03 Jul2006

Subic “Wildlife”

by Marketman


Marketman & family were at Subic Bay over the weekend. The last time I was there was over 25 years ago when I used to play varsity tennis for my High School that would compete against Subic, Clark, etc. I had fond memories of the old naval base and I was somewhat curious to see what had become of it in recent years. Because we had The Kid along, sightseeing and “animals” were at the forefront of the agenda… If you have kids and want to check Subic out, this is what you can expect on the animal front. We visited Zoobic, a mish-mash of zoo exhibits that I think is owned by the same folks who have that bizarre zoo up in Tagaytay (Residence Inn?) that causes all manner of traffic snarls on the way to the Batangas beaches. There is a lot more space down at Zoobic and they have a lot more animals to see, but there is still a depressing feeling of relatively sad looking animals, couped up in enclosures, and who are just way out of their natural element. We saw it once, and let’s just say we ain’t going back for more… But, for your amusement as you spend 10 seconds zooming down this post, here are some pictures of the tame and wild animals we encountered over the weekend.

Up above, a nice looking Bengal tiger, one of about 10 or so that are part of the Zoobic collection. Some of them are fairly large and cross-bred with Siberian tigers. sub2We opted to feed the tigers some chickens (we had to buy them) so they went careening after our jeep like they were on a real hunt. Bizarre and somewhat cruel, in retrospect, and I wouldn’t do that again. Felt bad for the tigers…should have let one loose in one of the awful duty free supermarkets they had instead…would have much rather watched the tigers chasing humans for food! At least we did give it some protein for the effort. We also saw some wild boar (baboy damo) and nasty pot bellied pigs including this aggressive male with tusks in the photograph here… I was more curious how much tapa it might make. Apparently, properly made tapang baboy damo deep in the woods is made without salt (which is a rare commodity in the old primitive days) but rather just dusted with ash from a fire (the ash has lye, I think) which helps to preserve the meat.

We also saw a white (albino) carabao…


…and surprisingly, we ran into up to 8 wild monkeys on two occasions by the edge of the forests surrounding Subic of which I only got a blurred photo of this one ballsy alpha male…


…which had me running for the nearest thick vine and scurrying up to the forest canopy to let out my best Tarzan yell (yes, I can do a really good one)…


…and as if that wasn’t enough animal stuff for the day…the Kid and I got into the bay with two false killer whales at 550+ kilos each and frolicked and rode them across the cove several times!




  1. Apicio says:

    Nothing like animal crackers for Monday morning. Thanks.

    Jul 3, 2006 | 6:36 pm


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  3. MasPinaSarap says:

    Where is Zoobic exactly? I was right across the base when I was there in 2002 and didn’t know one existed.
    Although sad at times, I believe zoos do a lot of species preservation work, and give students who might never be afforded the chance of a trip to rural Asia and Africa to see these animals in the wild and at the same time enriching their minds and encouraging a love for animals.
    BTW I’d love to see Philippine Tarsiers!! :)

    Oh and MM we finally made Kare-Kare, and it was good! It took a lot of work, and quite a bit of money, because the ox tails and tripe are not cheap here. We agreed to make something similar to Nilagang Baka next time and just add the Kare-Kare sauces, for a similar stew.

    Jul 4, 2006 | 7:45 am

  4. puFF says:

    this is so funny!

    Jul 4, 2006 | 7:48 am

  5. Marketman says:

    MasPinaSarap the zoobic zoo is about 25 minutes drive from the Central Business District of Subic. It is near the Ocean Adventure Park as well. Ask for a map the next time you visit… Tarsiers are in Bohol…look up my archives for posts on Bohol, I think I have a photo of a tarsier or two there… Glad to hear the Kare-kare worked out well, albeit labor intensive!

    Jul 4, 2006 | 8:03 am

  6. nikka says:

    are you serious? i LIVE in subic! wish i had known you were coming, i would have eagerly taken you to dinner at one of the few good restaurants around. :)

    Jul 4, 2006 | 8:53 am

  7. Marketman says:

    Nikka, Arrgh!, I knew I should have put a post before the trip…we had pretty lukewarm food throughout the trip. Bummer. I can’t seem to keep track of where my readers live…

    Jul 4, 2006 | 9:13 am

  8. spanx says:

    hey MM!

    next time you visit the other former US base in Central Luzon, i hope you can try out the VFW Canteen right by the Clark Perimeter Road after Fields Ave. Think classic American 1950s-1960s fare by way of Betty Crocker.

    i tried to e-mail this to you in the “contact” key of your website, but i received an “injection error” (!) reply.

    anyways, hope this recent post in the pinoyfrugalchowhound yahoogroup helps. and i hope you can find the time to join that group too. lots of dedicated foodies in the house!


    after a long absence, i visited THE VFW CANTEEN over by the Fields Ave/Perimeter Road of Clark Air Base,
    and had an intensely satisfying brunch.

    i’ve forgotten what the other letters in VFW stand for,
    but V is for Veterans’, not Vendetta.
    it’s a restaurant run coop style by a group of American veterans.

    this is perhaps one of the very very few places in the Philippines
    that serves a real SHIT ON A SHINGLE,
    or S.O.S., what GIs affectionately (or derisively) called their staple wartime food,
    Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast.

    it’s similar to a Sloppy Joe, except that the ground beef is simmered in cream,
    and the whole mess is slathered onto a couple of slices of toasted bread
    (your choice of wheat or white bread),
    and the intermingling of crunchy toast and creamy beef almost makes you feel like you’re in Oliver Stone movie.
    one full order of the S.O.S. is only a hundred bucks.

    VFW’s version of EGGS BENEDICT takes a while to prepare,
    mainly because each batch of Hollandaise Sauce is cooked up fresh upon each order.
    another cholesterol feast!!!

    and if you miss that late lamented McDo breakfast of Sausages/Egg/Cheese on a Biscuit,
    look no further!!!
    VFW bakes their own authentic southern style BISCUITS that melt in your mouth.

    and HASH BROWNS?
    present and accounted for!!
    thick diner-style MILKSHAKES?
    yes sir!!!

    needless to say,
    the best burgers in Angeles City/Dau can be found here.
    PATTY MELTs overflowing with caramelized onions,
    and other Hotshot/Brothers-type burger creations are among VFW’s top-sellers.

    walking into the VFW Canteen is like returning to pre-Pinatubo eruption Clark Field.
    the furniture and fixtures are well-maintained 1970s chic.
    it’s fully airconditioned, and very cool and cozy inside.
    at any given time, the crowd is divided evenly between Americans and Capampangans.
    and the serving staff is almost bargirl friendly.

    but don’t worry, this is very much a Family Friendly establishment,
    although if you prefer, you can enjoy your Carnivorous American Feast in the bar area.

    located in a nondescript building a block away from the main Perimeter Road,
    VFW is indeed a local secret that deserves to be discovered by Pinoy foodies.

    So next time you go duty-free shopping at Clark,
    forget about the chowkings and the jollibees,
    and take the ten minute drive out to the VFW timewarp!!!

    Santol Road corner Pinatubo Street,
    Clarkview Subdivision
    Perimeter Road,
    Angeles City

    From inside Clark,
    take the Friendship Highway exit on the right side of the main road,
    turn left on the Perimeter Road and drive towards Fields Ave/Mac Arthur Highway.
    Go past the Oasis, Majarajah, and Clarkton Hotels,
    look out for the Zapata Mexican Restaurant on the right side of the road,
    a couple of blocks down, turn right into Santol Road, and voila, VFW!!!

    or if you get lost,
    just call 045-8922408 and ask for directions.

    Jul 4, 2006 | 12:43 pm

  9. MasPinaSarap says:

    MM, I’ve read that about Bohol, and they’re in Loboc as well, correct? If I had family in that area it would be a lot easier to see the centers, or in the wild of course. I’ve read that they have been in at least some way preserved, because they’ve been considered bad luck through history.
    Maybe one day i’ll be able to visit the southern part of the Philippines to see them. :)

    Jul 5, 2006 | 12:28 pm


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