sees things differently, so if you have recently traveled in the Philippines and you want
to share your experiences, e-mail them to me to be included here. Please keep it to
"tourist related topics." Detailed descriptions of your nighttime
not be published since they violate Philippine laws concerning uses of the internet.
Also check out our new SURFING IN THE PHILIPPINES page.
|A great get away for a few days to go to the beach. In fact I like the place so much, I have dedicated a full page with photos.
Since there are photos on the page, it downloads a little slow. Click to see
Palmera Garden Beach Resort & Iba.
|The town of San Fernando is located about four hours (by car) north of
Angeles. This area is popular because of an abundance of hotels located on the South China
Sea. Home to a former USAF facility, Wallace Air Station, the area still has several expat
orientated girlie bars. The beaches in San Fernando are nowhere near the quality of the
beaches that I'm used to elsewhere in the Islands. The water is not clear (it resembles
Subic Bay in water quality). I still find all the hotels here to be a little expensive for what they offer. Additionally, there is very little
entertainment here except a ready supply of alcohol (at Angeles City girlie bar prices).
Probably the best hotel value is the Coconut Grove. This hotel does have TV's
in the room with several local channels. They also have a lawn bowling area. The lawn
bowling court is almost always in use in the early mornings and for the cost of a San
Miguel or two, someone will usually give you a couple of lessons. On my last trip there
was one jet ski operating in front of the Coconut Grove, and there is always the chance
for a boat trip -- but unfortunately there are no scenic islands to visit. There is a disco on the main highway. It is really a Filipino place and
even if you have your wife or girlfriend, I do not recommend a visit. There is a P25 cover
charge, no aircon, poor lighting and lots of guys watching a half dozen girls disco! There
are still bars and the Mascote disco at the junction, but there has been problems there
recently and the local expats warned me against going there. The VFW has good value meals
and it is now much more convenient since it moved onto the main highway across from most
of the hotels.
|About 10 miles north of San Fernando is the small town of San Juan. San
Juan is famous as a surfing beach, even though the biggest waves I saw near our hotel were
about 3 feet. For the past few years I have recommended a German managed resort in
this town, but the owners are currently out of country and their place is all but closed.
But, a brand new resort right on the beach called Puerto de San Juan
has opened in San Juan and the initial reports are 100 percent positive. This resort
has 24 rooms and 12 cottages (all with cable TV, air-conditioning, hot water, etc).
Large swimming pool, sports area with a pool table, restaurant, etc.
Rooms start at P1650 and go up to P4000 for a 2 room unit.
More on this resort after my first visit, ... soon.
||242-33-30 or 31
|Located 2-3 hours drive north of Angeles near the town of Alaminos,
Pangasunan. There are now about a half dozen hotels here, all pretty tacky. There is one
large one that was suppose to be completed by January 1997. This is an area with NO
nightlife and no TVs in the hotel rooms. Even in the restaurants, you can not get a
rum & coke -- San Miguel beer only. There are several restaurants of poor quality --
the best being Maxine's.
A medium sized boat (capable of handling 4-5 passengers) to the
islands was P400 (go to the point and arrange with the tourist association which is much
cheaper than talking direct to the boat drivers). The islands are beautiful. Take a mask
and snorkel, not to mention a cooler. The boat driver will find you a private beach and
the drop you off, returning at a prearranged time. The water here is clear, but almost
devoid of marine life.
Located about 1 ½
hours southwest of Angeles. We have a separate page for information about the SUBIC BAY AREA.
|Located about 20 minutes north of Barrio Baretto near the town of San
Antonio, Zambales. The Capones are about one mile off shore in the crystal clear waters of
the South China Sea. In the mornings, the water here is often glass smooth, but by
afternoon, 2-3 foot waves roll on the sandy beaches. Unfortunately, there are no great
hotels on the beach, so it is best to make this a day trip and spend your night in
"the Barrio". This is the closest good beach to Manila or Angeles City. When
school is out, 5-10 busses from Manila arrive in the small barangay of Pundaquit. A boat
for the day to take you out to the islands is P350. The small island has a great high tide
swimming beach and the high rocks offer plenty of afternoon shade. A great way to spend
the afternoon except for the dynamite fishermen.
|You can reach the island of Corregidor Island
via a hydrofoil from Manila, or by taking a banca boat from the Battan
peninsula. Located about 1 ½ - 2 hours drive from Angeles, this is
absolutely the best day trip from Angeles City that I have found. On
my last trip, we left Angeles at 7 AM, saw everything we wanted to on
the island, and we were back before 5 PM. Total cost including a van
from Angeles to Bataan was about $100 for the five of us. On the
Bataan peninsula we followed the signs for Villa Carmen Beach Resort.
Here we found a banca boat to take us over and back for P900. Once on
the island we paid a nominal landing fee and then hired a jeep to take
us around the island (set fee of P800). The Department of Tourism has
really improved the access to much of this island since my last visit
about 10 years ago.
Page updated Feb 2006
Thirty minutes up the highway from Villa Carmen is
the export processing zone in Marliveles Bataan.. The rock formations
in the hills around Marliveles are beautiful and the view of
Corregidor is spectacular, but there is little to do here except visit
Corregidor. We had lunch at the marina in the zone (a little
expensive, but acceptable). We found two beach resorts just north of
Marliveles, but they showed no signs of maintenance since Mac Arthur
departed and the beaches were not very appealing. We took the coast
road back from Balanga to Hermosa and there was no sign of beach
resorts. So, we ended up spending the night in Barrio Baretto.
|1997Corregidor Photos by JC's Mom
|Located 6-7 hours drive (by private car) on terrible highways northeast
of Angeles. This town has changed little since my last visit in 1981. The biggest change
is a multitude of "guest houses" offering basic rooms for around P700. There are
several places to eat in the town, but no nightlife, in fact, rum & coke is an exotic
drink that is not available in any establishment. If you go late at night most places will
be out of ice and your beer or coke will be room temp.
|A few years ago I took my first trip toBoracay. It is a short flight
(about 45 minutes) to Caticlan. At Caticlan you catch a tricycle about 300 yards to the
beach (P10 per person) and then a banca boat to Boracay Island (P15 per person on the
large "taxi" boats).
The resorts range from basic
Filipino huts with no screens and a mosquito net over the bed (starting at P250 a day) to
aircon resorts (for $150+ a day). The place I stayed was P450 a night, but I didn't like
having to crawl under the mosquito net even in the daytime. There are fan rooms that have
screens for about the same price--shop around since one place, Alice in Wonderland,
advertises fan rooms for $95 a day! Nigi Nigi Noo Noo's near the middle of the strip had a
good restaurant that seemed to be the busiest on the strip, and although we tried other
places, we thought they had some of the best food around for the price.
The beaches here are world class and they are clean. The sand reaches
out well over 100 yards and it is nice to stroll down to the beach even late at night and
take a dip without fear of cutting your foot or smashing a toe -- nothing but clean water
and silky smooth sand. Over all, there are about 200 hotels and restaurants on about a 2
mile strip of beautiful beach. There are a few discos, but in July everything seemed
pretty dead. The place I stayed at had no TV in the rooms or in the dining area, so there
was not much to do when you were not on the beach. Most days I couldn't find a newspaper,
then on the last day I was there 3-4 vendors came in the restaurant trying to sell papers.
We searched for some Tagalog books or magazines and we were finally pointed to a place
that rented P5 novels for P3 a day!!! (Hint, take your own entertainment -books,
magazines, stereo, cards, etc. and take mosquito repellant since all the restaurants are
outdoor and most do not have even one fan).
We experienced a 12 hour brown out one day and the hotel either had no
generator or was too cheap to turn it on, but it got very hot under a mosquito net with no
fan! The bottom line.......it was the nicest developed tourist beach that I have visited
thus far in the Philippines. It was clean and nobody had managed to screw up the beauty of
the place -- yet. I'll go back soon!.
I have been to
Boracay on a couple of occasions during the last two years. The B&B is a
good and inexpensive place to stay. The owner is Bill Mangus an American. He
and his wife have been there many years.
Another good place to stay is the Laguna de
Boracay. It is on the other side of the concrete road and has its own beach.
The price runs about $100-125 a day. The "rooms" are 1 and 2 bedroom
apartments. Paul M Hart
|It has been several years since I have been to Puerto Galera. My
impression was nice clean water, but the town wasn't as nice as Boracay. Here is a
write up from a frequent visitor to the area:
|Guest Input: I'm a divemaster with lots
of experience in Puerto Galera. Some of it in the bars and some in the water, and I
think you will really enjoy the place. There are many cheap places to stay in Sabang
and the other beaches, but if you want to party it is better to stay in Sabang as it is
close to the bars. The best place to stay that I have found is called Sabang Inn
(0912-311-4335) Local. Intl (0063912-3114335). The rooms are new and done up
very nicely with 21" TV, kitchen, ref, sofa set, toilet, gas stove. They are
very nice and overlook the water. The rooms on the 2nd floor have balconies, 1st
floor have porches. The price in Oct 97 was 300 pesos a night. Big Apple is
not to bad either with small rooms for P350 and bigger rooms for P500. The rooms are
not as nice but they do have a swimming pool. Transportation:
The easiest way to get there from Manila is the Sikat ferry/bus which leaves the
Sundowner Hotel in Ermita every morning at 9:00AM. The cost is P300 and it includes
the bus ride from Ermita to Batangas and the Ferryboat ride to Peurto Galera. Once
you arrive in Peurto you will need to take another small bangka boat to Sabang for about
P150. From Angeles you can rent a van and have hime drive you straight to the pier
in Batangas for about P2000. The ride is about five hours. The boat ride from
Batangas to Sabang or Peurto is about 1 1/2 hours. The boat schedule is as follows:
Bangka's to Sabang 9:30 AM 10AM 12PM 2:30PM The fare is 60 pesos
The one I usually take is the 12PM boat called the "Sabang
Princess". It is a double decker Banka and is fast and comfortable, and they
serve beer onboard. Diving is usually the
same price in all the shops, but I reccomend Asia Divers. You can contact them via
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Tommy Soderstrom on the availability of group rates for diving.
He is a good friend of mine and he will assist you any way he can. They also have
lodging at El Galleon for about P600. Tommy can help you with that as well.
-- Jimmy Walker
|Guest Input July 2001
I recently ... last week spent some time in
Leyte. We stayed at Mac Arthur Park resort it has the best
tropical scenery I have every encounter yet in the PI. We visit
Angeles city (relatives) about every two years and stay for
about one month each time. The resort is quiet and the beaches
are very clean, rooms are all have A/C if you are not tempered
to the tropics. We stayed 4 nights and it cost about $36.50 a
night. Only draw back was the dinning was kinda pricey and
limited. Those of you who are unattached will find it loanly. I
recommend that you bring a quest. One can fly or take a bus I
have never taken the bus but some/all my relations do, it takes
about two days and costs about $50.00. We choose to fly "
Cebu Pacific" round trip was just over $115.00/ person,
plus ride to Domestic airport. The resort is about 1/4 miles
from Mac Arthur landing park and is pleasant walk along the
beach. I have some pictures but they don't do the resort
|Kanumayan Tourist Inn
2284 Taft Ave
Tel. 521-11-61 to 66
Small Swimming Pool
|Economy Rooms P1000 +
|La Corona - Best
1166 M.H. del
|Standard $75 +
US Military Discount
|TV - Movies
|P 600+ in 1996
|City Garden Hotel
Located on A. Mabini
|3 Star Hotel
|Was $43 in 1996