Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX): Stress-Free Way

I learned two things last week: the word ‘mitridatization,’ and SCTEX or Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.

SCTEX is a very nice alternative route for private vehicles heading to Subic, Zambales, or to Clark, Angeles City, Pampanga. The highway can cut travel time from Manila to Subic down to 2 hours or less, compared to approximately 3 hours of travel when taking the San Fernando, Pampanga exit. During peak seasons, you may want to take this highway if you are planning to hang out in Subic or the beaches of Zambales.

I got to try SCTEX last weekend on the way to a resort – a superb one, I must say – in Pundakit, Zambales. The highway, which only started operation in early 2008, is four-lane wide and built similar to NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), so motorists can be sure to have a smooth and pleasant trip. Traffic is very minimal, and yes, none of the slow-moving tricycles, jeepneys, or heavy trucks that you have to overtake… granted that you are good at it.


SCTEX was designed to connect Subic, Clark, and Tarlac’s Hacienda Luisita, all of which are considered to be significant economic zones. Vehicles can also take this highway to go to Bataan via the Dinalupihan Exit. Tipo Exit, the last exit if you’re coming from Manila, leads directly to Subic Bay Freeport Area (SBMA), the former US Naval Base.

To get to SCTEX coming from Manila, go to NLEX and take the SCTEX Exit, which is more than 20 km after the San Fernando Exit. Since the highway is farther than San Fernando, the toll fee from Manila to SCTEX is relatively higher. But you can look at it as buying a stress-free and refreshing  ride or drive. There is just one bad news to the daredevils: there is a speed limit of 100 kmph on SCTEX. Other than that, I’m pretty sure you’ll like the lack of road congestion on SCTEX.

Okay, no need to talk about the other thing I learned, i.e., mitridatization. I assume you all know what it’s about.


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