Manila - Post Report Question and Answers

What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

The best trip I ever took in this country was to Malapascua Island in the Visayas. The diving was fantastic, the food was amazing, it was paradise. The in-country travel is the best, but you can exhaust Manila's tourism opportunities in a long weekend, most of which are World War II-era or Spanish colonial historical in nature. - Oct 2020


Traveling in Asia. - Feb 2020


The highlights are the people (very friendly) and the time to get out. We have taken weekend trips to Boracay, Bohol, and Tagaytay - you can find very cool experiences outside of the city. Air travel is easy and relatively cheap. While living here, we have gone to Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malyasia, and Indonesia very easily. - May 2018


We’ve had a great tour here. Bohol and Palawan were as beautiful as advertised. And, although Manila isn’t always the easiest place to live, we’ve enjoyed watching our kids learn to ride on a trapeze, go ice skating in July, experience the wacky festivals on BGC High Street (Shih Tzu Parade, anyone?), sample Korean barbecue and Japanese ramen, etc. It’s fairly easy to have fun here, despite the traffic, dirt and other frustrations. - Feb 2017


Snorkeling/Scuba at Apo Island. The rice terraces in Ifugao. Being marooned on sleep Bantayan Island. The Philippines is a great post. Manila can be a grind, but the provinces are fantastic. Regional travel is cheap and easy. - Jul 2016


Getting out of Manila to enjoy the beach. Can hop on a quick flight over to Palawan, Bohol, or Boracay and be in paradise. Also starting to find some fun hikes and trips out of the city. - Jan 2016


Beach trips to scenic locales. Unfortunately, though, approximately 90% of domestic flights are delayed, often significantly, putting a major damper on weekend travel in this country of 7,107 islands. - Jan 2016


Visiting Palawan, Sagada, and Banaue rice terraces, seeing super cute tarsiers in Bohol, eating mangoes non-stop, discovering yellow watermelons, going to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand for vacation. - Jan 2016


Partying, clubs and Filipinas openness to date foreigners. - Sep 2015


The main highlight for me has been the lovely Filipinos and the prevalence of English speakers. This would be a very easy first tour as a trailing spouse can easily get around and accomplish basic tasks without having to learn another language. Tagalog is helpful when traveling outside of Metro Manila but you'll always find someone who can speak English. - Aug 2015


Can't say I've had any highlights. - Aug 2015


Snorkeling/scuba diving. - Sep 2014


I've visited Tagaytay, which is about 1.5 hours from Manila. Tagaytay is in a mountainous area, offering a respite from the tropical heat, but also has, what is called a "super" volcano, named Taal. There are other interesting areas to explore in the area or you can take a boat ride over to the island and get close to Taal. I've also visited Puerto Galera as well, which is a boat ride out of Batangas. The area of Puerto Galera gives you a feel for a much more relaxed way of life. Nearby Puerto Galera is a mountain that is well worth the ride. It is best to hire a trike to go up to the very top of the housing area called the "Ponderosa". There are 360 degree views of the ocean, shore lines, and forests all with a cool breeze blowing constantly. I also spent a weekend in Baguio City, a very popular city up in the mountains, in the area of Benguet Province. It is the summer capital of the Philippines as it is several degrees cooler than Manila. There are also quality universities and strong tourism. - Jan 2014


Great and affordable travel within the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. If you're a single female like me, you'll take every opportunity to travel outside of Manila to make up for the lack of a social life. There are great restaurants and numerous American chains-- PF Changs, California Pizza Kitchen, Chilis, Fridays, etc. Filipinos idolize American pop culture, so there are often American concerts to attend-- in my two years I snagged tickets to Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, Aerosmith, amd the American Idol Tour to name a few. - Dec 2013


Traveling to Palawan and seeing the underground river. - Nov 2013


We haven't been here long but we love the post so far and are really excited to see more of the country. Our goal is to get out of Manila at least every 2 months. - Aug 2013


Scuba diving (which is superb) and traveling to many of the islands. - Apr 2013


Travel in the provinces outside of Manila---the beaches are fantastic. Learning about the history of the country has also been a highlight. Although the day-to-day news gets bogged down in personal politics, the recent political history and America's colonization of the Philippines are fascinating subjects that I previously knew almost nothing about. Also, I really like the Filipino people. They are fantastic to joke around with and very friendly. If you are shy, they will appear shy, too; so the key is to give to them what you want to get back. - Feb 2013


Diving, meeting people from other countries, international restaurants. While not a fan of Filipino food (too bland, heavy, fried very meat-based), there are many other great international restaurants. - Sep 2012


Filipinos are incredibly nice people, and we have traveled a LOT.We are averaging about 1 trip a month, if not more. It's a great way to explore Asia, and the Philippines has gorgeous islands to visit. If you like the water, you can learn how to dive here, as it has some of the best diving in the world. - Mar 2012


We have been working with USEC at the Embassy with charity work. Poverty is very in your face around the Embassy area and the Seafront living area, to include the main roads. Doing what we can to help local orphanages and homes for older children and the eldery. It's very sad, and somehow a lot of people seem to tune it out. - Jan 2012


Travel. Get out of Manila as much as you can. See the country; see the region. In the city, there are a few decent Western-style restaurants, clothing stores, and food supplies. For golfing, there are a couple of nice courses with Intramuros being very popular with the expat community. Massages and spas are certainly a highlight. Most are cheap but the quality is not equal to Thailand or China. Still, they were nice and you can easily communicate areas that need extra pressure. Shopping at the pearl market in Greenhills is great - but you should get there when they set up to avoid the crowds. There is also a good opportunity to meet some nice expats in the community. I also made some good Filipino friends but sometimes there are underlying reasons that Filipinos befriend expats - visa, money, status, et cetera. - Jul 2011


Getting certified to SCUBA dive, traveling around SE Asia. - May 2011


Shopping is a blast, and it is easy to find inexpensive brand name clothing and top quality pearls. Island-hopping has been a great way to blow off steam, and we have made some good memories travelling within the Philippines and across the sea to mainland Southeast Asia. - Feb 2010


Traveling is definitely a bonus. Many different places to go depending on whether single, married and ages of kids. Large population of expats so you can almost always find someone that you click with and make lasting friendships. - Jan 2010


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