Xtremely Xpresso, Subic, Zambales

Before heading back to Manila from our weekend beach outing at Camayan Beach Resort, my husband suggested that we have our lunch at Xtremely Xpresso. He already had the chance to try the place out with his officemates a few years ago while on a team building session in Subic. He strongly recommended the place so off we went to have our lunch there.

Judging from the name of the place, I thought that they would only serve light meals and coffee. Surprisingly, the place also offers steaks, pasta, and pizza. We ordered Pepper Steak, Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Steak, Carbonara, Hawaiian Pizza, and Banana Split for dessert. While my husband and mother-in-law had soda and iced tea, Ralph and I chose to have a Caramel Daze Frappe and Mochaccino fixes!

The place was crowded when we arrived at around past twelve noon. Seems that the place already has a huge following among the tourists of Subic. The only downside of this is that the service is slow. The crew probably is better on off-peak days. The place could have also be better if it was a little bigger. My mother-in-law thought that there were spaces in the restaurant that were not efficiently used.

With regard to the food, all I can say is that I enjoyed my Carbonara and Mochaccino. Although my mother-in-law found her Baby Back Ribs to be more on the sour side, I found it okay. Ralph liked the Pepper Steak because the peppercorns were whole and it wasn't that spicy. The only thing that bothered me was the Hawaiian Pizza. It was cold and quite bland to my taste. I will still give them another try when I get to visit Subic again, though. I still have to get a taste of their famous Big Ben pizza. Probably, it's just because they're understaffed and the place was overcrowded that the pizza wasn't hot and fresh from the oven anymore.

While waiting for our food to be served, I went around the place and took snapshots of the interesting knick knacks that they had on display. These somehow made up for the cold pizza we had that day. Kinda reminded me of Bigg's.

Xtremely Xpresso is located at #1 Dewey Avenue corner Sta. Rita St., Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales. Another branch is located at SM City Clark.

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Camayan Beach Resort, Subic, Zambales

We stayed at the Camayan Beach Resort the night after our day-long tours of Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure. Camayan Beach Resort is the nearest hotel in the area. It would have taken us a 20-minute drive back to Subic's waterfront area if we chose to stay at one of the cheaper inns along the boardwalk as we planned earlier.

While our room was being prepared, Ralph and I enjoyed the free wifi in the place. Too bad I didn't bring my laptop so we just had to make do with using the PSP for internet surfing.

We put our things inside the room and headed on to The Reef for dinner. The Reef is the resort's restaurant. We had Nilasing na Hipon (shrimps marinated in beer then deep-fried) and Chopsuey (sauteed mixed vegetables). The mood that night in the place was festive. The resident band kept playing tribal-like music. We felt like we were in the set of Survivor with the tiki torches set on the sand just outside the restaurant. After some time, a fire dance exhibition was done where the tiki torches were. It started to drizzle but the crowd didn't mind getting out to watch the fire dancer up close.

Heavy rains poured by the time we got inside our room. We got a deluxe room with two double-sized beds which were just right for the four our us. Ralph slept beside my mother-in-law. I hit the sack as soon as I finished taking a warm shower.

My husband and I woke up early the next morning to take a morning dip at the beach. We failed to swim the day before even during our beach lunch buffet.

After setting up our things on a plastic recliner still within the hotel area, we saw wild monkeys getting down from the hotel's roof. The monkeys went down from the trees to a trash bin that was just near our things! We immediately ran for our things and transferred it nearer to the beach where we were swimming. But before getting back to the water, my husband managed to get snapshots of the wild monkeys trashing the place. It was scary and fun at the same time, I tell you! The hotel staff had a busy time cleaning the trash afterward.

When Ralph and my mother-in-law woke up, we went back to The Reef to get some breakfast. The breakfast buffet spread that they set up was irresistible so we ended up buying breakfast buffet plates for the four of us. Then, we went back to the sea to play with the sand and to swim. We stayed in the waters until 11 a.m. and checked-out before 12 noon.

For more information on Camayan Beach Resort, call their Subic Bay office at (047) 252-8000 or their Manila office at 706-3344 to 46. You can also visit this page for online reservations.

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Ocean Adventure, Subic, Zambales

Ocean Adventure is an open-water marine park situated at the Ilanin Bay inside Subic, Zambales. The place guarantees that the guests will enjoy watching their marine animals in a variety of exciting and intimate ways. We were lucky that part of our company summer outing was the visit to the marine park last weekend. True enough, Ocean Adventure was worth the 3-hour trip from Manila!

My enjoyment will never be complete without my boys!

From Camayan Beach Resort where we had our beachside lunch buffet, we just walked to Ocean Adventure which was just nearby. The Ocean Adventure staff assigned at the entrance had our wrists stamped with a batch number.

The tours inside the marine park are organized so that each area in the facility will not be over-crowded with the touring batches. For example, while our batch was in the Learning Center, the other batches are either in the high dive area or the sea lion show.

orientation about dolphins and whales

The tour guide assigned to our group oriented us with the basics of dolphins and whales. Ralph was extra attentive during this part of the tour. Our guide also introduced us to the park's marine family especially the rescued false killer whales.

We were treated to a snack of turon (fried bananas wrapped in egg wrappers), squidballs, and halo-halo. It's part of the package that our company availed for the tour. There's a cafe and snack area where the other visitors had their fill.

Dolphin Friends Show

After the snack, we were led to the big amphitheater facing the sea. All the touring batches that afternoon were present for the Dolphin Friends Show. I had a difficult time shooting pictures and videos because we were seated in the upper part of the theater. As you can see, some of my photos are quite blurry because I needed to use the camera's zoom feature. The show featured the dolphins and whales' different tricks.

Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show

After the dolphin and whale show, we were led to an enclosed area where we got to watch the Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show. I truly enjoyed this part of the tour because we got to see the sea lions up close. At last, now I know the difference between sea lions and seals. The two sea lion actors of the show, Simba and Randy, taught us the importance of reusing, reducing, and recycling wastes. Their trainers are very articulate, too.

High divers doing their awesome act!

The last show that we got to witness that day was the International Champions High Dive Show. The best high divers from the USA, Russia, and Poland presented a comedic and action-packed show that we truly enjoyed. It drizzled a little during the show but we didn't mind at all. This is not a regular part of the marine park's tour and is just a featured show during the summer season so we made sure to not miss it. After the show, the high divers were nice enough to let us have souvenir pictures taken with them.

Ocean Adventure is located on the Camayan Beach Wharf of Subic Bay Freeport. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission prices are at Php 450 for adults and Php 370 for senior citizens and kids aged 12 years and below. I believe that you can avail of an Ocean Adventure tour bundled with a Camayan Beach Resort reservation. Just check out their site for more details.

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