The name of the province
is derived from its earliest inhabitants, the Zambals, whom
the Spanish found worshipping spirits called Anitos.
They were referred to as "Sambali," from the Malay word
samba, meaning "to worship." The term was later Hisparicized
to "Zambal." When Juan de Salcedo came to explore the area
in 1572, he landed at Cape Bolinao, then a part of Zambales.
The Spaniards drove a group of Chinese pirates off the coast
of Bolinao thereby earning the good will of the natives.
Zambales was one of the earliest provinces created during
the Spanish rule. As founded in the 16th century, it was
composed of the area extending from Cape Bolinao in the
north to Subic on the south. Due to their inaccessibility
from the capital, seven towns in the northern portion of
Zambales - from Bolinao to Infanta and including Alaminos
- were later ceded to Pangasinan, forming that province's
western part. Zambales is the home province of the seventh
president of the Philippine Republic, Ramon Magsaysay, who
was born in Iba and later moved to Castillejos, where His
residence remains as a Museum these days.
Zambales has a natural beauty, it has been touched by civilization
yet has maintained its rustic ambiance and beauty. The Zambales
coastline is most famous for its sandy beaches and deep
blue sea teeming with coral reefs. Zambales is perfectly
suited for visitors seeking an authentic view of the Philippines
without going too far from the national capital, Manila.
It is located at the North Western part of Luzon, the center
is Iba located 204 kilometers or approximately a three hour
drive from Manila. The province has a vast area of lowlands
along the coast where the town centers are located. The
northern part is less developed. Mountain ranges line the
East. Many containing large deposits of minerals, such as
Chromate, Nickel, Copper and Gold, these Mountains also
contain several Volcanos, the best know of which is
erupted in 1991. Fantastic views of the Mountain and it's
lake filled crater can be seen from the air
by light aircraft who's
flights can originate in Clark,
Pampanga or in Iba, Zambales.
13 Municipalities, (North to South) Sta. Cruz, Candaleria,
Palauig, Masinloc, Iba, Botolan, Cabangan, San Felipe, San
Narciso, San Antonio, San Marcelino, Castillejos, Subic
and one city, Olongapo. The provincial capital was first
Masinloc and later Sta. Cruz, as both had natural harbors,
then moved to Iba, due to it's central geographic location,
which remains the Capital today. The earliest established
Towns were Masinloc 1607, Sta. Cruz 1611 and Iba 1612.
Boarded by the South China Sea on the West, with 173 Kilometers
of coastline and the Zambales Mountains on the East, with
a land area of 3,700 square kilometers, Zambales is the
second largest among the six provinces of Central Luzon.
It has a population density of 170 people per square kilometer,
one of the lowest in the country. The province is noted
for its fishing and agriculture and especially for it's
mangoes, which are listed in the Guinness Book of records
sweetest Mangos in the World" which
are abundant from January to May.
Tagalog is the predominant dialect followed by Ilocano and
two dialects of Zambal, "highland"' used mostly
by the original aborigines (known as Aeta's) and "Lowland",
spoken by many of the farmers. English is also spoken by
the large proportion of the population throughout the Province.
There are two pronounced seasons:
Dry from October to June, and Wet July through September.
Zambales has become a favorite place to enjoy
the Summer Holidays,(April to June) it's pristine beaches
and unspoiled Coral reefs, Rivers and Mountains, make it
an ideal Holiday destination. There are a number of Resorts
within the Province, the largest number located in Iba Botolan
and Pundaquit San Antonio. It is well advised to have a
reservation during these months, especially on weekends.
The cooler months of December,
January and February Zambales is fast becoming a popular
destination for Europeans, Scandanavians and North Americans
to escape the Cold Winter weather in their home Countries.
A number of Resorts, such as Rama
International Beach Resort have special rates
and special self contained accommodations to suit their
a guide to the affordability of prices you can click here.
With the opening of the Subic
- Clark - Tarlac Expressway in
April of 2008, travel time, by private vehicle, was cut
by more than an hour, to around 2 hours from Manila to Southern
Zambales (Olongapo / Subic) 3 - 3 1/2 hours to Central Zambales
(Botolan - Iba) and 4 - 4 1/2 hours to Sta.Cruz, the Provinces
most Northern town. With the recent announcement by the
Zambales Provincial Government of the Construction
of a new road connecting Botolan and Iba to Clark - Tarlac
and the North Luzon Expressway completion
of this road, (expected 2011 - 12) will cut travel time
Central Zambales to Manila to around 1 1/2 Hours and Central
Zambales to Clark
(Diosdado Macapagal) International Airport
which is is being developed into the premier airport for
Central Luzon, including Manila, to around 40 minutes. The
present administration has a very active "Provincial
Tourism, Investment and Promotion Office" with expert
staff that can advise on Investments, such as Mining, Resort
Industry, Industrial and Agricultural, within the Province.
Their Office can be reached at 047
811 7216 or 047 811 7218
Zambales is currently one of the fastest developing Provinces
within the Philippines, it has an extremely good road network
that is constantly expanding, efficient and reliable Public
Transport system, 3 major Port areas, 5 landing
strips for small aircraft and 1 International Airport at
plus easy access to Clark.
A large area of the Subic
Bay Metropolitan Area (SBMA) is also located
in Zambales, housing Manufacturing and assembly businesses,
the largest of which is Hanjin Ship Building facility. Plus
many more. SBMA also has some of the best preserved Rain
Forest in Zambales.