Diving Subic Bay
Diving in Subic Bay is all about those wrecks. While Coron boasts mostly Japanese shipwrecks sunk during World War 2, Subic is more famous for the US shipwrecks found here.
The most famous are El Capitan and USS New York, but many more can be found. It is advised to be an Advanced open-water diver since most wrecks are between 20 and 40 meters deep.
Diving can be done all year round, however, the best time by far is just after the rainy season, between October/ November and March.
Visibility will clear up, and you can enjoy diving the shipwrecks with an easy 10-20 meters of visibility!
Olongapo & Baretto
Subic bay, revolves mostly around Olongapo and Baretto town. Olongapo is home to many restaurants, hotels and bars. While nightlife and the red-light district can be experienced at Baretto, close to the beach.
Olongapo is quite large, and you will be able to find anything you need when staying near. Tricycles, taxi's and buses can be found anywhere.
"Diving Old US Ship wrecks, sunk during World War 2!"
Diving Subic Bay:
Diving in Subic Bay is done mostly inside the bay, although there are reefs and wrecks outside of this area. Diving usually starts at 9 AM, leaving the dive center for 2 dives, with a surface interval in between, before coming back to the dive center.
After lunch, a 3rd dive can be done.
Prices vary from 1500 - 2000 pesos (35-45$) per dive, depending on, if you're renting your gear, or bringing your own.
Driving in Subic Bay:
Traffic rules are seriously enforced in Subic Bay. Police officers will be at most intersections, controlling the flow of traffic. Speed checks are also being done, so beware of your driving.
How to get there?
To get to Subic you have quite a few options. From Manila and around:
Driving from Manila by car or bus, is pretty straight forward. Leaving Manila, heading north you will find yourself entering Subic Bay in approximately 3 hours.
You can take a bus from Manila Sampaloc to Olongapo, which takes 3,5 hours.
By Taxi you can book this obviously from anywhere and prices vary from 45$ - 60$.
Flying: Subic Bay has its own airport, used as an alternative option and serves international flights as well as domestic. When coming from outside the country, you might want to look to arrive at Subic Bay Airport, rather than Ninoy Aquino Int. Airport in Manila.
Subic Bay is scattered with history. The ship wrecks found here, are remains of a war, hard fought. Some won, and some lost.
When the Japanese invaded Subic, they decided to abandon the bay area, but not before sinking a lot of ships, to keep them out of the hands of the enemy.
This made for an amazing diving playground, and for us to enjoy, conserve and admire.
Most famous shipwrecks of Subic Bay.
Diving sites, more in depth:
Below I will go more in-depth (pun intended) into these dive sites. The history is very often interesting! I will not note currents here, since there are almost none in the bay area.
"USS New York"
Perhaps the most famous in Subic Bay! This armored cruiser was intentionally sunk in 1941 to keep it from the Japanese invasion.
Depth: 27 meters
A ship actually used to block the advances of the US navy into Subic. A very old ship, built before 1900, is now covered in corals and marine life!
An easy dive, accessible to all.
Maximum depth: 16 meters.
Not intentionally sunk, but a victim of the Filipino weather. Sunk by a typhoon after the war, this wreck is intact mostly and relatively easy to dive.
Maximum depth: 23 meters.
A huge landing ship, transporting tanks, vehicles, and men. 90 meters long at a max depth of 36 meters.
Maximum depth: 36 meters.
Sunk intentionally after the Vietnamese war. Mostly used as a portable dock.
Maximum depth: 32 meters.