Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Manila Hotel - an Iconic Philippines Landmark

Ernest Hemingway once said, “It’s a good story if it’s like Manila Hotel”.

This iconic five-star hotel has hosted numerous famous figures down the years, and celebrated its centennial anniversary in October 2012, following some stylish renovations, with all rooms now fully refurbished and equipped with modern facilities and amenities. Authentic Filipino design combine with huge windows that give stunning views across Manila Bay - a fabulous place from which to view the renowned Philippine sunsets.

Grand Opening

Manila Hotel was officially opened on the commemoration date of the American Independence in 1912. Four hundred elegantly attired guests dined on a feast combining an American roast dinner, with Philippine lobster and French Champagne.

In 1935 General MacArthur, with his wife Jean and son Arthur, made Manila Hotel their home whilst building the Philippine Army. The family had a penthouse suite at the top of the hotel. MacArthur was even given the honorary title of "General Manager", and attended monthly meetings, playing a large part in the hotel's management.

World War II

When World War II broke out, General MacArthur made Manila Hotel his command post. However, unable to hold off the advancing Japanese forces, MacArthur and his men had to withdrew to Corregidor Island - the fortress that lies in the mouth of Manila Bay. For 3 years a Japanese flag flew over the hotel.

MacArthur returned in 1945, but found his penthouse in flames, destroying his military library, as well as other artefacts and private possessions.

Since the war, the Manila Hotel has been visited by a host of famous celebrities, world leaders, and prominent politicians - famous faces including Bob Hope, Marlon Brando, Robert Kennedy, Sir Anthony Eden, Charlton Heston, John Wayne, Richard Nixon, President Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson, to name but a few.

The Beatles

In 1966 The Beatles stayed at the Hotel before a major misunderstanding saw them having to flee the country when word got out that they had "snubbed" the President in declining to join him for a breakfast reception at the Presidential Palace. The Marcos regime was unaccustomed to accepting "no" for an answer. Imelda Marcos was infuriated, and the result was the start of scenes that saw the Beatles making a rush for the airport with all police protection having disappeared.

Manila Hotel Today

Today, Manila Hotel is one of the world's most elite hotels, catering for a distinguished clientele, and maintaining the highest quality of service, together with top-class amenities. If you're choosing one of our luxury tours of the Philippines, or simply a five-star stay in the country's capital, Manila Hotel will be a place we can highly recommended!

Manila Hotel Website >>

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Baler - An Up and Coming Holiday Destination not far from Manila

Baler is the capital of a province known as Aurora. 

The infamous Siege of Baler took place when the Spaniards ended their occupation and sold the Philippines to America. A renegade group of Spanish soldiers decided they didn't want to go and occupied the Church of Baler for almost a year before finally giving up. This was the last Spanish stronghold in the Philippines.

Today, between September and March, Baler is known as a surfer’s paradise with surf shops and training that caters to novices and seasoned surfers alike.

Other top things to do in Baler…

Wind Surf, Snorkel and Dive!

Wind-surfing is good between March and June. With a lengthy coastline, it's easy to find somewhere to snorkel. Divers should head off to Borlongan Beach to discover the mushroom-shaped coral.

See an amazing tree!

Baler has the largest Balete tree in Asia - at around 600 years old. Locals say it takes sixty men to encircle the trunk.

Explore the coastline

Aurora has extraordinary bay formations.  Dibut Bay in San Luis is a just a short boat trip away. This fabulous island has cliffs, beaches and rock formations.

Learn about the town’s history

Visit the rest home of the President Manuel L. Quezon and learn about the “Siege of Baler” at Baler Catholic Church.

Getting to Baler…

You can take  a luxury bus from Manila, or it's a short hop flying with Skyjet Airlines.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Boracay Hits 1.5 Million Tourists Already!

Tourist numbers on the popular Philippines island of  Boracay has already reached one million, local authorities said yesterday.
South Koreans topped the list as usual with 26,000 visiting in August alone. Chinese visitors took second place.
In August the number of tourists visiting fell mainly because of the changing weather conditions, said the Philippines Department of Tourism.
For the year, the island is forecasting a total of 1.5 million visitors.
Traditionally, September is considered the start of the "super peak" season for Boracay.
Read more about the fantastic island of Boracay on our website HERE >>

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Get to Know Puerto Galera, in the Philippines...

Puerto Galera is a coastal town and lively holiday resort to the north of the island of Oriental Mindoro, in the Philippines. Getting to Puerto Galera from Manila is straightforward - just a short drive south to Batangas, where you catch the regular ferry boats that cross to the island in around 2 hours.

Divers Undergo Training
It is enjoyed by tourists not least for its many small beaches, as well as snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities.

The region was recognised by UNESCO in 1973 having some of the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia, and the marine environment has benefited from the proceeds of tourist income as fishing has been replaced by other tourist activities.

Puerto Galera is listed by The Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World has included Puerto Galera, and it is the only bay in the Philippines to have such a listing.

Experience Whitewater Kayaking!
The most popular beaches are Sabang Beach and White Beach, which enjoy a lively nightlife having many bars and restaurants. 

Puerto Galera town itself is a pleasant but sleepy town with a large central catholic church and also a pier area, which has a number of small cafés and restaurants.

Behind the town and beaches is the largely unexplored mountain range of Mindoro island. Immediately above White Beach is a nine hole golf course that clings to the hillside It is a tight and challenging golf course, which only requires short but accurate drives.

Ponderosa Golf Course
The golf course offers fantastic views across the natural harbour of Puerto Galera, as well as the Verde Island Passage. 

Mangyan Tribal Village
Mindoro is also famous for the Mangyan tribes that inhabit the mountain sides, some of whom have next to no contact with the outside world. In all there are eight tribes on Mindoro island, of which the Iraya are the largest, based in the Puerto Galera area.

Puerto Galera is one of the best diving regions of the Philippines. However, strong currents mean that divers should only operate with the services of experienced local guides or dive centres. There are over thirty dive sites within a short ride from Sabang Beach, and the marine life is extraordinarily diverse. It is little wonder that Puerto Gallera attracts divers from all around the globe!

Read more about Puerto Galera on our Website HERE >>

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Corregidor Island Fortress

In the entrance to Manila Bay can be found the tadpole-shaped Corregidor Island.

Its location meant it was an ideal spot for defending the city of Manila from attacks by enemy warships in the event of war, and it was therefore fortified with artillery.

The ruins of Mile-Long Barracks are one of the most photographed relics on the island, which also features other wartime structures, tunnels, and artillery.

The big guns of Corregidor are now silent and the ruins of buildings, structures, and tunnels around the island tell a very moving story of a war that claimed so many lives.
A visit to this former battleground is a memorable experience, and many visitors travel over from Manila to explore the island. There is a hotel to accommodate those wishing to stay overnight.
See more HERE >> 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Two Seasons Resort and Spa. A Luxurious Experience in the Calamian Islands, Philippines...

Two Seasons Island Resort & Spa, Coron, is situated on a tropical peninsula, just a scenic boat ride from the town of Coron, in the Calamian Islands.

As well as being a turtle and giant clam sanctuary, this resort was the first eco-friendly luxury island resort in Coron.

Extensive beaches are dotted with coconut trees, and guests will enjoy breathtaking views, a range of recreational activities and entertainment, as well as peaceful relaxation. This is truly a holiday in paradise, perfect for couples on honeymoon, those seeking a romantic getaway, or for families and friends.

We've added Two Seasons Coron to our Philippines Luxury Vacations page, as well as its sister resort, two Seasons, Boracay...


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Learn to Sail in the Philippines!

Have you ever fancied learning to sail?

Why not combine learning to sail with a holiday in the Philippines tropical islands! Beautiful scenery, top hospitality, and warm waters combined...

See our Learn to Sail webpage

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Boracay - the Philippines' 24/7 Island...

The Department of Tourism's TV advertisement promoting Boracay as a "24/7 Island".

We can take you there...

Monday, 23 June 2014

Happy, Smiling Faces in Carcar, Cebu, Philippines...

We've added some happy, smiling faces to the first frame of the photographic sequence on the opening page of our website. These ladies were photographed at a festival in Carcar, Cebu.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Philippines - Donsol, Whale Sharks, and Boracay Beaches...

A quite charming and beautifully produced video we came across showing what a great destination the Philippines is for a holiday! 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Port Barton, Palawan - a Peaceful Relaxing Retreat for Visitors...

Port Barton is a small coastal village on the west coast of Palawan, between Puerto Princesa and El Nido.
Together with its accompanying pristine islands, it has become a popular choice for adventurous travellers who appreciate and enjoy the remote location, natural beauty, and the relaxed, friendly atmosphere this peaceful beachside village, at the edge of a rainforest, has to offer.
Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary is on one of Port Barton's neighbouring islands. Situated in the aptly named Turtle Bay it does sterling work in the protection of these marine creatures.
Read more on our new Port Barton web page HERE >>

Saturday, 31 May 2014

New Dive Safaris Now Added to Our Website...

We're delighted to have added two new Diving Itineraries to our website - Dive Safaris.

The first is a 5 Day Itinerary entitled the Central Visayas Dive Safari where participants will visit Moalboal, Apo Island, Siquijor Island, and Panglao Island, Bohol - See more HERE... 

There is also a Big Fish Dive Safari which is 12 Days and which covers Cebu City, Malapascua IslandBay Bay, LeyteMacrohon, Leyte, before returning to Cebu City. You can view this itinerary HERE >>

Both itineraries are operated by our associates, SeaQuest Dive Center.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Direct Flight Connections to Philippines Luxury Resorts...

Although most luxury resorts around the Philippines have domestic airports not too far away, there are a few that either have their own aircraft, with direct flights, or a small airport that mainly serves them.

We thought it would be a good idea to highlight these latter options, as it could appeal to visitors looking for a luxury resort which may be reached with ease.

The resorts that have their own private planes include Amanpulo and Huma. The El Nido Resorts - Miniloc, Lagen, Pangulasian, and Ampulit, are all served by the small, and convenient El Nido landing strip, and the ITI airline.

You'll see that we've added little graphic flashes to highlight these resorts on our Luxury Pages...

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Conference & Event Planning in the Philippines...

Let Philippine Trails look after your conference or special event!

If you are looking to arrange a meeting or special event, one of our management team will work with you at every step of the way to ensure your occasion goes smoothly.

Custom Event Planning including  Business Meetings, Conferences, Team Building, Weddings, Family Gatherings etc.

Locations include main city locations such as Manila, Cebu, Davao etc., as well as regional & resort locations such as Baguio, Boracay, Laoag, La Union, Puerto Galera, Puerto Princesa, Subic, etc., etc.

From small groups to larger parties, we can arrange Conference Rooms and Meeting Rooms to accommodate all numbers.

Accommodation from Standard to Five Star Luxury Hotels and Resorts.

Audio-Visual Equipment included, (please advise us of your specific requirements).

Ancillary Excursions & Activities, such as Local Guided Tours, Golf, Trekking, Sailing may also be arranged

See more HERE...

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Shorter Liveaboard Excursions in the Calamian Islands, Philippines...

If you're into Scuba Diving, and interested in a Liveaboard, but only for a short duration of 2 or 3 nights, we can offer this through our associates in the Calamian islands, Philippines. A short trip is perfect for those that wish to incorporate a Liveaboard with a land-based stay, or other activities!

The Calamian Islands is a major Philippines diving destination. Being at the northern tip of the coral triangle, just a short distance from the Mindoro Strait, this was described by Jacques Cousteau as “the last frontier for diving and natural beauty,”

Apo Reef is a perfect reef to dive from a Liveaboard. There are more than 500 coral plus countless fish species. The deep blue waters even make Hammerhead sharks visible. Cruise along with Sharks, Jacks, Rays, Barracudas, Tunas, Turtles and seemingly endless schools of Fusiliers. In shallower areas even beginners find this reef amazing with its diversity of marine life.

Other areas covered by Liveaboard trips include the famous Coron Wrecks, and Busuanga Island.

More information on our Liveaboard Page HERE >>

For Holidays, the Philippines is a Great Alternative to Thailand...

The recent coup in Thailand has naturally worried many tourists planning to visit, especially considering the curfew and other restrictions that the army has imposed.

Although we hope things can rapidly return to normal, some people considering a holiday in the Far East are now looking at other destinations as an alternative.

To them, we'd recommend the Philippines - an archipelago of 7,107 tropical island in the Pacific Ocean.

Renowned for their smiles, friendliness, and hospitality, Filipinos welcome visitors to their shores. And English is widely spoken too!

Try a tour of the island, trekking, sailing, snorkelling, diving, kayaking, or simply taking in the scenery, and soaking up the experience.

Make the Philippines your next destination, for a holiday you'll long remember...

Find out More from our Website >>

Monday, 19 May 2014

New Tours of the Philippines Main Island - Luzon

Hundred Islands National Park, Alaminos, Luzon, Philippines
Luzon is the largest of the Philippine islands, and it's where you'll find Manila, its capital.

There is so much to see and do on Luzon, that you could spend several weeks exploring just this one island alone, without venturing to other destinations within the country. 

The Rice Terraces
Realising this, we have now created a couple of new tour suggestions for visitors to consider.

The first is an exploration of the north of the island - "North Luzon Discovery", and we recommend 12 days for this. The tour includes iconic destinations such as the historic Spanish style city of Vigan to the north, and Banaue and Bontoc, home of the amazing Rice Terraces, in the Cordillera Mountains, Along the way we visit Laoag, Pagudpud, with its fabulous beaches, Paoay Church, Sagada and its caves and hanging coffins, and Baguio - "City of Pines".
Paoay Church
There's an option to extend the tour, to include Hundred Islands, Alaminos, La Union, and Tarlac, where we travel to Mt Pinatubo - site of the last century's most devastating volcano eruption. 

A more encompassing tour is one we've named "North & South Luzon Loop", where we recommend 21 days at least. This tour includes all of the places mentioned above, and also includes the south of Luzon island. Additional destinations include the Bicol region - Legaspi, Mayon Volcano, and Donsol, with its whale sharks. Also Tagaytay, Taal Volcano and Lake, Villa Escudero, and finally we conclude with  a relaxing few days spent at Puerto Galera, just across the water from Batangas, on Mindoro Island.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Michael Martinez, Philippines Ice Skater, makes Winter Olympics History...

Ice-skating in Manila!

Michael Christian Martinez, a 17-year-old Filipino who trains in Los Angeles and has a Russian coach is the Philippines lone representative at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

He is making his Olympic debut and becoming the first-ever figure skater to represent any Southeast Asian country.

We all wish Michael lots of luck in the competition, and it might seem odd that a Filipino enjoys ice-skating in the first place, but did you know there's a superb public ice-skating rink in the Mall of Asia, Manila, where people can get their skates on at the same time as doing their shopping!

Read more about Martinez HERE >>> 

The Philippines says Thank You! - The Video...



Holiday offers are published in good faith and are correct at the time of publishing. Please note that these are subject to change, and can be withdrawn at any time by the promoter.

The Philippines Says "Thank You" to the World...


The Philippines Says "Thank You" to the World
On 8 February 2014 at 4:40am Manila time, exactly three months after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, the country launched a global campaign expressing its gratitude to the world, having received an outpouring of support following the devastating effects of the typhoon.

Triggered by an overwhelming sense of appreciation, which has been strongly expressed in social media – for example, #PHThankYou, this groundswell of gratitude is captured in a Thank You campaign created by Filipinos from all over the world. Depicting different ways of expressing their heartfelt appreciation, various messages and images in social media showed the world that foreign support and encouragement has made, and continues to make, all the difference in the country’s ongoing rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts.

Hoping to ensure this gratitude is received by everyone, the Philippine Department of Tourism has crafted a thank you message displayed through print ads and billboards in iconic places across the world, specifically:

- Times Square, New York, US
- Piccadilly Circus, London, UK
- Potsdamer Platz cor. Leipziger Platz, Berlin, Germany
- Lafayette Mogador, Paris, France
- Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan
- ION Orchard, Singapore
- Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto, Canada
- Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia
- Paiknam Building, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea

All the people across the globe who have expressed sympathies and who have extended support, financial or otherwise, are invited to witness this message of appreciation from the Philippines and help share the country’s profound gratitude to the rest of the world. Using the hashtag #PHThankYou, people around the world can continue to share their support and appreciation.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

New US Ambassador to the Philippines explores Intramuros, tries the Cuisine, and Enjoys the Culture...

US envoy tours Intramuros, tries adobo for a taste of Pinoy culture

Almost a month after arriving in the country, United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg found time to stroll around Intramuros, try Filipino cuisine, learn some Tagalog words, and immerse himself in Filipino culture.
"I'm very excited to be here and I want to travel all around. I'm looking forward to seeing all that the Philippines has to offer," Goldberg said in a video uploaded on Youtube by the US Embassy. 
According to the video, Goldberg went on a walking tour of the walled city with Manila tourism consultant Carlos Celdran.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Welcoming the Year 2014: Fireworks illuminating Metro Manila Night Sky.

In case you're wondering how Manila welcomes the New Year... This is spectacular!