Wow Philippines: More Than Just Manila Tour

Last weekend, I chanced upon Wow Manila's Hop On Hop Off kiosk at the south wing of Mall of Asia. The staff gave me a map. Upon looking at it, this seems perfect for first time foreigners. A colorful van will pick up and drop off guests around the tourist spots around Manila. Rate is P700 per day.

I got bothered upon looking at the tourist spots. With these destinations, can you honestly say Wow? My answer is NO.
Yes I know the fact that most foreigners land in Manila airport that's why this area is the most visited. But these buildings and infrastructures alone wont make the country very appealing, at least for me.

Don't get me wrong here, I love the Philippines. And with 7,107 islands to explore, what could be a better destination? So why not promote Philippines as a whole?

So here are my suggestions:
For a 1-day trip in Manila, visit Intramuros, Fort Santiago and Luneta. Catch the sunset at Manila Bay.

sunset at Manila Bay

For a day trip outside but near Metro Manila, I strongly suggest Mt.Pinatubo Crater Lake. This place is so majestic. It's unbelievable.

Hail the most beautiful - Mt. Pinatubo Crater Lake

For 3 days and up, go to Sagada in Mountain Province. The culture is very rich. The activities are one of a kind and superb. The view is spectacular.

Rice Terraces in Sagada

Or if you want to go beach bumming, then Calaguas in Camarines Norte is the place to be. Simply the best beach I've been to.

Calaguas - simply the best beach

These places will surely make everyone (not just the foreigners) say Wow Philippines indeed!

At sa Luzon palang yan ha, I haven't mention Boracay in Visayas and Camiguin in Mindanao region yet.

True enough, touring Manila alone wont make a Philippine visit spectacular. If you need any help with your itinerary, don't hesitate to email me. Ü

*Just last month, I seriously started researching for my South East Asian trip. And some of the countries are not quite impressive, I think. Then I realized I have to go beyond their city centers too see more of the real beauty of that place.. That's why when I crossed upon that Wow Manila map, I got bothered. I cant deny that if I'm a tourist and all I can see are the spots around Manila, I surely wont be interested in visiting the Philippines. So let's help the foreigners see the Philippines as a whole. Surely no foreigner will leave our country without saying Wow Philippines!

32 responses:

Chyng said...


nabother ako sa reviews ng trip advisor, puro "ordinary" and "nothing outstanding" ang reviews ng westerners sa Manila. how sad..

help me list down the Philippine wonders. Ü

Abou said...

our brochures distributed in european countries are not that impressive as compared to other asian countries. ipinakita sa kin ng isang foreigner dito to compare. mas napa wow ako sa promotional material ng vietnam.

Chyng said...

^ true!
hindi marketable.. ako nga na mismong pinoy hindi maimpress eh, what more yung foreigners..
sana maipromote ng maganda..

gillboard said...

eto naaalala ko na maganda from your trips.


and for sure madami pa. di kasi ako traveller, nalungkot tuloy ako..


Photo Cache said...

great suggestion, buti na lang me hop on hop off na din sa manila. is the ticket good for a day or pwede ung 48 hours ticket?

krizzysexy06 said...

kakabilib naman po tong blog nio.wheew!!at kakainggit din po talaga kau ng bonggang bongga.hehe
tama po kayo!philippines have really a lot more to offer.ako nga po ndi matapos tapos ang wishlist ko ng mga pupuntahan eh :) sana talaga magkaron na ako ng stable job para maumpisahan ko na ang aking own version ng wow philippines.i also dream of having my own travel blog kaso tamad ako mag organize ng thoughts ko.hehe but i know,someday soon ill have one.and sana maging kasing bongga din ng blog nio!weee..i salute your blog!kakatuwa!

kg said...

the best tourist spots in the philippines are definitely NOT in metro manila but are in the provinces. while other countries (especially those in europe) can boast of structural wonders, we have the most beautiful environmental wonders like beaches, volcanoes, falls, etc!

Kura said...

Yeah you're right! kulang lang din siguro sa promotional skills kung sino man ang promotor nun. You forgot Zambales and Coron (Can't wait...).

keiko said...

wow nice to see the Philippines through your eyes!! I think i'll be needing your advice, once I got back to manila.

dabo (or david) said...

Way to go chyng!!

But I guess the other parts of manila (the darker, dirty and forgotten) are for brave tourists na ala Lonely Planet ang gusto.

to see the story behind the dust and cob webs escolta, cityhall, quiapo, lawton and avenida.


dabo (or david) said...

maybe we are targetting a wrong kind of tourists for manila

docgelo said...

chyng, if i am the president, i'll have you and dom as my tourism secretary and undersec. toss coin o kaya jack n poy na lang kayo who holds what position!

seriously, i empathize and sympathize with your thoughts here. i wish people in power should sell the beauty of the country before they think of money-generating stuffs. after all, that is what tourism is all about.

where are you heading, btw?

dong ho said...

hi chyng, i agree and a lot of tourists might end up disappointed with this trip.

there's much to see even around manila that's not in the list.

good that you pointed this out and i hope it reaches the organizer or travel agency.

lakwatserong tatay said...

hi ms. chyng,

tama ka sa lahat ng sinabi mo. hindi lang dapat metro manila ung ipromote nila, dapat ung buong 7,107 islands.
excited na tuloy ako sa trip ko to sorsogon.

Dea said...

After I got back from my SEAsian trip, I realized that THE PHILIPPINES IS THE BEST! The food, the culture, the people... walang laban ang neighboring countries. Still, that doesn't stop me from wanting to explore other countries, but I also want to see more of the Philippines.

And I agree with that Manila Ho-Ho tour--what the ef!

Arvin U. de la Peña said...

happy trip always..

ardee sean said...

i agree with you.. there's more of the beautiful Philippines than Manila alone.. saka puro buildings, marami naman tayong nature wonders ;)

Robbie said...

Hmmm oo nga. Bakit ganun yung mga tourist spots na kasama sa day tour? Puro hotel at buildings.

Ang dami-dami kayang interesting places dito sa Manila. Kahit nga DV or Quiapo magandang puntahan eh. Naging puro pang-sosyal ang sinama nila.

Sana if they want to promote the culture of the philippines, they visit the really important and historic places + some modern infrastructures as well.

Tapos ang sasakyan nila is yung modern air-conditioned jeepneys! :D

Allen said...

are they serious about including the Immigrations building? It looks like any other buildings in the metro. It's not even historical!

or maybe it should remind them that they should come here when they want to live in the Philippines for good. lol


mishi said...

I agree! ^^

Bakit hindi mnlng nila sinama Intramuros? Yun pa lng Phil.history na agad. Tapos beaches. I wonder kung anong gagawin nila sa mga high end hotels na nasa list, as if walang hotel sa pinanggalingan nila. ^^

Diamond R said...

Wow philippines ha? I believe they are not promoting the philippines they are just using the word wow but the purpose is to get an easy money. Your suggestion is the one that i believe love to promote the philippines.

nice Job . I agree sa sinabi mo

pamatayhomesick said...

mabuti at napansin mo yun chyng, bakit nga ba?

siguro dahil may gumamit na ng wow philippines

pusang kalye said...

we are on the same boat. In as much as I encourage my students from South Korea to visit the country , I always advice them to stay out of Manila---or else they will hate the Philippines. The point is, yeah---we have cool places of interests in the Metro but much is to be done in terms of restoration and beautification for us to be able to flaunt them. International standards ang pinag-uusapan dito. At kung tayong taga Pinas nga ay di impressed, mga banyaga pa kaya. Yeah---so many beautiful spots around the Metro like Pinatubo na pwedeng ipagmalaki. D.O.T shouls flaunt places like these.

....another thing that I would like to point out is accessibility. In as much as I agree with the Claguas and Sagada spots as truly amazing----much is to be done to develop the necessary infrastructure to make them accessible. Why not emulate the success of Phuket, they have an international airport there, so---say if you are from South Korea, you don't have to drop by Bangkok and then suffer hastle transfers to another plane. accessibility is the key-----

tapos---kulang talaga. look at Bora--yung simpleng apakan lang ng mga tourists para makasakay ng mga bangka parang sugal buhay pa ( sa Caticlan0 ewan kung okay na ngyon---pero---simple initiatives like that, bat dipa magawa, it's about time we compete with our SEA neighbors in luring tourists...that's where the money is.fou

pusang kalye said...

time to promote


--for nearby destinations

then make an International Airpost in Palawan para direct flight na
I heard they are making one in Panglao-Bohol.

buti naman.

Anonymous said...

Hop on Hop off!
Wow, never heard of that before..
My English friends and few of my friends are planning to do an island hooping and trips around Philippines next year pero may itinerary na kami probably just one location in Manila.. But this is interesting.

And that shot in Manila Bay is brilliant! Gusto ko iframe!!!

I agree that the best trips are in province locations and sea sides.. Kailangan pa ngang i-enhance pa ang promotion..^_^

Jakey Junkie said...

I've been making rough plans for our beerkada trip to Subic, and my personal trip to Davao. ;D

Chilli said...

I agree. Philippines is full of wonderful fantastic breath taking sceneries and places to visit and encounter, why not promote the whole country itself with its beautiful islands.. Oh well, they need to re-think that.

Manila alone is not as good as the foreign visitors will get..

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

I always tell foreign friends to go beyond Manila - just like any other big foreign city I've been to - in order to see the real scope of the Philippines. I guess the 500-peso day tour around Manila is merely a way for those with a day to spare to see Manila before/after they escape to the islands. But then you're right, it needs some refinement.

Lawstude said...

hala, puro building naman ang manila trip. siguro kasi yun lang ang kaya ng route ng bus for that day pero i agree with you na marami pa talagang mas magagandang puntahan around and outside manila. :)

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

tama ka, madame pang lugar sa PI ang maganda aside frm Manila. :)

but i guess "patikim" palang yan sa mga tourists before they head off to their destination tlga, like Bora and the likes since s Manila ang main bagsakan nila and normally, tourists would do a day tour to see Manila muna. Pansin ko, sinama nila sa tour,mga maksaysayang lugar at arkitektura ng Pinas,para cguro d lang puro natural attractions ang ma-i-offer naten sa mga turista at para i-promote din ang Manila. Parang ginaya lng nila yung sa Old Manila Walk ni Celdran,yung Manila jeep for tourists ng local gov't ng Mnla, yung Manila in a backpack nung young archeologist, and other famous tour guides that promotes Manila & the historical PI para malihis ang atensyon ng mga turista at d lang dirty Manila at 'infamous bars' sa Malate ang makikita nila. Pansin ko din kse, sa dame ng nag-o-offer ngaun ng walking tour sa Manila, not to mention ang TV show na "Maynila", ibig sabihin lng malaki ang market/portion ng turista na gusto pa din makita ang Manila. And I thank Celdran and the likes for putting much effort in changing the way tourists and fellow Pinoys look at Manila.

Dun din kase tayo talo ng neighboring countries eh, sa promotion ng cultural/historical attractions and exotic culture, yun din kase hanap nga mga turista at backpackers, holistic tourism, di lang puro beach at natural attractions. Yun ang dahilan baket dinarayo ang Thailand, Vietnam,Malaysia etc, dahil sa exotic culture at makasaysayang lugar nila. And having said that, bet ko Mountain Province (the Igorot tribal arts, culture and tattoos),the T'boli in Lake Sebu (weaving), and of course, the historical Cebu,Bohol and Ilocos.

lechua said...

this is a helpful guide for planning! will be sure to bug you if i were to visit manila someday...

Boracay Hotels said...

Wow great ang ganda talaga sa manila. Manila pa lang yan, what else kung nasa ibang island kana ng philippines, like boracay diba.

Tanya Gemarin

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