Moments to Celebrate in Manila, just a RedDoorz (and train ride) away!

By now, you’ve already experienced riding our trains to move from one point to another. 

But have you ever wondered how it feels like to celebrate some of your best adventure moments in Metro Manila through a train ride? 

If you’re up to some fun, consider exploring the Metro via this public transport. Don’t worry! There’s a RedDoorz hotel in every relevant corner that you can check-in to afterward. 

First stop: Start at the heart of the City

  • Jumpstart your day with a ride from Roosevelt Avenue or Baclaran Stations of LRT 1 and stop at Central Station. Then stroll in the newly cleaned up Bonifacio Shrine, visit the National Museum of Arts and History, followed by a bamboo bicycle ride in the Walled City of Intramuros. These are enough to kick off a brand new day! 
Bamboo Bikes in Intramuros

Second Stop: Drop by the Rizal Momu

  • From Central Station, you may step down in the United Nations Station which is just a five-minute walk to the Rizal Park. Pay respect to our National Hero, Jose Rizal, in his shrine. Gather around and make sure you brought some snacks for a quick picnic within the area. 
Rizal Monument at Rizal Park

Third Stop: Go all the way to EDSA

  • You have tons of choices to explore here. You can either pivot around and go straight to one of the biggest shopping centers, the SM Mall of Asia Arena, or hitch a ride at the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 Taft Avenue Station and go all the way to North Avenue in Quezon City. Never hesitate for both choices can lead to fun places.
SM Mall of Asia

Fourth Stop: Take the train to the Central Business District

  • The Yellow Line’s third stop from Taft Avenue is the Ayala Station, which is a walk away from SM City Makati, Glorietta, and Greenbelt. Shop ‘til you drop or watch the light show at Ayala Triangle Gardens because we are already in that season. 

Fifth Stop: Exploring Cubao!

  • Araneta Center Cubao Station of MRT is also linked to the Cubao Station of LRT 2, so don’t panic if you see the place packed with people. That’s also a good sign because it means there’s a lot that’s happening here. From searching antiques and collectible artifacts to drinking your favorite alcoholic beverage to posing with 3D art masterpieces in a museum – it seems that this is where you should be. 

Sixth Stop: Time for food trips!

  • Catch the train that’s going to GMA-Kamuning, Quezon Avenue, and North Avenue Stations of MRT. Quezon City is known for its hip restos and food strips that serve a variety of cuisines that will surely fill you up after a day of endless train rides and sightseeing. 

Seventh Stop: Stay at RedDoorz’ affordable hotels!

  • For every train ride is a RedDoorz hotel nearby. We invite you to stay in these affordable hotels after a long day of endless discoveries in Manila, especially that this month, our rooms are as low as P799! We can be your stopovers so that you can reminisce about the moments you’ve just had in every station! 

The operating hours of our railways in Manila are open from Mondays to Fridays from 5:30 AM to 11:00 PM, and 5:30 AM to 10:00 PM on weekends and holidays.

Save your weekend for a one-of-a-kind travel experience in these hot spots of Manila!  Book RedDoorz today!

Congratulations to our first batch of Dropbox of Happiness Winners!

Great customer service goes above and beyond meeting guests’ expectations and ensuring that all their needs are met. As we strive to improve each guest’s customer experience, we are also motivating and encouraging our staff to continue going above and beyond.

The Drop Box of Happiness is a small comment box placed on every RedDoorz property. It helps us gather honest feedback, suggestions, and comments from guests on how well they were served during their stay.  

So far, the comments have been nothing but positive. On July 18, we had a simple awarding ceremony for the Top 5 staff who received the most number of glowing commendations from RedDoorz guests from this Batch of Drop Box of Happiness submissions.

Each of the winners received a Sodexo Gift Certificate worth P1,000 and a Dowell Industrial Fan. 

The first batch of top 5 staff got a total of 152 praises out of 880+ guest feedbacks. Jon from RedDoorz Premium Venice Luxury BGC 1 led the pack with 51 commendations. This was followed by Mae of RedDoorz Premium Timog with 36; Vanessa of RedDoorz Premium near Arca South, Taguig with 34; Georgie of RedDoorz Chino Roces, Makati with 17; and Manilyn of RedDoorz Moonwalk, Paranaque with 14.

Here are some of the most heartwarming comments left by their impressed and satisfied guests.

Manilyn of RedDoorz @ Moonwalk Paranaque!

  1. She is very approachable and friendly. Because of her we will be back again soon! -N. Dy
  2. She is great and understanding. She is nice and sweet -M. Yape
  3. Great Customer Service! – J. Baltazar
  4. She’s very helpful with finding bus connections – X. Scherrer

Jon of RedDoorz Premium @ Venice Luxury BGC 1!

Here’s what guests had to say: 

  1. He’s easy to get along [with], very respectful, informative and helpful. – A. Jumawan
  2. He’s willing to go above and beyond when I misplaced my key – D. Leroy
  3. He’s quick to respond, helpful, and very friendly – P. Marquez
  4. He’s on time and very accommodating! Superb! – R. Viloria

Mae of RedDoorz @ Timog Avenue!

Here’s what guests had to say: 

  1. She’s organized and detail oriented for guest service  -G. Formoso
  2. Clean rooms and kind staff! – J. Polencioso
  3. Satisfied, 100%! – A. Meno
  4. She’s always smiling – R. Amigo

Vanessa of RedDoorz near Arca South Taguig!
Here’s what guests had to say: 

  1. She’s friendly, accommodating, [and] responsive. – C. Nino
  2. Very attentive! – J. Cortel
  3. She’s pleasant and warm – T. Sison
  4. She’s very accommodating and efficient – M. Jugan

Georgie of RedDoorz @ Chino Roces Makati!

Here’s what guests had to say: 

  1. She made staying in RedDoorz worriless – E. Santiago
  2. She’s soft spoken, kind, and also Approachable – H. Chua
  3. She’s very good and a professional – C. Yang
  4. She’s accommodating and kind – M. Chang

RedDoorz will continue to recognize and appreciate our staff’s untiring efforts and commitment to deliver the best customer experience to every guest who stays with us.

Congratulations to all of our winners and we’re looking forward to the next batch of Drop Box of Happiness awardees. You never cease to make us proud!

Your next staycation in Makati: Just a RedDoorz away

3 must-try activities to do to enjoy your time off to the fullest even without leaving the Metro

Sure, it must’ve been a tiring work week, especially if you happen to be working in one of the Philippines’ busiest premiere business and leisure hubs like Makati City. The traffic, unpredictable weather, stress brought about by work, among other things can take their toll on you in the long run.

The bottomline: You, indeed, deserve a sound and quality rest and relish every opportunity to get one.  

The good thing is, you don’t really need to look elsewhere or travel that far if you’re looking for a place to crash. Besides, the long and arduous commute can certainly eat up a lot of time when you should be relaxing at your hotel suite, be it with your family, friends or you’re riding solo.

Opting to have a staycation to maximize the time is a smart choice. That’s why we’ve listed down some of the activities that you or your peers may try that’ll surely make it worth your while:

Enjoy your suite to the fullest

Hold your horses. Before stepping outside your hotel room to do some activities, drop by a restaurant, do some shopping or visit a park around the corner, why not make the most of what your suite has to offer first? 

At the end of the day, it’s all about spending some quality time with the family or me-time, right? Take RedDoorz Premium near Greenbelt in Makati City for instance. 

RedDoorz Premium near Greenbelt Makati
RedDoorz Premium near Greenbelt Makati

Since it features fully-furnished and comfy rooms that’ll make you feel at home, you can have a pleasant stay, to say the least. Even better, each room has high-speed Wi-Fi connection and TVs with cable, enabling you to relax, surf or do movie marathons with ease.     

And hey, have we mentioned that we have round-the-clock staff  in place who can even help you map out your itinerary? 

Step out and explore

Let’s face it: Sometimes we let a lot of stuff take over. We tend to forget to hit the pause button, breathe and appreciate some places that we usually take for granted, just because we’re too busy.

In Makati, for example, there’s quite a handful of landmarks, leisure and entertainment spots where you may try visiting, in case you haven’t yet. 

Great thing, RedDoorz Premium is situated at the heart of Makati. Located nearby Greenbelt, you and your friends can hit the Ayala Museum. If you feel like walking a bit more, then visit the San Lorenzo Village Museum, as well, to satisfy your craving for art.    

Pre-hispanic sailboat at Ayala Museum (Photo courtesy of phtourguide.com)
Ayala Museum (Photo courtesy of pageone.ph)

On top of a wide host of shopping malls to choose from, you can also hit the Salcedo Saturday Market or Legazpi Sunday Market (if your booking dates happen to coincide on these days). You know the drill.     

Make every moment count

Just because you’re not leaving the Metro to unwind doesn’t mean that you won’t have a great relaxation time. In fact, even when in Makati, there’s a lot of places to visit and activities to do after replenishing some of your energy, of course. 

Ayala Triangle Gardens (Photo by: Laarni Operana)

Remember: Staycations aren’t just about sleeping and chilling inside your hotel room and there’s more to them that’s worth the experience. 

10 Tips For Smarter Traveling

Traveling can be very intimidating especially to those who have seldom or never done it. Oftentimes it’s the preparation and getting into the mindset of travel is what discourages people to even try it. However, once you dip your toes into it, it’s actually not intimidating at all.

These tips will help you lose your pre-trip jitters and make the most out of your travel.

Organize your itinerary, but leave room to breathe

You don’t want to arrive to your destination without having a clue on where to go or what to do. Spontaneity is one thing, but wasting three hours at the hotel trying to Google restaurants and sites to see doesn’t seem like an efficient use of time.

Research on cool spots beforehand, and map out a route that would allow you to make the most out of your day. However, you mustn’t get carried away with the planning. Leave time to appreciate where you are and experience new things.

Scope out the best deals

Technology (i.e. the Internet) has changed our understanding of sulit. There will always be a better deal out there in the interwebs.

Regularly scan airlines for schedules of their sales and piso fare deals (or subscribe to their mailing list), and compare prices on online travel agency websites. The same goes for attraction and activity tickets. Several online platforms have made travel experiences more affordable.

For hotels, you can’t go wrong with RedDoorz. With more than 150 hotels in more than 10 destinations in the Philippines, and over 1,000 all over Southeast Asia, RedDoorz offers affordable rooms with complete amenities in convenient locations.

Pack light smart

There’s nothing more satisfying than packing for a five-day trip with just carry-on luggage. While “always be prepared” has its merits, you have to take practicality into consideration. Do you need rainboots in Boracay? Will you be wearing that massive sun hat more than once?

Get a cabin-sized bag (read: airline overhead luggage size chart), and plan what to bring based on your itinerary. Roll t-shirts, fold trousers and other items of clothing neatly, and organize them into compression cubes to save even more space.

Bring a travel adapter

It gets frustrating when you travel to a new place and find out all of your plugs do not fit the sockets. Avoid the unpleasant surprise by bringing a travel adapter and save on any extra spending on plugs and adapters.

Bring a power bank (fully charged, please)

Power banks are your lowkey lifesavers when you travel, especially when you go to remote areas where a socket isn’t accessible. Just make sure to charge it up before you leave the hotel room, okay?

Download travel apps you can use offline

As with power sources, Wi-Fi and mobile data aren’t always reliable. It’s best to download travel apps that you can use offline such as currency exchanges, translators and offline maps of your destination.

Read up on public transportation

Sticking to taxis and TNVS platforms isn’t the smartest way to go. Aside from being expensive, availability is hit and miss. Acquaint yourself with local public transportation prices and routes to help you get around and navigate in case you get lost.

Keep emergency cash separate

Don’t bring wads of cash in your wallet. Remember to separate some and hide them in different places just in case.

Explore like a local

Don’t feel like a tourist: do what the locals do. Don’t be afraid to find yourself in an unfamiliar situation because it’s all part of the experience. Explore local watering holes, eat where the locals eat. If there’s an authority on the best stuff to do where you’re going, it would be them. And if you don’t know where to start, ask!

Don’t forget to enjoy!

Traveling is about the experience–the joy you get from escaping the everyday and discovering new things. While travel does require planning and quite a bit of thinking, it’s important to take a step back and enjoy the moment.

About RedDoorz

RedDoorz gives everyone a smarter way of traveling by providing quality accommodations at a fraction of the price of other hotel brands through its app and website. Each hotel is conveniently located and accessible to private and public transportation, and provides guaranteed amenities such as fast and reliable Wi-Fi, cable TV, toiletries and bottled water.

To know more about RedDoorz and its hotels, visit www.reddoorz.com or download the app for Android and iOS.

Pampanga Tourist Spot List for Your Next Epic Weekend Escapade

Wondering where to go with your family or friends for a quick weekend escapade? Why not go to the Philippines’ culinary capital, which is none other than Pampanga? Just about an hour drive from Manila through North Luzon Expressway, Pampanga is known for its diverse range of mouth-watering Kampampangan dishes that have won not just the palates of Pinoys all over, but foreigners as well. Some of the notable ones include the ever popular Sisig, Bringhe, Bopis, Kalderetang Kambing, Menudo, Bulanglang, and Lumpiang Ubod.

Beyond being a culinary haven, Pampanga also makes for an excellent hub for adventures and activities. So if you are sold with the idea of going here for the weekend, here is a Pampanga tourist spot list that you can tick off.

Go on a Cultural Tour at Nayong Pilipino

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Replica of Barasoain Church – Image Credit: Nayong Pilipino

First in our Pampanga tourist spot list is Nayong Pilipino in Clark Freeport Zone. This cultural theme park sits at a 3.5-hectare estate and features the replicas of some of the country’s famous landmarks, including Barasoain Church, Chocolate Hills, Magellan’s Cross, and the residences of heroes’ Dr. Jose Rizal, Apolinario Mabini, and Emilio Aguinaldo. You can also explore the authentic houses common in Bicol, Batanes, Mountain Province and Mindanao, and learn about the culture and daily life of indigenous groups like Ifugao, Aeta, and Kalinga people.

Aside from showcasing many of the country’s well-known sightseeing spots, other features you can enjoy at Nayong Pilipino are the performances of different traditional Filipino dances; “changing exhibits” that range from paintings to sculptures; water activities; Filipino-made products; and themed festival events.

Address: Centennial Road, Clark Field, Mabalacat, Pampanga

Learn About Pampanga’s Rich History at the Center for Kapampangan Studies in HAU

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Juan D. Nepomuceno Center of Kapampangan Studies – Image Credit: Judgefloro Wikimedia Commons

It is always nice to know about local culture and history when you travel because it gives you a glimpse of what a place and its people are all about. So when in Pampanga, be sure to drop by at the Center for Kapampangan Studies, which is located inside the Holy Angel University in Angeles City.

The primary advocacy of the center is to study, preserve, and promote the culture and history of Kapampangans. This is why it combines a museum, library, theater, archives, publishing house and research center in one place. While in here, check out the extensive collection of books, memorabilia, and journals about Pampanga and its people. It is also a good idea to visit the Pinatubo Museum, which is the newest addition to the center, where you can see a mural timeline of Mount Pinatubo’s history and exhibits of Kapampangan artists Arnel Garcia and Joel Mallari.

Address: Holy Angel Street, Angeles City, Pampanga

Discover the Wealth and Diversity of Filipino Culture at Pamintuan Mansion

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Pamintuan Mansion – Image Credit: Angeles City Tourism Website

Many of the museums throughout the Philippines feature the work of national heroes and political events that shape the country. If you want something that focuses more on the social history of Filipinos both in the past and present, Pamintuan Mansion is the Pampanga tourist spot you should visit.

The 125-year-old mansion in Angeles City was inaugurated as the Museum of Philippine Social History in August 2015. It used to be the seat of government of the First Philippine Republic from May to July 1899 under the leadership of General Emilio Aguinaldo. It also became the headquarters of General MacArthur in November 1899 and the base of Japanese kamikaze pilots during Second World War.

The iconic mansion-turned-museum features nine galleries, each of which depicts different aspects of the Filipino way of life. As such, you can find various information and memorabilia about the construction and history of the mansion itself; different textiles, accessories, and weaving tools of the Philippines; various clothing styles from past to present; architectural styles used across the archipelago; 19th century bedroom furniture; Filipino musical compositions; traditional Filipino games; Philippine mythological creatures; and traditional kitchen utensils, daily market scenes, and contemporary food.

Address: Santo Entierro and Miranda Street, Barangay Santo Rosario, Angeles City, Pampanga

Try Thrilling Activities at SandBox

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Sandbox Attractions – Image Credit: Alviera Official Website

Sandbox in Porac, Pampanga is a sprawling destination for those who love adrenaline-pumping rides and attractions. So if you want to let all your stress out, this is the Pampanga tourist spot you should not miss.

If you want an experience that will take you high literally, ride the tallest giant swing in the Philippines with two of your friends or family and be prepared to be rocked back and forth 10 meters above the ground. You can also do the Aerial Walk Challenge, which is a course of high ropes and nets that will put your stamina, flexibility, and agility to test. Or, if you want try something more daring, Avatar One, which is the first roller coaster zipline in the Philippines, is the ride for you. This 180-meter zipline course takes you 12 meters high and it doesn’t run on a straight line but a series of zigzags that is sure to leave you feeling breathless.

Other exhilarating rides and attractions to be enjoyed here include the ATV or UTV ride; the 15-meter Adventure Tower; Splash Tub; City Kart Racing; and Outdoor Archery.

Address: Alviera Subdivision, Sapang UWAK Rd, Porac, Pampanga

Bask and Dine in Puning Hot Spring & Restaurant

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Puning Hot Spring & Restaurant – Image Credit: Angeles City Tourism Website

More than two decades ago, Mount Pinatubo erupted, ravaging the towns in Pampanga and the livelihoods of Kampapangans. Recovery was not easy, but over the years the province, along with its people, proves its resilience, resourcefulness, and ingenuity. These are apparent from the development of new communities, businesses, and attractions that cropped up in the area and found ingenious ways to bring Pampanga to its former glory and vibrancy.

Puning Hot Spring and Resort is one of those businesses that has found a way to breathe new life to Puning, which was one of the areas badly affected by the 1991 eruption. Because the area is considered home by the Aetas, this resort provides a source of livelihood for these indigenous people.

The recreational facility has 11 hot spring pools where you can dip in for some good old-fashioned relaxation. It also has a sand spa where you will lay on a heated bed of fine volcanic ash and be covered in sand.  Accordingly, this can help improve blood circulation on top of making you feel relaxed. While in this Pampanga tourist spot, you should also try out their 4×4 off-road ride, which will take you through beautiful river gorges and lahar landscapes.

Address: Sitio Target, Barangay Sapang Bato, Angeles City, Pampanga

 As you can see, Pampanga is not just about delicious food. It is also an enclave for destinations that have historical and cultural importance as well as attractions and activities that are sure to give you an exciting and enjoyable time with your family and friends. We have barely scratched the surface with the Pampanga tourist spot list provided above. There is more to this gem of a province in the northwest of Manila that is just waiting to be explored. Mekeni king Pampanga!

Exciting Tourist Spots in the Philippines for Thrill Seekers

With its wide array of white sand beaches, pristine waters, impressive mountain ranges, and other natural and manmade wonders, the Philippines truly has a lot to offer to local and foreign tourists alike. Instead of just viewing and appreciating these beauties from afar, however, wouldn’t it be nice to fully immerse in them? If you are ready to get out of your comfort zone and make the most out of your next trip, here are a handful of recommended tourist spots in the Philippines that are sure to bring out your inner thrill seeker.

Scale Mount Hibok-Hibok in Camiguin

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Mount Hibok-Hibok — Image Credit: PostScriptAdventure

Mountaineering and hiking are fast becoming the favorite past times of many young Filipinos. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, knowing that the country has some of the best mountains and trails that readily await visitors who embrace nature and its wild side.

If you are in for a good hike that will leave you with sweaty palms and palpitating heart, Mount Hibok-Hibok in Camiguin Island is one of the best tourist spots in the Philippines to visit. Unlike any other hiking trail, this one is an active volcano that is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Although there are no signs of volcanic activity here, a special permit from the DENR office in Mambajao is necessary to make the hike. At 1,332 meters, scaling Hibok-Hibok make for a challenging day trip because of rapid altitude gain and minimal coverage from the sun. Reaching the peak may take anywhere between 3 and 5 hours, but rest assured that your struggle won’t go in vain as you will be greeted by the spectacular views of Ilihan Crater, the nearby White Island, and even Bohol to the north, Surigao to the east, and Siquijor to the west.

Go Canyoneering in Cebu

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Kawasan Falls Canyoneering — Image Credit: Cebu Bohol Travel Tours

Cebu is best known for its beaches and coral atolls, which explains why it’s one of the most popular tourist spots in the Philippines. Beyond these natural wonders, however, Cebu also boasts lush foliage and rough canyons that appeal to thrill seeking tourists. If you happen to be one of them, Matutinao River Kawasan Falls won’t disappoint.

Located in Badian, which is a 3-hour drive from Cebu City, Kawasan Falls and its surrounding area are best explored through canyoneering—an activity that combines various techniques such as walking, climbing, jumping, swimming, and rappelling. Imagine yourself trekking through thick foliage, rappelling walls, jumping off a waterfall, and swimming down rapids. What more adventure could you ask for?

Dive with Whale Sharks in Sorsogon

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Whale Shark in Donsol — Image Credit: Mambulaoans Worldwide Buzz

Sharks may have that fearsome reputation as bloodthirsty man-eaters, but the species of whale sharks (locally called “butanding”) that frequent Donsol in Sorsogon are the exact opposite. These gentle giants of the sea are known for their timid and curious nature. Due to this, it is not dangerous to interact with them at all. In fact, “magical” is probably the best term to describe an encounter with these swimmers up close.

Go to Donsol between the months of January and July, as these are the times when unknown numbers of whale sharks gather in the waters of this coastal town to feed on planktons and krill. Prior to getting into the deep, you will have to attend an orientation to know the guidelines that must be observed during your interaction with whale sharks. Once you are familiar with the rules, get into your assigned boat complete with your life jacket and snorkeling gear, and be ready to swim in the middle of the sea and be in awe of these wonderful creatures.

Ride Down the Sand Dunes of Ilocos Norte

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La Paz Sand Dunes — Image Credit: Wikipedia

If extreme adventures that involve water is not your cup of tea, sandboarding is something worth your consideration. The sand dunes in La Paz and Paoay both in Ilocos Norte are the best tourist spots in the Philippines to live this adventure. You can grab a board and slide down the steep, powdery dunes, while taking in the beautiful view of the ocean nearby. If you haven’t had enough of the sand but are too tired to go up and down the dunes, continue your adventure by hopping on a 4×4 or ATV that will take you through those sandy slopes with a bit of wiggle and shake.

Be Carried Away to the Skies by a Hot Air Balloon in Clark

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Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta — Image Credit: Ninjakeg (Wikimedia Commons)

Ready to finally conquer your fear of heights or perhaps give in to your desire to soar through the air? Riding a hot air balloon is the first step to make that a reality. Each year, Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga hosts The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, making the area one of the premier tourist spots in the Philippines. The festival, which occurs between January and February has been running for over two decades and is known for featuring more than a hundred of multi-colored hot air balloons flown by pilots from around the world.

Flying exhibitions are usually done early in the morning. Soon after, there are a number of flying activities where attendees can take part in, including hot air balloon riding. Discovery flight tickets can be booked through the fiesta’s official website prior to the event. Be sure to get one so you can conquer the skies and get an unbeatable view of Pampanga and other towns from above. Aside from a hot air balloon ride, you can also go on tandem skydiving or paragliding or airplane and helicopter rides.

Casually Bike 60 Feet Up the Air in Davao

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Skycycling at Eden Nature Park — Image Credit: Eden Nature Park

Who knew biking can be done on air, too? That’s the point of Skycycle in Eden Nature Park in Davao. The bikes here are supported by a bunch of cables that are suspended 60 feet up in the air. You then pedal through a distance of 200 meters (400 in total back and forth), with only a harness and helmet to give you that little sense of security. Sure enough, this one is not for the faint of heart. Yet, if you are brave enough to cross those cables, you will be rewarded with an exhilarating view of the greenery below. That is if you still have the wits to look down.

Skycycle aside, Eden Nature Park is one of those tourist spots in the Philippines known for offering a range of other activities that will have you pumped up for hours. These include the Skyrider, a zipline ride, and Skyswing, which is basically a swing that will sway you 80-95 feet up in the air.

If you’ve had your fill of regular strolls and sightseeing activities, it’s about time to take your trip to the next level by visiting the above mentioned tourist spots in the Philippines. Get out of your comfort zone and give yourself an all out thrill you won’t get from a typical trip.

A Short List of Delish Filipino Food Choices to Recommend to Your Foreign Friends

When it comes to Southeast Asian cuisine, Filipino food usually falls wayside to its neighbors. This is a bit saddening, considering the Philippines boasts multiple regions, rich cultural and historical influences, and abundance of crops, seafood and livestock. That means our country has a diverse range of delicious dishes to offer that also reflect our pride, heritage, and love for lutong-bahay (home-cooked meals). This is also the reason why “kain” (eat) is a common greeting and invitation among us, Pinoys.

If your foreign friends are coming over for a vacation, don’t forget to treat them to some delicious Filipino dishes to complete their immersion into our culture. Not sure what to serve them? We’ve rounded up some options you can recommend that will surely indulge their palate.

Adobo

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Adobo – Image Credit: dbgg1979 on Flickr

If there is a king or queen of Filipino food, Adobo will likely take the crown. Although of Mexican origin, Adobo is a comfort food for majority of Pinoys that we love it like it is our own. This dish is so ubiquitous, there are potentially hundreds of variations in every region. Yet, the ingredients and way of cooking are always the same: you slowly simmer the meat—either chicken or pork or a combination of both—in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, bay leaf and other spices until they are tender, and you’re good to go. This technique of cooking helps preserve the meat even without refrigeration. In fact, Adobo tastes even better the day after it’s cooked.

Lechon

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Lechon – Image Credit: Everything Cebu

This particular Filipino food is traditionally served in fiestas (local festivities) or any other special occasion. A whole pig is spit-roasted over coal, until the skin becomes golden-brown and crisp and the meat is juicy. It is then served with a special sauce (usually liver sauce) together with hot rice. Depending on the region, the stomach of the pig is stuffed with a variety of spices to make the meat savory even without the sauce.

If you want to serve your friends some Lechon they won’t forget, be sure to take them to Cebu because this is where the best ones are hailed from. Even the late celebrity chef and television personality, Anthony Bourdain vouched for this on his blog entry titled “The Hierarchy of Pork.” Coming from someone who has travelled the world all over and tasted a wide variety of cuisines, Bourdain’s words speak volumes about how good Cebu’s Lechons truly are.

Crispy Pata

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Crispy Pata – Image Credit: Roland on Flickr

Lechon can get pretty expensive, especially if you buy it whole. So if you are working on a tight budget, Crispy Pata is an alternative that won’t disappoint. Not to scare your foreign friends, but this Filipino food is pork knuckle simmered for hours in spices to make the meat tender and then dip fried until the skin is crisp to perfection. This is best served with a sauce that combines vinegar, soy sauce, and chili. Feeling hungry yet?

Sisig

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Sisig – Image Credit: Ron Diggity on Flickr

Have we mentioned how much we love our pork? Because if not, know that we truly do, and we don’t want any of its parts going to waste. This is why our next entry on the list reflects the Filipinos’ no-waste attitude towards food—Sisig.

A delicacy from the Philippines’ culinary capital of Pampanga, Sisig is made out of different pig parts (usually the head), including the cheeks and ears as well as liver. The parts are chopped into small pieces and marinated in a sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar, and spices and then boiled, broiled, and grilled to achieve a crunchy and chewy texture. Finally, it is cooked together with chopped onions and then served on a sizzling plate with egg.  Don’t forget to season it with calamansi and chili peppers! Although Sisig is often enjoyed with rice, it also makes for an excellent pulutan, an accompaniment for alcoholic beverages. So if your foreign friends are down for a good time, serve them Sisig and cold beer. Tagay na!

Chicken Inasal

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Chicken Inasal – Image Credit: Elmer B. Domingo

Hailing from the city of smiles that is Bacolod, chicken Inasal is a classic char-grilled Filipino food. Just to be clear, though, this is not your average grilled chicken. Chicken parts are marinated in a special kind of sauce—a mix of lemon grass, calamansi, garlic, ginger, and other spices—to give them their savory flavor. They are then skewered in bamboo sticks, roasted over hot coal, and baste with atsuete oil. Best served with a generous amount of rice and chili-mansi sawsawan (chili and calamansi sauce).

Bulalo

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Bulalo – Image Credit: Homestyle Filipino Recipes

Sure, the Philippines’ weather is perpetually hot, but that doesn’t stop us, Pinoys, from enjoying our ultimate comfort soup that is Bulalo (beef marrow stew). The stars of this Filipino food are the bone-in beef shanks and marrow boiled for hours in onions, peppercorns, and fish sauce. Once the broth is clear and the meat is tender, corn and cabbage are added into the mix.

Batangas and Tagaytay are two of the places known for serving the best-tasting Bulalo. Tag your foreign friends along to either location after a night of drinking and partying. A steaming bowl of Bulalo is the best cure for hangover and a hungry stomach.

Pinakbet

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Pinakbet – Image Credit: Kusina Maria

Of course, you don’t want to serve your foreign friends with just meat throughout their stay, right? So it’s a good idea to change the menu up a bit by adding Pinakbet in the list. A specialty of Ilocos, this vegetable-filled Filipino food features a combination of okra, squash, eggplant, string beans, bitter gourd, and tomatoes, sautéed and simmered along with bagoong (shrimp or fish paste). Aside from being healthy, this dish is easy to whip up and can be made sa abot kayang halaga!

Lumpia

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Lumpia – Image Credit: pxhere

Lumpia, which is the Filipino version of spring rolls, is a perennial favorite. It is often served to guests whenever there are local festivities or other social gatherings, though it is also the appetizer of choice for many restaurants and households.

There are two versions of Lumpia: fried (popularly referred to as lumpiang Shanghai or pritong Lumpia) and fresh (also known as lumpiang ubod). For the fried version, the delicate egg wrapper is filled with seasoned ground pork (usually pork or beef), while the fresh one contains strips of ubod (pith of coconut tree), vegetables, and sautéed shrimp and pork. The first is best enjoyed with lugaw (congee) or rice. The latter is served along with sweet sauce that has garlic and peanuts in it and best eaten as a stand-alone dish.

We can go on and on with this because there are numerous Filipino food choices that are as filling as they are mouth-watering. Be sure to take your pick from the list and make your foreign friends try them out. Doing so is a great way to introduce and educate them about our food culture. Kain na!

Interactive Museums in the Philippines Perfect for Families and Barkadas

The Philippines is heralded for its pristine beaches and other natural wonders. What not many people are aware of—locals included—is that it also boasts a broad range of museums, where one can learn a treasure trove of stuff, from science and history to culture and heritage.

Before you yawn and think that these places of learning are boring—with their carefully arranged objects that are only to be viewed and appreciated from afar—think again. There are, in fact, a variety of museums in the Philippines that allow visitors to actually touch, handle, and interact with exhibits, making them ideal for families with kids as well as groups of friends. Learn something new while also having fun with these interactive museums in the Philippines.

Mind Museum, Taguig

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The Mind Museum – Image Credit: The Mind Museum (FB Page)

Learning science can be enjoyable, too. That’s the message the Mind Museum in Taguig wants to deliver, and it successfully does so. Housing more than 250 amazing exhibits and showcasing a range of experiments, planetarium shows, and discussions on different scientific topics, there’s a lot to keep you and the rest of the family, especially the kids, occupied. Think a day of scientific exploration isn’t enough for a good nerdy fun? Why not sleep on it? Literally! Mind Museum offers a scheduled themed night wherein visitors can explore galleries after hours. After that, you can be down for the night at the Universe Gallery underneath its starry skies.

Location: JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-6pm

Art in Island, Cubao

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Art in Island – Image Credit: Art in Island (FB Page)

One of the common complaints people have over traditional art museums in the Philippines is that they are not allowed to touch and take photos of exhibits. These somehow affect the quality of experience for some museum-goers because they don’t have physical contact with the artworks nor mementos to remember their visit. These should not be a problem in Art in Island Museum in Cubao.

The museum is as interactive as it gets. All 200 masterpieces in this 3d art museum—some of which are reproduction of the work of renowned artists—are created to be touched and photographed. So get your phone’s camera ready, strike a pose, and take that insta-worthy, artsy shot!

Location: 175 5th Ave., Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City, 1109 Metro Manila

Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30am-9:30pm

Quezon City Experience (QCX), Quezon City

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Quezon City Experience (QCX) – Image Credit: Quezon City Experience (FB Page)

Quezon City may be one of the most progressive and populous cities in Metro Manila. Yet, it is also the place where major events that shaped the history of the Philippines itself transpired. Considering its rich past, the city deserves a place where locals and foreigners alike can ‘walk back in time’ and learn its socio-cultural history. This is where the Quezon City Experience comes into play.

The socio-cultural museum is housed in a green-compliant building and is regarded as one of the best family-friendly museums in the Philippines. It has a total of 16 interactive galleries where visitors can engage in experiential learning by interacting with the displays. Among the notable exhibits are the exact replicas of the sculptures found on top of Quezon Memorial shrine, the hill where former president Manuel L. Quezon stood to have a first look over the entirety of Quezon City, and the office that Manuel L. Quezon occupied in Malacañang. You will also enjoy learning about the city’s role during World War II at the war gallery; explore a typical Filipino home at the museum’s gallery on housing; and learn about the jeepney at the gallery dedicated to this iconic mode of transport.

Location: Quezon Memorial Circle, Elliptical Road, Quezon City

Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-5pm

Clark Museum and 4D Theater, Pampanga

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Clark Museum – Image Credit: Judgefloro (Wikimedia Commons)

Greater Manila area is not the only place where you can find quality interactive museums in the Philippines. In Clark, Pampanga, one of the most exciting things you and your family or friends can do is to drop by at the Clark Museum and 4D Theater. Although not as expansive as the previous museums mentioned in this list, this interactive learning spot is home to a large collection of items that are of great historical importance to Clark, which used to be a United States airbase, and its surrounding areas.

There are 4 galleries within the museum, all of which showcase the bravery and ingenuity of the Filipinos as well as the natural environment and industries that play a great role in Clark’s development. As you tour the area, you will see different artifacts and memorabilia during World War II and American occupation; learn about the life of the indigenous Aeta; and view photos of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption back in 1991. The 4D Theater located beside Clark Museum is also a must-visit, as it shows “Risen from the Ashes,” a documentary about the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo that cause a downpour of ashes not just in the Philippines but the entire world. Through the theater’s high-tech effects, you will feel like you are actually there when this natural calamity occurred.

Location: Between S. Osmeña and E. Jacinto, Clark Freeport, Mabalacat, Pampanga

Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-3:30pm

Motag Living Museum, Aklan

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Motag Living Museum – Image Credit: Motag Living Museum (FB Page)

Boracay may be the most well-known destination in the province of Aklan, but look beyond the clear, blue waters, powdery white sand, and dreamy sunsets, and you will discover that it has another gem awaiting tourists—The Motag Living Museum.

Located in Barangay Motag, Aklan, the museum is all about showcasing and preserving the heritage and way of life of the Malaynons. What sets it apart from other museums in the Philippines is that it encourages visitors to understand the local tradition and culture through immersion. Visit here and you will experience how to farm and mill rice without advanced machineries, cook native dishes using traditional tools, and weave crafts. Once done immersing yourself in the traditional Filipino way of living, consider purchasing a souvenir available in the museum. Proceeds from sales go to the community and support the activities for empowering the elderly.

Location: Barngay Motag, Malay, Aklan

Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-2pm

Malagos Chocolate Museum, Davao

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Malagos Chocolate Museum – Image Credit: RudeDolfo

If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a chocolatier or you are a chocoholic by heart, be sure to include Malagos Chocolate Museum in your next Davao trip. Opened last March 2017, this is the first of its kind in the country. It aims to help in uplifting the lives of cacao farmers by shining light on their work and contributions, their products, and the industry as a whole.

The museum has interactive cacao and chocolate installations that allow visitors to experience the tree-to-bar process of chocolate making. You can also enjoy all sorts of chocolate food and drinks in their Chocolate Bar and even learn how to make your own chocolate by spending time at the Malagos Chocolate Laboratory. Simply put, this is one sweet learning experience you definitely do not want to miss.

Location: Malagos Garden Resort, Malagos, Baguio District, Calinan – Baguio Rd, Davao

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday, 6am-4pm

Whether you want to embrace Philippine art or learn about the country’s amazing history and culture, the interactive museums in the Philippines are the best places to do that. If you haven’t visited any of the destinations mentioned above, it’s about time you do so. Bring the rest of the family or barkada with you and learn something new while having the best time of your lives.

Enter the #RedDoorzYOLO Groufie Contest and Win Amazing Prizes!

We’re giving away more than ₱70,000 worth of prizes for the lucky winners!

Time to call your barkada, take your best groufie, and win great prizes from RedDoorz PH!

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“You only live once!” or YOLO for short is the catchphrase that many of today’s younger generation live by. Although often associated with things like making rash decisions and unruly behavior, the YOLO mantra also has many positive aspects to it. That includes appreciation of life, having a general sense of happiness, and devoting more time to activities and relationships that foster positivity. These are the things that RedDoorz Philippines would like to celebrate this month of August!

Today, we’re kicking off the #RedDoorzYOLO groufie contest to encourage the young and young at heart Pinoys to share their experiences of making the most of living once through photos. Sounds fun? We think so, too. So if you’re ready, continue reading on to find out the specifics.

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Mechanics

  1. Like and Follow RedDoorz Philippines’ on Facebook and Instagram.
  2. Take your best and most creative group shot or groufie and make sure it reflects the YOLO lifestyle. The group must only be comprised of four (4) people.
  3. Post it on your FB or IG account and use #RedDoorzYOLO in your caption.
  4. Fill out and submit a Google Form entry: https://bit.ly/2Mk0zVJ
  5. Photos will be judged based on the following criteria:
  • Relevance (30%)
  • Fun Factor (25%)
  • Creativity (25%)
  • Overall Impact (20%)

Terms and Conditions

  1. You should be at least 18 years of age to participate in this contest.
  2. RedDoorz PH may request for valid IDs to verify your personal details, including your age, should you be chosen as one of the winners.
  3. You must be a Filipino and should be in the Philippines during the duration of the contest.
  4. You can send multiple entries, but you only need to submit the Google form once.
  5. Any disregard towards copyright laws and acts relating to plagiarism are grounds for automatic disqualification.
  6. RedDoorz will not tolerate any entry that may be viewed as offensive in race, morality, gender, religion, and/or cultures.
  7. RedDoorz PH reserves the right to delete any post/entry that we deem improper.
  8. Contest will start on from August 15, 2018 to September 5, 2018.
  9. Winners will be announced on September 10, 2018 at 6:00 PM via RedDoorz PH’s FB page.
  10. Winners will also be notified through email or private message on Facebook.

Contest Prizes

Grand Prize (Total Worth:  ₱33,836)

  • 3 days and 2 nights stay at Camp Netanya in Batangas for 4
  • Car Rental (Drop Off and Pick Up)
  • ₱5,000 worth of Sodexo Gift Certificates

Second Place (Total Worth: ₱16,000)

  • Saturday Lunch at Spiral Buffet for 4
  • Free Overnight Stay at any RedDoorz Property
  • ₱5,000 worth of Sodexo Gift Certificates

Third Place (Total Worth: ₱8,196)

  • Dessert Museum Entry for 4
  • Free Overnight Stay at any RedDoorz Property
  • ₱5,000 worth of Sodexo Gift Certificates

Fourth Place

  • Free Overnight Stay at any RedDoorz Property
  • ₱5,000 worth of Sodexo Gift Certificates

Fifth Place

  • Free Overnight Stay at any RedDoorz Property
  • ₱2,500 worth of Sodexo Gift Certificates

Sixth to 20th Place

  • ₱500 worth of Sodexo Gift Certificates

We believe that there are no better promoters of the YOLO mantra than our young and fun-loving fellow Filipinos. So let’s celebrate the beauty of life and appreciate its wonders through your photos. Good luck!

Top 4 Places to Visit in Manila for First Time Travelers’ to the Philippines

For majority of those travelling to the Philippines, Manila is often relegated as nothing more than the point of entry to many of the country’s premier islands. Sure, its crazy traffic, dense population, and seemingly endless sea of concrete buildings may discourage you from exploring the capital, especially if it’s your first time.

However, if you  keep an open mind and let your inner adventurer take the lead, you’ll be surprised to know that there is actually so much to see here that are worth your time and will make your vacation all the more memorable. Having said that, we have put together a list of top 4 places to visit in Manila if it’s your first time in the city.

Tour the Walled District of Intramuros

Intramuros Manila

Intramuros Manila – Image Credit: Armanbarbuco (Wikimedia Commons)

Intramuros, which means within the walls, is the oldest part of Manila. Built in 1571, this 64-hectare stone citadel used to be the seat of power for the Spanish colonists for 400 years. It also survived subsequent foreign invasions and suffered great damage during World War II, with San Agustin Church being the only building left standing after the war. Through the initiative of the government, Intramuros was restored to its former glory in the 1980s and has retained its old-world charm to date.

Having witnessed centuries-worth of events under foreign rule, this fortified center tells a lot of stories about Filipino life and culture of that time, making it one of the top places to visit in Manila. Fort Santiago, for instance, which is the Philippines’ oldest Hispanic stone fortress, fended off marauding Chinese pirates and also served as prison for political prisoners of the Spanish-era and torture chamber of the Japanese during World War II. Puerta de Santa Lucia, which was built in 1603 and is one of the gates passing through Intramuros, is where visitors can climb up and get a good view of the thoroughfares within the walled district. Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church, on the other hand, are two of the religious sites within Intramuros that stood as witnesses in the spread of Catholicism in the country. Other notable sites to explore include Plaza Moriones, Rizal Shrine, Bateria de Santa Barbara, Bahay Tsinoy, and Casa Manila.

Get Educated on the Natural, Cultural, and Visual Heritage of Filipinos by Dropping by the National Museum of the Philippines

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National Museum of the Philippines – Image Credit: Mike Gonzales (Wikipedia)

 

The National Museum of the Philippines is one of the best places to visit in Manila to immerse yourself in Filipino cultural and historical artifacts, works of art, and natural history. Established in 1901, it was originally intended as an ethnography and natural history museum. When it subsequently moved into its present building, which was designed by American Architect Daniel Burnham in 1918, the National Museum of the Philippines broadened its concerns in various areas of cultural heritage, natural history, and other sciences. Today, it continues its mandate to instill cultural consciousness and nationalism among Filipinos by acquiring, documenting, preserving, and exhibiting a wide array of specimens, works of art, and cultural and historical artifacts that represent the Filipino people’s heritage.

Currently, the National Museum of the Philippines has two buildings: the National Fine Arts, which serves as the home of the country’s treasured artworks, and the Museum of the Filipino People, which contains artifacts reflecting Filipino heritage.

When you make your way to the National Fine Arts, The Old House of Representatives Session Hall (also called The Hall of the Masters) is a place you should not miss. It houses two of the country’s most important paintings: Juan Luna’s “Spolarium” and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo’s “Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas Al Populacho”. You should also explore the Museum of the Filipino people, which is a short walk across the National Fine Arts Museum, to see important artifacts like traditional Ifugao house, recovered articles from the San Diego Galleon wreckage, and indigenous textiles and fabrics, among others.

Get to Know the Country’s National Hero at Rizal Park

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Rizal Monument – Image Credit: Maynard Rabanal (Wikimedia Commons)

 

More widely known as Luneta until it was officially renamed in the 1950s, Rizal Park is another one of those places to visit in Manila to learn about the Philippines’ past. It is of great historical importance to Filipinos, as it is where the country’s celebrated hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was executed by Spanish authorities. Fronting the 60-hectare park and guarded by sentries is Rizal Monument, which contains his remains. About 100 meters from the monument is the site of Rizal’s execution, where a tableaux of life-size bronze statues that recreate the hero’s final moments can be found.

Seated in the middle of the park is the Central Lagoon, which is lined with bust sculptures of other heroes and martyrs of the country, including Juan Sumuroy of Samar, Marcelo H. Del Pilar of Bulacan, Sultan Kudarat of Cotabato, Aman Dangat of Batanes, and Gregorio Aglipay of Ilocos Norte. Further to the east end of the park near the National Museum is the 40-foot statue of Lapu-Lapu, who is the hero of the Battle of Mactan in 1521.

See Malacañan Palace—The Official Abode of the President of the Philippines

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Malacañan Palace (Kalayaan Hall) – Image Credit: Patrickroque01 (Wikipedia)

 

The Malacañan Palace is the Philippine president’s official residence and office. However, when it was first built in 1750 by Spanish aristocrat Don Luis Rocha, it was intended as his summer house. The palace was then sold to Col. Jose Miguel Formento in 1802 for P1,000 and was again resold to the Spanish government in 1825 for P5,100. Malacañan Palace only became the president’s official residence upon the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth.

Take note that the residence itself is off limits to the public. However, several areas around the palace are open to visitors but can only be explored through guided walking tours, which are held only on weekdays. These areas include the Presidential Museum and Library, Casa Roces, and National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels. Through the 2.5 hour tour, visitors get to learn stories and even scandals about those who occupied the property. They also get to explore other parts of Barangay San Miguel where Malacañan Palace is situated, such as San Rafael Street and Legarda Mansion.

As you can see, the capital of the Philippines has a lot to offer when it comes to tourist destinations. It is just a matter of knowing the right places to visit in Manila to fully appreciate its chaotic beauty and rich history. So if you are planning to visit Philippines anytime soon, don’t just make Manila a pit stop of your trip. Make it a destination as well.

Four Weekend Getaways Near Manila

Manila’s hustle and bustle can easily wear you down, not to mention make you all cranky and counter-productive. Before it gets the best of you, why not take a breather and plan a weekend escape? No need to stray too far from Manila to shake off that stress and re-energize yourself. Here are four quick weekend getaways  ideal for your much-needed R&R.

Angono, Rizal: Awakening Your Love for Art and Nature

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Angono Petroglyphs – Image Credit: Wikipedia

If you are into art and nature, you can never go wrong with Angono, Rizal. Touted as the art capital of the Philippines, it should not come as a surprise that this weekend getaway near Manila is teeming with museums and art galleries, showcasing the finest works of Filipino artists, some of which are for sale. Once you have re-awakened your love for the arts, you can bask in Angono’s natural wonders. From a massive forest park teeming with high rising trees and shrubs to ancient rocks engraved with some of the oldest known artworks in the Philippines, Angono has a lot of natural gems that are waiting to be explored.

Points of interest: Blanco Family Museum, Tiamson Art Gallery, The Second Gallery, Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs, and Angono Forest Park.

Getting there: Public utility vehicles going to Angono, Rizal are stationed across Cubao Farmers Market and near EDSA Central/Crossing in Mandaluyong. Ride the Angono-bound jeepney and ask to be dropped off at the town proper.

Corregidor Island, Cavite: Exploring the Country’s Last Military Stronghold During Japanese Invasion

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Mile Long Barracks – Image Credit: RJCabagnot via Wikimedia Commons

Going back in time and having a grand history lesson is always a worthwhile experience, and Cavite’s Corregidor Island is a destination that has so much history to share. This tadpole-shaped rocky island that strategically sits at the entrance of Manila Bay is the Philippines’ last military stronghold when Japan invaded the country in 1942. The war may long be over, but Corregidor is a stark reminder of what transpired during that dark point in history, as seen from the island’s artillery batteries, ruins, and tunnel systems, just to name a few.

Take note that the island can only be accessed via a guided tour, making Corregidor ideal for a day trip with family or friends or a romantic getaway near Manila if you and your partner are history geeks. And since the crowd is somehow under control, going around the island will help you wind down and regain your zen.

Points of Interest: Mile-Long Barracks, Malinta Tunnel, Pacific War Memorial, Eternal Flame of Freedom, Cine Corregidor, and Spanish Lighthouse.

Getting There: As mentioned earlier, the only way to access Corregidor Island is via a guided tour. Sun Cruises operated by Magsaysay Shipping is the only tour company that provides scheduled tours to the island. Their ferry service is situated at the Hoverferry Terminal near the Cultural Center of the Philippines. You can find more information on their website.

Tagaytay, Cavite: Enjoy the Town’s Mild Climate and Panoramic Views of Taal Volcano

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Sky Ranch Tagaytay – Image Credit: Philippine Travel Site

The second entry from Cavite is perhaps one of the favorite overnight getaways near Manila by Pinoys who want to get out of the metro’s heat but do not have the luxury of time to go too far for a vacation. Sitting at high altitude lends Tagaytay its mild climate as well as spectacular view of Taal Volcano Island, an active volcano seated at the center of Taal Lake . On top of those, this component city also offers a wide array of tourist spots, from a historical, unfinished palace to a leisure park to a picnic spot that provides a panoramic view of Taal volcano. Also, don’t forget to treat yourself to a good deal of sumptuous dishes like the town’s popular Bulalo and Tawilis.

Points of Interest: People’s Park in the Sky, Picnic Grove, Sky Ranch, Puzzle Mansion, Museo Orlina, Flower Farm, Calaruega, and Ambon-Ambon Falls.

Getting There: There are buses from Metro Manila that either travel directly or pass through Tagaytay. You can find them in Coastal Mall and the terminals near LRT Taft and Gil Puyat (Buendia) station. Another option is to take a van or FX stationed at EGI Mall near LRT Gil Puyat station or Starmall Mandaluyong. 

Taal, Batangas: Walk Down Memory Lane by Visiting Ancestral Houses and Heritage Sites

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Taal Basilica – Image Credit: Eric Jam (Wikimedia Commons)

A lot of people often look to Vigan, Ilocos Sur if they want to find  ancestral houses and other heritage sites. But, why travel further when you can enjoy the same experience in Taal? Just a couple of hour’s drive from Manila, this town’s roads are lined with well-preserved ancestral homes of prominent Taaleños, some of whom were major supporters of revolutionary forces who fought against the Spaniards.

When you start your walking tour of the town, you will  definitely feel like you have been transported back in time, with all the capiz-adorned windows and intricate woodwork of the ancestral homes you will see. Some of these properties were converted into museums, allowing visitors to view mementos from the past. Once you are done with your heritage tour, you can hit the streets of the town center for a quick meal and to buy pasalubong for family and friends. Better yet, treat yourself to a bit of sun, sea and sun, as the neighboring towns of Taal boast some of the best beaches near Manila.

Points of Interest: Taal Basilica, Ancestral House of Doña Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio, Goco Heritage House, San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps, Casaysay Church, and Sacred Well of Sta. Lucia.

Getting There: To get to the heritage town of Taal Batangas from Manila, take a bus bound to Lemery. Ask the driver if it will stop at Taal Basilica, which should be your drop off point. If not, disembark at Taal Lemery Junction where you can find jeepneys heading to Taal Basilica.

The ones mentioned above are just some of the best places to visit near Manila, especially if you want to quickly escape the city for a bit of relaxation with minimal planning involved—just prep up your stuff, tag along your friends or loved ones, and you’re good to go! Best of all taking any of these nearby trips will not spread your wallet thin.

10 Pantai Terindah di Dunia yang Harus Dikunjungi Traveler Sejati!

Meski Indnoesia hanya memiliki 2 musim, namun liburan musim panas selalu dinanti oleh banyak kalangan masyarakat. Salah satu tempat yang banyak dikunjungi adalah pantai. Dengan pergi ke pantai biasanya akan langsung bisa menghilangkan kepenatan dan beban pikiran. Keindahan yang ditawarkan dan panorama yang menakjubkan akan memberikan pengalaman istimewa dan pastinya akan berkesan. Di Indonesia sendiri ada banyak sekali pantai yang wajib kamu kunjungi. Tetapi ada beberapa orang yang juga ingin melihat keindahan pantai di luar Indonesia. Salah satu jajaran pantai cantik ada di Negara Filipina, Brazil bahkan Maldives. Untuk itu RedDoorz telah merangkum beberapa pantai yang menjadi panduan bagi RedTraveler. Yuk simak selengkapnya!

Pantai Grace Bay, Kepulauan Turks dan Caicos

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Gelar pantai terindah di dunia beberapa tahun ini dipegang oleh Pantai Grace Bay, yang terletak di Provindeciales, Kepulauan Turks dan Caicos. Wilayah Britania Raya ini sendiri berada di sebelah tenggara Bahama dan sebelah timur Kuba. Ada 40 pulau tropis dengan lanskap batu kapur dan rawa bakau pada gugusan kepulauan ini, di mana Grace Bay menjadi salah satu yang paling menakjubkan. Pasir putihnya seperti gula, dengan perairan yang biru jernih.

Pantai Koh Rong, Kamboja

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Koh Rong adalah pulau terbesar di lepas pantai Kamboja yang terdiri dari perbukitan, sungai-sungai kecil, hitan, air terjun dan pantai sepanjang 43 km. Pantai ini dipenuhi pasir warna kuning gading yang bercampur dengan bebatuan kecil berwarna pink. Ada gugusan batu karang di sekitar pantai yang menjadi kawasan tempat tinggal bagi berbagai jenis hewan laut. Kegiatan snorkeling dan diving dapat kamu lakukan di sini, selain berjalan-jalan mengelilingi Pulau Koh Rong yang menjadi rumah bagi 4 desa, yaitu Koh Tuich, Prek Svay, Soksan dan Dam Dkeuw

Pantai Nacpan, Filipina

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Pantai yang berlokasi di El Nido, Filipina ini merupakan salah satu dari dua pantai di Asia yang masuk dalam daftar pantai terindah di dunia tahun 2016. Pemandangan yang alami, hamparan pasir putih yang lembut, dan air laut yang jernih membuat Pantai Nacpan sangat menakJubkan. Airnya terlihat seperti Kristal berkilauan di bawah sinar matahari. Meski akses menuju pantai ini masih berupa jalan tanah, namun tetap banyak wisatawan yang berkunjung.

Pantai Anse Lazio, Sicilia

anse lazio beach praslin island seychelles

Duke dan Duchess of Cambridge berbulan madu di pantai yang berada di barat laut Pulau Praslin, Sicilia ini. Sebagai salah satu pantai terbaik di dunia, Pantai Anse Lazio menawarkan keindahan yang eksotik bagi para pengunjungnya, dengan pasir yang berwarna putih lembut dan air laut yang biru tenang. Berlokasi di sebelah timur Madagaskar yang terletak di tengah-tengah Samudera Hindia, Anda harus melalui jalur udara untuk sampai ke Bandara Praslin.

Pantai Cayo de Agua, Venezuela

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Banyak wisatawan yang menyebut keindahan Pantai Cayo de Agua ini sebagai surga. Pasirnya yang putih dan air lautnya yang sejernih kristal memang menjadikan pantai yang terletak di Los Roques National Park, Venezuela ini sangat spektakuler dan fantastis. Anda bisa berselancar atau melakukan snorkeling di sepanjang pesisir pantai. Air laut yang hangat akan membuat Anda betah lama di dalam air. Apalagi, banyak ikan-ikan kecil dan kepiting yang menemani.

Pantai Flamenco, Puerto Rico

Pantai terindah di dunia 7

Kawasan ini merupakan sebuah resort pantai yang menakjubkan di Amerika Latin, tepatnya di Pulau Culebra, Puerto Rico. Akses yang cukup sulit, membuat Pantai Flamenco semakin menarik. Untuk menuju kesana, Anda bisa menumpang pesawat langsung ke Bandara Culebra, atau naik kapal feri ke Fajardo dan menyambung feri lagi ke pelabuhan di Culebra. Namun, setelah sampai di Pantai Flamenco, perjalanan melelahkan itu pasti akan terbayar.

Pantai Playa Paraiso, Kuba

Pantai terindah di dunia 8

Ada tiga daya tarik utama Pantai Playa Paraiso ini, yakni pantai yang masih alami, spot scuba diving yang menantang, dan satwa liar yang hidup di sekitar kawasan pantai. Tidak hanya itu, pasirnya pun lembut seperti tepung, dengan laut yang tenang. Pantai sepanjang 25 km berada di Cayo Largo, sebuah pulau resort kecil di Kuba. Menariknya lagi, taka da orang yang menetap permanen di sana, termasuk pekerja hotel yang biasanya hanya bekerja 20 hari.

Pantai West Bay, Honduras

Pantai terindah di dunia 9

Anda akan menyaksikan kelompok-kelompok ikan kecil yang berdatangan saat melakukan snorkeling atau mendayung perahu di perairan Pantai West Bay ini. Jika ingin bersantai, ada banyak restoran dan bar yang dibangun di sepanjang pantai yang terletak di Bay Islands, Honduras ini. Jangan lupa berbelanja pernak-pernik lokal, istirahat dalam tempat tidur gantung, dan menikmati pijat tradisional yang ditawarkan oleh penduduk setempat.

Pantai Sun Island, Maldives

Pantai terindah di dunia 10

Berlokasi di Pulau Sun, pantai ini adalah salah satu dari gugusan pulau karang di wilayah Negara kepulauan Maldives. Meski hanya memiliki luas wilayah sepanjang 5 km, namun pemandangan alam yang merupakan gabungan antara pasir putih yang landau dan jerihnya air laut yang kebiruan membuat pantai ini ditempatkan di posisi kedua pantai paling cantik di seluruh dunia. Sayangnya, Pulau Sun initertutup untuk umum dan hanya dapat dikunjungi jika kamu menjadi tamu hotel di sana.

Pantai Matira, Pulau Bora-bora

Pantai terindah di dunia 11

Bora-bora merupakan salah satu dari gugusan Kepulauan Polinersia di Pasifik Selatan. Pantai Matira dikenal sebagai satu-satunya pantai yang terbuka untuk umum di Bora-bora, berkat keindahan panorama berupa pantai yang dikelilingi karang dan pasir putih. Jika beruntung, kamu akan dapat menikmati suguhan keajaiban alam berupa sunset di atas air kebiruan yang jernih dan tenang. Kawasan ini dulunya dijadikan markas oleh pasukan Amerika Serikat di masa Perang Dunia ke-2. Kamu dapat melakukan sejumlah aktivitas menarik, seperti memberi makan hiu atau berburu mutiara hitam hingga ke pedalaman Pulau Bora-bora.

Itulah tadi informasi singkat mengenai Pantai Terindah di Dunia . Untuk kamu yang akan berlibur di Filipina, Singapura atau Indonesia seperti Jakarta, Semarang, Solo, Malang, Manado, Makassar, Palembang, Batam, Bogor, Bali, Yogyakarta dan Surabaya. RedDoorz hardir sebagai tempat penginapan murah dengan fasilitas lengkap.