To many city-dwellers who frequent Zambales on weekend getaways, the Central Luzon province is no less than a secret haven that is not too far away from urban life. Endowed with marine resources and mountain ranges, Zambales is a hotspot for water recreation and outdoor activities. It is a great place to relax because the province managed to preserve the serene quality of its beaches and natural landscapes without lacking modern conveniences. There is also much to be learned about the history of the Filipino people in Zambales.
Short, kinky-haired Negritoes are believed to have been the first people to settle in the Zambales but they were forced to move to the hinterlands by the first “Zambals” who came ashore from the Celebes and built their villages in the area.
When Spanish conquistadores came to the Philippines, they witnessed the natives worshipping spirits of departed ancestors, otherwise known as anitos, and thus called them the Zambals – derived for the word sambali, which means “to praise.” Later on, two more sub-cultural groups, the Ilocanos and Tagalogs, migrated to the province, completing the make up the province’s present-day demography.
Places to See
From the resort town of Pundaquit, San Antonio, tourists can make their way towards outlying natural attractions for water adventures or simple rest and relaxation. Anawangin Cove, Capones Island, and the uninhabited little white island of Potipot are only a boat’s ride away. Uacon Lake in Candelaria, which overflows with marine life, is one of the best scenic lakes in Central Luzon.
Visitors may also see the old churches, San Andres Church and San Augustine Church in nearby towns. The Ramon Magsaysay Ancestral House in Castillejos used to be the home of the country’s seventh president, Ramon Magsaysay. It still features items that used to belong to him, including a 1945 Cadillac limousine, clothing, furniture, and books.