The A To Z Of Southeast Asia – Z

Z – Zambales

Zambeles is a Philippine province found in the northern region of Luzon.

Popular with domestic and international tourists as an escape from the bustling city of Manila. The area is full of wonderful beaches, coves and islands, Mount Pinatubo and Subic freeport.

Main picture Anawangin Cove credit Allan Anscano on flickr

What To See and Do

Mt. Pinatubo

This active volcano is responsible for a number of beautiful coves that have now become tourist attractions.

Mt. Pinatubo Philippines credit Prince Roy on flickr
Mt. Pinatubo Philippines credit Reil Gepaya on flickr

The eruption on 15th June 1991 was the second-largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century. Surrounding areas were severely damaged causing extensive destruction to infrastructure and changing river systems. The effects of the eruption were felt worldwide with global temperatures dropping by about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) in the years 1991–1993.

You can now explore the volcano by trekking and 4×4 vehicles to the crater lake, with its incredible, colourful water.

Magalawa Island

Beautiful white sand beaches, stunning waters and popular with more adventurous travellers.

Anawangin Cove

The area has a number of beautiful coves and Anawangin Cove is one of, if not the, best of them.

The eruption of Mt Pinatubo in 1991 changed the look and feel of this, and a number of coves, and turned them into the tropical paradise we see today.

Anawangin Cove, Zambales, Philippines credit Allan Anscano on flickr
Anawangin Cove, Zambales, Philippines credit Allan Anscano on flickr

Remote from modern buildings and surrounded by an evergreen forest, it really is an escape. Don’t expect any shops, a luxury resort, or even a small guesthouse. If you want to stay then you need to rent a cottage or a tent. There is no electricity in the cove so even the small cottages are very basic and bring everything you may need with you.

Nagsasa Cove

Another ash-coloured sand beach created by the Mt Pinatubo eruption with a more relaxed atmosphere than Anawangin Cove. Hike to the top of the hill for wonderful views.

Capones Island

Famous for the 1890 lighthouse, the island is home to incredible, quiet, white sand beaches and popular with scuba divers, surfers as well as general tourists looking for an island escape.

Capones Island, Zambales, Philippines credit Allan Ascano on flickr
Capones Island, Zambales, Philippines credit Oliver Mercader on flickr

Liwilwa Beach

Popular with surfers the beautiful beach is often much quieter than others in the area and offers one of the best sunsets around.

Talisayen Cove

If you want tranquility, spectacular scenery, crystal clear water, hking opportunities and seclusion then this is the place to come to.

Talisayen Cove, Zambales, Philippines credit Doods Dumaguing on flickr
Talisayen Cove, Zambales, Philippines credit Doods Dumaguing on flickr

Subic Bay

If you are looking for lots of accommodation choices, at all price levels, attractions, theme parks and shopping then this is the location for you. One of the biggest attractions is Inflatable Island which features an incredible number of inflatables offering hours of fun for all ages.

Fort Paynauen

This Spanish garrison fortress has since acted as a prison and now a tourist attraction.


The Feast Day of Ina Poon Bato is celebrated each year on 24th January to commemorate a purportedly miraculous, syncretised image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Legend says that sometime in the 17th century, local Aeta peoples had discovered a carved wooden statue on a large rock that they called Apo Apang (“Little Queen”) and began worshipping the image.

The Dinamulag Festival is also known as the Zambales Mango Festival to celebrate and encourage a bountiful harvest of mangoes. 3rd Tuesday of April.

Every year between 25th April and 1st May the Paynawen Festival commemorates the provincial capital’s founding anniversary. The festival features street dancing, a boxing tournament, a banca race, kite flying, skateboarding and much more.

On 30th November the Binabayani Festival and Town Fiesta features a dances and plays.

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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