A Summer of Exciting Explorations with Go Hotels

Hotels, philippines

Summer has official started! For those who still don’t have plans for this exciting season, we’ve got you covered. Here are places to maximize your summer adventure without breaking the bank:

Obscure food places in Mandaluyong

The city where food lovers unite and hippies thrive, Mandaluyong houses a number of food places catering to diverse taste preferences. Aside from the food spots inside the big malls, you can choose to explore some hidden and hip places if you’re in a quest for new things this season.

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Visit the All Day Breakfast in Bed, a cozy place at California Garden Square that serves breakfast food all day—perfect for catching up with friends over brunch. For night crawlers, there’s a New York-inspired spot called Borough that serves pub-type NYC food for 24 hours. A food plaza called Industrie Food Park is to open soon along Ortigas by the end of April, so get your taste buds ready with this another exciting food adventure.

After a long weekend of food exploration, stay at Go Hotels Mandaluyong branch along EDSA to ensure affordable room rates and comfortable stay. For bookings and inquiries, go to www.gohotels.ph.

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Maginhawa Street in Quezon City

Maginhawa Street is definitely the most famous food area in the metro. But the place is not your typical trite food destination. Art and culture hangouts also fill the entire place, making it an ideal entertainment hub for those who seek comfort from the heat with a culture fix.

Drop by Yesteryears Music Gallery and Vinyl Store and hoard vinyl items for your collection. For thrifty bibliophiles, there’s a bookstore selling cheap secondhand books called BookayUkay. If you’re looking for a chill hangout place with your friends while indulging yourselves with coffee and art, the Art Circle Café is just inside UP Diliman campus, a ride away from Maginhawa Street. For those who love attending gigs, head to Tomato Kick, a spacious bar and grill place where bands and OPM lovers thrive.

After a long day in the city, check-in at one of the newly opened Go Hotels branch located right across SM City North Edsa. The hotel is just a 10-minute walk to the prime malls and restaurants, a short minute drive to government offices, and accessible to major public transports. Find out more about this branch here.

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Nagtabon Beach at Puerto Princesa, Palawan

For a dose of “vitamin sea”, people can never go wrong with the breathtaking beaches of Puerto Princesa. While it houses a lot of beaches that are already known to tourists, this big part of Palawan still has its hidden wonders for those who love the silent sea treatment.

Head to Nagtabon Beach, a stunning beach spot just one habal-habal away from Bacungan, and enjoy its peaceful vibe. The place has fewer tourists, so you can do fun beach activities such as snorkeling and volleyball without the hassle of a big crowd. You can easily reach the place through private van, motorcycle or tricycle, and even via public transportation. For beach hopping enthusiasts, there are other secluded beaches you can go nearby like the Tagkawayan Beach, which offers a deserted island feel.

If you’re looking for an affordable place to stay that is easily accessible, Go Hotels Puerto Princesa branch is conveniently located at North Road, Barangay San Manuel. They also have free WiFi and LED cable TV, so you have a lot of entertainment options despite being in an island. Visit Go Hotel’s website to know how to get there.

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Relaxing on hammock

Zipcity in Davao City

As one the largest cities in the country, Davao City offers a slew of cultural places and activities to make you fall in love with nature. Since Davao is a great example of a place where nature and city meet, appreciate the great scenery of the place through one of Davao’s most thrilling adventures—zipline!

For first-timers, Zip City in Hilltop, Ma-a is the ideal place to go. Unlike other ziplines, Zip City will make you feel refreshed while you’re up in the air, and it overlooks the breathtaking view of Davao Gulf and Mount Apo. It’s perfect for all ages, and it’s just nearby Dencio’s Kainan, one of Davao’s famous native restaurant.

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Summer Holiday

 

If you fancy a dip, there’s an infinity pool at Mother Ignacia Healing Center, a retreat place located within the hilltop. To maximize your Davao City experience, visit the famous Butterfly House and Crocodile Farm nearby.

At the end of the day, have a good rest on comfy Windsor beds exclusively available at Go Hotels. Their Davao branch is conveniently located at Km. 7, J.P. Laurel Avenue corner Arroyo Street, Lanang. Learn more about the hotel’s exciting features here.

 

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Get Away from The City Hustle and Unwind at Summit Ridge Tagaytay

Hotels, philippines, Uncategorized

The city is where everything happens — where life is a high-speed car chase to get to where you want to be. But being in the midst of the everyday hustle and bustle can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being.

We all need a break from the fast-paced lifestyle of the city every once in a while. Luckily, we don’t have to venture too far to enjoy life unhurried. Favored weekend destinations like Tagaytay are only a stone’s throw away from Metro Manila, making it an ideal spot for a quick rest and relaxation.

Among the plenty of accommodations you can find in Tagaytay, Summit Ridge Hotel is a welcoming respite for urbanites needing a quick break from the daily grind.

Only one and a half hours away from the center of Metro Manila, this cozy suburban hotel that sits along Aguinaldo Highway greets you with friendly and personalized service as soon as you walk through its doors. With hassle-free processes and Tagaytay’s tranquility emanating even from within, Summit Ridge immediately fulfills its promise of offering peaceful rest and relaxation to its guests, making it conducive for bonding and togetherness among groups.

Its 108 guest rooms are perfect for every type of traveler who can take in the fresh breeze and the picturesque view of Taal Lake through their own private verandas. Those who seek the most comfort from their hotel stay can book one of the 18 suites that feature a living area, kitchenette and two separate bedrooms.

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The recreational amenities available likewise add to the experience of a relaxed weekend getaway. Spa enthusiasts can relieve themselves of physical stress at the hotel’s own spa facility, The Ridge Spa, or opt for an in-room massage service. Guests can delight in the refreshing infinity pool set in the midst of Tagaytay’s lush nature and beautiful climate. Meanwhile, those who want to maintain or work on their figure even while on vacation can do so at the round-the-clock gym, or at the indoor basketball and badminton courts — facilities not found in most hotels in the metro.

When it comes to food, guests need not venture too far to indulge in mouthwatering treats. The hotel’s own onsite restaurant, Sisterfields by Cravings, serves sustainable cuisine that features a specially curated menu of comfort food dishes like Chicken Ala Pobre, Roast Beef, Crispy Kare Kare and Sisterfields Burger with quarter pound beef.

Summit Ridge also provides enough opportunities for its guests to unwind even beyond the hotel grounds with the various dining options, fun-filled parks and top must-see Tagaytay destinations all conveniently located and within reach.

Families can enjoy nearby spots like Sky Ranch Theme Park, Bag of Beans, Tagaytay Picnic Grove, and the next-door commercial center Summit Ridge Promenade. Couples who don’t mind splurging a little bit for an unforgettable vacation experience will delight in a fine dinner at Antonio’s or escape to hidden romantic spots like Chateau Hestia and Marcia Adams.

Barkadas can explore the city’s lesser known gems that serve healthy comfort food like The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms and Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant. They can also go on an adventurous trek to Taal Volcano and see the pride of Tagaytay up close.

Companies on their out-of-town retreats can make use of Summit Ridge’s state-of-the-art MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events) facilities and banqueting hall, complete with an efficient and attentive staff. During their free time, they can destress at Qiwellness Living, an Asian teahouse, bathhouse and spa, or play a few rounds of golf at the Splendido Taal Golf Club.

Indeed, there’s always something to do for every kind of vacationer.

Whether it’s a quick summer getaway or an affordable vacation, Summit Ridge Tagaytay is the ideal place to unwind with family, friends, coworkers, a loved one, or just on your own. With the beautiful weather you can relish just outside your window and all the leisure activities to enjoy within the area, you’ll definitely get the laidback vacation you deserve.

Visit www.summithotels.ph for more information and to book a stay today.

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Weekend Food Trip at Tong Yang Grill and Shabu-Shabu

food, Food and Dining, philippines, restaurant, The Philippines, Weekend Food Trips

I’ve been a fan of Tong Yang Hot Pot and Shabu-Shabu for years.

Whenever I want to forget my diet and enjoy a sumptuous meal (lunch or dinner buffet), I would always go to Tong Yang because for me, it is the best value for money shabu-shabu and grill.

If the craving comes right after work hours, I would brave the log jammed roads of Makati and troop all the way to the resto’s Makati branch in Jupiter street. There’s also one in SM Megamall.

But my family and I’s personal favorite is the one located at the 3rd flood of the Pan Pacific Hotel in Ermita because it’s just a few blocks away from our family house in Nakpil.

Unfortunately, that one closed and so, we had to find another haunt to satisfy our gastronomical desires. I’ve been wondering though why it had to close since it’s been always packed with patrons.

It turned out that Tong Yang just relocated its Manila branch from Pan Pacific Hotel to the ground floor of the Robinson’s Ermita Midtown. It makes perfect sense, as the resto became much accessible in a mall setting.

As I’ve said, dining in Tong Yang has been a past time so it never occurred to me to blog about it.

But its relocation to a much better site prompted me to bring my entire family to Tong Yang just recently. And this time, I just had to share our experience

Though it was a bit heavy on my wallet (there were six of us), I truly enjoyed dining in Tong Yang because of its vast dish choices, particularly its seafood section and its shabu-shabu offering.

Tong Yang offered several fish choices for those who are into the pescatarian diet. They have salmon belly, milkfish belly, snapper, maya-maya, tanigue, and tuna among others. They also have mussels, scallops and oysters.

The meats section is also quite substantial. They offer chicken, and pork, along with beef and lamb slices (beef and lamb are not included in the eat all you can package).

For the shabu-shabu, they have a wide array of balls to choose from (squid, chicken, fish, among others.)

Tong Yang also has a dessert and noodle section.

Though the selection is not that great, it also has a Japanese section offering mostly california maki and some sushi.

The Chinese section is also not a highly, offering a few dim sum, yang chow, same fried noodles and chicken dishes.

Beverages (juices, cola and beer) are also inclusive of the eat and drink all you can package.

Tong Yang is really a great value for money dining option.

A Review of Seablings Seafood Restaurant, Cagayan de Oro

cagayandeoro, food, philippines, restaurant, review

While I consider myself a well-traveled person, I must admit that there are still a lot of question marks in my traveling resume.

Here in the Philippines alone, there are still three or four provinces that I haven’t visited and most of those I have actually reached, I only check out once.

It is therefore a welcome feeling for me to come back to Cagayan de Oro once more. Even though it was just a short stop en route to our main destination of Bukidnon, I really savored the chance to check out what we can given the minimal time we had.

And one major stop was at Seablings Seafood Restaurant.

I had high expectations from this particular restaurant mainly because a lot of previous travelers have given it high marks for its relatively cheaper cost, and sumptuous, fresh seafood cuisines. In fact, it is a highly recommended restaurant according to Zomato and the second best restaurant in Cagayan de Oro according to TripAdvisor.

Needless to say, I had to check it out. And I did. And boy was I glad that I did.

Located in Opol, Misamis Oriental (Cagayan de Oro), Seablings restaurant stands proudly along the beach, emphasizing its niche in seafood dishes.

The staff and crew were very accommodating and they entertained us even though I made reservations barely an hour before we arrived.

The entire restaurants have large, open door and windows, allowing the cool breeze, much to the delight of the customers. It was a really a good respite from the noontime heat.

We ordered several fish dishes, prawns, squid and scallops. We also ordered the native kilawin and pakbet with seafood. All dishes arrived within 20 minutes even though there were other customers at the time.

I must say the seafood dishes were really fresh and they were really good. I even found later on that they were really affordable t

I particularly enjoyed their pakbet sauteed with seafoods. It wasnt very salty and was very appetizing.

Their hilabos na hipon was also good, though I had to request for the dish to be reheated because it was not very hot when it reached our table.

Their red snapper was also excellent.

The ambiance was perfect for a relaxing, chill lunch among friends or families. I was so relaxed during our visit that I was able to eat a lot, hahaha.

Their banana split was ok but their leche flan needs improvement.

Overall, I really enjoyed my dining experience at Seablings. And I realized that the high praises given by fellow travelers were very much deserved. The awesome ambiance, great food, affordable prices plus the fact that it is about 20 minutes away from the airport are major factors why it is a very popular restaurant.

I would really recommend this restaurant to others.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give it an 8.5.

Food Heaven in Wee Nam Kee in Glorietta 2

food, philippines, restaurant, review

Better late than never.

For the entire months of May and June, patrons of Wee Nam Kee in Serendra and Glorietta had the pleasure of tasting first-hand the best of the best when it comes to chicken. The wagyu of chicken, if you must.
I was one of those who tried it in Glorietta and I just can’t help but share with you what the fuss was all about.
Anyone who loves Hainanese chicken knows that the original flavor came from Singapore. 
You can try the more expensive chicken house or you can just check out the hawker centers such as Tiong Bahru, but nonetheless, you will taste authentic flavor that makes it one of the most beloved chicken dishes.
The popularity of Hainanese chicken has spilled over to the Philippines and several chicken restaurants specializing in the dish mushroomed in the country’s leading malls. I must confess that I’ve tried some just because I love the dish but I can never compare it to the original dish I had in Singapore.
Then Wee Nam Kee opened in the Philippines and Filipinos finally had the chance to taste the real “hainanese chicken”. I even find it better than my erstwhile favorite version of the dish served at Marco Polo Club.
But as I’ve said, Wee Nam Kee upped the ante during the past months and gave local patrons the chance to taste the wagyu of chicken, the yellow chicken imported all the way from Singapore.
What’s the difference between local chicken and the one from Singapore you may ask. Well, I can say that the yellow chicken from Singapore is miles away in terms of appearance and taste. If you place them side by side, you will notice that the yellow chicken are much bigger. 
Reportedly, these chickens are fed with premium corn resulting in the bigger size and better taste.
The skin is fatter and more succulent. In fact, you will see a gelatinous layer of fat under the skin. It was really superb. The meat is also firmer than normal chicken.
We tried both the steamed yellow chicken and the roasted one but I really the steamed, because it brings out the best in the chicken.
I also tried different dishes and I loved some of them
I really fell in love with their Marmite Pork Ribs.
I also tried Wee Nam Kee’s Cereal Prawns. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna like it because eating something sweet sometimes affects your appetite. Suprisingly, it didn’t and I really loved the dish.
I also tried their spicy squid, fried noodles and vegetables.
Compared to Wee Nam Kee branches in Singapore which are very small in area, the one in Glorietta is more spacious and elegant. You can tell that it caters to the more affluent and discerning diners.
I wanted to try more dishes but I was really full eating too much yellow chicken and marmite pork ribs.
Overall, I really enjoyed my Wee Nam Kee experience and if ever it decides to bring in the yellow chicken festival once again, I would gladly spend good money to try it again.

Spicy Squid

Cereal Prawns

Marmite Pork Ribs

An Awesome Discovery: Borgo Cafe in BF Paranaque

food, philippines, restaurant, review

I seldom venture to the south so the likelihood of me discovering awesome hole in the walls is very slim.
I know now that that is quite a disadvantage.

My colleagues and I were on a search for somewhere good to eat. We just came from a wake and we were starving.

It was already 10:30 pm and we didn’t want to wait until we get back to Makati before we have dinner so a good restaurant that can quell our appetite was imperative.

Then my boss suggested Borgo Cafe in BF Paranaque.

I really haven’t heard of the place so I had no expectations but boy, was I glad that we went there.

The ambiance was quite cozy and it’s perfect for low energy and private talks. It was already late so we had the entire place to ourselves.

We were welcomed by an english speaking waitress, which I soon realized was the maitre d’. Imagine that!!!

She gave us a rundown of the cafe’s best selling dishes and favorites so i learned that the place is quite famous for their Angus beef steak, similar to Melo’s.

It also serves several Italian and Spanish dishes much to our delight.

But we were tired and we doubt if our consititution can still handle a heavy meal like a steak so we decided to settle for chicken salpicao and gambas ajillo.

Their chicken salpicao was beyond reproach. The chicken was cooked gently and the serving of both chicken and mushroom was generous,

Meanwhile, the gambas was superb that it took me two minutes to finish one serving. The serving was generous, but I was just famished.

My boss, who apparantly is already a fan of the place, also liked the gambas and he couldn’t help but order another.

All the while, the head waitress comes and goes serving our lemonade and asking us if we needed anything else. I felt really pampered.

We stayed for a bit and I could tell that they were about to close. But the head waitress didn’t shoo us away, hahaha.

Overall, I really had a great time at Borgo Cafe. I promised that if I ever visit the south of the Metro once again, then this place will be high in my priority list.

I read that they serve Paella, one of my most favorite dishes, and I can’t wait to try to their own version of it.

A mini review of Swiss Deli in Davao City

davao, food, philippines, restaurant, review

During my most recent travel to Davao City, I have had the pleasure of indulging in a wide array of food styles thanks to various restaurants.

One that I really fell in love with was the Swiss Deli, located along J.P. Avenue in Lanang.  It is very close to the newly built Park Inn Radisson and SM city Lanang.

It has been the rage in Davao since 2003, but 10 years after it started operations, it remains one of the most visited dining establishment in the city. And it has since started distributing their products to Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao through various malls and supermarkets.

The Swiss Deli in Davao City is a quaint little restaurant that serves authentic Swiss delicacies.

The set-up is quite intimate perfect for tete-a tetes or small gatherings among close friends. They have a smoking area at the ground level and a private/airconditioned function room.

True to it’s name, they also sell wines, cheese, chocolates and other delicatessen imported all the way from Switzerland and Europe.

I have had the pleasure of trying out their ribs and prime beef and they are heavenly!!!!

Their sausage is to die for!!! I throroughly enjoyed it, I ate four whole sausage’s equivalent, hahaha. No kidding.

I also tried some of their swiss cheese and blueberry cheesecake and they’re awesome.

What I rea like is that the prices are not that exorbitant and the service is fast. The staff and crew are very accommodating, ready to assist customers at a moment’s notice.

Whenever you’re in Davao, I recommend that you visit this resto. You’ll really love it.

Experiencing durian frappe at BluGre Davao

davao, delicacy, food, philippines, review

I am always on the lookout for something new. Whenever I hear that a new place is drawing crowds or a great new restaurant recently opened, I would soon hope to get there soon. Of course, this doesn’t always happen.

This time it did, two weeks before I knew of an official business trip to Davao, the most progressive city in Mindanao, I heard of a friend raving about this unique coffee shop that’s hailed to give Davaoenos’ their own brand of coffee to enjoy.

Davao City is a mega city and coffee shops, are therefore scattered all over it. And BluGre has been in operation since 2009 so it is really not something new, but Blugre offers a flavor that’s not available anywhere else.

Have you ever tried durian cappuccino? or frozen durian frappe? I haven’t and many Manila-based folks haven’t either so this is is basically an experience.

As part of our tour of the SM Lanang here in Davao, we were able to visit BluGre located at the mall’s skygarden (2nd floor). (there are other branches including one at Davao Doctors but I don’t know all of them)

As expected, its durian flavored drinks and cakes are the main attractions of BluGre. My colleagues all trooped to the shop expecting to try it and did I.

But before I proceed, I have a confession to make.

I never really liked durian. It stinks and it tastes weird. A lot of people I know also don’t like it. It’s an acquired taste to say the least.

But as I’ve said, this isa new experience for me, so I had to try it.

The rest of the group ordered the famous durian cappuccino but being the cool person that I am, (hahah), I ordered a tall durian frappe.

Despite having a bog crowd that afternoon, service was quick and soon, I came face to face with my durian flavored drink.

I really wasn’t expecting to love it, because it’s durian flavored but I was hoping that the fruit paste is not too overpowering and thank God, it wasn’t.

The taste is mild and the aftertaste will make you mouth feel like a durian basket. In short, it was a pleasant experience but that’s the farthest I can go.

While some may have the guts and stomach to taste the cakes and other durian sweets, I just couldn’t. I guess I’m not that brave.

But I still give myself a pat on the back for at least trying the frappe. I’m really glad I did because like I expected, it was really an experience.

An Awesome Lunch Buffet at Marriott Cafe

buffet, Food and Dining, philippines, restaurant, review
One of the perks of being in the public relations business is that you get to meet outside in the office a lot. You hold meetings in private conference rooms, and often, at hotel cafes. And this is one perk I truly enjoy.
Just recently, I have the pleasure of having a meeting at Marriott Cafe in Newport City and I couldn’t have been more excited.
Of course, I have had meetings and/or functions at the Marriott Hotel but I never had the pleasure of trying their lunch and dinner buffets at their official cafe.
After so many lunch and dinner buffets I’ve had in the past, I never expected that I would be blown away by this particular one, but what do you know, I was really blown away.

First of all, I truly enjoyed their salads/appetizer section.

There were lots of garden favorites and cold cuts to choose from and this was important for the customers as they get ready for a tour de force of a meal

And then I tried next their seafood and sushi bar which I also enjoyed. The seafood were fresh as evidenced by their sweetness. The sushi bar is definitely one of the favorites in Marriott Cafe. You can tell by looking at the long queue and the way the sushi chef keeps running out of salmon and tuna, as well as they california maki.

One of the unique offerings of Marriott Cafe is their pizza section. Other cafes and lunch buffets do not offer this particular product so I was pleasantly surprised. I am not a very big fan of pizzas myself but I thought that this could one an added come-on to those who love them. After all, Filipinos are known to be pizza lovers too.

I wanted to try every dish the cafe is offering but remember that I was having a meeting and we had to eat swiftly in between our conversations so I maximized the experience by focusing on my favorites and those of you who have been following my blog must have surmised that I love pork and beef roast, hahaha.

 

Aftter three servings of roast pork, I moved over to their Chinese section and I had my fill of siu mai, wantons, and chinese noodles. I was trying to watch my cholesterol level but what the heck, I did give in to my craving for peking duck as well.

After all the meats, seafood, sushi, and noodles I’ve had, I still wanted to have some desert but the the cafe offered too many choices. There were mallows, cakes which you can put under your chocolate fondue and they have numerous cakes in their desert ref. So I had no choice but to try many of them. I just can’t help it.
And I know I was already committing a sin, hahaha, but I also enjoyed a scoop or two of my favorite gelato. I know you will understand.
 Overall, I have had one of my best lunch experiences in a long while. The fact that it was over an important meeting did not seem to deter or affect my appetite. In fact, it became a challenge to try as much selection in a limited timeframe.
For about $35, I definitely think that Marriott Cafe is one of the best buffet restaurants in town and I really mean it.
If someone offers to take me back to Marriott Cafe, i would definitely say yes.Scratch that, I think that I will have to go on my own soon. That’s how much i love it.

Red Carabao: A Great Hostel in the Heart of Manila

backpacking, Hostels, philippines, review

One of the things tourists complain about Manila as a destination is that hotel rates are not cheap. In fact, they are quite expensive as compared to hotels in other Asean countries. And there’s really not many options for backpackers who wish to explore the country’s capital but have little or tighter budget.

As a result, they are discouraged from visiting the country and if they do, some directly go to Boracay, Cebu or Palawan, and they don’t get to appreciate the urban charms of Manila.

But thankfully, there is a Filipino family who recognized this problem and decided to open a hostel, one of the most convenient and affordable type of accommodation right in the heart of Manila.

Red Carabao, located in Felix Huertas in Sta. Cruz, Manila offers local and foreign backpackers an alternative way of staying and exploring Manila.

Rates go for as low as P204 or about $5 per person (hostelworld.com) for group rooms. Discounts are even available for those staying for more than 14 days.

common kitchen

It has a common lobby, just like most hostels where you can meet fellow travellers. It has free broadband terminals and breakfast are already inclusive of the rates.

It has a rooftop smoking area (where staying guests hold drinking sessions nightly), and there’s no curfew, perfect for those who wish to go clubbing.

Red Carabao also has a 24-hour surveillance system to ensure the guests security.

The hostel’s location is also quite central. You can go to downtown Manila, Makati, Caloocan and Quezon city easily through by the LRT and through jeepneys.

Internet area

The emergence of these kind of hostels catering to foreign backpackers is a very much welcome development for the Philippine tourism industry.

The posh hotels will not really lose their clients since they are targeting a different segment of the tourist market. But these hostels, will encouraged those who have limited budget to still come to Philippine shores and see what we have to offer.

Tourism in Thailand boomed, thanks a lot to cheap hotels and hostels located everywhere, especially in Khao San Road in Bangkok. Backpackers also flock to Kuala Lumpur and stay at the numerous hostels along Jalan Petaling street.

Siem Reap in Cambodia also has lots of cheap hotels.

common lounge

I met Aldrich, one of the passionate owners of Red Carabao at a house couchsurfing party he hosted and I was immediately impressed by his passion and dedication to change and improve people’s views on Manila.

I admit, I am one of those who believe that Manila as a tourist destination doesn’t have a lot of things to offer aside from the clubs, bars and red light districts.

But like the backpackers who have stayed in Red Carabao, whom Aldrich tour around the city, I realized that there is more to Manila than I know, or wish to recognize.

Granted that he grew up in the US, but Aldrich says that what we consider normal can be interesting for tourists. For one, our churches are beautiful.

visitors in front of Quiapo church

Our street foods are as bizarre and unique like those in China and Thailand.

Our traditional Flores de Mayo also captured the hearts of foreign visitors who saw it.

He also toured visitors in Binondo, our own version of Chinatown and they loved it.

location map

Since it started operating in 2009, Red Carabao was clear and determined to accomplish its main goals. It is “on a mission to help change the way the world looks at Manila”.

With people like Aldrich and establishments like Red Carabao, I just realize that it may not be a futile attempt after all. In time, more and more foreign visitors may indeed see the city in a different, more positive light.

 Photos courtesy of Red Carabao Facebook page and WordPress site.