amazing adventure, however. We picked the Subic/Olangapo area as our destination, bought a map, fueled up the motorcycle, and headed out for what would be an unforgettable adventure!
The drive itself was as amazing as the destination. We saw lots of cool things, ate some spectacular food at roadside eateries, and had some unexpected adventures. The most notable was when we came to a bridge that was out and had to find another way across the river in order to continue on. So, how did we get across the water? Well, the locals had set up a sort of makeshift fairey ride specifically for motorcycles. They loaded up our bike onto a small bangka boat, which we found pretty amazing. We were shocked that this little boat was able to hold the weight of our motorcycle, plus us and the boatman as well! It was a pretty unique and memorable experience.
As we continued on, we had a couple of minor accidents. It was a long trip from Cubao to Subic, especially since we weren’t allowed to drive on the highways. It took us around 6-7 hours to reach Olangapo, and within that time we skidded out twice on poor terrain. Once it was a build of of sand on the road that caused us to wipe out, the other time it was loose gravel. We ended up with a few minor cuts and bruises, but nothing serious. We arrived in Olangapo for the most part in one piece, and we were glad to rest our poor rumps. It gets a bit uncomfortable sitting on the bike for so long!
We’d been planning to stay at Johan’s Resort along Baloy Long Beach, but unfortunately their affordable room was already occupied and we couldn’t afford their other rooms. Not to despair, though, there were dozens of other resorts along the same road and we quickly found a nice one within our budget. Upon arrival and check-in, we were just looking for a relaxing day at the beach so we put on our swimwear and headed out to the ocean!
After a nice, long afternoon of swimming, it was time to search for food. We ate at a nearby Mexican restaurant. It was a bit pricey for the quality of food that was served, but it had a beautiful view of the beach and we had a lovely time watching the sun go down over the water as we enjoyed our food.
We had a busy day planned for the second day of our honeymoon, so we hit the sack early and got up early the next morning. Our first stop of the day was the Zoobic Safari, we’d been excited about going there ever since we first started planning our honeymoon. It was about a 40 minute drive from the resort we were staying at, but the drive was beautiful so we didn’t mind one bit. We were just enjoying the beach views, the beautiful trees and forests, and we even saw wild monkeys along the side of the road!
Zoobic Safari turned out to be so incredibly worth it. David and I are both huge animal lovers, and this place was perfect for us. We started by paying a little extra so we could bottle-feed a baby tiger. Yes, that’s right – we fed a tiger! David and I both had a turn feeding this giant kitten and it was an incredible experience.
After that, we had to hurry to catch up with our tour group. We bought some baskets of fruit before heading out so that we could feed the various birds and other animals, including goats, camels, deer, and more. We were so glad that we did! We were easily the stars of the show – we were the only ones in our group that had bothered to purchase food for the animals, so all the animals were flocking to us and following us around. My favorites were the hornbills, they were very persistent in following me and making angry sounds until I fed them, they were quite adorably annoying.
After walking around and feeding the animals, the tour pushed on. There were a couple caves that we walked through, then it was on to the highlight of the day – the tiger safari. We were packed into a jeepney that was reinforced with metal bars all around and the driver took us into the tiger exhibit. One of the zoo’s personnel sat in the middle with a whole raw chicken to draw the tiger over to us. He fed the tiger through the bars of the jeepney while David and I looked on in awe. After the tiger had finished devouring it’s meal, it jumped on top of the jeepney before leaving us to wait for his next meal.
After we left Zoobic Safari, we jumped on our trusty motorcycle and headed off to Magaul Bird Park for some more animal encounters. We spent the remainder of the afternoon there enjoying the beautiful birds and the activities offered there. One of my favorite parts was the Jungle Survival Training. The speaker showed us how to make cups, plates and silverware out of bamboo, how to find and drink water from vines, how to build a fire using nothing but bamboo, and how to make shampoo from tree bark! We had a great time watching as he taught us how to survive in the jungle.
Day two was done, and it was another full night of rest before another busy day. We had one day left before we had to head back to reality, so we intended to make the most of it. We started off with a heavy breakfast at The Coffeeshop, a place known locally for their jumbo tacos and delicious brewed coffee. This was definitely the best place that we ate while on our honeymoon. The jumbo tacos were as good as promised, and the menu was so affordable as well which was a huge bonus. We enjoyed the tacos, some ribs, and more before heading back into the Subic Bay Freeport Zone for our next adventure.
Today, our first stop was the El Kabayo Stables for some horseback riding. Horses aren’t really David’s thing, but I love them so he gave in and agreed to go for a trail ride with me. It was an amazing ride. The first bit of the “trail” was dull – it was actually along a road, so there wasn’t much to see. But once we got to the real trail, that all changed. And the destination made everything worth it – the El Kabayo Waterfalls. Our guides allowed us to dismount and explore the falls for a short time before heading back to the stables. It was a beautiful sight, and we drank some of the fresh, clean water coming from the springs. There were butterflies all around us, and it was just heavenly. I didn’t want to leave, but I was excited to get back up on my horse, Supreme.
After we dismounted and got back on our metal steed, Maleficar, we headed deeper into the Freeport Zone and towards the Pamulaklakin Forest Trail. We were ready for a good, long hike in the woods, which is exactly what we got! We hired J.R., an Aeta tribesman, to show us their forest. He was an amazing guide, pointing out different plants to us and telling us their medicinal uses. He also stopped to carve us some items out of bamboo and made us other little keepsakes that we still have now!
The forest was so breathtaking and serene. This was easily one of the best parts of our honeymoon trip. We encountered some other Aeta tribespeople on the trail, along with their carabao(water buffalo), and J.R. spoke to them and asked them to let me sit on the carabao for a photo, which they graciously did. I thought it was pretty neat!
Finally, after about 2 hours of hiking in the forest, we were back at the entrance. J.R. gave us permission to rest and dip our feet in the river, which we did. As we sat with our toes in the cool stream of water, we were met with some surprise guests – there were doctor fish in the water! They came up and nibble on our toes while we were there. David had a small wound on his foot, and they swarmed around it and cleaned all the dried blood off. This was a neat and unexpected treat.
That was pretty much our last adventure for our honeymoon. We were pretty worn out from the long day, so we headed back to our resort. We did go out to the beach after dark for one last swim. It felt so nice to relax in the ocean at nighttime, it was just so peaceful and calm out there. Then, it was time for one last sleep and then back on the bike in the morning for the long trip back home.
Our road trip to Subic was absolutely unforgettable, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Even though it wasn’t expensive or extravagant by any means, it was perfect for us and really reflected who we are as a couple. We had an amazing experience bonding with nature and it couldn’t have been more perfect if we had tried!