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 caf├ęs 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 >>