Sleepover in By the Sea Resort Hotel (Barretto, Olongapo)

Barrio Barretto in the city of Olongapo was known as the “sex tourism capital” in the Subic Bay area. “Sixty clubs once saddled the highway” through the barrio according to Ralph Jennings of Forbes. That number dwindled when the extension of the presence of the American military base in Subic was disapproved by Philippine Senate in 1991. Twenty-six years after the last group of American soldiers left Subic, the bad reputation of Barrio Barretto remained. Majority of Google search result of “Barretto Subic” are about scantily clad women and lady bars.

In the midst of that search results are images of the beach of Barrio Barretto. This is what I experienced when I had an overnight stay in the By The Sea Resort Hotel.

I reached By the Sea Resort Hotel after traveling for around 4 hours from Manila. I was tired and sleepy but my exhaustion was eased somehow when I got a good view of the sea.

The beach pales in comparison to other Philippine beaches that I visited. There's thrash in the beach area very few people dip in the sea. My co-workers and I didn't swim. We just contented ourselves with the view of Subic Bay.

Our office conducted a workshop at the hotel. We were us to a function hall that have seen better days. It is not a big issue, however, because the place is good enough for us. Even the hotel staff are very helpful to our group.

The big issue is the terrible Internet connection. The hotel has WiFi connection but the internet was very slow! Internet connectivity is my primary factor in selecting hotels. By the Sea Resort Hotel failed in this regard.

We were assigned to a room at the far corner of the hotel compound. This is a WiFi black spot because the hotel’s WiFi signal doesn’t reach our room.

Our room is OK and clean enough for me.

The bathroom, however, is infested with cockroaches. I killed three of those bastards during my stay in By the Sea Resort Hotel.

There was a beach wedding on the day of our workshop. The set-up was nice and the couple had a beautiful ceremony with the sunset as a background. I guess By the Sea Resort Hotel is a good place for beach wedding because it have a big grounds for events.

After a grueling day at the workshop, our group had a yummy dinner then some socials. Some relaxed at the swimming pool. Me, meanwhile, “played” beach volley with friends. The staff of By the Sea Resort Hotel helped us in everything. They served drinks and set up the videoke. It is was a fun night.

By the Sea Resort Hotel is not top notch when it comes to rooms and facilities. However, the top notch service of  their staff made the difference.


Read more about my adventure 'round Subic Bay:


Yummy Eats at Meat Plus Cafe (Subic Bay)

“I can't leave Subic without eating at Meat Plus!” - declares a big sign above Meat Plus Cafe in Olongapo City.

Well, I came to Subic plenty of times and I was able to leave the place without going to Meat Plus. There is one time, however, when I did not leave Subic without eating at Meat Plus.

Meat Plus Cafe Subic

It was evening when we went to Meat Plus Cafe but the place is still abuzz with people. The line is somewhat long.

Long line at Meat Plus Cafe Subic

Good thing that there are interesting things inside this restaurant that kept me from being bored. Interesting things like this display:

American display in Meat Plus Cafe Subic

It’s all American. Well, I guess it is not surprising because this is an American restaurant.

Lucky number in Meat Plus Cafe Subic

The line is not the only one that was long that night in Meat Plus. The waiting time is also long.

Fries, burger, and pipino in Meat Plus Cafe Subic

I ordered a burger and some fries (with pipino on the side). It is expensive by my standards but it is much bigger and more yummy than Jollibee’s Yum Burger. I believe that I am not “lugi” in ordering this burger.

My drink in Meat Plus Cafe Subic

All in all, I had good dining experience in Meat Plus. Now can I leave Subic without eating at Meat Plus? The answer is “YES”.


Read about my other adventures in Subic Bay:

The Old Spanish Fort in Olongapo and the Naval Legacy of Subic Bay
Sleepover in By the Sea Resort Hotel (Barretto, Olongapo)