Destination of the week: Philippines

As we continue to explore the wonders of Asia, our next stop is the Philippines. The Philippines consists of more than 7000 beautiful islands and is known for its emerald rice fields, smouldering volcanoes, beautiful scenery, its warm, happy people and much more. Depending on what time of the year you visit it can really feel like your own your own private adventure here.


As fun as lying on the beach may be we recommend starting with some historical sites, particularly The San Agustin Church. This beautiful church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines and was the only building left intact after the destruction of Intramuros in WWII. The current structure is actually the third to stand on the site, as it suffered damage from seven major earthquakes and the Battle of Manila.

San Agustin

The church is often in high demand for wedding and other ceremonies, which doesn’t surprise us given the history and cultural relevance of the church. The interior of the church is filed with object of great historical and cultural merit. You can see the inside of the church during mass for free or you can access it via the San Agustin Museum, which holds numerous antiques and treasure of old Manila.

San Agustin

If you’re a fan or art and antiques then you will definitely enjoy a visit to Hofileña Ancestral Home. The house contains one of the Philippines’ finest art collections and antiques belonging to one of Silay’s principal families, the Hofileña family. Now owned by by Ramon Hofileña ( a tireless preserver of Negros Occidental’s cultural heritage), visitors can view the house and all its wonders, just make sure you book ahead.



Basilica Minore del Santo NiñoIs the oldest church is the Philippines and great survivor; it was burnt down three times, but has stood in its present form since 1737. In the chapel to the left of the altar is the Flemish image of infant Jesus and the main attraction of the church. The image dates back to Magellan’s time and is said to be miraculous, which is why the church is visited by so many worshippers and is also the centrepiece of Cebu’s largest annual event, the Sinulog festival. On Sundays the amazing basilica turns into a spectacle of pilgrims, water sellers and more.

Basilica Minore del Santo NiñoIs

Basilica Minore del Santo NiñoIs

Mt Mayon is also a must see sight and one of the Philippines’ most photographed sights. At 2462m it can be seen from as far away as Naga and Catanduanes. Although the volcano’s name derives from the Bicol word magayon, meaning ‘beauty’, it’s still one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes and has erupted around 15 times since 1900.

Mt Mayon

It wouldn’t be right to visit a country and not visit its museum as you never know what you might learn. The National Museum of the Filipino People is home to a vast collection of Philipino history which in includes the skullcap of the Philippines’ earliest known inhabitant, Tabon Man who lived around 24,000 BC. Inside there are many displays on Filipino indigenous groups, and a large collection of Filipino painting and sculpture. There is also large section of the museum that is devoted to items recovered from the wreck of San Diego (a Spanish galleon that sank off the coast of Luzon in 1600), this consists of porcelain plates, coins, jewellery and much more.

The National Museum of the Flipino

The National Museum of the Filipino

Of course, we couldn’t forget some adventure; departing from Cortes at sunset, and run by the laid-back Buzzy, is a memorable Paddles & Ladles evening kayak trip. On this trip you can expect to see countless fireless lighting up the trees as you take a leisurely paddle  along the nipa-palm-lined Abatan River. During harvesting season, you can see the villagers weaving the walls and ceilings for nipa huts. The experience is wonderful and the tranquillity of the night and beautiful scenery makes for a perfect combination. The trip includes dinner and transport to Cortes.


If you’re daring enough to go diving, we recommend going to the idyllic island of Malapascua, where you will experience world-class diving. One of the islands main highlights is diving with the thresher sharks and it is one of the best places in the world to see these distinctive-tailed sharks. With Its absence of cars, tight island community and sporadic electricity Malapascua forces its guests to relax and truly, experience laid back beach life.


The Philippines is very well known for its rice terraces, and when you think of the word ‘rice terraces’ here you should automatically think of Banaue. The local mud-walled rice terraces in Banaue are impressive not only because of their organic quality and beauty, but also because they were created around 2000 years and are World Heritage listed.

Rice Teracces

Feliza Café y Taverna Is the perfect place to grab some authentic Filipino –Spanish food. The restaurant is the former residence of Marcela Agoncillo – the seamstress who made the Philippines' first national flag. Now a restaurant and B&B is beautiful dining room dazzles guests with its antiques, memorabilia and capiz windows. Feliza Café y Taverna is also a great place to sit and have a coffee and some tasty pastries.


Feliza food

If the beauty of it doesn’t draw you in then knowing who has stayed here will. The Manila Hotel is the most known and grand hotel in Manila. Everyone from General MacArthur to the Beatles to JFK has stayed here. The hotel is more than 100 years old but is still standing the test of time and keeping up with modern changes.  

Manila lobby

The rooms at Manila hotel cater to your every need and are elegantly decorated with the finest items. Each rooms has a flat screen TV, private bathrooms fitted with Italian marble and a senso memory foam mattress and amazing views of Manila Bay or the city.

Manila room

If you are considering Philippines or another dream destination for your next vacation, why not drop us a line at to help us book you your dream holiday with highlly negotiated near-corporate rates? All you need to do is send us your ideal destinations, group size and preferences and we will take it from there to make this autumn the best ever yet.