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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
Mt. Pinatubo, which 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.
Zambales has 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 as
"the 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.

Summer Holidays:
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.

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 Subic
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.


My thanks to the following for Information;
Zambales Provincial Government, Tourism and Investment Office of the Zambales Provincial Government, The Department of Tourism Region III, The various Municipalities of Zambales, The Zambales Tourism Council, Rama International Beach Resort, Environmental Protection of Asia Inc. Subic Bay Chamber of Commerce, Wikipedia, Zambales Resort Owners Association and many more.

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