I remember seeing this nice small island in the middle of Subic Bay back when I went a few times to Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales and Bataan. I thought that it would be a nifty place for a private resort. Well, apparently, Grande Island is a resort and I can now get to “visit” it through Google Maps.
Looking around in Google Maps, it’s clearly obvious that the centerpiece attraction of Grande Island Resort is a man-made lagoon on the northeast portion of the island, reminiscent of the one in Plantation Bay Resort in Cebu. Jutting out of the northeast end stands a pier and south of the island is the smaller uninhabited Chiquita Island. Surprisingly, the resort doesn’t appear to have any fresh-water pool at all.
Photo by Ian Dexter Marquez.
Browsing the Grande Island official website, it seems that like plenty of other beach resorts, Grande Island lets visitors engage in various watersports like parasailing, jetskiing, and canoing. Curiously, they sport an exorbitant number of weird inflated boat rides aside from the popular banana boat and flying fish. There’s the gyro, the sumo, the stingray, and the moto pod, among others. Just visit the website to see the pictures. (Oh yeah, while their website is quite pretty and stylish, boo on their web designer for making a Flash intro that ain’t skippable.) Visitors reach the island from a boat that leaves downtown area of Subic Bay Freeport Zone six kilometers to the northeast.
Interestingly, according to this blog entry, Grande Island used to be a military outpost called Fort Wint. Since it was the only notably-sized island in Subic Bay, it functioned in much the same way as Corregidor in Manila Bay, though in a smaller scale, obviously. In fact, an attraction of the resort is a WWII-era six-inch diameter gun mounted in the island’s forest.