I started off summer early with a trip to the Philippines this past May for a much needed tropical getaway! I was there for two weeks: I stayed in the city for the first half and at an island for the second half. Since it was extremely hot and humid, I packed all my swimsuits and summer dresses. I had an absolutely amazing time and can’t wait to share with you!
/ S H O P P I N G /
My favorite store to shop would have to be Mango. They have many branches all over Manila, with a great selection of ready-to-wear clothing and accessories for both men and women. When it comes to souvenirs (a.k.a pasalubongs), make sure to get some dried mangoes and polvoron (crumbly shortbread)!
/ F O O D /
I made it a point to eat nothing but Filipino food during my stay. The Philippines is pretty good at picking up all the American trends even when it comes to food, but I made sure to try as many Filipino restaurants as I could (even fast food!).
For good and affordable Filipino cuisine, I recommend Classic Savory. It's a restaurant chain that can be found all over Manila and it's well-known for their savory chicken. I love their lumpia, too!
Sarsa Kitchen + Bar: they’re known for offering contemporary Filipino and Negranese food with a twist. Their Liempo is really flavorful and the sauce is amazing with it.
Mesa: they offer traditional Filipino food that’s cooked to perfection. I recommend their Pork Sinigang and Inihaw Sampler (‘inihaw’ means ‘barbeque’). You definitely won’t be disappointed.
UCC Clockwork: Kori Kohi is a must get when you go here (and definitely Instagram worthy)! It is a coffee drink that is deconstructed into three parts: coffee ice cubes, warm milk and sugar syrup! Mix them together and you have a refreshing iced coffee.
/ S T A Y /
During my time in Manila, I stayed at Nobu Hotel. It’s a 5-star hotel that's part of the City of Dreams which offers a grand casino, fine dining, and high end shops. It is also in the center of Manila, which makes it easy to travel to other areas of the city. The ambience and service were also exceptional! I had a great view of the hotels and pools from my room. The hotel offers a complimentary breakfast buffet and has great options for lunch and dinner. And if that doesn’t cut it, I recommend trying the buffet at the Hyatt (which is right next to Nobu). They serve everything from American to Asian cuisine.
/ B O R A C A Y /
After visiting Manila, I traveled to Boracay, which is a small island of Visayas. They're best known for beautiful white sand beaches. During my time in Boracay, I stayed at the Ambassador in Paradise, a 5-star hotel located in Station 1. The beach is cleaner and less crowded here. My room was by the beach front and was only steps away from the pool, beach, and restaurant. It was easy to move around and explore (and eat of course hehe) since everything was so close. The hotel staff was amazing and made sure that my stay was nothing but wonderful. They provided breakfast buffet every morning, as well as shuttles to go in and out of the hotel. They even gave customized bracelets as souvenirs, which I found really thoughtful.
Last but not least, thank you CALPAK for providing the sturdiest, most secure set of luggage! I was able to fit and lock in all my personal belongings during my trip without any worries. Can’t wait to travel more with CALPAK!