I was in Manila last weekend, because my friend came in from KOREA to visit in the Philippines. This is my itinerary below.
March 22, 2019
On the first day, after finishing classes at 6:00 PM, I went to Joy Bus terminal to take a Joy bus through pre-purchased tickets. Many students and teachers told me, “you have to be careful in Manila”, so I was nervous. Anyway, it took about 6 hours from Baguio to Manila Airport terminal 3, because I have to pick my friend up at the Manila Airport. Moreover, he doesn’t speak English, so I was really anxious for him. Fortunately, he found me in the airport so we met at 12:30 AM. We didn’t have any plan because it was too late to do something. We went to Condo Unit hotel near the airport on foot and slept for a short time.
March 23, 2019
On the second day, we got up at 5:30 AM and met the rented car driver, Mr. Ronald. He was already in front of our hotel at 6:00 AM in the morning. From 6:00 AM, we started our one-day tour to Tagaytay until 10:00 AM.
In the rented car, my friend slept while we traveled because he worked a lot in Korea, so I talked to Mr. Ronald for a long time. He is very talkative and friendly. During the trip, he let me know a lot of Tagalog and traveling tips. At first, I was nervous to talk to him in English. By the way, he gradually understood my English. Eventually, I felt comfortable.
After arriving at Tagaytay dock, we took a traditional boat (Banca) for about 10 minutes, and later, we rode a horse led by guides to climb on top of the mountain. It is one of the smallest volcanoes worldwide. Next, we watched a pony and the surrounding scenery from the top of Tagaytay. The pony and scenery were beautiful, and nothing more. And then we came back at 11:30 AM.
We went down from the mountain riding the horses, we ate lunch buffet such as kimchi pancakes, seasoned pork, japchae and pineapples until 12:30 PM. The food was nice because it was Korean food. After eating and sightseeing Tagaytay, we departed again to Pagsanjan Falls.
In the afternoon at 2:PM, we arrived at Pagsanjan Falls and rode a canoe with two boatmen until 5:00 PM. We enjoyed shallow waterfalls and amazing cliffs at Pagsanjan Falls while canoeing for two hours.
We came back to the rented car and started to go to our second hotel, at Hop Inn Hotel, at 5 PM. It took us 3 hours and 30 minutes to get there because of heavy traffic jam. Mr. Ronald finally dropped us off to the hotel at 8:30 PM.
From 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM, we unpacked our luggage in our room and left to eat late dinner at a nearby restaurant. I wanted to eat both pork and seafood, so I ordered “Shrimp & Barbeque Party”, garlic rice, one bottle of San Miguel and Coke at a restaurant for 1,200 pesos. It was generally neat, but the food was too salty to eat.
And then, we booked at a massage through Trip Advisor App and proceeded at 10:30 PM. The cost is 300 peso per person for an hour. After finishing the massage, we came back at the hotel at midnight. It was painful, but it was getting better the next day.
March 25, 2019
On the third day, we woke up at 9 AM. I didn’t want to eat outside since I was tired due to tight schedules. So, our breakfast was 1 kg mango and a coconut pie that I bought yesterday and had early check-out early at 10 AM. Owing to Mr. Ronald’s guide tip, we easily looked around in Manila City on foot. First, we strolled around Rizal Park from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. It is the largest artificial park in the Philippines created to commemorate the Philippine national’s hero, Dr, Jose Rizal. After that, we walked around in Intramuros. It is the house and street of Spanish invasions preserved in the interior of the castle. In addition, there are churches, government offices and hospitals, etc.
After sightseeing, we went to the Aristocrat Restaurant by Grab car and ate several dishes from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. According to visitor’s comments, this restaurant is famous to suit Korean taste. I ordered “Lapu-Lapu fish, Lumpiang Shanghai, Mechado and garic rice” for 1,400 pesos. My memorable food is Lapu-Lapu fish because I like seafood. For my taste, it was sweet and fantastic!
After taking a rest from eating, we went to the hotel on foot and found our bags. We reserved Grab car to go to Citadines Bay City Manila Hotel. We arrived at the hotel at 4:30 PM, and we unpacked our luggage until 5:30 PM. Then, we wanted to rest more in the hotel; however, we didn’t have much time because it was time for the sun to set soon. We left to Manila Bay to see the sunset. We leisurely arrived at the Manila Bay and could see the sunset. It took approximately one (1) hour to watch it. It was really beautiful.
From 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, we hit the road from Manila Bay to SM mall of ASIA. We bought some souvenirs and ate dinner at Japanese restaurant in the mall. Unfortunately, the pork cutlet and donburi we ordered were again salty, but it was delicious.
As a result, we have time left, hence we visited Macapagal Seaside Market via Grab car at 9:30 PM. But it was so scary unlike what we thought. Many merchants caught us to sell seafood to. Consequently, we ran away from there via Grab car going to massage shop, Bahn Khun Thai massage, at 10:30 PM. We got Stone Massages until midnight and the price was 700 pesos per person for 1h and 30m. Although, it was expensive than the first time, it was good. After finishing our massage, we arrived to Hotel on foot at 12:30 AM.
March 25, 2019
On our last day, we got up at 8:00 AM and used the free hotel swimming pool until 10:00 AM. After swimming at 10:00 AM, we enjoyed the free breakfast. In addition, breakfast closing time is 10:30 AM. They have fish dishes, French fries, various bread, and fruits. It was already the closing time, so I felt sorry to eat them quickly.
After eating breakfast, we went to Robinson mall near the hotel, I bought carrier locks, snacks, mango chocolates, drinks and bread until 12: 30 PM. My friend went to Manila airport to go back to Korea and I went to Genesis bus terminal going to Baguio. Fortunately, we safely returned to our respective homes. In my case, it took six hours to travel to Baguio terminal via Joy bus and then I arrived at Talk academy at 9 PM.
Before, I just traveled alone or with my family. However, this time with my friend, so I was very excited and happy. Even though, riding a Joy bus is tiring for me. It was an exhilarating experience.