January 31, 2017

Exploring the Philippines

Christmas & New Year in the Philippines flying Turkish Airlines Business Class

For the second time after three years, I celebrated Christmas and New Year in the Philippines, together with the Singelresor group. We were a group of 16 although I guess it could have been more. Our program started in Manila, the capital city and after that, we flew to Cebu to explore the oldest city in the country. Then we had four nights in Panglao where we visited the famous Chocolate Hills, the Philippine tarsier, and did the Loboc River Cruise among others and of course enjoyed the white sand beaches of the island. Then, we flew to Boracay, the world's best island for 2016 according to the readers of the CondΓ© Nast Traveler where we celebrated New Year 😍 From there, we flew back to Manila and took the long bus ride to Banaue to visit the 2000 year old Banaue Rice Terraces. Finally, on our last day in Manila, we visited the famous Pagsanjan Falls before taking our evening flight back to Stockholm. Unfortunately, the snow chaos in Istanbul Airport caused us to have an extra three nights in Manila where we were accommodated in the Belmont Hotel Manila. No doubt, it was one of the best Christmas and New Year celebrations I've had lately and would celebrate it here every year if only I could πŸ˜‰



Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Stockholm-Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines B777 Business Class, Istanbul-Manila
Review: Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel
Review: Bohol Beach Club
Review: Boracay Uptown
Review: Conrad Manila
Photo Review: St. Giles Makati
Photo Review: Belmont Hotel Manila
Exploring the Philippines
Photo Review: PAGSS Lounge, Terminal 1 by Gate 2, NAIA
Review: PAGSS Lounge, Terminal 1 by Gate 6, NAIA
Review: Turkish Airlines B777 Business Class, Manila-Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul-Stockholm

After three years since 2013, I was once again able to travel to the Philippines and explore it together with the Singelresor group. Our itinerary was basically the same as the one we had last time although we have added a visit to Boracay, famous for it's white sand beaches as well as a visit to Pagsanjan Falls. Here are some pictures during our trip:

Manila

Luneta Park: If you haven't been to Luneta Park, then you haven't been to Manila πŸ˜‰

Intramuros or the "Walled City"

Manila Cathedral

San Agustin Church

Binondo Church (Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz)

China Town: This is actually the oldest china town outside China.

The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo

Cultural Center of the Philippines where the 1994 Miss Universe was held

Mall of Asia Arena where the recent Miss Universe was held

Coconut Palace

Cebu

Cebu is famous for its guitars so make sure you visit one of the guitar shops there if you are a fan of this instrument.

Mactan Shrine

Heritage of Cebu Monument

Yap Sandiego Ancestral House is one of the oldest houses in the Philippines.

Basilica del Santo Nino de Cebu

Magellan's Cross

Fort San Pedro

Bohol

Blood Compact Shrine

Chocolate Hills of Bohol

Man made forest

Visiting the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary to see the Philippine Tarsier 😍

A visit to the Habitat Bohol for the Butterfly Garden

Loboc River Cruise

A short video during our Loboc River Cruise

Kids dancing the "Tinikling" during the Loboc River Cruise

Inside Baclayon Church, one of the main churches in Bohol which was destroyed by an earthquake a few years ago.

The beautiful beach of Panglao

Boracay

The white sand beach of Boracay is simply world-class!

Boracay

Willy's Rock, Boracay

Banaue

Farmers planting rice (picture taken during a stop on our way to Banaue)

The 2,000 year old Banaue Rice Terraces

Bayyo Rice Terraces, Bontoc

The Ifugaos

An Ifugao

Hanging Coffins

Lumiang Burial Caves

A visit to Sagada Weaving

Laguna

Pagsanjan Falls tour

Food

Lechon

Pinakbet

Balut, a duck egg boiled a few days before it hatches and which is eaten from the shell

Halohalo, a Filipino dessert consisting of shaved ice, boiled sweet beans, sweet potato, etc

Transportation

Jeepney, the most popular public transport


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