According to folklore told by our elders, the origin of the city’s name “Olongapo” came from a story about a wise old warrior called “apo” that belongs to a group of warring tribes. He extended great attempt to unite and resolve the conflict between tribes, a decision that did not sit well to some of his fellowmen. One day, the wise old warrior disappeared without a trace.
Ending a long search they came across the wise old man’s body missing its head, execution by beheading is considered an assassination act for tribes in conflict. The search was eventually called off after their efforts came to a dead end.
A young man, however, promised that he would search for the elder’s head. He embarked on a quest to find it, high and low, week after week, until one day he came across what seem to be the old warrior’s head hooked on top of a bamboo pole. The young man ran quickly back to their village shouting, “Olo nin apo!, hysterically, Olo nin apo!”. The expression stuck and soon after was adopted and evolved into what the city is now called, Olongapo.
Of course it’s just a myth; the origin of Olongapo is much more specific and complicated. For most Olongapenos this city is more than just a city, abundant in culture that upholds unity, respect, and companionship. Olongapo is the first city you will ever visit before you travel your way to the outmost northern part of Zambales. Most often visited during the Mardigras, Festivals, and other social gatherings that bring locals and visitors together.
Olongapo City Public Market
The Public Market of Olongapo located in Rizal Avenue East Bajac Bajac is the go to place for souvenirs and other knick-knacks that you can take home as “pasalubong”. They have native crafts made by the locals, delicacies and “kakanin” to tickle your taste buds, and other bargains to choose from.
Located at the center of the City of Olongapo, Marikit Park is the perfect place to loosen up and slack. The main entrance of the park is marked by a concrete mural commemorating the Filipino workers and an R-A5 Vigilante. A playground is accessible for children and young at heart and other facilities for students to hang out, families where they can enjoy their “merienda”.
Ulo ng Apo Monument
A soaring and magnificent statue located at the center separating Rotonda and Bajac-Bajac. A distinguished shrine in honor to the legend of the city and a perceptible tourist attraction.
Bon appétit (\bȯ-nä-pā-tē\ ): good appetite : enjoy your meal
Kong’s RestaurantAn Olongapo pride that has been open for more than 30 years, Kong's Restaurant located right in the busy streets of Magsaysay Drive became an all time fave. This establishment has witnessed families from one generation to another enjoy their Authentic Chinese food at its best, the crab foo yong, crispy pata, and beef & brocolli, only to name a few. Taste-wise it is the best pick when it comes to events and get togethers, they have a function room thatcan accommodate 150 persons in one setting.
Address: Magsaysay Dr, Olongapo, Zambales
Wimpy’s Fastfood RestaurantNamed after the burger loving sidekick of Popeye, Wimpy’s is a prime choice for locals who grew up in Olongapo which makes it the best burger joint. A chomping ground to employees, students, barkadas, and families. Their menu is loaded with an ample selection of eatables that is sure to satisfy your hungry stomach. Their best seller is their value meals, from Burger Steak, Grilled Pork Chop, and their famous Jr. Cheeseburger. You can also choose from their wide selection of thirst quenchers, fruit shakes, milk shakes, and iced beverages.
Address: 34 Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo City
Rico’s Fastfood RestaurantA family owned restaurant established in 1974 that's been passed down from one generation to another. The restaurant serves Good Filipino Comfort Food at very budget friendly prices. From their flavorful noodle staples such as pancit-bihon, miki-bihon, palabok, and canton that are filling and satisfying. People will start packing in front of the restaurant from Breakfast to Lunch, even Merienda before Dinner. They own two branches, one in Olongapo and one in Barretto that serve ala carte meals. They also have an Eat All You Can Buffet for only Php125 per head with a heavy setting of diverse Filipino cuisines, desserts, and soups. They also specialize in catering for all kinds of occasion, takeout orders, and delivery. Come visit and experience a taste beyond compare.
Address: No. 21 4th Street, Olongapo City
Café BaloogaA popular hangout of the youth in Olongapo since 2000, once the sun comes down hed on to a chill ambiance with dim lights and awesome background music playlist that will surely elate your relaxation level from zero to a hundred. Choose from a lineup of comfort food that can be shared with your Barkada, their best seller, among a few is their Pizza, Nachos, and Burger. Beverages are serve cold for a refreshing cap, aside from the usual beer choice, a popular pick is their resident "Cookie Monster" a coffee based drink topped with whipped cream and crushed Oreos. All you need to do is sit back, eat and drink, while enjoying the company of your friends.
Address: 60 Gordon Ave, Olongapo, Zambales
Sam’s Pizza Family RestaurantA pizza chain known as the "pizza craze" trendsetter that has been serving delicious square pizza for over 38 years. Sam's Pizza- Olongapo's cream of the crop. This prized enterprise is among the favorite places to go for Olongapenos and Tourists to have a good time while with family and friends. Feast your eyes on their sumptuous menu of delicious square pan pizzas, salads, appetizers, and pasta. While dining, you can listen or sing along with the local bands that provide entertainment with their live performances. As of today Sam's Pizza has delivered and satisfied a total of 44 million clients and counting. They also entertain takeout orders and deliveries.
Address: Olongapo, Zambales
Tropical Bay RestaurantLocated along Magsaysay Drive that offers a night out vibe to all their visitors. Tune in and sing along while they have their featured Local Bands mesmerize you with their awesome playlist. Feast your eyes on their magnificent solace Filipino food and ice cold refreshments with generous serving’s best when devoured with Family and Friends. Tropical Bay Restaurant also specializes in events and catering services for functions for 50 to 100 persons from Birthdays, Meetings, Weddings, and Baptismals.
Address: 610 Magsaysay Drive, East Tapinac, Olongapo City
After Six Olongapo City
Club VClub V is the exact definition of drink and dance. A popular goto place for a night of fun and laughter together with your barkada while dancing to the latest tunes played by the dopest DJ’s. Located along Magsaysay Drive, this very upbeat nightspot has everything from local beers to the most authentic cocktails. Party goers can reserve a VIP seat near the dance floor or on the loft area, there are also tables and chairs located near the bar area where dancing at your own post is highly recommended.
Address: 39 MAGSAYSAY DRIVE, 2200 Olongapo City, Philippines
Brew's BristoDim and Murky, this acoustic bar is a unique hang out spot in Olongapo along Magsaysay Drive; it's easy to spot and hard to miss. Brew's Bistro is host to an assortment of bands playing rock and acoustic jazz pop that will surely make you sit back and have a good time- and if the feeling grabs you, you can invite yourself up the stage and sing with the band. Brew’s offers a wide array of famous beer and cocktail selections to choose from not to mention the choices of pika-pika and pulutan that you can share with your friends.
Address: Magsaysay Dr, Olongapo, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Willis Concert BarYou know your near Willi’s when you see a group of people make their way inside this awesome bistro. One of the few favorite hangout spots along Magsaysay Drive Willi’s will never disappoint you from their beverage selections to their delectable dishes that will surely thrill your taste buds. Enjoy local bands play live and only the most upbeat music for your satisfaction. The best time to come around is from 9:00pm onwards, sing along or sing with the band doesn’t matter, not a dull moment when you’re at Willis Concert Bar.
Address: Magsaysay Drive Olongapo City, Philippines