I’ve had the opportunity to stay in some beautiful luxury hotels for work and as part of media tours. This includes grand five-star properties in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau. But nothing prepared me for Okada Manila. The moment I stepped inside the lobby, I was completely overwhelmed by the extravagance of the place. It’s hard to believe that a place like this exists in Metro Manila.
Okada Manila is among the largest ultra-luxury integrated hotel-resorts in Asia. It aims to compete with casinos in Macau and position Metro Manila as a regional and international destination. Continue reading →
Known as the “Art Capital of the Philippines,” the town of Angono in Rizal province is ideal for those looking for a unique art and food tour near Manila. Home to the famed Angono-Binangonan Petrogylphs (the oldest known work of art in the country), quirky folk art museums and restaurants serving native and exotic cuisine, Angono offers an alternative destination for weekend food trips.
I’ve been going back and forth to the Eastern towns of Rizal a lot during weekend rides. During that time, I think I’ve tried all the main road trip restaurants in Rizal along Marilaque and Manila East Road Road. I can’t believe it took me this long to try Lutong Pugon, a garden restaurant owned by a local artist that serves delicious wood-fired pizza. You really wouldn’t expect to find a quality pizzeria like this up in the mountains.
Maginhawa Street in Quezon City is one of the top go-to places for a food trip around the metro. However, the turnover rate in the area has become really high lately. I’m having a hard time keeping this list updated every time a new restaurant opens or closes in the area. To make my life easier, I’ve decided to just narrow down this list to 10 places to eat in the Maginhawa area (which are still open as of January 2018).
There’s craft beer in my hometown Naga City! Ibalon Craft Brew is introducing to Naga City the first craft beers in the Bicol region. I’m so happy that folks in Bicol now have more beer options and can enjoy something new and different compared to the usual commercial beers served in most stores, bars and restaurants in Naga City.
For riders, cyclists and road trippers clocking in the miles, meals on the road often just consist of quick stops at fast food joints or meet-ups at gas station convenience stores before heading out. Most riders would be satisfied with cup noodles or hot coffee to warm up along the way. A few years ago, this was pretty much all there was along the Marilaque route (also known as Marikina-Infanta or Marcos Highway), the scenic twisting road traversing Marikina, Rizal, Laguna all the way to Infanta, Quezon.
The beauty of the Philippines really shines in other provinces and islands. Destinations like Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Boracay are top draws for foreign tourists. However, many international travelers have to travel through Metro Manila, the capital and main gateway to many of the other destinations before they can get there.
Pasig is a city in the Philippines located along the eastern border of Metro Manila. While most business and luxury tourists usually stay in the Manila / Pasay area to be near the airport and backpackers will want to stay in the Makati / Poblacion area for the nightlife, I would recommend staying in Pasig if you’re traveling with the family or if you want to enjoy a mix of active pursuits and city comforts.
For travelers, backpackers and province-based tourists, Manila is often just thought of as a stopover between flights on the way to another destination. The big city can be overwhelming with the heavy traffic and crowded streets. It’s often seen as gritty and chaotic, especially if you visit the areas of Quiapo and Divisoria.
I often take the tourist sights in Manila for granted because I live here. But if I were a first-time tourist in the Philippines or if I had to take around foreign tourists, balikbayans, expats or province-based friends, what would I do and where would I go? Continue reading →
If you’ve ever planned or been to New York City, then you are probably aware of the fact that the city is one of the most amazing cities in the world. The city has so much to offer and it seems you can never run out of things to do or explore there. When you arrive in NYC for the first time, you will feel the city’s energy and vibe which will motivate you to explore the Big Apple to tiniest details.