SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Colorful dance performances and a beautiful sunrise greeted foreign tourists here recently as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) welcomed the arrival of the first cruise ship to dock here this year.
The United Kingdom-based M/V Spirit of Adventure docked at the Alava pier last Friday and disembarked 378 passengers and 201 crew members for a tour of the Freeport, including a jungle survival demonstration at the Pamulaklakin Aeta village.
The visitors, who have recently toured Palawan, Cebu and Manila, were pleasantly surprised to discover “hidden treasures” among the forests of the former Subic Naval Base here.
“When we got off, I was a bit disappointed because the environment was so American, but once we arrived at the Pamulaklakin trails, very quickly after that, we found Subic to be unique, very unique,” said Helen Pollard, one of the tourists from the M/V Spirit of Adventure.
Pollard said that she was impressed by the Aetas’ ability to make anything out of bamboo. “I’m really impressed by the knowledge of these people, and how long it must have taken to get that knowledge.
This is fabulous!” she added. Pollard also found the people warm and sincere. She said that her visit to Subic was the most interesting part and the best day she had on tour.
The visitors also went to other tourist spots and the duty free shops inside the Freeport. “It’s been a good experience and a good farewell to the Philippines for our guests,” said cruise director Neil Harrocks, adding that it was a delight to have Subic as their last stop in the Philippines.