I’ve always dreamt to fly, to see the world from above, sail like a falcon, and feel the cool touch of the wind on my face. This and the many other reasons that conspired, including of course my adventuroj side, led me to my next travel destination – off to Clark, Pampanga’s Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival, and since we’re already there, might as well head out for a side trip to Subic, Olongapo city, Zambales as well.
And so the following is my backpacking guide and sample itinerary for a budget Clark and Subic escapade.
How to Go to Gensan Airport: The budget friendly way
- Take a Jeepney bound for Uhaw-Fatima area at Papaya Street corner Acharon Boulevard. From downtown to Uhaw, that would be P20. However, the jeepney cannot enter the airport area. Either you take the tricycle or habal-habal which you have to payP100 (negotiable) just to reach the airport terminal building. In my experience, I have been to the airport through habal-habal and tricycle, and both are available in Uhaw-Fatima area.
- And of course, taxi service is the most convenient yet expensive mode. Usually, it reaches P300
- And hotel shuttle service is only available for those who have hotel accommodations.
Getting out of NAIA 3
Well given that as of now NAIA Terminal-3, the newest terminal in Ninoy Aquino International Airport of Manila, Philippines, is the hub of the giant low cost carrier Cebu Pacific and the Philippine Airlines’ subsidiaries such as PAL Express and Air Philippines, most cash-strapped passengers go here to embark or disembark on their respective flights. So how do you make it more budget friendly for these budget travelers who in turn will have to pay two hundred pesos (PhP200.00) for the terminal fee for domestic flights alone?
I. NAIA 3 – Baclaran – Pasay Rotunda Shuttle Bus Loop
Shuttle service is from 6:00AM to 10:00PM.
Usually, the commuters will just wait at the bus stop located right at the very southernmost part of the arrival area platform. There’s a big sign saying “NAIA Three Loop Bus Stop” at one of the gigantic posts. Its only twenty pesos (PhP20.00) for one way per person and it will get you all the way to Pasay Rotunda on an air-conditioned coaster shuttle. It’ll pass by first at Baclaran in Paranaque, then to EDSA Extension (or locally called “Heritage” area), then proceed to its final destination inside the Hotel Sogo Bus terminal. Talk about convenience!
How to go to Subic from Manila?
Hop on a Victory Liner Bus from Cubao and make sure to ask if there’s an available bus that will use the SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway), the sign board infront of the bus would say “Olongapo via DAU-SCTEX “ to cut about a half to an hour travel time to Subic but if there’s none available, just take the regular “Olongapo-San Fernando” bus, which will exit at San Fernando, Pampanga, go thru several Pampanga and Bataan towns, including the Olongapo-Gapan highway before getting to Victory Bus’ Station in downtown Olongapo City. Buy the ticket from the ticket counter and check your seat number. Fare one-way for the Olangapo-San Fernando route is 200+ pesos.
When you get off at the Victory Bus Liner’s Terminal in Olongapo City, walk towards the main road where there is a Jollibee store and a statue in the middle of the road. Hop on a yellow colored jeepney with “Sta. Rita and Gate” words written on its side across Jollibee or infront of Cyndy’s Bakeshop. Fare is 7 pesos one way. Get off infront of “Olongapo City Mall” and walk towards Subic’s main gate. Use the covered walk to get inside Subic. On your left side after passing thru the gate, you’ll see an area where stores like Mini Stop,7 eleven and Wimpy’s are located. This is also the terminal for Winstar Taxis if you would want go around the area.