According to popular legend, there once was a group of warring tribes who lived in the area in and around what is now the modern city. A wise old man, seeing the perils of disunity, exerted great effort toward uniting the warring tribes. There were, however, some who bitterly opposed his idea, and one day the old man just disappeared. After a long search, the old man's body was found, but with the head missing. It is said that the tribesmen launched search parties to locate the severed head of the man. (To the Sambal, decapitation was the only permissible form of assassination.) These efforts proved to be futile, and the search was eventually called off. A boy, however, vowed to himself that he would not stop searching until he found the elder’s head. He searched for weeks, but found nothing. Then, one day, he chanced upon what appeared to be the old man’s head, resting on top of a bamboo pole. The boy ran back to his people crying, “Olo nin apo! Olo nin apo!” (“head of the elder” in Sambal; translates as “ulo ng apo” in Tagalog), running hysterically from village to village. The phrase stuck, and that, according to legend, is how the area got its name, Olongapo. To this day, the old man’s head acts as a symbol of the unity of the people of what is now a modern city.
During the late 19th century, Olongapo was a fishing village. Because of its deep, natural harbor, Olongapo became a place of interest for the Spanish explorers. The Spanish used Olongapo as a port and developed the place making it a major naval shipyard. 20th Century
It was during the 20th century that the Americans took control of the area. It was atSubic Bay that the Americans established their naval air base. They continued to have control over the region up until the Second World War. World War II
During the Second World War, the Americans lost control of the base and the Japanese took control of the whole region. The Japanese use the base to manufacture patrol boats that were used during the war. Right through the Second World War and after the war, Olongapo was the center of heavy military activity. With the need for more civilian staff, people began moving in to settle down in Olongapo. This gave a boost to the local economy. Independence
The Philippines gained independence from the United States in 1946. However, it was not until 1959, that Olongapo was handed back to the Philippine government. By this time, Olongapo had become a thriving community and the village was given municipality status. It was only in 1966 that Olongapo was declared to be a city. From that time, Olongapo has showed tremendous growth and has been one of the most popular spots for diving. Divers from all over the world visit Olongapo every year to explore the shipwrecks in Subic Bay. There are 27 sunken ships in the region; most of these were during the Second World War. The mountains, jungles and natural beauty of the land also attract tourists to Olongapo.
a. Located at 14° - 15° latitude north and 120° - 17° longitude east, along the coastal area of Subic Bay. b. Approximately 127 kilometers north of Manila; a 3-hour drive traversing the NLEX and SCTEX highway. c. Total land area of 18,500 hectares or 185 square kilometres d. Has a built up area of 2, 508.79 hectares or 13.56% of total land area e. Has a forest area of 6, 850.75 hectares
f. Has 2 major mountain ridges; Kalaklan Ridges at and Samlimpoyo Ridge. g. Has land slopes below 18 degrees at 4,255 hectares or 23% of the total land area. h. Has 5 major water bodies classified as rivers ; Sta Rita River, Mabayuan River, Jadjad River, Nagunao River and Tawirang Balite River. i. Has 3 major water bodies classified as creeks; Iram, Licab and Pamo Creek.
a. Has a Climate Type 1, meaning it has 2 pronounced seasons; dry from March to June and wet during July to October. The rest of the year is either wet or dry. b. Has an...