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Available Expat Jobs in the Philippines

September 22nd, 2014 · 13 Comments

There are many expat workers in the Philippines who have obtained decent jobs that you can live by. Having jobs as an expat is not hard in the Philippines, but getting the job is probably harder. We will tell you what you need to expect if you are an expat worker trying to find jobs in the Philippines.

The Philippines does not have such a strict law when it comes to obtaining visas and you can easily get one and keep on renewing it or you could file for a residential visa if you have a wife or daughter from the Philippines. The latter is a bit harder to obtain and also costs more. Philippines visas do not cost that much and the price ranges from $40 for three months to only $70 maximum.

The jobs that are offered for expat workers in the Philippines are plenty and you need to choose from a big variety. The most popular expat workers can be found in the entertainment and broadcasting industry such as television or radio broadcasting and jobs are also offered to disk jockeys for night clubs in Manila, Philippines. Popular jobs for expat workers are also higher positions as broadcasting managers or the like.

 Since expats are foreigners in the Philippines, they can only invest in something once they have a wife or a front person that is used as a dummy. Expat workers can only invest a certain percentage into businesses and other jobs which is 30 percent while the rest has to come from a Filipino local. This is also why it is hard for a foreigner to manage or own a company in the Philippines, although these companies may provide jobs and improve economy, the expat still has to heed to the law.

Expat are also popular in jobs that are connected to organizations such as non-governmental units. These jobs could be organizations that enforce equality between men and women or it could be a organization that focuses its jobs on poverty and helping educating the poor or the like. These jobs are not the highly paid ones for expat workers, but are highly rewarding jobs in the social level.

An expat can also work in the embassy of the country of origin. Although this somehow defies the purpose of working in the Philippines, they still have to live somewhere in the Philippines and the jobs in an embassy can vary from field jobs to office jobs.

The jobs that are available for expat workers range and depend on the skills of the expat, but be sure that you will find something as an expat in the Philippines.

→ 13 CommentsTags: Expats

Business Options for Expats in the Philippines

September 22nd, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Philippines is a good option for foreigners who seek comfort lifestyle in a country apart from their own. The beautiful country with the most pristine waters, wonderfully-shaped mountains, amazingly-designed structures, and the friendliest locals can easily embrace a foreigner tightly.

Business is especially good in a Philippine setting. If you want to have a business of your own there, the country would be able to offer you a bunch of options, given you have the budget for it. The Philippines is very friendly to independent businessmen who are looking for extra income out of their funds. It offers versatile investment opportunities that would fit to anyone’s budget and preference.

Before taking the leap in doing business in the country, make sure that you have considered all the possible factors that may get in the way of your success. There are specific laws that govern expats like you. You must read and understand all those so you know where to start. Doing something that is outlawed could be very dangerous for you and your properties.

Foreigners looking for local jobs in the Philippines could find a difficult time. There are not enough jobs for the qualified locals that is why the country’s government is quite strict in allowing foreigners to creep in. Aside from that fact, compensation is very low in the Philippines compared to the other countries.

The best way to earn while enjoying the Filipino way of life is building a business of your own. There are currently a lot of industries booming in the country. You just need to make your choice. Doing business about something that you care about is the best way to do it. Start by thinking about your guilty pleasures and your interests. From there, you could pick up ideas on the most ideal business that you think will click and will give you the career satisfaction that you needed. International franchises and export opportunities are also available in the Philippines. If you want to closely to your home country, you could well do so by taking those alternatives.

Any business could be profitable in the Philippines if you know how to make it one. Aside from your excellent business skills, you will need a profound knowledge about the country to get to the best industry that you must be in. Study the Filipino lifestyle well enough to get ideas on how to make good business there. You have lots of options in your hands. Your only limitation lies in your skills and your budget capital as well.

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Permanent Resident Visa for Expats in Philippines

September 22nd, 2014 · 97 Comments

Expats usually face the same problem whenever they want to work in the Philippines, which is how to get a permanent resident visa. There are only a handful of methods on how to obtain one and you need to be willing to pay some money for this permanent resident visa. We will tell you what exactly this permanent resident visa is, how to get one, how long it takes and when it expires for the expats in the Philippines.

A permanent resident visa in the Philippines is a kind of visa that lasts for ten years provided that you have a permanent residence in the Philippines. This visa will last one year for the initial application and after further reapplications, it will last for ten years, upon which the expats will receive a I-card which is a card that looks like a credit card, with your ID picture, finger print and personal data.

The application fee costs P 10,000 which is equal to around $225, and the approval fee costs another P 10,000 which is a total of around $550. After one year, you will be asked to register your permanent resident visa yearly which costs another $8.

You also have to provide the signature of your spouse and your marriage certificate as well as your own birth certificate and your spouse’s birth certificate. Expats are also required to hand over a certification of a savings bank account with the minimum $ 10,000, and a certificate of residence from the expats town or city of residence. Usually the ID pictures are taken right at the embassy and you can only obtain your permanent resident visa in the major cities of the Philippines such as Manila, Cebu, Davao City and Bacolod City.

Expats have a lot ahead of them before they can obtain a permanent resident visa in the Philippines, but with the right plan, expats will be able to receive their permanent resident visa for the Philippines.

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Muntinlupa: Emerald City of the Philippines

September 21st, 2014 · 7 Comments

Muntinlupa

Muntinlupa MapWhat was once an agricultural town mostly devoted to cow pasture has metamorphosed into the new residential haven of Metro Manila. Muntinlupa is the southernmost city of Metro Manila bounded on the east by Laguna de Bay; on the southwest by the provinces of Laguna and Cavite; on the west by Las Piñas; on the northwest by Parañaque; and, on the north by Taguig City.

Owing to its general topography, which is somewhat hilly, this tiny poblacion was referred to by its inhabitants during the Spanish period as “monted de lupa,” a vernacular phrase meaning “hills” from which, many believed the name of Muntinlupa originated. Just a few decades ago, this place was at the receiving end of unfair jokes and bad press and has earned undue notoriety. The mere mention of the word “Muntinlupa” always brought to mind the chilling image of the New Bilibid Prison which is located within its jurisdiction. However, palpable progress has a way of changing for the better negative impressions created by the stigma of it being the home of hardened criminals.

During the last decade, the city has undergone rapid development particularly in its Alabang district. The Filinvest Corporate City and the Madrigal Business Center District which host the biggest and swankiest residential communities and business establishments have changed the face of Muntinlupa from a once sleepy town to a bustling modern metropolis. Some of the wealthiest and famous personalities that live in these classy villages include a former Philippine president, well-known show biz celebrities and even the prince of an oil-producing nation. Recently, it received the status of “Most Competitive and Improved City.” Like a precious stone plucked from the mining quarry in its raw form, then cut and polished to perfection, Muntinlupa City—the new glistening jewel of Metro Manila, is now referred to as the Emerald City of the Philippines.

What to See in Muntinlupa

Muntinlupa boasts of the Ayala Alabang Village which is the largest and cleanest exclusive residential subdivision in the country; Alabang Town Center along the Ayala-Alabang-Zapote Road; Festival Mall at the Filinvest Corporate City; and, Manuela Metropolis below the South Super Highway Flyover which are considered as some of the largest malls in the country that feature indoor theme parks.

Visitors who believe that the things to see in a modern city like Muntinlupa that has recently emerged from rural obscurity can only be found in its modern commercial districts and plush residential subdivisions. But for the more adventurous and curious visitor who had seen enough of modern malls and plush villages, the unique spots that define the city’s character and its past may prove a more interesting justification for their trip.

Ironically, this once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing experience can be found at the very place that has given the city its past notoriety—The New Bilibid Prison located at Barangay Poblacion. Hidden within the grounds of this sprawling 530–hectare state penitentiary reservation complex which is surprisingly peaceful and safe, are the following attractions?

Jamboree Lake: Said to be the country’s smallest natural lake, whose water and surrounding park are surprisingly clean.

Monument Hill: Located a few meters from the lakeshore is a mound with a cross that serves as the marker for the resting place of Eriberto Misa, a prison director during World War II who made a mark in history by initiating programs that made prison life more bearable.

Yamashita Shrine: A burial site for Japanese soldiers killed during World War II. General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the “Tiger of Malaya,” is said to have been buried in this place after he was executed for war crimes committed by Japanese troops in World War II.

Where to Eat in Muntinlupa

The best places to visit whenever you feel the urge to go on a shopping spree or a food trip are the modern and comfortable malls of Muntinlupa.

Gerry’s Grill: Located at Alabang Town Center, this food establishment is just the perfect place for the visitor who loves to feast on freshly grilled or cooked food on a budget of P200.00 per meal.

Cabalen: This restaurant can be found at the 3rd Floor of the Festival Mall. It features food from Pampanga like its famous native sausages and processed meats at a mid-range cost of P300.00 per meal. If you feel up to it, try its exotic snails cooked in coconut milk. A pricey appetizer in French cuisine cooked with garlic and parsley butter with an equally pricey sounding name—“escargot,” which simply means snail is very popular in European and North American fine dining. You can eat this delicacy with an Asian twist for a fraction of the cost at Cabalen.

Red Crab Seafood and Steaks: For P500.00 per meal, you can stuff yourself with its crowd drawer—different crab dishes cooked just right to tickle your taste buds from hot to gingery sweet and spicy flavors. A culinary experience to remember for first time visitors of this establishment located at the 2nd level, Cortes de las Palmas along Alabang-Zapote Road.

Where to Stay in Muntinlupa

Parque España Residence Hotel: Whether you are a well-traveled businessman or a leisure traveler, you will definitely fine in this hotel all the comforts, warmth and security which will make you feel that you have never left home at all. For a starting rate of USD70.00, or P2,800.00 converted at the prevailing forex rates, visitors will enjoy living and dining areas with complete dining facilities, cable TV, kitchen with complete cooking facilities, IDD/NDD telephone, broadband internet connectivity, mini bar and hot and cold shower.

Website: http://www.parqueespana-alabang.com/index.htm
5309 East Asia Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang
Muntinlupa City 1781, Philippines
Tel. Nos.: (632) 850-5847
Fax Nos.: (632) 850-5660
Email address: parqueespana@hii.com.ph

Vivere Suites: Every room in this mid-range hotel features Asian elegance designed to provide for your comfort and convenience. Starting at USD120.00, or P4,800.00 converted at prevailing forex rates, each standard room is equipped with a living, dining and kitchen area aside from the usual bathroom and bedroom.

5102 Bridgeway Avenue
Filinvest Corporate City
Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Tel.No.: (632) 771-7777
Fax No.: (632) 771-0158

The Bellevue Manila: Located at the plush Filinvest Corporate City, this high rise hotel offers a wide range of recreational facilities and a fully equipped business center to meet the needs of both the leisure and business travelers. With rates starting at USD179.00.or P7,160.00 converted at current exchange rates, this 222 room high rise provides in-room fax, in-house movies, broadband internet connection, air-conditioning, telephone, mini bar, room safe, satellite TV, voice mail and tea/ coffee maker.

Website: www.thebellevue.com.ph
North Bridgeway, NorthGate
Cyberzone, Filinvest Corporate City
Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Tel. No.: 771-8181
Fax No.: 771-8282

How to Get to Muntinlupa

Manila to Muntinlupa and Back: Air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses ply the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), which is the major route going to Muntinlupa City. Coming from Manila, you can catch the bus at the Taft Avenue corner Buendia Avenue station. Ask the bus conductor to remind you to get off the bus when it reaches Alabang. Traffic is sometimes very heavy at the SLEX and the trip could take about two hours. The bus ride should not cost more than P100.00.

Cebu to Muntinlupa and Back: To reach Muntinlupa from Cebu, you can either fly from Cebu to the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay 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. From your point of disembarkation, you can take a jeepney or taxi cab to the bus station in Taft Avenue corner Buendia Avenue and board the bus bound for Cabuyao, Laguna and ask the bus conductor to let you off at Alabang. The taxi fare to the bus station costs about P250.00-P300.00 while the bus trip should not cost more than P100.00.
 
Dumaguete to Muntinlupa and Back: To reach Muntinlupa from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P4,000.00 – P5,000.00. From the airport, you can take a taxi cab to the bus station in Taft Avenue corner Buendia Avenue and board the bus bound for Cabuyao, Laguna and ask the bus conductor to let you off at Alabang. The taxi fare to the bus station costs about P250.00-P300.00 while the bus trip should not cost more than P100.00.

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Las Piñas City: “Home of the Bamboo Organ”

September 21st, 2014 · 1 Comment

Las Piñas City

Las Pinas MapOne of the earliest settlements in the coastal fringes of the old Walled City of Manila, Las Piñas City is bounded on the south and southwest by the municipalities of Imus and Bacoor in Cavite; on the north and northeast by Parañaque City; on the east and southeast by Muntinlupa City; and, on the northwest by the Manila Bay.

In 1775, this small fishing village was established into a town by the Spanish colonialists. During the Philippine Revolutionary War for Independence in 1896 Las Piñas was the site of numerous battles between the Katipunan and Spanish forces. There are quite a few schools of thought on the origin of the city’s name, but the most plausible is a theory based on an inscription on an old church bell dating back to the time of Fr. Diego Cera which shows that the town was then known as Las Peñas. The phrase “las peñas,” which means “the rocks,” referred most likely to the stones and adobe that were quarried in the area for the construction of bridges and buildings during those days. As the years went by, the phrase “las peñas” could have easily been corrupted to “las piñas” which is in use up to this day.

One cannot think about Las Piñas City without the world renowned Bamboo Organ coming to mind. Presently installed at the St. Joseph Church of the Parish of Las Piñas, this musical instrument made out of bamboo, wood and metal is the only organ of its kind in the world. It was built in 1824 by Fr. Diego Cera, the town’s first parish priest and is famous not only for the indigenous materials used in its construction, but for this unique instrument’s deep, melodious sound as well.

Las Piñas is a late bloomer, emerging from its rural cocoon in the late 60s with the construction of the South Super Highway. In the mid-80s, progress in this 4,154-hectare city went along at a faster clip when the Coastal Road was constructed directly linking Metro Manila to Cavite. By the early 90s, Las Piñas was serving as the gateway to the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon industrial growth corridor. Eventually, this once rustic coastal town transformed into a booming urban city of large industries and residential subdivisions. In 2002, it was named one of the country’s “Most Competitive Cities” together with Makati, Marikina, Muntinlupa and Davao cities.

What to See in Las Piñas

Although Las Piñas City is 20 kilometers from the heart of the City of Manila, it has been swallowed up by the huge urban sprawl that is Metro Manila. Nonetheless, the city has kept its own individual character and remains to be the favored stop of visitors because of its attractions that are unique and distinctly Filipino.

The Bamboo Organ: This rare and unique musical instrument can be found inside the St, Joseph Church of the Parish of Las Piñas. Fr. Diego Cera, its first parish priest, constructed the organ in 1824 using hundreds of bamboo poles that he buried in the beach sand for one year so that these will resist termite infestations. The organ is admired not only for its construction, but for its melodious sound as well. Ancient though it is, the organ is still working and is still in use up to this day. That is why it becomes the center of attention when the city celebrates the Bamboo Organ Festival during the month of February which attracts many music artists all over the world.

Sarao Jeepney Factory: Dubbed as the “King of the Road,” the ubiquitous jeepneys that ply the roads of Metro Manila and in the provinces are a testament to the ingenuity of the Filipino. Las Piñas is the acknowledged jeepney producing center of the country, and the Sarao Jeepney Factory owned by Leonardo Sarao is the recognized pioneer and leader in the industry. Your trip to Metro Manila will not be complete without visiting this vehicle assembly plant located along Padre Diego Cera Ave., Pulanglupa to witness how these works of art on four wheels are made.

Salt Beds: The distinction “Salt Center of Metro Manila” used to be held by Las Piñas—until the construction of the Coastal Road and land reclamation project in Manila Bay severely affected the industry. However, through the initiatives of local government leaders, the salt beds of Las Piñas were restored giving visitors the chance to see the traditional method of salt-making and harvesting the way the people in this historic place have been doing it for the past two centuries.

Where to Eat in Las Piñas

While Las Piñas has retained some vestiges of its rural setting, it does not lack in modern facilities that would address the needs of its residents and visitors. Its modern malls are filled with recreational and food establishments where one can obtain reasonably priced food and entertainment, such as:

Dencio’s Bar and Grill: Located at the 2nd level of Star Mall Las Piñas along C.V. Starr Ave. in Pamplona, this food establishment provides excellent Filipino and grilled seafood and music entertainment at very reasonable prices.

Barrio Fiesta Restaurant: When you think of Filipino dishes, Barrio Fiesta invariably comes to mind. Luckily, this popular restaurant now has a branch at the 3rd level of SM Southmall located at Alabang-Zapote Road. So, when you are in the vicinity, why not check out its special kare-kare in thick peanut sauce served in an authentic bubbling palayok (earthen pot).

Ted’s La Paz Batchoy: If you want a quick, hot, filling meal why not step into this joint located at the Ground Level of SM Southmall. Order a large bowl of its extra super original La Paz batchoy and a plate of puto (rice cakes), then wash it down with a glass of ice cold tea. This heavy meal is guaranteed to keep you going for the rest of the day.

Where to Stay in Las Piñas

Balikbayan Vacation Home: Located in a middle class gated community, this B&B establishment is centrally located to the Alabang Town Center, Madrigal Business Center and has easy access to major road arteries leading to the Metro Manila and Calabarzon areas. It has two air conditioned rooms, one bathroom with hot water, cable TV, in-room ref, living room, dining room and well equipped kitchen. One of the bedrooms has a queen size bed and two single beds in the other. All these conveniences for a rate of USD50.00, or P2,000.00 converted at current forex rates.

23 Leo Street
Veraville Homes I Subdivision
Las Pinas, Philippines
Tel. No.: 951-698-0873 (US)
Toll Free: -011-639293442669(PH)

Eurotel: Provides the elegant service and ambiance of a European hotel at a cost you can afford. With rates starting at P1,975.00 guests will enjoy air conditioned rooms, wi-fi connection, bar and café, 24-hr. room service and free valet parking.

Website: http://www.eurotelph.com/index.htm
Alabang – Zapote Road (in front of SM Southmall)
Alamanza Uno, Las Piñas City
Tel: (63-2) 805-0095; 806-7646
Fax: (63-2) 800-3876
E-mail: eurotel_lp@yahoo.com

How to Get to Las Piñas

Manila to Las Piñas and Back: The Coastal Road that runs throughout the southern length of Metro Manila’s shoreline with Manila Bay is a very important artery for people commuting to and from Manila to Las Piñas and Cavite. You can get to Las Piñas on buses from Taft Avenue in Manila bound for Zapote or Cavite and just tell the conductor to inform you when to get off. Approximate bus fare will not exceed P50.00.

Cebu to Las Piñas and Back: To reach Las Piñas from Cebu, you can either fly from Cebu to the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay 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 Pier Area in Manila, you can take a jeepney or hop into a taxi cab and ask the driver to take you to Taft Avenue. From there take a bus bound for Zapote of Cavite. The taxi fare from the Pier Area to Taft Avenue is about P100.00-P150.00, while the jeepney fare is cheaper at P7.50. The bus fare to Las Piñas will not exceed P50.00. If your point of disembarkation is the Manila Domestic Airport, take a taxi cab up to Roxas Boulevard then board the bus bound for Zapote or Cavite. The taxi fare is about P100.00 while the bus fare to Las Piñas will not exceed P50.00.

Dumaguete to Las Piñas and Back: To reach Las Piñas from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P4,000.00 – P5,000.00. From the airport, hop on a taxi cab up to Roxas Boulevard and take the bus bound for Zapote or Cavite. The taxi fare is about P100.00 while the bus fare to Las Piñas will not exceed P50.00.

→ 1 CommentTags: Metro Manila

Cavite: Birthplace of Philippine Independence

September 21st, 2014 · 3 Comments

Cavite

Cavite mapIf you peer on an old Spanish map, you would see a crescent or hook-shaped peninsula that lies thirty-four kilometers from what is now the City of Manila at the southwest entrance of Manila Bay across the Bataan Peninsula. Known in the olden days as “Tangway,” this place was subsequently called “Kawit,” which aptly describes in the vernacular the land that juts out into the sea like a hook. As the settlement grew over the centuries, the word evolved into “Cawite,” then finally, to its present name of Cavite.

The Province of Cavite which includes most of the islands in Manila Bay such as Corregidor, Caballo, Carabao and El Fraile islands is bounded on the east by the provinces of Laguna and Rizal; on the west by the south China Sea; on the south by the province of Batangas; and, on the north by the City of Manila and Manila Bay. The earliest settlers of the place were sea-faring people from Borneo many of whom were skilled naval artisans. During the Spanish regime, the shipyards in this part of the country produced many of the galleys and naval frigates as well as the great galleons that sailed the ocean trade routes from Manila to Acapulco in Mexico.

It is difficult to think of Cavite today without associating it with the most defining and glorious moment in the history of the Filipino nation—the proclamation of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898 after three hundred years of oppressive Spanish rule. If Cavite basks in the glory of leading the country’s inexorable march towards becoming a free and sovereign nation, it too, had offered its own share of sacrifice on the altar of freedom. When the Philippine Revolution broke out on August 25, 1896, the province became the theater of the bloody upheaval.

Like other provinces, Cavite is the home of many patriots, heroes and martyrs who led and inspired the noble struggle for national liberation. The most illustrious of Cavite’s sons is General Emilio Aguinaldo who defeated in fair combat the best of the Spanish generals such as: Ernesto de Aguirre in the Battle of Imus; Ramon Blanco in the Battle of Binakayan; and, Antonio Zaballa in the Battle of Anabu. Led by General Aguinaldo, the revolutionary forces soon liberated the entire province and pursued the struggle throughout the country to its successful conclusion making the Philippines the first Asian country to break its shackles from its colonial master.

The proclamation of Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite in 1898 is the most important legacy of the Philippine revolutionary war against Spain. It had imbued in the Filipino consciousness a sense of identity and nationhood that would fortify the resolve of the young Philippine Republic to confront future challenges and enable it to stand proud among the concert of free and sovereign nations.

What to See in Cavite

The Province of Cavite does not delve into its past, glorious as it is. Instead, it has kept abreast with the fast-paced life of the modern world. While it is the smallest province in the CALABARZON (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) region with an area of 130 thousand hectares, it is also the most populous. The growth of its population is attributed mainly to in-migration due to the increase in job opportunities and prime housing facilities. Presently, there are more than 30 industrial estates and countless prime residential subdivisions in the province. Amenities such as golf courses and shopping centers have begun to dot the landscape to cater to its burgeoning population. Despite all these, much of Cavite remains unspoiled by progress because its landscape is teeming with historical and cultural spots and fantastic natural attractions.

Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum: Located in the town of Kawit, the shrine is the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo. It was from a window of this Spanish designed house that the Philippine Independence from Spain was proclaimed and the national flag was first unfurled while a band played the stirring chords of the national anthem. The remains of General Aguinaldo rests on a hallowed spot on the garden of his house, which was donated to the government in 1962. Guided tours are available daily in the shrine from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except Mondays. The good thing about it is that the guide will provide information about secret tunnel passages leading to the church and emergency exits.

Corregidor: This is an island fortress that guards the entrance to Manila Bay where Filipino and American troops valiantly fought against the Japanese invaders during World War II. The gallant stand of the Filipino and American defenders of Bataan and Corregidor delayed the Japanese timetable and successfully prevented the advance of the Japanese Imperial Army towards Australia and New Zealand. The war ruins of this island fortress together with its tunnels, mortars and naval gun emplacements are preserved, maintained and managed as an important historic site under the jurisdiction of Cavite City.

Aside from the numerous heritage and historic sites, Cavite offers fantastic natural attractions that make it a perfect destination for visitors who wish to see Nature’s wonders that are a short distance from the urban sprawl of Metro Manila. Take a quick tour of these sights and marvel at the gushing cascades of Malibiclibic Falls or Balite Falls in Amadeo or go spelunking at the Cabag Cave in Silang. Best of all, why not go sightseeing and drive around the Tagaytay Ridge and gawk at the fantastic view of Taal Volcano and its splendid backdrop of gleaming Taal Lake framed in the wide blue yonder.

Where to Eat in Cavite

When your eyes feast on the fantastic sights and heritage structures of the province, sooner or later your stomach will grumble and you will need to look for places with equally fantastic food. This is no problem because Cavite abounds with restaurants that offer the freshest vegetable, meats and seafood. Take for instance the following:

Josephine’s Restaurant: Located in Kawit and in Tagaytay, this famous seafood restaurant offers traditional Filipino food. If you are a first timer, you must not miss its specialty “Mutya ng Cavite” soup which is a white cream base soup filled to the brim with different seafood such as squid, shrimp, clams, crabs and mussels.

Hidden Tapsihan: So named because it is tucked in one of the hidden streets in Kawit near the St. Mary Magdalene Church. But as they say, no good eating place can remain hidden from the persistent gastronome who wants to experience its excellent “tapa,” or beef jerky and sweet vinegar sauce with onions. The budget conscious traveler will be pleased to find out that a complete meal with drinks and dessert will cost less than P100.00.

Café on the Ridge: Located along Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay, this restaurant overlooks Taal Volcano. Visitors will love its special smoked tanguingue, gambas, crispy tawilis, and bulalo. Tourists bring home mouth watering memories of its super special dessert named after the famed volcano nearby—Taal Chocolate Eruption, a “baked to order” rich chocolate cake dripping with chocolate cream sauce served with vanilla ice cream.

Where to Stay in Cavite

Microtel Inn & Suites-Eagle Ridge: This 57-room economy hotel accommodation in the flourishing town of General Trias is comfortably nestled inside the Eagle Ridge Golf and Residential Estates. With rates starting at P1,834.00, guests will enjoy a queen-sized bed, cable TV, air conditioning, IDD/ NDD telephone, Internet connectivity, built-in desk and furniture, full-sized bath with hot& cold water and radio clock.

Website: www.microtel-cavite.com/
Eagle Ridge Golf &Country Club
Amadeo Road, Cavite
Tel. No.: (6346) 509-3333

Mount Sea Fiesta Resort: Situated just 25 kilometers away from the City of Manila, this resort is about 40 minutes drive from the country’s capital. With rates starting at P2,300.00, this resort offers air conditioning, cable TV, IDD/ NDD telephone, and hot and cold shower.

Website: www.mountsearesorts.com
Rosario, Cavite
Tel. No.: (046) 438-3888
Fax No.: (02) 301-0530 loc 184
Email: msqr@mountsearesorts.com
 
Island Cove Resort & Leisure Park: This resort is the nearest from Manila. Take an easy drive through Roxas Boulevard and pass the scenic Coastal Road and in 45 minutes, you’ll find yourself in this island sanctuary. With rates starting at P2,700.00, visitors will be entitled to air conditioned units, telephone, ref and safe deposit.

Website: http://www.islandcovephil.com/
Covelandia Road
Kawit, Cavite
Tel. No.: (632) 810-3718
Fax No.: (632) 810-3764

How to Get to Cavite

Manila to Cavite and Back: Public transportation bound for Cavite is available from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM. The Saint Anthony and Saulog air conditioned buses load and unload passengers at Vito Cruz corner Harrison Streets near Harrison Plaza in front of the Central bank of the Philippines. Travel time going to the nearest point which is Bacoor is about 20 to 30 minutes while it would take around two hours going to the farthest point which is Silang. The bus fare is less than 50 pesos.

Cebu to Cavite and Back: To reach Cavite from Cebu, you can either fly from Cebu to the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay or sail from Cebu to Manila. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P6,000.00 – P7,000.00 while a round trip boat fare is approximately P3,000.00 – P4,000.00. Once you disembark at the Manila Domestic Airport or Pier Area, it is best to take a taxi cab and ask to be taken to Harrison Plaza where you can take the bus bound for Cavite. The taxi fare should not cost more than P200.00.

Dumaguete to Cavite and Back: To reach Cavite from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay City. From the airport, flag a taxi cab and ask to be taken to Harrison Plaza where you can hop on a bus bound for Cavite. The taxi fare should not cost more than P200.00.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Luzon

Cebu: Queen City of the South

September 21st, 2014 · 3 Comments

Cebu

cebu cityIf the queen is the second most important piece on the chess board next to the king, then Cebu must be the second most important city in the Philippines next to Manila. But considering its many “firsts,” it could very well have been the premier city of the country.

Appropriately dubbed as the “Queen City of the South,” it lies on the eastern shore of the island of Cebu 600 kilometers south of Manila. It is bounded on the east by the Mactan Strait; on the west by Toledo City and the towns of Asturias and Balamban; on the northeast by Mandaue City and the town of Consolacion; and, on the south by Talisay City and the town of Minglanilla.

Centrally located in the Philippine archipelago, Cebu is a vital economic nerve center whose influence pulsates all throughout the rest of the southern regions in the Visayas and Mindanao. Outside of Manila, it provides the most important entry and exit point for international flights. And, because of its sheltered deep water harbor, it serves as an excellent base for more than eighty percent of the country’s inter-island shipping firms and is the gateway to the central and southern Philippines. And if the Capital City of the Philippines is the first among 16 other cities in Luzon that comprise Metro Manila, the Queen City of the South is the center of Metro Cebu which is composed of the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga, Talisay and Cebu.

Like Manila, Cebu traces its beginnings to the dawn of civilization in the Philippines dating back to at least 1,000 BC. An interesting point in this regard is that the place name of Cebu has remained phonetically unchanged since pre-Hispanic times. It was known back then as “Zebu,” which was most probably derived from the Malay word “sebu” which means “place of abundance.” No other name could have given a more accurate description because it was already an economically developed and prosperous settlement that maintained trade ties with other civilizations in Asia and the Middle East long before the arrival of the first Spanish galleons. In the chronicles of Antonio Pigafetta, who landed with Ferdinand Magellan in Cebu on April 7, 1521, shipping vessels from China, Siam (Thailand) and Arabia were described to be docked at the Port of Cebu when they arrive in the area.

It was in Cebu that Magellan planted the Cross making it the first Christian settlement in the country. But it was also in Cebu that the early Filipinos put up their first heroic resistance to Spanish colonization. Led by Lapu-Lapu, the courageous chieftain of Mactan, the Filipino warriors repulsed the advance of the Spaniards and took the life of Magellan. But freedom for the Philippines would be short lived because after 44 years the foreign colonists, driven by their lust for gold and exotic spices of the East, would return with a vengeance. On April 27, 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi landed in Cebu to reestablish an oppressive Spanish dominion over much of the country that would last for the next three hundred years.

Under Spanish rule, Cebu became the country’s first city—ahead of Manila by seven years. As such, many of its attractions, structures and institutions would necessarily have the distinction of being the oldest in the country. The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in downtown Cebu is the oldest church; Fort San Pedro, the oldest yet smallest fort; San Carlos University, the oldest school; and, Colon Street, the oldest avenue in the country.

Known for its excellently crafted guitars, banduria, piccolo and other stringed instruments, Cebu’s economy is powered by the entrepreneurial spirit of its people whose small and medium enterprises pushed the city to the frontlines of progress. Although it is a thriving modern trade center and a busy metropolis, Cebu has not lost its natural attractions and has become one of the most popular tourist and business destinations in the country.

What to See in Cebu

This premier southern city is the birthplace of Christianity in the Philippines and may disputably be the first place in Asia ever to be touched by the Cross. A visit to the following sites would impart a better appreciation of how these religious relics have shaped the culture and destiny of the Philippines.

Magellan’s Cross: Upon landing in Cebu in 1521, Magellan is said to have planted this cross on this very spot in downtown Cebu. This subsequently became the most famous place in the country as it was here where the first Christian Filipinos were baptized, which includes Rajah Humabon and his wife, Queen Juana. Now housed in a chapel, the cross was encased in 1835 in a hollow tindalo wood to keep devotees from chipping off pieces of the wood relic to take home as religious souvenirs.

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño: Located a few paces away from Magellan’s Cross is this Augustinian church which is considered as the only Roman Catholic Basilica in the Far East. This church, which is constructed of hewn stone, serves as the sanctuary of the Santo Niño image that was given to Queen Juana in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan. This religious site is open to the public on Fridays and Sundays.

Challenging jungle treks and sea dives: While Cebu might be a modern metropolis, it has retained much of its natural allure that continues to attract tourists from all over the world. It offers the nature lover an adventurous trek through the jungles and rivers on the outskirts of the city or a climb up the mountain trails and an exciting rappel down its deep gorges. The magnificent white sand beaches and crystalline waters in the islands of Badian, Mactan, Bantayan and Malapascua as well as the magnificent diving spots in Moalboal and Maribago off Cebu strongly beckon to the diving and snorkeling spirit of sea-loving visitors.

Where to Eat in Cebu

Cebu is as cosmopolitan as Manila. And when it comes to restaurants, it has a pretty wide range to choose from. It has Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, Spanish and American as well as the ubiquitous international and local fast food chain brands that dot the malls and commercial centers of major cities.

Golden Cowrie Restaurant Cebu: A must-eat place that will give you the best value for your money in terms of fast and courteous service, excellent food, affordable price and good ambiance. Why not set aside your diet for a while and savor its finger licking good crispy pata and dinuguan. Better yet, have a fill of its delicious version of “adobong kangkong” and “tahong,” which are typically known nation-wide as the “poor man’s diet,” and understand why these are so popular among the Filipino masses.

Grand Majestic Restaurant: If you are ready to splurge to satisfy your taste buds, then go ahead and taste its famous “Peking Duck,” dimsum and mouth-watering desserts. Otherwise, you would fly back home with that sneaky feeling that your trip to Cebu had been an incomplete experience.

Mr. A: Located on a hill in the mountain barangay of Busay, this restaurant offers a range of affordable Cebuano fiesta fare, a great ambiance and an even greater view of the city.

Where to Stay in Cebu

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino: Tourists and businessmen with a taste for elegance would find this first class hotel located a stone’s throw away from the city’s financial district and best tourist attractions appealing to their most discriminating needs. With rates starting at USD100.00, or P4,100.00 converted at current forex rates, guests at this famous landmark would be able to enjoy air conditioning; cable TV; NDD/IDD telephone; wi-fi Internet connectivity; mini-bar and ref; and, complimentary round trip shuttle from the hotel to the malls.

Website: http://www.waterfronthotels.com.ph/sebu/
Salinas Drive
Lahug, Cebu City
Tel. No.: (+6332) 232-6888
Fax No. : (+6332) 232-6880
Email : wcch@waterfronthotels.net

Cebu Grand Hotel: Affordable hotels are normally hard to come by in a cosmopolitan metropolis that is a choice tourist destination like Cebu. That is why a standard class hotel like Cebu Grand Hotel that is centrally located to the city’s commercial districts, finest tourist spots and recreational facilities would normally always be fully booked by businessmen and tourists with a discriminating taste. With rates starting at P2,700.00, guests would enjoy air conditioning; NDD/ IDD telephone; cable TV; private bath room and bath; and, hot and cold shower.

Website: http://www.cebugrandhotel.com/
Cebu Capitol Complex,
North Escario Street
Cebu City
Tel Nos.: (+6332) 254-6362
 (+6362) 254-6361
Fax No. : (+6362) 254-6363
Email : info@cebugrandhotel.com
 
Richmond Plaza Hotel Cebu: Strategically located near the Ayala Business Park and uptown Cebu, this economy class hotel is perfect for budget leisure travelers. With rates starting at P950.00, the intrepid traveler will get to enjoy air conditioning; pipe-in music; cable TV; dinette; mini-bar; private toilet and bath; and, hot and cold shower.

Website: http://www.richmondhotelcebu.com/
F. Sotto Drive, Gordo Ave.
Cebu City
Tel. Nos.: (+6332) 232-4616 to 27
 (+6332) 232-0361
Email : info@richmondhotelcebu.com

How to Get to Cebu

Manila to Cebu and Back: Flights from Manila to Cebu via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines are scheduled daily with round trip tickets priced at an average of P4,000.00. Another way to get to Cebu is by sea via Super Ferry Lines. The approximate cost of a round trip boat fare is P2,400.00 and travel time is about 21 hours.

Getting Around Cebu: The fastest and simplest way to move around the city is by riding a taxi cab where a trip will typically cost approximately P100 provided you know the name of the street, building or area you want to reach. If you are the adventurous type, you can opt for a jeepney or a bus, which at P7.00 to P10.00 per trip, are a much cheaper yet fun way of getting around the city and rub elbows with the city’s friendly “hoi poloi.”

Dumaguete to Cebu 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.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Visayas

Manila: Pearl of the Orient

September 21st, 2014 · 1 Comment

Manila

manila mapLocated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay, bisected right in the middle by the mighty Pasig River just west of Quezon City on the island of Luzon, Manila is the chief seaport and cultural center of the Philippines. This 3,855-hectare land is the country’s seat of political and administrative power as it is the home of Malacanang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippine Republic, the Supreme Court and other major government agencies.

The city’s name is derived from the phrase “May Nilad,” which literally translates to “the place of the nilad,” referring to the flowering mangrove plant that grew in abundance centuries ago on the marshy shores of Manila Bay. Even in Pre-Hispanic times, this ancient city traded with India and China as it was once a part of two powerful Hindu empires, the Srivijaya that ruled Sumatra, and later, the Majapahit empire based in East Java.

Starting from the country’s colonial period in 1565 up to its independence in 1946, the city was the center of government by a succession of Spanish and American colonizers and Japanese invaders. Up until the start of the Second World War, Manila was considered the most beautiful city in Asia. But this distinction was abruptly put to an end when carpet bombing by U.S. Forces and house-to-house fighting leveled the city to the ground and made it the most ravaged city in the world second only to Warsaw in Poland.

Although the Philippines is said to be the largest Catholic country in Asia, Manila’s cosmopolitan culture mirrors a society that has held on to its roots. It has a mixture of different religions such as Muslims, Hindus and Christians that live together in harmony. This premiere city’s stature as the capital of the Philippines is globally recognized as Paris is widely known as the capital of France.

The City Seal of Manila, which shows a pearl embedded in a shell aptly describes the city as the “Pearl of the Orient” because of its picturesque location and astounding golden sunsets viewed from the shores of enchanting Manila Bay.

What to see in Manila

On account of its strategic location, this modern, teeming metropolis is used as a base for further travel to other parts of the country that is why it is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Philippines.” However, many people who stop to explore the city on their way to other parts of the islands discover the friendliness and charm of its blend of cultures, and invariably find nuggets of treasured sights to behold and experiences to remember. Manila is an exciting place to be and communication with its friendly people is easy because English is widely spoken, prices are dirt cheap and you can definitely get much more than your fair share of sunshine. A visit to Manila can never be complete without a tour of the following:

The Walled City of Intramuros: Located south of the Pasig River along Sta. Clara Street, this ancient fortress built by the Spanish colonizers in 1571 is the old and original enclave of Manila, which was the exclusive preserve of the Spanish ruling class. One of the oldest spots in the country, Intramuros is packed with ancient churches and buildings. The walls are almost what remained of the original fortress after the devastation of World War II. And, if you walk on its 4.5 kilometer long rampart, you can almost feel a strong sense of its glorious history.

Rizal Park: Said to be Asia’s largest park, this 60-hectare expanse of ornamental gardens, paved walks, open lawns, and wooded areas, is bordered by Burgos Street, Taft Avenue, T.M. Kalaw and Quirino Streets. The most familiar spot in this historically significant park is the monument of Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, who was executed on this site by the Spanish colonialists, and where his remains now lie buried. Other attractions in the park are the National Museum, the Planetarium, Orchidarium, the Butterfly Pavilion, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens. Hundreds of locals and tourists alike flock here daily for a relaxing early morning or late afternoon stroll or to go people watching.

Ermita-Malate Tourist Belt: The Ermita and Malate Districts located south of the Pasig River are the centers of bohemian nightlife and are two of the city’s most well-known tourist districts known for night entertainment. In this area, tourists can also shop till they drop in the daytime for priceless souvenir items such as indigenous and tribal products crafted from fabric, wood, shells, silver, leather and other handicrafts and elegant embroidered products. The more adventurous bargain hunters can go to a cluster of stalls located under the Quezon Bridge in the Quiapo District north of the Pasig River where native handicrafts are sold at rock-bottom prices.
 

Where to Eat in Manila

The historic past of the city is reflected on its blend of flavors and cuisine–from American to Spanish, Chinese and Japanese recipes, with specialties ranging from steaks to seafood and noodles. Understandably, the best Spanish food in the Far East can be found in Manila, the Philippines being the only former Spanish colony in Asia. However, a host of American fast food chains also dot the city such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, KrispyKreme, Shakey’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Chow King (Chinese), Saisaki (Japanese) and Jollibee, the Filipino version of McDonald’s are found in most malls, tourist and university belts. A typical burger or chicken meal in these fast food chains can be had for as cheap as USD2.00 – USD3.00, or P80.00 –P120.00!

On the other hand, casual or sit-down dining in city restaurants fall under the mid-range price category, which amount to about USD8.00-USD10.00, or about P320.00-P400.00 per person. For this price range, you can also eat all you can buffet style in some of the city restaurants.

Ilustrado: Located in 744 Gen. Luna St. in Intramuros, this mid-range restaurant is set in a reconstructed Spanish-era house in the historic Walled City of Intramuros. European, Spanish and Filipino food are elaborately prepared and served here.

Harbor View: This establishment can be found at South Boulevard, in historic Rizal Park. Dining here is complemented by the clean, fresh sea breeze because the restaurant is located on a jetty fronting Manila Bay, which gives the illusion of dining aboard a yacht that is cruising on the bay.

Where to Stay in Manila

Because people from all over the country and around the world flock to Manila all year round, there are all sorts of hotels and resorts in the city that cater to all levels of visitors. Most of these are conveniently located near tourist attractions and commercial centers.

Friendlys Guesthouse: This hostel offers good clean accommodation aimed at backpackers and budget conscious travelers. It has large living areas, a big kitchen and free wi-fi. Big Bed Aircon Rooms With Private Bath – P800.00, Triple Economy Double Deck Aircon Rooms (sofa bed on bottom and single bed on top for 3 persons) – P800.00, Big Bed / Double Deck Bed Aircon Rooms – P700.00, Aircon Dormitory – P300.00, Single Bed / Big Bed Fan Rooms – P400.00, 450.00 & 500.00.

Website: http://www.friendlysguesthouse.com
1750 Adriatico cor. Nakpil Streets
Malate, Manila
+632-0917-333-1418

Lotus Garden Suites: This hotel is emerging as one of the most preferred standard hotels in Manila, whose best rates of USD33.00, or P1,320.00 is just right for the visitor looking for mid-range cost accommodations.

Website: http://www.citygardenhotels.com
1227 A. Mabini cor. Padre Faura Streets
Ermita, Manila
+632-522-1515
Fax: +632-522-0768

The Manila Hotel: Located right beside the Rizal Park a short distance away from the Walled City of Intramuros and the Baywalk area, this historic hotel will surely fit the budget of visitors who love to splurge for a taste of class.

Website: http://www.manila-hotel.com.ph
One Rizal Park
Roxas Boulevard, Manila
+632-527-0011
Fax: +632-527-0022

How to Get to Manila

How to Go Around the City: Public transportation like buses, jeepneys and taxi cabs are aplenty in the city. To avoid the nightmarish city traffic, you can ride the Light Rail Transit (LRT), whose two elevated lines run from Monumento in Caloocan City to Baclaran in Pasay City and from C.M. Recto in Manila to Santolan Avenue in Quezon City. Going around the city entails the minimum fare for a jeepney or bus ride. In addition, horse drawn carriages called “calesas” are popular means of transportations in certain areas, such as Intramuros, Rizal Park and Chinatown in Binondo.

Cebu to Manila and Back: To reach Manila from Cebu, you can either fly or sail from Cebu to Manila. 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 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 Manila for less than P30.00 (one way).

Dumaguete to Manila and Back: To reach Manila from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to Manila. 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 cab to Manila, which will cost about P150.00 to P250.00 (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 Manila for less than P30.00 (one way).

→ 1 CommentTags: Metro Manila

Finding a Safe Neighborhood When Renting a House

September 21st, 2014 · 1 Comment

One of the most important considerations in renting in the Philippines is safety. How safe is the neighborhood? A neighborhood may seem peaceful enough, but there are renting tips in knowing the real safety situation of a vicinity.

First, check how the rented unit is located. Does it have a gate? Is it securely located inside a compound or is it directly accessible to the street? If it is in a compound, how safe is the compound? There must be at least two gates or access ways to the compound and they must be wide enough for emergencies like, in case of a fire or if a person needs to be brought to a hospital. The access ways must fit a fire truck or an ambulance. On the other hand, they must not be too wide to make easy access for a robbery—where appliances and furniture sets can be carried out easily. Things like this are important in renting safely.

How near is the rented unit to a barangay or police outpost or fire station? Renting safely also means accessibility to security offices or outposts, especially when the unit is directly accessible to the street. The presence of a nearby security outpost or even fire station is often an effective deterrent against crime. A rented unit inside a guarded subdivision or village is also a good factor in renting safely. Some secured vicinities have roving guards round the clock and even assist residents who leave home very early in the morning or come home late at night.

Then check if the rented unit owner is also particular about safety. Renting safely is assured when the unit owner is also a safety buff. Is the gate kept closed? If the owner carelessly opens the gate just to anyone, chances are, renting safely is a remote possibility there. Gates must at least have peeping holes as a primary check to incoming visitors. If people can just go in an out of the compound, look for other places that afford renting a unit safely.

Rented places look innocent enough on weekdays, even in the evening, but wait till weekend comes. It often reveals if renting safely can be a likelihood—if there are no noisy drunkards serenading the moon with strange tunes. This often makes for an unsafe neighborhood second to crime in the Philippines.

Renting safely is a major concern in looking for a place to rent. A peaceful place is more than all the modern amenities and luxury comforts combined.

→ 1 CommentTags: Expats

Mandaluyong: “The New Tiger City of Metro Manila”

September 21st, 2014 · 3 Comments

Mandaluyong

Mandaluyong MapLying on a 2,600-hectare heart-shaped piece of land, Mandaluyong is located just seven kilometers southeast of the City of Manila and eight kilometers west of Pasig City. It is bordered to the northeast by Quezon City, to the south by Makati City and to the northwest by San Juan.

In 1300 A.D., this place used to form part of the Kingdom of Sapa of the Majapahit Empire based in East Java. In 1470, it expanded to become the Kingdom of Namayan, whose influence extended to most of the 17 cities and municipalities that comprise Metro Manila today. Mandaluyong was formally established by the Spanish colonists in 1841 and named as the town of San Felipe Neri in honor of the Patron Saint of Rome.

Mandaluyong ostensibly got its present name from its rolling terrain and tall cogon grasses that sway in the wind like giant waves, or ‘daluyong’ in the vernacular. When asked where they live, natives to the place often referred to their small town as “madaluyong,” which literally translates to “place of many waves.” In due time, the word was corrupted to Mandaluyong, which stuck long after the little town’s rolling terrain and tall cogon grasses gave way to a glittering glass, steel and concrete jungle of high rise office buildings, modern residential condominiums, maze of paved streets, de luxe hotels and commercial centers.

Because it lies in the middle of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Makati, Manila and Quezon City and straddles Metro Manila’s economic beltway that is EDSA, Mandaluyong underwent unprecedented growth and progress during the last decade. From a once sleepy town, it has transformed into an important industrial and residential area and was named in 2002 as the “New Tiger of Metro Manila” by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center.

What to See in Mandaluyong

The city has several man-made places that will certainly be of interest to visitors and tourists alike. These include religious structures, monuments and memorials, government institutions and ultra modern commercial centers.

Ortigas Center: This center of business and commerce is one of the most popular attractions of Mandaluyong. Major international institutions and multinational companies, de luxe hotels and modern malls can be found here, such as: the main headquarters of the Asian Development Bank; San Miguel Corporation, the biggest food and beverage company in the Far East; St. Francis Towers; EDSA Shangri-la Manila; SM Megamall, one of the largest malls in Asia; Shangri-la Plaza; EDSA Central; and, Star Mall.

Mandaluyong City Hall Complex: Within this complex can be found the City Hall, a park where citizens take their daily stroll to relax, various monuments dedicated to the country’s heroes and a museum and convention hall that houses historical collections.

San Felipe Neri Church: Located at the corner of Rev. G. Aglipay and Boni Avenues, this ancient place of worship is dedicated to the Patron Saint of Rome after which Mandaluyong was named during the Spanish period. This heritage site which was run by hostile Spanish friars was a mute witness to bloody skirmishes between Katipunan patriots and the Spanish Guardia Civil.

Where to Eat in Mandaluyong

You’ll never run out of places to eat when you are in Ortigas Center, which is frequented by professionals and executives working in the nearby high-rise offices. The following are the places that have become popular to mall habitués due to their culinary excellence, affordable prices or both.

Asian Bites: Located at the ground floor of the Robinson’s Galleria Supermarket, the counter for this food joint is very easy to find. This place has become very popular among many visitors who are looking for a cheap but filling meal, fast food style. If you want a quick hot meal, try its Asian dishes like noodles, mix vegetables, maki, sushi, tofu, gyoza and watch the cooks prepare your orders in their open-style kitchen as you sip on a glass of thirst-quenching iced tea. For only P100.00, you can enjoy a hearty meal of yakisoba and California maki.

Via Mare: This well-known restaurant that specializes in appetizing Filipino food is located at the ground floor of the Shangri-la EDSA. The cost of a decent meal is about average compared with other restaurants of its class in the vicinity.

Crustasia: Located on the third floor of The Podium along ADB Avenue, this establishment offers freshly caught crabs and seafoods. The ambiance exudes that elegant oriental air. While the menu is a bit pricey, perhaps, you’d like to try its steamed kingfish, grilled squid or crab maritess taken with a steaming platter of salted fried rice which would cost anywhere from P400.00 to P800.00.

Where to Stay in Mandaluyong

Visitors who wish to stay overnight or for a few days are assured of availability of world-class hotels.

New Horizon Hotel: A European hotel that offers high-quality accommodations, services, facilities and lodging amenities at very reasonable cost. With rates starting at USD45.00, or P1,800.00 converted at present forex rates, guests will be entitled to air conditioned rooms, cable TV, IDD/NDD telephone, in-room personal safe and valet parking.

Website: http://www.newhorizonhotel-manila.com/Horizon EDSA Hotel
778 Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City
Tel. (63+2) 532-3021 to 25

Richville Hotel: This hotel is situated within walking distance of the city’s commercial, financial and entertainment centers. With rates starting at P2,400.00, guests will enjoy large standard air conditioned rooms featuring cable TV, a huge bathroom and IDD/NDD telephone.

Website: http://www.richvillehotel.net/
286 EDSA Crossing
Mandaluyong City
Tel. No.: (+632) 533 – 7080
Cell Nos.: (+63919) 423-5455; (+63927) 886 – 1221
E-Mail: richville@philonline.com.ph

The Legend Hotel: Located within the EDSA-Pioneer business area, this 118-room hotel provides a place for business and leisure in a resort setting. With rates starting at P2,970.00, guests will enjoy an air conditioned room, queen-size bed, bedside control panel, cable TV, 2 IDD phone lines with internet access, toilet and bath and a mini bar.

Website: http://www.legendvillas.com.ph/
Pioneer St. cor. Madison St.
Mandaluyong City
Tel. Nos.: (63+2) 633-1501 to 05

How to Get to Mandaluyong

Manila to Mandaluyong and Back: The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) is the fastest and cheapest way to get from Manila to Mandaluyong. At the MRT station in C.M. Recto Avenue, hop into a train going to Quezon City and alight at the MRT station in Cubao where you will hop into another train bound for Makati. Then get off at the MRT station in Shaw Blvd. in Mandaluyong. The entire trip should take less than one hour and will cost less than P50.00.

Cebu to Mandaluyong and Back: To reach Mandaluyong from Cebu, you can either fly from Cebu to the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay 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 taxi cab or jeepney to the MRT station in Baclaran and board the train going to the Shaw Blvd. station in Mandaluyong. If your point of disembarkation is the Pier Area in Manila, you can take a jeepney or cab to the LRT-1 station in Avenida Rizal and board the train going to Baclaran in Parañaque. From there, board the MRT going to Shaw Blvd. station in Mandaluyong. 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 and MRT train fare is less than P50.00.

Dumaguete to Mandaluyong and Back: To reach Mandaluyong from Dumaguete, you can fly from Dumaguete to the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay. Take a taxi cab or a jeepney to the MRT station in Baclaran and board the train going to Shaw Blvd. in Mandaluyong. Approximate cost of a round trip plane ticket is P4,000.00 – P5,000.00. The Taxi fare will cost about P150.00 while the train ride to Mandaluyong is less than P30.00.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Metro Manila