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Top Philippines Hotels


Philippines The Philippines represent a series of the scattered islands along the fringes of the Pacific Rim stretching from Malaysia's Sabar in the south to Taiwan in the north. The nation cobbles together some 7000 islands or more, and it is this geological disintegration that characterises the Philippines. The infrastructure and development is as broken as the contours of the land, and each province or island has traditionally been somewhat separate from the rule of the capital. Endemic corruption and conflicting religious backgrounds means the country grapples with overwhelming social, economic and political problems. A lso, rather unluckily, its location means it suffers a catalogue of natural disasters - typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In fact, the unfortunate Philippines was recently cited as the most disaster prone country in the world! So quite why would you come? Could it be the fascinating rice terraces of north Luzon, or Boracay's White Beach oft cited as the best beach in the world, or the steep limestone cliffs and spectacular diving around the secluded islands of Palawan or the chocolate hills of Bohol or could it be just that infectious Filipino smile which welcomes all comers to these stunningly beautiful shores? No doubt for delicate travelers the Philippines might prove intimidating, but for the majority the diversity and sheer beauty make the effort worthwhile. Being the only Asian country colonized by the Spanish, the Philippines is quite apart from any other land of the East. It exudes a Latin flair and pulse and has more in common with South American countries than near neighbours Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong or Japan. The culture is heavily rooted in religion and spirituality, with the vast majority of Filipinos following Catholicism. Most pay more heed to their church leaders than their traditionally weak governments (periodically turfed out by incredible surges of 'People Power'). The country can broadly be split into three regions - the northerly fertile island Luzon, the central island band of the Visayas and Palawan, and the large island of Mindanao furthest south. Metro Manila is found on Luzon and is a sprawling and chaotic city. It is not a pretty city and for visitors it is more famed for its raunchy nightlife, Manila and Bangkok being considered international leaders in the ambiguous massage field. The commercial centre Makati is orderly and smooth except for the traffic, but the poverty elsewhere is quite obvious and some areas are best avoided. As soon as you leave the city behind the pace drops. The Visayas and Palawan feel much more remote than they look on the map. Cebu City is a major commercial hub but not far away are the developed beaches of Mactan and countless quieter forgotten ones. The dive sites around this region are absolutely fantastic, with crystal waters and abundant marine life drawing underwater enthusiasts from all over the world. Distant Mindanao is closer to Malaysia and Indonesia than Manila and culturally separate from the rest of the country. By the time you get down there the capital's influence has all but dissipated. It has a predominantly Moslem population with a strong separatist movement characterised by some guerilla activity. Mindanao has real security issues and it is strongly advisable to give the island a wide berth. Filipino hotels are not the best by Asian standards but this is more down to shaky infrastructure than anything else. Within the mediocrity are some real gems of resorts and some world-class business hotels. The staff are almost always a total delight. Smiles are a constant in the Philippines, no matter what life conjures up, so it is almost impossible not to be drawn to them, and the level of English spoken is remarkably high, among the best in Asia. Typhoons can bring the Philippines to a standstill so it is best to visit it away from the wet season during the humid and sticky summer months around July to September. Outside this period you can expect beaming sunshine to match the smiles of this happy people. More...

Visas

All visitors to the Philippines must hold a passport valid for at least one year and should also be in possession of a return or onward ticket. No visa is required for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the European Union and the United States for visits of up to 21 days. Holders of Taiwanese Passports and Hong Kong Certificates of Identity will need a special entry permit. Citizens of these and other countries should check with the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate regarding visa requirements.

Customs

Visitors carrying more than $3,000 must declare the amount at customs on arrival. On departure, foreign currency taken out of the country must not exceed the amount brought in.

Visitors may take the following into the Philippines duty free:

  • Alcoholic beverages - 2 litres of alcohol
  • Tobacco - 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco

Penalties for carrying or trafficking illegal drugs are extremely severe, ranging from long prison sentences to the death penalty.

Time

Philippines Time: GMT + 8 hours

Currency

  • Peso (P) - Check current exchange rates
  • 100 centavos = 1 Peso
  • Notes issued: P1,000, P500, P100, P50, P20, P10
  • Coins issued: P5, P2, P1, 50c, 25c, 10c, 5c, 1c

Tipping

Tipping is an accepted practice and 10% is usual if service has not been added.

There should be a list of rates posted at the airport for porter charges and hotel porters should receive about P5 - 10 per bag.

Banking Hours

Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 3.00 pm

Language

Filipino, is the national language of the Philippines, although many other regional dialects are also spoken - Tagalog is one of the most widely used. English is commonly spoken and is often used in business transactions.

Telephone

The international dialling code for the Philippines is 63

When making international telephone calls from the Philippines first dial 00 +country code + area code + telephone number

Local Telephone Codes

Angeles 455
Baguio City 74
Batangas 43
Boracay 36
Cebu City 32
Davao 82
Iligan City 63
Iloilo City 33
Lucena 42
Manila, Quezon City, Pasay 2
Masbate 56
Puerto Princesa 48
San Pablo 93
Zamboanga 62

Electricity

  • 220/110 V AC, 60 cycles
  • Flat 2 or 3 pin plugs are most commonly used, so take a universal adapter. In certain less developed areas blackouts - locally known as "brownouts" are common, therefore a torch would be useful.

Water

Water from the tap is not safe to drink and ice cubes should be avoided. Stick to bottled water, which is widely available.

Health

Outside of major cities, sometimes medical services are inadequate and health insurance covering evacuation is recommended. Consider inoculations against typhoid, polio, hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis and take advice regarding anti-malarials. Dengue fever is also a problem in certain areas of the Philippines. It is always best to check the current situation and any vaccination requirements with a doctor when planning your trip.

International Airports

  • Cebu - Mactan
  • Davao
  • Manila - Ninoy Aquino

International Airport Departure Tax

P550

Domestic Airports

In addition to the above international, there are numerous domestic airports dotted around the Philippines, some of which include:

  • Bagabag
  • Calapan
  • Caticlan
  • Davao
  • El Nido
  • Kalibo
  • Manila
  • Mamburao
  • San Jose
  • Puerto Princesa

Domestic Airport Departure Tax

P100

Etiquette/Dress Code

A great emphasis is placed on politeness and a soft tone should always be maintained during conversation. As with many Asian countries, situations should be avoided which would cause a loss of "face". Try to steer clear of confrontation as it is not appreciated and will only worsen rather than resolve any situation. Fixed eye contact between men should also be avoided as this can be considered aggressive.

Gestures, rather than words, are sometimes used to convey messages; the raising of an eyebrow coupled with a smile can mean "hello" or "yes". Dress is fairly relaxed throughout the Philippines, although it is slightly more formal in Manila City.

Diplomatic Missions

Many countries have representative offices and consulates in the Philippines.

Useful Sources of Information

Further information on Filipino culture and tourist attractions.

  • The Philippines Department of Tourism-OnLine

Weather

The Philippines are subject to a tropical climate with hot and humid weather all year round. There are many regional variations, however for most of the country the year can be divided into two seasons:

  • Wet Season - May to October
  • Dry Season - November to April
  • North - annual temperatures tend to be pleasant and relatively cool, particularly during the dry months. Warm clothes are a necessity at this time, especially in the mountainous areas.
  • Central - remains hot and humid all year round. Light cotton clothes are best and a lightweight jumper may also be useful during the evenings.
  • South - temperature and rainfall both remain high throughout the year. Lightweight clothing and an umbrella are required at any time.

There is a possibility of typhoons in the central and northern areas from June to November.

Carry a lightweight jumper as it can be chillingly cold inside air-conditioned buildings during hot weather.

The Northern Area

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Wet Season (May - October) 16 - 32°C 630mm
Dry Season (November - April) 13 - 23°C 57mm

The climate in the north provides a pleasant relief from the dust and heat of the lowland areas to the south.

  • Dry Season - can be very mild throughout the day, therefore light clothing is best - although some items of warm clothing are useful all year round as temperatures can drop away in the evening. Warm clothes are an absolute necessity from December to February.
  • Wet Season - July and August are the wettest months. Rainfall is both heavy and prolonged making waterproofs and an umbrella essential.

Typhoons may also strike this area between June and December.

Best time to visit: The Dry Season experiences clear, bright days and minimal rainfall - although warm clothes are definitely required.

The Central Area

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Wet Season (May - October) 24 - 32°C 297mm
Dry Season (November - April) 22 - 32°C 47mm

The climate in this area is tropical and remains reasonably hot and humid throughout the year.

  • Dry Season - the east coast tends to experience slightly milder temperatures but receives more rainfall than the west during December and January.

January is the coolest month of the year, although temperatures rarely fall below 20oC and May is usually the hottest - the heat and humidity can get quite oppressive at this time.

  • Wet Season - this period is characterised by heavy rainfall and can also suffer from typhoons that rage in from the east. However, the weather pattern is normally one of occasional rainfall followed by extended dry periods. An umbrella is a necessity and light cotton clothes are still required, as temperatures can be very high.

Best time to visit: From January to April during the Dry Season when temperatures are moderate and rainfall is low.

The South

Season Average temperature Average rainfall
Yearly Average (January - December) 23 - 32°C 159mm

The weather in the southern Philippines remains fairly constant all year round with no distinct wet or dry seasons.

This area lies below the typhoon belt and is unlikely to suffer from the damaging storms that hit the central area.

Light cotton clothes are best with a few extra layers in case temperatures drop at night - an umbrella is also a good idea as rainfall is commonplace at any time of the year.

Best time to visit: Rainfall can be slightly less during the early months of the year but in general, the weather is similar all year round.

Featured Philippines Hotels

3 stars
From
$142
per night (USD)
Bayview Park Hotel Manila

Bayview Park Hotel Manila

Manila Bay Area, Philippines

Location Bayview Hotel in Manila is on the lively Roxas Boulevard across the American... More...

 
5 stars
From
$133
per night (USD)
Dusit Thani Hotel Manila

Dusit Thani Hotel Manila

Makati City, Philippines

Location Situated in the heart of Makati's Central Business District, the Dusit... More...

 
5 stars
Mandarin Oriental Manila Hotel

Mandarin Oriental Manila Hotel

Makati City, Philippines

Location Mandarin Oriental is located on Makati Avenue where major corporate offices... More...

 
3 stars
Citadel Inn Makati

Citadel Inn Makati

Makati City, Philippines

Location Located in the heart of Makati's business and entertainment district,... More...

 
3 stars
City Garden Suites Manila

City Garden Suites Manila

City, Philippines

Location Situated in the entertainment district of Malate, City Garden Suites is near... More...

 
5 stars
Pan Pacific Manila

Pan Pacific Manila

Malate, Philippines

Location Conveniently located in the heart of the historical and cultural district of... More...

 
5 stars
Manila Hotel

Manila Hotel

Manila Bay Area, Philippines

Location Located along the Manila's main boulevard, this hotel is 20 minutes... More...

 
5 stars
The Heritage Hotel Manila

The Heritage Hotel Manila

Pasay City, Philippines

Location Located at Roxas Boulevard, Heritage Hotel Manila is in proximity to the... More...

 
4 stars
New World Hotel Makati City Manila

New World Hotel Makati City Manila

Makati City, Philippines

Location Located within the upscale Greenbelt area in Ayala Center, this premier... More...

 
3 stars
Atrium Hotel Manila

Atrium Hotel Manila

Pasay City, Philippines

Location Atrium Hotel is located in Pasay City and is just five kilometers from Ninoy... More...

 

Philippines Travellers Tales

hiroshi fujiwara
8/29/2005

I would recommend to go Greenbelt for meal, Lndmark and Glorietta for shopping and Sanry''s for money exchange.


virgilio cerrer,
8/18/2005
Stayed at:

Cebu City was a two day stop in our month long vacation to the Philippines. Since we have have spent a week in Boracay we thought two days would be enough to go shopping and visit some of the tourist spots. We went shopping at a couple of malls, Ayala Center and SM where the prices are really good compared to back home. The public market was of interest to us specially for the fruits, mangoes, mangosteen, etc and dried fish. We rented a van which was recommended by the hotel staff which took us to the Magellan''s Cross, St. Nino church, the fort and to the Otap factory where they also sell dried mangoes. We plan to visit the Philippines again and next time we will spent more time in Cebu, tow days we found out is not enough.


sam chang
8/14/2005
Stayed at:

Cebu is very good for backpackers. You can visit "Carbon Market", a traditional philppine market, not far from Magellan Cross. Cebu people are very friendly. It''s very convenient to take jeepney around the city. Jeepney fare is about 6 to 8 pesos depending on distance.


kenneth bumgarner
8/7/2005
Stayed at:

Restaurant: Harbour View on the Pier!!!! Outstanding food - a different experience (and we went three times!!!!) Fed 9 people for the equivalent of $100.00 USD!!!!! And everyone was stuffed like a Christmas goose with everything from Female Crab (and I never knew that there was any ''significant'' difference (more meat on the female) to Steaks to Veggie favorites. It is not a fancy place and it is somewhat slow for service... But the price, the food and the experience - it can not be beat in Manila for family dining!!! Unless you are under 5 feet, stay away from the Jeepneys and the trikes...Metered taxis (or if you stay at the Copa, the associated taxi/limos) are the way to go. It is actually much nicer and not all that more expensive to take the taxi/limo from the Copa to your destination and HAVE THE DRIVER WAIT for you for other destinations or the return to the hotel. 9/10 times, picking up a cab at the location and trying to get back to the hotel can be hair-raising and expensive not to mention time consuming while the driver tries to find the hotel. ( You will see some interesting things though!!!) CAUTION: The best drug store in Manila is the chain Mercury... BUT - they require a prescription for EVERYTHING including what is an over-the-counter item anywhere else in the world. And - they sell by the tablet - not by the bottle or box. You can find some smaller drug stores that will sell w/o but they do not always have what your are looking for. BEST: BRING ENOUGH OF YOUR PRESCRIPTION and non-prescription items with you for your stay. It is best not to have to rely on the local outlets for your needs.


ken torii
8/6/2005

Moving around Manila by car was not a bad experience this time. The roads got better, less traffic jams, rental car was good idea, especially if you are traveling with family. But this is of course if you do not mind driving and you have driven in Philippines before.


vince gobuyan
8/6/2005
Stayed at:

Iloilo City is the hub of the island of Panay and is on the Nautical Highway route. The popular beach resort of Boracay is a few hours by land. There are interesting restaurants in the city and environs as well as historical attractions.


Anonymous
8/1/2005

Metro Manila is quite and interesting place with and interesting mixture friendly people. People who are shopping oriented can find most of anything they need. People like myself who like to sample various ethnic foods, will find this city rewarding. I enjoyed my trips to Baguio,Cabanatuan and Tagaytay learning some of the cultural aspects. On my next visit, I promise myself a trip to Boracay.


christopher gundayao
7/4/2005

In Makati at Glorietta--try the Cabalen restaurant--filipino buffet for only 260 pesos--good food. In Boracay, there''s Jona''s shake. And while in Boracay, stay at Escondido, though not a beachfront hotel, is one of the best kept secrets in the island...Find out for yourself why.


Anonymous
7/4/2005

Dont miss honda bay tour, many islands with beautiful beaches, great snorkeling, and starfish. Kahlui restaurant has the best fresh seafood there, and has very inexpensive prices, try the lobster, it is awsome!


gladie san juan
7/1/2005

We visited Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. We stayed at the Vigan Plaza Hotel in Ilocos Sur. Very beautiful Hotel and great location. Highly recommend. We also visited Baguio. Be wary of people offering homes for rent. We were offered a 3 bedroom house for 5,000 pesos. We later found out it was an agent and the actual cost of the house was only 2,700 pesos! I would recommend staying at a hotel. Never will we do that again!


mary schaus
7/1/2005

Bay Walk in Ermita was nice on a warm summer night. This was a "locals" destination so we got a good feel for the local nightlife instead of the touristy area.


michael howarth
6/5/2005

If you are traveling to and from Baguio city, I recomend hiring a van from a recognized car rental agency. It is much easier, convenient and safer than bus travel especialy if traveling in a group or family. For around $100 US you will get a relatively new 9 Passenger van with AC and a driver. I recommend Avis in Baguio.


walter burston
6/2/2005

Tagaytay, a real tourist destination, is a delightful place to visit, I would thoroughly recommend the Italian Restaurant opposite the garage down the hill from the Taal Vista Lodge. Really good Italian food and inexpensive ( 85 pesos a glass) imported house wine.


eugene hite
6/1/2005

If you take the boat tour to the "smallest volcano", be aware that once you arrive on the island, you''ll also need to hire a separate "guide" to accompany you to the top, and there are numerous touts trying to sell you dust masks. The little horses to carry you to the volcano are extra, of course, and if you are not in shape and accustomed to the heat, they may well be worth the cost.


caroline mediodia
6/1/2005
Stayed at:

I got hold on information of Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Safari from the suggestion of the travel agent. Then I checked out more information over the net. When we checked in the hotel, we were able to get hold a map of subic freeport sketched in a short sized bond paper and it was rather confusing. Not all streets had names on the map and further adding confusion, not all streets in Subic had clear and visible street names. There is a need to add more street signs within Subic Freeport. I think we had to make several u-turns when we got to some places. I think there is a need for the SBMA or even the department of tourism to make a better map available in all hotels in the area. The information of Ocean Adventure in their webpage is underdelivered. I think the park rate is quite expensive for the experience we had. The food is likewise expensive. The information of Zoobic Safari in their webpage was general but we had a better time there. The experience we had was worth it! Especially when I was able to ask my husband to hold the tiger cub and I took a picture of this one in a lifetime opportunity. When do we ordinary people get to hold a tiger cub? Not all could have the opportunity! Maybe next time they could allow even my kids to hold the tiger cub! Should you want to see the evidence please don''t hesitate to get in touch with me and I will upload the picture here.


Anonymous
5/30/2005

Jeepney is most economical means of transportation. Negotiate taxi rates in advance,else you may be taken for a ride. I actually ate cooked food at corner stands without a problem. I liked it, even after I found out I was eating pig intestine.


laurens neubauer
5/29/2005

We were fortunate enough to go to the rice fields at Banaue as well as Pagsanjan Falls which I would also recommend and last year took in Baguio City and Boracay. Only the best and strongest minded drivers should attempt to rent a car and drive in Manila but Makati is fair once you understand the filipino way of driving.


elmer marcos
5/28/2005

Lake Taal was an incredible place to visit. It is located in Cavite towards Laguna so accessiblity from Manila was easy. The scenery was breath taking. The climate was cool and pleasant because of the higher elevation. This volcano within a lake is a must see. The restaurants that overlook this panoramic view are all excellent as the serve traditional to modern cuisine. This was the culminating point of our trip. Every picture we took developed into a picture perfect postcard.


jin-fong (emily) liu
5/26/2005
Stayed at:

- Is very convinient in the airport upon arrival - Do not miss the local Market Opom in Lapu Lapu; very colorful, warm hospitality...) - Should try the local FRUIT and local specialty: BBQ Chicken and Willy''s Lechon (BBQ Pig) IT''S GREAT! Q: How to find the good place for take away? A: Follow the crow of local people and advise from the local people, then surely you will find the right place satisfying either your visual & your stomach need.


mark fraser
5/26/2005

I took a half day tour through the hotel (cost about USD30) which took me to the American War Cemetery, through the wealthy suburbs of Makati and up to old Manila... what a contrast, and though the old Spanish settlement and Intramurous... it is worthwhile doing... other than that I got around using the hotel taxis or on foot... Makati is quite safe and the people in the area very friendly.


dennis hass
5/24/2005
Stayed at:

I was there to research retirement options. Realtors provided transportation. Traffic is congested and I don''t recommend renting a car, unless you like high risk activities.


peters k. k. lo
5/24/2005

Should be very careful and conscious for Taxi Expenses since most drivers skip the meter but charge you a high rate; Be careful for most of the Money Changer on the street because most of them play many different tricks to cheat you, thus, remember to change your money in the Banks only; the last point should be beared in mind of check-in at the Airport as earlier as you can owing to the very poor efficience for the Airlines, Security and Immigration Officials overthere.


angelyn sills
5/23/2005
Stayed at:

Very reasonably priced taxis and jeepneys available to malls, and internet cafe just next door. Cebu much nicer than Manila in ALL respects. Can call US consulate for medical/dental links-for great quality services at low costs.


Anonymous
5/23/2005

The philippines are great, but hot and humid. Bring plenty of T-shirts and light trousers or shorts and sandals or semiclosed shoes. I traveled from Manila to Puerto Galera. Obviously looking as a foreigner, I was initially annoyed by vendors and beggars, but I learned quickly that after a firm ''no'' they would leave you alone. Keep some small change at hand (20 or 50 pesos bills per suitcase) for porters if you have a lot of luggage and if they ask for more money, just be firm if what you have given is reasonable. Cabs in Manila are cheap, but negotiate the rate on beforehand if possible.


roberto benito
5/16/2005

From the waterfront hotel we were able to rent a boat to take us island hopping and see the other resorts located in the area. I was surprised at the many islands and resorts that were there that catered to beachfront swimming, snorkeling/scuba diving and fishing. It was unfortunate that it was quite rainy during our stay that we were not able to fully enjoy it but I definitely would like to come back to the place.


Anonymous
5/16/2005

Went to Sabang to visit the subterranean river. It was an exhilirating experience. Visited Manila Flame Restaurant right next to the hotel - great ambience and very nice staff. Of course we were there too early at 7pm and we were the only customers by then. We left at 10pm when other customers started to arrive. Great sea food at Badjao Restaurant, too! It is far from the hotel but we were lucky to meet one creative tricycle driver who offered to fetch us to and from hotel. Made the whole experience exceptional.


raymond mathews
5/11/2005

Check out Robinson''s Mall or take a 10-15 min taxi ride to Ayala mall in Makati for more upscale shopping.


harald schweitzer
5/11/2005

The Lami-ah is a nice seafood restaurant nearby with a cultural show at 8 pm. They offer free transfer to the restaurant and back to the hotel. Reservation is recommended. Transportation can be annoying since most taxi drivers refuse to use their meter.


marc traylor & jennifer madria
5/10/2005

Only spent a few days in Manila and gave up on the idea of renting a car. I always thought New Yorkers were crazy drivers but dont compare to the ones in Manila. Cabs are not too expensive as long as you don''t use the hotel cab. Also spent seven days in Boracay.... truly beautiful.


jeffrey drake
5/10/2005

As far as location goes, this place is a little out of the way. It is in Makati, but not close enough to the points of interest for a walk. We found ourselves taking taxis everywhere from here since there are no jeepneys to be found here. This is good and bad since it tends to be much quieter without the jeepneys. Also, when you are out in the Pasay City area, many of the taxi drivers are not familiar with this location. You will need to help them find the place. I recommend that you memorize the street it is located on and find some landmarks that will get you there.


robert wellerding
5/10/2005
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

be very careful of the local street horse carriages...be very certain to agree on price before getting in...they will change currencies, say they gave price by the minute, or say by the person..etc. be very careful. Be sure to vist the American War Memorial...very beautiful and moving. Visit the Churches...amazing history and relics! The old spanish fortress is very close...within walking distance! The Strip by the Ocean is perfect for night walk...with drinks and live music... a must do for anyone visiting!


michael yoshii
5/8/2005

Manila has the best live music in Asia. For great group vocals, try Strumms on Jupiter Street, which is a 5-10 minute taxi ride from the hotel. Cover charge is small and can be applied to food and drink. Tremendous live entertainment for a very reasonable amount. Wish Tokyo had something similar.


robert wellerding
5/8/2005
Stayed at:

Baguio City is a must to see if you travel to Philippines. first set out and designed by the U.S. for recreational facilities...the climate and temperatures will amaze you for being in the Tropics, with pine trees and cool breezes. It is fairly easy to visit by a 45 minute plane flight daily in the morning from Manila. Much to see and do...with amazing views of the mountains. Plenty to do for any type of activity...History abounds...with the Japanese formal surrender here in WW11. Parks are plenty, golf course, many colleges, the american equivalent of West Point also located here, a very modern multi level mall also helps you find what ever you desire if you cannot locate with street vendors!


rohana usop
5/8/2005

This was my 1st trip to Manila. Since my reason to visit Manila was shopping, we went to Greenhills shopping area. Eventhough the place is a bit far from Makati but it really worth it. I found that to shop at that place you need to have very good skills in bargaining. The price can be almost half of it though the seller are controlling their average price. I found that the sellers are very friendly and they do respect the customer even you are not buying from their shop. From my observing, I noticed that filipino people respect tourist. They speak they language with one kind of slang with rhythm. (like singing). We also visited Glorietta shopping centre. We are really impressed by the service provided at the restroom. They do have some sort of reception before the restroom to collect money before you can enter it. She was wearing very professional uniform just like 5 stars hotel reception & the cleaner always standby to ensure the cleanliness of the restroom.


alma alipio
5/6/2005
Stayed at:

1.Must dine at Gasthoe for their very scrumptuous BABY BACK RIBS. One of the best I have ever tasted. 2.Best to arrange accomodation that includes transfers particularly from Caticlan jetty. The hotel will arrange a porter to pick guests up and lead you to their hotel AND carry your luggages. Believe me this is helpful since walking on sand is harder. 3.Transfers from Kalibo airport to Caticlan is no problem. There''s no requirement to pre-book this as there is an abundance of transport companies that will offer you competitive prices to get to Caticlan from Kalibo and vice versa. 4.There is another great way to see Boracay Island. Visit Mt.Lahu which is located in the middle of the mainland. You will be at the top of the mountain and gain panoramic views.


joanna yu
5/5/2005

Since the hotel doesn''t have interesting food choices (international rest. on the top floor), try Bistro Remedios on Adriatico - a pleasant, 5 minutes walk from hotel. Bistro serves Filipino food at its best, with wonderful musicians making the meal even more pleasurable.


rethnasamy thannimalai
5/2/2005
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

There is this Green Belt 3 complex, just across our hotel, where night dining and meeting new friends are possible. We also visited Clark (Angeles) city were we stayed in the Century (casino) Hotel. Won some money in the slot machine and a good place to shop especially in "Robinsons". Things are cheaper than in Manila.


reynaldo taningco
5/1/2005
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

I travel to the Philippines every year, yet there always seems to be something new. High-rises are sprouting like mushrooms as open land in urban areas are becoming scarce. New clubs and restaurants are constantly being opened or revamped to meet the locals'' changing tastes. Americana is quite popular, since a lot of Filipinos view Westerners through the eyes of Hollywood. There are some things that, for better or worse, stay the same. Filipino drivers are still extremely undisciplined, so do yourself a favor and DON''T DRIVE! Get a friend or hire a driver to do it. Customer service at most establishments is always good if not exceptional. CSRs at most stores and restaurants are attentive but not pushy, and seem genuinely friendly. Thanks to the favorable US $ to peso exchange rate, locally-made goods can be had at bargain prices. The Landmark Mall is a great place to shop for such items. (Unfortunately, if you''re on the "hefty" side, you may find it difficult to find clothes that fit.) On the food front, Gerry''s Grill is great for native dishes. You MUST try their grilled blue marlin belly. Try Kimpura for Japanese or the Jade Garden for Chinese. Other good places to eat are Oody''s (sp) and Dad''s. Of course, McDonald''s, KFC and such are all over the place if you''re looking for a quick bite. If you want to get out of the concrete jungle, visit the Taal volcano in Tagaytay, about 90 minutes drive from Makati. It''s a small active volcano in the middle of a lake. Interestingly, the lake itself is actually the mouth of a massive volcano. Poverty is still a huge problem in many places, and you will see it any time you travel outside the urban centers. If you don''t have the stomach for it, you should limit your travels to "tourist-friendly" areas.


hans peter sigurd cordes
5/1/2005

Very good shopping centre (Glorietta) close to the hotel with lots of good shopping, restaurants and cinemas. The half day city tour was nice and useful to better understand the city (for the ones who do not know clearly).


gloria kennedy
4/30/2005

My husband and I took sightseeing around Manila area. He enjoyed the tour in Fort Santiago and facinated to see the U.S. cemetery in Fort Bonifacio.


stewart grainger
4/29/2005

The Philippines are a wonderful place to visit, we come every year and are still not fed up with it. There is such a varied and wonderful number of places to visit to see all the different cultures here. There are planes, air-con buses, and local transports to use, all of which are safe and reliable. I love to return here and plan to retire here.


karl sumbeling
4/27/2005

Going around places in BOHOL can be done in just a day. Rent a Van for P3500 and all the tourist destinations within BOHOL will be covered (Mag-aso falls, Sagbayan Peak, Chocolate Hills, Man-Made forest, Loboc river, Churches, etc.)


gottfried wesely
4/27/2005
Stayed at:

Island hopping tour is very nice, including snorkeling. Olango bird sanctuary was out of season, the season is October to March. Restaurants in Lapu Lapu are very good for fish dishes. The taxis provided by the hotel are very expensive, better hire one outside.


kenneth hume
4/24/2005

There is only one place to go to at night and that is "Venue". It is a complex with about ten restaurants, Italian, Thai, Seafood, Western, etc., they share an outside seated area and there is a live band. There is also a huge concert bar/disco with live and recorded music.


david campbell
4/24/2005

An interesting day trip is to Corregidor, the island in Manila Bay where the US and Filipino Forces made a last stand against the Japanese invasion in World War II. Most of the ruined buildings are left as they were in 1945 and the large tunnel where Macarthur and the Philippine President lived for several months is very atmospheric. Good guided tours included in the tour price.


kian syn chai
4/20/2005

Ayala Museum very nice, entrance fee for foreigner is 350p adult and 250p child. The Vietnamese Restaurant in Greenbelt 1, food nice and cheap.


ariel c. deocares
4/16/2005
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

Verify which banks offer you the appropriate ATM access, some ATMS in malls much more dificult to obtain money. Easier at Benak branches. Changing travellers checks much more complicated and long drawn process (1.5 hrs) and with each bank you need to verify which checks go with what bank, my Visa Checks thru AAA had to be done thru a Visa affiliated bank.<br> <br> SM in Baguio one of the best SM malls I visited. A more open floor plan and not a boxed-style mall. Wonderful restaurants. Discovered a vegetarian resturant with funky setting, an art gallery/coffeeshop/restaurant called "O My Gulay" It is on the penthouse level of a building beside the PCI-Equitable Bank Building on Session Road. Excellent take on vegetarian-style dishes. Also non-vegetarian dishes available. Menu not extensive but what they have is excellent. Cash only payment. Golden Pine Hotel/Restaurant cor Legarda and Carino St. in Baguio. I have stayed here for a number of years. I love their facilities, their restaurant, their friendly and personal service and its proximity to the city center. Very good value also. Interenet access 24 hours near the lobby. Le Souffle restaurant at Camp John Hay, Baguio excellent food the Filling Station at Camp John Hay, Baguio excellent burgers.


edward burroughs
4/16/2005

This location is so convenient. We were at the Festival Supermall or Alabang Town Center every single day. Although I really enjoy Filipino food, being from California I was also happy to see that the mall provided me with McDonald''s, Wendy''s, Dairy Queen, Burger King, etc. There is even a Tony Roma''s Ribs and an Outback Steakhouse at Alabang Town Center. So, I never wanted for American food. One of the most enjoyable experience was a one hour massage at "The Spa" at Alabang Town Center. It costs less than $20 (US Dollars) and the sauna, etc. before the massage were so relaxing. Alabang is a great location.


paul schneider
4/14/2005

Traveled to Calbayog City on Samar. The Maiju-Krisem Hotel on the National hi-way is much better than the Edwardo''s hotel in town. The Maiju-Krisem has a court yard for parking that gets closed at night and also has a new olympic size pool that they opened on April 19th 2005. Also has a nice restaurant where you can sit next to the river and watch the fisherman paddle there boats out to sea in the morning. Double room with air-con and bathroom is less than $40 per night.


masako miyamoto
4/13/2005
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

Wherever you go in the Philippines, it''s good to have someone accompany you. My place is Negros Occidental where many friends are waiting for me. There are a few recommendable hotels like Bacolod Convention Plaza, L''fisher or Kundutel near the airport. Food is different. Language is different. I always enjoy simple and local Bacolod airport, meeting people, enjoy native food such as chicken inato and the Nature.


gerbert corpuz
4/13/2005

Getting point to point in Manila is very accessible if you have a car but Manila or Ortigas Center where this hotel is located is very Metropolitan in nature this hotel has an access to various types of transportation. They have jeepneys which is so cheap, buses where it is so convenient and people friendly. Of course we have railway transit which every huge cosmopolitan city in the world has it''s own. The food facilities are so western in style. Just make sure about people who you go with.


hong ser keh
4/13/2005

I had really like the place called Tagaytay, the place is so nice, in sceneries and weather, and we had lunch in Sonia''s Garden, food was great (organics). Also went to Fort Santiago and intramuros, place of full historical events.


robert juarez
4/12/2005

If you are going for the tenderloin district of Burgos this isn''t a bad place. Excellent location surrounded by may pubs. The mall and shops at Greenbelt are convenient by taxi.


roberto almarines
4/10/2005

We went out every day and we were accommodated well with respect to shuttle services when we were not able to avail of our hired designated driver. We mostly went to the nearby malls: Festival Mall and Alabang Town Center then we visited the ordinary and native areas of interest like the Fish Port at Navotas much like the South Street Seaport of New York (Fulton fish Market).


cathy lawrie
4/5/2005

Fraser Place is located in the heart of the business district of Makati. The nearby Glorietta and Greenbelt shopping areas are great for shopping and dining out. If you love being in the center of everything then this is the place to be.


robert mcgregor
4/3/2005

Go to see Tribe of Levi playing at Friends, El Pueblo - great bar and absolutely wonderful band. It is 30 yards from the hotel and a sensational Saturday night out.


harold martinez
4/3/2005

Visited several cities while we were in Luzon to include Laguna, Batangas City, Cavite and Vigan. I have my own transportation that I drove myself. The place to stay in Los Banos, Laguna would be the Oasis-the cleanest and most prestigious hotel/resort with warm mineral water/pool in Laguna. I give it a five star just for its cleanliness. The malls are a great venue for eating all types of food, I like glorietta cause that''s where I stayed.


harold easton
4/2/2005

I spent a great deal of time at the Greenbelt Malls nearby. They are not to be taken lightly and are worth the time- Restaurants etc are great!!! And shopping is available for any pocketbook. Taxi availability to the rest of Manila is handy.


stein morten solvold
3/31/2005

I have visited Boracay on this trip. I have read many positive things about Boracay, but it is one thing I had not read about, which surprised and disappointed me: The trafic. Not so many cars, but many tricycles and motorbikes. Alongside the walking path along the white beach, these motorbikes were not allowed, but on the mainroad, it was worse than beeing in Manila! I had to walk (or use tricycles)on this road every day from my hotel (when transport was not available from the hotel) Paradise Bay. This hotel is situated in a quiet bay 15 minutes (walking) from white beach. A very nice place, quiet.<br> <br> Beautifully situated. All the rooms had beautiful view over the bay, with palmtrees in the foreground. On the white beach you melt in the sun, but on this place, with a nice breeze, I think it is better. But a disadvantage is the distance, but the price for a room for what you get in quality, is very good. Similar quality on the white beach would cost the double of what you are paying at this place.


james cooley
3/29/2005

I was on a business trip and a bit concerned with security (courtesy of some "over-the-top" advisories from the U.S. Embassy at the time of my visit) so I used a hotel cab with AC driven by a friendly fellow who knew the Metro area, could read and spoke passable English. The rates were RP peso 450 an hour (about US$8.50/hr) and the service was highly satisfactory and from my perspective, "cheap". However, more adventurous souls have recourse to the "Jeepneys", the small public transport vehicles that clog Manila''s streets. My understanding is that these are available for c. 10 cents per kilometer!


patricia shea
3/28/2005

Cebu is a great place for a family holiday (I just would not stay at the White Sands). Our kids enjoyed the beach, water sports and touring. We took a tour of Cebu City, which was fun. Being Easter Week, we had the opportunity to see a couple of the Good Friday Processions which were interesting and an excellent example of the local culture. I recommend the Green House Seafood Restaurant on Mactan Island--a market restaurant where you pick out live sea critters and have them cooked to you liking. Very fresh and tasty! The restaurant was clean, the food excellent and the hosts and waitstaff were friendly and helpful. A very kid-friendly restaurant as well.


dain miller
3/25/2005

Staying in Pasig area near the Shangri la mall, which the Astoria Plaza is, or in the Makati area would be best suited for most western travelers as these areas tend to be cleaner and many things are within walking distance.


daniel vandercappelle
3/19/2005

Taxis are cheap and easily available...you might have to insist for the driver to use the meter otherwise most drivers are friendly and willing to help...Chatting in English is not a problem. Even if you do not like pipe organ music, going to Las Piñas to see the only bamboo pipe organ in the world (early 19th century) and listening to the wonderful sound of that magical instrument (9 o clock or 13.30 pm) is highly advisable.


robert hoenig
3/16/2005

A short walk to Greenbelt 2 where many great restaurants are located. Italiannis is a staple when you want Italian food. Sugi is very good Japanese and Kai is very good pan-asian. Power Plant in Rockwell is where I love to bowl and shop. Very high end and not so crowded. Shopping at the Fort is a great experience and Greenhills is expanding, that is one of the best places to shop and eat. The Ayala museum is a must see and Casa De Manila is also a good tourist spot as the St. Augustine church and Fort Santiago oh, don''t forget the Manila Hotel for a nice buffet lunch and the Champange roon for an elegant dinner.


garry stocks
3/15/2005

The one highlight of the trip was the trip to the valcano (Taal). We got the boat trip for 1100 pesos. The rental of the horses were a bit expensive and they did not want to bargain much. We rented three horses for about 2500 pesos and rode them up to the valcano. It really was worth it. It was vary nice up there. Of course everyone had their hand out for money. The guides insisted on a 200 peso tip which was fare but the way they asked for it was not appropriate. I would do the trip again though. The water was a bit rough going out to the island but that was not their fault.


daniel james collins
3/15/2005

We went to Fort San Pedro, we went to nice italian restaurant in greenbelt makati. Also went to glorietta for shopping and etc. went to Baclaran for church and catching L.R.T. That was interesting...it''s fun as well.


alan meyer
3/14/2005
Stayed at:

Recommend "Joe''s Chicken" as a good authentic Filipino eating place.


may flores-lyons
3/13/2005
Stayed at:

Having a wonderful cousin who provided us a vehicle made our stay in Cebu enjoyable. If she''s not available, taxicabs are affordable and are air-conditioned!!! SM City has very nice resort wear, can''t find it in Manila. If you just want relaxation or time with your family or loved one/s, secluding yourself in a resort is the best way to go!! Prior to touching anything in your room, check the list that you''re supposed to have in your room and make a note as to what''s missing, any missing item/s will be charged to you whether you''re about to check out or gone already.


david warneke
3/13/2005

Excellent shopping. Enjoyed Greenbelt & Glorietta as well as the bargain hunting at Divisoria near Sta Cruz. Visited Tagaytay & Matabungkay for a day trip. Went on the road up the west coast stopping at Vigan & Laoag.


kenneth chastain jr
3/13/2005

Knockoffs in Robinsons Mall (about a block & a half away) beat anything seen in HKG or BKK or Chiang Mai. Great shopping. Fort Santiago is a bore, but should have taken hydrofoil to Corregidor. Flew direct from India, so street hawkers and beggars went almost unnoticed, but expect it, anyway.


abigail espinosa
3/13/2005
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

To see a bit of the local night life, go to greenbelt 3 and check out Ice Bar and Absinth where young locals go. Go to Nuvo to watch beautiful people.


michael o'connor
3/13/2005

I enjoyed the Harbor View Restaurant which is on a pier over the harbor. The shopping in Glorietta was pleasant. The restaurants in the Greenbelt Mall are pleasant. As an American I truly enjoyed Fort Bonifacio. The tour of Intramuros was extremely interesting.


socorro corpuz
3/8/2005

The jeepney, LRT and MRT were the only modes of transportation we took around Manila. We highly recommend these as oppose to taxis. The day trip to Corregidor was exceptional. We also took a guided tour to Banaue, Bontoc and Sagada. While we do not recommend the guided tour by Lakbay (too expensive, guide not knowledgeable at all about the sights), the Banaue rice terraces and the hanging coffins in Sagada are well worth seeing. The Saturday Market in Banaue was a very interesting experience - many sellers drove for hours to sell their wares - ducks, chickens, tobacco, etc.


john ingram
3/4/2005

LRT and MRT are quickest but very crowded at peak periods and impracticable if you have anything but hand luggage.


terence elias
3/1/2005

The Philippines is a beautiful country to visit, a lot of white sand beaches to see and hospitality at its best. 5-star hotels in Canada, USA and Europe can''t compare to the service provided in Philippine hotels.


mario villacourt
2/26/2005
Stayed at:

Sabang is a nice place for SCUBA diving. Action Divers are good and associated with Portofino.


gary fowles
2/25/2005

I arranged with the hotel for a transfer from/to the airport. Don''t, because a taxi is cheaper. But when using a taxi make sure the driver starts the meter. We struck one that didn''t until we asked. My fiancee is from Mindanao and preferred using a taxi with a driver that spoke Bisaya. On the third day we found one who was very friendly so we used him for the rest of my stay. Easy with cellphones & texting. But beware if you text "come now" he starts the meter immediately if he has no passengers. So we planned our trips and made bookings the previous day to avoid the extra expense. We avoided using buses on the advice of my government which was timely as there was a bus bombing a few blocks away at the Ayala bus terminal when I was there. We only went to two restaurants, Hard Rock Cafe and Tony Romas, both in Glorietta. Tony Romas was expensive, poor value. I sponsored a family lunch at Hard Rock Cafe for my fiancee''s family where we announced our engagement. 10 adults and 5 children. It cost me 10,123.70PHP or $185US including drinks. Good value for me.


agnes dias
2/25/2005

Beautiful country, it''s a wonder it isn''t being promoted more as an ideal tourist destination. Manila city life, Boracay beaches, Palawan snorkelling, Tagaytay volcanoes, Baguio mountains and more. I had one of the best holidays there and am eager to come back and exlplore some more. Friendly people and cheap food everywhere.


melodie icasiano
2/22/2005

Metromanila was great for shopping. The highlight of our trip was a 4 day stay in Boracay Island. White beaches and clear water enabled us to jet ski, snorkel, scuba dive and rest and relax on the beach. We even enjoyed a beach front massage and manicure. Restaurants on the island were great as well. We experienced Pagsanhan Falls, Villa Escondero and Los Banos for the hot springs. Overall there was a lot to see and do, even took a trip to Baguio City, which was a relief from the heat and humidity.


andrew rigby
2/20/2005

Manila is a difficult place to get decent food. It''s either unpalatable Filipino food or American-style ribs ''n'' fries. Two restaurants that I go regularly in Greenbelt 3 (2nd level) in Makati are Cascada and Pasha (Mediterranean). Prices are reasonable too.


william crewe
2/20/2005

Bacolod is not a great tourist destination but it does seem to have progressed since my last visit. The area around L''Fisher now offers pleasant alternative eateries (e.g L''Sea, Kansei, Vienna Kaffeehaus) and shops (wine, antiques, etc).


michael patchett
2/19/2005

Tagaytay is a great place to visit. Whether you are with your family and friends, or out for a romantic weekend, it''s perfect! The weather is nice and cool and the air is clean and fresh. Put Tagaytay on your list of places to go in the Philippines!


john hanusin
2/16/2005

From Manila I went to Cebu, Bohol, Negros and Mindanao. I stayed at the Dakak Park Resort on Mindanao and found it wonderful and very beautiful. Also, the Bohol Tropics Resort on Bohol was very nice.


albert largo
2/13/2005

We only stayed overnight at the Legend ''cause our schedule was very hectic. We ate dinner at KALUI restaurant were they served magnificent seafood. Too bad they don''t take credit cards for payment. We had been all over Palawan. Noteworthy places are the Butterfly Garden and the Underground River and its cave. We never made it to the Prison and the Crocodile Farm. The road to Sabang was excruciating since the roads are still under construction. The "Palawan Massage" was an experience I will never ever forget!


louis franco
2/10/2005
Stayed at:

This is the type of island that you can leave your shoes in your room. The first day I carried my sandals everywhere, the second and third days I just left them at home. The main strip is sand; no cars, except for an occasional police vehicle. Felt very safe, and the people were very friendly. A fair amount of vendors, but they don''t hassle you too much. I found it amusing they kept on trying to sell me sunglasses, despite the fact I was wearing a pair. But again, they are not hard sell, and the people are polite and courteous. The food was very good at most places we ate at, and the beers are cheap, about sixty cents American.


james stoudt and jonathan smith
2/8/2005

We had a delightful visit to Puerta Princesa. The Fleuris Hotel arranged our guide and driver to the UNESCO-rated subterranean river. Our guide, Omar, was excellent. The trip to the river does take a while (about 2+ hours) and the majority of it is a bit bone-jarring on rutted roads. The small village reached at the end of the journey is the departure point for a further 20 minutes boat ride to reach the park entrance where (in our case, following a nice lunch) you then follow a small path to the launching point for the underground river trips. (There is an alternative to walk from the village to the park entrance which is probably nice if you have the extra time; it takes 2 to 3 hours, Omar said.) It seems like a lot of effort to take an underground river trip which, in itself, is under an hour round trip, but it is definitely worth it.<br><br>Amazing sights of the ''inside'' of a mountain: the typical stalagtites and stalagmites, but also veins of marble; internal caverns and caves; and the special experience of travelling by boat too. Experiences are somewhat reminiscent of the Deer Cave, etc. in Sarawak, East Malaysia. It is very quiet as the guide paddles manually and the only lights are the two handheld by the front two passengers which are enough to get a good view. It is probably a place which will continue to (unfortunately) become more modernised over time, so good to see it soon! <br><br>A few tips: the boats do not come straight to shore, so wear shoes/sandals that you can get wet. Shorts and light clothing is fine although there are lots of bats and not everything dripping from above is mineral water. The guides will probably not like to hear this but don''t necessarily volunteer to sit in the front and hold the lights as it does attract pesky bugs (but nothing that bites) and you have to pay attention to the guide''s directions on where at least one of you should shine the light. The other one, though, can do what he/she wishes! We returned from our long day with very nice memories of this unique area and then enjoyed an evening in Puerta Princesa. The main street has a lot of places to eat and some good handicraft stores. A wide sidewalk makes wandering easy. All in all, a delightful visit!


lo kwok yiu
2/7/2005

Visited bars on the same street, but seems there is a new regulation. Small area bars cannot allow smoke and if the bar is big enough, then a smoking area can be established. It makes the overall environment there less fun than before (for myself as a smoker). Lastly, went down to Hard Rock cafe (big enough) where a large area you can smoke makes me feel better. Taxi right now is having regulation and the minimum is 30 Peso. There are more shopping malls being built and different variety of resturants and shops around. Feel comfortable in having my leisure in Manila.


magali crutzen
2/6/2005
Stayed at:

White beach is one of the best beaches we have ever been to: long, beautiful, with soft, white sand; pleasant temperatures in February. Our favourite restaurants were Friday''s Boracay, La Capinnina (Italian) and CNN café. The island is not big and can easily be visited on foot or by tricycle (or you can rent a bike). If you are a snorkeller and a marine life lover, you won''t see as much as around Phuket (Thailand) since a lot of the coral is dead and there isn''t much left to see. I didn''t dive (just snorkelled) so I don''t know about diving spots though.


aline chabloz
2/1/2005

If looking for information about activities on Palawan, I would recommend the travel agency "1700 Islands Travel & Tours" on Rizal Avenue where the staff is quite helpful and friendly.


antonio ho
1/29/2005

Shopping & eating out at Robinson Plaza nearby while in Manila; I like "Mario''s Kitchen" at "Taste Buds" one floor above National Bookstore, inside that mall. I found better USD to Pesos rate offered by the foreign exchange counter inside Robinson Department Store than "Robinson Bank" branch inside the same mall. If you like open air diner w/loud music bands, go to one of those restaurants at Manila Bay sea-side; the other option is "Ratsky" at Tomas Morato Ave. in Quezon City, a little bit faraway by taxi but music band w/ filipino (dirty??) jokes, I found it crowded but my filipino friends like that place very much.<br> <br> For inexpensive seafood, I went to DAMPA (wet marked), beyond the int''l airport in Paranaque; you buy your own seafood from the market & take it to one of those existing restaurants nearby & they cooked it the way you want. Always went around by taxi as I found the fare not expensive by my benchmark, but be prepared to tell the driver by which route you want to arrive at your destination as most of the time taxi drivers will make a long detour in order to have a bigger fare. My solution was to tell the driver once inside that I''m in a hurry & that I will give a tips when the trip is quite long.<br> <br> Always lock both rear-doors once you are inside a taxi & beware of cellphone snatcher when you talk with or when your cellphone is visible while walking on the street/road. Don''t let your wife/girlfriend/daughter dangle the cellphone by a lanyard. Keep in mind that your USD150 valuable is more or less equal to one month salary for the majority of the locals. If you use Philippines SIM card for your calls, GLOBE is ok for major cities, but use SMART at places in the provinces as the latter network coverage is much better.


chris padovano
1/23/2005

Just a quick story about Tess, the main counter girl. We went riding on ATV''s (which Tess booked for us), and when we got there we found out they didn''t accept credit cards. It was a total of about $100 for 2 people for a half day, but the people said after our rides, they will follow us back to a ATM so we can pay them with cash. We''ll of course, the ATM wouldn''t take our card, so we scarpped up all the money we had, but we were still 500 pesos short. We decided to asak the hotel for another ATM, when we saw Tess walking home. She asked us how our trip was, and we told her we were short the cash. Wel, Tess reached into her pocket book and loaned us the 500 pesos right there on the spot until we were able to find a working ATM! Kindness like that is very rare these days!


christina dunham
1/22/2005

It is much cheaper to hire a taxi to take you on a Cebu City tour (US$30 for an entire van) than to go through a travel agent (US$25/person). Make sure you ask the driver to take you to a restaurant on Mactan Island at the fish market, where you get to select fresh lobsters, squid, fish, prawns, and other shell fish and have them cooked-to-order. Also, arrange for an all-day boating/snorkeling/island hopping tour through Tropical Island Adventures (on Buyong Beach). They will take you to the best snorkeling and diving spots around Cebu. A barbecue lunch is prepared for you on board. Cost is about $25/person, including food/drinks and snorkeling gear.


lyle wagman (1st room)
1/21/2005
Stayed at:

Cebu is easy getting around in by taxi. Taxi''s are plentiful and inexpensive fare. I mostly went to the SM mall and the ayala mall. Visited the Catherdal on the feast of St. Nina. Enjoyed the Ft. San Pedro tour too.


john lanteri
1/19/2005

There is plenty of shopping, dining and clubbing in the immediate area of the Dusit. Dining out and taxi services are very cheap. Do not prepay for airport transportation. A metered taxi only costs about 100 pesos with the tip (about $1.80usd) between the airport and hotel. I paid $30 for the roundtrip in advance through asiahotels.com and then had to pay for the trip back to the airport because nobody at the hotel could find proof that I had already paid in advance. We climbed Mt. Pinatubo and went to Corregidor Island (Gen. MacArthur''s "I shall return"). Find a tour agency to book your tours with instead of the ones offered through the hotel. You will save about 40%. There are numerous fine dining establishments in the Greenbelt area to satisfy every cultural taste. I''ve never dined so cheaply on such quality food and service. The Filipino driving habits (no rules at all!) are amusing and I for one can never get road rage again after witnessing their road maneuvering. I''m surprised that there are no Filipino NASCAR or Formula 1 drivers. They can weave with the best of them.


thomas martin
1/18/2005
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

I had a friend with an auto but after a few days selected to take taxi''s because they are inexpensive and the drivers are more familiar with areas. Through the doorman at B.S.A. Tower I arranged with a gentleman to drive me on private tours to different area Provinces outside Manila. It was quite good and very inexpensive a typical 12 hour tour with him providing vehicle and gasoline ran $50 and less per day. It could have been cheaper but I gave him $50. I felt comfortable with him going to areas that I would not have gone alone. I was interested in seeing the new and normal tourist areas but also experiencing how the real Filippino people lived so I went into areas that tourist would not have normally ventured in to and felt very secure.<br><br> I advise that you take at least three credit cards. I only took one for I thought since I had a $25,000 limit on the card that I would not encounter any difficulties. I ran into problems when Landmark Department Store on the first day made an error on the card processing. Through out the 18 days there it created some difficulties in some stores from then on. Communication was no problem since nearly all the people speak English. I found the people to be extremely friendly and wanting to help.<br><br> If traveling by air for more than 12 hours to get there I found it miserable going economy and changed coming back to Business Class for the seats in economy are just too close and too narrow. At first I had concerns because security is so obvious in every store, bank, mall and public building but once I came to understand that this is just part of life especially in Manila I became comfortable with it and it made me feel more secure. I am looking forward to possibly returning towards the end of 2005. I met a lot of wonderful people. The average income of the majority of the people with good jobs is only approximately $190 per month but they are an extremely happy and polite people.<br><br> One should decide exactly what they are looking for before deciding to go if they do not have time to visit several islands. Cebu is for the tourist that enjoys the beach and Manila for those that enjoy museums, shopping and the large city, the northern part if you are looking for the mountains and cooler weather. Traffic is unbelieveable so I do not suggest that any foreigner rent a car and expect to drive themselves. The rule of the road is who is the bravest and willing to take the most chances. Thank you for making the arrangements. I would recommend your services to others.


analou rimmington
1/17/2005

We found Cebu to be a great place for shopping, the taxi drivers were polite and honest. We were in Cebu during the Sinulog Festival. Cebu was very crowded and at times it was almost impossible to get a taxi and even when we did, it took hours to get anywhere, shopping at both Ayala and SM centres was great and good value for money, food is still good value in Cebu, and there is still places where you can get seafood smorgasboard for p130, exchange rates were good for the Aussie dollar, and some of the best rates were at the currency exchange in the centre of Ayala shopping centre, all in all a wonderful trip.


perlin wong
1/7/2005

The shopping centres near the hotel are big and modern. However, we spent most of our time in another shopping area - Greenhills Shopping Mall which is about 30 mins from the hotel. Taxis are safe there despite many negative advice. There''s no need to pay for expensive hotel taxis. All speak good English.


florencio guinhawa
1/7/2005

I had proven once again the goodness of the Filipino people. One day, last January 4. I was out at the mall when I suffered from a severe attack of vertigo, a debilitating impairment which causes one person to lose his/her equilibrium. I rested at Netopia in front of Dusit Hotel for a few minutes. I asked the guy named Arnel if he can kindly provide me with assistance by hailing a cab, carry my belongings and take me back to your hotel. He did that without giving me any troubles. This simple act of Arnel affirmed once more the old tradition of our people of being helpful, accommodating and trustworthy.


david lynch
1/5/2005

You should take a visit to the Taal volcano if the weather is nice. Make sure you negotiate though up front! Go to the center of town and take a jeep down, the tricycle was was a rough dusty ride down. Wear a rain poncho or swim clothes for the boat to the island, it''s a great trip up on horse and a beautiful view of the volcano lake, well worth it. and the active volcano is on the big island not the one in the lake in the picture.


rob trent
1/4/2005

We used the Nissan Car rental outfit in hotel lobby to book two driving tours of Cebu which let us see all of the tourist spots. Bring small change as most places visited required a small parking fee of between P5 to P20. Drivers are professional and full of info as well as great assistance in taking pictures for us. To get around Cebu, use taxis. All that we used had working meters and rides to various spots were: Ayala Center: P60; SM Cebu: P110; Fuente Osmena: P115; Airport: under P150. Get out of the hotel and experience some of the great restaurants Cebu has to offer. We walked about 20 minutes from our hotel and found some unbelievable barbecue spots and Filipino restaurants. If you plan to stay in the hotel, the restaurants are great as well but you do pay "hotel prices".


david lewis
1/4/2005

We would recommend all the restaurants in Greenbelt 3. We tried most of them and were very impressed with the service and the quality of the food. Another great place was "M", the restaurant at the Ayala Museum. It is outstanding.


ezen & j m stones
1/3/2005
Stayed at:

We organised our own transport to go to Luzon. The last time we have travelled by road to go north was 11 years ago when there were no place for foreign children to eat. Vehicles were so few that traffic jams were unheard of. Most cities in the Philippines are likely to have a traffic jam. Manila has got the most chaotic traffic jams we have ever come accross. A 20 minute off peak travel time could take 1+ hour during normal peak time on a clear day; 3+ hours on a rainy day! An airconditioned transport is highly recommended when travelling around the Philippines even for only 1/2 mile as traffic is so unpredictable otherwise, you will be roasted in the heat and poisoned with the exhaust fumes with the car windows open whilst in a traffic queue.<br> <br> There are plenty of places to eat particularly those travelling with children. Macdonald and Jollybee are now all over the Philippines. If you are driving in the Philippines, foreign drivers need to have an International Driver''s Licence. Be very cautious when driving in the Philippines particularly if you are a caucasian. Never stop at the scene of the accident as you could be blamed for causing the accident. A lot of the local drivers did not attend proper driving lessons. Their knowledge of the road regulations are very limited. Local license is achieved by buying it not through driving test therefore, if you are mad enough to drive in the Philippines, GOOD LUCK to you!!


pia bennagen (2 adults and 2 children)
1/1/2005

We have planned for our New Year''s vacation in Baguio for months. And so despite the "meningo" scare, we pushed through with our trip --- we just made sure to avoid to public market. My family and I have been to Baguio several times in the past but this was the first time we got to see the famous strawberry fields --- the highlight of our trip. Even though we did not get to see the strawberries (they must have been picked earlier that day), it was still a sight to behold as we arrived there in the late afternoon --- with the sun about to set, the fog creeping in, and all the flowers in full bloom. And despite the fact that our car was already full with passengers and baby stuff, we will managed to pack in a few kilos of strawberries and vegetables for which Baguio is famous. "Meningo" scare and all, our Baguio trip was worth it!


corazon laxa
12/30/2004

Some of the places I visited were: San Pedro, Laguna, Manila, Quezon City. We ate at the Kamayan Restaurant several times - the food was very satisfying and the singing waiters were entertaining. I especially enjoyed the Filipino folk songs. I shopped at SM, Glorietta Shopping Mall, Mega Mall, and Robinsons. The prices were very reasonable, especially if you are spending US dollars. Several tips: when travelling, insist on taking a metered taxi to ensure you will not be overcharged. Also, inquire if the taxi driver will be charging you extra for your luggage.


jeffrey atwood
12/29/2004
Stayed at:

IF you get the chance see the location -Tagaytay - about one hour from Manila. Very beautiful scenery - green hills and a small volcano. A visit to Picnic Grove is recommended - run by the Philippine Tourist Center.


akira yamauchi
12/28/2004

I followed my family who was ahead of me in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental. The place is beautiful. We went to Duka Bay Resort, Medina, Misamis Oriental. The beach is nice and the cottage where we stayed was very comfortable. We are always looking forward to visit Duka Bay Resort everytime we visit Cagayan de Oro City.


romeo mendoza
12/28/2004
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

Mall fast food is cheap and has a variety of choices, Greenbelt park, restaurant and night clubs are fun to go to. Landmark has affordable prices on basically all you need.


chet cadelina
12/28/2004

If you''re in Makati just to meet old friends and shop for fashion, you may not need transportation if you''re staying in Oakwood. Posh and fastfood restaurants are aplenty and within walking distance. Outback Steakhouse is just at the ground floor of the hotel, if you need a quick snack or a nightcap late in the evening after shopping your heart out at the numerous boutiques carrying local and popular brand-name clothing and merchandise. I only had to cross the street to buy groceries at SM supermarket, which seems to have everything I need.


grace fuentes
12/25/2004

Oakwood is in the center of Makati and there are like 3 malls around the area - SM, Glorietta and Greenbelt. It was christmas when we came, so the Glorietta mall does not open until 12pm and SM did not open at all.


stephen mcvay (1st call)
12/25/2004
Stayed at:

Manila is congested and polluted. Lovely side trip to Tagaytay upland scenic area. Just don''t do it on a holiday, and preferrably not on a weekend due to traffic delays.


elma letchinie yamauchi
12/25/2004

Our destination was Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental. I had my parents in-law checked-in at Pryce Hotel which is close to the airport and shopping area. I think the hotel is one of the best in the city. It is overlooking the city and during night time the view is spectacular. The hotel is secured, quite and peaceful. We dined at the Cagay-anon''s restaurant and enjoyed their foods very much. We went to El Pueblo to play golf and my in - laws enjoyed very much. Take note, you can''t play if you are not in their dress code. I was surprised but it feels good to look at the players with proper attire. We went to Duka Bay Resort. The place is very beautiful. It can compete to some famous resorts around the country. Actually it was our second time visit and I intend to bring my family everytime we visited Misamis Oriental. We rented a van during our vacation, sometimes rental rate in a small city is cheaper than in a big city. Like for example from NAIA to hotel in Makati area the fare of the van is 600.00 pesos for one way only while in a small city it is a day price of a van.


nadia noor aman
12/23/2004

Recommended party places: Pier one(gotta try their specialty drink, ''bangenge'' and the oysters & mussels are yummy), Cocomangas bar, Summer''s plc.


sharon kwan
12/22/2004

The Filipino fried chicken is better than KFC''s! I had the opportunity to try it cooked by locals as well as at Max''s. We also were taken by friends to Baguio City which was a fascinating drive and we hired a tour guide to show us around. I loved the local weavers which gave me a greater appreciation of that craft, and in general fell in love with the country-side and the people who are gentle and maintain a happy countenance despite their own hardships. I also loved the jeepneys which are so colourful but most of all, I was very impressed with all the Jesus signs everywhere and the 10 commandments which led up to Baguio City! I give a big A+ to all Filipino drivers in Manila as they are very tolerant and patient as I saw no accidents or knocks anywhere during my stay - something I would see frequently here in Sydney with much less traffic and much faster and less tolerant drivers!


maria cristina ybanez
12/20/2004

I recommend Intramuros, Roxas Boulevard, Rizal Park, Corregidor, Tagaytay, Pagsanjan and Villa Escudero. It''s not costly to take a cab to Intramuros from the hotel, then pay for the guided tour in that historical place riding a "calesa" or "karwahe" (a cart driven by a horse). Same as the guided tour to Corregidor Island (where General MacArthur said "I Shall Return"), but instead of a "calesa", you''ll be riding a ferry at the Roxas Boulevard Ferry Station (with an option to include buffet lunch in a restaurant with a great waterfront view, serenaded by talented singers strumming guitars). A "drop-off" cab to panoramic Roxas Boulevard and Rizal Park (where the Filipino hero''s shrine is) is also a good idea for anyone who''d like to take a walk in these beautiful, relaxing places.<br><br>To go to Tagaytay (where the eye-catching Taal Lake and Taal Volcano are located), Pagsanjan in Laguna (where you can enjoy a boat ride in the middle of the rainforest to see the huge and very strong waterfalls) and Villa Escudero located at the border of Laguna and Quezon Province (where you can hear staff singing Filipino songs live while riding a cart driven by a "carabao" taking you to a dining place in front of a man-made waterfalls), hiring a car (or a van, if more than four passengers) with a driver would be the way to go.<br><br>By cab from Dusit Hotel Nikko, it takes only about 30 minutes to Intramuros and 20 minutes to both Roxas Boulevard and Rizal Park. By car or van from Dusit Hotel Nikko to Tagaytay, Pagsanjan and Villa Escudero, it could take about 2 hours with a heavy traffic. If you are out of the hotel, I recommend Max Restaurant (there is one in Tagaytay). Their foods are excellent, but not very dear. If you want to go for more Filipino foods, try Barrio Fiesta Restaurant. For cold snacks in a hot weather, I recommend Chowking. Try their not very dear Filipino specialty "halo-halo" - tastier than just an ice cream. Lastly, if you want the generic foods, you can find KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonalds in most of the food centres.


donald shapland
12/16/2004

Bohol is worth a visit and if you don''t mind friendly riverside basic try the Nuts Huts. Chocolate Hills are worth the trip. Also went to Boracay ...it''s a bit in your face commercial but the beaches are huge and not crowded and the Red Coconut Hotel is OK. There is no road only a footpath between the hotels/shops/etc so no traffic except pedestrians and the odd bicycle. You need to fly to this destination and expect to get wet to thigh level as the last leg is by boat.


gary neilsen
12/12/2004

Near the L''Fisher Hotel is a very good Japanese restaurant called Kaisan or Kaisei. The food was very good and authentic, and was reasonably priced.


stephen shepherd
12/7/2004

Recommended Restaurants Bubba Gumps 2nd floor Greenbelt Plaza. Chilli''s Restaurant also Greenbelt Plaza by Legaspi Rd.


cerina mariano
12/6/2004

Manila, Philippine Islands. Shopping trip - mostly to Greenhills and the Glorietta Mall. Travel by taxi to Glorietta is less than $1 (U.S.). An 8 passenger van would run about $8 (U.S.). Recommend eating at the Pancake House & the Crab House. No one seems to follow any traffic laws (a four lane road turns into a 6 lane quite often), but surprisingly the drivers are very defensive. No real respect for pedestrians, so don''t recommend walking. Wear a money wallet under your clothes as there are many pick pockets and don''t show anyone that you have U.S. money as that makes you a good target for increased prices. At Greenhills, which is an indoor flea market, the merchants expect you to bargain with them... lots of imitation brand name purses and shoes. Also visited the MegaMall, but I think that the Glorietta has a much nicer, better quality selection. There is also a Shoe Mart and Landmark at the Glorietta, which are more affordable department stores. All in all, a great shopping experience. Enjoy!


gregory meyer (2nd call)
12/5/2004

On this trip Manila was just a stopover for the real destination, Palawan. Yes there were kidnappings there a few years ago but it seemed perfectly safe and the air is much cleaner there than Manila, the underground river in Sabang is amazing!


domingo francisco
12/5/2004
Stayed at:

This was my very first trip to Boracay and I can say that I was really impressed and enchanted by the island that I can''t help but look forward to come back again soon. I got to Boracay via a 45-minute flight to Kalibo, Aklan, took an hour and a half bus ride to Caticlan port then a 25-minute boat ride to the island itself. It was a bit tiring but it was all worth it because the moment I sat foot on the shore, I immediately noticed how clear the water was and how fine the sands were. It was fantastic and from then I know I was gonna have an awesome time. I stayed in a resort located at the most northern part of the island and we had to take a 5 to 7-minute tricycle ride to get to the main district where a a lot of stores, coffeeshops and restaurants can be found. But then again, the location of the resort has its advantages.<br><br> The beach on this part of the island is cleaner, much peaceful, serene and more relaxing because very few people go to this part to swim and wander. Aside from swimming, I spent most of my 3 day vacation eating and wandering around the island. There are tons of places to dine and hang out here. Just go to the place called D MALL which is located somewhat in the middle part of the island and here, you can choose to dine from quite a number of restaurants and coffeeshops. I had the chance to check my emails while on the island as several internet shops are within the area as well. Some restaurants offer al fresco dining and this is very nice especially at night. Shopping souvenir items was never a problem as there were a lot of things to buy for "pasalubong".<br><br> The most enjoyable part of my trip though was of course swimming and walking through the fine, soft sands of the beach as well as watching the sunrise and sunset. Boracay is a huge island and 3 days is simply not enough to explore and fully enjoy what this marvelous place has to offer. I''d like to thank asiahotels.com for doing a job well done with my reservation as they provided fast and efficient service. I look forward to using your website again very soon. Great job!


masahiro corpuz
12/5/2004

Next to the Hotel, El Pueblo is really nice to visit. I individually enjoyed the live band at Friends.


suzanne wilkes
12/3/2004
Stayed at:

I took the Scuba Diving Open Water Certification course and enjoyed it very much. We went Scuba Diving in three different area and it was nice. We went to Bohol and saw the small monkeys, a cave and an hanging bridge. We also went shopping to the SM mall and to the other mall in Cebu.


erick and maria alcantara
12/1/2004

If you''re game enough, hire a car and take a drive out to Tagaytay. There you will see the Taal Volcano lake and feel the cool mountain air. Getting out there is easy if you take the Skyway, which bypasses all the traffic in and out of Makati. Barely anyone uses it because of the tolls - 75pesos going out of town and 100pesos coming in. I recommend hiring the car at Filcar in Salcedo St.Makati. Great service and are far cheaper than global dealers like Budget/Avis/Hertz etc. Also, they provide drivers if you do not want to drive.


gemma estrada
11/28/2004

From the hotel, we went to Josephine''s restaurant for dinner. After dinner, we went to the Casino to make a few bets. Amazingly, we won though we weren''t too familiar with the card''s game; it must just be a beginner''s luck. We capped the evening with a coffee in Starbucks.


warren mah
11/27/2004

Remember to always look LEFT first then RIGHT before crossing street. Filipinos are undisciplined and crazy drivers on and off the road. Always be alert even when walking on the footpath for oncoming motorbikes. In lots of areas outside Makati business and shopping districts, footpaths are often uneven with cracks and potholes so watch your footing. Eating out in Metro Manila is dirt cheap. Greenbelt area in Makati has some very nice restaurants and bars. Best to take airport to hotel transfer if arriving late or first time in Manila (expect to pay between Php400 to Php700, usually cheaper if arranged with hotel''s representative when you arrive at airport, rather than pre-booking with hotel). For trip from hotel to airport take a taxi (usually you can negotiate with cabbie for flat rate of Php200). For short stays, consider the better hotels such as Dusit Nikko or City Garden depending on your budget. For longer stays consider the condotel apartments such as BSA Suites.


tan jiak lim
11/27/2004
Stayed at:

10 minutes by taxi to Waterfront City casino - one can visit in T-shirt and shorts. Nice place to spend a few hours there - uncrowded, with live band from 9pm. If you like to dance or enjoy great band performance, visit Slabadu at Mandaue City, just 15 minutes by taxi. Less than 300 pesos for 2 beers inclusive cover charge. Current 7-piece band is Southside - great talent with wide repertoire. For dinner, try Seafood City - just pick fresh uncooked stuff and they cook to your preference. Visit Shoemart for shopping.


larry sloan
11/26/2004

Manila is a fine destination, but I believe the real Manila experience is found only in Makati. Be sure to eat at Quick Stomach. Fine food and excellent prices. No ambiance. It is like a diner with tall stools. I usually take the food back to the hotel or have it delivered.


james parsons
11/25/2004
Stayed at:

Zamboanga was not the "terrorist central" I was ready for (at least not when I visited). Downtown was easily reached. The city was cleaner than some I''ve seen in the P.I., and it was an enjoyable visit with a penfriend and her daughter. When I needed a break from being a "family man," I was able to use their internet. The staff even opened the business center just for me for late night sessions! And, when that wasn''t enough, there were massage parlors within walking distance of the hotel, and I felt safe walking to them at night. Then, I''d change hats and become "dad" again at the hotel. The Zambo airport is open air but comfortable. It is the only Philippine airport that searched my carry-on thoroughly this trip (though the female inspector stopped short of opening the compartment that had some of my personal things). While waiting, I had a massage from a blind man, and before I knew it I was playing bingo on Cebu Pacific en route to Manila.


david south
11/24/2004

A car is needed. Taal has a nice picnic area with a view for those enjoying barbecues etc. For the sailors there are boat trips on the lake and we found a nice resort hiring out shaded and seated areas for those wanting only to look at the lake. Josephine''s restaurant near the hotel provides excellent food at reasonable prices. Take care as the portions on our selections from the menu were large.


gill pickering
11/21/2004
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

I mainly go to Manila to do ballroom dancing. There are a number of venues but my favourites are 318 in Alabang, Harmony in Greenhills area and ITM in the heart of Makati.


brian edwards
11/14/2004

The best night spot in Subic is Club Edge - in Olongapo City. Offer live rock bands from 9pm until the early hours. Great fun!!


david reynolds
11/11/2004

The weather in Baguio was just great, no humidity! Baguio is a very hilly city and great for walking or there are plenty of taxis available.


kim prinz
11/7/2004

Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna was incredibly beautiful. A must see. The "Exotic Restaurant" just down the road is a terrific place to eat with great service, view is also great. Follow the road into the mountains and around to Antipolo. Very interesting. Had a wonderful time.


rommel casaclang
10/27/2004
Stayed at:

Baguio City offers a variety of places of interest including Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Mansion house, Philippine Military Academy, Lourdes Grotto, and the Baguio Market. But also the Weaving School and the Silver Smiths school are interesting places to visit. Hire of transport can easily be arranged with the hotel and is very cheap and affordable.


ross gould
10/26/2004

Cebu is an interesting city which if one makes the effort can be a good place for seeing local attractions. Places I visited were, the Island in the sky resort, which is about 25km outside the city in the mountains. It is a good place for picnics with great views. Also there are the Tubod springs resort 15 km south of the city which has swimming pools and leisure areas. Also there are some pleasing beaches to go to particularly at the Vista Mar resort on Mactan island.


leif sjölund
10/25/2004

Nigi-Nigi has definitely one of the best seafood restarants in Boracay. The bar seem to be one of the more popular hangouts along White Beach.


jaime biana
10/24/2004
Stayed at:

We are driving our own cars but we opted to stay most of the time at the hotel. The downtown area is really crowded. The local government should put order and discipline to the drivers of public utility vehicles.


albert chiang
10/24/2004
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

Greenbelt 3 is nearby and has all the entertainment and restaurant variety that you would need.


janelle layug
10/23/2004

Quaint place for breakfast or a snack: Bag o'' Beans. Have their coffee and a loaf of the cinnamon raisin bread which they heat up and serve with butter. Simple but yummy and filling!


gerard casadei
10/20/2004

Baguio is a beautiful city spread out among the hills. Camp John Hay is a highlight. Great views from the new SM mall.


susette burton
10/18/2004

I took a horse-drawn carriage tour (Kalesa) around Intramuros which was a good idea. Walking around is okay too but I was alone so I thought it would be nice to hire the horse and buggy. One thing: when you bargain for the kalesa, get specifics: they don''t tell you this but the price is per 30-minutes. It will take at least an hour to tour the sight, including stopping and getting out, looking around and taking pictures and so on. So when you bargain, just keep in mind it will be at least double that.Having said that my driver was very nice and I had a great time looking around. You do not need a guide to tour Ft. Santiago. Lots of English and nicer to do on your own anyway.


ray golden
10/16/2004
Stayed at: BSA Tower Manila

Whenever getting into a taxi, make sure the driver is going to use the meter and not a flat fee. If they refuse to use the meter, which is against the law, just get out and flag another taxi. Best to try to pick-out a newer model taxi as the air conditioning is probably better and the ride more comfortable. It helps if you know where you are going so that the taxi driver will not go in circles to inflate the meter. Never carry anything in your back pockets because of pick pockets. Just bring enough money for your outing and keep it in your front pocket and when in a crowed or busy area put your hand inside the pocket and hold on to your money. When going into poor areas like Divisoria or Quiapo do not wear your jewelry and watches and dress simple. Women need to hold their purses securely in those areas. Even the local people get ripped off regularly. I had very little concern about this in the area surrounding the BSA Tower as it is a clean business and banking center for the Philippines. Learn how to ride the MRT and LRT mass transit system. It can save a lot of time in traffic.


mike parkin
10/15/2004

Due to the nature of my trip, I didn''t have a lot of time to go sight-seeing this time, although I can recommend the Spanish Fort (Fort Santiago) where the Patriot, Rizal, spent his last days before his execution. Actually a very beautiful, tranquil spot in the heart of the city. Beware of taxi drivers who won''t use their meter and try to get you to pay a fixed fare. These can be up to 3 times the actual fare. Do try the local beer - their San Miguel is one of the most refreshing beers in the world!


robert duval
10/14/2004

Insist on METERED taxis, make sure meter is turned on, and watch for existing amounts on meter. For shopping try Robinson''s plaza or Harrison plaza.


dr. andreas koestler
10/11/2004

Looking for the best place to shop AND dine in Manila? The Greenbelt mall in Makati - look no further. Greenbelt 2, 3 and 4 give you the best Manila has to offer - from the omnipresent global luxury brands to lesser known international and local designers. In between, stop at one of the numerous bars and coffee shops for some refreshments and a bite. The choice of foods is astounding, you could spend weeks there to savour everything.<br> <br> My restaurant tip is "Uva" in Greenbelt 2 - fantastic "nouvelle" Filipino cuisine, great service, and a nice surrounding. The best food I ever had in Manila. On a weekend night, it will be very busy and quite loud, but an amazing crowd of people of all ages gather in this row restaurants and get ready for some serious partying.


alex brayham
10/9/2004

Hidden valley springs in Laguna is a very interesting, natural place to spend the day or remain overnight - as it is an hour and a half from manila. Also there is a bus to tagaytay which is also less than two hours drive and very beautiful once you are there. The baclaran marketplace in pasay near the airport is also a great place for shopping.


armi dedick
10/9/2004

Jeepneys and Tricycle are the least expensive transportation to go around town. Taking a ferry ride (45 minutes and CHEAP) to Puerto Galera, Mindoro is a must if you love white beaches. It is very affordable and they usually have a 3-day package or a weekend package.


ian jones
10/9/2004

Scuba diving ok on wrecks but not great corals or fish life compared to other Pinas resorts. Scuba shack near hotel provide ok diving/guiding and they have jet-ski for hire 2,500 per hour also have ok beachfront restaurant. Diving little/no current ok vis about 10m Oct 2004. Taxi rates are a real scam in Subic no meters and way more expensive than Manila but very cheap by European standards expect to pay 500peso for 20 min trip or 100 peso for 3minute trip. There don''t seem to be any tricycles for short/cheap trips. Subic inside the base is v clean and feels v safe. Roads and infrastructure left by Americans are a cut above the rest of the Phillipines making it feel quite incongruous if you''ve spent some time in other parts of the country. Worth a visit if you have lots of time but not the best beach/diving location close to Manila (Puerto Gallera is better).


dennis patten
10/9/2004

Manila is a dirty unsophisticated city that has a charm inspite of itself. Traffic is almost as bad as Bangkok and London but managable. People are all smiling and prices are cheap. Roxas Boulevard has bayside outdoor restaurants where two can eat for the same price as a couple of beers in Singapore. Makati City looks like the first World with 2nd and 3rd World prices. Manila....definitely worth a visit!!


rodney larson
10/4/2004

BSA Mansions is VERY close to Greenbelt and Landmark and Glorietta Malls. Everything you want to do is around there in walking distance. Very good restaurants in Greenbelt. AND, there is a 24 hour McDonald''s on the corner. Had no trouble catching a cab when needed.


joanne sandul
10/3/2004

I lived in Manila for a few years so I knew where to shop. The best place is Mega Mall and Green Hills for pearls, CDs, DVD''s, cheap clothing - but you have to bargain and the stuff is mostly pirated (except the pearls) Be careful - don''t wear jewellery, expensive stuff or carry a wallet with a lot of cash. Lots of pick pockets!


manoj bhargava
10/3/2004

As I said, Lagen''s a diver or snorkeller''s delight. Look out for the amazing marine life, the beautiful corals and the fabulous sunsets!


adam chircop
9/28/2004
Stayed at:

Attached to Lorenzo Main Resort is a dive shop (New Wave Divers) which I would strongly recommend to anyone (beginners or more experienced divers). We did a four day open water diving course and it was so great that we followed it with another fun dive and would have loved to do more if time permitted. The instructor was fun and overall the diving experience complemented the island well.


marites dagdagan
9/25/2004

You gotta stay at the Shangri-la Mactan. The resort is fabulous!! My 3 1/2 yrs old son love the place. The staffs are great w/ kids. I really recommend it for couples and families. The have the best buffets and Asiatica, oh my gosh, they have the best lechon kawali and bread sticks. And if you love seafood (fresh, you pick from the tank) eat at Cowrie Cove and my husband and I love dimsum, you must eat at Shang Palace. The best dimsum ever, I mean ever (all at the Shangri-la Mactan).<br> <br> In Manila, if you are a designer freak, check out Greenbelt 4, they just opened this year, this addition housed all the designer labels, all lined up, Gucci, Escada, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and others. Prices are the same as in the U.S. except, no tax. Also, many great upscale restaurants. Also, check out the new movie theaters at the Shangri-la Mall. Their seats fully reclines, just like in first class seats on the plane.


alex cayaban
9/24/2004
Stayed at:

Boracay was the last stop for me me and my girlfriend. We went island hopping (Puerto Galera, Cebu then Boracay.) When I first heard about Boracay, I thought people were exaggerating about White Beach''s crystal blue waters and powdery white sand. Having been there however, I can tell you that this is no exaggeration. The one point that struck me (besides the powdery sand) is that there are virtually no stones, driftwood or jagged shells to injure your feet as you wade into the waters. At 20-feet out, you can throw pieces of bread to feed the fish. The water is so crystal clear that you can see the gentle striations in the sand as the fish swim around your feet. Sunset is simply beautiful: The orange glow of the sky is the last thing you''ll see before the beach comes alive at night with people strolling around: going to the numerous bars, restaurants and clubs that abound.<br> <br> The staff at Jony''s Beach resort were some of the friendliest and most helpful that I''ve encountered. They arranged parasailing, jetskiing, snorkeling and island hopping for us. They even bought groceries for us and cooked it. Every night, we ate dinner by candlelight out on the beach: Chili crab, steamed lobster, whole roast suckling pig... all cooked expertly by the chef at Jony''s. This was one of the funnest vacations I''ve ever had.


yasuaki tamaki
9/23/2004

If you get tired with the first class restaurants in Makati, we recommend " Tiang Tiang restaurants" at the corner of Makati avenue and Pasay road. You can enjoy any seafoods, meats and vegetables in one ''hot pot'' at very reasonable price.


alison hanko
9/21/2004
Stayed at:

Boracay has the best beach in the world! And sunsets to match. The island is perfect to laze around in the sun or if your interested in a but more action, there are plenty of water sports to keep you happy. The diving is amazing and all sites are close to the island so no travelling for hours on boats. Getting around is by foot along the sand and when your there eat dinner at Waling Waling Resort where you can relax in a hammock at your table afterwards. I can''t think of anywhere better than this.


sean gallyot
9/19/2004

Well, Manila is indeed a very beautiful city to visit but please get the hotel cab, its much safer and convenient and they can really show you around. For dining, "The Singing Cook & Waiters" restaurant in a fine place to dine. The food is pretty good, especially the deep fried stuff''s (forgot what they are called). Nightlife''s good everywhere but try not to get out of Metro Manila.


elizabeth ross
9/19/2004

We pretty much expected of weather and planned of the places to go during our visit to the Philippines. Our vacation was too short but it was OK, we did what we could. We went to see Tagaytay. It was my first time to see this place. I am glad that I went because this place is worth seeing. It was also my first time to ride the horse and I thought I will not be able to make it up the top. The mouth of the Taal volcano was breath taking and all that surrounds it is worth the time.


garry stocks
9/19/2004

We visited Bohol which was about a one and a half hour boat ride from cebu. And we visited some water falls that was about 4 hour drive from the hotel. Both were very beautiful and well worth the travel to get there. I had a very nice stay and would recommend the hotel to anyone.


tom burkross
9/18/2004
Stayed at:

If you''re staying at the Copacabana and need to get a taxi, you don''t have to use the hotel affiliated ones that security will get for you. These taxis have a set fee for various destinations that will probably cost close to twice what a metered cab will run. Instead, just walk seven steps to the end of the Copa''s access drive. Within a few minutes, a metered cab will come by. Make sure to tell the driver you want the meter used or you might be screwed!


wolfgang mast
9/17/2004

A railway-station is nearly in front of the hotel, so you can reach farer dest. easier. Shopping in the Robinson''s Place is within footwalk of 15 min. If you like Asian food - forget about it! All you can get everywhere is fastfood, but this in thousands of variations!


evangeline tait
9/11/2004
Stayed at:

Best mode of transport - Taxi - as usual expensive if booked in Hotel i.e. 550 Pesos for ride to airport - a metered taxi would be about 100 pesos if you go out the hotel flag it down - if you''re a tourist the taxi driver will not want to use the meter and will want to discuss price while driving and once you''re captive - stay cool and go along with it 150 pesos is realy not much and far less than the 550 pesos if booked in the hotel!!


reginaldo canuto
9/11/2004
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

The place is far from the city center which is really good to get away from hassle ang bustle of big city life. However the downside, if you love to go out and enjoy the nightlife then this is not the place for you but you can always hire a cab to take you there. All in all, Bohol is a beatiful place and I do recommend to take the countryside tour.


hyewon hyun
9/7/2004

Best spots for scuba divers, enjoy several kinds of watersports. Boracay is recommendable to someone who loves the sea. You can enjoy seafood at a very good price any place and an Italian restaurant called "ARIA" serves perfect cuisine...this place is a MUST!


richard harrison
9/1/2004

If you have the chance to go out to see the nightlife of Cebu, try to stop and eat at a restaurant called "Mr. A''s". It is located up a windy road at the top of a hill and offers a spectacular view of the city at night! It even has a disco dance floor for those of you who like to shake it. It is very popular so just ask for directions or take a taxi.


roger weir
8/24/2004

We hired a car and driver from the hotel for a 4 hour quick tour of downtown Manila to refresh our memory of sites seen years before all at very reasonable cost P350. The restaurants in nearby Greenbelt were top class with great selection.


brian orona
8/23/2004

The Subic Bay Freeport Zone is located within the confines of the former US naval base and all the entrances are controlled so there are relatively few street hawkers and no beggars hanging around waiting for tourists. Most everything is within walking distance inside the central business district but you''ll need to rent a car or hire a taxi if you plan to go visit the other sites in the SBFZ. The Seafront Restaurant offers a "fine dining" experience with excellent food and service, music and a view of the bay. Gerry''s Grill, an outdoor cafe located on the beach, also has great food.


chris garrett
8/20/2004

Sonya''s Garden Bed & Breakfast - a must-visit for the lunch and garden tour. Martha Stewart would be envious of this superb presentation of gardens and culinary delights.


thomas radley
8/19/2004
Stayed at:

No need to get a taxi to go to karaoke and girly bars; they''re right outside within walking distance (you will be approached by beggars though if you are walking, also in taxi if you leave the window open). Makati is 20 mins away by taxi (80-90p) but there most prices are double those in Pasay, especially entertainment!!! Bands and singers in the Philippines are the absolute best in Asia if not the world.


christopher boeder
8/17/2004

Go to the Hobbit House, a Manila live music institution. It is staffed entirely by midgets.


edward outland
8/5/2004

Northwest Airlines offers the best link to Manila (through Tokyo) and you can get bargain rates on business class by bidding on a website called "www.skyauction.com". I pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for a round trip business class out of LAX to MNL. It represents a 50% savings or more on business class. They have the new "pod seats" with back massage and the works....Go Northwest!!


peter ranger
7/31/2004

Within two minutes of the hotel you have the Greenbelt facilities that has cinemas, cafes, shops and a well stocked supermarket. I was on a 15 day business trip so all the close facilities really supported my stay.


susan milner
7/26/2004

Makati has changed beyond belief in 5 years! The restaurants, shops, cinemas etc are first class and you won''t be short of things to do there. The airport is only about 30 mins away, depending on the traffic, so is a good place for a stopover before hitting the islands. Airport transfers around 200 - 250 pesos to Makati. Don''t pay more! At the airport walk past all the touts charging 500 pesos and get a taxi out on the main road. Most drivers don''t use their meters so negotiate hard!


russell layfield
7/25/2004

Puerto Princesa is a good starting point for a tour of Palawan. Easy and cheap to get around by trike. For tours, try Nagtabon Beach, Crocodile Farm and don''t miss the Underground River in Sabang. Recommend Badjao Seafront restaurant.


desmond greenwood
7/23/2004
Stayed at:

Travel around city very cheap. Recommend visit to the Village, opposite the oddly named Waterfront Hotel, for an enjoyable night dining and being entertained in the Courtyard night club featuring several bands. The guitarists are world class. Ayala Centre the most pleasant part of town, good mall and excellent eating at the Laguna Cafe situated between the Mall and the Marriott Hotel.


f.a.m. van schaik
7/19/2004
Stayed at:

We stayed in General Santos City especially because we were visiting relatives over there. It is not so much a tourist place, although there are several nice beach resorts just outside the city that are very pleasant to visit. Another quite interesting place to visit is the harbour, with General Santos City being the tuna centre of the Philippines.


albert leblanc
7/19/2004

There is a mall called Greenbelt which can be reached by covered walkway from Asian Mansion II which has all kinds of shops and restaurants.If you want to roam further, taxis are very inexpensive and you can catch one right at the front door. Most of central Makati (hotels, shopping, etc.) is within walking distance.


manuel castillo
7/17/2004

My family enjoyed our trip to Tagaytay to see Taal volcanoe, had a remarkable time swimming and scuba diving in Boracay; as well as sampling the exciting nightlife in Manila.


ronald fabian
7/6/2004
Stayed at:

I visited Fort Pilar, also the excellent seafood restaurants like Alavar in Tetuan and Country Fried Chicken House in Pasonanca among others. Contrary to what the news say, Zamboanga is a very peaceful city. I stayed up with friends up to 4:00 A.M. going from one night spot to another in the city and there was never a time when we felt afraid or threatened. The military checkpoints in the city even add to your sense of security as the soldiers were very courteous. My advice is, when you have a moderate budget for vacation, Zamboanga is the place as it is less expensive than Manila or elsewhere I tried. You also do not have to worry about traffic and pollution. Plus, there are no pickpocketers in the city. Also, the city is small to such a point that people seems to know one another.


gary ross rodney ferguson
6/10/2004
Stayed at:

Boracay has to have one of the best beaches in the world, the world underneath the sea is also amazing, check out NEW WAVE DIVERS, part of the Lorenzo Hotels complex, they are simply amazing, don''t forget to tel Noel and Debbie that HOT TUNA recommended them, promise you will not be disappointed.


sami atallah
6/9/2004

We took a planned trip to Villa Escudero (PHP5200 for two people). It included a visit to a religious museum in an old church, a ride on a carabou cart, a great buffet lunch and a one-hour fantastic show of folk music and dancing. Be sure that you go there on weekends when these shows are given.


grace magtolis
6/7/2004
Stayed at:

Boracay is one place that I will not grow tired of even if I get to visit it year after year. On 3 occasions, I went there with a group of first-timers, and I always enjoy letting them see the other beautiful aspects of Boracay aside from the sand and sea. One must-see is Mt. Luho viewdeck, which can be accessible through renting a tricycle or van. For a fee of only 20 pesos, one can see a magnificent, panoramic, 360 degree view of the island. The terrain before reaching the actual viewdeck is quite steep though, which might pose a challenge to more elderly travellers. But the scenic view on top is truly worth the effort. The ride to Mt. Luho also affords the first-time tourist to see much of the back roads of Boracay, which are not seen in postcards and travel guides. One gets a better appreciation of the lives of the locals living there.<br><br> From Mt. Luho, a stop to the Puka Beach can be arranged with your tricycle driver. Getting to Puka Beach by land is quite a different experience than getting there by boat. A cheap meal can be prepared at one of the small resaturants there at Puka Beach. A stop at the local market or "talipapa" is also a must to complete your Boracay trip. Different knick knacks and souvenirs can be bought at bargain prices. Don''t forget to bargain though, as the sellers are used to slashing down their prices once asked to do so.<br><br> A boat ride to Crystal Cove is also something I have done in all my trips to Boracay. Even if the two caves inside Crystal Cove remain the same, going inside them each time is still an adventure, depending on the tides of the sea. A welcome development inside Crystal Cove is the addition of several viewing decks. One can also buy several viands at the local market beforehand, as well as rice and sodas, and have the food cooked at Crystal Cove by the boatmen. They are quite adept at this and they will even accompany you to the market to guide you on what to buy, and they can store the food for you until your boating trip. Since Crystal Cove does not provide any substantial food, doing this will be more convenient as the food is cooked while you are touring the whole island.<br><br> Another activity that can be done is the hiring of a glass-bottom boat. This may be more appropriate for travellers who are not that keen on snorkelling or diving. Of course nothing beats seeing the fishes and corals up close, but viewing them through a glass-bottom boat could be the next best thing. A trip to Boracay will also not be complete without riding a banana boat or flying fish. Other water sports such as jet skiing or parasailing are also available. For budget meals, McSandro at D''Mall is a must. The food is great and prepared well. Nightlife will also not be complete without a visit to Cocomangas or Pier One. And for ultra budget travellers, the best way to spend time in Boracay is simply by walking on the beach. The sand is second to none!


david reyes
6/4/2004

If this your first time in the Philippines, this tip is for you. Don''t drink tap water! Before you go out shopping, go to the bathroom and make sure you bring a toilet paper. To exchange your dollars, go to SM, money changers and banks. SM only changes newer 100 dollar bills. The only place I know that exchange Travellers checks are the American Express office in Makati. Beware of Taxi who refuse to use their meters or asked for additional fee. Find another one. Watch your wallet or purse on MRT/LRT (elevated trains). If you have to eat on a restaurant or a store (sari-sari) with precooked food (turo-turo), ask for any freshly cooked ones and don''t drink the water. Avoid food that''s cooked outside or sold in a bus. Be careful when crossing a busy intersection. Police might give you a fine for "jay walking". Beware of snatchers; Don''t use your cell phones while walking and keep your cameras secure.


joseph miller
6/1/2004

The ground transportation system in the Philippines is interesting for Western travelers. From cheapest to most expensive the modes are - foot-powered tricycles (rare except in smaller cities), motorcycle tricycles, jeepneys, buses without air conditioning, buses with "air con", vans, and taxis. Tricycles are similar to pedicabs or "put-puts" and are bikes or motorcycles with a side car. They''re not comfortable for long rides but provide a good way of going a few kms. The usual minimum fare for a short ride is 4 pesos (less than US$0.08). Jeepneys are for longer rides and ply regular routes like buses. They''re colorful and not particularly comfortable, but riding one is something a visitor to the Phils. should experience. Don''t display valuables (including cellphones) while riding and foreigners riding alone shouldn''t ride after 8 p.m., but they''re generally safe if often crowded. Check with a shopkeeper or hotel employee if you have a question about how much to pay a tricycle or jeepney. Buses are best for longer journeys and air con buses are very comfortable. Vans are usually the most comfortable way to get to smaller towns. Keep your knapsack, purse, camera, etc. in sight and watch out for pickpockets. Violence on buses is very rare, though. Fast ferries offer a safe, comfortable, and fast way to get between islands.<br> <br> By getting away from larger cities and tourist spots, you can see more of the "real" Philippines and often pay very low prices. Filipinos are generally friendly and many enjoy speaking English with foreigners. "Culture Shock - Philippines" and "Considering Filipinos" are two very good books on Philippine culture. Learning a few words of the local language will earn you smiles from those you deal with. Educated Filipinos (the college attendance rate is very high) usually speak English and Tagalog and may also speak a different regional language (Visayan, Waray-Waray, Chabucano, etc.) These languages are not dialects but as different from each other as Italian is from Spanish.<br> <br> Many parts of Mindanao and the islands south of there are dangerous for foreigners. Use caution in Manila and don''t walk alone in the poorer sections until you develop a sense of what is safe. It''s best to lock your cab door there. Most of Cebu, Tagbilaran, Baguio, and Tacloban are safer, but use common sense wherever you are. Generally, I feel as safe in Manila as I would in most large U.S. cities and as safe in smaller towns as I would visiting a town of similar size in the U.S.


geoffrey hermesman
5/30/2004

A bar/restaurant complex, the Village, is located next to the Waterfront Hotel. If you like live music, it is worth checking-out. For spectacular views, check-out Mr. A''s restaurant. It sits on a mountain top overlooking the city.


sudarat salachua
5/30/2004

First time being in the Philippines...It''s just like other countries in Asia, very bad traffic at rush hour but luckily the weather in May was not too hot. I went around with my friends who live in Manila. Makati itself is a very nice and pleasant city since it is more like a business district. Very near to Dusit, there are lots of restuarants where you can choose from, one of them is Max where their expertise is in the fried chicken, it tastes really nice. However, you will need at least about a week or more because there are other places to visit outside Manila too. The month that I would recommend is either April or May since it is not too hot. Going there in June would not be so much fun due to the rain season.


joseph miller
5/29/2004
Stayed at: Days Hotel Cebu

The Marina Mall in Lapu Lapu near the airport has Chinese, Italian (La Tegola - recommended), Thai (Krua Thai, also recommended), and Filipino food as well as fast food (Sunburst has a good vegetarian curry dish) and pastries. It also features an Internet cafe, ATMs, a modern supermarket, and specialty shops. Most of the stores and the Internet cafe open at 10 a.m. The SM Mall in Cebu City is about 20 minutes away and a 100 peso cab ride. To see more of the Philippines, take a ferry to Bohol, Leyte, or Negros (foreigners should avoid Mindanao) or a bus. Photographers can take a van or bus to a smaller city (e.g., Toledo City, Liloan, Argao) and then hire a tricycle with driver to see the local sites. Ask at a gas (petrol) station for a recommendation; make sure you can communicate with the driver. 100 pesos per hour is a generous rate and the more frugal can probably pay less. The tricycle driver may assume you want to see the most impressive sites (a new school or factory), so you should plan the kinds of photos you want (his home area, the coast, etc. and advise him). More conventional travelers may want to spend time at the Mactan Island beach resorts.


joseph miller
5/23/2004

The Maribago area is a mixture of rural and suburban Filipino homes and farms and beach resorts. You do not have to stray far from the hotel to find "real" Filipinos in "real" settings. This and other Mactan beach resorts are good for a beach vacation, but there are limited places of interest (including few restaurants) outside the resorts. Lapu-Lapu, about 20 minutes away and adjacent to the airport, offers some good restaurants (try those at the Marina Mall, especially the Krua Thai and La Tegola Italian restaurant). Cebu City offers about everything you''d expect in a metro area without the smog and traffic of Manila.


cesar borja
5/21/2004

The Greenbelt area is saturated with good restaurants and world famous coffee shops such as starbucks and seattle''s best. My personal favorite, the Cena at greenbelt.


david tribe
5/19/2004

Money changers and most banks will not change travellers checks. Hotels do change at 5% - 15% below going rate. American Express will change at their office, closed Sundays and taxi fare cuts into exchange rate. No-one sells US Dollars, only buys. Banks will not transfer funds except for clients. Can cause frustration.


david craig
5/17/2004
Stayed at:

Most of the Hotels are pretty nice in Cebu and a beter deal than in Manila. When you go on to other smaller cities you find out just what you are missing. Watch out for the taxi divers. Manila is worse but Cebu and smaller cites are catching up. What ever you do, don''t pay "800 pesos to your hotel" the fair/metered rate is about 130 to 200 pesos every where with 200 being top dollar...The metered rate is 25 to 27 pesos to start and 2 pesos per 2 minute. You only hurt your self and raise prices for the next tourist wondering why they got ripped off. The locals almost never tip as most of your bills have a built in service charge already. It''s OK to tip but just don''t go over board. The Philippines is one of the best buys in travel for now.


willie spearman
5/17/2004

The area in which the hotel was in looked rough but never once did I feel like I was in danger. I walked all around Manila with brand new $100 dollar sneakers on and did not run into any trouble. I got around using various taxis they can be your best friend or worst nightmare you have been warned. The Glorietta Mall in Makati is expensive but a must see.


michael stewart
5/10/2004
Stayed at:

Cebu is nice. I plan to go to Bohol as well. Mr. A''s is a nice place to eat and enjoy the ambiance. Seafood city is also a nice place to eat as well. Tops is a very nice view to share with some one special.


delfin alviento
5/10/2004
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

The Wow Philippines beside the Manila Hotel is worth an experience to cherish. The cheap buys on souvenirs, native delicacies, music, and nightlife actions make for a great vacation.


thomas radley
5/10/2004
Stayed at:

Very convenient to airport; short travel time and low taxi fare. Easier if you need to catch the 7am flight. Singing waiter''s restaurant is entertaining. LA Cafe in Ermita (60 pesos by taxi) is a 24 hour nitespot. Live band nightly, dancing etc.


martin vanderbroek
5/2/2004

Shananigans resto/bar in Cebu city great place for good food and friendly staff there, please visit it if you are able.


jobelle leoncio
4/28/2004
Stayed at:

Cebu is a very interesting and beautiful place to visit. There is a big shopping mall (SM City) where you can buy almost anything at very cheap prices. If you are in Cebu for a relaxing holiday, I suggest going to a resort far from Cebu City as they are very beautiful. Be warned though that this could mean a 2 hour drive so perhaps spending one night in Cebu city to be at the airport on time for your flight may be a good idea.


paul stevens
4/22/2004

If you stay here, visit the Cowboy Bar & Grill across the road for great live bands good food and beer. We''ll be back.


randolph coon
4/22/2004
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

I flew to Laoag City and was impressed with the new Airport facility in Manila- I understand that the old terminal is quite wretched. Unfortunately, only Philippine Airlines uses the new facility for domestic flights. They fly Airbus A320''s and the cabin staff, like all the Philippine people, are absolutely the most friendly in the world! I was with a documentary film crew and our final destination was a remote island in the Babuyan Channel north of Luzon. That is another story in itself which this space doesn''t allow for telling - if you would like the complete adventure you can email me at trilogy@maui.net I''d be glad to share the details with you. Overall, the Philippines is an amazing land of contrasts. The best thing about the country, however, is the people - warm, generous, friendly, democratic, mostly Christian, and mostly english speaking! I''m looking forward to going back again.


paul stevens
4/19/2004

The Cowboy Bar & Grill is a top entertainment and eating place right across the road. A major Robinsons shopping town is 4 streets away. Chemist, 7 eleven right at the door. Location, location great.


gina fullon
4/18/2004
Stayed at:

If you have a chance visit Villa Escudero. The museum alone is worth the visit. Don''t hire a van serviced for a fixed amount for a fixed period of days. You will not get your monies worth. Hire one only for the days you need it.


jason baker
4/17/2004

This is a great area to be. My favorite thing to do is have the soya ice cream at Ayala Cinemas.


dean erling
4/16/2004

The first few days I was here, I relied on Taxis to get around. After that I kind of got accustomed to the area and rented a car instead. Be warned though driving in the Philippines is like no other place. I have finally determined that the only rule in driving here is the first person to obtain force their own right of way, gets the right of way. It can be scary but having total mobility is great.


tim medak
4/16/2004
Stayed at:

Only 15 mins from Cebu airport making it very easy destination from HK or Singapore. Not much else interesting in Mactan, including lack of restaurant alternatives without travelling to Cebu City. Did a day out (Ps4600 for taxi return trip including wait all day) to Panagsama Beach near Moalboal, which was very quaint and Boracay like before the latter was discovered. Superb scuba there - Pescador Island awesome.<br> <br> Overall a great value holiday - relaxation, sunshine and scuba duly achieved. Personally I prefer Philippines to Thailand since it''s less packaged and open to mass market tourism - just a shame that Philippine food can''t hold a candle to Thai.


Anonymous
4/13/2004

Subic offers numerous ''Duty Free'' outlets - certainly the alcohol is cheap but the selection is pretty average. Royal Mall is probably the best place to shop although the Mall near the hotel has an excellent DIY section. Restaurants were ok - we had a good Italian meal and the Subic Bay Yacht Club served great pizza (especially the folded one). Outside the gate is bedlam but more like the Philippines - expect low class bars and cheap shops. Worth a small browse.


anita butt
4/12/2004
Stayed at:

The Maribago is within 15 minutes of the airport and a 30 minute journey from a large shopping mall. We did the island-hopping trip offered at the hotel which included snorkelling and this was enjoyed by adults and children alike.


michael tiefenbacher
4/8/2004

You can get great fresh seafood at Mactan Shire - close to the Lap-Lapu Monument (typical PP 800 for 2 incl. beer).


steven porter
4/8/2004

This is the 6th time I''ve been to the Philippines and I consider myself to know my way around quite well. We had a great trip, the only thing I would point out to people travelling to the philippines is to DEMAND that taxi drivers use the meter as it can be so annoying when you really need a taxi. If we make a stand they will learn to know that if they don’t use the meter then they will not get a fare.<br> <br> My only other grievance, is at the airport, it is pandemonium there but as long as you know what you are doing you''ll be fine, best thing to do is go to the Nissan Taxi station at the airport, should only cost you about 300-400PHP to Makati, which is very reasonable. Another piece of advice be very careful if you like seafood or what restaurant you go to as some can really rip you off, charging so much for so little, there are bargains to be had if you take the time.


darryl burnett
4/7/2004
Stayed at:

Fridays location is definitely the best on the island in terms of the beach. Each morning (about 6am) staff clean the beach of any rubbish (virtually none) and rake the sand. The beach itself is the best I''ve been to in Asia so far. Calm warm water, no rocks/stones whatsoever, shallow right out to about 100 meters, and not crowded at all. Also, no one bothers you trying to sell anything as in most other beach locations in asia I''ve been to. Sand is the best I''ve come across as well, very fine and white, and not hot to stand on despite the heat. The sunsets each night were amazing, picture postcard perfect. Travel on the island is done using motorised tricycles (a motorbike with a side car attached). From Fridays, it''s about a 5 minute ride into "town" which it pretty small actually. You could visit every shop in a single afternoon I think, with many of the shops selling the same things. This is not the place to go for shopping at all unless you like little souveneirs. The majority of the hotels are centered around the center of the island as you would expect. The beach here is not as good, as there is more rubbish and more people. If you want uncrowded and very clean, Fridays is the best location.


tsukasa yamashita
4/3/2004

Regarding payments in Boracay Island, there were 5% charges on the use of credit cards at most of places and the exchange rate was not as good as the one at Manila International Airport.


jasmin cecilia mori
3/31/2004
Stayed at:

To have an affordable tour around Cebu I recommend you to arrange them with West Gorordo Hotel. Don''t forget to ask for a Tourism Pamphlet, they''ll be happy to give you one. All Cebu''s malls, entertainment, resorts, hotels, nightlife and attractions are listed on the pamphlet along with useful information like addresses and telephone numbers.<br> <br> One really big suggestion: don''t forget to visit the official Shamrock Bakery in Cebu City. They sell the BEST rosquillos (sweet biscuits) and otap (a cebu baked delicacy--very good) in the whole of the Philippines. You have to buy some! If you''re too lazy, you can always purchase them in supermarkets around Cebu.


john gils
3/29/2004

My friend and I booked a trip through the hotel reception to go Banaue rice terraces. This was a great experience and I guess the funniest thing was taking a tricycle from the Banaue hotel into the village and the tricycle not being able to get up the hotel driveway with 1 125 kg New Zealander and the other 85 kg New Zealander, the bike started sliding back down the driveway so my friend and I got off and waited for him at the top of the drive, a funny moment for us and all those watching.<br> <br> We ate a couple of times at Aristocrat in Manila but the favourite place to eat came across the road from the hotel along the Manila bay waterfront with the wonderful street lights, music and eateries. The taxis were good as well, in my 10 days there I had no problem at all, courteous, happy, chatty (apart from one), and always knew where we wanted to go.


jeffery vahala
3/27/2004

Manila is a very big city and the people are very friendly. Rizal Park is only 2 blocks from the Hotel and Fort Santiago is about 4 Blocks away well within walking distance. The US embassy is close if need to use it. A person traveling to the Philippines needs to know that there is so much shopping there that it can be overwhelming and need to take there time and relax and not to get caught up in how much shopping there is and just enjoy there time. The Traffic is terrible in Manila pick one thing a day to do and allow extra time to get were you want to go. Everybody will tell you that''s not far and easy to get to but if you''re not used to the traffic situation and adjust your things to do you''ll not enjoy your time. We used local taxis based on a fixed price to get where we were going negotiated prior to going with them. We talk to lots of locals telling us about how much it costs to get some place and used that for getting a fare price on our taxi.


derek chua
3/27/2004

Breakfast spread was not exciting. It is better to go to Greenbelt since there are lot of restaurants and pubs serving good food with live music.


alex cayaban
3/22/2004

City Gardens was a great taking-off point for our trip. It was close to Chow-King which was convenient since we landed quite late in the evening and needed some Filipino comfort food after the long flight. Convenience store and Robinson''s shopping mall are very close for any last minute provisions (bought new shoes and shirts here so that it was possible to pack extremely light). Upon checkout, we flew to Baguio City and stayed at Camp John Hay where we hired a driver to take us for a tour of the city (very fun! And the nightlife was really great too!). Then we flew back and stayed at Edsa Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City (very enjoyable... the massage service was so relaxing! Great central location for shopping!) We also took a day-trip to Tagaytay, crossed the lake on an outrigger canoe and ascended the volcano on horseback. All in all... a very fun and memorable trip!


stephen susabda
3/20/2004

Manila is a pleasant friendly city, Glorietta Mall is very big so you can go shopping, have a good meal with good value. The cinemas are great because you can bring food and drinks like Starbucks. Around the mall, they offer lots of restaurants too. A better place to cafe and eat is Greenbelt II, very modern and upmarket.


premnath nadarajan
3/18/2004
Stayed at:

I would recommend travellers to get cholera and yellow fever vaccination if you wish to enjoy the tempting local delicacy. If you wish to stay near the city ,you can stay at 5 star plaza where the prices start from 850 pesos. The room condition is comparable.


lynden kenyon
3/13/2004

Unless you were staying at the Shangri La, Mactan Island has for me limited interests. Went to eat at Plantation Bay one night and the staff were rude and the resort disappointing. Left in disgust and had dinner at Laila (or similar) Restaurant (halfway back to Shangri La)and which had great cultural show and dance - a must do. The Bohol Island day tour to Chocolate Mountain skip trip from Cebu is also a must.


lynden kenyon
3/12/2004

Davids Steakhouse and Mr. Ts on the way to the lookout at Tops, both must dos. For the food, at Davids and the sunset view at Mr. Ts. SM Mall has great prices and quality stock to be found. Watch out for the taxi drivers.


maria aikens
3/10/2004

The most wonderful experience I had in Bohol was the dolphin watching, got to see tons of them! Bring some ear plugs because the outrigger boat''s engine was very noisy. Make sure you ask for a life vest or bring one if you have.They only have 4 life vests on board and most of them were tattered. My father-in-law ended up not wearing one. If you have motion sickness skip this trip. It was such a rough 11/2 hour ride going back to the shore. The Chocolate Hills are amazing! Definitely one of the wonders in the world. The Tarsiers, the smallest monkey (actually Primates) are so adorable and cute.What a cuddly looking creature! The Ananyana Beach resort was great and very private. It was high tide when we visited , there were seaweeds scattered by the shore so the water didn''t look very clean. The food in the Ananyana was very expensive but it was excellent.<br> <br> I was surprised how nice the Greenbelt 2 Mall was. You can find upscale boutiques and local made stores. I would recommend buying Philippine made products. It''s very cheap because US dollar is much stronger. Lots of good restaurants with excellent foods also. My husband and his parents had such a wonderful time in the Philippines and we are planning to come back in 3 years. He is even thinking of retiring in this beautiful country were people are very friendly.


vivian broomfield
3/8/2004

Be wary of the local taxi drivers when hailing one in the street, they very often overcharge and are loathe to turn the meter on. A better bet is to get a cab from a taxi rank where the registration number is noted and retained by the rank security guard. There is also a wide variety of restaurants in the area, most of the which are very good value for money.


shauna-marie tang-lee
3/4/2004
Stayed at:

Manila is not exactly a place for sightseeing. Spend a night there if you must. Best is to choose a nice hotel where you can spend your day. And if you go somewhere always use metered taxis. They''re up to 500% cheaper than "services" provided by the hotels or flat rate taxis.


stephanie martra
3/4/2004
Stayed at:

We spent 1 week traveling around 3 locations of the Phillipines: Boracay, Cebu, and Bohol. We found Boracay to have the most beautiful beaches and a more touristy feel. An island snorkeling trip in Boracay is a must and very enjoyable. In Cebu, experience the city life, but be forewarned that if you want to go to the beach and are not staying on the beach, be prepared to pay. If you do venture to Bohol, which I recommend, take a land tour - you won''t regret it.


cissy chan
2/28/2004
Stayed at:

Boracay Island, Nice island, nice beach with white fine sand, different kind of food you can have on the island, it has many diving sites, a 18 holes golf course, sailing, windsurfing, horse-riding, or you can also try kite-boarding!!


kym jaggard
2/23/2004
Stayed at:

I found the island to be just what I was looking for - somewhere nice to relax from the the crystal clear waters and white sands. A must do is to take one of the outrigger boats, for sailing is very very reasonably priced and is a great way to relax. Along the beach we found our favourite to be Lea''s Bar which is just back from the beach, an open air bar and great to pull up a chair sipping cocktails and watching the sun set. Which we did every night, a most civilised way to end an evening. We also did a hike to Mt Luhio, I think that is how you spell, it it is the highest point on the island and gives you a great overview of all of Boracay.<br> <br> I think it is a great place to visit and you have the option of doing lots or doing nothing which I think is great for a holiday destination and perfect for everyone. If anyone has any questions feel fee to email me and I will answer them if I can. And if you do decide to go to Boracay, enjoy yourself as much as I did. A great place to eat is at Pier One, yummmy!


david svec
2/22/2004

Down the street on Mabini at the intersection with Padre Fuera, there is a good, broadband internet cafe. There are also Equitable and PNB banks on the corners which can accept ATM cards from the USA. (Using ATM''s at banks in PI to get cash are usually a challenge). You can travel all over the place by cab for about 20 to 35 pesos.


david svec
2/20/2004
Stayed at:

We went by the Manor at John Hay which had been sold out. I would have paid the higher rate than the Concorde Hotel as the place is magical and the food, although expensive by PI standards, was outstanding, with excellent service. Gigi loved the spa and the rooms were very high quality.


david svec
2/17/2004

Make sure you arrange for smaller bills, $100 pesos or less as very few places can make change for bills of $500 pesos. There are many good internet cafes in the area with high speed internet.


thomas rainge
2/13/2004

To get to the hotel from the airport, I would suggest looking for F&O transport service when you exit the airport building. They are a coupon taxi service and have their fares posted on a board. You pay at their pickup site and a driver will take you to your destination with no hassle. Cost about $8 to $9.


maricel legaspi
2/10/2004

Before I came to Palawan, I read a few travel guides on Puerto Princesa. I emailed a safari cruiser and a writer as well---Bruce Curran, and he referred me to Chikee Denosta, manager of the Palawan Airport Village hotel. My friend and I got to Puerto a few minutes after 9:00 am on a bright Sunday. I met Chikee later on before checking in the Legend Hotel. A few minutes later, we were out discovering the city. Puerto Princesa (meaning Princess of Ports) is a bustling industrious city. Its main source of income is tourism and agriculture. Our first stop was the Butterfly Garden. Here, we actually saw a butterfly getting out of the cocoon and mating butterflies. (We were supposed to go to the Crocodile Farm, but it''s closed on Sundays.) Next stop was the house of deceased former Senator Mitra. The house had a good view of the Honda Bay, so we took a few pictures there. It was just after 11am. Next stop is Honda Bay. We set out to Sta. Lourdes Wharf, where the docking station was located. Honda Bay consists of about 9 islands: Cowrie, Bat Island, Luli (for Lulubog-Lilitaw) Island, Meara Marina, Starfish Island, Snake Island, Pandan Island and Dos Palmas. Our tour (Php 600.00) included Pandan, Snake and Starfish. Some of the islands you can get in free, while some you have to pay an entrance fee. Dos Palmas is the most expensive. In Pandan Island, we did a bit of swimming, sunbathing and snorkelling. We then sailed to Snake Island--an island name because of the way it was shaped. I love Snake Island. There, you can snorkel and feed the fish. They will really come to you! Plus the view was amazing--clear white sand stretched in the shape of a snake. It was a beauty. Finally, we went to Starfish Island. In fact, we came upon a starfish already at Snake Island, but here there were more. Just so sad that rain poured that afternoon, so we got stuck on the sheds. When we got back to the Wharf, our tricycle man was there. (We paid him Php 500.00 for the city tour, plus the ride to the wharf.) He brought us to VietVille (Little Saigon)-- a place where Vietnamese had found their homes after the time of wars. They serve great french bread for only Php 5.00 here! Afterwards, we were taken to a nearby hot springs resort. Here, you can rent a "room" which had a sort of hot springs jacuzzi in it. Rent ranges from Php 100 to Php 200 for any number of people. We went back to the hotel to change for dinner. Chikee, my friend and I had dinner at Balinsasayaw (derived from a type of bird), where we heaped ourselves grilled squid, calamares and grilled pork liempo. After dinner, we went to the Palawan Airport Village Hotel and Kamarikutan Coffee and Art Gallery. Kamarikutan is known to be a sacred place, and every year, Joey Ayala plays here to chant some music. Day one was finally over. Day 2: Underground River trip. If you’re less than 3, take the jeep. Earliest trip is at 6pm. Last trip from Sabang is at 2pm. (Bring also a packed lunch if you want.) After waiting for more than an hour at the San Jose loading station, we finally began our mountainous tour to Sabang. 2 hours after a very jerky jeepney ride, we were welcomed by the majestic view of South China sea. For travelers going to the Undergound River, you have to pay a Php 150.00 payment for the permit. Then another Php 500.00 for the boat ride. 6 people can be accommodated per boat, so the more, the cheaper. The boat ride (30 mins) will take you to the entrance of the Underground River. If you plan to stay overnight, you can rent a room at Sabang and take the trek to the Underground River. From a pump boat, you will have to switch to a paddle boat, for touring the Underground River. Again, our tourguide was very accommodating and he offered more information than I could handle. The Underground river is 8.5 km long, but the tour was only 1.5 km. Why? Because the boats need to go back in order to accommodate more travelers. The Underground River has one of the world''s best limestone carvings and is one of the wonders of the world. We got back to Puerto Princesa town proper around 430. We went straight to Nasin-aw White Beach to catch the setting sun. Here, beaches close at 6pm. Dinner was late, but superb. We ate at KaLui''s, a famed seafood restaurant at Rizal Avenue (where the airport was also located). We had shrimp, blue marlin and seafood sisig...yummy! For some late night fun, go to Kinabuch''s. It’s a favorite hangout, mostly for students. It had a bar, billiards, and great music. People stay up there till 2 to 3 am. We stayed there for quite a while and ended the day at 1am. Phew! For pasalubong, you can buy salted fish or cashew nuts. Buy at the airport or at the market. It was a wonderful trip, I must say. Short and fun. We had made friends with most of the townspeople and learned a lot of things about Puerto Princesa and Palawan. I would really want to go back sometime soon.


paul stripp
2/4/2004
Stayed at:

Excellent kite boarding school available on the alternative beach at Bulabog. Be a little careful on who you select when choosing diving operators as not all of the local divemasters were up to their job.


rob trent
2/2/2004
Stayed at:

Baguio is a very unique city with lots to do and see. Getting around by cab is easy and cheap, although they may be hard to catch in the evenings. Great shopping at SM Baguio, Session Road and various markets. Places to relax include Burnham Park, Philippine Military Academy and Camp John Hay. There are lots of spots with great views and historical value. I recommend three days and three nights to take in all of Baguio.


joseph miller
2/1/2004

Take advantage of the free airport shuttle if you can, even if you just get a cab at the airport or check in to the Waterfront Hotel across from the airport. I found it cost effective to stay at the Waterfront (about US$42 per night) and visit Plantation Bay for only a couple of days. There''s not much near Plantation Bay except other resorts and Filipino villages, but you won''t want to spend a lot of time outside the resort anyway.


joseph miller (1st stay)
1/30/2004

The Marina Mall, with restaurants (Italian, Thai, others), a grocery store, and an Internet cafe is about 3/4 km away. You can walk (bit of a challenge without a sidewalk but fairly safe) or take a 4-peso tricycle ride as an alternative to a taxi. The Internet cafe is much handier than using the Waterfront business center. Also, you can walk directly from the airport to the Waterfront. It''s a bit of a maze and there are stairs, so you may want a porter to assist. The Lapu-Lapu Gaisano Mall is a less-comprehensive but much closer alternative to the Cebu City Malls and is a short cab ride or long tricycle ride from the hotel. The tricyle stand is at the rear entrace (the tricycles cannot enter the hotel property or the airport).


edwina baden-powell
1/30/2004
Stayed at:

Malapascua Island off the northern tip of Cebu is a fantastically laid-back island. Nothing to do there except dive, snorkel (although the coral immediately offshore has suffered from dynamite fishing) eat, and sleep. In my opinion Logon Beach resort has the best location as it is isolated on it''s own private beach from the rest of the island. You''ll have to like fish and squid though.


burston walter
1/19/2004
Stayed at:

Once one discovers how to use the local system and get away from using taxi cabs one can have a relatively inexpensive holiday. In Manila, jeepneys offer a very cheap form of travel for the tourist while in the provinces the tricycle (125 c.c. motor cycle with covered in side car attached) offers good value for money.


stefan siewertsson
1/14/2004

Beware of Money exchangers that have commission-based "salesmen" in the streets. They have good rates but try to cheat you upon exchanging money.


bert frykberg
1/12/2004

Metro Manila is always nice, cheaper now with the peso depreciated. Hometown for us is Olongapo city 3 hours north of Manila with Victory Liner bus from Monumento nice beaches in Subic Bay.


mary ann esteral
1/10/2004
Stayed at:

Try to bring a map when you go around Cebu. When you ask local people for direction, use English. They find it hard to communicate in tagalog.


nathan klein
1/5/2004

The mall is certainly a place to visit. They are huge! We don''t have such a place in the USA. I would try a variety of local restaarants to taste the difference. Dont worry I never got sick. The mall has many more big restaurant chains. There are many local clubs around or just ask others and they can tell you about other clubs and you can just take a taxi. Make sure they use the meter or just don''t ride it and find another. My favorite local place was Matrix! Bring a cell phone with you that accepts Sim cards and also bring new money there are a lot of fake $100 USA dollars in the 1996 series so they don''t like them as much.


angela beard
1/3/2004
Stayed at:

Boracay is beautiful. You can do loads of things there and the food is great. I would recommend the portuguese restaurant near boat station 3 (you need to make reservations)and fridays. Fridays is right down the other side of the beach and although the food is expensive it has the best buffet. The food is great and you can eat as much dessert as you want!


mitsuhiro yokohama
1/2/2004

I visited Moalboal located in the south-west part of Cebu Island. Moalboal is famous for diving. The resort (Panagsama Beach) is compact. So, visitors can reach all accommodations, restaurants, souvenir shops, bars, sari sari stores and diving shops within ten minutes walk only. The beach has very little sand but, you can get to powdery sanded White Beach by 15 minutes tricycle ride.


eugene tierney
12/29/2003
Stayed at:

Boracay has a beautiful white sand beach. We abandoned our first hotel because it was terrible. Our next two hotels were a lot better but left much to be desired. The roadway in Boracay is full of belching 2 stroke tricylces that make getting around hazardous to your health. If you are content to stay at your hotel and never leave, then stay at Fridays. Its off the beaten track and away from the traffic.<BR><BR>I visited the Mandala Spa which was truly wonderful and very reasonably priced. I liked it so much I went back for a second treatment (2.5 hours for about $65)! The food on Boracay is marginal at best. We asked around and ate at the recommended spots but none of them rose to the level of good dining. Only acceptable...Water sports are great in Boracay. We rented a jet ski for a half hour at very reasonable rates and had fun blasting around on the waves. We wanted to parasail but the winds picked up and we weren''t able to. But the prices were reasonable enough to entice us. All in all, I would not return to Boracay until they get their act together - finish the road, reduce the pollution and noise, and improve the hotel service level.


andy njoo
12/28/2003
Stayed at:

I visited Cebu with some local friends, they were the ones who showed me around. Places to see are Tops (nice view from the hills), Sunflower (entertainment center), Ayala center (shopping mall), Taoist temple.


gerard vongsady
12/27/2003
Stayed at:

The island has a lot of activities (snorkeling, jet ski, water ski, sailing, diving), which were quite cheap compared to other destinations like Bali or Phuket. There were all kind of restaurants (italian, indian, thai, filipino) just in front of the beach, and with good value for the money, many restaurants on the white beach were offering less than 200 pesos for an "all you can eat". But the most beautiful part of the White beach is definitely around Friday''s resort, where we spend a lot of our time. As for the divers, I would recommend to dive at Crocodile island, there are beautiful corals and many fishes. It is recommended to go to Boracay during Christmas, at this time, the weather is perfect, not too hot and not rainy. Definitely a place to go!


cielo constantino
12/20/2003
Stayed at:

I just love Cebu! Have to pass by SUTUKIL everytime. The food is sooo delicious! Traffic is as bad as Manila though.


jan willem mijnlieff
12/17/2003

For good shopping go to Robinsons mall, 5-10 minutes walk or a 40 pesos taxi ride away. Restaurants in the mall or many near to the hotel.


peter brace
12/17/2003

This is Manila, so be alert and a bit careful where you go. Taxis are ok and always available from the hotel but if you are planning to do a lot of travelling around the city get the number of a driver you like and deal with him directly - you may be able to get a better deal than using the meter. Email me though this website if you want a recommended driver.


anthony reynalds
12/13/2003
Stayed at:

For excellent local cuisine in a wonderful friendly atmosphere try the Golden Cowrie restaurant: all the taxi drivers seem to know where it is.


irene norlund
12/12/2003

There is only the same restaurant, and that is fine for non back packers. Have to go by boat 45 minutes to reach the coast of Busuanga, and a jeepney from there to other destinations. Coron island was wonderful, you have to know a little climbing to reach the lakes. Coron town seems very real and Filipino.


nadine must
12/3/2003
Stayed at:

It would have been helpful if we were given more information about how to get to the island/resort. We had poor information about the alternative transport from Dumaguete or Cebu without wasting too much time on a ferry. The Supercat arrangements to/from Larena are not tourist friendly with respect to departure/arrival times.


daniel boticki
11/30/2003

If you like to shop I recommend a trip to Manila and Pasig City there is a huge variety and the malls are equally huge with places like Mega Mall, Robinsons, Shangri-la Plaza and Greenhills many within walking distance to Linden Suites.


krishnan nayar
11/29/2003

While shopping at the local Shoe Mart and Ayala Malls in Cebu, my wife stumbled on the local version of our own favorite delicacy: fried pork skin, locally called "chicharon". It is like chips, dry, crispy and tastes exquisite. The stalls selling it were clean. But the vendors were surprised that we wanted it. They said foreigners normally don''t buy it. "Chicharon" is one of the best kept secrets of the Philippines. If you go there, do try it. We bought a pile, but it did not last beyond our stay in Hong Kong! Yummy!


robert elarbee
11/26/2003
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

Check out the red crab restaurant in Indradico. It was outstanding. The Havanna bar is also nice.


lance galletch (2nd stay)
11/24/2003

We would recommend that you take the Super Cat fast boat from Cebu and travel to Island of Bohol (a 90 minute ride). There are several excellent resorts on Panglao Island (a small Island a short distance from Tagbilaran City) we would recommend the Alona Palm Beach Resort on Panglao Island. This is a super place to stay and a very good value, the 12 units of the resort are very modern and well built with all amenities including satellite TV. A good side trip would be to go Bohol Chocolate Hills and the Hinagdanan Cave.


lance galletch
11/23/2003
Stayed at:

Tagbilaran City (main City on Bohol Island) has gotten quite busy since my last visit, but the two malls are fun to shop at as the prices for goods are quite cheap. JJ''s Seafood Restraurant in Tagbilaran has good seafood at a very reasonable price. Then there is the Chocolate Hills and the Hinagdanan Cave sites on the interior of the Island. You can rent a car and driver for about 40 dollars for an all day excursion, Lugod Services being the cheapest and had the best drivers.


robert wells
11/19/2003

Only in Makati for a 24 hour layover en route to Boracay. Glorietta Mall was very crowded. Heckel and Jeckel pub was a decent place for a beer and whatever. Some of the pool players are suspiciously good when they want to be.


frederic beerens
11/19/2003

Take the Casinos away and a few Makati bars and Manila wouldn''t even be worth a stopover. Makati now has non-smoking bars and restaurants, ahead of many world-cities. But that''s really the only thing which makes them advanced.


thomas fabek
11/8/2003

The Philippines can be a very dangerous place, especially if you are travelling alone. Be careful not to show large sums of money in public. Use taxis recommended by the hotel you stay at.


seamus puette
11/7/2003

Angeles City is like a giant, city-sized red-light district. If that''s what you''re after then you''re heading to the right place. You''ll probably be best off sticking to the classy places, like the Blue Nile and the Fairway and staying away from the low-end dives (whose names I can''t even remember). The Margarita Station is a great bar to just hang out at, drinking the Red Horse beer and trying the Mojo. San Fernando, with a decent sized mall, is located only 30 minutes away by car. Another thing to try would be the hike up to Mt. Pinatubo crater. The hike is 16 miles roundtrip over some rocky terrain, so I wouldn''t recommend it to everyone; but the end result is really breathtaking. Finally, don''t take Traveller''s Checks to Angeles City. Getting them changed is something of an ordeal (a 3-day one for me). US cash works just fine and can even be exchanged at the front desk of your hotel.


dan harris
10/31/2003

We stayed at the Boracay Regency Beach Resort from 25-31 October 2003. What a great beach - better than a dream! The best way to get to Boracay is to fly to Caticlan - do not fly to Kalibo because then you will have to endure a 2-hour bus ride to the ferry terminal. We boarded the hotel''s own boat at the ferry terminal which dropped us off on the beach in nearly-waist-high water a few yards from shore. (Yep, we waded up to the beach while the porters carried our bags over their heads. Some porters carried children and grown-ups, too!) We spent most of our time wearing T-shirts and swimsuits - no need to dress up to go anywhere here. The island has lots of mom-and-pop shops selling tourist items, pooka-shell necklaces and bracelets, cheap T-shirts and flip-flops, etc.<BR> <BR> There are many great places to eat casual - we enjoyed Jammers (American-owned) and the Steakhouse, both near boat station 1. There is an ATM in the "Mall d''Boracay" just steps away from Jammers. Vendors walk around selling cheap sunglasses, jewelry, copy-watches, etc. but they are not pushy at all. (The better hotels prohibit vendors from approaching tourists on ''their'' section of the beach.) We took a boat tour to Crystal Cove Island to explore some caves. We snorkled, too, with their equipment. You can easily rent mountain bikes, jet-skis, a banana boat, and sailboats. There are very few vehicles on the island, but there are motorized tricycles that can take you to places if you wish. The island has horseback riding and a golf course, but I did not check these out myself. If you get injured, there''s at least one medical clinic on the island reportedly on 24-hour call. Be sure to carry lots of PHP 50 and PHP 20 notes (1 USD = 55 PHP) for tips. Have a great time - we did!


stephen scott
10/31/2003

An easy 5 minute walk to the extensive selections of restaurants at the Greenbelt and the large shopping areas of the Landmark and Glorietta. A small park a block away and at Greenbelt offers refreshing greenery. Grocery shopping at Rustan''s offers regular or organic produce of high quality at very reasonable prices. There are taxis available easily but I walked everywhere in the area. Quick Marts are nearby for purchasing bottled water. Highly recommended for long stays. If I am staying for a week or longer I would choose the Somerset.


thomas radley
10/25/2003
Stayed at:

I had a nice side trip to Angeles City using the bus from Swagman Hotel. The town is very basic and somewhat like the old west I suppose but social life is very high on the agenda and affordable.


alex rivlin
10/13/2003

Use taxi to get around. It is cheap. Ask them to turn the meter on, or agree on a price ahead of time. For example 30 min ride to manila hotel can be done for 100 pesos(2$).


cecilia mabilog
10/4/2003

Safe location. Close to the airport. I love the fact the it is so close to Barrio Fiesta & Starbucks. ChowKing is open 24 hrs. a day.


clyde lemons, jr.
9/26/2003

Cebu is a very fun and beautiful place with great nightlife. The great thing about the Waterfront is you never have to leave the place and have an enjoyable evening.


clyde lemons, jr
9/19/2003

The hotel is near Starbucks, the Ayala mall and the newest Mall in makati. All are within walking distance. There are many entertainment venues in the area as well. And it''s Php150.00 cab ride to the airport (in a metered taxi).


zvonimir pozgaj
9/9/2003

It is not as dangerous as described on most pages. Take city tour book at hotel, it''s good. Eat at ROBINSONS MALL, walking distance from hotel. Set price before you sit in taxi.


andrew clinton bird
9/6/2003

Good location for the Glorietta s/c and the greenbelt s/c both of which have many restaurants of varying style and quality. Plenty of nightlife of all kinds can be found locally.


mary ann ballesteros
9/2/2003
Stayed at:

For shopping, go to MEGAMALL or GLORIETTA in Makati. Enough good international cuisine restaurants in the neighbourhood.


keith pope
8/28/2003

My tale has to do with the Heritage hotel and the main reason I will recommend and stay there in the future. I had left the hotel early in the day. When I returned later that evening I found my room had been double locked! I immediately called for the duty manager. It was explained to me that I had left my room safe open. The cleaning crew noticed it and immediately informed the front desk. The door was reopened in my presence and the contents of the safe were inventoried while I was there. That might not seem remarkable accept that I had $2500 cash in there along with some diamond rings and a gold braclet as well as a video recorder and digital camera! It was truly refreshing to see that kind of trust in a city where it seemed everyone else was out to rip you off!!! I was very impressed!


timothy winters
8/23/2003
Stayed at:

Bring plenty of small money (ie 1,5,10,and 20 pesos). Most locals can not make change for P50 and higher. Many scuba shops appear to be well run and maintained. If you love to play in the water, this is the place to be.


geoff robinson
8/21/2003

Used taxis, light rail and metro. Need to negotiate fare with taxi driver or ensure meter is working. Intramuros worth a visit-saw a good provincial presentation there purely by chance. SM best for shopping but Landmark at Makati had a sale which was good. Went by taxi to Tutuban and by train to Balrayd. Both an experience. Manila is a cross between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh city so don''t expect too much. Prices low for food, beer and clothing. Relax and enjoy a slightly different Asian experience.


harry greenwood
8/12/2003

The tour to Corregidor is well worth it! We had a great tour guide and learned a lot of history while there. Ate at the Banana Leaf Curry House in Greenbelt, Makati. Delicious fusion food!


ton kuiper
8/10/2003
Stayed at:

Quiet location, very good for a rest. International diving schools very near.


soyoung kim
8/7/2003
Stayed at:

Maybe, it is due to the bad hotel. Manila, I really felt disappointed, and bad about the people, and the circumstances. Of course, there was a terror in the area one day before I arrive there. I really hope that there will be no more chance for me to visit Manila.


jason brown
8/2/2003
Stayed at:

Wow, just do it. Go off season to get discounts on rooms etc and less crowds. The most friendly town I''ve ever visited - everyone knows your name (I was only there 5 days but every morning I got a string of locals saying ''Morning Jason''. If you''re travelling on your own this is the place for you. It''s impossible not to get to know people here and have a good time. Will return.


richard nottke
7/26/2003

Visited Saigon, Nha Trang, and Dalat in Vietnam. Night train to Nha Trang was good bargain, but you arrive very early in the morning. Be sure to take a high class tourist bus to Dalat, much safer than smaller mini vans, because better drivers.


peter manning
7/23/2003

Location is excellent being just 5 minutes by taxi from Ayala shopping centre [and a decent lunch buffet at the Marriot]. The shopping centre named SM is a particularly good venue to stock up on basics such as underwear and socks and other basic clothing at truly good prices - the US and Singapore dollar go a long way there.


brad greene
7/21/2003
Stayed at:

Cebu is one of the safer areas for Westerners to travel in the Philippines. Use a taxi with a meter to get around and always bring smaller bills because they rarely have much change. The malls are a main attraction in Cebu and the Philippines in general. They are huge, with generally at least 4 levels and loads of very affordable places to eat. Check out the Ayala Center mall. My wife and I ate at a place called Persian Palate and we had two huge plates of good food with drinks for under $4. It''s worth checking out.


adrian bertling
7/20/2003

I stayed in Manila for four days and then went to Isabella province for three weeks. I had the opportunity to learn first hand the Filipino way of life. A category 4 super typhoon hit after my second day in Isabella so I had no electricity the whole time I was there. A minor problem considering many people lost everything they had.


Anonymous
7/20/2003
Stayed at:

I recommend the Australian restaurant called the Outback. The sirloin steak was very good indeed. To get around, I used taxis at all times.


robert lindell
7/12/2003

If you find a taxi driver that does not over charge you, meaning he automatically turns on his meter without you asking, get his cell phone number. Rizal park is with in walking distance, people are pleasant so don''t be alarmed by their constant stares. Across the street from Rizal park on the bay side, there are some very nice tourist type restaurants by the water. If you are a bargain shopper go to Baclaran shopping area, but it is dirty and you walk for blocks, but there are LOTS of deals to be made, dicker on prices start off at 50% of original quoted price and then work up to say no more than 75% of price. But do not give beggar children money as you will be run over immediately.


wayne kelly
7/7/2003
Stayed at:

Take a tour of Bohol and the Chocolate Hills - worth it. Try to hire a local driver with a car or van and he can show you some extras, out of the way things like the suspension foot bridge.


fred shannon
7/1/2003

Ermita is a rough neighborhood and a little scary at times. However, the hotel is located near the big Robinsons Shopping Mall - Within walking distance. There are a number of bars in the area as well as restaurants. There are museums nearby and bank machines as well, however, be very careful with your money - don''t withdraw cash and then stand there counting it in front of everyone as many people have had their cash stolen right out of their hand! There seem to be many Japanese men in the area hanging out with young Philipino women. As well, there is the LA Cafe/Bar that is basically a pick up joint for Foreign men and young Philipino women. My girlfriend and I stopped in for a drink and she was asked to pay a P100 entrance fee while I was permitted to enter free of charge (she is Japanese).


gerhard kreft
6/22/2003

The Mandarin is within walking distance from the famous Glorietta shopping center with plenty of restaurants, all kinds of entertainment and excellent shopping facilities.


alan waters
6/22/2003

Hotel central, cabs easily accessed. Restaurants within walking distance.


fred shannon
6/22/2003

Excellent location for getting to Robinson''s Mall. Very rough surrounding neighborhood. Ermita actually frightened my girlfriend. I thought some of the locals were pretty aggressive when asking for money or selling. Street kids smacked my girlfriend on her ass and asked us for money every day. The area is rough. Be careful when taking money out of an ATM on the street. Robberies do occur.


michael donnellan
6/21/2003

Corregidor tour was outstanding, no thanks to Bayview Hotel, Manila. City Garden Hotel in Makati was most helpful.


alan stepney
6/20/2003

Having visited Manila many times over the past 15 years, I am pleased to say that many things have improved during that time. The majority of taxis used their meters, the hustlers and beggers were far fewer. There are many superb restaurants in all the malls, particularly Greenbelt.


robert johnson
6/19/2003

Traffic and pollution terrible but apart from that ok


murray jones
6/18/2003
Stayed at:

I would recommend a stay in Hyatt Regency and take some time out to visit their beaches. I stayed in Tagaytay, and it is a wonderful experience. If you hate the heat in Manila, Tagaytay is the second best after Baguio. It is an hour and a half drive from Manila so it is very accessible. Try and visit Puerto Galera, a very wonderful place...good food, lovely sight, wonderful entertainment. Good value for money too.


alan taylor
6/16/2003

La Tienda is an excellent (and non-smoking) Spanish restaurant in Makati area. Manila taxi drivers are not as bad as the guide books say! Just know where you are going and, if they are not using a meter, agree the cost in advance.


lauro carlos zuegel
6/15/2003

For tours and places to be visited, you can rely on the information available at Discovery Suites and asia-hotels.com. Regarding restaurants, I do recommend travellers to go to the Mega-Mall, just beside the hotel. In the 4th. floor you can find dozen of restaurants, some better then others, with excellent value for money.


christopher phinney
6/12/2003

Central location with restaurants and shops within walking distance.


frederick lockyear
6/10/2003

Cebu is a pleasant place to visit. Favorite restaurants include Marina and Mr. A in Cebu and Anton''s in Lapu Lapu. They serve good food and are inexpensive by western standards. For an honest and reasonable taxi driver, call Jun at 0919-350-8241.


michael moore
6/5/2003

If this is your first time to the Philippines, you might be surprised. It''s dirty and crowded. The traffic is madness. On the other hand, most things are very inexpensive. Most of my taxi rides cost less than one US dollar. I was able to convince a taxi driver to take me on a 4 hour site seeing tour which cost me about 20 US dollars. The people are very friendly and most speak enough English to get by.


richard johnson
6/2/2003

Manila is Manila. But at least in Makati you have the best of what there is. Some really nice restaurants at the Landmark complex - Hard Rock, Japanese, Thai even a German restaurant very close to the hotel.


maria judit
6/1/2003
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

It has been 10 years since I have been in Manila. More people, more traffic, food remains wonderful and the people are warm and friendly as ever!


danilo galang
5/30/2003
Stayed at:

Very good especially food at family restaurant in the hotel I was in. Enjoyed the native food, uh the kinilaw was delicious!


norman robertson
5/30/2003

I found the philippines both a very interesting and yet sad place to visit. I was not ready for the amount of poverty that I saw. I did enjoy all of the great shops, street sellers and the many malls. <BR><BR> The best way to get around Manila is by taxi. If you are staying at the Bayview Park and need a taxi do not get a taxi from the lobby entrance. You will pay 200 to 300 peso flate rate for a taxi. Instead, walk 50 yards to the street, there you can get a taxi for 75 to 125 peso. The taxi ride is 15 mintues from the airport and 5 mintues to the nearest mall.


joseph fiore, jr
5/29/2003

Boracay was nice, surely the nicest beach in the Philippines, and I would recommend it as a destination. The restaurants are reasonable, there is a big shopping mall available, and all the hotels you could ever imagine.


ronald joines
5/27/2003

Go see Boracay Island and Banaue Rice Terraces with Annsett Holidays, Inc.


marc webster
5/27/2003
Stayed at:

The hotel is within 3-4 Blocks from University of Philippines campus, Cebu Waterfront Casino Conference complex and Ayala Mall. Nightlife can be found at the Lone Star and Black Hole Clubs about a 50 peso cab ride. Banks, travel agents are all within 1 Block. Taxi-cabs are plentiful on Gorordo Avenue day and night. Kuku''s Nest Bar and Restaurant on the adjacent corner is open 24 hours. The Family Choice restaurant on the property is my Family Choice with relatives for dinner while there. They were having a 225 peso all you can get buffet for lunch and dinner in May of 2003.


allan watts
5/26/2003

Makati is ok for a couple of days as there isnt enough to do and the traffic is too heavy.The shopping malls are excellent, the nightlife is pretty good but the drinks are slightly overpriced in general especially in P Burgos street.People are generally friendly and helpful and most speak good english


thomas burkross
5/24/2003
Stayed at:

The Copacabana is across the street from the Edsa Entertainment Complex. This complex has an assortment of go-go and karaoke bars catering to the male clientele. The music at the go-go bars tends to be very loud, and the buying of drinks for the ladies is aggressively encouraged at all places.


eric alfredo
5/23/2003
Stayed at:

It was a very pleasant trip overall. We had a van of our own and all we did was purchase a detail map to go around.


carolina go
5/21/2003
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

Don''t expect alot of action here. It is difficult to move around Panglao because transportation is scarce and therefore expensive. We rented a van on the first night to bring us along the Alona beach area which they called mini-Boracay (not!). We had dinner in the area too and food was ordinary. Took our dessert at Alona Palm Beach Resort which was beautiful but may be quite too modern for some. On the 2nd day, we hired a van for sightseeing -- which was well worth it. Historical sites, churches, the tarsier, man made forest and the chocolate hills are all must-sees. If you have a party of at least 5 or 6, it might be nice to get an exclusive boat to cruise you along Loboc River. Not bad for P800 plus meals of P175 per head. We took the afternoon flight out of tagbilaran on the 3rd day so we were able to still swim in the morning, have an easy lunch at the Pier (cheap food) and a city tour that brought us to the mall for some peanut kisses and the Bohol Museum for some more educational inputs. I would prefer some night life and it might be interesting to find out if Tagbilaran has one. It may be cheaper to contact a transportation company directly for your whole stay if you want to move around.


lawrence bird
5/19/2003
Stayed at:

I arrived in Cebu via Ferry and got a cab to Cebu Beach Club for around $4 American. Haha. They charge that much just sitting in the cab in the States. I recommend the restuarant at the Cebu Beach Club as the food is top notch and the price cannot be beaten for the quality of the menu. There are also Island tours, jet ski rentals, and all other kinds of goodies right on the beach in front of your room.


donald kerr
5/19/2003

The hotel arranged a trip to Boracay for me which was excellent. I''d recommend Makati as a good area to stay, it has plenty of bars and restauarants around the Landmark mall. I had a scary ride back to the airport from the hotel when I left, the traffic was stationary so the driver had to break all kinds of rules to get me there in time for my flight, make sure you allow 90 minutes to get from the hotel to the airport if it''s in a busy period.


richard johnson
5/18/2003
Stayed at:

Zamboanga is nowhere near as risky to visit as people make out. Just stay away from the outside markets specially at night, avoid night bars and don''t go downtown looking like you have money. Do all of this and you will find the people friendly and quite mannered.


pamela barry
5/18/2003

Coral reefs are spectacular and right off the beach; no need for a boat to go snorkeling or diving. Water is clear and full of large fish as well as the largest variety of corals anywhere and giant clams.


riyaz moorani
5/18/2003
Stayed at:

At the hotel we picked up a map, which showed the various places we could go to or hike to. Others recommended the hike to Batad, where you feel like you are in the middle of an amphitheater totally surrounded by the magnificent rice terraces. That was our first outing. Thankfully our vehicle had 4-wheel drive. From the hotel, the drive along the National Road took us about 1.5 hours. Although it is only about 12 kilometers from Banaue, the road is rough and in places only a single car can pass. Lots of people are also on the road. Along the way, there were so many lovely vistas at which we stopped to get a better look and to snap a few photos. From the National Road, we put the jeep into overdrive and proceeded to the saddle. The other option is to hike for 1.5 to 2 hours, up hill, which we decided against. We bumped and jostled our way up and were convinced the all our inner organs had been rearranged. At the saddle we paid some locals to look after the jeep, purchased a walking stick and then headed down the path to Batad. The hike downhill (better be in shape) was two hours where we were reward by a magnificent view to the terraces. This was well worth it. There are a couple of very rustic inns, which serve an OK meal and allow you to rest. There are toilets here but of a very rustic variety. Make sure you bring toilet paper. To flush, you have a large bucket of water beside the toilet. If you want, you can stay overnight here and then proceed on foot to another village 1 to 1.5 hours away. For me the accommodations are just too basic, although we saw others opting for this. After a good rest and lots of photos, it was time for us to make the return journey. After the 2-hour trek uphill we were back to the jeep. We still had to get back to our hotel for a rewarding hot shower and a good meal. Batad is highly recommended, but only for those who are good hikers. You will get rewarded. We decided that a less strenuous outing should be attempted next. Viewpoint was our destination. Along the way is a village to the right, where an enterprising family builds and maintains typical local style houses that could be view by interested parties. Great views of the terraces as well! At Viewpoint there are many vantage points for great picture taking. The very small museum in Banaue town is worth a visit. Banaue and its surrounding rice terraces should be included on most people itinerary.


rosalinda cabarles
5/15/2003
Stayed at:

It''s a must that you get a tour in Bohol! For you to have the chance to see the must see place in Bohol - Chocolate Hills, experience having lunch while sailing across the Loboc River, have your pics taken with the tarsier...and many more!


adam levin
5/15/2003

Take taxis to the nearby malls for cheap eats. The pizza in the hotel was okay, but for less than $2.00 you can go to a nearby mall and get all kinds of selection and great prices. <BR><BR> Taking taxis are a cheap way to get around. The hotel charges $6.00 for a car to pick you up or drop you off at the airport, but if you bargain with the cabbies they will get you there for less than $2.00.


james stevens
5/13/2003

If using a taxi ALWAYS insist they use the meter. Should start at P25. They like to tell you the meter is broken but it is not, just get another cab. Don''t let them rip you off.


paul serrano
5/12/2003

The disco in front of the hotel had a live band that was ok, and it''s air conditioned. But it''s not a "dance" disco, just listening to music. There are a few restaurants in the hotel, the best being the one on the beach in the evening. Great guitar singer there.


moore gerard
5/11/2003

Travelled only within Manila which is always a challenge.


tranggono turner
5/10/2003

This is written may 2003 where exchange rate is US$1 = P52. <BR><BR> Everything is within walking distance from City Garden Hotel. Shops, bars, restaurants, money changers, 7-11 shops, etc. <BR><BR> Start from Robinson''s mall, about 7 minutes walk from the hotel. Everything is here. Food, bars, movie/cinema, billiards, bowling, you name it. Most place in Robinsons accept Visa/Mastercard/Visa electron card. <BR><BR> Typical food in Robinson''s food court will cost around P40 - p80 (US$0.80 - US$1.60) per portion. Cabalen restaurant in Robinsons is a good buffet all-you-can-eat restaurant offering authentic Filipino food, price is around US$6 per person. This is already quite expensive by local standards. For a more upscale Filipino buffet restaurant you can try newly opened Kamayan restaurant in Padre Faura, also near Robinsons. <BR><BR> Just wear your casual dress when you walk around as Manila can be very hot. (Eg. jeans and tshirt/short sleeve shirt.) the hotel is in a reasonably safe area, I walked alone at 11pm, 1am, 3am no problem. in a couple of blocks south towards malate (ermita is adjacent to malate area) people will sometimes approach you and either beg for money, offers you to see some bar, offers girl, just ignore them nothing will happen. nightlife: not much around the hotel, there are some bars, notably is cowboy across the road. if you want more activities, go towards malate. from robinsons, use adriatico exit, and go direction pan pacific hotel (100 meters from robinsons). there is a nice restaurant called portico in adriatico st. about 100 m south of pan pacific hotel. next door is library night club. this area is a very vibrant and safe area. money changer: mabini street is practically filled with authorized money changers. best rate is edzen, open 24 hours. mabini street, about 200 meters from the hotel direction south. laundry: near edzen there are several laundries that counts by kilo. examples are imelyn, laundromat, etc. One kilo cost P30(US$ 0.60)for wash, dry, and fold. Just drop your laundry, they will weigh it, and you can take it next day. Pressing is P10 (US$0.20) per piece. budget, budget, budget: near robinsons towards taft avenue is an area where 4 universities are located. you can find fast internet access here for US$0.50 per hour. clean budget meals are plentiful starting US$0.50 per plate. I don''t advise it though if you dont have strong stomach. casino: casino filipino is located in pan pacific hotel, 100 m from robinson''s. fitness center: slimmer''s world in 6th floor pan pacific hotel offers top-notch gym and aerobics facilities. I was told that this place is often frequented by local celebrities. you can buy a 10-session gym entrance fee for P1.500 (US$30), 20 session for P2.500(US$50), or 30 session for P.3500(US$70). paragon hotel in flores st., just round the corner of city garden suites, also offers fitness facilities. go to 9th floor. other place is in kimberly hotel, pedro gil st. 2nd floor. P1.200(US$24) is good for one month unlimited use.


lorna domingo
5/9/2003
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

Seemed okay, you need to hire a boat if you would like to see marine life. We hired a friendly and reliable driver to show us around town and it was a better option. There are independent dive tour operators along Alona Kew and it''s worth checking out if you''re there to dive or even snorkel. Worth going to is the Alona Palm Beach resort for their bar by the pool, friendly staff and a good meal.


nicholas henry
5/8/2003
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

The beach has beautiful white sand and many palm trees with the odd hammock strung between them - easy to spend a relaxing afternoon in one. <BR><BR> The sea had bits of leaf floating on the surface and a lot of seaweed on the bed. This is possibly just seasonal - I don''t know. <BR><BR> The only way to get around was to hire a car + driver. Useful if you want to try somewhere else for drinks & dining in the evening. I was only there for 3 days and should imagine it could get rather boring if you stayed longer - it all depends what you''re looking for in your holiday.


mikael forsstrom
5/7/2003

I stay a Bayview Park just for the location. It''s convenient to go from and to the airport. There is a nice shopping centre close by (Robinson Plaza).


graham ryan
5/6/2003

Took a small tour recommended by the front desk, duration about 5 hours, covered all aspects of the old and new city.


patakos georgios (2nd call)
5/4/2003

Manila is a big modern SE Asia metropolis with whatever that is associated with.


beaver tamesis
5/4/2003

Beautiful island. Food is terrific. Enjoy the sun, sand, water. French Crepes are wonderful, the seafood fresh. The parties at night are spirited and fun.


makoto umeyama
5/4/2003
Stayed at:

We visited Bantayan Island by Cessna and it was very nice. We had good view from the airplane in air. Beach was very beautiful.


pete cousen
5/4/2003
Stayed at:

Cebu is a poor province. A large part of the population live in very small timber or concrete dwellings with minimal amenities. Don''t go to Cebu expecting a sophisticated urban environment or rustic charm. It has neither, just friendly people, an ocean teeming with life and a relaxed feel. <BR><BR> If you want to dive, go and see Boy La 200m up the road from the resort. He charges 20USD per dive, half the price charged by the resort.


osamu nishimaniwa
5/4/2003

from 2nd floor you can go in to casino without entrance fee. (Non-guest will be required 100 pesos for entrance fee.) International airport is not so far from it (5 min by taxi).


elmer nuguid
5/3/2003

Safe.


janet maurin
5/2/2003

Best way to go around is to get a cab, streets are very much busy all day long.


milagros keller
5/2/2003

Close to everything, shopping mall restaurant, transportation.


jonathan britt
5/2/2003
Stayed at:

Not too much in this area of Manila.


ian pineda
5/1/2003
Stayed at:

Boracay is a great place to go to especially on summer. Lots of cool places to go to by boat.


franz battig
4/29/2003
Stayed at:

I know Cebu for a long time, the restaurant prices are very cheap and the food is excellent, public transport is also cheap and good.


spencer ivery
4/28/2003

The only problem I had was with a taxi cab driver trying to "overcharge" for a fare to Ayala Mall.


roland urech
4/27/2003

Good location, all in-spots are in walkable distance to reach. For trendy people, there is a new club beside Adriatico Street, named "Bed". Anyway, in this aera there are a lot of new bars, restaurants and cafés. It''s the place to be if you like nightlife and shopping.


ellene lee
4/27/2003

Nice place except the weather on March to late May is so hot.


richard johnson
4/27/2003
Stayed at:

Its a shame that Zamboanga is suffering from the bad press regarding terrorist organizations operating in the area because Zambo is very beautiful with excellent beaches, quiet people and superb seafood. <BR><BR> I felt a bit of a novelty there as I did not see any other foreigners whilst I was there. But I did not feel threatened in any way. It''s like anywhere else, just be sensible and don''t go anywhere where there are crowds.


pablito yra
4/27/2003

The tour office was not very helpful in locating available accommodations and transportation. We did not use the tour office.


ian fleming
4/26/2003

Find out where you are doing business and find the nearest hotel on the asia-hotels.com website. The traffic is now worse than Bangkok so staying close is a good move.


abigail magtibay
4/25/2003
Stayed at:

Bohol is a very nice place: excellent combination of culture, nature and people. It is easy to get around because you can rent vans or cars for a day and be able to visit several tourist destinations among them: Chocolate Hills, Baclayon Church and Museum, Loboc Church and Museum, lunch and river cruise at Loboc River, a place where you can pet tarsiers (although I have my reservations about this since they are nocturnal creatures and I pity them being awake during the day just to have people "pet" them and take pictures). <BR><BR> The drivers/owners of the vans/cars that we rented were very helpful in telling us about the places that we can go to. They were sensitive to cater to what kind of places that we wanted to go. They would even encourage you to go to many places as possible, and they were also very effective guides because they have information and side stories of the places the we visit. You can have a van rental - good for the whole day at P1,800. It''s worth it because it''s hassle free and you can go to many places (sometimes even beyond the iterinary that you have set at the start of the tour). <BR><BR> If you prefer not renting vans, you can also commute, however you need more time for this because they would fill up the vehicle before they bound for any destination. Also, there are several stops before you get to your deestination. we tried this when we went to Loon: it took almost an hour to get ther from Tagbilaran, going back we took a van and just less than an hour we were back to Tagbilaran - commuting doubles the travel time + waiting time for vehicle to be filled. <BR><BR> Food: Sizzling squid at Bohol Tropics is superb! Mani de leche which you can buy near the pier at a factory outlet of peanut kisses is also delicious. They are great for taking home for loved ones.


todd k johnson
4/25/2003
Stayed at:

Would I stay there again ? NO I found other places which were better for the same or less on my return visits.


joseph torti
4/25/2003
Stayed at:

No guidance at all at destination places. It was such a good thing that my Filipina girlfriend knows all the ins and outs in the area and outskirts.


alban furness
4/22/2003

Boracay is a great place - has to be one of the best beaches in SE Asia.


grant beuzeval
4/21/2003
Stayed at:

Destination from the airport is OK. Suppose to take about 15 mins, but with such narrow roads, it took 1/2 half an hour. Destination to the Cebu City Shopping mall is a little far. Would have love to go and watch a movie, but the thought of the journey had put us off.


neil j. darnell
4/21/2003
Stayed at:

This place was perfect for me. It is pretty well secluded at the north end of the beach, no other resort too close only to the south.


jonathan britt
4/20/2003
Stayed at:

Taxis are plentiful and reasonably-priced. Cebu is an interesting city.


john cahill
4/20/2003
Stayed at:

Cebu is just another big city but the alluring little islands (try Siquijor for best results) don''t have international airports! So West Gorordo is a good stopover choice.


koorosh ghorashy
4/20/2003

Of all capitol cities I have visited I found Manila to be the least interesting. This is a very honest opinion of mine based on three visits to this city.


luis garibay
4/13/2003

The area is close to shopping, nightlife,and restaurants. Just don''t go out at night along though. No problem getting taxis.


eric kumar
4/13/2003

I would recommend a number of nice clubs in the Malate/Ermita area. The multiple bands at the Cowboy Grill and Bed Rock were excellent and the food was nice. If you''re into alternate entertainment, try out the Library which has a local stand up comedy routine mixed with good singers. <BR><BR> As for transport,if you''re travelling to Manila for the first time I would recommend that you use the hotel taxi''s. They may cost a little more but you get good service and you know you won''t be taken for a ride (literally).


masafumi iwana
4/12/2003

The location is not appropriate area for foreigners. It seems dark, dirty and dangerous.


jonathan britt
4/11/2003

Handy for shopping.


grace boehm
4/8/2003

This trip marked my 6th trip to Manila. I am a very happy married man, but is apparant to me the single traveler would have the time of their lives in Manila...first rate night life...and the natives are friendly! <BR><BR> Restaurants well, hard to find a good steak (try the Outback in the Glorietta Mall) but good seafood available all over. Even the local sidewalk vendors are pretty good cooks for the most part, a very inexpensive way to eat in this very interesting city (baboy manok is my personal favorite, bar-b-qued chicken spit roasted over coconut charcoal). <BR><BR> Most everyone is friendly, much more so then similar destinations in Europe or other areas of Asia. Corregidor is a must visit place when in Manila, Intramuros was very interesting and watch out for the street vendors on Taft ave in Pasay City, they are a den of thieves the majority of the stuff is just trash. However, the shopping malls are great, inexpensive by western standards and great selection. <BR><BR> Most everyone speaks English and one can hire a car and driver for all day for about $35.00 US, just find a taxi driver you like and ask if they want to be your guide for the day, my experiences have been very good. (When you stop to eat, feed them too, it is small added expense but don''t be surprised if you''re invited to their home for one of the kids birthdays or some such occasion as they will consider you a new and valued friend and will very loyal in return.) <BR><BR> And then if you really want to experience the real Philippines, go to the provinces as you will be treated like visiting royality, eat for pennies and have a time of your life, clean warm waters, nice beaches and beauty of nature abound. The people make it even more beautiful, as the Filipino culture welcomes visitors and most all locals welcome and honor the company of out of towners.


clive milward
4/8/2003

Your taxi service was excellent and reasonably priced.


colin baron
4/7/2003

From Manila we took a flight to El Nido in Palawan we stayed at the Dolorog. El Nido is breathtakingly beautiful. From there we traveled by boat 6 hours to Sabang and the underground river, another area of outstanding beauty. We stayed at Mitchis, a new cottege resort run by a Japanese gentleman, very good.


myrtle yap
4/6/2003
Stayed at:

Philippines is always a very nice place to visit. I love my own country, of course, despite its flaws. There are so many activities to choose from at an affordable rate.


johnson robert
4/5/2003

Excellent entertainment.


meike tachlinski
4/3/2003

I recommend visiting the Banaue Rice Teraces.


pierre mahy
4/1/2003
Stayed at:

Surroundings of hotel not very good!


rachel wilson
3/31/2003

I also would like to report a scam by a sailing person, who operated from in front of Nigi Nigi''s. His name is Richard, owner of the sailing boat, Richell, and he disappeared with some of my money on my last day there. As many of his clients were guests from Nigi Nigi, I have emailed the resort to warn other guests. This has spoilt my holiday and now I doubt I will return to Boracay - I think other guests should be made aware of this, and I see it as the resort''s responsibility to make sure guests are safe from deception.


paul sommer
3/30/2003

Manila is a congested city and one where you need to plan meetings/appointments very carefully to minimize travelling time. The Filipinos are often poor time keepers, and it is best to keep this in mind when planning an itinerary!


josephine ejlersen
3/29/2003

I like Philippines for its value for money services - F&B, beauty, shopping. The beach resorts are quite expensive becuase & I am quite disappointed to say that the corals off Boracay are quite dead.


robert green
3/29/2003

Manila is Manila - too many people. I felt threatened in some streets. Not a tourist spot.


roy koeppe
3/28/2003

During a time of high terrorist alert in the world, this hotel had security measures almost ''beyond the call of duty''! We felt safe and secure at all times. We got around town and visited most of the sites of interest with relatives and friends driving private vehicles, including an in-law owned large jeepney!! We felt safe travelling in a group which consisted mostly of Filipino in-laws who were extremely savvy about our safety. This was a successful pleasure trip during a time of difficult world conditions.


peter knijff
3/27/2003

It is very convenient that a big mall is only 7 min walk from the hotel.


mr.larry wahl
3/25/2003
Stayed at:

Highly recommend visiting Baguio and Laoag cities!


russell mcgregor
3/24/2003

Inexperienced travellers should always shop at the major shopping centres. Goods without marked prices may undergo sudden cost increases if a "white face" is spotted. Money changers on the main road (A. Mabini) are generally trustworthy, but count your money before leaving the window. Avoid the money changers on the side streets. <BR><BR> "Kamayan" is an excellent restaurant; traditional Filipino fare, and be prepared to eat with your hands.


kenneth schenck
3/23/2003

Manila is the business and shopping capital of The Philippines. Historical sites, boat races offshore, embassies, etc. Gateway to seeing the rest of the Philippines (I think Manila is too big to give a true feeling for the country). Use a guide book to pick a few other places to visit on your stay. Other than shopping, your money will go a lot further outside of Manila.


roy koeppe
3/22/2003

We were visiting in-law relatives and friends and had our own transportation provided by them. We traveled to Pulilan in the Bulacan on crowded highways and to Taal volcano which we climbed in the heat! We registered in the U.S. Embassy while protesters were active across the street--they were friendly to us even so. <BR><BR> We enjoyed eating in nearby restaurants and shopping in small shops as well as malls. Good prices especially since the peso was about 55 per U.S. dollar. We later traveled to Davao and Tagum City. All excellent experiences.


nelson, meng lieh, lim
3/22/2003

The residence is walking distance away from the major malls and restaurants in Makati. So it is convenient and hassle free.


joel decroix
3/19/2003

As I was there for work so it''s difficult to give any comment. However, the downtown is quite ok. Lots of shopping places and nice restaurants. I was a bit worried about safety outside the hotel though.


james duraiswamy
3/18/2003
Stayed at:

Manila is an unusually a busy city. If you are planning to get to a place, allocate plenty of time, since the traffic can slow you down. Variety of restaurants, you name it you got it. <BR><BR> Very friendly people. If you wish to move around find a person who is well recommended by the hotel who could take you around. I do not suggest driving.


simmi degnemark
3/18/2003
Stayed at:

Destination was beautiful.


kenneth schenck
3/17/2003

Manila is what you make of it. It is a large city, both good and bad. For spending time on the beach, pick another part of the island or another of the 7,000+ islands. Shopping (SM Megamall) is very good with like kinds of shops grouped by floor (5 stories) and short walks from other major malls. Restaurants are plentiful (don''t miss the ones on next to top level).


lora coers
3/15/2003

Close to airport (20 minutes), US Embassy, and a Medical Clinic.


peter vesivalo
3/15/2003

My wife and I had a great time in Boracay. The beaches are fabulous, the people are friendly, and the weather was terrific. Great food, too! Highly recommended. Try the snorkelling!!


anthony o'kane
3/13/2003

Try the Banana Leaf Curry House in the Podium Mall!


tetsuya chu
3/13/2003
Stayed at:

Facilities are exotic, very clean and comfortable. Lie down myself on a hammock at terrace of bungalow, seaside view and sound of breeze makes me truly relaxed. I recommend to take lunch or dinner at pier restaurant. Their fresh seafoods, especially oyster (with cheese and garlic) is so good!


masahiro shimokawa
3/12/2003
Stayed at:

I would choose this hotel for scuba diving, good cooking & beautiful location by my computer site.


alona emoto
3/12/2003

The place was very accessible for me, specially when I want to go shopping or just make a walk at the mall. Taxis and buses always available and so easy for me wherever I want to go inside Metro Manila.


angela carroll
3/11/2003

Manila, The Philippines does not feel like the most secure place to go for a single woman on her own. The nicer locals continually warn of the dangers of having one''s bag snatched. However, the hotel was very secure and, as I was only staying one night, I was happy with that.


sachiyo hayashi
3/11/2003
Stayed at:

Hotel''s beach bar was wonderful!! Especially, mango & papaya fruits shake was delicious. In front of hotel, there are some shop. So you can buy beer, water, snack. If you want to restaurant (out of hotel), you have to use any method, for example to use taxi. It was troublesome. But the sky is blue, the beach is white,the sea is clear!!! Cebu is good!!!


christophe marzet
3/10/2003

Hotel taxi abusing with price, but local air con are reliable, make sure meter is on before trip.


michael and rose soden
3/9/2003

Makati part of Manila is smart and prosperous. Good for work, rest and play. However Manila does not have a lot of cultural ''musts''. Intramuros area is facinating however and the newly cleaned up Bay area is worth a stroll. There are also some interesting museums.


james taylor
3/9/2003
Stayed at:

Don''t miss Top Hill at 5 a.m.!


william haskell
3/8/2003

Although not listed in the description of the hotel it is important to note that it is directly across from the United States Embassy for easy access to the early morning line for visa processing. The taxi trip to Saint Luke''s Medical Clinic for the medical exam is very short also. If you enjoy walking, you are able to walk safely to Saint Luke''s if you wish to view the local shops.


peter martino
3/8/2003

Taxis are the way to go. Many nice restuarants in Ortigas business district and in malls in area.


masafumi iwana
3/8/2003

During late afternoon, if go to Makati, it should be terrible due to heavy traffic jam.


kanehisa imao
3/5/2003

This hotel is so convenient to take Ocean-Jet or Super-Cat bound for Bohol. No problem!


tanya kameda
3/3/2003

Everything was soooo cheap! It was fun to haggle over prices especially since the people were so friendly. We went Island hopping one day and it was great! Our guide was super friendly and brought us to some lovely snorkelling spots. My husband got seasick, unfortunately, so we had to return early and the guide was great about getting us back quickly.


petr psota
3/3/2003

I would like to recommend visit of Tagaytay City as well as Taal Volcano and Boracay Beach Resort. I have also excellent experiences with Marioœ restaurants.


christopher sieler
3/2/2003

The Philippnes is a great place to visit. I spent most of my time in Davao. Pardise Island is a great place to visit if going to Davao City. Very nice resorts on the water. Lots of traffic but got used to the driving after a few days. The people there are very nice and treat Americans like kings. I had no problems and will go back again someday.


kp lee
3/2/2003
Stayed at:

Manila is nice, if a little chaotic.


wolfgang kluge
3/1/2003

Downtown Cebu is always nice - but not a place to spend a holiday. However good starting point for island tours, diving tours etc.


richard johnson
3/1/2003

The hotel is very centrally located near to Malls and good restaurants.


edwin anonuevo
3/1/2003
Stayed at:

Had a good stay down south of the Phils. Food and souvenir items are cheap and very affordable. Excellent value for money.


kenneth taylor
2/28/2003

Just across the street from the U.S. Embassy...request a bay facing room to watch the people line up.


nils skjaeveland
2/28/2003
Stayed at:

Quicker than anticipated to go to Cebu. Recommended in the evenings - for shopping and a nice meal. Cheap transport - either through the hotel or local taxies. Snorkel trip arranged by hotel was a fantastic experience - and very well worth the money. <BR><BR> The Shopping malls in Cebu - were great - and a lot better than expected. Everywhere friendly and helpful people - a place where we would like to go back to.


bernhard jampen
2/26/2003

Restless Mega-City. As ever a lot of traffic and pollution. Huge contrast between richness and poverty. Good value for shopping.


carl yanchar
2/23/2003

Podium mall directly adjacent has many excellent restaurants, especially Pagliacci.


zsolt tornay (1st call)
2/22/2003
Stayed at:

The Philippine islands is nice.


bernhard jampen
2/22/2003
Stayed at:

Unspoiled and interesting place to visit within the Visayas. No traffic-jam and no pollution.


peter stratton
2/20/2003
Stayed at:

Are always in Manila on business and taxis are good value. Make sure they do not make 4 turns in the same direction as the drivers are very good at going the long way. Take only a cab with a meter and ensure the meter is on zero as many have a start when you get in.


bruno w. berger
2/20/2003

"Village El PUEBLO" with its restaurants and bars - only 500m from the hotel.


takaji okawa
2/19/2003
Stayed at:

The place called "Greenbelt" in Makati is a tendy place to shop and dine.


peter stratton
2/18/2003
Stayed at:

Manila is an interesting city, terrible traffic problems so allow plenty of time for appointments etc as only God knows how long the trip will take. Don''t miss this city as it is a one of.


abdulaziz bin fayez
2/16/2003

Manila is my best destination. I can get good time and relaxation in this city. Night life is the best in Makati. You just walk around and you will find good restaurants and bars.


keith allenby
2/16/2003

Manila is a great city for nightlife - bad traffic but that''s all that''s wrong.


jason feeney
2/16/2003

I visited my girlfriend there and didn''t really go to any restaurants or take tours. The Tops was really cool, nice place to visit in the daytime to view all of Cebu.


kenneth taylor
2/14/2003

Starbuckks is just attached and a 7-11 is only a block behind the hotel.


juarez, vicente
2/14/2003

I recommend you to rent a 4 hours katamaran anbd visit the island it is beatiful. You can find the from 600 pesos for 4 hours.


hartmut schaefer
2/13/2003
Stayed at:

Island hopping tour by banca very recommendable.


stephen cunningham
2/13/2003

I do not do tours and visit only Makati and Malate.


mark kinrade
2/12/2003

Manila is a superb shopping destination. To anybody from Europe, America, Japan etc., the cost of much of the goods on offer in the numerous shopping malls will seem like bargain basement prices for top quality goods.


toni hewett
2/9/2003

Big La Laguna beach, Puerto Gallera, Mindoro - excellent for relaxing and diving.


gary katzenstein
2/9/2003
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

Traffic in Manila is pretty bad, so allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Not a good walking city for the most part. Nice dinners at Casa Armas and Bistro Remedios in Malate. <BR><BR> Chinese Cementary is worth a look, although not easy to get to. Rental car from outside agencies can be unreliable and may not speak English very well. If you go south of Manila, we recommend the Original Buko Pie in Laguna at Original Orient Buko Pie.


francis j mcguire
2/7/2003

Manila is like a big polluted traffic jam, but the warmth and friendliness of the people of Manila leaves me with fond memories.


chungwen liu
2/7/2003

The city of Manila is not safety. Too many beggars.


marc paquet
2/7/2003
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

Nice place to visit. Take time to do a tour and see Chocolate hills.


per povlsen
2/6/2003

The Thai restaurant inside the hotel is good, although a bit pricey!


lewis pizzulli
2/6/2003

Conveiently located near several large shopping malls.


thomas brown
2/4/2003

Our Activity Coordinators (Emily and Beng) planned several wonderful day long excursions (by motorized outrigger!!) for snorkelling, relaxing and picknicking on local islands, etc. We went alone or with a small group. The guide we had (Wilven) looked out for us like we were family, had a great sense of humor and was very knowledgeable about the area. There was even a Marine Biologist on staff to support Lagen''s work as a protected reserve!


virgil whitehead
2/4/2003
Stayed at:

I went to several places, Museum, San Pablo, Bamboo Organ Church, Fort Santigo, Water Falls, etc. etc.


masako miyamoto
2/4/2003

It''s a walking distance from hotel to Manila Bay to see gorgeous sunset.


yun-cheong tsui (2nd call)
2/4/2003

The nearby Chi-Ka-An Restaurant is very nice.


lewis pizzulli
2/4/2003

They have an excellent Chinese New Year celebration but be prepared for the crowds and book in advance.


ed peters
2/3/2003
Stayed at:

White Beach is obviously the place to stay on Boracay; the shady walkway behind the beach is a real plus. <BR><BR> We got far better exchange rates in Manila than on the island (7.20 to the HK$ vs 6). <BR><BR> Banza is one of the very few good restaurants, however everywhere does great fresh juice and shakes. <BR><BR> Mandala Spa is superb -- spent four very happy hours there. <BR><BR> The round island boat trip was a joke; promised free soft drinks did not appear for some time, lunch was burnt, crew dropped litter, and the waves were too rough (they said) to complete the circuit. We got off half way through. <BR><BR> Nightlife -- Charlh''s, Bom Bom, Summer Place -- was very laid back rather than the testosterone/decibel cocktail of some other Asian resorts. <BR><BR> Overall, this is a lovely place to chill out. White Beach has been ranked one of the best in the world; but one gets the impression that a lot of resorts etc are resting on their laurels.


jack lun
2/3/2003
Stayed at:

It is conveniently located near the business area at Ayala centre, 40 minutes from the airport at daytime.


kenichi takahashi
2/2/2003
Stayed at:

Boracay is so wonderful.


frank concilus
2/2/2003

Nice restaurants and bars nearby. Walking along the bay interesting, too.


phil matthews
2/2/2003
Stayed at:

Location OK within easy distance of many facilities.


robert kilpatrick
2/2/2003
Stayed at:

The hotel can book you a reasonable taxi to wait for you at the airport, if not taxi rates very greatly and I would recommend booking thruogh hotel.


frank concilus
2/1/2003
Stayed at:

Shuttle bus to Cebu City was available. Food at resort good.


joseph miller
2/1/2003

Manila is an interesting city and offers a cosmopolitan break from a visit to the Philippine hinterland. The malls and shopping centers in Ortigas Center, like those in Makati, offer good shopping and access to movies and other entertainment. <BR><BR> There is a variety of restaurants (vegetarian, Spanish, Thai, for example) at ranging from fast-food to formal dining. Most of the malls have very good food courts. The Inter-Continental has a great restaurant featuring a variety of Asian foods. <BR><BR> Manila is a good base for exploring Luzon by bus or for connecting to the rest of the Philippines by air. A Filipino friend can give you valuable tips on traveling by bus, jeepney (a cross between a bus and a gaudy jeep), and tricycle (motor scooter with sidecar). These modes of transportation can give you a much closer look at Filipino life than the usual taxi. <BR><BR> The security police at the airports are very helpful in preventing visitors from falling prey to taxi scams and the like. Ask them for assistance if you have any questions about local transport upon arrival in Manila.


pamela wood
1/31/2003
Stayed at:

We went to the Rice Terraces in the North. Fantastic I highly recommend them for seeing a different and kinder kind of Philippines.


connie/joe byrne
1/30/2003
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

Visited Boracay, Hidden Valley, Tagaytay, toured Manila, shopped in malls in Greenbelt area and at the market stalls in Greenhills. When friends were not driving us around, we used meter cabs which we found to be inexpensive, comfortable and efficient. For the most part, service in the few restaurants we visited was courteous and attentive; the food was ok. Shops, such as Red Ribbon, Becky''s Kitchen and Dulcinea, offer great breads, cakes and other bakery specialties - must be sampled.


nimrod salgado
1/29/2003

Well Manila is a crowded city. Go out to the suburb like good place on the outskirt of Metro Manila such as Laguna.


thomas brown
1/29/2003

The Cabelen Buffet restaurant in the Landmark Center offered a range of good and authentic local food. There was also a first rate Japanese restaurant right next door.


lewis pizzulli
1/28/2003

Make sure you use a metered taxi otherwise you will pay more than double the price to get around.


carmelita jordan
1/25/2003

I stayed at another hotel prior to leaving for the provinces, then stayed at your hotel after returning to Manila. Next visit, I will stay at your hotel every night I am in Manila. The location to the shops and restaurant was very convenient. I felt very safe at your hotel. The value for the money was very good.


cheryvil hawrylow
1/24/2003

Manila is certainly a huge cosmopolitan city. At the present moment a lot of foreigners are hesitant to visit the Philippines because of the terrorists etc. happening in the country. Of course this is not felt when you are actually physically in the country. Like any other place of course, one must take precautions. I encourage everyone to visit the Philippines.


elias secondes
1/24/2003

There''s a lot of nice places to visit. You have to go and see it by yourself.


robert abad santos
1/24/2003

Saint Illian''s Inn is not far from any my destinations within the Makati, Metro-Manila and Ayala-Alabang areas. It is close to Makati''s business, financial and recreational areas and also close to highway ramps for trips outside the city.


harry thaller
1/21/2003

This is an out of the way hotel, on the side street. It''s only a block from a small shopping center with a Plaza Fair store, and at the other end of the shopping center are KFC, McDonalds and other fast food places. There seem to be the normal small food shops you find in any neighborhood. A quiet easy place to stay.


rodrigo rodelas
1/20/2003

Must go to restaurants: Balinsasayaw and Kalui restaurant,the subterrenean underground river (national park), Honda bay -it comprises of 12 small islands namely: the Pandan island best for swimming and picnic, the Snake island best for snorkeling, the Bat island best for adventure, and other islands which you can explore by boat.


tom hatano
1/19/2003
Stayed at:

Boracay is a perfect location to get away from the busy city life. But, prices are very expensive, compared to other locations within the Philippines.


natalio, de la torre
1/19/2003

Visited from Cebu City, Tagbilaran City in Bohol, Manila, Urdaneta, Baguio, Hundred Islands and the beach in San Fabian. <BR><BR> Traveled by relatives and mutual friends vevicles, rented cabs, buses, tricycles, motorbikes. No problems encountered Rented cabs a very good way to get around and very resonable. <BR><BR> Found the least crowded places the best. Manila too polluted. Cebu a good place. Bohol the best. Manila does have more restaurants and entertainment.


lily tan
1/19/2003

Jollibee best! Mountain tracking and Tagaytay Ridge.


kasob suphasidh
1/17/2003
Stayed at:

Getting around at night is a little difficult in this part of the city. During the day we rented a car with driver, so the trip is OK for me.


steven trent
1/16/2003

This was a stop over on the way to Mactan Island where I stayed at Tamboli beach club and with friends in Lapu-Lapu.


maury lieberman
1/13/2003

Manila, while short on tourist sights, turned out to be one of the great shopping cities of Asia, with varieties of goods and first class restaurants at prices 50 percent less than any other major city in the Far East.


rhoel manlapaz
1/11/2003

The location is excellent being in the center of restaurants, entertainment (Videoke), business (banking), easy access to transportation (taxi cabs, etc).


philip mutch
1/11/2003

Boracay is a beautiful location only a short flight from Manila (but a lengthy minibus ride - almost 2 hours - from Kalibo if that is where you fly into). The beaches are very clean and you are not harassed by vendors selling trinkets or day tours which is a big plus if you want to go there to relax.... Any vendors ask you once then leave you alone.


enero quicho
1/9/2003

My cousin took me to Malate, the place is cool and there are good clubs and beautiful GRO''s. Before my departure to the U.S, I met my old friend back at the hotel to have lunch at the hotel lobby, the pancit and the BBQ chicken are great.


rowena b. mooty
1/5/2003

A little too far from the airport and the taxi is expensive 350 pesos plus tip one way.


paterno lopez
1/4/2003

The hotel is located near a major shopping mall, 7 minutes walk. The outside surroundings is typical of Manila, but it''s bearable. I used the taxi to go around Manila. I ate mostly in the mall, much cleaner. There is a bar across the hotel called Cowboy. It''s a good place to eat and drink and listen to live band playing, different band each night.


jason hall
1/4/2003

All of Metro Manila should be visited. The nightlife in Makati and Malate needs to be savoured.


stefan ceh
1/3/2003

I recommend you to join Safari Tour and Island Escapade, to see some African animal, and to discover the small island''s beauty. Of course you shouldn''t miss scuba diving and snorkelling.


harry thaller
1/2/2003
Stayed at:

The hotel is just a 2 minute walk from Casino Filipino and just across the street from the Edsa Entertainment Center. A short walk from local shops where you can find everything from cloths to plastic ware. A easy cab ride to any shopping center in Metro Manila (and there are a lot of them). With the Peso at 53 to the dollar, most cab rides will run less the $2.00 except from the airport which are set for the hotel you''re going to. To the Copacabana runs about $6.00.


yoichi fukamachi
1/2/2003

Shopping good.


melissa contreras
1/1/2003

No complaints really -- people were friendly, and the sights (Chocolate Hills, Luboc River, tarsier, dolphins near Pamilacan) were wonderful. <BR><BR> BUT -- there must be better ways of going around than by tricycle. Or at least detailed road maps on how to get around that should be available to tourists.


merlin sibley
12/31/2002
Stayed at:

Boracay is a very relaxing destination for a short break. The White beach more than lives up to its reputation and provides an ideal setting for relaxing seaside pursuits although various watersports are on offer for the more adventurous. <BR><BR> Be prepared for a bit of walking to fully appreciate the island and to explore its extensive selection of restaurants which range from the reasonably priced Mongolian buffet to the slightly more pricey French restaurants.


alastair baird
12/30/2002

Beautiful location. Very isolated so don''t go if you want lots of bright lights and nightlife! Plenty of opportunity for island hopping to beautiful beaches, boat trips up mangrove rivers, visits to local town, etc. All meals are in resort as it is the only establishment on island. <BR><BR> Resort brilliantly organised dinner on the beach of another island and will also organise "picnic" (very simple word for a very elaborate lunch) lunches on other islands.


howard chang
12/30/2002

Plenty of restaurants and shops within walking distance with easy access to the airport.


hiroaki sugii
12/30/2002

Actually, Waterfront Cebu is farther than Water Front Airport from the airport and beach. But taking total services into consideration, Waterfront Cebu is much better than the one at the airport.


maury lieberman
12/30/2002

Despite all the warnings of the potential dangers for tourists in Manila, we encountered no problems. Everyone we encountered made us feel welcome; no one attempted to cheat us or threaten us. Manila should be treated with the same precautions one would use in traveling in any large city.


henrik baes
12/29/2002

The place is very accessible to the commercial district of Manila.


michael beins
12/29/2002

Hotel is walking distance to Greenbelt mall which is a very trendy, new facility. Lots of open-air style bistro-type restaurants serving anything from steaks to Italian food. Taxi is cheap and hotel concierge will help obtain one for you.


mrs marivic mitchell
12/29/2002
Stayed at:

Only used the hotel as a based for our wedding. Hotel is quite close to the only shopping mall in the city. There are restaurants and arcade within the hotel ground. Transportation in order to get around are not a problem since the hotel can either arrange a taxi or for the more adventurous traveller they can try what the locals uses, and that is the "TRICYCLE".


eowyn brown
12/28/2002

I came to Boracay from South Korea, where I''ve been living on kimchi and rice for the past year, so, sunny weather and palm trees aside, the best thing about Boracay was the array of excellent restaurants. <BR><BR> My favorite was the Indian restaurant right on White Beach. You can sit in the open-air second story and look down on the beach and the sea while eating their incredible food. You should definitely order the excellent momos. There is also a nice Thai restaurant in the same general area. Sea Lovers is a great 24 hour seafood joint and the perfect destination after a few drinks and rounds of pool! The grilled prawns were superb. Manana is a little place serving up authentic Mexican fare. The food was incredible, although the portions were shockingly small, especially when measured against my bloated American expectations! Service at Manana was excruciatingly slow. Go BEFORE you feel hungry and the wait will certainly be worth it. <BR><BR> There''s also a beach ... I came to Boracay to relax and that''s all I did. The only complaint is that there are so many various activities, I almost felt guilty for just lying in the sun all day. I got a massage every day from one of the wandering masseurs of White Beach. For P250 (about $5) you get a nice one hour massage. Quality might vary from masseur to masseur, and if you find one you really like, you can arrange to have them return the next day at the same time. <BR><BR> Don''t leave Boracay without getting a pedicure. Again, the wandering vendors will approach you on the beach, and for P100 ($2), give you a stand-up pedicure, making you feel like a glamourous movie star. <BR><BR> Finally, if you are short reading material, check out Violets, a small bookshop with paperbacks in English, as well as a variety of other languages. The proprietor was quite friendly, but, then again, on Boracay that''s the rule! It''s a warm and welcoming place in every respect.


ray whitton
12/25/2002
Stayed at:

Bagiou City has never recovered after the earthquake. Going in to town (which we did just once!) was a trial being overcrowded, dirty and the roads and footpaths just unable to cope. Ray.


rogelio santos
12/25/2002

Makati is always a good area with all the facilities available. For foreigners, it is a friendly and safe place to roam around in. No other place is more clean and orderly.


carmina santos
12/25/2002

The Greenbelt Mall has an extensive range of restaurants and entertainment facilities to choose from. I particularly like Ebun for a good menu and value for money.


christian kull
12/24/2002
Stayed at:

Apo island is small, but well worth at least a week in order to explore it. The marine sanctuary was really impressive as well as the friendliness of all the residents in the village.


graham astley
12/23/2002

My trip was not a traditional travellers holiday, however TAXIS were utilised very frequently, it is very interesting how many meters are not used with respect to taxis in Manila, or not working (so i was told).


tim gladwin
12/22/2002

Excellent shopping in the Ayala Centre just a few minutes from the hotel. The hotel taxis are cheap, safe and always seem to be available.


gerd boeing
12/22/2002

Makati is a happening place. if you love live music, this is the place to go...Try the Hard Rock cafe, for me the best in SEA. The recently developed Greenbelt 3 entertainment complex is unmatched in terms of variety of bars, restaurants and shopping opportunities. Much better than overpriced destinations such as HKG and SPE.


claude grossen
12/22/2002

Traffic its a big problem to go around and you need time.


clemente nieto
12/21/2002
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

Traffic was pretty bad but something I expected. There were great bargains considering the strength of the dollar. We went to Villa Escudero in San Pablo City. It was okay and the experience of having lunch with your feet in the water was pretty good.


ray whitton
12/20/2002

Sorry, not a fan of Manila. Road rules are just there to be broken and the number of beggars makes for an uncomfortable feeling. Ray.


peter gillespie
12/19/2002

Never liked Manila anyway. We were just passing through on the way to Iloilo Panay. The Philippines islands are wonderful, just not Manila.


mrs marivic mitchell
12/18/2002
Stayed at:

We used a friend''s car to see the city because of the distance of the resort. If going shopping then SM City is to be recommended since it is all indoor and quite a variety of shops to choose from.


marty rago
12/17/2002

You don''t have to go far with Glorietta and SM at your doorstep.


jane misola
12/16/2002

Unfortunately, this was a quick emergency trip so I did not have time to take tours... but just a little shopping in the vicinity. Took taxicabs for transportation with some help from hotel staff.


roger williams
12/14/2002

In these troubled times, the security arrangements at the hotel were most effective in putting my mind at ease. The staff were courteous and friendly, whilst continuing with their main task of security.


frank carter
12/13/2002

Our stay with you was a stop over on our trip to Cebu and later Davao so we had little time for trips. The hotel does a good line in cars at a very reasonable rate. We ate in the hotel at the Cantonese resturant and found both the hospitality and food excellent.


kenneth evans
12/12/2002
Stayed at:

Travel in Manila is congested and difficult.


carmelita skilton
12/10/2002
Stayed at:

Manila is not a particularly pleasant city.


robert kent
12/10/2002
Stayed at:

Well we only stayed in Manila for 2 nights so we could pick up our domestic tickets for Iloilo off my sister-in-law. if you like sitting in traffic all day by all means go to Manila but for me I enjoyed the 2 months in Iloilo at the in-laws place out of the city, the only way to live. The kids loved it all, the cousins are there and plenty of other kids there own age to play with.


annamalai kumar
12/9/2002
Stayed at:

The hotel is slightly far away from the Session Road City area. Thus, I had to always take a taxi to the city to get my meals, since I am vegetarian and the hotel provided no vege food.


abdulrahman algadhib
12/9/2002

Nothing around the resort except sea and water sports.


ronald willis
12/7/2002
Stayed at:

The hotel has it own restaurant good food.


h k tan
12/5/2002

Craft shop in the vicinity & Robinson for shopping within 5 minutes walking distance. Pubs open till late, 5 minutes walk also.


ray marino
12/4/2002
Stayed at:

Located near Cebu City on Lapu-Lapu. Visited nearby guitar factories. Got around mostly by taxi, make sure you get metered service or meter plus small fixed amount, not a fixed fare. Make sure you have local currency, and make sure you have lots of small bills and coins, since drivers rarely have sufficient change. <BR><BR> Plan your trips to Cebu City, if you go, it is a long drive, maybe 30 minutes. There''s nice sightseeing in Cebu City, especially go see the Taoist Temple. Treat yourself to a manicure at ShoeMart mall, an inexpensive indulgence on the island.


chris regan
12/4/2002

I was there to work, so I did not get to socialise much. I was, however, regularly offered prostitures, and drugs as I walked around the streets near the hotel. That was not very pleasant.


franklin garcia
12/4/2002

There are a lot of choices in Manila. I can''t imagine how they have improved the restaurant selection and affordable prices. Unfortunately, I advised travelers not to carry Travelers Checks that is not issued by AMEX because none of the business establishments, bank or money exchanges accepts travelers checks.


ray marino
12/3/2002

Cebu is a very nice place. Went around town, especially enjoyed the Taoist temple. Very much wanted to take a day trip to Carcar, Kawasan Falls, and MoalBoal, but it will have to wait until next time!


william mellon
12/3/2002

Having lived in Manila I did not take any tours but the variety of restaurants in the area makes dinning a pleasure, including the privately owned as well as the chain operated restaurants.


tom radley
12/2/2002
Stayed at:

Pasay City is very convenient for the airport. If you like to sit in traffic half of the time then go to Makati....I don''t recommend this! Taxis can run the length of Roxas Blvd in only a few minutes and the variety of eating opportunities and fun places (for adults anyway) is more than adequate. Maybe when the MRT is completed it will be less challenging to go to Makati; but you have to be prepared to pay Makati prices. Taxis are convenient and cheap, provided you insist upon the "taxi-meter". The EDSA International Entertainment Complex (directly across the road) is an eye opener with many beautiful young girls to entertain you; if you like that sort of thing. Nothing like it anywhere unless you go to Bangkok or Costa Rica.


kenneth schenck
12/1/2002

Short walk (2 long blocks) to SM Megamall for bottled water and groceries (much lower prices than mini bar). The walk is easy after getting across busy street at light. <BR>B<R> Taxi (metered - low traffic) fare to airport was about $2.25 while to or from mall would be just over 50 cents. Daylight feels very safe, while at night, it is a big city area that can be deserted so use good judgement. <BR><BR> SM Megamall is a two city block five(?) level shopping complex with 12 screens for movies (Dolby Digital, AC, stadium seating for 111 pesos for first run movies), ice skating, and lots of resturants from America included (if you are homesick or want to try them for the first time - most at lower prices). Good exchange rate at SM store currency desk. Stores range from those for the very wealthy to those who love bargains. <BR><BR> Two more shopping complexes are nearby, so you should be able to take care of your shopping fix. Good location. Due to traffic (and low cost) use metered taxi to get around - saving the tricycles, jeepneys and easy rides for the less congested areas (other islands) - they do cost less, but are less safe (if in an accident). But they are the way to travel to meet real people, so do enjoy them when they are the primary transport. Do carry a scarf or handkerchief for mouth for tricycle rides (in case traffic or dust is heavy).


mary garlicki
11/28/2002
Stayed at:

The waters were not as crystal clear as expected, perhaps because this hotel is too close to Cebu City and the port.


mary garlicki
11/28/2002

The hotel is located about 1½ hours from Cebu City. Two hours in heavy traffic. The drive takes you along the coast through several villages. I always like to see what I can along the way. On a Friday we decided to rent a car and go into Cebu City. Very crowded! It seems that everyone goes to church and prays. Such devotion! We visited the Basilica and convent of Santo Niño. A beautiful ornate altar and lots of faithful is a sight to behold, but a bit difficult to walk about. It''s best to know a bit of history to understand why the small statue is so significant. It''s amazing that this 3rd, 1735-1737, incarnation of the structure still stands. <BR><BR> Magellan’s Cross, locate in a small chapel outside the ground is also worth a peek. The ceiling is decorated with a murals depicting Magellan’s arrival to these islands, conversion of the natives and the celebration of the first mass. We then went to Fort San Pedro, a small triangular fort with a pretty little garden managed by the National Museum. For those in need, they have clean toilet facilities here. We found a wonderful little strip mall, Crossroads Mall, on Banilad Road with some good restaurants and a cute little café.


peter wingfield-digby
11/27/2002
Stayed at:

The hotel is located in Makati. The room rate includes a good breakfast. There are not many facilities (shops, restaurants, etc.) close to the hotel, so a short taxi ride will probably be necessary to go to places of interest.


jeffrey heazlewood
11/25/2002

Must see Manila - it is unique, the traffic and road "rules", and the means of getting around - jeepneys and LRT very good; taxis cheap too. It is cheaper and less hassle to use public transport than hire a car. Good eating at Goldilocks. I hired a car to visit Tagaytay and had a good day. There is a lot to see and do within a day or two of Manila.


stacey michael repas
11/22/2002

In Manila, try and see the local points of interest as early in the day as possible - local traffic becomes a bottleneck between 6:00-9:00 am and 4:00-9:00 pm. Chinatown offers some of the best goldsmiths we''ve encountered in Southeast Asia. However, to see the real Philippines, head out from Manila.


donnie & juanita patton
11/22/2002

The hotel restaurant had a pretty good buffet every day. We visited Tagatay (sp) and spend an afternoon at a swimming pool resort near Laguna Beach. Would highly recommend to anyone to hire a driver to transport you around.


magnar baardsen
11/21/2002
Stayed at:

Fantastic country, very kind people, I will go back to Philippines already this month.


nikorn teptong
11/20/2002

The area where the hotel located is quite ok but security is still being questioned!


wayne crowell
11/18/2002

Manila is a crowded, dirty city, but there are many wonderful day trips. Taal volcano, Corregidor island, and Subic Bay are just a few.


ronald randall
11/2/2002
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

Do not be alarmed by the drive to get there from the dock where the ferry lands. It will take about a half hour to get there, and its hard to tell if you are going back into the middle of nowhere...but relax. It is a relatively secluded place, nice, quiet, relaxed and comfortable. <BR><BR> The hotel will offer a variety of tours...island hopping, visiting the Chocolate Hills, lunch on a floating restaurant, visiting a Spanish Cathedral over 400 years old...caving, diving. Take advantage of all or none. It''s worth the few extra dollars you pay to have them arrange these for you over what you could negotiate on your own. You never have concerns over safety with the people they make arrangements for you with. <BR><BR> Not a whole lot as far as nightlife goes, it''s the place to take that special someone, and has a wonderful romantic ambience for those wanting to spend time together in the middle of wonderland.


rainer m. adolf
11/1/2002

Manila and surroundings are rather interesting spots, if you don´t mind traffic jams.


christopher viquiera
10/31/2002

Walking distance to the "circle" the hippiest place in town where all kinds of bars are within an earshot. Near Robinson Mall, all kinds of money exchange around the vicinity. Walked everywhere and felt safe.


lawrence lim
10/31/2002

Only challenge I have is the location of the hotel. It is not safe to walk outside after the sun sets. Too many touts soliciting for numerous stuff.


andre moerman
10/28/2002

Bus to Batangas - boat to Puerto Galera have pick-up on hotel.


david terwilliger
10/26/2002
Stayed at:

Mostly I visited with friends, and family of friends. We used locally available transportation, mainly tricycle, a very effective means of travel in Gen San. We did not take any tours. The only advise to other travellers would be if you must do business with a bank, trevellers cheques and such, do so at a branch rather than the main office.


richard hebron
10/23/2002

Hired a driver to take around town for about $24 USD for six hours. Places not to miss: Fort San Pedro, Magellan''s Cross (beware of all the beggars), Lapu-Lapu''s moneument and Magellan''s tomb, Philippine Taoist Temple. Great view of the city from "The Top."


paul moses
10/19/2002

Only difficulty is the Manila traffic!


todd smith
10/14/2002

Hotel well situated in Makati. Easy walking distance to good shopping and fine dining.


mary garlicki
10/13/2002

In Lagen we hiked around Pangalusia, a nearby island. The early morning trip through the mangroves was very nice and peaceful. The nesting egrets were a sight to see. We even managed to spot a mangrove snake, peacefully curled up and sleeping on tree branch. Well spotted. We loved the early morning peacefulness of the place. We snorkeled a lot and then just plain rested and read books. As we walked about the resort we manage to spot some monkeys and even a large lizard. They were too far away to get a good photo and when we approached too near, they skedaddled away. Best left in the wild. <BR><BR> One evening the resort organized a dinner cum barbeque on another uninhabited island with a lovely sandy beach. That was quite nice. On another evening the dinner included a cultural show put on by the staff. Not only do they work at their respective posts during the day, but at night they put their heart and soul into music and dance. Nice!


mary garlicki
10/13/2002

JuA short distance away are 2 lagoons, named little lagoon and big lagoon. They are accessible during high tide. These should be included on everyone''s itinerary. You can get there on your own by paddling a kayak or have them take you there by boat. Don''t forget your snorkel gear, especially for the little lagoon. We found several places for snorkelling, which we quite liked. We took out cues from the activities manager. The waters around Miniloc was surprisingly full of aquatic life.


david morales
10/12/2002

Mabini Street where this hotel is located has many choices for food and entertainment. There is a Chinese "Fresh Fish Market" nearby (not Mabini st.)that has a great seafood or fresh fish dinner waiting for you. I highly recommend it! P1100.00 could surfice for dinner for 2. It is a short walk from the hotel. Ask the desk clerk for directions. Jeepneys and taxis are available 24 hours from this location and the ride to the airport is less than 30 minutes. Robinson''s towers and mall is also a short walk from the hotel. Intermouros, the old spanish walled city is a 40 peso taxi ride away. If you like history, take the tour in the caariage. Ask and insist on George for a tour guide. Tell him Hilary Clinton sent you. He is very proud to be the one selected to be her guide on her tour of the area. He is also very knowledgeable of the history and time period of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.


betsy sweat
10/10/2002

Since I have visited Manila only for business, I have limited experience in touring the Metro Manila area. But if the warmth and friendliness of the Filipino population in other areas of the Philippines is any indication, a cultural tour of Manila seems to be a good bet.


peter hall
10/9/2002
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

Spent my time in Manila, Tagaytay and Iloilo.. have been here many times before and have friends here. Try Guernicas restaurant in del Pilar street for a good meal, good live music and a great staff.


don ireland
10/8/2002

Hard Rock Cafe and Shangri La Hotel only 5 mins away. Also lots of shopping, restaurants and coffee places within 5 min walk of hotel. Thought hotel was overpriced however and old in appearance for the dollar value. Also phone use was expensive.


jeffrey peterson
10/8/2002

The malls were top notch, I ate primarily in the hotel. I took a day trip to the Taal Volcano in Tagaytay, I was able to find a driver to take myself and my companion for the entire day for $60 US.


michael rigby
10/7/2002

If you stay in QC you may need to commute along EDSA each day - be prepared for 5 km/h average speeds at busy times and suicidal driving from the deregulated bus operators - not such a problem if like me you are used to driving in Italy, but I noticed that even taxi drivers seemed to be on the verge of a breakdown on the couple of occasions we used this form of transport. And a helpful hint: if amongst all the anarchy you make a minor transgression yourself within sight of the municipal police (changing lane suddenly to take an off-ramp, having checked mirrors) the going-rate to avoid having your license impounded and a trip to the local station for a "safety seminar" and hefty fine is 1000 pesos, to be handed directly to the officer - that''s if you look like a rich tourist. Just pay the bribe and try not to smile when he recommends that in future you have a Filipino accompany you when driving, to ensure your driving is up to scratch!


frederic beerens
10/4/2002

The Tivoli Grill at the Mandarin Oriental is a great place. Excellent value for momey at lunch-time (mixed buffet and main course is served at table).


man tat yeung
10/1/2002
Stayed at:

I have visited Subic Bay for few days. It is not attractive as you need to spend six hours from Manila to there (I mean by bus). And the beaches are bad for swimming. Facilities are not enough especially for overseas travellers. Local tours are quite expensive when compared with other South East Asian Countries. Gerry Grill restaurant is good and worth of money. You can enjoy local cuisines with a forest deco environment. Spanish Restaurant Polaris is traditional, it locates just next block of Gerry Grill.


adam cougle
10/1/2002
Stayed at:

Diving & windsurfing in clear warm waters off a beautiful sandy beach. A game of beach cricket - on a pitch that took a lot of spin in the latter overs - thrown in for good measure. No more needs to be said.


chet cadelina
9/30/2002

Everything you need is within walking distance from the hotel. Shopping, entertainment and even fine dining are just steps away.


razack abdul kalid
9/30/2002

Good restaurants in Manila - Rastro''s at Rockwell and Italiani''s at Makati. Excellent food and service at Josephines at Tagaytay. Chinese food at Shang Palace at Shangrila also up to HK standard. Traffic still rather bad during busy hours in Manila.


susan mullany
9/28/2002

Taxis from the hotel are very expensive. The prices are already set and you pay before you get in to the taxi. The ground surrounding the hotel are very quiet and peaceful unlike the rest of the city. It''s hard to believe that Metro Manila is only a few minutes away. Driving styles in Metro Manila are suicidal!


lindsay miller
9/25/2002

Cebu is a bit a of "dive," but most place are in the Philippines. A sprawling city with the usual problem of traffic and smog...... certainly not a place to take a stroll.<BR><BR> The malls and shopping is one of the redeeming factors though... as well as friendly people.. and the fact that taxis actually use meters (unlike Manila, where they are in the cab for decoration only). <BR><BR> Most people use Cebu as a transit point to head off to Bohol or other idyllic islands for some real relaxation. I went for the golf.... there are 3 courses withing 30 mins from Cebu City, but all overpriced (approx 3000 pesos a round) incluing caddy, cart etc... ohhh... and don''t forget the caddy tips...!! In fact that''s my main issue with the Philippines.... everything is overpriced ... especially if you''re white.... <BR><BR> Also...I really noticed the standard of English is not as good as Manila, this can be a bit of a problem if you are trying to get around...


jb tanangonan
9/25/2002

Around the Makati area, Gerry''s Grill serves good, inexpensive Filipino dishes. Not recommended for quiet conversations.


john pattinson
9/24/2002

The Mandarin is close to Jupiter Road with its restaurants and bars. Try the Kebab restaurant just up Makati Road towards Jupiter Road...it was excellent. At the other end of Makati Road is the Hard Rock Cafe which was full the night we went.


dananjaya amarasinghe and feroze kamarde
9/23/2002
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

You can hire vans by the day with the driver. MB 1000 vans. Abount 2500 PHP a day. Very good service. Contact Janet on +639193246156


jitendra jagu
9/23/2002
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

I was only there for a few days for a wedding so cannot really make too many comments about this. Just one thing, if you are taking a taxi from the hotel, always get the hotel to arrange one for you.


peter stratton
9/22/2002
Stayed at:

All traveling to the Philippines is on business and have not had any free time to explore this city. I drive a car without any problems. The traffic can be heavy and slow but somehow you eventually arrive at your destination. The bigger the car the better!!


stephen cunningham
9/22/2002

Things are improving in Malate.


rob de kort
9/21/2002

Very little help with tours and sightseeing. Safety concerns in the local markets, told not to go without a bodyguard. Told to stick to larger shopping malls which don''t give value or show the way of life for many.


anne cain
9/20/2002

The strict security, especially around the airports, was actually very re-assuring. However, I felt safe wherever I went, which was basically only Manila/Iloilo/Manila via Philippine Airlines. Other travel was by taxi (air conditioned) or jeepney (a lot of fun).


natalie bourdon
9/20/2002
Stayed at:

Tours recommended, Carbon Market and Colon Street but did not enjoy it and do not recommend it, prefer to stay at the hotel. Hotel does have a shuttle 3x a week f.o.c. but there are drivers outside the hotel complex who take you around for minimal fee.


heather bourke
9/19/2002

Manila was very dangerous, particularly Rizal Park and the Bay.


dithabeth north
9/15/2002
Stayed at:

The place itself is very good, trust me. If you want to buy anything there is a big shopping mall called the Ayala Centre. It''s only a walking distance. The good thing about in Cebu taxi drivers are nice. Visit the village opposite the Waterfront hotel and if you want to go dancing try H2O in Waterfront hotel.


katherine czukas
9/15/2002

I was just transferring through Manila, so I''ve only had brief overnight stops. Makati is a great neighborhood for an American to stay in, and I loved the fact that Starbucks was across the street from the Shangri-La.


w. druba
9/13/2002

New restaurant openend just across the road: Donau - run by the former chef of the Interconti Hotel: rich European food!


eliezer nebab
9/10/2002

The nearby luxurious EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Mall and SM Mega Mall are all within a few minutes walking distance from the hotel. Tagaytay is a favorite place for locals to go to and its only about an hour and a half away from the hotel. Too many nice places to visit but too little time. The international airport was only 45 mins away.


eliezer nebab
9/8/2002

The nearby Glorietta Mall and shops is a short walking distance from the hotel. Definitely check out Italianni''s restaurant across from the hotel, or any one of the new restaurants on the same row. Or go see a movie in Glorietta Mall. Perhaps enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation at either Starbucks, Figaro, or Seattle''s Best Coffee located nearby.


masato ikeda
9/8/2002

Harber view restaurant is near from the hotel. It''s I recomend to visit to take diner with sea foods.


juergen mirow
9/7/2002

Food and service in the restaurant was not good.


derek & noeme robinson
9/6/2002

Cebu is a good place to get around by taxi as it only cost around 60 pesos to most parts of town. Several large shopping centres which can keep you busy for quite a while. I found it a good place to buy new clothes as prices were much cheaper compared to back in Australia.


ben martinez
9/6/2002

I am going back to the Philippines. The people are what makes this country. I only scratched the surface in a short weeks visit. I will be back!


john reyes
9/5/2002
Stayed at:

Less than a sterling pound to the city center. 10 meters walk to get a taxi or the staff could help you out. Tips are welcome. I like doing that 50 pence or a pound makes those people happy and serves you even better.


jonathan brazee
9/3/2002

I hired a dirver, but I bargained to half the listed price.


filomena eddelien
9/1/2002

The place has not been changing in the last couple of years, even it has been more crowdy, and the taxi drivers try to clean you ..


mary ann prado
8/31/2002

Boracay is excellent. Angol Point Resort is a plus!!! Marmont Hotel in Olongapo is old, needs major renovation.


loh yin san
8/31/2002

Superbly located just next to SM MegaMall, Edsa Shangri-La Plaza, Podium for shopping, near to MRT station, and central to both Makati and Quezon City, it helps eliminate the unnecessary stress due to traffic jam.


robert dozier
8/30/2002

Manila offers a wealth of great entertainment for those who enjoy live bands as Filipino musicians and singers are some of the best around. There aren''t many places which promote rock music so if this is your preference you will have to do a bit more investigating but for popular music and R&B music Manila is easily one of the best cities to visit for this type of entertainment.<br><br> Personally I prefer Thai cuisine to Pinoy food but you can find good food in Manila and almost all the fast food chains unlike some Asian cities.<br><br> I also visited the lovely island of Boracay which id suffering a bit from too much tourism as there was dissapointly too much trash to be found on the pristine beaches. Also I didn''t care so much for the attitude of the locals who tend to view all or most tourists as rich people. If I compare Boracay to some of the islands visited in Thailand I would go to Thailand every time, one cannot beat the incredibly delicious cuisine to be found in Thailand! If anyone would like more information feel free to email me.


sungyob kim
8/26/2002

beautiful and great. great beach and cheap but delicious food, best golf course, there is everyting that you image.


luzviminda calibuso
8/26/2002

The hotel was fine, it''s just the location of it, wasn''t comfy especially that it rained hard.


john pattinson
8/25/2002

I was there only a short time but the it is convenient to the airport (maybe 30 minutes or less....a major consideration in Manila. I was within easy walking distance of a large shopping Mall with every type of food outlet you could wish for. Hard Rock Cafe is just across the road for those that mant the T-Shirt. Excellent location in a place where personal safety is a major consideration.


hsiang yang loo
8/23/2002

Very near the airport 20 min or less. There are a lot of taxi companies outside the airport. Recommend to use "Nissan Taxi Co". They do most of the hotel transfers.


hee kyung kim
8/19/2002
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

Bohol Island is very beautiful. Many things to do as well. It''s worth to hire a car and make a day tour, you can discover many fascinating things!


andrew ling
8/18/2002

Don''t fall for the hotel taxi scam whereby they charge much inflated price compared to regular taxis. Always insist on the use of fare meters as occasionally taxi drivers will try and negotiate a set fee. The regular fare from Pan Pacific hotel to airport should not exceed PHP100.00 Lots of great restaurants and bars in and around Remedios Circle...a few minutes walk from the Pan Pacific Hotel.


khalid al balushi
8/17/2002

we went to the ecnchanted kingdom a very good fun fair for kids , and value for money. highly recommned for families( make sure you make agood deal aiwth ataxi for drop and return) on the way back a good mall for shopping which is alabang ( go for it) after finishing the kids part. cenimas are very good with the latest movies .


Anonymous
8/16/2002
Stayed at:

With wide cemented roads, being in General Santos is quite breather from the overly polluted Manila. I was on a business trip to General Santos so I did not have time to go around. I hired a cab to bring me to the pier where I had my meetings. I did want to go around after my meetings but the "bomb scare" that had circulated the night before prevented me from doing so. So, I never really got the feel and sight of the city since I was in a hurry to leave after my meetings.


chua kayhong
8/16/2002

good location. near to lot of ammenities.


fran daniels
8/13/2002

Manila seems to be a tough town and we were rather uncomfortable walking around the area, especially after dark. We received repeated warnings from driver, hotel staff, and tourist office about crime targeted against foreigners. However, there is a huge shopping mall about five minutes'' walk from the hotel which was a fine, safe place to get food and services.


steinar hovland
8/13/2002

Picked this hotel for conveniance, short distance to Thai Embassy. Used taxi, streets flooded.


nakazawa takeshi
8/12/2002
Stayed at:

It was very comfortable for the price, and close to the airport. The staff and security people were very plesant and helpful. I will stay there on my next trip and so will my friends.


israel e. verzosa
8/12/2002

The proximity of those three hotels in Malate/Ermita I mentioned to the airport, Robinson''s, U.S. Embassy, etc. is a plus for Filipinos like me and foreigners who want to to go on vacation. Yes, there are a lot of good restaurants in Tomas Morato/Timog Avenue area around Century Imperial, but taxi fare from Las Palmas Hotel to Timog Ave cost a little more than $2.00 one way, not much at all, considering the rate diffence between Century and Las Palmas which was around $30.00 a night.


akiko shigeta
8/11/2002

pandan island resort - 4 hours bus-ride from San Jose in Mindoro island, was silent beach resort sorrunding full of nature. if you''re planning to spend quiete place for your holiday in Philippines, I recommend this place. it''s called ''resort'', but facilities are quite simple: water-only shower, bangalows without fan/air-con, but staff are very friendly and if you''re nature lover, you''ll enjoy everything.


faustino guinto
8/9/2002

Got around by cabs which is relatively cheap. Visited Tagaytay, corregidor and suburbs. Authentic Philippine Food at Max''s, Kamayan, and Barrio Fiesta.


richard breault
8/6/2002

Flew to Cebu, Superferry to Iligan City, by vehicle to Davao City and Digos.


john corcoran
8/6/2002

convient metro Manila location saved time and taxi fares.


jeho yoon
8/4/2002

SM shopping mall(center point) is near and I suggest the live bar "CAMPO". It was great experience in CAMPO, you can hear great singer''s song and you cand feel great fun!!


lyndon davies
8/3/2002

Best to visit Shangrila Hotel for music in evenings and Hard rock Cafe. Makati is a good place for staying to be near quality restaurants and some shopping in the nearby mall. Apart from that theres litle to do nearby in view of attractions.


nicholas birds
8/1/2002

Ideal location for mega shoppers in the day and nice choice of eating places around the hotel area at nignt


luviminda calibuso
7/27/2002

I never really got a chance to roam around coz I was busy during the day.I have stayed a couple of times to a 5-star Hotel in Makati, but the hotels were all rip off. So I tried staying City Garden and I have no complains, like I said it''s good for the value of your money. If I had to stay Manila again, I would probably stay in City Garden...:-)


pierangelo peri
7/25/2002
Stayed at:

There are few small villages in the island; just enjoy the nature and the beach


graham skinner
7/24/2002

the best way to get around is Taxi''s they are very reasonable but ask for help comunicating with drivers as many do not speek English - hotel staff are very helpful for this.


david casaccia
7/22/2002

PLACES TO VISIT..DEFINETLY GO TO TAGATAY SEE THE VOLCANO GREAT VIEWS..AWESOME FRUIT AND VEGETABLES STANDS IN TAGATAY ON THE ROADSIDE FUN TO SHOP THERE,AYALA CENTER COMPLETE WITH HARD ROCK CAFE WAS NICE ,THE EDSA MALL NEXT TO HOTEL WAS VERY HANDY TO HAVE THERE. TAXIS ARE PLENTIFUL BUT I LEARNED TO NEVER ASK HOW MUCH TRIP WOULD COST MAKE SURE THEY USE THE METER WILL SAVE YOU MONEY.GOLFING IN LAGUNA NICE COURSES THERE COMPLETE WITH CADDIE.A GREAT RESTAURANT TO TRY IS NEXT TO MANILA BAY THE NAME IS PANTALAN GREAT SEAFOOD AND FILIPINO CUISINE A MUST TRY WHEN YOUR IN MANILA.


diljit singh
7/21/2002
Stayed at:

Nice place to visit, with friendly and polite locals.


theng wee eu
7/20/2002

The hotel is located in a relatively safe neighbourhood.


frank marczan
7/20/2002

Great Restaurant = "Endangered Species"


lee farrelly
7/15/2002

If internet surfing is your thing, strongly recommend the internet cafe opposite the hotel. Very cheap, open 24/7 and has a 1mb connection.


maria luisa
7/15/2002

The destination is fine. I would recommend Emerald Garden Restaurant that foods are tasty and the price is reasonable.


martin bullough
7/14/2002

cebu city is nice to roam around in day time, at nitetime just stay close to the hotel it''s easy to get lost . taxis are cheaper down the street than at the hotel airport 200/220 piso to the hotel.


takaji okawa
7/14/2002

One of barbeque restaurant on 2nd floor of Glorietta Shopping Center serves very nice foods with the reasonable price. I forgot the name of restaurant but it was located across from Japanese soba shop called "Shina-Soba."


ian roberts
7/12/2002
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

MOST SHOPPING AND RESTAURANTS ARE NEARLY 25 MINUTES BY RENTED CAR IN THE MAKATI CITY AREA.


adrian bertling
7/10/2002

Manila is one of the most lively and interesting cities in the world. Great food and shopping are very easy to find. Don''t be afraid to try the small local restaraunts. Be patient with the traffic. It can take hours to go a few kilometers. Taxis a easy to get. Ask about the fare first. Don''t use the meter. You''ll ride all day long if the meter is running. The fare to almost any where in the city should be no more than 250 pesos.


ronald willis
7/10/2002
Stayed at:

I was very lucky in my visit to cebu I had a wonderful friend to show me around. Most of time I use the hotel restaurants it was very good food and value for money. Getting around was no trouble ther all way plenty of taxi about.


marycel wachtl
7/9/2002

US Embassy was accross the street. Taxi''s, Jeepney''s, were readily available.


david morales
7/9/2002

There is a good reasonable Chinese resturant (Maxims) up the street on the left from the Bayview. A good Aussie Pub, up the street on the right. 24 Hour 7/11 too. Take a taxi ($40PHP) to the central terminal for bus lines to the Provinces and Cavite. A medium length walk to the "LRT".


joerg wengert
7/8/2002

Avoid typhoon weather; canalisation system is not capable to drain the water masses leading to knee deep flooding of downtown.


albert esquibel
7/7/2002

There was a typhoon and flooding during my stay making it difficult to get around, couldn''t get taxis to go from City Garden to the Makati or the Shangra La area. Had to take the MRT & LRT to get back to the Garden. Saw flood half way up the front and side of the big buses, saw many people waking in in water over their knees, and kids everywhere enjoying instant pools in the street, it was different, but had a good time.


elizabeth austria
7/7/2002

Usually on a business trip. I only visit the local restaurants. Other than that, would prefer to just stay in the room and rest. Generally, the staff are friendly and very accommodating.


daniel unger
7/4/2002

The immediate area is fairly tawdry, but there are some convenient hotels.


stephen kucia
7/3/2002

The hotel is in a great location in Makati right opposite the new Greenbelt development with some excellent restaurants.


john kessels
7/3/2002

It would help if you had a desk or brochure stand on tours around Manila and further afield.


mario ramirez
7/2/2002

A good choice if you need to be in Makati. The hotel is smaller and feels more personal than the Shangri-La or Intercontinental.


jeremy gwee
7/1/2002

for business travellers - the plugs are in the right places for computer connection


mario ramirez
6/29/2002

A very good choice if you don''t need to stay in Makati or need to be in the Malate area.


raymond rago
6/27/2002
Stayed at:

Phil.Airlines Airport is very clean, very nice and employees are honest and very helpful.


greg robb
6/25/2002

Foreign visitors may experience some hassle in Mabini Street from money changers, wide boys etc, but with caution shouldn''t be a problem. Taxis are plentiful and good value. Rizal Park etc within walking distance, also Robinsons Mall and shops. Give the "Lakay Bar" round the corner from the hotel a miss - it''s a clip joint.


camiel van neyghem
6/24/2002
Stayed at:

Interesting, especially trip to Pagsanjan watefalls.


scott bennett
6/24/2002
Stayed at:

Cebu is like any other city in the Philippines. Dirty in places and ok in others.


harry cheng
6/24/2002

Rent a car or take a cab (with A/C). The traffic can be terrible at times.


giulio grosoli
6/23/2002
Stayed at:

In the vicinity of Silver Place hotel there''s a very good Italian Restaurant named "Caffè Maestro". I recommend it.


laurance splitter
6/21/2002

The main purpose of my visit was to meet colleagues and give several conference sessions. I did not do any touring, although it is good that the mall is so close to the hotel.


Anonymous
6/18/2002
Stayed at:

Hotel 1 Km from Baclaran market. There is a fresh seafood market there where you pick the shrimp, crabs, lobster, clams and they cook it up for you right there. Fortunately, those were the only crabs I got on trip.


gary saunders
6/15/2002

Not a great deal to do in Manila.


graham saunders
6/15/2002

Manila is an acquired taste, I have been there more than 5 times. There are so many people there willing to rip you off with scams and dodgy deals. On the plus side it is very cheap and most of the people are very friendly.


michael ioannou
6/15/2002

Located in hear of Ermita.


peter clayton
6/14/2002

Manila is a good starting point for shoppers and, because of exchange rates, prices are reasonable. However, it pays to shop around for bargains in nearby cities and further afield markets. There are city tours available and these are well arranged and it is well worth taking at least one of these to the walled city of Intramuros and Fort Santiago wher the Philipino martyr Jose Rizal was executed. For travel, sightseeing and sunbathing, the paradise location of Hundred Islands is to be recommended. It is a collection of small paradise islands, which are reached by boat from the main island of Luzon, for a very modest charge. Be prepared for a longish (5 hour) journey by AirCon bus to get there from Pasay (Metro Manila)


quang hoang
6/12/2002

After the city garden hotel I went to the Gold Crowne Beach Resort in Boracay. Getting around Manila was extremely easy with the numerous taxis available everywhere. All the malls have a wide range of restuarants for different tastes and budgets, I highly recommend the SM Megamall.


philip kramer
6/12/2002

My destination was General Santos City to visit relatives with a one night stopover at the Heritage Hotel. It is close to airport but within a short taxi ride to either the Coastal Mall or Harrison Plaza for any shopping needs.


kwan por lee
6/11/2002

The hotel is located some distance from the main road so getting a taxi can sometimes be difficult. Beware the hotel''s overpriced "limousine service".


kwan por lee
6/10/2002

The hotel appears to be overly keen for you to use its "limousine service" which is 2 or 3x the cost of a taxi. If the bellman is reluctant to call a taxi, just turn right from the main entrance where there are usually a couple of taxis waiting.


david reyes
6/10/2002

The hotel are in excellent location. The mall is just across the street. Be careful crossing the street. Drivers don''t stop for anything. I prefer riding the taxi but be careful from drivers not using their meters and asking too much. Almost everything closes at 10 pm. If you visit one of the SM mega malls, trying going down the food court. This is the best place to try out all the different Filipino food in one location.


ole rauberg
6/10/2002

Manila, has nothing to offer a weekend visitor.


jame l. faines, jr.
6/5/2002
Stayed at:

We toured the Underground River and when island hopping. The food was okay. We found better options for dining within the city from talking with people that we met along our way. Tour prices are around the same for all agencies.


jon sirkis
6/4/2002
Stayed at:

Don''t go during the rainy season. The open air market is a wonderful place to wander around for a day. The food market is a great place to get a good meal and drink for a dollar. Flying in and out of Baguio is unlikely during the rainy season. The bus trip in from Manila will take you about 7 hours if you travel during non-peak hours.


stephen cunningham
6/3/2002

Although I ate most of my meals at The Peninsula, I can recommend the buffet lunch at The Mandarin, which is only a 15min walk.


gina fullon
6/2/2002

Philippines was great except for the bad service at hotel. NEVER go to this hotel. Otherwise people were very friendly.


luis martinez
6/1/2002

I met a beautiful Philipino woman, someone kind friendly and high moral standards. She took me to the most popular landmarks in Manila, including "Little Philipines". Then we went on an incredible trip to Boracay, one of the 7100 paradise islans in the Philipines. We stayed there for two nights and three incredible days, it was not enough. We stayed at Regency hotel, it has good accomodations but the restaurant is not so apealing. So, we had mostly all meals at Friday''s, another local resort in Boracay. The restaurant was a lot better, excellent food there with an amazing view of the ocean. <br><br>From what I could tell accomodations are better on the Regency, but we had to walk a good distance along the shore to get to Friday''s restaurant. In summary, the Island has several good accomodations and plenty of gift and souveneer shops, bars, discos and a local international ATM. The locals also cook an excellent lechon, prices are overall very convenient.


david verwey
5/31/2002

Mandarin Oriental is centrally located, just blocks from the very large Ortigas Mall shopping complex. Nearby amenities include Starbucks, Hard Rock, TGI Fridays and Tony Romas.


brad greene
5/30/2002

MANILA IS PRETTY HOSTILE TOWARDS FOREIGNERS AND TOURISTS IN GENERAL. THE TAXI DRIVERS WILL TELL YOU THEY HAVE NO CHANGE JUST TO RIP YOU OFF. ALWAYS THINK AHEAD, CARRY SMALL BILLS AND KEEP A LOW PROFILE. BRING CASH WITH YOU AS THE ATM MACHINES USUALLY DONT TAKE U.S. DEBIT OR CREDIT CARDS.


michael sendecki
5/28/2002
Stayed at:

Cebu is an affordable destination with lots to offer in terms of hot and sunny weather. Most the nicest accomodations can be found near Lapu Lapu City.


richard ziegfeld
5/27/2002
Stayed at:

Easy to get to the big Makati malls via cab or bus.


peter stratton
5/27/2002
Stayed at:

Have been on business only and a metered cab is the best /cheapest for around town.


richard ziegfeld
5/26/2002
Stayed at:

Boracay is great for relaxing--sun, walks on the beach, romantic sunsets, good variety on food, inexpensive drinks, snorkeling, diving, boat rides, but there is very little else, so don''t go expecting movies and other "cultural" options.


barry horowitz
5/26/2002

CASA ARMAS for great spanish food, LE SOUFFLE at The Fort for Italian.


ditas licuanan
5/26/2002

Cebu is always a good, budget-friendly destination for families, offering good beaches, shopping, and great food.


tim warren
5/25/2002

Cuban restaurant down the street is great for food, drinks and dancing.


thomas lim
5/25/2002

It was a surprisingly a pleasant drive to the airport because of its location. It was near the mall where I was able to make the nescessary purchase and also had a good hair cut. It was refreshing indeed.


anthony adames
5/20/2002

I had a lovely time. Only disappoitnment was the constant solicitation by taxi drivers to sample the seedier side of Manila but overall an excellent place to visit in Asia.


christopher birrell
5/17/2002

Manila is a pretty scarey place these days. We spent all of our time in Luzon. Great people! Bus travel around Luzon is very easy and getting around the towns in tri-cycles is a breeze. If you want to change money carry US$.


michael ciampolillo
5/16/2002
Stayed at:

philippines is a nice place to visit. plenty of tourist spots available, as long as your not in a hurry to get anywhere. do not recommend manila as a destination. get out of the city to enjoy.


mark pettigrew
5/13/2002

Several malls and shopping centers located nearby. Ask the hotel front desk for directions. Check with the cab drivers to make sure they are using the meter, some do not.


ernesto d. castro
5/13/2002

You could not find a better location for any american travelers, being accross from the U.S. Embassy, major restaurant, 7-11 store and Robinson Mall within a 5 blocks.


richard johnson
5/9/2002

The hotel is very well located in the middle of Timog Avenue, close to good restaurants, pubs and grocery etc. Tricky getting taxis in rush hour, allow an extra 10 minutes on your schedule for this.


ralph baker
5/6/2002

I flew from Manila to Baguio, by Asian Spirit, and it gave a wondrful view of the country. In Baguio I stayed with friends and we got about by taxi or bus, both good value. There are so many good restyarants in Baguio it''s hard to single any out for recommendation, but I suggest you try the Cafe by the Ruins for good atmosphere and excellent food.


pao shan phang
5/4/2002

Food at Raphael Cafe Resturant is quite nice.


colin james
5/1/2002

Spent one day on the sister resort on near by Island - Excellent Day.


corazon r. quimbo
4/30/2002
Stayed at:

Conveniently located near Ayala Center. We just walked there to buy souveiners.


barry simmons
4/27/2002
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

Unless one needs to be in Makati for some reason, I strongly recommend staying at the Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel. They renovated the swimming pool and the surrounding grounds 4-5 years ago, and are currently renovating all the rooms. When renovations are complete later this year, the Philippine Plaza will offer more value for your money than any other hotel in Manila. The rooms are luxurious, the recreational facilities more resemble a resort than a hotel, and the food is without equal. In fact, one should not hesitate to stay there simply because of the renovations. All of the Hotel''s facilities are operational despite the renovations. The only drawback during our three-day visit was the fact that all of the rooms with a northerly view of Manila Bay (and the swimming pool) were under renovation. The view in the opposite direction is also excellent, but we have a personal preference for a view of the pool--with the Yacht Club, the U.S. Embassy, and the Port of Manila in the distance.


james and avelina morden
4/22/2002

Manila being so congested we do not go there to take tours. This hotel happened to be near two of our favorite restaurants: TGIF in the nearby Robinson building and the Kashmir on the corners of Mabini and Adriatico. Actually those restaurants were the real reason we returned via Manila. We walked.


chris shaw
4/20/2002

Business Trip Only. Used Taxi''s - beware touts on arrival at Manila Airport - charge double to triple more than standard taxi''s.


bradley ingram
4/19/2002

I have fallen in love with the Philippines, and Boracay has to be heaven on earth. Crystal clear seas and white beaches , what more can u ask for.


jan ganney
4/18/2002
Stayed at:

Good convenient location for airport and beaches. Hotel beach was dirty.


raymond merola
4/18/2002
Stayed at:

Cebu is my destination of choice in the Philippines. It is well-geared for leisure travelers. At the same time, Cebu is a vibrant city. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines are located on or about Cebu island. Travel around the city in a taxi or tricycle.<br><br> While generally safe, it is advised that travellers keep track of their surroundings. There are some swindlers in Cebu that seek foreign guests. I enjoy the rhythm and customs of this Philippine city.


roland urech
4/17/2002
Stayed at:

CLEAN AND EXCELLENT.


kevin widdowson
4/15/2002
Stayed at:

Getting around is very easy and cheap either by Jeepney, Tuk Tuk or Taxi. Traffic is very heavy and slow. Food is plentiful especially fast food outlets.


maggie turner
4/15/2002

Atrium is very convenient to LRT, jeepneys, buses to Batangas, Tagaytay, etc. The hotel building has a Max Restaurants, a Jolibee and a Pizza place. On the 3rd floor there are fast foods also. Across the street are Goldilocks, Pizza Hut, 7 Eleven and Wendys. Manila/Pasay is filthy, polluted, and noisy. And everyone is talking about crimes. We did not feel safe at all times.


estelita keisling
4/14/2002

Went to sea food restaurant near Luneta park-was very good.


masayoshi ishibashi
4/9/2002

Top of the Holiday Plaza Cebu restaurant. Taste and mood pretty good!


mark macaulay
4/8/2002

had a good look round manila ,recommend the hard rock cafe ,and most other shopping centres.


masayoshi ishibashi
4/8/2002
Stayed at:

President restaurant in china town is good.


georgia dofeliz
4/8/2002

Getting around was not a problem as there are puj''s everywhere. Having all those eateries and restaurants in the vicinity, even right across the street is a big plus!


richard johnson
4/7/2002

Quezon City is not the prettiest part of Metro Manila, but the hotel is well placed to reach the better side of QC which is Timog Ave./Quezon Ave. area. Only a 50 peso (US$1) taxi ride to good restaurants and nite spots.


rae massie
4/6/2002

Always allocate extra time for travelling as traffic conditions may cause delays.


james cooley
4/6/2002

As I was on a business trip, I was unable to see the sights. Traffic was a mess, but the hotel taxis and their drivers handled it masterfully and with equanimity. Most cars were air-conditioned and the price reasonable (about US$7 per hour).


robert jamieson
4/5/2002

Kids loved the banana boat ride. hire a motorised boat or sailing boat with crew as guides and snorkelling gear for 3 hr or full day to visit coral reefs, we also bought an underwater camers to record the tropical fish eating bread from the kids hands. All water sports are avial incl jetski, water ski. You can hire motor bikes or mountain bikes to view the whole island. The beach is amazing with only one drawback, there is a stretch of green algae close to the shore but past that stand and watch the zebra fish swim around your feet.


john alvarez
3/20/2002
Stayed at:

chow king...best bang for your buck


alistair van moere
3/19/2002
Stayed at:

I didn''t rate Cebu much in terms of shopping, sightseeing or food. The diving is fairly good but very crowded dive-spots. I just don''t think the place has much to offer, as compared to other locations in SE Asia. I went there purely to sit on the beach and read, which is fine, except the only decent beaches are maintained by expensive resorts.


belado kim
3/18/2002
Stayed at:

Location was OK, There was a flea market on Sunday a few blocks away. A Casino next Door.


barry horowitz
3/17/2002

HOTEL TAXIS VERY HELPFUL, GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF THE CITY...LE SOUFFLE FOR GREAT ITALIAN FOOD, ARMAS TAPAS FOR EXCELLENT SPANISH CUISINE.


andrew calvert
3/17/2002

Manila always gets bad press and, certainly until quite recently, this was mostly justified. Traffic is still a problem, but having recently been back to London, it would be unfair to suggest that this problem only exists in Asian cities. On the social front the city has undergone a aomething of a transformation in recent years and now offers some of the best bars and restaurants in the region. Locations worth visiting are the Powerplant Mall at Rockwell Center and The Fort near Makati and, in old downtown Manila, Malate has become a haven of small bars and restaurants with a rather Bohemian feel.


ester toribio
3/15/2002

Very convenient to the Makati shopping area.


david fiddyment
3/13/2002
Stayed at:

This hotel is close to Malate, which has undergone a lot of renovation. There are now some wonderful restaurants, cafes and bars with a distinctly European feel. Great values for food and drink and a fun time to be had.


david dailey
3/10/2002

The City Garden Hotel is located very close to many resturants and several night clubs. It is also very convient to the Robinson Mall, where you can spend the day shopping with a wide selection of local and American type resurants.


dominique amey
3/8/2002

The traffic is very intense in this area. one should consider to use the MTR or the PUJ (Public Utility Jeepneys) if he does not want to spend time in the traffic jams.


hans-dieter grahl
3/7/2002

Visit Cafe Havana up the road 4 mins walk. Guernica nice restaurant also a couple mins walk from the hotel.


angela koechli
3/4/2002

The transportation to the airport organized by the hotel is overprized. They were asking for PHP 250 whereas the normal taxi I took just outside on the street (with the assistance of the hotel staff) only charged PHP 80.


keith gates
3/3/2002

New world is in the Makati and is within walking distance of fine restaurants and shopping plaza''s. BEWARE of rogue Taxi drivers always make sure the meter is running.Always use the hotel airport transfer for safety even though it is expensive.


wayne e. beer
3/2/2002

For some very good food, we always go to a Spanish Restaurant called ''La Tienda''. It''s on Polaris Street, parallel to P. Burgos Street, where all the night clubs can be found.


oddvar johansen
3/1/2002

It depends on how good you know South-East Asia. If you have been to Bangkok before coming to Manila, you will wish that you were left behind in the Thailand capitol. Manila is nice, but the prices of the hotels are skyhigh compared to the standard you can expect in Bangkok and other places in South- East Asia. There are also rather few thing to do for a toursit in Manila. This might be one of the reasons that most travel-operators are not includinbg The Philippines in their program anymore. On the bright side: English is spoken by nearly everyone, and their friendsliness is more «western», sompared to Thai, Chinese and others.


andy kennedy
3/1/2002

Boracay is a wonderful vacation spot. will definitely return for a 3rd visit.


maria bauer
2/28/2002
Stayed at:

A nice city in the mountains. I recommend to visit the market - it''s really beautyful.


maria bauer
2/27/2002

Manila is a dirty and crowded city, which I''d (hopefully) never visit again.


venus p. tsang
2/23/2002

every destination weve been the most we like robinson plaza everything is complete even emergency withdrawn money easy that very convenient specially tourist like us.


carl yanchar
2/21/2002

Manila is a wonderful destination. In five trips have hardly scratched the surface of things to do and see. The people are wonderful.


james north
2/21/2002
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

There are now two airlines flying into Tagbilaran airport: Asian Spirit and Laoag International with different schedules.


sharad venugopal
2/20/2002
Stayed at:

Went to Pasajaran Falls and Tagatya Ridge, Taal Lake (volcano) tours. Went clubbing at the Edsa International Entertainment Center across the street. Had fun. I''d stay at Copabana again if I return to Manila.


mark plouffe
2/20/2002

parks are within walking distance from hotel,like rizal park,fort santiago. short ride to port to catch boat to Corregidor island.


kevin m. roberts
2/14/2002

I LIKED THE LOCATION OF THE HOTEL. THE HOTEL IS LOCATED WITHIN GOOD WALKING DISTANCE OF A VARIETY OF THINGS FOR SHOPPING AND EATING. THE HOTEL ITSELF HAD A LOT WITHIN IT. OVER ALL I AM VERY PLEASED. 2 THUMBS UP!!!!!!!! THANKS A LOT.


eric ramos
2/14/2002

i''d recommend Dish restaurant at the Rockwell Center in Makati


james north
2/14/2002

Many excellant restaurants walking distance from the Bayview, as well as travel agencies, banks and shopping. Lovely views of Manila bay.


alban furness
2/14/2002

The greatest strength of the hotel is its location: on Maribago Beach, and only ten mimutes by taxi from the Shangri-La, which has several good restaurants and a disco. Reception staff will order metered taxis at not charge - much cheaper than using hotel transport. Cebu City has little to offer, but try the SM Mall for restautants and shopping.


marie wong
2/13/2002

The jungle trek/kayak tour was fantastic. We took the tour from a tour operator in the small town. Well worth it. The diving with the dive school at El Galleon was also excellent. Make sure you do the wall dive at Verde Island. The amount of life there is fantastic except the waters at this time of year (mid Feb) are quite cool. Make sure you have a warm wetsuit or wear 2.


wai king lo
2/11/2002

Good to have boat trip around the island. International cuisine are available. Restaurants suggested include Seoul Korean Restaurant and an Indian restaurant with two floors.


kristin urdahl
2/11/2002

Boracay is recommendable for all ages.


melissa cooper
2/5/2002

Recommend Endangered Species restaurant for a comfort-zone meal after the in-your-face first day in Ermita & Malate which can be quite over-whelming for western tourists. Intramuros is an easy walk through the park from the hotel however is a bit disappointing when you get there. Taxis are a lot cheaper if you get one yourself rather than getting the hotel to hail you one. Our destination was Boracay - a completely different story to Manila.


james nave
2/5/2002

Despite the recent controversy in Mindanao, the people in Manila are still warm and friendly to Americans.


shingo ishida
2/4/2002
Stayed at:

Jet ski was very exciting. Also we went to BAR we could watch the band in Mandaue City. unfortunately I forgot the name.


kim tolliver
2/3/2002
Stayed at:

Scuba diving wasn''t so hot but plenty of other water and other activities.


david svec
2/1/2002

Generally, I thought the North Park noodle houses one to three blocks away on Makati Ave were quite good and a real bargain. I was pleased with the experience overall, but it may not be for those who object to be in the strip joint section of Makati. Great variety of restaurants in the area (Cajun, Korean, Persian, Chinese, American, etc). Gigantic malls like Glorietta are very close and modern as they come. Walking distance to the banking financial district.


amy neal
1/31/2002

OK for being close to airport.


antoine marcais
1/31/2002

Many great malls nearby.


myrna angeles-hallmi
1/30/2002

Manila - pleasant place to be in. Feel safe despite newspaper reports. People very friendly and helpful. Worth coming back again for a visit.


karen grossman
1/30/2002

Well....we have actually lived in the Philippines for 23 years, so we''ve been a lot of places! We lived on the island of Palawan for many of those years, and it will always be a favorite place in the world!!<br><br> Corregidor is a must if you have the time! Baguio is also a must, and if you''re a history lover, Vigan is the oldest Spanish city in the Philippines--fun.<br><br> Restaurants??? Wow--there are so many we love, we can''t count them. We love ALL the Asian cuisine. A FAVORITE MUST is Pot and Noodle at the Mega Mall in Manila. Watch them hand pull your fresh noodles, then enjoy them in soup or a wonderful main dish. We had to make ourselves try other places!<br><br> We have lived most of our years in the Philippines without a vehicle. What a wonderful country where that is even possible!! Just hop a bus, a jeepney, a sidecar on a motorcycle. We''ve travelled about every way you can! Inter-island ship, small airplane, canoe with outriggers. You can hire a driver and travel at your own leisure as well. We love the Philippines!!!


nathan hoffman
1/30/2002

Manila is not a city designed for tourism, and the air quality like in most major third world urban areas is still very poor. I stayed there for business purposes only, although I did take a 4 hour individual city tour in a van one morning. The American Veterans cemetary, Makati (business district), and Manila Bay are the high points.


kenneth hughes
1/29/2002
Stayed at:

No taxis in this hotel area.


david reckard
1/29/2002

The food in the hotel was excellent. I went there to visit friends so didn''t tour.


richard johnson
1/27/2002

The Makati area of Manila is clean and safe, but the rest of Manila suffers from bad road pollution and extreme poverty in parts.


robert boehm
1/22/2002

If your a city person, Manila is an ok place, but Cebu is much better...Manila traffic is worse then anything I had ever seen...the people are nice for the most part...the Philippines is not the "land of smiles" for nothing...really beautiful people...everyone seems happy to see an american face.


cheryl hansen
1/21/2002

I mostly visited with Family while I was in the Philippines. We did eatsome really great Thai food at a restaurant in the HUGE mall right across the street, which was also recommended by my Aunt.


noel gulliver
1/20/2002

Excellent location.


hermine grubinger
1/19/2002

ADB, Serendipity lounge very nice view - music too loud.


amy neal
1/17/2002

Included transfers to and from airport were excellent and the persons involved were helpful and kind and even stayed with me while I obtained my pre-paid airline ticket and made sure I got to the right departure gate. That sort of service is beyond expectations thesedays, but very welcom when travelling alone. Gave me a sense of security as well. Thanks.


ron taron
1/17/2002

The Philippines are just not geared toward tourists, as far as we could see.


larry rhoe
1/14/2002
Stayed at:

Always a challenge getting around as the traffic in Manila is crazy, and emmision standards are apparently non existant. Of course the is somewhat balanced by a beautiful people and helpful attitude by almost every one I encountered.


yoshimichi fukuta
1/13/2002
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

It is easy access to Airport and Pasay region using Taxi, but difficult to arrive by foot or the other erea, ex.Makati.


john bolivar
1/13/2002

Manila is sort of a pit...I''m sure it has good places to visit and the people are very friendly but it does appear a bit dangerous. The island of Palawan is great and worth a visit.


ernest liverman
1/12/2002

I had friends in Manila so they showed me around. Enjoyed the people. Everyone was texting on cell phones. Armed guards at every store entrance. Loud music playing in every store or restaurants. With the exchange rate u can purchase cloths and other items for a fraction of what they cost in the states. Enjoyed the foods and would encourage anyone visiting to try all the different foods and fruits. Also would suggest travelers to go out away from Manila to a province to experience all of what the Philippines has to offer. Traffic was wild with no discipline at all, bumper to bumper, takes along time to go anywhere by car. Take a ride on a jeepnee or trik cart. Sorry I do not remember all the names of the places visited but it was wonderful.


rhodalyne crail
1/12/2002

The hotel was very accessible to public transportation. There''s a Bus Stop just outside the hotel and the LRT (train) is a walk from the Hotel. The hotel is not too far from Roxas Blvd.(just a few blocks away) for fine restaurants and from Harrison Plaza for shopping and more Filipino dining.


frederick salanga
1/11/2002

Primarily a business area but I''ve seen families stay there. Very close to St. Francis Square and Eastwood City, both restaurant villages, I will take the latter because it offers more flavor. I would characterize St. Francis more mall like restaurants like in the States whereas Eastwood City gives you New York type variety (not quite but will do). Nothing quite like sharing a bottle of wine with friends at Nappa''s rooftop cafe and sampling Filipino food at Mama Rosa. Timog in Quezon City is their answer to Patpong in Bangkok if you know what I mean. Hire a cab driver (they''ll gladly wait for you around and even though your fare reads 150 after an hour or so, that''s only $3 dollars !)or ask the hotel to provide you with their drivers for reasonable rates. <br><br>A little farther away, I would suggest the trendy Malate area as well, they have a great Spanish restaurant called Casa Armas and the San Andres Fruit market for those out of this world tropical fruits. Balikbayan Handicrafts and Tesoro''s in Makati are the places to go if you want to buy high quality Filipino souvenirs, avoid the SM malls, too crowded and the selections are pathetic. <br><br>Don''t forget to convert your money to peso, 50 to 1 approximately, it goes a very long way as far as tipping though most establishments add 10% service charge but you''d still would like to tip because everything is done with courtesy and a smile.


tanabe,toshimitsu mr shimada,satoshi mr
1/2/2002

Air port and hotel takes 2hours but still worth to visit because I never stayed before this quiet hotel. Also diving is very good both teacher and point!!


masakazu aono
1/2/2002

There are many shopping spots there. Every places can go walking. No need taxi,bus. I recommended stay here for first timer.


hugh dyson
12/30/2001
Stayed at:

Hotel had little info. / suggestions for tours etc, which was disappointing. Very little to do in immediate area of hotel, it is very much a resort where they intend for you to stay all the time. For example there were no other restaurants in walking distance of hotel , so eating ''out'' was not an option. Good restaurants in hotel though.


howard fuller
12/30/2001

Excellent - our time in Boracay is always too short.


gary chatfield
12/30/2001

Manila was good, Fort Indraramus interesting. Horse & cart was great for seeing around different parts.


winifredo artuz
12/30/2001

The location of the hotel is very convenient to the night life and restaurants. Being in the Malate district, which is the "soul" of the nightlife in downtown Manila, you''ll find a variety of restaurants and bars all over Ermita/Malate area. Check out the happenings at Cafe Havana - a sample of their drinks - Limoncito and Molito is a must! Good Caribbean/Latin music, too! One other bar with good band is Bedrock. A bit loud and crowded, but hey, that''s what it''s all about! Enjoy!


mats abrahamsson
12/20/2001

Nice coofe shop in the hotel. Nice filipino foodrestaurant around the corner. (Barrio fiesta).


michael o''hearn
12/20/2001

Manila is a good place to visit for a few days though you have to get used to the traffic and pollution that comes with so many people located in the city. If you can get outside the city and spend some time at the islands like Palawan you will find it easy going with nice sandy beaches and good reefs for diving or snorkelling.


nakagawa toshio
12/18/2001
Stayed at:

Buffet is too expensive and quite like nothing.


simon graham
12/17/2001
Stayed at:

Baguio is a cool and refreshing destination for a trip up from Manila. The flight up gave great views and was without incident, though I understand poor visibility can make it hairy. <br><br> It''s no problem walking around the city. People are friendly and English language skills are very good. Unfortuantely the jeepney diesel fumes are as bad as Manila in the heavy traffic areas. <br><br> Recommend to visit: Burnham Park, Cathedral, Mine''s View Park, PMA, Camp John Hay. <br><br> Recommend to eat: Forest House on the way to CJH , and Sizzle Plate and Swiss Cafe on Session Rd.


andreas koestler
12/14/2001

If you like to see big cities, Manila is very interesting to visit. Everybody speaks English, so getting around is easy. However, heavy air pollution, constant traffic jams everywhere and the ubiquitous sleaze make Manila a nice place to leave, too. Don''t miss weekend nights in Malate around Remedios - a lot of bars, great music, especially the Havana Club.


pascale lecomte
12/13/2001
Stayed at: Bohol Beach Club

A bit too quiet even for me but I guess I was there at the wrong time of year. There was nobody there and the weather was not too good.


j.s. park
12/13/2001
Stayed at:

Mectan island tour by tricycle, Cebu city here and there by jeepbus and tax and SM mart. Island hopping including snorkeling. As I went there personally without travel agent, I just got around wihout destination in mind.


tim richard
12/12/2001

The hotel''s reception desk is very helpful on setting up tours. Taxis are cheap.


adrian arzenheimer
12/11/2001
Stayed at:

Went to Cebu City - had to use Hotel Taxi as all resorts quite off from street life as quite distant and cut off by security - those hotel taxis are quite expensive and on way back took local cab and payed about 1/3 of price.


roberto singhid
12/11/2001

I had not been anywhere except in nearby eateries.


douglass gordon
12/8/2001

Would reccomend North Park, noodle acroos the street for Dinner very good food and fair prices. To avoid hotel prices. Although do enjoy the morning buffet at hotel included in room charge.


gabor ferenczy
12/6/2001

To my surprise Manila itself has very few sights to visit, at least during daytime. Nevertheless it is worth at least 2-3 days and you can always join package tours to many destinations around Manila or to places in north Luzon. The hotel you stay at should be able to offer a brochure about these tours. If you need to check your e-mail, try a very nice and affordable (1 Peso/minute) internet cafe on the west side of North Makati Avenue hidden among stores and restaurants on the 2nd floor of a gift shop (with a security guard outside 24/7). (It is on the left side, approximately 50 meters before you reach City Garden Hotel.)


colin james
12/6/2001

Boracay is still an excellent destination, only problem as I see, its becoming a bit over built.


adrian arzenheimer
12/6/2001

Only nightstop arr, from HKG at 1900lt and leaving next morning to Cebu. Found very nice little Japanese Restaurant near by.


lorna leviste
12/3/2001

Car services are very convenient. I liked Ratsky very much. Robinsons is very close. The hotel is in an excellent location.


Anonymous
12/3/2001

Manila is dirty and the traffic situation is worsening. We spent 5 days in Puerto Galera, which is worth visiting, but there was a typhoon and it rained almost non-stop. This was unusual for December.


ms. pascale lecomte
12/1/2001

If your main motive to go on holiday is diving then this is the place for you. Spectacular diving, a lot of current (not everywhere), amazing corals and lots of fish. If you are not a diver, stay clear from Puerto Galera/Sabang/La Laguna etc, you will hate it. If you like diving but also like lazing about, get a boat to Coco Beach, slightly more expensive, good pool, a beach, good facilities, beautiful grounds and huts, lovely staff.


ronald canns
11/26/2001

I went to Balamban to visit a friend, the mountains are beautiful on the way over, and to Cebu City. When I go again, I may stay in Cebu City whee there are more things to do rather than Mactan Island.


alessandro ferrari
11/25/2001

Nice spot, many restaurants and bar around.


masakazu aono
11/25/2001

Dusit Hotel Nikko located middle of Metro Manila. Big shopping malls, restaurants, night clubs are only few minutes on foot. Location is best. There are many American chain restaurants as Hard Rock Cafe, TGI Fridays, Outback, Tony Roma and Starbucks Coffee. Of course McDonald''S also. If you cannot eat Philippine foods, Don''t worry.


mr wayne garrard
11/24/2001
Stayed at:

Reasonably central spot to get around Cebu city, not realy much to see close by but good base to start. Bohol island Tour was worth the 2050 peso for the day inc lunch and ferry.


joey juni
11/23/2001

It''s hot humid and dirty as is expected from a 3rd world, subtropical country. The people nonetheless seem happy.


ceres guerrero
11/20/2001

I would recommed tourists to shop at Glorietta but for cheaper items, the Landmark would be the place. For Filipino dishes, I would recommend ''Cabalen'' restaurant and for Asian foods, I would recommend ''Banana Leaf'' restaurant.


howard peter
11/19/2001
Stayed at:

The people of the Philippines are so frendly that it is hard to not fall in love with the culture. After a short stay in Manila I traveled to the Island of Leyte and was overwhelmed by the smiles and helpfulness of everyone. I tried to make a point of asking everyone that I came in contact with to shake there hand and ask their names. I hope to visit again soon. Recommend this vacation spot to all that are interested in a tropical setting.


matthew blake
11/18/2001

I went to Manila specifically to play in a football tournament so apart from the nitelife, which is pricey, but addictive I did little a regular tourist would get into.


wil boessen
11/18/2001
Stayed at:

Good diving spot.


philip cox
11/15/2001

Manila is loud, crowded, polluted, and you won''t believe the traffic, but it is a fun place to visit. Just be careful, and leave your jewellery at home.


joe powell
11/14/2001

I could not have had a better tour guide than Rowland, he knows the area, and provided not only transportation but helped with language and money questions. I would certainly like to live in this country as the peopLe are so gracious and kind.


ewald moeschinger
11/14/2001

At walking distance to Glorietta and Ayala center with big variation of restaurants.


carmen petrosian-husa
11/14/2001
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

I made a trip to the river where the film Apocalypse now was shot. Unfortunately I could not see the famous falls because due to high water the upper part of the river was closed off. So it seems advisable to check first on the water level.


james michael nave
11/13/2001

I still would like to know why Philippine food is so little known in the US since it is far superior to the standard Japanese and Chinese fare found everywhere in the US.


richard johnson
11/13/2001
Stayed at:

Baquio is beautiful, particularly the drive up from Tarlac. The hotel is in a poor position near to the industrial area of the city. Very noisy even on the 3rd floor.


hyuncheol cho
11/10/2001

Try LRT, the city railway, to Carriedo where there are night market, road market, number of department stores and more. Nearest LRT from Atrium is Gil Puyat, 2 Min walk only.


evelyn jeanne
11/6/2001

Restaurant around vicinity were excellent. It''s only walking distance and plenty to choose from.


locher loredana
11/6/2001

Unfoturnately we did not had the chance to visit Manila but our stay in Boracay Island was wonderful.


joseph miller
11/6/2001

The hotel is within a short walk of an SM Mall and about a kilometer from another mall. The easiest access to the mall is through the lobby of the adjoining bank. There are several good restaurants nearby, including one that features Thai food. The malls feature a variety of food: filipino, vegetarian, Spanish, pizza, Chinese, and more. The SM Mall has two cyber cafés, several photo stores, and a grocery store. The Filipino branch of the ASEAN bank and several other financial institutions are in the vicinity. The hotel is located about 30-60 minutes from the airport and probably about the same distance from the Intramuros (old city) area.<br><br> Manila and the Philippines offer the English-speaking visitor the opportunity to visit an Asian culture with few communications difficulties; almost everyone understands some English and most college courses are in that language.


philip cox
11/4/2001

Makati is a good area to stay, the hotel is close to shopping malls and a quick cab ride to downtown Manila.


harry o''neill
11/3/2001

Boracay is a low-key, very relaxed resort island, with a good mix of Filipino & foreign visitors.


stephen blackwell
11/3/2001

A great place to go on a Friday or Saturday night is Cafe Havana in Malate. It gets wild after about 10:00pm when the music starts. The food is Cuban/Spanish but eat early unless you enjoy table dancing and beer showers. The hotel taxi will cost around P180 (US$3.60) one way.


Anonymous
11/3/2001

The shopping mall next to the hotel can be accessed from the fourth floor and has a number of places to eat, theaters and shopping. There is even a one-day cleaning service on the ground floor of the mall which is very reasonable if you don''t mind hauling your laundry down there.


leonor de la cruz
11/2/2001

I am in Manila and a native of the country. I am proud of the Philippines and if you want to know more about it please dont hesitate to contact me, from inquiries about destinations, latest fares, best accomodation, etc. I am a travel agent, Lemarchand Travel in Edmonton Canada, especializing in Asia.


Anonymous
10/31/2001

The hotel is conveniently located to lots of shopping and nightlife and the hotel offers meterd taxi service, which is always so much cheaper than the hotel taxis. The hotel taxis are cleaner, so I would use them if I had a guest with me.


joseph miller
10/31/2001
Stayed at:

The Mactan Island resorts are a good choice for someone who wants an easy-to-reach, secure Philippine vacation destination. The historical sites, shopping, and restaurants of Cebu are 30-50 minutes away. Renting a car with driver from a resort is more expensive than a taxi, but still cheap by U.S./European/Japanese standards and is more convenient. Most of the resorts (including Maribago) are near typical Filipino neighborhoods with sari-sari stores, "tricycles," jeepneys, and the ever-present children. During the daytime, it is very safe to walk through these areas (non-Filipina women at any time or men after dark should walk in a group, but it''s still probably safer than most U.S. cities). The beaches are more for decoration than for swimming or body surfing. An island near the Maribago resort is a noted bird sactuary and it should be easy to get a boat to take you there.


joseph miller
10/29/2001

Cebu is an interesting destination for someone who wants to have large city conveniences but without the crowding and traffic of Manila. Mactan Island, where the Cebu airport and this hotel are located, has many beach resorts. This hotel is a good place to stay if you have a day or two that you want to spend away from the beaches (e.g., to catch an early flight or to recover from jet lag). It''s more economical than the beach resorts, and much closer to the shopping, historical sites, and business locations in metro Cebu.


ian donald
10/29/2001

Very convenient short walk to Asia Development Bank.


harry o''neill
10/27/2001
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

The hotel is conveniently located for both the airport and the city centre.


joseph miller
10/26/2001

I took a long morning walk around the hotel looking for a good Spanish restaurant or bakeshop (bakery) and couldn''t find either. About all I found were storefront shops and franchise restaurants. I did not try the hotel restaurants. However, there are apparently many discos nearby.


michael bateman
10/25/2001

The tourist office was very helpful and had a wide selection of trips locally, within the Philippines and abroad. Local knowledge provided by the staff proved invaluable.


emily copada-cotton
10/25/2001

Since this was a business trip, I did not have any time to take any tours. However, due to the convenient location of the hotel (right above the Glorietta 4 mall) I had many restaurants to choose from.


Anonymous
10/24/2001

The hotel is walking distance to shopping malls and there is security posted on the far corner, which I aprreciated and a convenient ATM around the corner. The hotel advanced money, but at a high fee and a low exchange rate. The walk to the mall was not pleasant with traffic, construction and the street odors and a $2 taxi ride is well worth saving you from the walk back.


christian woeller
10/17/2001
Stayed at:

Dumaguete is the friendliest city I have visited so far in the Phillipines. It offers many bars and restaurants (the restaurant at Residencia al mar is a particularly good one) and finding your way around is quite easy. We rented a motorbike and explored the beautiful suroundings and met many nice people. Even though Negros Island does not offer the kind of beaches a la Boracay, it is a perfect stopover place for the nearby islands of Siquijor or Apo Island (good diving spots).


thomas panaccione
10/17/2001
Stayed at:

There is a mall within 10 minutes walk, casino is about 20 minutes walk away.


christian p. beckmann
10/14/2001

No problems for e x p e r i e n c e d (in Asia) travellers. If not experienced, don''t take chances.


danny verhelst
10/14/2001

I have always loved my trips to the Philipines (Manila) because of the warm-hearted people. It is though painful to see so much poverty in the streets, which also gives a dirty look to some places in the city. It is nice touring around in the city, visiting Makati and many more. Small feeling of unsafety for tourists, especially when it is getting dark. It is recommendable not to wear any jewelry. If possible, do not catch a taxi at the aerport because you pay it much too expensive and by only walking 100 M you catch a very cheap one.


robert mcfadden
10/13/2001

Fine. But lots of polution.


james schoefernacker
10/10/2001

Bayview is located directly across from the U.S. Embassy which is convenient for registering as a tourist. The Hotel has drivers and different vehicles to rent for the duration needed (hour/day/week). My driver was named Jun and was more than acomodating. He was honest/friendly. He made me feel safe and comfortable. I would highly recommend his services to anyone. It was my first trip to the Philippines and I know from the treatment I recieved, it won''t be my last! Feel free to contact me for more facts.


duc trinh
10/8/2001

Hotel is in a good location. It''s about 20 minutes from the airport. Guests can reach Makati City via the MRT in about 20 minutes. The US Embassy is across the street. Rizal Park is nice for first time visitors. Of course, there is also the Manila Bay. The bay is nice from afar, but upclose it can look pretty polluted.<br><br> Emerald is an EXTREMELY good chinese restaurant nearby. The big downside is lack of shopping centers. The only decent mall nearby is Robbinsons. However, as mentioned above, guests can hope on a cab or MRT to get to Makati which has plenty of malls.


larry lewellen
10/7/2001
Stayed at: Manila Hotel

Good location for historical Manila and waterfront, but Makati district better for shopping, resturants and nightlife. Hotel resturants Ok, nearby Harbor View resturant over the water was very nice. Had a city-view room and even on 13th floor (maybe this was the bad luck), the traffic noise was continuous.


klaus peter schell
10/7/2001
Stayed at:

Sorry to say that, but out of my 18 years experience a stay in the Phils is becomming more and more critical (foreigners are without rights) and totally not satisfying.


colin ruffell
10/6/2001

I visited Zamboanga. People kept talking about the risk of foreigners being kidnapped by the Abu Sayev rebels. The risk is real so be careful. I hired an ex-military driver Salvador "Buddy" Manible and his cab for two days. He is very knowledgeable and took care of me very well. You can book him to meet you at the airport him at (62) 9197303364. About 1700 pesos for a long day from 10 am until 10 pm. I stayed at The Lantaka Hotel. Nice photogenic location on the waterfront. But the hotel has seen better days. Rooms are pretty basic but clean. My air-con didn''t work. Lovely pool. Great evening dinner spot overlooking the harbour. About 1200 pesos per night.


roger engalla
10/6/2001

I walked around, took taxis for my business destinations and jeetneys for short trips. Can''t beat $0.08 for transportation.


colin james
10/5/2001

Stayed and eat at resort for whole visit, food was excellent.


william pearson
10/3/2001

The drive from the airport takes 3 hours at the moment because the road is being repaired in a number of places and the traffic is forced to slow to a crawling pace. <br><br> There is nothing on the island other than the resort, and alternatives for outside dining and nightlife on the mainland of Cebu will be very limited. So be prepared to make do with what is available on site. The diving at Pescador Island, 20-30 minutes away, is worth doing, for a dive or two, but don''t expect to find Sipadan. There is plenty of colourful hard coral, and numerous small tropical fish (the biggest we saw was a school of Jackfish). We passed a school of Dolphins on the way back.


amanda hagan
10/2/2001
Stayed at:

This is the place to go to if you love the beach. You can laze around and do nothing or do any number of water sports, play golf, explore the island on scooters/motor bikes. We got around the island catching the local transport which was a lot of fun.


Anonymous
9/29/2001

Nice place to visit.


john cahill
9/28/2001
Stayed at:

We were simply in transit, after I arrived from Australia, waiting for a flight to Boracay. Friends brought us to CBC and we caught a taxi (arranged by the resort) to the airport. We didn''t go anywhere but the resort during our stay.


tracy blakeslee
9/28/2001

While Manila is having its economic problems at present, an excellent local restaurant, Sala, is but a few blocks away. Worth a a try. The Hiraya Gallery is excellent and nearby on UN Avenue.


toby crosthwaite
9/28/2001

Boracay is a top spot.


eliza literato
9/21/2001

Manila traffic is terrible as with any major city in the world. There are great restaurants located all over the area accessible on foot or by jeepney and taxi. Banks and money changers are readilly available. The hotel is about 30-45 minutes away from the airport. As I said the hotel can arrange a reliable car service for you for a reasonable fee. Better than renting a car.


david wiseman
9/20/2001

The hotel is close to shopping malls and thats important.


stephen mcgonigle
9/19/2001

Go native and use the jeepney for a real taste of Manila. Plenty to see and do in town or crash out on White beach, Boracay. Recommend the friendly Philippines. Abundance of mountains and volcanic areas for the more adventurous - check the Mayon volcano in Bicol.


paul schoonackers
9/16/2001
Stayed at:

The hotel is behind Makati City Hall, which is a very convenient landmark for taxi drivers, etc.


richard johnson
9/11/2001

Great spot for Makati walkabout and for access to shopping centres, clubs and restaurants. Safe to walk around late at night providing you stick to the main thoroughfares, but that''s standard practice for the Philippines.


larry stanton
9/11/2001
Stayed at:

Just walked around


richard johnson
9/11/2001
Stayed at:

You definately have to use the hotel taxi service to get anywhere, as this place if well off the beaten track. Hotel taxi rates are double what you pay when coming back to the resort by regular taxi. Worth going to the Cebu City Waterfront and try the Philippine Dream liner based at the Lapu Lapu City waterfront. Small version of the Titanic!


aziz bin fayez
9/2/2001

The malls and barsaround this hotel are very safe and clean


albert corbett
8/31/2001

My visit to this Island is too short to go around, all I did is stay in hotel and its beach front.


gary tripi
8/30/2001

We visited the shopping mall (Ayala Center) numerous times. We enjoyed excellent and cheap steak dinner at the Outback Steakhouse located on Glorietta 4. The staff at this restaurant is excellent -just look for Vince Blanco and the waiter Ron.


christine - alias (coleen) oconer
8/24/2001

It''s near to department stores. Transportation are not hard to find.


aziz bin fayez
8/20/2001

You must go to the big mall near this hotel. Everything in yourmind you will find it.


art macasinag
8/19/2001

rented a minivan with two drivers on a short trip to my province of Albay, try Singing Waiters restaurant in Makati for something different and entertaining, Rockwell Mall in Makati for convenient shopping, American multi-level mall style with subterranean parking, clean and organized.


clyde gillis
8/19/2001

Rained alot. Hotel was in a safe area. Everyone was friendly.


kenich kono
8/15/2001
Stayed at:

It is rainy season in summer. We cannot see blue sea.


david thiele
8/13/2001

San Sebastian Church should be on any tour. Security is a problem in Manila. I was drugged and robbed (but not at the Hotel).


dang duy bau tang nghia
8/10/2001

A destination with plenty of nice place for sighseeing, relux...


michael munday
8/6/2001
Stayed at:

Manila is a fine example of a large international city with many good Restauants plenty to pick from , shopping in the Philippines is very good. The people are very friendly and helpfull.


maria engh
8/4/2001

You can get around by taxis, bus , or LRT. But to I recommend not to take any crowded transportation becuase you''ll be subject to pick pocketing.


george & marilyn card
8/3/2001

The hotel should have free airport service to the customers. Old swiss inn Restaurant was great. The hotel is a very convenient place where you can easily get access to malls by riding jeepneys, taxi, tricycle, etc. We had a good time.


edilberto minoza
7/29/2001

Luneta is one place I recommend tourists should go. SM megamall is one that I surely would come back to. There is no particular eatery that I would recommend since almost every place I went were excellent.


john whitney
7/29/2001

Destination fine. Roads could do with a lot of improvement - but this is the Philippines, after all. Do not change money into pesos at the airport. I changed yen and got 0.37 against 0.40 later in a shopping mall. Taxi from airport to town is 160 pesos - pay no more. Hired a car for a couple of days. Polite and friendly guys and preferred to getting in and out of taxis. Car hire 1300 - 1800 pesos for 8 hours. Had excellent meal at the Marriott. Friendly (and pretty!) front office staff at Cebu Plaza hotel. Friendly and helpful staff at Marriott.


satoshi yokoyama
7/29/2001
Stayed at:

In hotel restaurant have held weekend party and play music band(latin trio and singer) and serve BBQ (pork,fish or plawn with soup,rice & bread /P350 each).It was so nice and valuable.


richard kenchington
7/28/2001

Nothing to add my stays have always been single night overnight. The restaurant is fine when flight times require.


jezebel mcgonigle
7/27/2001

Location is near British Embassy so ideal for our purposes.


david dr. aliño-wilcockson
7/26/2001

Taxi''s are excellent value but we were happier to use our own private vehicle for safety and convenience. If one is without family of friends in Cebu, car hire is still cheaper compared to the western prices. We have used ''Fast Cars'' during our stay there now and again. It is cheaper to book direct from their main office than through the hotels. There is also some allowances for bargaining if used regularly. <br><br> Shangrila''s mactan Island Resort was an indulgence. The best os the places my family had stayed for the six weeks we were in Cebu. If one has the money; what you spend is worth what you get. Tambuli Beach Resort has a very friendly atmosphere. The food is value for money and the staff are very friendly and accomodating. The rooms need plenty of modification, particularly the bathrooms. There is also ant problems being there on July/August. If not booking through Special Rate Package, it is not value for mone, overall. Philippine Dream Hotel and Entertainment is packed with friendliness and entertainment. The Bay Watch Restaurant gives value for money buffet- I recommend very strongly the dinner buffet which comes with live entertainment after 7pm. But there is a problem with the hot water supply during our stay there. The room Imperial Suite came with a bath but we can only use the shower for the whole week we were there. The Royal Club membership is worth looking at.<br><br> The Marriot hotel was acceptable providing it is booked through an agency-otherwise it is not value for money for touring family. During weekdays getting to the restaurant after 8am for breakfast means having to wait at the lobby for a while until there is an empty table. The breakfast buffet has excellent choice though one tends to feel rushed because of the crowd. We stayed at the Waterfront Hotel Mactan a day before our flight which made or departure much more convenient and worry free.


joel gilpin
7/25/2001

I was simply staying here on my way to and from north-central Luzon. Did a bit of shopping one evening at the Robinson's Mall which is about 5 easy walking blocks away.


edna einsiedel
7/24/2001

Manila is not my favorite city but other destinations in the Philippines are worth a visit (beach resorts are great -- Boracay, Davao, Palawan).


sandy lasquero
7/23/2001

WE WENT DINE AT ALEX, I APPRECIATED THEM TOO, THEY ENTERTAIN AS WHAT WE LOOK LIKE PROBINSYANO WE WEAR HOUSE SLIPPER AND OUR CLOTHES ARE NOT ELITE PEOPLE AS WHAT MOST ATTITUDE OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE. THEY MEASURING YOU THE WAY YOU DRESS UP. I AM A CARPENTER BUT I HAVE GRANT A MASTERCARD A CREDIT LINE OF $15,000.00 OR P750,000.00 PESOS. <br><br>THE STAFF & WORKERS OF IMPREIAL PALACE ARE VERY PROFFESSIONAL TRAINED EMPLOYEES. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. <br><br>AIRPORT PEOPLE INCLUDING DETAILED PNP OFFICERS ARE RUDE THEY JUDGE THE WAY YOU DRESS UP INSTEAD THEY HELPING BUT MAKE FUN ON YOU IF YOU DONT KNOW WHATS GOING ON AT THE PAL INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL ENTRY. IF YOU CAN FIND THE FOUR PNP OFFICERS WHO DETAILED MONDAY JULY 23, 2001 ABOUT 9:30 TO 11:00 IN THE MORNING INCLUDING THE MEN DRESS UP WITH NICE BARONG. I CAN OFFER THEM A FREE ROUND TRIP AIRLINE TICKET MANILA TO HONOLULU TO MANILA AMOUNT OF $5,000.00 TO SHOW TO THEM AND COMPARE HOW THEY TREAT PEOPLE ABROAD. THEY ARE HIGHLY EDUCATED BUT UNPROFFESIONAL ATTITUDE.


andrew birch
7/22/2001
Stayed at:

The many, nearby dive sites were great and the diving instructors (Leo) very knowledgable and helpful. The instructors speak a number of languages (English, French, German, Danish and Tagalog). Whilst in the resort, we found out about the Coco Beach Explorer - which is essentially a cruise ship (120 pax) designed for divers. It goes from Batangas to Coco Beach, Boracay, then a group of islands to the South West of Mindoro, on to Pandan and back to Coco Beach in a week, and would be a fantastic way to explore the wider area, providing that you want a dive holiday and do not have kids that need looking after whilst you are diving because they cannot cater for this. To take advantage of this, you would probably need about 2 weeks' holiday.


david rhodes
7/21/2001
Stayed at:

Manila has improved immensely. Makati is a great city and not expensive. Much cleaner with many new buildings


richard johnson
7/19/2001

As I was only there for the nite, I had little chance to see much of the surrounding area, but I did visit the bar next door which was pleasant and apparently very popular with local celebs and politicians. Also visited the nearby Mens Club, very poor entertainment, expensive, and unfriendly staff.


yat fai oscar, tang wei yue connie, law
7/19/2001
Stayed at:

nice fresh seafood & nice and tidy room, providing a very relaxing environment for a good hoilday. that is good for value.


carl gordon
7/5/2001
Stayed at:

Recommended restaurants - the Italian at the Shangri La (but obviously not cheap) and the local seafood restaurant, (where you buy your fish/prawns, etc. from the market stalls outside the restaurant which cooks them for you as requested), located on Mactan Island a short taxi trip from the hotel. The latter , though basic, comes highly recommended for both price and taste. <br><br> Recommended night club - The Jukebox located in Cebu City near to the WaterFront Hotel. Live bands and good atmosphere - packed on a Saturday night.


carol gustafson
7/5/2001

I have travelled in throughout P.I. Recommend traveling to Baguio. The climate is cooler than Manila. Also recommend Samar & Cebu


john lightsey
7/4/2001

Watch the taxis. You will be overcharged. Try to find one with a working meter. The ones with the meters will not be as high as the ones that just quote a price. The taxis at the hotel will be more expensive because they give back some of the fair to the hotel.


schaefer hartmut
7/1/2001

Boracay is famous in the travel industry. But during off-season with all the storm barriers there are nicer places.


michaela mappala
6/30/2001
Stayed at:

At first glance, Cebu City looked like Manila, but as you get around the city, you'll familiarize yourself with its distinctive surroundings. If you are a spiritual person, go see the Santo Nino shrine. We also got a taste of Spanish colonial history at Fort San Pedro. Carbon Market wasn't that great to go too (too crowded and a little run down for our taste). Hanging out at the huge shopping malls such as the Ayala Center and the SM Mall are your better bets for shopping and eating (and if you want air conditioning as well!). <br><br> We really enjoyed going up to the Taoist Chinese Temple and the Tops to see great city views, but be prepared to pay 500 pesos to the taxi driver. We also visited the neighboring Mactan Island to see the approximate place where Lapu Lapu killed Magellan. For those that have more time, I recommend that you have day trips to Mactan as well as the neigboring islands of Leyte and Bohol (the Chocolate Hills). That's where we're going next time. And We'll definitely stay at West Gorordo Hotel again!


amit kumar
6/28/2001

Lots of restaurants and shopping around the hotel - you'll enjoy every moment if you are into eating and shopping!


shirley guettler
6/27/2001
Stayed at:

We were scheduled to visit Magellan's final battle area on Mactan, but the rain became fierce that day and it was cancelled, as well as our snorkeling outing. We still enjoyed lazing around the property and chatting with others.


leonardo loyola
6/27/2001

My family and I went to Hidden Valley in Laguna for one day and it was a hiker's and swimmers paradise. The place is well hidden away from all the hustle and bustle. For $30 a day one could go swimming in the four different natural springs pool and go hiking for two miles each way to the Hidden Spring. It was very refreshing. The admission price also included a very good buffet lunch of native dishes and while dining, you a seranaded by a songstress accompanied by a guitarist. <br><br>In the afternoon one was also treated to a buffet of mirienda which was also quite good. This would be a great place to relax for a day if you have stayed in the city for a few days and want some peace and tranquility. The facilities were very clean too. I recommend though that you don't forget you swimsuite and towels, otherwise you would have to pay a hefty price for the ones they sell at their souvernir shop. We went on a Monday and there were only about 50 people there the whole day, so it seemed like you had the whole place to yourself. <br><br> As far as recommending a restaurant, I say Dad's located at Glorietta 3 is the place to go. It was a heaven to eat there, not only did it have a variety of native foods, it also featured Carribean Dishes and Japanse food. It was a great value for the money (about $9 per person-dinner (lunch is slightly cheaper) for all the food you can eat including deserts.


jim fulton
6/22/2001

Traffic is much better to and from Makati. Less than half an hour to the airport at 09:00, via Fort Bonifacio, though. For eats, try Hossein's Persian Kebab on Makati Avenue, opposite start of Burgos.


anastacio flores, jr. wilma singayan
6/21/2001

A lot of nice restaurants around as well as clubs.


lee yuen cheong
6/17/2001

The Staff is helpful and courteous.


ramon isidro
6/17/2001
Stayed at:

i went book a trip to laguna from front desk... one thing it was expensive chauffer the money paid to the chauffer company was too expensive. two things they have done poorly is being on time, and there was no aircondition on the car assigned to the driver going back from laguna. i probably lost 10 lbs baking inside that whole trip.


robert walts
6/12/2001

One of the nicest things My wife and I found just by taking walks was. A group of restaurants in back of a childrens museum across the street from the hotel. There are several restaurants at this location. And they serve many different kinds of food. From ribs to seafood. You have many choices. And the waiters and waitresses as well as everyone there is very nice.


yong boon lim
6/12/2001

As for me, there is always Hard Rock Cafe which attract me most whenever I go.


charles adams
6/11/2001