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7 Best Things To Do In Olongapo, Philippines - Updated 2020

things to do in olongapo philippines
Valerie
Valerie
Updated

A major city province of Zambales in the Philippines, Olongapo has a growing population of 230,000 as per the 2015 census. Metro Olongapo, along with the municipality of Subic, is one of the twelve metropolitan areas in the Philippines. Though it has a notorious red light district reputation brought by the presence of night clubs catering to American servicemen, the city has gradually shifted into a more wholesome image. Olongapo is known for its culturally relevant sites – Marikit Park, Olongapo Lighthouse, Kalapati (The Dove Monument) along with Olongapo’s City Hall, Convention Center, Museum, Public Library, and Public Market. When in Olongapo, don’t forget to immerse in the following activities:

1. Have fun at the Inflatable Island

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The newest attraction in Olongapo that beckons young tourists, mostly those coming from Manila, Olongapo’s Inflatable Island has been dubbed as the ‘Biggest Inflatable Water Park’ in Asia. A playground for adults, experience a maze, monkey bars, kiddie slides, trampoline, human launcher, jumping pillow, rock climbing, and much more. Moreover, at the end of the Floating Playground, experience the BFB or 'Big Freaking Blob’, coming soon at Olongapo’s Inflatable Island. This installation of inflatable toys in the middle of a nice beach makes this “island” a must-visit when in Olongapo. To top it all off, the beachfront is lined with bean bags and parasols for the ultimate beach party.

Inflatable Island

Address: Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines

Website: Inflatable Island

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines

2. Reflect by Hellships Memorial

Hellships Memorial
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Elmer B. Domingo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Olongapo played a major role during the Second World War with some remnants still present and part of the city’s landmarks. Hellships Memorial, as tourists would say, is a place of quiet reflection and the feeling can get overwhelming. The location was made available to the Hellships Memorial Committee by the Subic Bay Municipality Authority (SBMA). It was built to remember the thousands of prisoners of war sent to Hellships by Japanese invaders. The prisoners of wars were captured in their home countries – Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore – and placed in Hellships to be transported to Japan and Dutch East Indies as slaves. The Hellship Memorial was built to commemorate the lives of POWS who died of starvation, murder, and neglect along the way.

Hellships Memorial

Address: Subic Bay, Zambales, Philippines

Website: Hellships Memorial

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines

3. Stop by the World Peace Memorial

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Source: Photo by user Judgefloro used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Another landmark that mirrors the significance of the city in war history is the World Peace Memorial. The World Peace Memorial features the ‘Kalapati’ or Dove monument that was built in memory of the lives lost during the tragic battle at Zigzag Pass. The battle is said to be one of the longest and most tragic battles during the World War II. The monument was built at the junction of the national highway and entry road to New Cabalan.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines

4. Observe local life at Marikit Park

Marikit Park River
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daryll Malicsi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Marikit Park is one of the earliest parks of Olongapo and still a local hangout place. The word Marikit means “beautiful” in the local language. This park’s distinct feature is the body of a U.S. Navy plane, originally displayed at the Subic Naval Base and acquired by the city of Olongapo from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). The plane fragment is preserved and displayed as a historical and heritage artifact to the city.

For tourists, Marikit Park is a historical haven perfect for leisurely walks. Locals come to this downtown park, mostly those with children, for an afternoon of playtime. This park is a youth and children’s park complete with a playground and wide open spaces. Visitors coming to Olangapo can also come and observe or mingle with the locals.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines

5. Spend a day or two at the city's beach resorts

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Source: Photo by user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Its beaches are one of the highlights, specifically for out-of-town guests. Notable beaches in Olongapo include the Blue Beach Resort, Treasure Island Beach Resort, and Mangrove Resort Hotel. Enjoy a sun-kissed experience in Olongapo’s well-loved beaches. Olongapo’s sandy shores are right in the city with scenic views of the mountains.

Blue Beach Resort

Address: Baloy Long Beach Road, Olongapo City

Website: Blue Beach Resort

Treasure Island Beach Resort

Address: Baloy Long Beach Road, Olongapo City

Website: Treasure Island Beach Resort

Mangrove Resort Hotel

Address: Baloy Long Beach Road, Olongapo City

Website: Mangrove Resort Hotel

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines

6. Olongapo Night Market

Night Market - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user jokertrekker used under CC BY 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Of course, who wouldn’t want a midnight shopping spree with the finest merchandise offerings of Olongapo. Olongapo’s Night Market begins at 5 pm until midnight. Find trinkets and taste local delicacies; night markets are fun and a respite from the scorching heat of the sun in a tropical country like the Philippines. More than a night market, it also serves local nightly festivities with food stalls and a mini fair complete with rides for kids.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines

7. Shop and hangout at Harbor Point

Harbor Point,Subicjf7560
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located at the heart of Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales, Harbor Point is Olongapo’s premier mall, owned by Philippines’ mall developers. The presence of Harbor Point in the city signals the chic and cosmopolitan destination Olongapo wants to evolve into, leaving its notorious past. Locals and tourists can come for retail, dining, and even entertainment.

Harbor Point

Address: Rizal Highway, Olongapo

Website: Harbor Point

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines

A family-friendly weekend getaway

Olongapo City Ulo Ng Apo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Peppie Navarro used under CC BY-SA 1.0

Shopping, dining, beaches, and various venues for fun and entertainment, Olongapo with its proximity to major cities, especially the capital city of Manila, offers a destination to temporally take a break and have fun. It’s no wonder this city will always be the choice among families and groups of friends for a wonderful weekend trip. Weekend warriors never fall short when it comes to attractions and activities either. Far from its notorious past, Olongapo has achieved a renewed reputation as a destination.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Valerie Caulin is a travel and lifestyle writer and runs her own blog, www.valcaulin.com. She loves writing about hotels, family travel, and anything related to history and culture.

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