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Subic Bay

PHILIPPINES | Sunday, 16 November 2014 | Views [383]

Lighthouse, Subic Bay, Luzon

Lighthouse, Subic Bay, Luzon

SUBIC HAS GONE DOWNHILL SINCE 1992 when Mt. Pinatubu erupted and covered this part of Luzon with ash.  That's when the US Navy decided to close the base here, depriving thousands of swabbies of the Pacific fleet one of their favorite — and sleeziest — dens of iniquity.  And depriving the locals of a navy to fleece.  Despite the Philippine governments attempts to revive the Freeport Zone as a tourist destination, Subic today is pretty much of a dump.  But there are some decent hotels and restaurants that still cater to western appetites.

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    Americans are gone . . . but not forgotten

The draw for us — no surprise — is the birding.  Because of the US presence there was little logging in the area and the forests are still in pretty good condition.  Along the way we ran into a local guide who told us that it isn't the best season for birding but we still managed to find a dozen new species including the Luzon hornbill.  We considered returning tomorrow but the taxi drivers haven't forgotten how to pick American pockets.  We felt the $50 taxi charge for three hours and 15 km a bit extortionist.  So we will sleep in and catch the 9 AM bus back to Manila for our afternoon flight to Frankfurt.

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   Luzon hornbill

 

 

 

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