Best Things To Do in Manila, In The Philippines and on the Island of Boracay

April 23, 2017

Things To Do In Manila

I arrived to Manila in the Philippines late at night. I tried to take out money from several ATM machines at the airport, but I was not able to do it. None of the machines took foreign cards. I was getting frustrated. It was 11PM and I was standing there without any money. In the end, I found $10 in my valet and exchanged it for 420 pesos. I took a taxi to my hotel. The taxi driver refused to turn on the meter and wanted to charge me 600-800 pesos. I told him I only had 400 pesos and that’s the most I could pay him. He agreed to it. We got to my hotel in about 5 minutes. When I arrived, I told the taxi driver that there is no way this ride would ever cost 400 pesos so I gave him 200 pesos and left him behind. I later found out that the cost of the ride would have been only about 150 pesos if he had turned the meter on. Then, I went to 7-eleven to get some water. The weather in Manila was hot and humid even at night. I was out of luck, because the 7-eleven was empty. I felt like I was in Romania in the 90ies. At that point I hated Manila. I was standing there cashless, thirsty in an empty supermarket after having an argument with a sleazy taxi driver who was trying to rip me off. I was keen to discover all the things to do In Manila the next day.

Next day I walked around the town to explore the city. There were many things to do in Manila. I visited the Spanish old town. This was one of the most important tourist spots in Manila. There were some nice old catholic churches, but also many beggars everywhere. The town was sort of sketchy. There were homeless people everywhere. Kids were asking me for money everywhere. Slowly by slowly I started to like Manila. It was actually a nice city. There were some pretty places to visit in Manila. It was situated right on the water with a big harbor. It had a beautiful park the Rizal Park. It was one of the nicest places to go in Manila. Nightlife in Manila was supposed to be very good too, but I didnt want to run around in the big city in the middle of the night, so I declined on my invitation to go out. 

Manila Philippines - Things to Do In Manila

Manila Philippines – Things to Do In Manila

I was wondering what to do in Manila after I finished sightseeing. So I ended up I visiting the Robinson Shopping Mall. Filipinos love their shopping malls. They have huge shopping malls everywhere. There is no subway in Manila. Filipinos use this funky vehicle to get around town. They are called jeepney. Manila Philippines

Jipney - Things to Do In Manila

Jipney- Things to Do In Manila

Food was really awful in The Philippines so I went on an ice-cream/fruit diet for the next 9 days. They make some good ice cream, so it made up for the bad vinegar marinated meet. Their most famous desert is the Halo-Halo, which is mixed crashed ice with all sorts of jelly beans and covered with syrup and a spoon on ube (purple yam) ice cream. Often times I had this for lunch. Filipinos eat way too much fast food. I was shocked to see that you can literally find every single big fast food chain in Manila. After 2 days in Manila, I took a plane to Boracay Island. I heard that the islands were the best places to visit in the Philippines.So I was keen on seeing the most famous island of the Philippines. Manila Philippines

Manila Philippines - Things to Do In Manila

Manila Philippines – Things to Do In Manila

Boracay Island

I hopped on a plane to the Caticlan Island from there I had to take a tricycle, a ferry then another tricycle to get to Boracay Island. Boracay Island is one of the best of the Philippines tourist spots. When I arrived, it was dark. Weather in the Philippines was hot and tropical even at night. I walked around on the beach and realized that 90% of the tourists were Asians. This sort of intimidated me first. On the Thai Islands only about 10% of the people are Asians. I really didnt like the place first. Every bar was packed with Asian people and there were a few white older men with very young Asian girls. The next morning I went to the beach when the sun came up. When I saw the beach, I realized that this was the most beautiful beach I had ever seen and I was in paradise. I loved being there. The sand was white and the water was beautiful, blue and crystal clear. I met 2 Canadian girls. They were lots of fun and I ended up spending the rest of the week with them. We went out to get dinner every night. I was diving every day for 4 days. Diving was very pretty in Boracay. I did some very cool deep dives. I saw wrecks and some really beautiful corals. I loved it there. I did an amazing dive. We free-fell in the water for a few minutes until we reached about 35 meters. It was dark and I felt very little in the middle of the vast ocean. The sea was endless around us. After reaching this depth, I saw the coral reef with lots of fishes and colorful creatures. It was amazingly beautiful. We could not stay longer than 15 minutes in this depth, because we were running out of oxygen fast and we had to ascend. This was one of the most memorable dives of my life. Diving is one of the best things to do in Philippines. The underwater life is absolutely amazing.  Manila Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

In the end I made lots of new friends. I met a Swedish couple and we hiked to the top of the island together. On my last day I went on a snorkeling tour around the island. I was gonna go with the two Canadian girls, but they got so drunk the night before that they did not to show up, so I was sitting there on the boat with about 20 Filipinos. They were taking photos of me. They wanted me to pose with their kids and with their parents. It was tiring. The snorkeling trip was fun. We visited different parts of the island. All the places were stunning. Visiting Boracay Island was one of the best things to do in the Philippines. The food was really bad on the island. I was sticking to my ice-cream/fruit diet. One night we had some Mongolian food. It was very interesting. It was a bowl of noodles with vegetables and various sauces. I spent a wonderful week in Boracay. I met some fun people. I was very sad to leave this paradise.

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

Boracay Island, The Philippines

I also realized that Filipinos are the most genuine people I had met in Asia. They were very hospitable, they always shared their food with me, invited me to their table. I really fell in love with Boracay Island and I hope I will have a chance to return again one day. Boracay is definitely one of the best places to visit in Philippines. Manila Philippines

Read more about vacationing in Boracay Island by The Travelling Tom.

philippines tourist attractions, places to visit in the philippines, where to go in manila, philippines tourist attractions, manila tourist spots, manila points of interest, 

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Exploring Manila and Boracay, The Island of Paradise | Manila Philippines | Things To Do in Manila | Best Beaches In the Philippines | Jet-Settera Travel Blog | Manila Travel Tips

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About Barbara

Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger. She started traveling through Paris, London, New York, Milan, Tokyo at the age of 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since, she has visited 67 countries. She writes about the most exclusive jet-set destinations such as Cannes, Venice Film Festivals, Monaco Grand Prix, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris as well as yacht parties in St-Tropez, Miami Art Basel, Biennale in Venice, Frieze in London or the Royal Wedding in Monaco.

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