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TIME TO TRAVEL TO

The destination guides that help you choose where to go next!

VIETNAM

ho chi minh

City File

Country Code: +84

Currency: Vietnam Dong (10,000VND = PHP25.4 [USD0.63])

From the airport: Tan Son Nhat International Airport is a 20-30 minute drive from District 1. A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs around 80,000VND (PHP203).

Getting Around: Every street corner is home to at least one xe om driver, who will take you anywhere in town on the back of his motorbike for between 10,000 and 20,000VND (bargain hard). Air-conditioned taxis are plentiful and charge between 12,000 and 15,000VND for the first two kilometres. is in the best location in town, tel +84 8 823 4999, www.caravellehotel.com Sound Sleeping Popular with business travelers for years, the Bong Sen Hotel has comfortable rooms, good service and very reasonable rates, tel +84 8 829 1516, www.bongsen.com

Eating:
Banh mi thit
These popular sandwiches are packed with meat, veg, chilies and pickles.

Sleeping:
The Caravelle Hotel

Witness to Ho Chi Minh City's turbulent past and its peaceful present this hotel is in the best location in town, tel +84 8 823 4999, www.caravellehotel.com Sound Sleeping Popular with business travelers for years, the Bong Sen Hotel has comfortable rooms, good service and very reasonable rates, tel +84 8 829 1516, www.bongsen.com

What to See:
Iconic

The iconic photo of a North Vietnamese tank crashing through the gates of what is now know as the Reunifi cation Palace make this a place worth seeing. Combine it with a visit to the nearby War Remnants Museum.

Shop:
For gorgeous combinations of traditional materials and modern design, stop by Ton That Thiep Street where you'll fi nd some of the best designers showcasing their original wares. Posh Dong Khoi is home to the world's most luxurious brands (both Louis Vuitton and Gucci call this street home). You'll also fi nd bargains in handbags, silk clothing and jewelry.

Local Life

Bien Nguyen Managing Director - XU Company

Best breakfast... A local breakfast is beef noodle soup from Bun Bo Xu outlets. Famous visitors... Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Insider's tip... Use a branded taxi - Mai Linh Taxi, Vinasun Taxi, Vina Taxi or Future Taxi. I love Ho Chi Ming City because... ... of the beautiful people, great food and the lifestyle.

Best at night... Walk along Le Loi, Nguyen Hue streets after 6pm, coffee at a highlands café (there are many), then dinner and drinks.

Must buys... Old propaganda prints or originals, which are available at MAI’s boutique. What should a visitor eat? Hue noodle soup, soft shell crabs, che (Vietnamese desserts), ostrich, modern Vietnamese at Xu, Hue cuisine.

Are there any local characters that a visitor must meet? You can have a cyclo driver give you a tour and some will give you a bit of history, too.

hanoi

city file

Country Code: +84

Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND1,000 = PHP2.5 (USD 0.06))

From the Airport: Noi Bai International Airport sits 45km northwest of the Vietnamese capital. Minibuses are available outside the arrivals area. Taxis will take you to the center in 30 minutes for around VND250,000 (PHP 630, USD15) but make sure the meter is on and the driver is accredited. Departure tax: USD 14.

Getting Around: You can hire a motorbike taxi but it's best to rent a bicycle or walk.

Eating
Baguette et Chocolat
Partake of all sorts of confection in this French-style boulangerie. 11 Cha Ca St.

A matter of taste
Le Beaulieu, Sofi tel Metropole's French restaurant, is best for a Sunday brunch. 15 Ngo Quyen St, www.sofi.tel.com

As good as home-style gets
Have cha ca or pho noodles at Cha Ca La Vong. 14 Cha Ca St.

Tropical respite
Try scoops of home-made gelati from Fanny, an ice cream parlor. 48 Le Thai To St.

Sleeping
La grand dame
Sofi tel Metropole has seen dignitaries and glitterati sleep under its roof. 15 Ngo Quyen St, www.sofi.tel.com

Rooms with a view
Hanoi Opera Hilton with top amenities. 1 Le Thanh Tong, www.hilton.com

Backpacker central
There are dozens of guesthouses inside the Old Quarter.

What to See
Indochine
Old artisan shophouses.

Lake Placid
The Hoan Kiem Lake is a beautiful lake.

Knowledge Center
See the country's fi rst university.

Water World
It's cheap and touristy, but the nightly shows at the Municipal Water Puppet Theater are great for kids.

Shop
Design Lane
Nha Tho St has rows of shops that sell fi ne local products such as lacquerware and silk fashions.

hongkong

Eating
Magical eats
Historic surroundings make

The Peak
Lookout a dining gem. 121 Peak Road, The Peak, tel +852 2849 1000.

Sleeping
Stylish night
Lanson Hotel is a luxurious affair for a night's treat. 133 Leighton Rd, tel +852 3477 6888, www.lansonplace.com

What to See
Stanley
For views and a world famous market. Shop Night market Kowloon is busy and noisy, but fun.

Shop
Night market
Kowloon is busy and noisy, but fun.

city file

Country Code: +852 Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD1 = PHP5.6 (USD0.13))

From the Airport: The Airport Express to Kowloon or Hong Kong Island takes half an hour and costs HKD180 (PHP1,001) return.

Getting Around: Buses are frequent and can take you to every corner of the territory. Taxi fares from the airport to Kowloon cost at least HKD300 (PHP1,668), but around the island, they are cheap. The MTR is fast and well-priced. Trams chug along the island's main streets for only HKD2 (PHP11).

LOCAL LIFE

Leo Achilles M. Bellotindos Software Engineer

Famous visitors.
Angelina Jolie fi lmed some parts of the Tomb Raider fi lms here.

An insider's tip.
An inexpensive way to get around is the public transportation system.

Local recreation.
There are lots of hiking trails that are relatively near the city.

Unusual fact.
The city will be hosting the equestrian events for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

I love living in Hong Kong because.
It's truly an international city where everyone is welcome. There are lots of available fun activities.

Best thing to do at night.
The city lights are a major attraction and can be best viewed from the Peak or from a boat ride in Victoria Harbor. Dining out with friends is very enjoyable.

guangzhou

city file

Country Code: +86

Currency: China Renminbi (1RMB = PHP5.8 (USD0.13))

From the airport: Guangzhou Baiyun International airport is 28km from Haizhu Square in the centre of town. Airport express buses are available for 10RMB to 30RMB (PHP58 to PHP174). A taxi from the airport to the city centre should cost around 120RMB (PHP696).

Getting Around: Guangzhou has public buses, trams, and subway lines. A Guangzhou taxi charges 7RMB (PHP41) for the fi rst 2.3km and 2.6RMB (PHP15) for every kilometer after that.

What to See

Symbol of the City
The Five Ram Sculpture at Yuexiu Park.

Yuexiu Park
Must sees here are the Ming Dynasty City Wall, Five Rams, Square Cannon Site and Zhenhai Tower.

XiangJiang Safari Park
The biggest safari park in Asia.

Nightlife
The Cellar
Fine wines, delicious food and loads of style.

Tang Club
An ideal rendezvous for music lovers.

Shop
Yi De Lu Market
This is the best place for gifts.

Eating
Something for everyone
There are a wide range of restaurants and cuisines in Guangzhou to cater for a myriad tastebuds at very reasonable prices.

Real deal
The Cow and Bridge offers authentic Thai food.

Macau

city file

Country Code: +853

Currency: Macau Pacata (1MOP = PHP5.8 (USD0.12))

From The Airport: Bus AP1 travels between the airport and the Barrier Gate (the border with mainland China) passing Macau Tower, Hotel Lisboa and the Ferry Terminal on the way. By taxi a trip to the city centre should cost about 40-50MOP (PHP231-289) and takes about 15 minutes.

Local Life

Sam Wilkes Chef at Crown Macau

Best breakfast...
Sunday brunch in Aurora.

Famous visitors...
Chefs Alain Passard, Joel Robuchon, Chris Salans and Justin North, to name a few.

Best night out...
The Police concert at the Venetian.

Insider's tip...
Get away from the casinos to see the "real" Macau; the back streets.

Local recreation...
Go-carting and war games in Zhuhai.

Unusual fact about Macau...
In 1573 the Portugese paid 500 Taels of Silver to the Chinese government for annual ground rent, today worth about $13,000 USD.

What's the best thing to do at night?
Visit one of the many new casino bars.

What should a visitor buy?
Portuguese ham and port wine!

What should a visitor eat?
Portugese ham, sliced extra thin.

What is an unusual thing to do here?
Hop on bus number 34 and explore.

Eating
Individual tastes
The Portuguese fl avor is at Rua Felicidade, or Food Street.

Sleeping
Drowsy dreaming
Pousada de Coloane is a family-run hotel on Cheoc-Van beach, tel +853 2888 2143/44, www.hotelpcoloane.com.mo

What to See
Try your luck
It's the 'Vegas of the East'! Lisboa Casino for grandeur or the new Venetian Macau

Shopping
Buy food!
Pork jerky, almond cakes, egg tarts.

shanghai

Eating
Local delicacy
Try xiaolongbao (small meaty dumplings served in hot soup) in the Old City.

What to See
Sunset Mojitos
On the rooftop of 18 on the Bund, watch Pudong sparkle with a cocktail at Bar Rouge.

Shop
Technicolor shopping
Dongjiadu Lu Fabric Market is the destination for serious shoppers. 118 Dongjiadu Lu, by Zhongshan Nan Lu.

city file

Country Code: +86

Currency: China Yuan Renminbi (RMB1 = PHP6 (USD0.13)

From the Airport: The fastest and most exciting way to get from the airport is the super-fast Maglev train. Reaching speeds of 431km/hr, the trip from the airport to Longyuan station takes just seven minutes.

Getting Around: Shanghai has a comprehensive metro system with stations all over the city, and it's a very affordable way to travel at only RMB3 (PHP18) per trip. Interactive metro maps can be found at www.smartshanghai.com. Taxis are also affordable and plentiful although not many drivers speak English.

LOCAL LIFE

Lauren Wilson China Liaison Offi cer

Local delicacy.
Shanghai steamed buns (xiaolongbao) - small amounts of pork and other fi llings wrapped in dough and steamed.

Favorite local festival.
Chinese New Year because the city comes alive with celebration!

Insider's tip.
Check out websites like smartshanghai. com for daily events and promotions.

Best thing to buy for under PHP50.
This will largely depend on your bargaining skills!

Best place to take the gang.
A visit to Bar Rouge on the Bund is a must for the incredible night time views. For an intimate night out, the atmosphere and fusion cuisine of People 7 restaurant is great. For a lazy weekend afternoon, try the Cotton's Bar.

Must-buy gift.
Silk products, pearls and artwork.

China

xiamen

city file

Country Code: +86

Currency: China Yuan Renminbi (RMB1 = PHP5.84 (USD0.13)

From the Airport: You can take a taxi to the city from the airport for RMB30-40 (PHP175-234). Alternatively take the public bus for RMB1-2 (PHP5.84-11.69).

Getting Around: The bicycle is a popular mode of transport in Xiamen as mopeds and motorbikes are banned - unlike in most Chinese cities. Rent a pedal bike to feel local or take the buses around town, they offer a regular and fairly reliable service. Taxis are easy to fi nd.

Eating
Seafood
Seafood lovers won't be disappointed at Jiali Seafood Restaurant near the Sofi tel Plaza, tel (86 592) 516 9999.

Sleeping
Step up and shine
The Crowne Plaza has the city's best location, and a great pasta restaurant.

What to See
Gulangyu Magic
With its rustic colonial architecture and peace and tranquility, Gulangyu Island is just a fi ve minute ferry ride from Xiamen's water front.

Shop
Fashion Strip
Zhongshan Road, lined with neon illuminated department and clothes stores, is the city's major shopping hub.

indonesia

jakarta

city file

Country Code: +62 (21)

Currency: Rupiah (IDR100,000 = PHP473 or USD11)

From the Airport: Taxis to downtown cost around IDR98,000 (PHP463), plus the IDR15,000 (PHP71) toll, depending on distance. For a new tariff, choose Blue Bird. The cheaper alternative is to take the DAMRI bus, which takes you to any bus station in the city for just IDR15,000 (PHP71).

Getting Around: Travel around town with the air-conditioned TransJakarta buses for IDR3,000-5,000 (PHP14-24), or taxis. Have fun with the three-wheeled Bajaj if you are only going a short distance.

Eating
Culinary escapades
For local food go to the warung (food stalls) that dot the city streets. Try local greens such as gado-gado, or the hot and sour rojak (mixed fresh fruits).

Sleeping
Backpackers and Bodyguards
Jalan Jaksa is the road where visitors on a budget fl ock for cheap rooms and bars.

What to See
Up to the sky
Monas – the national monument – has a top covered with pure gold. Enjoy great views from the 137m high observation deck.

Shop
Local arts and crafts
Buy paintings, batiks, silver work, rare gems and ceramics at Sarinah Department Store.

LOCAL LIFE

Daniel Ziv Author of Jakarta Inside Out and documentary filmmaker.

I love Jakarta because.
It's fast-paced, full of opportunity. I love the people. Most are warm and inclusive.

Exclusive hotel. The Darmawangsa. The architecture is warm and dramatic, the service personal.

If Jakarta was a color, it would be. Orange, that rusty colour that glimmers under the harsh tropical haze.

Must-buy gift. Ikan bilis (dried anchovies). World class.

If KL was a fruit, it would be. The mangosteen. It has a sour-sweet taste, with a wonderful creamy texture.

malaysia

kualalumpur

Eating
Authentic Asian Flavor
Chinatown and Little India showcase the city’s culinary diversity. Indulge in dim sum or dip Hokkien delicacies into a steamboat.

Sleeping
Eight not Late
Hostel Number Eight (www.numbereight.com.my) is more boutique than budget. 10 Jl Tengkat Tong Shin, Golden Triangle, tel +603 2144 2050.

What to See
Colonial commute
Built by a British architect in 1911, the train station is embellished with Moorish flourishes.

Shopping
The height of fashion
Below the 88-storey Petronas Towers is shopping heaven.

city file

Country Code: +60 (3)

Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (RM1 = PHP13 (USD0.30))

From the Airport: A bus will take you into the heart of town for around RM10 (PHP130). A train will get you across the 75km in half the time.

Getting Around: Expressways, trains and air-conditioned buses have the city covered. Taxis are fast and affordable (if they use the meter). The Light Rail system offers the best view of the city.

LOCAL LIFE

Mei Lee Creative Director

Best breakfast.
Restaurants in Sri Hartamas.

Exclusive hotel.
Ritz Carlton.

Insider's tip.
Go to Jalan Alor for street food.

Unusual fact.
A village feel in a skyscraper landscape.

I love KL because.
It's home and has my creature comforts.

Best thing to do at night.
Meet friends at a local coffee shop.

Must try.
Durian! Who is KL's most famous export. Actress Michelle Yeoh.

What fi lm would have benefi ted by being set in KL.
George of the Jungle, it would be cheap.

singapore

singapore

city file

Country Code: +65

Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD1 = PHP30.6 (USD0.66))

From the Airport: Take a taxi downtown for about SGD12 (PHP368). Or hop on the MRT underground train within 15 minutes for SGD1.70 (PHP52).

Getting Around: Buses are frequent and cover most areas. Taxis are well priced, but not always plentiful. Check with your hotel in case advance bookings are required (fees apply). The MRT is good for popular shopping areas. There is also the SIA hop-on bus and the Singapore trolley.

LOCAL LIFE

Trixia Carungcong Journalist & Senior TV News Producer

Ideal night out in Singapore.
Meeting friends for dinner at Mohammed Sultan, watching a movie at VivoCity, then after midnight heading to Sentosa to lie down on beds by the beach and having beer while talking till the wee hours of the morning.

Unusual fact about Singapore.
It's just slightly bigger than Metro Manila. You can drive from the end to end, east to west in an hour.

I love Singapore because.
It's a modern, fast-paced city. You get spoiled with the safe and clean environment that's run effi ciently by the government.

Eating
Hawking
Hokkein mee, roti prata, laksa and fi sh-head curry are unmissable. Visit Chinatown Food Street or East Coast.

Sleeping
Hip to Hang
hangout@mt.emily provides stylish and affordable accommodation, 10A Upper Wilkie Road, tel +65 6438 5588.

What to See
Sentosa
Bask on the beach, go to Underwater World, relive history at Siloso Fort or indulge in a massage at Spa Botanica.

Shopping
Incomparable
Find everything on Orchard Road from Manolos to fi ve dollar jeans.

south korea

Seoul

Eating
Arts Eats
Share bbq ribs and kimchi jigao at a traditional restaurant in Hyewha.

What to See
Scaling great heights
The World Trade Center and the Coex Mall are a shopper’s delight. Seoul Tower stands atop Mount Namsan, with stunning views.

Shopping
Traditional Crafts
Head to Insa-Dong or Namdao-moon.

city file

Country Code: +822

Currency: South Korean Won (KRW1 = PHP0.05 (USD0.001))

From the Airport: 52km via Expressway to Seoul. The airport has a post offi ce, mobile phone hire, internet access, medical center, chemist and laundry.

Getting Around: Taxis - look for "Foreign Language Service" stickers. It is normal to share taxis - except in black cabs with a yellow top. Subway - eight lines serve all the main areas of interest. Station signs are written in English and Korean, and most have English announcements.

LOCAL LIFE

Gail Mowat Expat mother/wife, editor of Discovery magazine

Best breakfast…
The Flying Pan (no, not a typo), fabulous café serving the best Eggs Benedict.

Famous visitors…
David Beckham was here in March.

Best night out…
Dinner with friends at Tani, a Japanesefusion restauran, then a stroll through the city centre twinkling with Christmas lights, a late night visit to the outdoor ice rink, followed by karaoke.

Exclusive hotel…
Shilla Hotel.

Local recreation…
Shopping and trekking.

Unusual fact about Seoul…
During the Korean war, Seoul changed hands nine times.

I love living in Seoul because of…
The sunshine, the food and the people.

taiwan

taipei

city file

Country Code: +886

Currency: New Taiwan Dollar (TWD1 = PHP1.34 (USD0.03))

From the Airport: The fastest way into the city is by taxi (about TWD1,100/ PHP1,477. Private bus companies also run from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Tickets cost between TWD110-140 (PHP148-188).

Getting Around: Most travel via MRT. Get a stored value ticket (Easy Card) for transfers between MRT and buses (TWD15 (PHP20)) per section.

Eating
Magical eats
The Shin Yeh Japanese Buffet is one of the best dining deals in Taipei. Locals fl ock here for fresh sushi, steak, oysters and more. 12 Guan Cian Street, Sec. 1, 6F, tel +886 (2) 2371 3311.

What to See
Relaxing bird’s eye view
Speed up air-pressure-controlled elevators to the observation deck on the 89th fl oor of Taipei 101 for 360° views.

Shopping
Home-grown style
Local fashion houses YAP, Bread and Butter and Iroo Moderato satisfy the city’s hunger for haute couture with their European and Japanese inspired clothing at non-imported prices.

thailand

bangkok

Eating
Laid back lounging
Dine and be seen lounging on Bed Supperclub’s space-age all-white recliners. 26 Soi Sukhumvit 11, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey-nua, tel +66 (0)2 651 3537, www.bedsupperclub.com

Roof top views
Sip your favorite cocktail at the Moon Bar at the Banyan Tree Bangkok or head to Sky Bar at the Dome at State Tower. www.banyantree.com and www.thedomebkk.com

city file

Country Code: +66 (2)

Currency: Thai Baht (THB1 = PHP1.4 (USD0.03))

From the Airport: Take the free shuttle to the airport's Public Transportation Center. Here, you can rent a car, taxi or bus it downtown. Taxis cost THB200 (PHP271.30), including toll of THB50 (PHP67.80). The cheaper, but longer, bus no 552 ends at BTS On Nut Station.

Getting Around: Travel around town via BTS Skytrains. Stored value cards start at THB200 (PHP290). Tuk tuks are only recommended for short distances.

LOCAL LIFE

Jirawan ‘Joy’ Parmwong Production Operator

Best breakfast.
Near Platunam, for the chicken rice.

Best night out.
Hilary Bar has good music.

An interesting sight in Bangkok.
Seeing an elephant on the streets!

I love Bangkok because.
It's always exciting. Must buy. Thai silk.

Must eat.
Tam yum kung is the best. If Bangkok was a fruit it would be. Durian, because it is the king of fruits.

If Bangkok was a color, it would be.
Yellow, the royal color of our King.

What fi lm would have benefi ted by being set in this destination?
And who should have played the starring roles. James Bond, with Pierce Brosnan.

luzon

clark (area code +45)

What to See
Casinos and Leisure
Once the bastion of American military might, the wrath of Mount Pinatubo returned it to Filipino hands. Now there is world-class entertainment.

Local history
If you like history, Betis in Guagua town is one of the older communities.

Sleeping
Everything under one roof
Fortuna Leisure Parks boasts a casino and mountain views, tel (2) 843-8798, www.fontanaleisureparks.com

LOCAL LIFE

Mylah Employee

Best breakfast.
Bretto's Deli and diner for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anything in between.

Famous visitors.
Kampangan superstars, Allan Pineda Lindo, the billiard "Magician" Efren 'Bata' Reyes, actress and former VJ Donita Rose, and several others.

Best night out.
There are a multitude of spas that stay open until midnight, and coffee shops.

Exclusive hotel.
ABC Hotel near Field's Avenue for expats or the Holiday Inn for all ages.

Insider's tip.
Some of the area's best restaurants are in the red-light district Field's Avenue.

Unusual fact about the city.
On March 17, 1899, Gen Emilio Aguinaldo transferred the seat of the Philippine government to Angeles City and the site of the fi rst anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence.

I love Clark and Angeles City because.
It's rural-meets-urban.

Best thing to do at night?
Whatever takes your fancy.

Must buys.
Model airplanes and rattan crafts. Must eats. My favorite - Aling Mila's sisig.

If Clark was a fruit, it would it be.
Santol - sour pulp on the outside, sweet and juicy in the inside.

laoag (area code +77)

What to See
Vibrant
See St William’s Cathedral and the Sinking Bell Tower.

World Heritage
Outside the city, Pao-ay Church is a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the distinct Earthquake Baroque” architecture.

Presidential Election
Batac Town houses the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum, where Ferdinand Marcos’ presidency is remembered, and where his body is on display.

LOCAL LIFE

Kristian Ablan Lawyer

Best breakfast...
For continental dishes, the Coffee Shop at Fort Ilocandia Resort offers a wide selection.

Famous visitors...
Tom Cruise shot "Born on the Fourth of July" here.

Best night out...
I've had a share of great bonfi res by the shore with my friends.

Exclusive hotel...
Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino, is defi nitely the most exclusive.

Favorite local festival...
The Ablan Day celebrations, commemorating the birth anniversary of my late grandfather, Governor Roque B. Ablan, Sr, one of the last governors during Japanese occupation.

Insider's tip to the city...
Market day is every Wednesday and Sunday - there are bargains.

Unusual fact about the city...
Believe it or not, we have sand dunes in the city. They're located at Barangay La Paz, on the eastern part of the city.

I love living in Laoag because...
My family hails from here.

legaspi (area code +52)

What to See
Mount Mayon
At 2,462m above sea level, this active volcano is Bicol’s main attraction.

Cagsawa Ruins
Testament to the power of Mayon, the lone church steeple and litter of volcanic rocks are all that remain after the eruption in 1814.

Whalesharks
March and April are the peak times to see the region’s famous whalesharks. Donsol is the stopping off point and you can swim and snorkel with these gentle giants, on tours guided by former whale hunters. www.diveticao. com, www.fundiveasia.net

Eating
Tasty taro
Try Pinangat, made from taro leaves and stuffed with shrimp fry and tinilmok (coconut milk) – regional specialities.

Shop
Local gifts
Buy handicrafts from Abaca at the Satellite market or bottles of pure honey harvested from the highlands.

Pili nuts
Pili nuts, bags, knives and pottery... candied, salted, roasted or plain. Eaten alone or in a chicken dish, pili nuts are everywhere, like the sturdy knives made from, believe it or not, old train tracks, and the clay pottery.

manila

city file

City Code: +2

From the Airport: The ride to the tourist districts of Manila and Makati should take around 30 minutes, and costs about PHP450 (USD10.38).

Getting Around: Taxis are recommended, although buses and jeepneys ply their designated routes throughout the city. The elevated metro (MRT/LRT) is faster, but is only open from 5.30 to 10.30pm. Bring lots of coins and be prepared for long queues at the counter.

What to See
Sundance Center
Are you Philm fanatic? Catch the best of Philippine independent cinema at indieSine, the only movie theater exclusively dedicated to the country’s alternative fi lm industry. Robinson’s Galleria, LRT Ortigas Stn 02 635 5555, 02 632 9116, tickets: PHP101.

Urban fashion
Rockwell Mall’s Archeology wing features some of the best of young designers of apital streetwear.

Historic Manila
Until World War II, Spanish-style buildings lined the cobblestone streets of this former fort. Those that remain (Casa Manila, Fort Santiago and San Agustin Church) reveal the city's past colonial splendor.

Architect
Designed by architect Leandro Locsin, the Cultural Center of the Philippines is one of the city's most iconic buildings and an important venue for performing arts, www.culturalcenter.gov.ph

All the world is a stage
Enjoy Broadway hits and Filipino theatrical talent. Repertory Philippines has a full line-up every year (OnStage, Greenbelt 1, tel (2) 887 0710, LRT Stn Ayala; www.repertory-philippines.com), PETA Theater stages classics in Filipino (tel (2) 7256244, www.petatheater.com).

Eating
Party hotspots
Club of the moment Warehouse 135 has already seen international DJs taking booth control to entertain Manila’s most beautiful, 02- 887-0526, 02-887-6265; multiply.drivenmanila.com. Alchemy on J Vargas in Pasig has three levels for a non-stop glittery night. Music of upcoming bands at Route 196 and legendary street barbecue draw crowds, http://coolestbar.multiply.com.

Sleeping
Lion the witch and the wardrobe
Linden Suites is small on the outside but huge inside! There are serviced apartments, luxuriously large rooms and an ornate swimming pool. 37 San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, tel (2) 638 7878, www.lindensuites.com

Shop
Pearls
For South Sea pearls, go green: www.greenhills.com.ph.

First rate furniture
Interiors guru, Budji Layug showcases fi ne modern furniture made with local materials 233 Nicanor Garcia Street.

LOCAL LIFE

Miriam Tan-Fabian Research and Planning Assistant at the De La Salle Professional Schools

Best breakfast.
I often go to secluded dine-ins and try something new rather than go to the typical fast foods. If I had the money though I'd go to Conti's, the Chocolate Kiss and Subimiyakids everyday!

Insider's tip.
The MRT and LRT stations go through two of Manila's main avenues, Taft and EDSA Avenues. Compared to usual bus rates, the trains are cheaper and faster.

Best for bargains.
For dirt cheap prices, go to Baclaran or Divisoria. For booklovers, you can fi nd old, rare and out-of-print books in Recto and different branches of Book Sale.

Local recreation.
Shopping! For the haves, there's Serendra, the Fort, Rustan's, Greenbelt, Shangri-La and Rockwell. For us regular Juans, there's SM, Glorietta and Star mall.

Unusual fact about Manila.
That part of it is reclaimed from marshland.

I love Manila because.
It's a cultural and intellectual hub. There are just so many options that even a hardcore pleasure-addict can't experience all at once.

Best thing to do at night.
Go to unusual places and events to meet unique personalities. For things like independent music gigs, you have to be a member of some online community or egroup.

What should a visitor buy.
Anything they want. It's all here.

Must eat.
There are restos that can cater Japanese, Thai, Hungarian, American, Vietnamese and even fusion or vegetarian dishes. To name a few good places, Queens at Jupiter St., Chimara at Greenbelt, Reyes Barbecue at RCBC Plaza, Avento Pizzeria Ristorante and Lola Idang's at Visayas Avenue, S.R. Thai at Katipunan Avenue, Kamameshi House in Buendia and Quezon City Hall, Luk Yuen at Ayala Alabang, Likha Diwa in UP-Diliman and Mayfl ower at Timog area. Whew!

Unusual thing to do here.
Wall climbing indoors, not only shapes you up, but you feel happy afterwards. Power Up is near the Katipunan- Commonwealth intersection. .

If Manila was a fruit, it would be.
Pineapple, because pineapples are versatile, you can puree or juice them, make them into jam or jelly, add them as a topping to pizza or include it in one of your Pinoy tomato dishes.

If Manila was a color, it would be.
White because it contains all the colors, just like Manila with its myriad options.

If Manila was twinned with a city in the world, it would be.
There is no place that I know that's like Metro Manila!

visayas

bacolod (area code +34)

What to See
Sun seekers
Take a two-hour drive to the white, palm beach at Lakawan, Cadiz.

Culture vulture
Check out the international doll collection at the Negros Occidental Provincial Museum.

Shop
Under 100 pesos
Pick up some charming souvenir and gift items from the Negros showroom.

Sleeping
L’Fisher Hotel
One of the grandest in the city, it’s found on 14th and Lacson Street.

Eating
Wine and dine
Tuck into great pizza at Bob’s, the town’s oldest family-owned restaurant, or slurp a bowl of the Cavern’s famous Moroccan Hairira soup. Pepe’s Restaurant, in Sorrento Place, serves great smoked barracuda in Cajun sauce.

LOCAL LIFE

Junby R. Maturan HR Assistant, URC-Sugar Division

Best night out.
Chillin' out at Goldenfi elds where music and fun fuse together!

Insider tip.
When touring the city, try the local pasad jeepneys, their booming sounds catch more passengers!

I love Bacolod because.
There is no traffi c!!!

Good thing to eat.
Sumptuous seafood fare at Pala-pala.

Visitor must-buys.
Pasalubong treats from Bongbong's!

Must eat.
The mouth-watering Chicken Inasal.

Are there any local characters that a visitor should meet.
It should be Modesto P. Sa-onoy a historian of Negros Occidental.

Bacolod's most famous export.
World class SUGAR!!

dumaguete (area code +35)

LOCAL LIFE

Harold Biglete Owner, Harold’s Mansion Tourist Inn

Where's the best place to go for breakfast...
The Tiangge in Dumaguete-puto.

What's the best night out...
I start with Payag sa Likod for drink all you can from 5pm to 10pm, then hit hayahay for the reggae party then after 12am swing by El Camino Blanco.

Favorite local festival...
Buglasan festival. Insider's tip... Sunset on Rizal Blvd, chill and hangout with friends on Silliman beach and wait for the fi sherman to arrive.

Local recreation...
A day trek to Marine Sanctuaries, Casaroro waterfalls, Dauin hotsprings.

Unusual fact about Dumaguete...
Its a university town and has lots of hip happenings.

I love living here because...
People are friendly, you can eat fresh seafoods everyday and cheap, fresh air.

Must eats.
Local Tocino and Budbod sa Tanjay.

What to See
Marine sanctuary
Scuba-divers will love Apo Island’s rich marine life and beautiful coral gardens. Sea anemones and clown fi sh congregate at the Clown Fish City dive spot.

The Bat Cave
Caves near Mabinay are among the 33 in the Dumaguete Province and are perfect for swimming and exploring centuries-old calcite formations.

Sleeping
Value for money
On San Juan Street, around the main plaza, there is Theresa’s Lodge, with clean rooms and shared facilities. Vintage Inn on Legaspi Street has airconditioned single and double rooms.

Eating
A good meal
Enjoy Habhaban on Piapi Avenue. It serves all the silog specialities.

Shop
A good thing to spend your money on is a motorcycle to drive you around town and see more of the city.

iloilo (area code +33)

Sleeping
Recently opened
Check out Centennial Resort Hotel in Alta Tierra. A hotel and resort in one.

Eating
Epicureus!
Celebrate the Ilonggos’ epicurean abilities with a bowl of deliciously invigorating La Paz Batchoy or Molo.

Shop
Take home history
Poke around the old districts, such as Jaro, for classic sugar baron abodes and other examples of Spanish architecture.

What to See
Mount Mayon
About 40km from Iloilo is Miag-Ao church, one of four UNESCO World Heritage churches in the country.

LOCAL LIFE

Alexander Karlo (AK) F. Benedicto Development Worker

Best breakfast.
After a long morning walk, JD Roadhouse is surely a place to stop for a warm hearty meal. Try some of their local Ilonggo pastries. Truly mouth watering!

Exclusive hotel.
Sarabia Monor Hotel which has housed a number of politicians, and artists from the music and movie industry.

Insider's tip.
Try taking a walk in the evening along Gen. Luna Street. It is well known for its diverse mix of restaurants, cafés, bakeshops and even spas.

Unusual fact.
Iloilo City is one of the Philippines' oldest cities, rich in history and culture, folklore and superstitions, and local architecture and art, evident in its people and their way of living.

Best thing to do at night.
If you're a party goer, Smallville is the place. Take your pick of hotels, restaurants, disco bars and cafés. But if you're more of the laid back type who loves to spend time in a more relaxed mood, hanging out at cafés and enjoying the company of friends is the thing for you.

Must eats.
Visit Tatoy's Manokan - the best that Iloilo has to offer in terms of seafood.

cebu (area code +32)

What to see

Beach bathing
Try the northern tip of the island or the south-west coast for some spectacular sun worship, or the island of Mactan for select private beaches.

Feel the history
Lapu-lapu Monument or the Magellan’s Cross is steeped in Filipino history. Why not share in the legacy and pose for a picture?

Spa
Plantation Bay on Mactan Island offers a unique experience with a man-mad setting.

History
As the oldest city in the Philippines, Cebu has plenty of sights to see, particularly from olonial times where you can trace the fi nal steps of Magellan. Escape the malls and check out old style shopping at downtown’s Colon Street. White sand beaches are less than two hours by car from Cebu City, or stay closer to the center and indulge in a day at one of the many accessible resorts on Mactan Island.

Sleeping

Luxury living
The Shangri-la Matcan (Engano Road, Lapu-Lapu, 32 231 0288, www.shangro-la.com) is one of the most exclusive hotels, closely followed by the Hilton (Punta Engano, Mactan Island, 32 492 777, www. hiltonworldresorts.com).

Pink Landmark
The Hilton Cebu's pink towers making it a real landmark even while on Tops in the mountains, gazing at the view. (Punta Engano Mactan Island, Lapu- Lapu, 32 492 7777, www..hilton.com.

Business Class
Perched on Nivel Hills with fantastic views across Cebu and beyond to Mactan and the surrounding islands, is the recently opened Marco Polo Plaza in Cebu City. Previously the site of landmark Cebu Plaza Hotel, the Marco Polo group has had a major overhaul.

Eating

Rightfully famous
Cebu's lechon (roast pig) is famous. Sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves is also a local delicacy not to be missed.

Hot and Spicy
Many famous Filipino dishes originate from Cebu. Try favourites such as Kinilaw (raw fi sh salad) and Kanding caldereta (goat stew). Café Laguna at Ayala Center serves up traditional Cebuano fare. For a more rustic and authentic feel, try the Golden Cowrie which specializes in seafood.

Shop

Guitar
The local symbol is prevalent across Cebu City. Pick up a souvenir.

LOCAL LIFE

Jen Bernales Fraud investigator

Best place for breakfast.
@ the IT park Best night out.
Videoke with friends, then driving up to the Bukid afterwards.

Exclusive hotel.
Badian Island Resort & Spa, Shangri-la Mactan and Plantation Bay

I love living in Cebu because.
It's cosmopolitan and homey at the same time; not too fast-paced and not too slow.

Must buys.
Danggit, pusit, dried mangos.

An unusual thing to do.
Not to visit the beaches would be unusual!

If Cebu was a fruit, it would be.
Mango, sweet and addictive.

Who is Cebu's most famous export.
Monique L'huillier.

If Cebu was twinned with a city, it would be.
Casablanca, because both are enchanting.

What fi lm would have benefi ted by being set in Cebu?
Splash with Monica Belluci as the mermaid.

the philippines

kalibo (area code +36)

What to See

Activities
Go trekking or mountain-biking past
quaint villages, or take a snorkel.

Sleeping
Exclusive hotel
Kalibo’s most stylish places to stay the night are Sampaguita Garden Resort, 36 264 3422, www.sampaguitagardens. com) and the Blue Starfi sh in Jawili, 921 473 5843, www.silent-gardens.com

Eating
Festival that’s not Ati-atihan
The Kalibo Food Festival is now in its 12th year. Catch it in June.

Breakfast
Try café latté and a continental breakfast, or Hernary’s Mix ’n Match.

Shop
Pina fabric
Pina is the queen of Philippine fabric and a world-renowned art form. Don’t leave Kalibo without checking it out! Local designer India dela Croz makes pillows for Calvin Klein from Pina.

LOCAL LIFE

Rene R Ricaforte Owner, Lance R Marketing & Surplus Center

Unusual thing to do in Kalibo.
The month-long merrymaking on the street during the celebration of the Ati-Atihan Festival, known as the mother of all festivals.

If Kalibo was a fruit, it would be.
Rambutan. Banga boasts of producing the best rambutan in the region.

Famous person I'd most like to visit.
Clare Danes, so that she can experience the hospitality and kindness of the Aklanons.

Kalibo's most famous export.
The world famous piña cloth, seafoods, crabs, prawns ,oysters and bangus.

If it were twinned with a city in the world, it would be twinned with.
The town of Kalibo is unique!

roxas (area code +36)

What to See
Traditions
Roxas offers a host of treats for travellers seeking an “out of the way” destination. From the traditional Visayan lifestyle of Capiz, to the quiet fi shing villages, isolated beaches and islands such as Napti, 20 minutes from Roxas.

Sleeping
Swish snoozes
President’s Inn (Rizal Street, 6210208), and Nesta’s Hilltop Hotel (Province Park, Roxas City) are the pick of the swish.

Shop
Oysters
These local delicacies are the thing to spend your money on. Nowhere better.

Eating
Seafood
The town is well known for all manner of seafood. Riverside carinderia (eateries) are the place to get them.

LOCAL LIFE

Rolendo Andrada Government Employee

Insider's tip...
The city itself is small. You can walk around it in one day or use a tricycle.

Local recreation...
Roxas City is also known for its beaches.

Unusual fact...
It is a consistent winner of the cleanest and greenest city in the region. It also boast of Pan-ay church.

I love living in Roxas because...
The place is very safe and peaceful. People are warm and accommodating.

Must buys...
Dried seafoods, like dried pusit, dried fi sh, fi sh tocino, danggit, salted oysters in a bottle and barquillios from Baseline.

Must eats...
Blue marlin, shrimps, and oysters.

An unusual thing to do here...
Participate in the Aswang Festival which is usually held in November. Also, eating a purple-colored banana called "Morado" would be something that a visitor could try.

If Roxas was a fruit, it would be...
"Marang," the fruit of the gods, because for me in Roxas City fruits and fi sh are very abundant and we consider they also came from the "gods".

If Roxas was a color, it would it be...
Blue, as blue as the sea.

puerto princesa (area code +48)

What to See

Crocodile Farm
Visit the Irawan Crocodile Farming Institute .

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Longest navigable underground river ever.

Sleeping

Choice pickings
Kawayanan Resort (Abaa Road, San Pedro, 48 434 7078, www.palawanresort. net) is a super-friendly hide-away.

Eating

Vietnamese Village Restaurant
This serves great food and snacks.

LOCAL LIFE

Maria Eliza M. Vergara-Ustares Lawyer, Professor of Law, Gawad Kalinga worker

Famous visitors…
Plenty! We’ve had politicians some actors and actresses (local and foreign).

Best night out…
Drinks and live music at the Scenario Bar in Asturias Hotel.

Exclusive place to stay…
Legend Hotel.

Favorite local festival…
Baragatan (local term for meeting other people) Festival in June. This is when residents and local government units from different municipalities all over Palawan gather in uerto Princesa City to showcase their local talents.

Good day trip…
Go island-hopping early in the morning.

tacloban (area code +53)

LOCAL LIFE

Jomar A. Lagu Service crew

Best breakfast...
I would have to say that nothing beats good old Jollibee!

Most exclusive hotel…
If you want excellent service, then check out Leyte Park Hotel.

Favorite local festival…
Defi nitely the Pintados Festival. It has a very local feel to it, it’s lively and many people take part in it.

Why do you love living in Tacloban?
Because the people here are kind, attentive and generous.

Best night out?
Go for some barbeque and just hang out with your friends.

Best eats...
Seafood! If you’re a seafood lover then you’ll defi nitely like it in Tacloban. The seafood here is fresh and affordable to boot!

Eating

Fruit of nature
It’s cheap, healthy and abundant in Tacloban, so chow down on banana, pineapple and other natural protein bars.

What to See

Secret caves
Only an hour away by boat or road, Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park in Southern Samar features some breathtaking rock and cave formations.

Statue of history
Red Beach at Palo, is where General MacArthur fulfi lled his legendary promise in 1944: “I shall return.”

Shop

Abaca
Treat yourself to some locally-made abaca bags for under PHP50/USD1.25, and you’ll benefi t the local economy.

tagbilaran (area code +38)

What to See

Chocolate Hills
The iconic Chocolate Hills are the most famous attraction of Bohol Island, offering stunning scenic walks.

Sights and history
Try the historical Baclayon Church and the rainforest with its beautiful waterfalls.

Tarsier
Bohol’s endearing mascot the Tarsier is the world’s smallest primate.

Sleeping

Exclusive hotel
For an ambience that just says the word ‘class’ try the Bohol Plaza, www.boholplazaresort.com

LOCAL LIFE

Samuel Angelo Vorquez Musician/Entertainer

Exclusive hotel.
If you want to be right at the heart of Tagbilaran, then the Metro Centre Hotel is a very good option. Apart from its well defi ned amenities, it is also popular for its bars, where many guests converge for a round of social drinks.

Local recreational activity.
Tagbilaran has very good cultural shows, which convey a lot about the city's rich culture. A defi nite must-see is the Sandugo Festival.

I love living in Tagbilaran because...
Tagbilaran and Bohol in general has a charming landscape and friendly people. Also, I grew up here so I have a lot of fond memories with the place.

If there was to be a fi lm set in Tagbilaran it would be...
Actually there was already a movie shot in location in the province, Panaghoy sa Sugba which was directed by a local showbiz icon Cesar Montano. It showcases the beauty of Bohol to a wider audience

mindanao

butuan (area code +58)

LOCAL LIFE

Paris Raymond “Boging” Gaballo, RN Economic Development Specialist

Best night out.
Moffs Bar. They have a good collection of house music during weekends and some jazz during weeknights.

Exclusive hotel.
Almont Hotel's Inland Resort. Good food, nice rooms and top notch service.

Favorite local festival.
Butuan's "Kahimunan Festival" in Barangay Libertad every January.

Unusual fact.
As the saying goes, "In the beginning, there was no Philippines, but there was Butuan." Want to know why? Check out the book Butuan of a Thousand Years.

I love living in Butuan because.
Good people, cool climate and there's no place like home. Best thing to do at night. Hang out at Margie's for coffee and cakes or rave at Moffs.

Must buy.
Margie's Thin Brownies (namnam!), Miniature Balangai Boats.

Must eat.
Margie's Cakes, Pina's BBQ, Aling Cora's and Weegol's Chicken Inasal, Tita's Café's Siopao and Mami, The Mansion's Lomi and Han's Beef Steam Rice.

Must meet locals.
Greg Hontiv Hontiveros, the local writer/ historian.

What to See

Museum quality
A 10-minute walk from the city center, the Butuan Regional Museum houses artifacts such as gold ornaments, pottery and burial coffi ns, evidence of the city’s long history as a center of trade.

Magallanes
Named after Ferdinand Magellan, this coastal town held the fi rst mass in Mindanao and is home to the century-old Bitaug Tree, lit by fi refl ies in the evening.

Eating

Local snacks
Try mo-ron, suman-like with chocolate on the inside.

the philippines

cagayan de oro (area code +8822)

What to See

Whitewashed
The city boasts a reputation for excellent whitewater rafting and river trekking. Try a run on the river’s Class IV rapids just outside the city. The exhilarating course is world renowned, and makes one of the region’s most exciting attractions. For further information, check out www.raftingcdo.com

Treetops
An hour from the city, the Canopy Walk in Claveria town is for the brave at heart. It includes a climb up Mount Magbais, speeding down a zip line and traversing fi ve hanging bridges 36m above the ground. The local tourism offi ce can assign a trained local guide. DTO, A Velez Street, CDO, 8822 726394/723696.

Eating
Fish fi sh
At Lagoon Fish n Pen, you can enjoy the rising sun over breakfast.

Must eat
Ham, grilled food, ostrich meat and kinilaw (raw fi sh) are local delicacies, so it wouldn’t be right to leave without trying them.

LOCAL LIFE

Althea A. Pabillore Banker

Best night out.
The night café in Divisoria (no, not the "ukay-ukay" Divisoria but the student-infested, restaurantsurrounded Divisoria of CDO) which has lights like the ones in Baywalk in Roxas and the feel of Eastwood city in Libis.

Exclusive hotel.
Marco Hotel in Alwana Village.

Insider's' tip.
If you want a nice walk, go to Rosario Arcade or Divisoria.

Local recreation.
Hanging out in the malls! You can practically drive around the whole CDO in just an hour.

Unusual fact about the city.
It's called the City of Golden Friendship despite the fact that the Cagayan de Oro literally translates to City of Gold.

Must eats.
Pastillas de Leche, and cheese sticks as well.

cotabato (area code +64)

What to See

Music and Dance
The Maguindanao people have a distinct culture, evident in the music.

Arts and crafts
Traditional crafts include ornate beaded costumes, brassware and weavings.

Eating

Shake it up
Try a mango or avocado shake.

Shop

Mall rats
Shop at South Seas mall for local goods.

LOCAL LIFE

Ms. Cleveland B Pableo Offi ce Employee

Local recreation.
Cotabateños are family-oriented. We enjoy activities like riverbank picnics at Dimapatoy river.

Unusual fact.
Cotabato city is called the "melting pot" of Central Mindanao because people with diverse cultures, religions, languages live together.

Must buys.
Don't miss our fresh fruits such as pasalubong. Delicately hand woven malong and sarong are available.

Must eats.
Try to drop by our Barbeque Stand. pastil (rice with fried chicken wrapped in banana leaves) must be tried. Crabs and sugpo (tiger prawns) are yummy!

Any local characters to meet.
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate Missionaryat the Lourdes Grotto in Broce, Shariff Kabunsuan. they have a theme park called "Small World".

davao (area code +62)

What to See

Bird of Prey
The Philippine Eagle symbolizes many things, but a real live one is a stupendous sight, dwarfi ng the famous bald eagle. Have you seen the size of these big bird’s talons? Now you can view them at the Philippine Eagle Nature Center.

Tribal gathering
There are many ethnic tribes in Davao who continue to live as they did centuries ago. You can meet them, too. The T’boli people weave magic, so buying one of their unique
hand-woven products is a must.

Artistic hub
The park in Davao is newly-decorated by local artist, Kublai, with statues of children, giant eagles and fl owers.

Shop

Presents
Must-buys for friends and family are durian, sarongs and malongs from Aldevinco Shopping Center.

Eat

Great in crates
You can buy fruit in wooden crates or special boxes with handles. Visit Davao’s markets and buy a crate to enjoy while relaxing on the beach.

Sleeping

Romance
Pearl Farm Beach Report or Paradise Island are great for couples.

Fairytale Hotel
Ponces Suites is the product of an artist letting his imagination run wild in the ground of the hotel. The design fl ows onto the roof, with overhanging bubbles for sipping drinks while watching the sun set, an enormous table and chairs and hundreds of pictures around the walls. Corner Roads 3 & 4, DoÐa Vincenta Village, Bajada, 82 227 9070,
www.poncesuites.com.

LOCAL LIFE

Sherenelle “Gagets” Alorro Customer Service Manager

Best breakfast.
Any TAPS restaurant for tapsilog or taporsilog.

Best night out.
Hanging out at KANTO Bar within MTS (Matina Town Square) compound. Fresh evening breeze with a live band who plays mostly jazz music.

Favorite local festival.
It's got to be "Kadayawan". Fruit fruit fruit.. cheap cheap cheap!!!

Insider's tip.
For cheap fruits, go to Bangkerohan market, which is better value than other fruit stands. For cheap great tasting durian coffee (try it! You might like it!) visit the newly opened Ness74 coffee shop beside Autoshop. If you're craving for pasta, visit Boyd's also beside Autoshop. Their pizza and garlic bread are also scrumptious.

Local recreation...
White water rafting, swimming and bumming at the beach.

Unusual fact about Davao...
You can try durian fl avored coffee (durians in Davao are the best in the world) and deep fried ginataang hito (catfi sh).

I love Davao because.
It's peaceful, has generally safe streets, there are great beaches nearby, we have easy access to Mount Apo (the country's highest peak), there is implementation of the Comprehensive anti-smoking law and. cheap fruits!

Must buys...
Stuff from Aldevinco for pasalubong and native crafts at Bohol trading. If you're in the mood for Ukay-ukay, visit Lizada Street and Agdao Market anytime and you can also try Bangkerohan Market (usually open at 4:30-7:00am).

Local characters to meet.
Mayor Rody Duterte, a feisty character!

dipolog (area code +65)

What to See

History comes alive
Visit the homes of national hero Dr Jose P Rizal at Casa Redonda and Casa Cuadrada. There are books, periodicals and exhibits at The Rizaliana in Dapitan City Plaza. His original estate is the breathtaking Rizal Shrine.

3003 steps
Follow man-made steps up to Linabo peak, Dipolog’s highest point at 460m above sea level. Glimpse spectacular panoramas and the coastline.

Action adventure
You can go white-water rafting in Dipolog, just contact the local tourist information centre for a great tour guide.

Map of the people
Visit Rizal’s map of Mindanao.

Eating

At home treats
Home to the best delicacies in North Mindanao: pastel, Cheding’s roasted peanuts, or Monk’s Blend Coffee and even Spanish sardines from Dipolog.

Sleeping

Swim and sleep
You can go for a dip at your hotel if you stay in Dakak Beach Resort 30 minutes drive from Rizal Shrine by motorcycle.

Rustic sleeping
Bistro Gampis & Beach Resort (Gampis Sicayab, (65) 212 4709) is by the sea, and a delightful rural retreat.

Shop

Good price!
Lovely Bazar and Jerry's Shoppers' World have good value electronics.

general santos (area code +83)

LOCAL LIFE

Pilar T. Afuang Executive Director

Best thing to do at night…
We pass the night in coffee shops like Fagioli, Sunset Café and McGregor’s.

Exclusive hotel…
East Asia Royale Hotel is the fi ve-star in Gensan. And out of town, we have the Isla Parilla, 30 minutes from Gensan.

Favorite local festival…
Tuna Festival is my favorite because activities are getting better every year.

Insider’s tip…
Taxis have the same rate as Manila, but are all air-conditioned.

Must do…
Visit the fi shport at 7am and you will see the biggest tuna catch.

Local recreation…
Going to resorts and the great beaches. The public spend their weekends at the Queen Tuna Park downtown.

I love living in Gensan because…
The lifestyle is cheap, it’s quiet and the everyday pace is not stressful. .

Good restaurant…
You can have a sumptuous sea food meal in Sud-an or Ranchero. Sixblings serves delicious ostrich meat and sunset café serves good lengua.

Must buys…
The best pasalubong to bring home comes from the tuna value products.

If Gensan was twinned with a city, it would be…
Norway, where fi shing is also their industry except for the cold weather.

What fi lm would have benefi ted by being set in Gensan…
Action and romantic fi lms, and actors like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere would most likely fi t the environment.

What to See

Ups and downs
Explore Mount Parker and the caves.

Culture
The Kalilangan Cultural Festival from 23-27 February fi lls the city with life as it
celebrates its rich heritage.

Eating

Tuna
DiliKaGuaPo, meaning “he’s not handsome” or DIlis KAg GUAva kag POmelo: small fi sh and guava and pomelo.

Sleeping

Royal welcome
The East Asia Royale Hotel has all the amenities (National Highway).

the philippines

zamboanga (area code +62)

Melting pot

The city’s proximity to Borneo, the Sulu archipelago and Mindanao have brought together Christian, Muslim and tribal communities.

500 year history

Fort Pilar houses 500 years of colonial history - from the Spanish settlement, to chapters of British, Dutch, American, Japanese and, fi nally, Filipino control.

Muslim village

Rio Hondo is a picturesque Muslim village laid out on stilts over the water. For more details visit the Zamboanga Department of Tourism.

Local Life

David Santos broadcast journalist

Best breakfast...
Satti houses along Pilar Street. "Satti" is a Muslim delicacy made of beef or chicken with a distinctive spicy sauce.

Exclusive hotel... The Garden Orchid Hotel at Gov. Camins Avenue.

Favorite local festival... It's the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival in October, celebrated in honor of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar, patron saint.

I love living in Zamboanga because...
It may not be the most ideal place to live in, but hey, it's my home.

Best thing to do at night...
Spend a night at Sta. Cruz Island.

Must buys... Shawls and batik, seafood, Alavar products like the bagoong-gata (fi sh paste with coconut).

Must eats... Seafood! Zamboanga is teeming with lobsters, deep sea crabs and prawns.

What fi lm would have benefi ted by being set in Zamboanga...
Y Tu Mama Tambien. With a starring role by Gael Garcia Bernal.

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