“It’s always more Fun in the Philippines” as the travel ads say – and indeed it is! It has been five years since I last step foot in the bustling city of Manila. Far too many travelers arrive in this city only to jump on a plane to Boracay or Palawan – it’s their loss as the capital has plenty to offer.           There came a point in my visit that I simply had to stop myself from eating – as it seems that the only activity I did during the five days I was here was to…

Lounging Around

Not all airline lounges are created equal. Most provide the basic of offering comfortable seating, flat screen television, free wifi and snacks. While a few airline lounges are unfortunately — for lack of a better term — lame, some however have taken the extra step of creating well thought out spaces by ingenious interior designers to indulge their premium flyers. These appealing lounges come complete with full bars (including sake bars!), made-to-order noodle stations in Asia (more than your cold sandwiches and peanuts) and private shower rooms with well-stocked toiletries. The competition for in-flight comfort and amenities has definitely expanded to the ground!

Manila Food Scene

There is a sudden abundance of international food outlets opening in the Philippines. Ranging from patisseries from France, to gyoza and ramen shops from Japan, BBQ and KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) from Korea, and to Hainanese Chicken specialists from Singapore. The array of international food choices adds another dimension to the  ever-growing food scene in the Philippines.


“Manila can be a very discombobulated place”, according to the Lonely Planet, “for it is a collection of towns, with no definable centre.” Still, you will find lots of raw energy and fun, with genuine smiles, happy-go-lucky attitude and graciousness, in every corner. Often maligned and misunderstood — many tourists skip Manila altogether and head straight to the powdery white sand beaches of Boracay or to the underground river in Puerto Princesa, one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. Manila does have its own charm to offer — and how it has grown up in the past…