As far as I know, there are no natural landmarks in Olongapo. There are a few man-made landmarks and I’ve seen all of them but one in person. The Subic Bay Freeport Zone has two landmarks that I know about, but I’ll 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 rebuilt.
Traveling north to northwest on Magsaysay Drive, you’ll 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.
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.
If you turn northeast and follow National Highway, it turns northwest and runs parallel to the river. You’ll pass the Olongapo cemetery and the Kalaklan barangay before the highway turns north. It’s at that point, called “Kalaklan Point”, where you’ll find the Kalaklan Lighthouse, also called the “Kalaklan Point Lighthouse” or “Olongapo Lighthouse”.
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, you probably won’t see this unless you’re traveling the other direction:
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. I’ve never seen it and I’ve passed it dozens of times. That’s probably because it’s in the area called “Zig Zag Pass” and I’ve always paid careful attention to the road that zigs and zags (the origin of the name, I suppose).
I don’t know if there are any other places that would be considered landmarks. There are other places of interest, however, and some of them are:
I don’t know when I’ll 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 haven’t already taken photos of, including landmarks in other cities.
Kalapati Photo Attribution: http://jnusjnus.deviantart.com/art/new-cabalan-olongapo-city-108986877
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