Saturday, June 24, 2017

Philippines (Manila) 2017


" My 7 days 6 nights (from 18-24/6/2017) in Manila, Philippines - fulfilling my dreams of visiting the major touristy places in Manila - my last visit to Philippines was in 1996, merely on official visit "

Travel Itinerary : Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia > Manila > Kuala Lumpur

Total expenses incurred (7days) : Rm653 + PHP6,690 = Rm1,255 (US$292)

Air Asia airfare (inclusive of travel insurance): Rm617
Sky bus (Sentral>KLIA) : Rm6 x 2 = Rm12 (Senior)
In flight lunch: Rm24
Hostel (6 nights) : PHP525 x 6 = PHP3,150 (Rm284)
Food (7 days): PHP1,586 (Rm142)
Jeepneys, LRT/MRT & Taxi : PHP1,739 (Rm156)
Entrance fee : PHP75 (Fort Santiago)
Sundries : PHP140 (Rm12.60)
Exchange rate: Rm1=11.11 Peso; US$1=49.50 Peso; US$1=Rm4.30

I had visited Manila once in 1996 to attend a regional training workshop for 3 days but due to time constraints, I did not extend my stay to explore the touristy places around Manila. The thought of visiting Manila has been lingering in my mind for sometime but due to adverse publicity reported in multi-media about the security & social crime issues in major cities in Philippines, it took me quite awhile to make a firm decision to visit Manila !

Metro Manila & the suburbs have a number of  iconic landmarks & touristy places for tourists to explore, be it historical & cultural (Spanish influence in the 15th century & rule for  over 130 years) & the American presence in Philippines from 1896 - 1946.

Using public transport such as jeepneys, LRT & MRT trains, taxis & information from Google & our hostel reception, we were able to visit the major touristy places in and around Manila. Taking jeepneys & LRT trains during the early morning and after office hours can be stressful for foreign visitors / tourists but using this combination of public transport enabled us to visit the various places of interest we desire to see in downtown & suburban Manila !

If you enjoyed deep fried food, Manila is the right place for you to savor these food found at food courts in major shopping malls in Manila.

The historic Intramuros & Fort Santiago are a must see & the Commercial Business District of Ayala & Makati is worth a visit especially near the Greenbelt & the Ayala Triangle Gardens area. For those who enjoy window shopping, you may like to visit the new concept mega malls ie Malls of Asia & the Venice Piazza .

Manila was voted as one of the 100 Best Cities in the World by Lonely Planet in 2009 !

Travel Highlights:

1) Rizal Park


2) Statute of the Sentinel of Freedom, Rizal Park


3) Jose Rizal Monument, Rizal Park


4) La Madre Filipina, Rizal Park


5) Diorama of Rizal's Martyrdom, Rizal Park


6) Gomburza Execution Site, Rizal Park


7) Chinese Garden, Rizal Park


8) Kilometer Zero, Rizal Park


9) Manila Ocean Park


10) The Musical Dancing Fountain


11) National Museum of Anthropology


12) Intramuros (Old Spanish City of Manila)


13) Roman Catholic Cathedral of Manila, Intramuros


14) San Agustin Church & Convent, Intramuros


15) Fort Santiago (Spanish Military Garrison), Intramuros


16) National Museum


17) City Hall of Manila, Metro Manila


18) Binondo (China Town), Manila


19) Chinese Cemetery, Papas / Abad Santos


20) Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio


21) Quezon Memorial Shrine, Quezon


22) Balintawak Market


23) Manila Bay, Luzon


24) Bay Walk


25) Ayala Museum



26) Ayala Triangle Gardens


27) Greenbelt 1-5



28) Glorietta (Makati)


29) The Landmark (Makati)


30) The SM Store (Makati)

31) Mall of Asia Arena ((Pasay)


32) SM by The Bay (Pasay)


33) Power Plant Mall (Makati)


34) Century City Mall (Makati)


35) A Venue Mall, Makati


36) Venice Piazza (Taguig City)


KC, my travel partner from USJ joined me for this Manila trip

For hostel accommodation in Manila, we were looking for a " Good Shepherd " and instead we got " Our Melting Pot " !


D1 Manila, Philippines 2017

Image result for makati city map

Day 1 (Sunday 18/6/2017) - Kuala Lumpur > Manila

Air Asia Flight departing KLIA 2 on Sunday 18/6/2017 at 11.05
Arriving Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at 14.55 (approx. 4hrs)

1) KLIA 2 Airport - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


2) Arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Terminal 3, Manila, Philippines. Took a yellow cab airport taxi (PHP558=Rm50) to our hostel in Bel-air Village, near Makati Up area. Suggest takes a white cab taxi at the airport as the fare is much lower than the yellow cab - a lesson learned on our first day in Manila !


3) Hostel accommodation at Our Melting Pot, 3rd Floor Wang Mart Building, 37 Polaris Street, Bel-air Village, Makati City - PHP525 (Rm43) dorm bed. Our Melting Pot's sister hostel, The Good Shepherd Hostel which is located on the same floor in Wang Mart is owned by the same management.


Bel-air Village & Makati Up Area, Manila


Evening walk from our hostel to Century City Mall (15mins)





Taxi ride from Century City Mall to Power Plant Mall (10mins - PHP100=Rm9)










Dinner at Wood Spoon Restaurant, Power Plant Mall - PHP400 for this dinner for 2 ie Fried rice + Vegetables + chilled water