Keychains #16, #17 and #18: Olongapo City, Philippines

And so last February we conducted this Science Exposition in Olongapo City where thousands of grade school and high school students participated. Olongapo is located in the province of Zambales, in the western part of Luzon (the largest island of the Philippine archipelago). It served as a naval base for the US Army during WWII.

A huge head will welcome you once you reach the city. It is called as the Ulo ng Apo (Head of the Chief/Wise Man). It is believed that the etymology of the city’s name came from the phrase ‘ulo ng apo’. In ancient times, warring tribes live in the area. An old, wise man tried to unite the tribes but he was beheaded. The people shouted ‘Ulo ng apo! Ulo ng apo!’ upon seeing his head hanging on top of a bamboo pole. Time went by and the phrase eventually became Olongapo.

Here’s me standing next to a miniature version of the elder’s head:

I bought three keychains. One is very pretty, it’s made of capiz shells, which are flat and semi-transparent with a pearlescent appearance. It can be found in the shallow waters of the Philippines.

The second one is made of plastic and is shaped like a house. It says ‘Gawang ‘Gapo’ (meaning made in ‘Gapo). ‘Gapo is Olongapo’s nickname.

The last one is a wooden shoe with nice woven designs. It says ‘Subic Bay’, a famous destination for local and foreign tourists.

Top 10 things to do at Subic Bay:

As we were working as facilitators and organizers for the exposition, we were not able to visit Subic. Would love to be there sometime and experience the Ocean Adventure and the Zoobic Safari! Yey!


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