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Home of the Most Beautiful Women in the World

Olongapo, officially the City of Olongapo (Sambali: Syodad nin Olongapo ;

Filipino: Lungsod ng Olongapo) and often referred to as Olongapo City, is a highly
urbanized city located in the province of Zambales, Philippines. It has a population
of 221,178 people according to the 2010 census.[4] Along with the town of Subic, it
comprises Metro Olongapo, one of the twelve metropolitan areas in the Philippines.
Situated at the Southern entry point of Zambales and the Northwestern
interior of the Subic Bay area, Olongapo City is approximately 127 kilometres (79
mi) north of Manila.
The land area of Olongapo City is 103.3 square kilometres (39.9 sq mi). The
city proper is located on a 6.48 square kilometres (2.50 sq mi) tidal flatland, with
the rugged Zambales Mountains on its three sides, and the Bataan and Subic Bay at
its base. Because of this peculiar geographic location, development of city land is
limited. Also, the territorial borders from nearby towns are not properly marked.[21]
Olongapo has a tropical monsoon climate (Kppen climate classification Am).
[22] From late October through February, the weather in tropical Olongapo is
relatively cool. Temperatures increase slightly from March to May, which are the
warmest months of the year in this part of the Philippines.
The rainy season begins in June and continues through October. At times
rains are heavy and flooding can occur.
The city receives an average of 3,590 millimetres (141 in) rainfall every year.
Temperatures range from an average of around 25 C (77 F) degrees in November
to around 28 C (82 F) in May.[23]

Landmarks / Places of interest[edit]

Ulo ng Apo Monument

SM City Olongapo, a shopping mall in Olongapo.

Harbor Point Subic, the city's lifestyle center

Rizal Triangle Park adjacent to the Olongapo City Hall

Olongapo City Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center

Marikit Park as seen from across the river

Ulo ng Apo: A towering and majestic marker located at the rotonda in Bajac-Bajac. A very
visible and tangible tourist attraction to glorify the legend of the city.

Olongapo City Hall: The City Hall is located at Rizal Avenue, West Bajac-Bajac. On the east
side contains the PUD (Public Utilities Department), in charge of providing electricity to the city
(but is later on replaced by OEDC-Olongapo Electric Distribution company). To the east is the
Olongapo City PNP Police Station 1, and at the back of the city hall is the Health Building.

Olongapo City Convention Center: More conveniently known as OCCC or OCC, it has
been the site of many events in Olongapo City history, not to mention numerous conferences,
meetings, and school events.

Olongapo City Museum: Opened to the public in 2003, the museum contains dioramas,
artifacts, and paintings about the history of the city. At the entrance, a rotating Ulo ng Apo statue
meets you.

Olongapo City Public Library: The original Library stood near the City Hall. However, to
make way for the construction of the PUD office, it was relocated at Hospital Road, East
Tapinac; near the Convention Center.

Olongapo City Public Market: One of the three Wet and Dry public markets in the city of
Olongapo. Pag-Asa Public Market near SM City Olongapo and the Old Market near Olongapo
City Hall.

Marikit Park: One of the most earliest parks of Olongapo, it has become famous in its time.
Today, it is near Gordon College, the museum, the convention center and the library.

Olongapo Lighthouse: A panoramic view perfect for picture taking. This old lighthouse is
located along the national highway going to the north. It overlooks the Subic Bay Freeport area.

Kalapati (The Dove Monument): Mr. Kasanobu Miyazaki, a Japanese owner of an

accounting firm in Aioi City, Japan, requested that a shrine be built in New Cabalan where his
brother, Capt. Masanobu Miyazaki died in battle at the Zig Zag Pass. Mayor Gordon suggested
instead a peace monument dedicated to the Filipino, American and Japanese lives that were lost
in that battle. The monument was thus built at the junction of the national highway and the road
into New Cabalan. It is surmounted by a dove of peace. This monument welcomes travelers who
will pass the first barangay of Olongapo City from the province of Bataan.

SM City Olongapo (formerly Olongapo City Mall): The only shopping mall that was formerly
government-owned on May 1, 2004 as Olongapo City Mall. But, it was demolished in 2010 to
become SM City Olongapo that was softly opened on December 15, 2011 and was grandly
opened on February 10, 2012.

Harbor Point: It is a large shopping mall in Olongapo City, owned by property development
firm Ayala Land, Inc., a real estate subsidiary of Ayala Corporation. It is the first Ayala Shopping
Center located in the city of Olongapo and the second Mall to be opened in Central Luzon and
outside Metro Manila.

Landmarks within Olongapo City,


As far as I know, there are no natural landmarks in Olongapo. There

are a few man-made landmarks and Ive seen all of them but one in
person. The Subic Bay Freeport Zone has two landmarks that I know
about, but Ill feature them in another article (possibly following this
one). Except for one Olongapo landmark, either I or the husband of a
sister-in-law took the pictures while we were out sight-seeing.
As I describe the landmarks, my starting point is the Subic Bay
Freeport Zone main gate, also called the Magsaysay Gate because it
leads out to Magsaysay Drive.

Leaving the gate, you have to walk across the bridge over shit
river (a colloquial name representing all the sewage flowing down
the river) to get to Magsaysay Drive. The bridge is closed to
vehicular traffic while it awaits the funding to be renovated or
Traveling north to northwest on Magsaysay Drive, youll soon reach
the end, a three-way junction connecting to the Rizal Avenue
Extension going southwest and the Rizal Avenue Extension going
northeast. The junction is a traffic circle with the Magsaysay
Rotunda in the middle of it.

The Magsaysay Rotunda

Ive talked to a lot of people in

Olongapo over the course of seven years. When I ask about this
rotunda, no one seems to know its real name. Its been called
Fountain of Unity and Friendship Rotunda. Google Maps shows it
as Unity Rotunda. I suppose the only way to find out the real name
would be to go to the city hall and ask the right person. Since I have
no other reason to visit the city hall, Ill probably never find out the
real name.
If you follow the Rizal Avenue Extension northeast, it turns almost
due east when it ends at another junction. This is a four-way junction
connecting to National Highway going northeast, Rizal Avenue going
northwest and 18th Street going southeast. The junction is a traffic
circle with the Ulo ng Apo Rotunda in the middle of it.

The Ulo Ng Apo Rotunda

The City of Olongapo derives its

name from the story of Ulo Ng Apo. You can read the story at the
Wikipedia page forOlongapo.
If you turn northeast and follow National Highway, it turns northwest
and runs parallel to the river. Youll pass the Olongapo cemetery and
the Kalaklan barangay before the highway turns north. Its at that
point, called Kalaklan Point, where youll find the Kalaklan
Lighthouse, also called the Kalaklan Point Lighthouse or Olongapo

The Kalaklan Lighthouse

The Kalaklan Lighthouse was

renovated in 2007. Like the Magsaysay Rotunda, I dont know its
real name. I only know what the local residents call it. I have no
reason other than curiosity to find out and thats not enough for me
to investigate any further.

If you go back to the Ulo ng Apo Rotunda and turn northwest on

Rizal Avenue, its name will eventually change to Jose Abad Santos
Avenue as you head out of Olongapo. Before that, youll probably
wont see this unless youre traveling the other direction:

The Olongapo City Welcome Sign

The welcome sign says Olongapo

Proper but Im pretty sure it isnt even close to the official boundary
of the city.
The road continues to the Bataan province after passing the last
barangay of the city, New Cabalan. If you look to your left at the
right time, you can see the Kalapati (Dove) monument at the turnoff
to JP Rizal Street. Ive never seen it and Ive passed it dozens of
times. Thats probably because its in the area called Zig Zag Pass
and Ive always paid careful attention to the road that zigs and zags
(the origin of the name, I suppose).


Other Landmarks
I dont know if there are any other places that would be considered
landmarks. There are other places of interest, however, and some of
them are:

Olongapo City
Olongapo City
Olongapo City
Olongapo City
Marikit Park

Convention Center
Public Library

I dont know when Ill be out and about again with my digital camera
in hand. Unless I make a special point to do so, I may never take
photos of places I havent already taken photos of, including
landmarks in other cities.

Olongapo City is quickly becoming a food haven for foodies out there. Olongapo now has a
roster of restaurants that specialize in different cuisines, from American to Chinese. In their 20th
Yummy episode, GMA News TVs award-winning infotainment program Ang Pinaka tried out ten
homegrown restaurants in the area.
Which restaurants in Olongapo made it to our list? Here they are, in no particular order:

Ricos Fastfood and Restaurant

#421 4th St., West Tapinac, Olongapo City
Ricos Fastfood and Restaurant is your go-to place for lutong-bahay cravings while in Olongapo. For
as low P55, you can get a huge plate of pansit palabok. Pair it with the restos bagnet ensalada
(P110), made of bagnet bits mixed with slices of onions and tomatoes.
Also try Ricos bulalo (P150). Host Maey Bautista liked the softness of the beef and the flavorful
For a taste of something different, order the Pinoy japchae (P850/tray), Korean japchae with a twist
as the reso added crunchy paco leaves to complement the soft noodles. If you want Italian flavors,
try the beef lasagna (P770/tray).
Mini-Kongs Express
32 Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo City
Mini-Kongs Express has been serving classic Chinese dishes in Olongapo City since 1954.
Bestsellers from their menu are their patatim (P400) drenched in oyster sauce, and their camaron
con hamon (P440) shrimp wrapped in ham and bread.
Host Maey Bautistas favorites from Mini-Kong are their egg foo young (P150), a vegetable omelette
drenched in brown sugar sauce.
Of course, a Chinese meal wouldnt be complete without pansit. Make sure to order the restaurants
pansit canton for only P120!
Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City
For classic American dishes, Hotshots is the place to be. Start off your meal at Hotshots with their
mushroom soup (P60). Host Rovilson Fernandez particularly liked the big chunks of mushroom and
croutons in this meal.
If you want something lighter, try their garden fresh salad (P179) filled with iceberg and romaine
lettuce, peaches, tomatoes, and onions. You have two dressings for this salad: roasted sesame
dressing and strawberry vinaigrette.
For their bestsellers, order the buffalo wings (P500). The spiciness of the buffalo wings is
complemented by the creamy blue cheese dip. Also try Hotshots Ultimate cheeseburger (P245) with
melted cheese and their Filipino style barbecue (P159).
The Coffee Shop Restaurant
2 Rizal St., Center National Highway, Barrio Baretto, Olongapo City

Interestingly, the Coffee Shop Restaurant is famous not for their coffee, but for their giant tacos.
Its the reason Ive been coming back here for more than five years! attests host Rovilson
The Coffee Shop Restaurants giant hard tacos cost only P90 and are filled with cheese, lettuce,
chili, and ground beef.
Other offerings include their hototay (P150), an egg-based soup with ham, lumpia, and salami bits;
sizzling sisig (P180); shrimp with garlic and butter sauce (P260); and the Coffee Shop Restaurants
other signature dish, pochero (P260).
Cafe Balooga
1148 Riverwalk, Harbor Point Mall, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City
Contrary to what you might be thinking, Cafe Balooga was actually named for its black coffee
The bestsellers on their menu, though, are their a la carte meals. Start your dining off with their All-in
salad (P340), salad with seafood and french dressing. If you want something heavier, try their taco
plate for only P200.
For your main course, try their pomodoro spaghetti (P280), which has a strong hint of basil. Pair it
with tuna panga (P70/100 grams), which is marinated overnight in pepper and soy sauce.
Sams Pizza Family Restaurant
444 Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo City
If youre craving for pizza while in Olongapo, head on over to Sams Pizza Family Restaurant. Sams
Pizza Family Restaurant is famous for their thick-crust pizza. Among the bestsellers from their menu
are their taco pizza (P540) topped with ground beef, cheese, and lettuce; and Sams Special Jumbo
(P590), topped with onions, bell pepper, and italian sausage.
Another must-try is their tacos (P160). You have to give them props for presentation: their tacos
have an interesting cone shape, perfect if youre on the go as the fillings wont spill easily. If youre
feeling more adventurous, try Sams Pizza Family Restaurants Wings on Fire (P199). Maey Bautista
attested to the spiciness of this dish by commenting, Nasa impyerno na ba ako?
Texas Joes House of Ribs
Waterfront Rd. cor Mckinley St. Subic Bay, Freeport Zone, Olongapo City
Texas Joes House of Ribs takes pride in their pulled-pork ribs, briskets, and other country style
For P1, 999, you get a full slab of ribs. Soft, tender, and succulent, as host Rovilson Fernandez
says. If you want more variety, order their Tennessee trio (P679). The Tennessee trio is comprised of

barbecue chicken, brisket, and ribs.

Other crowd favorites from Texas Joes House of Ribs are their smoked chicken nachos with
homemade salsa (P389), burrito platter (P299), and shrimp skewer (P199).
Playa Papagayo Inn and Restaurant
43 National Highway Barrio Baretto, Olongapo City
Playa Papagayo Inn and Restaurant is a Mexican resto that opened 50 years ago for US Military
soldiers. Bestsellers on their menu are their tostada grande (P250) and their plato Mexicano (P410),
a dish that consists of deep fried beans, enchilada, Spanish rice, and tacos with shredded beef.
Other must-tries are their grilled mahi-mahi with roasted red bell pepper sauce (P385), and
Rovilsons favorite steak quesadilla platter (P380).
Tropical Bay Restaurant and Catering
610 Magsaysay Drive, East Tapinac, Olongapo City
Tropical Bay Restaurant offers Western and Asian fusion cuisine. For appetizers, try their
Vietnamese spring roll (P145), and their Louisiana seafood gumbo (P180) made from tomato soup
with shrimp, clams, and oysters.
Moving on to their main courses, we recommend their Singaporean noodles (P220) topped with
shrimp bits and made flavorful with curry sauce. Their beef casserole (P230), with mashed potatoes
with beef and cheese, is a meal in itself.
Lastly, order their Tropical pizza (P338). This pizza is interestingly topped with mangoes, pineapples,
green apples, and ham.
Meat Plus Cafe
Bldg. 65, Sampson Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo
Meat Plus Cafe is a fastfood-style restaurant that specializes in steaks. They will cook your steak of
choice to your preferred specifications.
From their wide selection of steaks, their bestseller by far is their U.S. Rib Eye steak (P500).
Meat Plus also offers other a la carte meals such as U.S. Beef Salpicao (P255); the Meat Plus
burger meal (P225), with fries and double meat patties; and oven-roasted beef belly (P235).
For dessert, try their apple pie (P155/slice). Its a burst of cinnamon flavors and cheese toppings.