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Thoughts about Manila?


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#1 H Baum

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:35 PM

I'm considering one of my next travel destinations, where I may see something completely different. People, food, plants, palms. If anybody has some thoughts to share and travel tips about Manila, or any other very cool place, I'd sure be interested.

Thanks, H
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#2 Gbarce

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:19 AM

Hmmmmmmmm

This is a hard and delicate question to answer because I am a local so I am biased and I don't have the proper perspective on this. I really don't know how we compare to outher asian destinations. I do know that we don't have as developed a tourism industrya as say Thailand but that does mean that most of our attractions are not as "touristy" which might be what you are looking for. One plus is that practically everyone in teh country speaks english so getting around is a bit easier.

But here is a link on my blog to the Travel related posts.

Most of these were with friends visiting from abroad-- just to give you an idea of what to expect.

The weird thing is that I don't have a post featuring our beaches, which might be a big part of what you are looking for but maybe others on this board who have visited my country can say something about that.

Here's the link to the Travel posts on my blog (LOTS of pictures) :
http://freakofnature...&max-results=20
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Gene
Manila, Philippines

53 feet above sea level - inland

Hot and dry in summer, humid and sticky monsoon season, perfect weather Christmas time

http://freakofnaturezzz.blogspot.com/

#3 peachy

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:32 AM

After having to spend some time in Manila, I now try not to think about it. (sorry gene)
Peachy
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I came. I saw. I purchased


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Warm subtropical, with occasional frosts.

#4 Gbarce

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:47 AM

I understand, peachy.

:)
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Gene
Manila, Philippines

53 feet above sea level - inland

Hot and dry in summer, humid and sticky monsoon season, perfect weather Christmas time

http://freakofnaturezzz.blogspot.com/

#5 H Baum

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:00 PM

Thank you for the useful information and the really fun weblink! I loved all the zoo pics!

I am not a big city girl per se, but am intrigued by Manila. And, if you have suggestions for cool towns within short travel distance, I'd love to hear about it.
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#6 Gbarce

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:35 AM

for manila itself if you are looking for traditional historic stuff go to Intramuros - the walled city. If you look further in the travel posts I know I have a couple of posts on that.
Things to see and do in Intramuros:

Carlos Celdran walking Tour - it's funny and informative and Carlos Celdran the tour guide has become quite a celebrity. Just google his name.

Visit the San Agustin Church and Casa Manila - which are across from each other - THis is a beautiful old church with a museum attached and Casa Manila is an example of a house back during the Spanish occupation

Visit Fort Santiago- This is the holding place of Jose Rizal, our National Hero before he was executed.
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Gene
Manila, Philippines

53 feet above sea level - inland

Hot and dry in summer, humid and sticky monsoon season, perfect weather Christmas time

http://freakofnaturezzz.blogspot.com/

#7 Tropicgardener

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 05:10 PM

I went to Cebu about 23 years ago when I was in the Australian Navy......the place scared the crap out of me, especially when I saw someone get shot in one of the city streets. I have been told though that it is a very different place now!!
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#8 Gbarce

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:18 PM

Well it's kind of misleading to generalize based on snippets (good or bad) and it's really difficult to give a full picture of what the Philippines is all about.

A couple of years ago I started renting out apartments to European exchange students and I now get a better idea of how much misinformation there is about my country. Off hand I think a big part of the problem is that we are relatively a blank slate to the world in general and the perception about the country is really filled in by whatever is reported in mass media or the news. Sad to say that most of the news worthy items about us leans on the negative. The problem is even if the news item is small, localized or isolated, when it gets into the general consciousness of the rest of teh world it is applied too the whole country. A funny case in point-- a couple of months back there was a news item about the world largest crocodile being caught in an island in the sountern end of the country. Suddenly all my exchange students are getting calls and emails from friends and family expressing concern for their safely. The general perception formed was that there were crocodiles in everyone's back yard over here.

It's going to be a lot of work trying to paint a picture of what my country is all about ( and I don't even want to try). I don't want to scare anyone nor over promise what my country has to offer but the exchange students that I have never regretted their decision (wether it was their actual choice or they were just forced into it) to go to the Philippines to study for 1 or 2 semesters.

From what I have gathereed from my converstaions with them they love:

The difference in culture -- compared to France and Germany
English is widely spoken so they can go around the country pretty easily
Everything is affordable - food accommodations shopping
Nice and Friendly people
Variety of things to do -- beaches, mountain climbing/hiking, night life/partying ( remember these are college students)

We don't really have a strong tourism department and the government's tourism budget is one of the lowest for this region of the world. But check these out:

I Choose Philippines:


"It's more fun in the Philippines" is this year's tourism slogan
http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/


One of my exchange student's blogs. It's in French though but google has a translate function:
http://natagablog.blogspot.com/
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Gene
Manila, Philippines

53 feet above sea level - inland

Hot and dry in summer, humid and sticky monsoon season, perfect weather Christmas time

http://freakofnaturezzz.blogspot.com/

#9 ariscott

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:18 AM

Yes... you will be surprised on how little information is out there when it comes to Philippines tourist destination. Heaps of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc... but not much at all on the Philippines. We are actually thinking about going there next year for something different. Now, jetstar flies direct Darwin to Manila. It is either that or Phuket. I like the look of Boracay...

I come from Indonesia originally. We have been bombarded with bad media too... so, I know where you are coming from, Gene.

Regards, Ari :)
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Ari & Scott

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#10 Gbarce

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:23 AM

This series of memes of the tourism tagline is pretty good
http://www.buzzfeed....hilippines-2kjh

Ari- yeah Boraca is nice. The white sand there is pretty incredible - its soft and fluffy. That's not an exageration its the best way I can describe its texture. it is pretty developed though so it tends to be crowded. It's sort of known as a "party beach" now.

But there are many more islands to choose from - depending on what you are looking for. Peace and quiet or party crowds?
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Gene
Manila, Philippines

53 feet above sea level - inland

Hot and dry in summer, humid and sticky monsoon season, perfect weather Christmas time

http://freakofnaturezzz.blogspot.com/

#11 Miccles

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:41 PM

Hi - I thoroughly recommend Manila and the Philippines as a whole (well, maybe skip Mindanao....the southern island).
People basing their opinions on personal experiences from 20 years ago, or simply from news clips aren't seeing the real Philippines of today.

I've not met friendlier people anywhere. Yes - you have to be careful and use some "smarts" - but where don't you these days ?
Huge choice of settings - mountains, volcanoes, rain forest, beaches, big cities, small villages, diving, fishing - and very reasonably priced.

Along with South Korea, the Philippines is the most "Americanised" country in Asia - right down to American sounding DJ's on the radio stations ! Posted Image

If you have the option - then GO. You won't be disappointed.

Regards
Michael.
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Just north of Cairns, Australia....16 Deg S.
Tropical climate: from 18C to 34C.

Spending a lot of time in Jakarta, Indonesia... 6 Deg S.
Tropical climate: from 25C to 34C.

#12 paulgila

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:24 AM

only if i dont have to ride on that bus that gene(?) posted the video of. :mrlooney:
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the "prince of snarkness."

still "warning-free."

san diego,california,left coast.

#13 MattyB

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:25 AM

I'd go for the waffers alone.

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Matt Bradford
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#14 paulgila

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:33 AM

thats just "nilla," dewd. we're talking about "VAnilla."
:blink:
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the "prince of snarkness."

still "warning-free."

san diego,california,left coast.

#15 MattyB

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:47 AM

it's short.....for Man Vanilla...duh
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Matt Bradford
"Manambe Lavaka"
Spring Valley, CA (8.5 miles inland from San Diego Bay)
10B on the hill (635 ft. elevation)
9B in the canyon (520 ft. elevation)

#16 ariscott

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:44 PM

Ari- yeah Boraca is nice. The white sand there is pretty incredible - its soft and fluffy. That's not an exageration its the best way I can describe its texture. it is pretty developed though so it tends to be crowded. It's sort of known as a "party beach" now.

But there are many more islands to choose from - depending on what you are looking for. Peace and quiet or party crowds?


Any other suggestion then, Gene? I like peace and quiet but still activities to do with the kids, with good restaurant. If it is too crowded, it is hard to get anywhere and do anything. It is not too bad in Bali as I know my way around, but somewhere else I would prefer quieter settings.

Regards, Ari :)
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Ari & Scott

Darwin, NT, Australia
-1232'53" 13110'20"

#17 Gbarce

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:30 PM

You know what the weird thing is? I have never really explored my own country! So I am not so confident about what advise to give.

From what I have been hearing Bohol might be a good destination for you - They have beaches, the Chocolate Hills and Tarsiers - so that should provide something for everybody.
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Gene
Manila, Philippines

53 feet above sea level - inland

Hot and dry in summer, humid and sticky monsoon season, perfect weather Christmas time

http://freakofnaturezzz.blogspot.com/

#18 ariscott

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:18 PM

Thanks Gene. It is still for next year anyway.... I will keep looking around and asking questions. I will try to stop by and say hi on the way since we will be flying to Manila anyway. Although, I will have my 3 kids with me....

Regards, Ari :)
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Ari & Scott

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-1232'53" 13110'20"

#19 Laisla87

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:38 PM

Manilla has much more in common with a poor city in Latin America or the Anglophile Caribbean than with Asia. Lots of churches and poor people, but lots of wealth too. You should visit a gated community. It doesn't feel like Asia. There is an elite and the culture tends to be a conservative Spanish - colonial cluture (i.e Church & family oriented)but people are more receptive to foreigners than in places like Malaysia or Thailand.

It is an interesting place to visit. Certainly not scenic, I think for that you would need to visit the wealthy provinces like Batangas.
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#20 richnorm

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:14 PM

My wife and I spent a few months travelling through the Philippines. Very reminiscent of Latin America. The best parts for us were the unspoilt islands but it can be quite hard travel even for backpacker types like us(scary boat journeys!). The people are awesome. We would go again.
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#21 edbrown_III

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:24 AM

Manila is a hot crowded noisy city like most cities in the world I would go to Lagunas where all the nursries are --- very colorful I saw large Coryphas along the road. There is a botanical garden for UPI in Lagunas and a forest to walrk in.

Bagio up in the mountains is lovely and has tree ferns and mountain view. I bought a hectare a bout 10 miles from Subic in a beautiful little town that reminds me alot of Puerto rico. It is simular to route 2 along the coast in Puerto Rico. Large Flamboyans and red palms along the route. The place is very over crowded like Puerto Rico and folks are real nice. Theres a nice rain forest in Subic bay and some parks between Manila and Subic.

Positive experiences for me but I married one of their daughters.

Best r egards


Ed
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#22 realarch

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:52 AM

On the back home from the biennial, we'll have a day layover in Manila and was wondering if there is a particular city tour company that someone could recommend. Or if not, something worth seeing on a short layover.

Gracias.
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Tim
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