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Hundred Islands Myth of a Hundred Promiscuity

September 16th, 2014 · 2 Comments

One of the myths told of the Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan is a tragic story about a hundred promiscuous men who started out right but ended up wrong.

A seafaring people of a coastal town in the north, the myth says, were brave and industrious men. They were also devoted husbands and fathers who cared well for their wives and families, and were legendary in their strict adherence to the town code of being one-woman men. The myth goes on that because of their exceptional marital faithfulness, one day they were divinely endowed with a tremendous power to overcome any sea disaster or calamity.

So daily, whatever the mood of the sea, the myth tells of every brave fisherman from the town of Ala-manos, young and old, going out at dawn and coming back in the afternoon with an astounding catch. Fish supply was aplenty. Even with the stockpile being sold to nearby towns, leftovers were still abundant and exported overseas.

The myth says that when the seas were high and rough and fish was scarce, fishermen of other adjacent coastal towns found fishing difficult; but not Ala-manos fishermen. Regardless of the sea condition, they brought home tons of fish daily and nothing untoward happened to any of them in the sea—all 100 fishing boats. The supernatural exploits reached the ears of the towns nearby and soon it was believed that Ala-manos fishermen worked “with the hands” of “Bathala” or God, the myth adds.

With more fish supply came more fortune, more so when the other towns faced fish scarcity. But the myth points out that with more wealth the men of Ala-manos became lax on their avowed marital faithfulness and soon had concubines from neighboring towns. The thing became scandalously unmitigated, until one day, when the 100 boats had set out to sea on a stormy morning, roaring angry waves swallowed them up in an instant. No boat returned that afternoon. Daily the families would wait on the shore for a sign of the boats, to no avail.

One morning, the people of Ala-manos saw 100 new islands on the sea. Bathala warned them that each time an unfaithful fisherman sets out to sea, another island would be added until the sea was no more. Since then, Ala-manos men became more faithful husbands, the myth concludes.

This myth shows that it’s not lack of wealth that’s really the problem, but what wealth could do to its possessor.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Myths and Superstitions

Cagayan de Oro: The City of Golden Friendship

September 16th, 2014 · 14 Comments

Cagayan de Oro City

Cagayan de OroA long time ago, the mighty river that ran through an ancient settlement in the Land of Promise known as the island of Mindanao yielded precious gold nuggets. When Spanish Recollect friars arrived in 1622 the inhabitants referred to their settlement as Cagayan. Most of the male inhabitants were heavily tattooed like the pintados of the Visayan Islands while many of the women wore intricate jewelries made of gold. According to language researchers, the word “karayan,” “kalayan,” or “kagayan” evolved from an ancient Malayo-Polynesian language that meant “river.” In the mid-1800s, the ancient settlement that grew into a town was named “Cagayan de Misamis.” On June 15, 1950, the town was chartered by law as “Cagayan de Oro City” which is a combination of the ancient Malayo-Polynesian and Spanish languages that translates to “City of the River of Gold.”

Today, Cagayan de Oro City is the capital of the Province of Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao. It lies 810 kilometers south of Manila bordered on the north by Macajalar Bay in the Bohol Sea; on the south by the mountains and plateaus of Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon; on the west by the Municipality of Opol; and, on the east by the Municipality of Tagoloan.

Mining towns typically fade into oblivion as their mineral deposits get depleted through mining activities. Interestingly, despite centuries of placer mining activities that depleted its gold deposits, Cagayan de Oro City continues to flourish even more. It has become a bustling trade and commercial center and the home of many agri-businesses, food processing and service firms. Because of its good transportation and communications infrastructure, it is considered as the “Gateway to Northern Mindanao” and the major transshipment point to Cebu in the Visayas, Metro Manila and neighboring Asian countries. The well-planned growth of the city made it one of the country’s most livable and peaceful places such that it has become one of the favorite entertainment and shopping destinations in Region X.

While Cagayan de Oro City was named for the gold deposits found centuries ago in its bosom, the secret of its progress lies in its natural attributes such as the presence of a deep water harbor, its accessibility to regional and foreign markets and its relatively safe location outside the Pacific typhoon belt. For many local and foreign investors, these presented golden opportunities to grow their businesses. Complementing these natural attributes, is a far more precious resource that is vital to the economic growth of Cagayan de Oro City. This is the city’s bottomless supply of young, skilled and highly literate human resource. The hospitable, warm and friendly people of Cagayan de Oro City which gave it the distinction of being known as the “City of Golden Friendship” is actually its real treasure more precious than gold.

What to See and Do in Cagayan de Oro

While Cagayan de Oro is the commercial hub of the region, it has not been overtaken by the urban sprawl that is often the consequence of economic progress. It has retained much of Nature’s gifts that make it one of the choice destinations for visitors who yearn for adventure in the great outdoors.

White Water River Rafting: The Cagayan River is perhaps the finest white water rafting destination in the country because even President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself rode the exciting rapids of this river in 2002. Fourteen rapids ranging from class 3 to 4 awaits the adventurer in a three-hour run from Mambuaya to Kabula. Paddling through the rapids also presents an excellent opportunity for the adventuresome sight-seer to admire the beauty of Nature along the river banks and the rural charm of the countryside.

Macahambus Cave and Gorge: Trek to this placid scenic site that was once a witness to the victory of Filipino freedom fighters against the American colonial army during the Philippine-American War of 1900. The picturesque cavern that is covered with lush forest growth leads to a protrusion overlooking the winding Cagayan River. A short distance away is the steep thickly wooded Macahambus Gorge where many of the foreign invaders fell to their deaths.

Monigue Cave: Go spelunking in this cave and marvel at the spectacularly awesome white and brown stalactite and stalagmite formations that fill the cavern. Located at Barangay Mambuaya, the water that flows at the seemingly narrow cave opening is fed by an underground stream.

Where to Eat in Cagayan de Oro

One does not leave Cagayan de Oro on an empty stomach because finding a place to eat in the city is never a problem. Its pineapples from nearby Del Monte plantation and sweet ham are well-known far and wide. The local version of tasty lechon that is served without the liver sauce, the chicken “inasal” and “sinugba,” or grilled sea food that is offered in almost every restaurant come highly recommended.

The Night Café at the Divisoria: Every Fridays and Saturdays this place is set up at the Divisoria area to provide the city’s tired and harried workers a venue to unwind after a week of hard work. Let your hair down and enjoy sea food and barbeque while sipping on a frosty mug of beer and listening to good music in the company of visitors and locals alike.

OIC: Located along Corrales Street, the name of this joint is an acronym that stands for “Only in Cagayan.” Indeed, it is only in this place in Cagayan de Oro City where you can bring your family or the whole gang for a good, cheap meal like grilled sea food, beef and pork appetizingly paired with fresh lumpia, green mangos or seaweed.

Loreto’s: If you are in the area of Tomas Saco Street and are craving for the famous “sinugba,” or grilled delicacies of the city, grab one of the chairs and dine al fresco on grilled sea food and crispy calamares under the soothing spell of acoustic singers.

Where to Stay in Cagayan de Oro

De Luxe Hotel: If you are looking for a place to stay in Cagayan de Oro, try this underrated hotel, which has great service, spacious rooms and fabulously low rates that start at P800.00. Amenities include air conditioning, private bath, ref, telephone and television.

Captain Vicente Roa Street
Cagayan de Oro
Tel. Nos.: (08822) 724-548; 724-563; 726-527
 (088) 857-2145; 857-2144

Philtown Hotel: Reasonably priced with well-prepared food and eager to please staff is how this hotel is described. And, indeed, reasonably priced it is with rates starting at P995.00, guests will be entitled to air conditioning, private bath, television, kitchen, ref and telephone.

Velez-Macahambus Streets
Cagayan de Oro
Tel. No.: 8822-723-089

VIP Hotel: If you are looking for a more pricey accommodation with a good price and good house keeping, then why not try checking into this hotel? With rates starting at P1,800.00, guests will enjoy in-room air conditioning, private shower and bath, mini-bar, ref, television, telephone, coffee maker and alarm clock.

Velez Street
Cagayan de Oro
Tel. Nos.: (088)856-2505; (08822)726-080

How to Get to Cagayan de Oro

Manila to Cagayan de Oro and Back: The fastest way to get to Cagayan de Oro from Manila is by plane. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines have daily flights to Cagayan de Oro. The cost of a round trip plane ticket is about P8,000.00 and travel time is approximately one hour and twenty minutes. If you choose to travel by sea you can board a ferry in Manila bound for Cagayan de Oro at a travel time of approximately 30 hours. A round trip tourist ticket will cost you about is about P3,400.00.

Cebu to Cagayan de Oro and Back: If you are in a hurry, hop on an Asian Spirit flight bound for Cagayan de Oro. A round trip plane fare will cost you about P5,000.00 and travel time is approximately 45 minutes. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to travel aboard the Super Ferry which regularly leaves Cebu bound for Cagayan de Oro. A round trip boat fare is about P1,600.00 and travel time is approximately 16 hours.

Dumaguete to Cagayan de Oro and Back: Board the Oceanjet fast craft that leaves Dumaguete at 2:20 PM bound for Cebu via Tagbilaran. A round trip boat fare would cost you P1,600.00 and travel time is approximately 4 hours. Upon reaching Cebu, you can either fly or sail to Cagayan de Oro depending on your budget and time.

→ 14 CommentsTags: Mindanao

Dapitan: Shrine City of the Philippines

September 16th, 2014 · 9 Comments

Dapitan

Dapitan mapFollowing his defeat in 1563 in the hands of the Ternatans, Datu Pagbuaya and some 800 of his followers left his kingdom in Panglao, Bohol and sailed across the seas. Upon reaching Northern Mindanao, its beautiful bay so enticed them that they felt invited, or “gitapit,” to settle on the wooded plains on the northeastern part of the bay near the Ilihan Hill. They named their settlement Dapitan, after the Visayan word “dapit,” which means “invited,” loosely referring to their exiled situation as an “invited people.” Dapitan became a flourishing settlement with Datu Pagbuaya as its first chieftain.

Dapitan is a 21,500-hectare mass of land on the Zamboanga Peninsula that lies on the northwestern coast of Mindanao 14 kilometers from Dipolog City. It is bounded on the east by the municipalities of Sibutad and Rizal; on the west by the municipality of Polanco and Dipolog City; on the south by the municipalities of La libertad and Mutia; and, on the north by the Sulu Sea. w

By the time Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and some Agustinian friars arrived in 1595 to convert its inhabitants to Christianity, Dapitan was already a thriving settlement. Some of the early converts were Datu Pagbuaya’s son, Pedro Manooc and grand daughter Maria Uray. But aside from Zamboanga, Iligan, Butuan and Dapitan, the island of Mindanao remained largely untouched by the Cross.

Dapitan rose from the settlement of a people exiled from their fallen kingdom in Bohol. And, it was also here where Dr. Jose Rizal was fortuitously exiled by the Spanish colonists for four years from 1892 to 1896. In this remote town, the Philippine National Hero lived a simple, uneventful but fruitful existence that enriched his life and the remote town whose lives he touched. Here, he practiced medicine, continued his artistic and literary works, pursued scientific studies, widened his knowledge of the languages, promoted community development projects using a brick-making machine that he invented, established a school for boys and engaged in commerce and farming on agricultural lands that he purchased along the coast of Talisay a kilometer away from Dapitan.

Republic Act 3811 promulgated on June 22, 1963 made Dapitan the first city in Zamboanga del Norte. For his profound contributions to his city of exile and to its residents that so endeared the National Hero to their hearts, Talisay was declared on January 24, 1973 by Presidential Decree No. 105 as Rizal Shrine and Dapitan was subsequently recognized as the “Shrine City of the Philippines.”

What to See in Dapitan

While historic spots never fail to draw tourists, Dapitan City is an attraction by itself with its clean, beautiful barangays and wide expanse of beaches. The spectacular sunsets and clear waters of Dapitan Bay and the white sand beaches and rich aquatic resources of Aliguay and Sinulog Islands which are respectively 10 and 14 kilometers from Tag-olo Point beckon to the Nature loving spirit of the visitor.

Rizal Shrine: This embraces the entire estate purchased by Dr. Rizal in Talisay out of his share in lotto winnings. The shrine features the houses, structures and improvements he has introduced on the land and includes as well a modern concrete building that houses an assortment of Rizaliana exhibits.

Ilihan Hill: Fort de Dapitan, a military fortress on top of Ilihan Hill overlooking Dapitan Bay was constructed by the Spaniards in 1762 to protect the flourishing settlements from foreign invasion. Relics of this ancient military fortress are still visible for the appreciation of tourists and visitors.

The City Plaza: Dr. Jose Rizal, with the assistance of Governor Ricardo Carcinero, developed and beautified this plaza patterned after the ones he saw in Europe using the P500.00 that an English patient paid him for restoring his eye sight.

Where to Eat in Dapitan

Visitors to this rising tourist center of Zamboanga will never find it difficult to look for places to eat because of the abundance of food establishments that offer the experience of dining the freshest meats and seafood “al fresco.”

Corazon de Dapitan Restaurant & Delicacies: This is located along Justice F. Saguin Street in Barangay Potol. Grab one of the seats in this 50-seat open air restaurant and taste its pastries, Filipino dishes and other savory delicacies at a price range of P30.00 to P180.00.

Aplaya Vida Beach Resort & Restaurant: For a mid-range budget of P45.00 to P150.00, you can enjoy Filipino dishes and seafood delicacies “al fresco” along with many other tourists in this 100-seater open-air restaurant along Sunset Boulevard.

Kamayan sa Payag: For a super cheap price range of P3.50 to P50.00, the hungry budget traveler can have his fill of Filipino grilled food and other delicacies of this open-air 100-seat restaurant along Jose Rizal Street.

Where to Stay in Dapitan

Finding a good place to stay is never a problem in this Shrine City because a wide range of accommodations that fit the discriminating taste and budget of all types of visitors can be had at almost any time and day of the week.

Dapitan City Resort Hotel: Owned and run by the city government, this hotel faces a spectacular white sand beach with the South China Sea stretching out in the background as far as the eye could see. With rates starting at P1,650.00, visitors can enjoy standard rooms in this hotel that boasts of the latest in equipment and facilities.

Sunset Blvd, Dapitan City
Zamboanga del Norte
Tel. Nos.: (065) 213-6413/ (065) 213-6416
Fax Nos.: (065) 213-6542

Villa Pilar Pension: This 13-room pension house provides a double bed with television at a very reasonable rate of only P850.00 and with a good view of the South China Sea to boot.

Sunset Boulevard, Dapitan City
Zamboamga del Norte
Tel. No.: +(63) (65) 213-6579

Aplaya Vida Lodge: Budget travelers and backpackers will definitely find this lodge by the sea safe and comfortable. Its air conditioned rooms are a steal at P390.00 per night.

Sunset Boulevard, Dapitan City
Zamboanga del Norte
Tel. Nos.: +(63) (65) 213-6498/ (0916) 353-2079

How to Get to Dapitan

Manila to Dapitan and Back: The fastest way to get to Dapitan from Manila is by plane via Dipolog City which is just 14 kilometers away. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have daily flights bound for Dipolog. Approximate cost of a one way air fare is P4,000.00 and travel time is about 70 minutes.

Cebu to Dapitan and Back: The most economical way to reach Dapitan from Cebu is by sea craft. Oceanjet fast craft leaves Cebu daily via Tagbilaran at 6:00 AM. One-way boat fare costs about P1,100.00 and travel time is approximately 6 hours.

Dumaguete to Dapitan and Back: Oceanjet fast craft leaves Dumaguete daily at 10:00 AM bound for Dapitan. One-way boat fare is approximately P530.00 and travel time is about 2 hours.

→ 9 CommentsTags: Mindanao

How to Choose the Best Insurance for Expatriates

September 15th, 2014 · No Comments

For an expatriate to drive around Manila or anywhere in the Philippines he needs to apply for a license. There are licenses which are issued for a short term only. The Land transportation office issues the licenses for both foreigners and local citizens.
Owning a vehicle may entail being exposed to thefts, accidents and other mishaps. Car insurance is a good way to ensure that the risks shall be covered by the company in case they happen. The owner of the car should first pay the policy before he can avail of it in the future.

Expatriates can also choose any car insurance company they like just like the locals. It is best to apply for coverage that is worth seven hundred fifty thousand pesos at least and with a twenty thousand liability that should be compulsory. The insurance for any damage and physical injuries should amount to three hundred sixty five thousand pesos. The liability coming from a third party is important. Another thing that is essential is having the insurance in case of collisions and this should be comprehensive. There are many local insurance companies that can serve this. They may also offer the service of processing the papers when you claim and assists in case of any accident.

A comprehensive kind of insurance is valuable because it can cover any damage to the vehicle which is caused by any reason other than just a common collision. The local insurance company can do this by tying up with another company from the United States for example to insure the person in the Philippines. If you plan to be insured by a U.S. company then make sure that they can offer the comprehensive insurance that is valid in the Philippines.

Typically the expat should pay his insurance for ten years and the insurance depreciates for each claim after that. The claim is denied when there is a mechanical breakdown and any malicious behavior by the insurance owner. There is also insurance for transporting goods of an expatriate by sea and this is called the Marine transport insurance. The typical requirements for vehicles in the Philippines are the following:
 
1. The latest registration of the vehicle

2. The registration of the imported vehicle

3. The original invoice

4. A certificate of paying taxes

5. A letter confirming the certificate of payment which comes from the main office of the Land Transportation Office of the Philippines.

6. Clearance from the Police

7. The inspection of a representative of the vehicle

→ No CommentsTags: Expats

Guidelines For Retiring In the Philippines

September 14th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Most of the expatriates come to the Philippines due to the low expense of living here. It becomes somewhat of a paradise in the tropics for them. It is really cheaper to live in some areas in the Philippines however before settling in the Philippines you must know the amount of money you will need. There are expatriates who can still set up a business in the Philippines so they will still earn while they enjoy their retirement. There are many expatriates who set up a business here with no fall back plans. Before settling in another country an expatriate should have enough funds in case of emergencies.

Approach the idea of retiring in the Philippines with logic. People who want to retire to the Philippines should spend some weeks on the Philippines first to see for themselves the kind of lifestyle they want to live in the country. You can choose to live in the suburban or urban areas of the Philippines. Do some research on how the people live and the costs of the houses or apartments. Know the definite costs of the living expenses in the Philippines. Check out the prices of the common things you will need in the house. Research the costs of the cars or vehicles you want to own.
 
If you are the kind of person who is always inclined to set up a business then operating your own business in the Philippines might not be a problem however if you are really not business minded in nature then there is no reason why you should start a business in another country. Do not think of living in the Philippines or in any foreign country by having the business. The business should just be an additional activity for you. There are few businesses in the Philippines that really succeed. Foreigners are only allowed to own forty percent of a business established in Philippines. There are already several businesses owned by expatriates that have not succeeded in the past. The daily wage of many Filipinos is around nine dollars. Many expats with good business minds and good business ideas have failed here.

For expatriates who are receiving a retirement pay a budget of one thousand dollars will be sufficient for a comfortable life in the Philippines. Be sure to have insurance for your health. There are insurance companies in the Philippines that offer insurance plans for expatriates. However there are a lot of hospitals which require an expatriate to give an advance payment in cash so it is best to save five thousand dollars in case of any emergency. Keep some money in your bank which you should not withdraw since in case of any emergency you might need to leave the country.
 
Lastly don’t think in terms of dollars. Start thinking like a Filipino since what most foreigners may be able to spend for a day is already an average Filipino family’s consumption for one month.

→ 1 CommentTags: Expats

Marikina

September 14th, 2014 · 5 Comments

Marikina: The Shoe Capital of the Philippines

Marikina MapA 2,150-hectare land located in a fertile valley bounded by mountain ranges and bisected by a river, Marikina is one of the five municipalities and twelve cities that comprise Metro Manila on the island of Luzon, the biggest island in the Philippines. It is about 21 kilometers from the heart of the City of Manila. It is bounded on the east by the Sierra Madre mountain ranges and Antipolo City; on the west by the Quezon City hills; on the north by the Municipality of San Mateo; and, on the south by Pasig City and the Municipality of Cainta.

When the Spanish friars arrived in 1630, the place was established as a “pueblo,” and in 1637 it became a parish known as Mariquina, which was officially changed to Marikina by the Americans in 1901. Its lush farms and rice lands produced great quantities of rice and vegetables. But eventually, farming gave way to the shoemaking industry, which was started by Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevara in 1887. On December 8, 1996, this fast-growing municipality became a city. Because of the quality footwear it produces, the city has become known as the “Shoe Capital of Philippines.”

What to see in Marikina

This shoe capital of the country has its own share of attractions to offer. Heritage houses, historic churches and galleries vie for the attention of history and cultural buffs. Modern entertainment, sports, recreational facilities and parks are available. Cultural festivals such as the Rehiyon-rehiyon, Angkan-angkan and Marikina Christmas festivals are well-attended by foreign and local tourists alike. Among the city’s many attractions, the following are the most popular:

Sentrong Pangkultura ng Marikina: Located along J.P. Rizal Street in Barangay San Roque, this 200 year old building was once owned by “Kapitan May” himself, the acknowledged father of the shoe industry, and who designed and hand-made in 1887 within this heritage site the first ever pair of shoes in Marikina. Inside this edifice is the interesting Doll Museum, whose dioramas depict the history and cultural heritage of the city.

Shoe Museum: Also located along J.P. Rizal Street, this edifice was built in the 1860s and was used as an arsenal by the Spanish colonialists. At the closed of the Philippine-American War in the 1900s, this historic place was used to house the detention cell of General Sakay, one of the last Katipunan leaders. In 1998, this heritage site was turned into the Shoe Museum that showcased 800 pairs of the shoes belonging to the former First Lady, Imelda Marcos.

Our Lady of the Abandoned Church: This place of worship located along J.P. Rizal Street was built by the Augustinian friars in 1700s and destroyed by two earthquakes that occurred in 1816 and 1880 and was gutted by a fire in 1891. In 1963, this famous landmark underwent a series of renovations that restored this heritage place to its former glory.

The World’s Largest Pair of Shoes: Certified as the largest pair of shoes in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, this tourist attraction can be found at the Shoe Gallery of the Riverbanks Mall located along the banks of the Marikina River in Barangay Barangka.

The aforementioned tourist destinations are just a few minutes from the City Hall, which lies at the heart of the city. These can easily be reached by cab, jeepneys or tricyles which abound along the main road where these tourist spots are located. Expect to pay only the minimum regular fare duly approved by the government for the commuting public.

Where to Eat in Marikina

Marikina is known for the culinary delights that its inhabitants whip up during fiestas. Some of these special dishes which mirror the culture of the city are featured at very reasonable prices in a couple of restaurants in the heart of the city right. Right along J.P. Rizal Street, you will find Aling Salud Panciteria, which serves the best noodles and whose specialty of the house is Pinagulong na Pancit (noodles rolled in oil and sauce). If you are looking for a wider food entrée, try Kusina ni Kambal, which also sits along the same street. This well-known restaurant is known for its yummy but reasonably priced Lumpiang Hubad.

However, if you are sightseeing west of the Marikina River, in Barangay Barangka, just a few hundred meters from the Marikina-Quezon City boundary, perhaps, you may want to walk into the Rivergrill Restaurant and Music Bar located in the Riverbanks Mall and have a taste of its grilled specialties. Less pricey chow is also available in fast food chains inside the mall such as Chow King, Tropical Hut and Jollibee. But if you are on the eastern side of the city and are looking for a place to eat, you may want to step into one of the many fast food chains and restaurants scattered inside the ultra modern Marquinton Plaza Mall just three minutes away from the City Hall.

Where to Stay in Marikina

Most major hotels in Metro Manila have established themselves in the bigger cosmopolitan cities of Makati, Manila, Quezon City, Pasig and Pasay. With the rapid urbanization of Marikina during the recent decade, this bustling shoe capital was is just about the only city east of Metro Manila that was able to put up a couple of tourist quality hotel accommodations that are reasonably priced.

The Marikina Hotel: Located along Pio del Pilar corner Tangerine Streets in Barangay Conception, this facility has 75 spacious fully air conditioned rooms that Marikina Hotelmeet the basic needs of guests traveling on business or leisure. With rates starting at USD 33.00+ or about P1,400.00 at current exchange rates, guests will enjoy the following basic amenities: single or pull out beds, separate shower and comfort rooms, hot and cold shower, 80 channel cable television, NDD/IDD telephone access and coffee/ tea maker.

Website: http://www.marikinahotel.com/
Pio Del Pilar Street - corner Tangerine Street
Brgy. Concepcion II - Marikina City
Phone: +632 998 8342 to 45
Fax: +632 998 8341

Riverbend Hotel: Located at Bonifacio Avenue, Riverbanks Center in Barangay Barangka, hotel rates start at P1,705.00. It has fully air conditioned rooms with cable television and telephone, conference room, wedding and banquet facilities, swimming pool and parking facilities. If you dig ballroom dancing and shopping in the nearby Riverbanks Mall, then this is the place for you.

Riverbend Hotel
Riverbend Center
84 A Bonifacio Avenue
Marikina City
Phone: +632 948 006

How to get to Marikina

How to get from Manila to Marikina and Back: There are two approaches to Marikina from Manila City Hall. The first is through the Magsaysay Avenue-Aurora Boulevard route via Ayala Bridge and the second is through the Quezon Boulevard-Espana-E. Rodriguez Avenue route via Quiapo Bridge. The modes of transportation plying both routes are buses, jeepneys and cabs. A portion of the Magsaysay Ave.-Aurora Blvd. route is service by the Metro Rail Transit system starting from the Legarda Street-C.Recto Avenue junction in Manila all the way up to Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. From there, you can hop into a jeepney, bus or cab that will take you to the country’s shoe capital. The fare for any combination of jeepney, bus or MRT is approximately P30.00 (one way), while a cab ride from Manila will cost you somewhere in the vicinity of P300.00 to P500.00 (one way) taking into account the notorious Metro Manila weekday traffic.

How to get from Cebu to Marikina and Back: To reach Marikina from Cebu, you can either fly or sail from Cebu to Manila then take a bus or cab to your final destination. Approximate cost of round trip plane ticket is P3,500.00 – P5,000.00 while a round trip boat fare is about P3,000.00 – P4,000.00. After you disembark at the Manila Domestic Airport or Pier area, you can take a cab, which will cost about P300.00 to P500.00 (one way). If you are not in a hurry, from your point of disembarkation, you can hop on a bus, jeepney or MRT which will take you to the famous shoe capital for less than P30.00 (one way).

How to get from Dumaguete to Marikina and Back: To reach Marikina from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to Manila then take a bus or cab to Marikina. Approximate cost of round trip plane ticket is P3,500.00 – P5,000.00. After you disembark at the Manila Domestic Airport, you can take a cab to Marikina, which will cost about P300.00 to P500.00 (one way). But if you have less money and more time to spend, you can hop on a bus, jeepney or MRT which will take you to Marikina for less than P30.00 (one way).

→ 5 CommentsTags: Metro Manila

Malabon City: An Economic Coastal Hub

September 13th, 2014 · 3 Comments

Malabon

Malabon MapKnown in the olden days as Tambobong, the coastal city of Malabon is located on the northern part of Metro Manila and is one of the cities that form its outer ring. It is bounded on the west and southwest by Navotas City; on the southeast by Caloocan City; and, on the north and northeast by Valenzuela City.

While it is situated in the far fringes of Metro Manila’s urban sprawl, Malabon does not lag behind in historical significance. This coastal settlement was founded as a “visita” of Tondo more than four centuries ago by the Augustinian friars. Later, it became an important literary center that was instrumental in propagating the flame of nationalism and in keeping alive the aspirations for independence in the hearts of every Filipino. It is said that during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War, the revolutionary government first printed the “La Independencia” from an orphanage in Malabon as clearly indicated on the newspaper’s masthead.

The vast expanse of water provided Malabon with the largesse that fed its people and was a thriving town long before the Spanish regime. The Malabon-Navotas coast is a vital port and fish trading center where the fish haul from the abundant fishing areas of Palawan and the Calamianes islands are brought. Commercial fishing and fish trading is the backbone of its economy that supported ancillary industries such as ship building and repair, ship chandler services, trading of fishing equipment supplies, fish net weaving, fish processing. Other economic activities include metal and wood working, soap making and food processing.

The industrious people of Malabon derived their sustenance not only from the sea but from the land as well. Thick bamboo groves that used to grow abundantly around the town was a rich source of edible bamboo shoots, or “labong” that is why people referred to the place as “maraming labong” or “malabong” for short, which means “plenty of bamboo shoots.” From this term, was derived the name of Malabon.

What to See in Malabon

Summer is the best time to see the attractions of Malabon to avoid the perennial floods that come with the rainy season. The city has earned a reputation for being the “Local Venice” because of the waist-high deep flood waters that make its roads accessible only by banca or small boats. The following are a must-see for the first time visitor:

Heritage Houses and Structures: One need not go far north in Luzon to marvel at well-preserved centuries old structures and residences. The heritages houses and structures of Malabon are surprisingly well-preserved despite the ravages of time and incessant flooding during the rainy season. Most of these old Hispanic houses are located along C. Arellano and Gen. Luna Streets in Barangay Conception because the original owners of these houses derived their income from the fishing and trading activities in the area. The city also boasts of ancient public structures and places of worship such as the Asilo de Maysilo and the San Bartolome Church which were both built in the 16th century; the Immaculate Conception Church and Asilo de Huerfanos, a shelter for children orphaned by the plague of 1882 and where the “La Independencia,” the voice of the Philippine Revolutionary Government, was first printed.

Bulungan at Tañong Fish Market: Fish trading was a flourishing economic activity along the Navotas-Malabon river basin since the Spanish regime. The bulungan system of bidding (whispered bidding) for the fish haul which started as early as then, was passed on from generation to generation, and is still practiced today. Fish retailers from all over Metro Manila and nearby provinces who participate in the bid come to the fish market when the “bulungan” starts at 9:00 PM up to 1:00 AM. Witnessing the “bulungan” is a unique experience for first time visitors because of the distinctive way the bids are whispered so as not to be heard by other bidders.

Rufina Patis Factory: Located at 290-C Arellano Street, this factory was founded by Mrs. Rufina Lucas more than a hundred years ago when her special fish sauce concoction made from fermented fish in brine solution called “patis” started a flourishing industry in Malabon. “Patis” is a pungent condiment that is used as a major ingredient in Filipino cuisine. Rufina Patis has reached the shelves of stores in Asia, the United States, and other parts west where there are overseas Filipinos who swear that their cooking is not distinctively Filipino unless it is seasoned with Rufina Patis.

Where to Eat in Malabon

Malabon Food Specialties: The city has earned worldwide fame primarily because of two food specialties: The Pancit Malabon and Malabon Kakanin. Pancit Malabon is made of special rice noodles boiled in chicken or meat coated with a bright orange savory sauce with liberal toppings of sliced cabbage, squid, oysters, shrimps, crabs, “chicharon”, “tinapa” (smoked fish) flakes, hard-boiled duck eggs which is then seasoned with “patis” (fish sauce)and “calamansi” (lemon). This culinary delight is so famous and tasty that even prominent political personalities and show biz celebrities from Manila are known to frequent unpretentious specialty restaurants such as Nanay’s Pancit Malabon located at 37 Governor Pascual Avenue corner Santo Rosario Village and Rosy’s Pancit Malabon, which can be found along Hulong Dagat, corner of A. Bonifacio and C. Arellano Streets. Visitors should not leave the city without tasting this mouth-watering food treasure.

Dolor’s Kakanin, on the other hand, is a veritable institution recognized for its Malabon Kakanin. Located at 19 Gov. Pascual Avenue in Barangay Conception, this famous establishment is known nationwide for its delicious steamed sweet glutinous rice cakes often cooked with coconut milk. Dolor’s specialties include “sapin-sapin,” “kamoteng kahoy,” “biko” and “maja blanca.”

Pescadores Restaurant: At the corner of Letre Road and Dagat-Dagatan Avenue, stands this food establishment which is considered as one of the original restaurants in the city. Visitors who step into this eatery order a delectable serving of its specialty beef adobo that is flavored with patis (fish sauce) instead of the more traditional toyo (soy sauce). This restaurant also serves the city’s specialty, Pancit Malabon.
 
Balsa sa Niugan: Located in Barangay Niugan at the heart of the city, this unique food establishment was originally a fishpond that was converted into a floating restaurant and a fishing garden. Its open dining facilities that can seat 350 people have a friendly and pleasing ambiance. Like other famous yet unpretentious restaurants in the city, Balsa sa Niugan has its share of movie stars as its regular patrons. A taste of its Sizzling Sisig is guaranteed to make you want to come back to Malabon long after you’ve returned home.

Where to Stay in Malabon

While Malabon has many historical and cultural treasures that provide a glimpse of its colorful colonial past, it does not have any hotel that might be of interest to both foreign and local tourists. But then, neighboring cities like Manila, Makati and Quezon City have a wide range of hotel accommodations that cater to Metro Manila visitors. There is, however, one hotel located in nearby Caloocan City, which may interest the visitor who wishes to stay close to Malabon.
 
Kabayan Hotel: Located at Caimito Road corner EDSA near Monumento, this 3-star hotel perfectly suits business and leisure travelers looking for budget accommodations. With rates starting at USD16.00, or only P640.00 converted at the prevailing foreign currency exchange rates, guests will enjoy first class comfort in well-appointed rooms, which includes air conditioning, internet connection, cable TV and private toilet and bath.

Website: http://www.kabayanhotel.com.ph/
535 Caimito Road corner Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
Caloocan City, Metro Manila
Tel. Nos. (+632) 362-4678; 362-1298; 361-7454

How to Get to Malabon

From Manila to Malabon and Back: Moving around the city is not difficult because jeepneys and motorized tricycles ply the city streets. Tricycles are for in-city commute while the jeepneys provide conveyance from Manila to Malabon and back through the C.M. Recto–Gasak; Santa Cruz-Gasak; and, Divisoria-Gasak routes. The jeepney fare should not cost more than P30.00.

Cebu to Malabon and Back: To reach Malabon from Cebu, you can either fly or sail from Cebu to Manila. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P4,000.00 – P5,000.00 while a round trip boat fare is approximately P3,000.00 – P4,000.00. If your point of disembarkation is the Manila Domestic Airport, you can take a cab or a bus from there to the MRT train station at the EDSA-Taft Avenue junction in Pasay City. The train will take you all the way to Monumento station in Caloocan for less than P30.00. There are jeepneys plying the Malabon-Letre Road that will take you to Malabon City proper for less than P10.00. The taxi fare from the airport is about P100.00 to P200.00 (one way), while the bus fare is less than P20.00 (one way). If your point of disembarkation is the Pier Area, you can take a jeepney or cab to Divisoria where you can hop into a jeepney plying the Gasak-Divisoria route to take you to Malabon for less than P20.00. The taxi fare from the Pier Area to Divisoria is about P50.00-P100.00, while the jeepney fare is cheaper at P7.50 (one way).

Dumaguete to Malabon and Back: To reach Malabon from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to Manila. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P4,000.00 – P5,000.00. From the Manila Domestic Airport, you can take a taxi cab or a bus to the MRT train station at the EDSA-Taft Avenue junction in Pasay City. The train will take you all the way to Monumento station in Caloocan for less than P30.00. There are jeepneys plying the Malabon-Letre Road that will take you to Malabon City proper for less than P10.00. The taxi fare from the airport is about P100.00 to P200.00 (one way), while the bus fare is less than P20.00 (one way).

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Salted Egg – Itlog na Maalat

September 12th, 2014 · No Comments

Chopped salted red eggs with chopped tomatoes and steaming hot rice have been a favorite meal since early times. But how did salted red eggs started to be around dinner tables? This Philippine myth offers this version.

The myth says, a long time ago in a town called Palanyag, robberies were rampant. Robbers took everything of value from homes, even a pot of rice. According to the myth, local robbers soon became more adept with entering and robbing houses unseen so that more items were reported missing everyday.

One day, the myth says, a farmer and his wife from Palanyag went to the city to visit their son for a few days. The son was studying there. Before the couple left for the city, though, they worried about leaving their dozen poultry eggs behind. With the burglaries happening everyday, nothing left home was safe. It would look silly taking the eggs with them to the city—unless they planned to give them to their son. But this couldn’t be the case—their son was allergic to eggs. So they thought of what best alternative they had regarding the eggs.

Then they had an idea. They buried the dozen eggs in their yard so that the robbers would not be able to discover and take them while they were away. But then the eggs might rot, they worried. What if they would take 4 or 5 days before going home from the city? They decided to put lots of salt around the eggs in the pit where they were to bury the eggs to keep them from decaying. It was a long-shot experiment.

As anticipated, the visit took 4 days. They went back home, wondering what had became of their 12 poultry eggs. They took the eggs out of the pit and examined each of them. For one thing, they smelled differently from how eggs normally smell. Spoiled? Probably. Burying anything in the ground for four days usually had that effect.

Suddenly, robbers came barging into their house. Surprised, the couple instinctively threw the eggs on the robbers’ faces. The eggs broke on their faces and they inevitably had a taste of the “rotten” eggs. They tasted good. Soon, the robbers and the couple were eating the red salted eggs.

This myth on how the red salted eggs first started to be eaten implicitly shows how necessity is the mother of all discoveries, even in culinary arts.

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Caloocan: Cradle of the Katipunan

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments

Caloocan

caloocan mapTucked in the corner, which is called “sulok” or “lo-ok” in the vernacular, where the ends of the old towns of Tondo and Malabon meet is a small barrio that used to be called by the Spanish colonialists as Aromahan. In 1765, the Augustinians established the first Catholic church in this barrio that eventually grew into a town in 1815 called Caloocan, aptly describing its geographic corner location at that time. Almost two hundred years later, this little town has grown into a 5,333-hectare metropolis that comprises one of the densely populated and highly urbanized cities in Metro Manila.

Two areas compose this city: Southern Caloocan lies north of the City of Manila and is bordered by Valenzuela and Malabon cities to the north; Quezon City to the east and Navotas to the west. The northern portion on the other hand, is the outer fringes of Metro Manila and lies north of Quezon City, east of Valenzuela City and south of San Jose del Monte City in the Province of Bulacan.

History would have been different today without this historic place which bore one of the country’s most prominent and foremost heroes—Andres Bonifacio, the founder and Supremo of the Katipunan. It was here that the Great Plebeian founded his secret society of Filipino patriots. And it was here that the Katipunan army first fought the Spanish colonialists in a battle that was later to spread like wildfire throughout the country and become a full blown Philippine revolutionary war for independence from Spain. The thick foliage, crags and hills that once provided a safe haven to Filipino freedom fighters have largely given way to residential communities and industrial complexes. The city’s economic engine of growth is what makes Caloocan a continuing work in progress.

What to See in Caloocan

Caloocan is not quite like other cities in the country, or at least in Metro Manila. From wilderness, it had risen to become a manufacturing and residential suburb that provides employment and shelter to its burgeoning population. As is commonly experienced with many rapidly developing local economies, progress comes with a price—one of which is unmitigated and unplanned urban sprawl. Nonetheless, vestiges of the city’s heroic past and a few pockets of nature reserves and entertainment resorts are there for the taking and enjoyment of the visitor, such as:

The Bonifacio Monument: This well-known Metro Manila landmark is located at the northern terminal point of the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) where it meets Rizal Avenue forming an area that is popularly called “Monumento area” This structure is a fitting tribute to Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan patriots. It also commemorates the first battle between the Katipunan and Spanish Guardia Civil that took place in the city on August 3, 1896 and eventually sparked a nationwide Philippine revolutionary war. The patriotic fervor then sweeping the country, which inspired the national struggle for independence, was immortalized in stone in 1933 by the great Filipino sculptor and national artist, Guillermo Tolentino.
 
Gubat sa Ciudad Resort: Literally translated as “Forest in the City Resort,” this tranquil leisurely piece of space in the busy metropolis is located in Bagumbong. This resort offers great fun for family and company outings, camp outs, retreats, birthdays and other special events. It features, air conditioned cottages, a pavilion, sports facilities and a playground and tree houses to keep the young ones busy. For guests who would like to take a brief respite from the sweltering heat, the resort offers swimming pools of different sizes with matching water slides.

Horace Higgins Hall—Philippine National Railways: If you are a history buff who loves to see heritage sites in their unaltered state, then you may want to visit this structure located at the corner of M. Hizon and C. Apostol Streets. This site served as a railway station for the city when the Manila-Dagupan line was opened on November 23, 1892 and connected Caloocan with the rest of Manila and other towns all the way up to Dagupan City in Pangasinan. This structure, whose design bears foreign architectural influence, is all that remained when the old rail system was scuttled many decades ago.
 

Where to Eat in Caloocan

You won’t have any difficulty looking for a place in the city where you can grab a bite to eat. Fast food chains and eateries abound in Caloocan just like any city in Metro Manila. But if you are yearning for a good, hearty meal at affordable cost, you can check out the following restaurants:

Orient Pearl Seafoods & Restaurant: Located at 181 Macario Asistio, Sr corner A. Del Mundo Streets, this restaurant is open daily from 10 AM to 10 PM and features Chinese and Filipino cuisine and serves seafood as specialty of the house.

Max’s Restaurant: A few blocks up the road at 261 Delfina Building, Macario Asistio, Sr corner Baltazar Streets, you will find this famous “House that Fried Chicken Built.” Aside from its yummy chicken specialty, you can also find a wide choice of Filipino and international dishes on its menu.

Barrio Fiesta Restaurant: Another famous well-known restaurant whose fiesta theme and festival dishes can be located at 487 EDSA, Barangay 087, District 11 in Palanan, Caloocan. Available at reasonable prices are its Filipino, Asian and seafood cuisine.

Where to Stay in Caloocan

Unlike other cities in Metro Manila that cater to local and foreign visitors, the city of Caloocan does not have much hotel accommodations that might be of significant interest to tourists–save for one. A wide variety of accommodations may, however, be found in the adjacent City of Manila and Quezon City. But if you wish to obtain hotel accommodations right in the heart of Caloocan City, you may wish to try out:

Kabayan Hotel Caloocan: Provides first class comfort in well-appointed accommodations designed to suit even the most discriminating taste. For surprisingly low rates which start at USD16.00, or P640.00 converted at prevailing forex rates, guests will enjoy air conditioned rooms, cable TV, internet connectivity and private toilet and bath.

Website: http://www.kabayanhotel.com.ph/
535 Caimito Road corner McArthur Highway
Caloocan City (near Monumento)
Tel. Nos. (+632) 361-7454; 362-4678; 362-1298

How to Get to Caloocan

Manila to Caloocan and Back: The Light Rail Transit (LRT-1) is the fastest and cheapest way to get from Manila to Caloocan. From its station in Monumento, the LRT traverses the Rizal Avenue Ext. in Caloocan going to the City of Manila all the way up to Pasay City in less than thirty minutes for less than P30.00

Cebu to Caloocan and Back: To reach Caloocan from Cebu, you can either fly or sail from Cebu to Manila. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P4,000.00 – P5,000.00 while a round trip boat fare is approximately P3,000.00 – P4,000.00. If your point of disembarkation is the Manila Domestic Airport, you can take a cab or a bus from there to the LRT-1 station in Baclaran, Pasay City. The train will take you all the way to Monumento station in Caloocan for less than P30.00. The taxi fare from the airport is about P100.00 to P200.00 (one way), while the bus fare is less than P30.00 (one way). If your point of disembarkation is the Pier Area, you can take a jeepney or cab to the LRT-1 station in Avenida Rizal in Manila and board the train for Monumento. The taxi fare from the Pier Area to the LRT-1 station is about P100.00-P150.00, while the jeepney fare is cheaper at P7.50 (one way). The LRT train fare is less than P30.00.

Dumaguete to Caloocan and Back: To reach Caloocan from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to Manila. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P4,000.00 – P5,000.00. From the Manila Domestic Airport, you can take a cab or a bus from there to the LRT-1 station in Baclaran, Pasay City and board the train to Monumento. The taxi fare from the airport is about P100.00 to P200.00 (one way), while the bus fare is less than P30.00 (one way). The LRT train fare is less than P30.00.

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Makati – Financial Capital of the Philippines

September 9th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Makati

Makati MapOne of the smaller cities that make up the Metropolitan Manila Area with a total land area of only 2,990 hectares, Makati is bordered on the northwest by Manila, on the north and northeast by the Pasig River and Pasig City, on the southwest by Pasay City and on the southeast by Taguig City and the Municipality of Pateros. Two major arteries connect this bustling city to the rest of Metro Manila: The first is Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), which cuts from Baclaran, Pasay City in the south all the way down to the north in Balintawak, Caloocan City making it directly accessible to Quezon City as well as the cities of Pasig and Mandaluyong. The other artery is the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), which connects it to Manila, Muntinlupa City and the rest of Southern Manila.

Centuries ago, a large part of the lower portion of the city to the north bordering the Pasig River was swampland whose depth varied with the rising and ebbing of the tide, or “kati” in the vernacular. Subsequently, a small community of 2,500 inhabitants was established and was named San Pedro de Macati. In the 1930s, this was abbreviated to Makati by Commonwealth Act No. 2390, and on January 2, 1995 it obtained its cityhood by virtue of Republic Act No. 7854.

Within a span of just a few decades, a modern city of skyscrapers, well-planned road systems, commercial and business centers and clusters of high-end residential gated communities rose from the vast stretches of empty land transforming the once useless swamp land into the most expensive real estate in the country. Multi-national companies and other business firms set up shop in its business districts and the country’s most affluent families moved into its posh residential areas. Demand for high-end accommodations grew as expatriates and business travelers shuttled to and from the country.

In due time, Makati obtained the highest concentration of five-star hotels, high-end department stores, supermarkets, swanky boutiques, and stores. Head offices of major banks and financial institutions to include the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Makati Business Club located themselves along the posh Ayala Avenue making Makati known as the “Financial Capital of The Philippines.”

What to see in Makati

Nowhere in the Philippines is affluence and cosmopolitan lifestyle more ubiquitous and pronounced than in Makati. Just like any wealthy and highly urbanized city elsewhere in the world, the metropolis offers a vibrant nightlife for relaxation of its white-collar workforce and visitors; classy malls and commercial centers for a public with money to spend. When you are in Makati, you can rub elbows with young professionals and urban elite taking time off in the following places:

Jupiter Street-Makati Avenue Tourist Belt: Office workers, residents of nearby affluent communities and foreign tourists enjoy the best entertainment that Makati offers by night when neon lights of glitzy bars, cafes, exclusive night clubs and disco joints that line Jupiter Street and Makati Avenue lit up and open their doors to the public.

Ayala Center-Rockwell Center: Experience upscale shopping at the Ayala Center in the heart of the business district where two well-known malls are located such as the Greenbelt and Glorietta, which are at par with the world’s most modern commercial establishments. In this area, you’ll find well-known department stores like SM-Makati, Rustan’s and Landmark. Due north along J.P. Rizal Street, is the Rockwell Center where the upscale Power Plant Mall is located. This four- storey establishment which is popular with expatriates features local and international specialty brands and stores, state of the art cinemas and themed restaurants.

But if you are a history buff, try out the Ayala Museum located along Makati Avenue at Greenbelt Park and the Museo ng Makati which can be found along J.P. Rizal corner A. Mabini Streets which are the city’s primary repositories of heritage, history and culture.

Where to Eat in Makati

When hunger overtakes you while shopping around in Makati, you can always step inside one of the city’s malls where a host of themed and specialty restaurants abound. Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, and Filipino cuisine, are found all over the city. Food in these establishments are reasonably priced such as in Cibo Italian restaurant in Glorietta 4, Café Mediterranean in the Power Plant Mall which serves European, Italian, and Greek cuisine, Hossein’s Persian Kebab along Makati Avenue which serves authentic Indian, Persian, and Arabian cuisines, and Sentro in Greenbelt 3 which serves Filipino cuisine.

If you want to splurge on grub, try the five-star hotels around Makati which also have restaurants that offer service par excellence and gourmet food for the most discerning of guests such as Red or Shang at the Shangri-la along Makati Avenue. Greenbelt 3 Mall also has numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants. A couple of these, which can be found on the 3rd level are: Bollywood which serves Indian cuisine with a live band; Absinth Café Bar which is a disco café bar type that serves Asian, Continental, and European dishes; Congo Grill, which is a bar restaurant whose specialty is “ihaw-ihaw” and alcoholic beverages.
 

Where to Stay in Makati

The most exclusive and swankiest residential subdivisions are in Makati, such as Forbes Park, Bel-Air and Dasmarinas subdivisions where many of the country’s wealthiest families live. The ultimate avenue for a life of comfort and relaxation is further provided by five-star hotels that crowd the city like Shangri-La Hotel Makati, The Peninsula Manila and Intercontinental Hotel Manila. Despite of the prevalence of these plush and expensive accommodations, it is still possible to find great deals in this affluent city. Business travelers and tourists benefit from budget and mid-range hotels like the following:

St. Illian’s Inn: Located just four city blocks from Ayala Avenue and a block away from Legaspi Village, this reasonably priced hotel is a practical, cozy alternative to business and leisure travelers looking for quite comfort and amidst the hustle and bustle of Makati. With rates starting at P1,690 per night, guests will enjoy fully air conditioned rooms and essential amenities including cable TV, en-suite bathroom and telephone services.

Website: http://www.saintilliansinn.com
Santillan Street, Legaspi Village
Makati City
Tel. No. (632) 893-0754

El Cielito Inn: Located right in the heart of the Makati Central Business District a block away from the Ayala Center and Glorietta Mall this budget hotel is just walking distance away from the Metro Rail Transit Station which connects the city with the rest of Metro Manila. With rates starting at P1,554.00, this affordable place offers its guests fully air conditioned rooms, satellite TV, a minibar, telephone, internet connection, a hair dryer and room service.

Website: http://www.elcielitohotels.com
804 Arnaiz Sreet
Makati City
Tel.Nos: (632) 815-8951 to 54
Fax.No. (632) 817-9610

The Copa Businessman’s Hotel: Located along Pasay Road in the heart of the financial district, this mid-range hotel is a few minutes walk away from Glorietta and Greenbelt Malls and caters to tourists and businessmen alike. With rates starting at USD59.00, or P2,360.00 converted at current exchange rates, guests will enjoy fully air conditioned rooms, cable TV, IDD/NDD telephone, Hot and cold showers, Ref with minibar and coffee/ tea maker.

Website: http://www.copasuites-makati.com
912 Pasay Road
Makati City

How to Get to Makati

How to Go Around the City: The city is pedestrian friendly with a system of underpass, footbridges and flyovers crossing busy streets. Getting around the business district and malls are easily accomplished because of its interconnection of catwalks. Taxi cabs frequent hotels and restaurants in Makati. Buses plying from both ends of EDSA pass through the Central Business District of the city. Jeepneys ply the inner city roads and connect the rest of Makati to surrounding towns and cities. To avoid the nightmarish city traffic, you can ride the Metro Rail Transit whose elevated lines run along the entire stretch of EDSA from Monumento in Caloocan City to Baclaran in Pasay City. The MRT has four stations in the city: Guadalupe, Buendia and Ayala Avenues and Magallanes Stations. Commuting around Makati entails the minimum fare for a jeepney or bus ride.

Cebu to Makati and Back: To reach Makati from Cebu, you can either fly or sail from Cebu to Makati. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P3,500.00 – P5,000.00 while a round trip boat fare is approximately P3,000.00 – P4,000.00. After you disembark at the Manila Domestic Airport or Pier area, you can take a taxi cab, which will cost about P150.00 to P250.00 (one way). If you are not in a hurry, from your point of disembarkation, you can hop on a bus, jeepney or LRT which will take you to Makati for less than P30.00 (one way).

Dumaguete to Makati and Back: To reach Makati from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to Makati. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P3,500.00 – P5,000.00. After you disembark at the Manila Domestic Airport, you can take a taxi cab to Makati, which will cost about P150.00 to P250.00 (one way). But if you are on a budget, you can hop on a bus, jeepney or MRT which will take you to Makati for less than P30.00 (one way).

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