Aside from being a center of tourism and scuba diving hub of the country, Subic Bay also holds a significant role in keeping the maritime safe from foreign intruders. The same body of water has become the focus of conflicts due to its undeniable beauty, strategic location and natural resources.
When the Spaniards visited the bay in 1542, their only goal is to mark it as their territory for shipping goods. Coming from Manila Bay, it only took a few hours to reach this point that’s why Spaniards see this as an opportunity. It was in 1800s when they decided to declare this bay as a naval port and property thereto for naval purposes. These westerners construct commercial structure surrounding the area and build defense terrains.
In early 1898, Americans heard a news that Spaniards occupy Philippines which lead to a declared war. Some of Spaniard’s maritime vessels lie in Cavite so they decided to move it to Subic Bay as a preparation to ambush the US fleet. However, this wasn’t properly executed due to the delayed preparations. Spanish fleet attempted to go back to Manila Bay only to be surprised by an open fire of Americans. Almost 300 people died in the conflict, terrifying Filipino soldiers. The truth is, Americans have been given intelligence about the movements of Spaniards that’s why they know where to attack.
The Americans take over the waters until the World War 2 began when Japanese soldiers invaded Subic Bay. Because they are heavily equipped with large vessels and strong firearms, they have marked their presence in the area. It was not until 1945 when American air force drops massive bombs in this body of water.
Subic bay is witness to the world’s biggest maritime conflicts. This area has been preserve by the Philippine government, occasionally sending military men to patrol in the shores. The history of Subic Bay is just an evidence how Philippines conquer and fight for their freedom. You can visit museums in Subic to find out more about this place.