Best Restaurants in Manila: 26 Places To Eat & Drink

Featured Content by Travelling Foodie

October 9, 2019

Being the capital of the Philippines, Manila’s food scene is emerging as the hub for food lovers from around the world with over 22,000 restaurants. With this many options, it’s hard to decide where to eat in Manila. In this food guide, we’ve broken down some of the best restaurants in Manila!

One thing I love about being a travelling foodie is learning about a destination’s culture through its food. Besides being a city with rich heritage, Manila has a unique food culture that awes the foodies.

When you visit the Philippines, you’ll quickly realize that Filipinos love to eat! It’s just part of the culture, which is why Manila has a plethora of restaurants that offer diverse world cuisines…

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The Philippine Department of Tourism San Francisco, together with the Philippine Consulate General Vancouver, kicked off its Bring Home A Friend (BHAF) Program in Vancouver on November 4, 2017 at The Coast Coal Harbor Hotel in Vancouver.

PDOT-San Francisco Tourism Attaché Purificacion Suanding-Molintas explained the mechanics on how to join the program to an audience of Filipino-Canadian community/association leaders, influencers, and members of the media.

During her message she also debuted the Bring Home a Friend Music Video by DOT’s newest Tourism Ambassador Piolo Pascual. Consul General Neil Frank R. Ferrer urged guests to invite their friends and spread the word of the Bring Home a Friend project.

BHAF is a referral incentive program that aims to encourage both Filipinos abroad and expatriates living in the Philippines to invite their international friends to come and visit the country. This program will run from October 15, 2017 to April 15, 2018.

To join, the sponsor can register online at and invite his/her friends through the website. A sponsor must be 18 years of age and above, a Filipino dual citizen living in the Philippines or abroad as residents or overseas contract workers, or a foreigner (expatriate) living in the Philippines permanently or temporarily for a minimum of six months prior to the program period. An invitee can be anyone holding a foreign passport or dual citizenship living abroad for a minimum of six months prior to the program period and has traveled to the Philippines during the specified program period.

Three (3) sponsors and their invitees will be selected to win through an electronic raffle draw in April 2018. Sponsors have a chance to win a Le Grand condominium unit in Eastwood, Philippines, or a brand-new Toyota Vios, Duty Free gift certificate worth 200,000 pesos (approx. 3,800-4000 USD). Invitees can win two roundtrip tickets 6-days/5-nights’ accommodation in Palawan, two roundtrip tickets 5-days/4-nights’ accommodation in Cebu, or two roundtrip tickets 5-days/4-nights’ accommodation in Davao.

To register as a sponsor, go to .

For more details, visit .

Like, follow, and support the official BHAF social media accounts:

Facebook: bringhomeafriendPH

Twitter: bringhomePH

Instagram: bringhomeafriendPH


Hashtag: #BHAF2 #bringhomeafriend

(L-R) PDOT San Francisco’s Administrative Officer Alessa Lopez, PCG Vancouver’s Cultural Officer Jo Nacisvalencia and Consul Charmaine Guevara, together with Philippine Airlines Aileen Gabat and Country Manager Allan Coo.
Left photo: Philippine Department of Tourism – San Francisco Team – TA Pura Molintas and Ms. Alessa Anne Lopez with Vancouver-based Filipino-Canadian performers
Left photo: Consul General Neil Ferrer welcomes guests to the launch of Bring-Home-A-Friend Program at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver on November 4. Right photo: Guests await the launch of BHAF. (Photo by Vancouver PCG)


The Philippine Department of Tourism, together with the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, kicked off its Bring Home A Friend (BHAF) Program with two events in October 2017.

The soft launching event held during the Undiscovered SF Creative Night Market on October 20, 2017 attracted a millennial audience along with travel and media partners. Night Market attendees at the SOMA Pilipinas cultural district enjoyed night of Filipino-inspired music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, and cuisines with a San Francisco twist.

The program was officially launched on October 27, 2017 at the Philippine Center Building in San Francisco, CA. PDOT-San Francisco Tourism Attaché Purificacion Suanding-Molintas enticed and explained the mechanics on how to join the program to an audience of Filipino-American community/association leaders and influencers, airline representatives, tour operators, and members of the media. PDOT Undersecretary Katherine De Castro shared a brief message urging them to invite their friends and debuted the Bring Home a Friend Music Video by DOT’s newest Tourism Ambassador Piolo Pascual.

BHAF is a referral incentive program that aims to encourage both Filipinos abroad and expatriates living in the Philippines to invite their international friends to come and visit the country. This program will run from October 15, 2017 to April 15, 2018.

To join, the sponsor can register online at and invite his/her friends through the website. A sponsor must be 18 years of age and above, a Filipino dual citizen living in the Philippines or abroad as residents or overseas contract workers, or a foreigner (expatriate) living in the Philippines permanently or temporarily for a minimum of six months prior to the program period. An invitee can be anyone holding a foreign passport or dual citizenship living abroad for a minimum of six months prior to the program period and has traveled to the Philippines during the specified program period.

Three (3) sponsors and their invitees will be selected to win through an electronic raffle draw in April 2018. Sponsors have a chance to win a Le Grand condominium unit in Eastwood, Philippines, or a brand-new Toyota Vios, Duty Free gift certificate worth 200,000 pesos (approx. 3,800-4000 USD). Invitees can win two roundtrip tickets 6-days/5-nights accommodation in Palawan, two roundtrip tickets 5-days/4-nights accommodation in Cebu, or two roundtrip tickets 5-days/4-nights accommodation in Davao.

To register as a sponsor, go to .

For more details, visit .

Like, follow, and support the official BHAF social media accounts:

Facebook: bringhomeafriendPH

Twitter: bringhomePH

Instagram: bringhomeafriendPH


Hashtag: #BHAF2 #bringhomeafriend

# # #

Travel partners enjoying a lively Filipino cultural performance at the BHAF Program Launch Event in San Francisco on October 27, 2017.


The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) promoted the Bring Home a Friend (BHAF) Program during The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) 2018 Leadership Summit at the Philippine Center Building in San Francisco, CA on January 26, 2018.

PDOT-San Francisco Tourism Operations Officer Alessa Lopez explained the mechanics of the BHAF Program to more than 100 Filipino American leaders who flew in from all over the United States to celebrate NaFFAA’s 20th anniversary and to showcase their vision of unity and empowerment for the younger generations.

BHAF is a referral incentive project that aims to encourage both Filipinos abroad and expatriates living in the Philippines to invite their international friends to come and visit. This program will run from October 15, 2017, to April 15, 2018.

To join, the sponsor can register online at and invite his/her friends through the website. A sponsor must be 18 years of age and above, a Filipino dual citizen living in the Philippines or abroad as residents or overseas contract workers, or a foreigner (expatriate) living in the Philippines permanently or temporarily for a minimum of six months prior to the program period. An invitee can be anyone holding a foreign passport or dual citizenship living abroad for a minimum of six months prior to the program period and has traveled to the Philippines during the specified program period.

Three (3) sponsors and their invitees will be selected to win through an electronic raffle draw in April 2018. Sponsors have a chance to win a Le Grand condominium unit in Eastwood, Philippines, or a brand-new Toyota Vios, Duty-Free gift certificate worth 200,000 pesos (approx. 3,800-4,000 USD). Invitees can win two roundtrip tickets 6-days/5-nights’ accommodations in Palawan, two roundtrip tickets 5-days/4-nights’ accommodation in Cebu, or two roundtrip tickets 5-days/4-nights’ accommodation in Davao.

To register as a sponsor, go to  
For more details, visit

Like, follow, and support the official BHAF social media accounts:
Facebook: BringHomeAFriendPH
Twitter: bringhomeph
Instagram: bringhomeafriendph
Hashtag: #BHAF2 #bringhomeafriend

Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr. expressing welcome remarks to Filipino American Leaders during the NaFFAA 2018 Leadership Summit at the Philippine Center Building in San Francisco on January 26, 2018.
PDOTSF Tourism Operations Officer Alessa Lopez enticing the crowd about the BHAF Program during the NaFFAA 2018 Leadership Summit at the Philippine Center Building in San Francisco on January 26, 2018.

Philippine Adult Chemistry Nightlife Event at the California Academy of Sciences

The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) of San Francisco participated at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) Nightlife in San Francisco on February 22, 2018, where the Adult Chemistry theme featured a series of Philippine Lambanog drinks and Philippine cuisine attendees enjoyed all night long.

PDOT-San Francisco’s resource speaker was Infanta Lambanog, a US distributor for Philippine Lambanog. Event goers enjoyed a Philippine Weng Weng and Mestizo cocktails as well as sampling them straight. Philippine cuisine such as Lechon (roasted pig), Garlic Noodles, Fried Green Beans, and Lumpia was also served.

Infanta Lambanog presented twice about Philippine Lambanog; the tourism destinations where they are produced (Quezon and Batangas), history, and the step by step process on how it is made (Harvesting, Fermentation, Distillation). They also touched on the sustainability of coconut plantations as well as what other products are produced through coconuts.

Located by the stairs leading down to the Philippine Coral Reef Tank, the Philippine Tourism Table distributed promotional giveaways through a prize wheel and information about Philippine destinations.

CAS researchers spoke about restoration and conservation efforts for Philippine coral reefs in the African Hall. Specimens collected from their trips were also displayed in the Project Lab and by the Swamp areas for event goers to observe up close.

CAS is a natural history museum that houses one of the world’s deepest living coral reef tanks; the 212,000 gallon Philippine Coral Reef Tank. CAS sends their research teams on expeditions to the Philippines to learn more about the center of the center of marine biodiversity and give efforts for restoration.


PDOT-San Francisco Team Alessa Lopez, Nadine Tanjuakio and Renz Katigbak with Infanta Lambanog CEO Randy Ramiro and Joanne Boston from Filipino Food Movement at the California Academy of Sciences Nightlife Event on February 22, 2018.
Infanta Lambanog CEO Randy Ramiro during his Adult Chemistry Presentation at the California Academy of Sciences Nightlife Event on February 22, 2018
PDOT-San Francisco team Alessa Lopez and Nadine Tanjuakio engaging event goers to spin the wheel for promotional giveaways and answering inquiries about Philippine destinations.
Adult Chemistry Menu featured Philippine Lambanog cocktails and Philippine cuisine at the California Academy of Sciences Nightlife Event on February 22, 2018

Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show 2018

(Santa Clara, California) The Philippine Department of Tourism San Francisco sponsored a booth and participated in the Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center on February 17 -18, 2018. A total of 21,312 people attended this year’s travel show.   

Philippine Travel Suppliers and Experts such as Philippine Airlines, Rajah Tours, Mango Tours, NRT Tours Centre, and Pacific Air Leisure enjoined in promoting and selling the Philippines to the thousands of travelers and information seekers during the event.

The Philippine booth highlighted leisure and cultural tourism through the backdrop display of Panglao Island, Bohol, and Intramuros, Manila. To increase brand and destination awareness, brochures, flyers, and promotional giveaways were distributed to event attendees. The booth also promoted the ongoing Bring Home a Friend Campaign and the upcoming 12th Ambassadors Tour to the Philippines from July 9 to 15, 2018, featuring the famous destinations of Cebu and Bohol. The raffle-draw of a free Philippine Airline ticket also drew attention to the booth.

The Travel & Adventure Show is the longest-running series of travel shows conducted in the Top 8 Feeder Markets in the United States, namely: San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. These travel shows have become USA’s most noted travel events for marketers wishing to reach consumers and travel agents.

PDOT-San Francisco with the Philippine Travel Experts, from left to right: Ms. Esther Briones (Rajah Tours), Ms. Alejandra Clemente (Rajah Tours), Ms. Lyn Abad (Pacific Air Leisure), Mr. Paolo Gatmaitan (Philippine Airlines), Ms. Nadine Tanjuakio (PDOT-SF ), Ms Nonette, Roldan (NRT Tours Centre), Ms. Lina Jose (NRT Tours Centre), and Mr. Renz Katigbak (PDOT-SF)
Inquiries from the mainstream market during on the first day of the show
Non-stop inquiries, promo materials distribution and sign-ups at the Philippine tourism booth during the second day of the show

Plan Your Destination Wedding in the Philippines

After getting engaged, many brides get lost in a flurry of tasks: choosing colors, finding the dress, picking out decorations, and what seems like a thousand other things. One of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding is finding the right place for your nuptials. With the average ceremony and reception cost in the United States reaching $15,163, it is no wonder that the venue takes a toll on a couple trying to find the perfect setting at a reasonable cost.

Although the money-savvy couple can find venues in the U.S. for a modest amount, they are often lacking extras – like seating, food, and decorations – which the couple must furnish themselves or pay extra for the venue to provide. This can leave many couples dreaming of a destination wedding instead. If this echoes your struggle and you’re wondering where in the world to get married, let us recommend some of our favorite places for Filipino nuptials. From the beachy keen couple to those who imagine heart-stopping heights, we have locations for every type of bride!

Eco-Conscious Bride

The Philippines is full of eco-conscious and eco-friendly spaces. Whether you want the whole experience in one of the many eco-friendly resorts or if you want a simple elopement on a breathtaking protected beach, you are sure to find a place that meets both your vision and environmental ethics. Here’s just a quick sample of the exquisite locations you can find.

Pangulasian Island – El Nido Resort (Palawan)

El Nido owns a group of sustainable resorts that focus on a variety of experiences. Their Pangulasian Island Resort offers the most services, including a coordinator on site who can assist you in planning the wedding of your dreams. In addition to promoting responsible tourism, their entire staff continually undergoes training on conservation, environmental ethics, and waste management.

Amorita Resort – Bohol

As a recipient of the ASEAN Green Hotel Award and Condé Nast Johansens’ 2017 “Best for Service” Award, Amorita strives to make sure every guest experiences world-class comforts without compromising sustainable practices. They work to protect and preserve the surrounding natural environment, which doubles as picturesque scenery for your destination union.

Fundacion Pacita – Batanes

Maybe the beach or exclusive resort isn’t your style. For those who prefer to get married in a more harmonious setting, with a dramatic volcano rising above you, Fundacion Pacita is waiting for you. Their staff will strive to make sure you cherish your day, from the farm-fresh food to the awe-inspiring views.


Beach Bride

If you prefer to get married with the sand between your toes and a rose gold sunset creating a magnificent backdrop for your vows, we have plentiful beaches for you. Let’s face it: nothing says romantic wedding like a sandy paradise.

Kandaya Resort – Cebu

Kandaya has a pristine white, sandy beach nestled beside a lush landscape. With luxury accommodations and exquisite sunsets, it is easy to see why so many couples choose Kandaya to exchange their vows.

Bellarocca Island Resort – Marinduque

Have you imagined getting married in a Grecian paradise, but want a non-traditional spin? Look no further than Bellarocca, situated on a tiny island off the coast of Buenavista. Book a breathtaking cliffside villa, with infinity pools that seemingly stretch into the space between sea and sky, and you have a perfect escape for both your ceremony and honeymoon.

Crimson Hotel – Cebu

If you want relaxed nuptials on the beach followed by a toast in the sea, the Crimson Hotel in Cebu is for you. This resort will help take care of everything, plus their stunning location will make the perfect backdrop for memories you will treasure for years to come.

Adventurous Bride

Maybe you want to find a scenic setting off the beaten path. These locales are not for the faint of heart or large groups. If your dream destination wedding involves a beautiful landscape that is out of this world, the next three places are calling you by name.

Mount Pulag – Kabayan, Benguet

Mount Pulag, the Philippines second highest peak, creates an unreal atmosphere above the clouds. You will have to work for the view as it requires a six-hour hike to the top. However, once you get there, the panorama of the Milky Way and the blanket of clouds below creates a backdrop of galactic proportions.

Daraga, Mount Mayon – Albay

This area was recently made famous by the incredible photos taken while Mount Mayon erupted in the background. With an array of venues for the ceremony, you are sure to find the perfect spot. Then you can capture the active volcano in your couple shots, showcasing how explosive your love is for each other. You will need to keep in mind that flexibility is key in this location; since the volcano is active, you may have to delay your wedding if evacuations are in place.

Sila Island – Northern Samar

Sila Island boasts one of the only pink sand beaches in the Philippines. As such, rose gold fanatics can find the perfect spot here, especially if they can catch the golden rays of the sunset hitting the dusty pink beaches. Traveling to Sila Island is not easy, however, as it takes almost every mode of transportation to arrive on its blushing shores. The long travel is worth it as the lack of accessibility means that it is one of the least crowded and tranquil islands the Philippines offers.

Foodie Bride

The Philippines is full of fantastic and cheap local cuisine. For very little money, you can feed your entire reception with a scrumptious feast. Below are some of our favorite regional treats and where you can find them!

Lechón – Cebu

Lechón is a whole pig slowly roasted and basted above a fire pit over the course of several hours. The result is beautifully tender meat with a crispy, flavorful skin that will delight your taste buds. Cebu is known for having the best lechón, but don’t just take our word for it! Even celebrities like Anthony Bourdain had said Cebu lechón is the “best pig ever.” Filipinos typically serve the dish on special occasions, so it is a perfect meal to accompany your reception. Check out favorites, like Rico’s and House of Lechón, or ask your venue to contact their favorite lechón maker.

Adobo – Manila

Many consider adobo the national dish of the Philippines, so you cannot miss it as you plan your nuptials! The best adobo is found in Manila, which is perfect for the bride who still wants the glamor of the city. Adobo refers to the vinegar based marinade and slow cooking method and can be made with pork, chicken, or vegetables. That means no matter what your guests’ tastes are, they can find a way to enjoy this traditional cuisine. Order some lumpias with the adobo and you have a perfect dinner for the occasion.

Traditional Desserts

Since you are planning a destination wedding, you can forgo the traditional wedding cake if you want. You might try out the heavenly local sweets and create a dessert table for your guests to enjoy. Add succulent seasonal fruit to the table and you will have a dazzling array of confections to satisfy everyone. Our favorites are halo-halo, palitaw, puto, leche flan, silvana, sans rival, turon, and maja blanca. If you are unsure of what you might want, spend a day checking out the neighborhood bakeries and pastry shops to find what you love. If you still want a traditional cake, don’t worry! There are plenty of amazing bakers who can create the stunning (and scrumptious) cake you desire.

Weddings…It’s More Fun in the Philippines

Now that you have a handful of places to choose from, we hope you have found the perfect location for your destination wedding. You will find that your wedding is more fun than you could have imagined if you choose to have it in the Philippines.



“Magandang hapon,” chorused 30 voices who have been undergoing the University of the Philippines Alumni Association’s Cultural Summer Camp, eager to show off the Filipino phrases they have learned from their teachers.

As part of the Consulate’s movement to Spark*Connect*Empower* the Filipino-American Community, it organized an event for the University of the Philippines Alumni Association’s Filipino Cultural Summer Camp students at the Philippine Center on Tuesday, 25 July 2017, to educate them about the Philippine Consulate’s and partner agencies’ functions as a government agency based abroad.

The campers, with ages ranging from as young as 6 to 14 years of age, and are third-generation Filipino-Americans and have been learning Philippine history, music, arts, dance, cuisine, literature, and basic Filipino.

Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon welcomed the campers to the Consulate, informing them that his son was in the first batch of of the Cultural Summer Camp.  He proceeded to entertain the children with a yoyo exhibition, saying that the yoyo was popularized in 1929 by Filipino immigrant to the United States Pedro Flores.

Consul Carlyn A. Monastrial gave a presentation on the functions of the Philippine Consulate General, explaining that it is guided by the three pillars of foreign policy, namely political security, economic security, and assistance to nationals.  She added that the Consulate aims to reach out to the Filipino-American Community by providing platforms where the latter may be immersed in Philippine culture and heritage.  She led them on a tour of the Center, passing through the 2nd floor which houses the information section of the Consulate and the attached agencies; the Philippine Folklife Museum on the 5th floor, and the consular section on the 6th floor.

Tourism Office’s Alessa Lopez made a presentation on the functions of the Tourism Office, leading them through an interactive presentation that allowed the kids to win prizes for answering trivia about the Philippines.

A lunch of Jollibee chicken and spaghetti were provided to the campers and teachers, to familiarize the third-generation Filipino-Americans with the Filipino palate.  Ms Ana Segovia, the head instructor of the Summer Camp, informed that Consulate that it was the grandparents of the children who enrolled them in the Camp in their desire to ensure that kids are familiar with their roots, culture and heritage.  This is the first time that the Camp has targeted Filipino-American youth in the South Bay, providing the much-needed connection to their Filipino heritage.

In appreciation for the Consulate’s hospitality, the kids sang “Pen Pen de Sarapen”, a Filipino folk song that they learned in their classes.  They also wrote notes of support for Filipino soldiers in the frontlines, after they were informed of the insurgency going on in Marawi City. The children were given Philippine flaglets and magnets as a souvenir from the Consulate.  END

UNWTO Guests Discover Paradise Islands

25 June 2017

UNWTO Guests Discover Paradise Islands

HOST Philippines has showcased its sustainable and inclusive tourism program, treating a group of participants during the four-day United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference to a glimpse of some the country’s paradise-like island destinations.

Following the spectacular opening of UNWTO’s 6th International Conference on Sustainable Tourism for Development in Manila, the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) flew some 50 guests, including 12 diplomats and tourism ministers, to the Balesin Island in Quezon province.

A festive welcome at Balesin Island greeted the entourage headed by DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and special guests, including UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai, after a 20-minute flight from Manila Domestic Airport.

“On behalf of Alphaland and the people of Quezon province, I welcome you to paradise. Always remember that, with Filipinos, you are family,” said Teo.

Filipino singers and dancers performed while ushers donned the guests with exotic flower leis at the arrival area of the private airport that features a built-in rainwater-catchment and filtration system that sustains the island’s water supply.

Alphaland Corporation, developer and operator of Balesin Island’s exclusive membership resort club, treated the group to sumptuous meals of Filipino dishes made from the island’s farm produce, and day-long tour of the diversely-themed villas, vineyard, fish and crab farm, irrigation system, and then a yacht cruise around the scenic 500-hectare island’s coastline.

The authentic overall Filipiniana theme and the international motif of the villas were envisioned by business tycoon Roberto Ongpin, said Alphaland president Anna Bettina Ongpin.

“This indeed is paradise, a complete tourist experience for a lasting memory,” said Rifai, who surprised the crowd at one point of the tour when he got down on one knee and proposed to his wife, Nisrine, for a renewal of their marital vows. They have five children.

“There is no better place for me to do so than this authentically romantic island paradise which captures the Filipiness,” Rifai went on to say.

The UNWTO head, lauded Alphaland’s success as model of sustainable and inclusive tourism program, which provides hundreds of on and off island jobs to Filipinos, including members of the Ifugao tribe from Mountain Province employed to make handcrafted décor and furniture of the resort.The company operates another self-sustaining eco-agri park resort in Baguio City, Mountain Province.

As one of the sponsors of last week’s UNWTO conference, Alphaland Corporation handed to Rifai a donation of € 10,000 or PHP560,000 to UNWTO program for sustainable tourism.

After visiting Balesin Island’s ecological and agricultural engineering masterpiece, the entourage proceeded to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan for a glimpse of the Puerto Princesa Underground River.

The 8.2 kilometer-long subterrainean river, a protected national park accessible only a canoe ride, is listed among the World Heritage Sites and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The UNWTO delegates agreed that Palawan’s natural beauty, including its diversely-rich marine resources, must be preserved.

They visited the indigenous community of Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan and planted mangrove seedlings, where they engaged in a lively interaction with the community stakeholders, including native tour guides, souvenir makers, and boatmen.

At the alluring Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort, Teo and Rifai were joined by DOT Undersecretary Rolando Cañizal, UNWTO director for Asia-Pacific Xu Jing, Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, and Puerto Princesa City councilor and chairman of tourism committee Matthew Mendoza at a media briefing.

Teo disclosed that DOT will earmark five million pesos for various training for tourism stakeholder in the Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan region.

“Every country in the world can say ‘we have beautiful beaches, mountains, sceneries’ but nobody can say ‘we have the Filipinos’, except you. The best thing about the Philippines is simply the Filipinos,” Rifai claimed.

The UNWTO delegation capped the day with the ribbon cutting ceremony of the World’s Best Island Travel Expo 2017 at Robinson’s Place Palawan, a three-day tourism expo riding the numerous accolades and recognition of the renowned island paradise.



Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo (center), UNWTO Sec Gen Dr. Taleb Rifai lead the ceremonial planting of tourism ministers and members of the LGU held right outside the Puerto Princesa Underground River Park. Also in photo is DOT Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre (last row).
Clockwise: Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and UNWTO SecGen Dr. Taleb Rifai speak before other tourism ministers and members of the LGU at the Puerto Princesa Underground River Park.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo (center), UNWTO SecGen Dr Taleb Rifai (third from right) with other tourism ministers, member of the LGU, DOT Undersecretary Rolando Canizal (second from left), and Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre (extreme left).
Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo (center), UNWTO Sec Gen Dr Taleb Rifai with other tourism ministers, DOT Undersecretary Rolando Canizal (partly hidden, extreme left), Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre (partly hidden, second from left), Undersecretary Katherine de Castro (second from right, partly hidden), Director Czarina Loyola (extreme right) arrive at Balesin Resort

Public Affairs, Communications, and Special Projects
Philippine Department of Tourism
351 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., 1200
Makati City

Tel no.: (+632) 459 5200 local 316

Explore Islands Philippines Business and Tourism Expo

May 9-12, 2018 | Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal

This expo will feature the best of the Philippines – from the beauty of its 7,641 islands to its dynamic, growing economy, the Philippines’ rich cultural heritage as a cornerstone of its development.

The event will provide an ideal platform for direct networking and business in the fields of banking, infrastructure, energy, manufacturing among others

Don’t Let Hurricanes Delay Your Vacation: Come to the Philippines

Your bags aren’t packed yet, but your boss already approved your vacation time, right? Even if Hurricane Irma didn’t care about your vacation destination, your much-needed vacation shouldn’t have to be postponed.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are devastating bringing destruction and grief to many island destinations. We are optimistic that the Caribbean Islands will rebuild better than ever. In the meantime, the Philippines can offer you all the amenities and similar exciting attractions for a vacation you’ll never forget.

Beautiful Diving Destinations

With new resorts and diving tours popping up across the islands, the Philippines is a perfect destination for both beginners and experienced divers. Filipinos have a history of helping divers experience the underwater beauty of the Philippines through Scuba Diving since 1966. Pick your favorite spot and get to diving today!

Shipwreck exploration in Coron

Below the surface, there are several sunken  Japanese warships leftover from World War II when the U.S. Navy attacked on September 24, 1944. The ships serve as a host to marine life and are a unique memorial from the war. You can visit the ocean floor to see the damage done to the ships by the 96 American planes, preserved by their home at the bottom of the sea and only available to SCUBA divers.

Hole in the Wall at Puerto Galera

At slack tide, this is a a perfect diving spot for inexperienced divers. Sitting at a depth of only 40 feet, thousands of divers have visited this big rock with a hole only large enough for one person to fit through. You’ll have a good chance of seeing snappers, scorpion fish, and turtles. Also, you’ll be hypnotized by the different soft corals, gorgonian fans, and sponges.

Apo Island Diving

There are dives sites circling Apo Island which offer beautiful seascapes and tons of marine life. The Apo Island Marine Sanctuary and Protected Seascape has been under rehabilitation and is currently prohibited from diving, however, you’ll still be blown away by diving at Coconut Point, Chapel’s Point, Rock Point, and Mamsa Point. Reef sharks, jacks, barracudas, Vlaming Unicornfish, tuna, snappers, eels and many more types of fish can be seen.

Sweet Surfing Spots

Peak surfing season happens in the Philippines September through March. However, in some areas, it is said to be possible to surf all year long.

Cloud 9 on Siargao Island
Often the first place Filipinos mention when asked where to go surfing, Cloud 9 landed in the No. 9 spot on the CNN Travel blog, “World’s 50 Best Surf Spots.” This is one spot surfers can catch a great wave all year long and is dubbed the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”. Each year, surfers from around the globe meet in Siargao for the annual Siargao Cup, a surfing competition sponsored by the Surigao del Norte provincial government.

Charlie’s Point near Baler, Aurora

The movie Apocalypse Now changed life forever for the once-small fishing village of Baler. During filming in 1979, local Filipinos watched as the beach became scenes from the Vietnam war. They also watched the actors surfing, and when the actors left their boards, the locals taught themselves to surf. Each year, tourism grows at Charlie’s Point and the locals will gladly show you where the movie was filmed, teach you to surf, or join you in the waves.

Bagasbas Beach in Daet, Camarines Norte

Bagasbas Beach is known for being both long and wide with fine sand. The Pacific Ocean provides big waves that are known to become barrel waves between July and November. Waves break both to the right and left, providing a good learning spot for inexperienced surfers. The sandy bottom below the waves also helps beginners keep from scraping themselves up as they learn to surf.

Wildlife Swimming Companions

Have you ever wanted to swim with dolphins? Have you dreamed about a dive with sea lions and sea turtles? You can do it all in the Philippines!

Swim with the Sharks in Oslob

The largest fish in the world, the whale shark, can be seen in the water at Oslob, Cebu. Tourists gather along the beach and catch boats out into the water to get a closer view. Those who have paid to swim with the sharks must remove all sunscreen and agree to stay at least four feet from the sharks. There are fines for anyone who touches the beautifully-massive creatures. From 6 a.m. until noon, groups of people called “feeders” drop krill, small fish, and sea plants to keep the whale sharks in the area. You can set up tours and even combine the experience with a trip to the turquoise pools at Tumalog Falls.

Experience an Animal Encounter at Ocean Adventure
In just one place, you can swim with sea lions and dolphins or dive with sea turtles, blacktip reef sharks, and giant jackfish. At Ocean Adventure, you can even get a fish spa pedicure where live fish tickle your feet as they nibble away all the dead skin. You can tailor each part of your day to fulfill your every expectation. Spend the day as an animal trainer, see the shows, and even dine by the bay.

Unique Catches for Fisherman

With more than 2,000 species of fish living in or around the islands of the Philippines, there is no shortage of places to fish. You can hire guided tours and boats, which also have rental fishing equipment. Take your chance at fishing for a record in the Philippines.

Go sport fishing in Cagayan

Fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in Cagayan. While you can productive fishing all year, the best times to catch fish are from March to June. During that time you can find fishing tournaments, or arrange for your trip to avoid the tournaments if you don’t want to fish with a crowd.

Fish for Largemouth Bass

Both Lake Lumot and Caliraya Lake on the island of Luzon are known for their bass fishing. Even though the American Largemouth Bass is not native to these waters, they thrive there. You might even be able to find bass larger than 10 pounds!

See How It’s Made

Spend more time getting to know the people of the Philippines and how they live through tours of local farms. Experience a day in the life on a Filipino farm and you’ll find something delicious to take home with you.

La Huerta de Rosario – Baao, Camarines Sur

La Huerta de Rosario is a privately-owned farm and tourist stop where visitors can experience harvesting fresh, local produce. In addition, guests are then served food–freshly harvested and cooked in the local style. La Huerta de Rosario is also a haven for local artists and their work is displayed throughout the buildings on the farm.

The Coffee Farmhouse, Cavite

From coffee to bean, serious coffee connoisseurs can enjoy a stay at the Coffee Farmhouse. About two hours away from Manila on the outskirts of Tagatay, you can escape the bustle of the city and learn about how coffee is raised, processed, and served on a family farm in the Philippines. In addition to the tour, you can play games, enjoy a bonfire, or schedule a relaxing massage.

Malagos Chocolate Cacao Farm, Davao City
Known for their excellent quality, the Malagos Farms’ chocolate bars start from cacao beans grown, harvested, and processed on their farm in Davao City. Chocolate lovers can take a half-day tour of the farm to get an idea of how the chocolates are made. For serious chocoholics, a three-day cacao farming seminar is also an option.

Sneak a Peek at Nature

The list of flora and fauna you can only see in the Philippines is extensive, both on land and underwater. Even if you aren’t a hiker or a diver, the people of the Philippines have found ways to share their unique landscape with you.

Bird Watching at Olango Wildlife Sanctuary

The first preserved wetland of international importance for waterfowl, the Olango Wildlife Sanctuary offers trekking tours with knowledgeable guides. Vulnerable and threatened species like the Chinese Egret and the Asian Dowitcher are protected here and can be seen while taking the tour. The amenities of the sanctuary are minimal, but guides will help you see the natural aviary on this important migratory route as well as arrange for your group to have fresh coconut juice.

Watch Whales and Dolphins at Pamilacan Island

The Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours began with one man’s dream to provide an eco-tourism adventure for the people living on Pamilacan Island, as an alternative to hunting whales and dolphins. Now, you can create a tour to satisfy your need for adventure, see dolphins and whales at play, swim and snorkel on white sandy beaches, tour the Bohol countryside, or visit the village on Pamilacan Island.

Create the Vacation of Your Dreams in the Philippines

When you come to the Philippines, people will make you feel at home. You can enjoy adventures of all sorts, lay on white sand beaches, or get treated like royalty at the spas and resorts. Don’t let mother nature steal your vacation plans, let us help you craft the most memorable vacation of your life today.

Take a Jeepney to a Pineapple Farm: A Bucket List for Traveling the Philippines

Have you been saving and searching for a dream vacation? Well, stop searching, because we’ve got a bucket list full of the best things to do in the Philippines that’ll have you booking your flight in no time.

For the Avid Hiker

The Philippines consists of 7,641 islands with a tropical maritime climate–which means it’s warm and humid the majority of the year. The extensive coastlines and rainforests on the islands provide a perfect habitat for plant and animal life to flourish. Hiking expeditions through this exotic wildlife offer unique experiences at sites that are inaccessible by car.

Explore the Banaue and Batad Rice Terraces

Carved into the mountainside more than 2,000 years ago, the rice terraces created–by the ancestors of indigenous Filipinos–are a sight to behold. The rainforests above the terraces provide water to the ancient irrigation system, which is still used today.

Catching a ride in a Jeepney–which provides local transportation across the Philippines–is the suggested way to start your hike. Guided hikes can be negotiated and purchased when you arrive in Banaue or before leaving for the Philippines.

Learn more about Lotte, a travel blogger from the Netherlands, and her hike through the rice terraces on her blog, Phenomenal Globe.

Backpack Mount Apo

Backpack to the top of Mount Apo, the tallest peak in the Philippines archipelago. The best known starting point originates in the national park located in Kidapawan City, the capital of Cotabato Province. The hike is expected to take three to four days and is considered a seven out of nine-difficulty rating, according to the local mountaineering guide.

Go Spelunking in Cantabon Cave

Described by some as an experience much like an obstacle course, you can try spelunking into one of the least corrupted caves in the Philippines when you visit Siquijor. The professionally guided caving experience at Cantabon Cave may leave you wet, dirty, and tired–but it’s unlike anything else you will see while visiting the islands.

The 800-meter hike into the cave is expected to take around two hours to complete. Watch this video of one group’s experience in the cave.

For the Divers and Swimmers

Under the clear blue water, the flora and fauna of the Philippines provide a spectacle any diver would enjoy. In fact, you can find more than 500 types of coral and 2,400 species of fish. Beyond the natural wonders of the area, you’ll find sunken ships to discover, special swimming classes, and friendly boat captains.

Attend the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy

Photo used courtesy of the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy[/caption]

Have you dreamed of swimming through the seas with one fin like a mermaid? The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy will teach you how! Start your introduction to a mermaid’s life in Boracay, Cebu, or Manila. For more in-depth courses, you’ll have to visit Boracay.

Initial intro classes include tail measurements and fittings, safety and photo training, and free swim time in shallow water. Advanced classes further teach safety, methods for swimming in deeper water, and lessons on how to act more like a mermaid by doing handstands and blowing mermaid bubbles.

Discover the Coron Bay Reefs and Wrecks

With more than 1,000 types of marine life to discover among the reefs and a dozen wrecked World War II ships, the area around Coron Bay is a diver’s paradise. It has been named among Forbes Traveler Magazine’s Top 10 Dive sites. Rock formations in the area also provide a lively snorkeling experience for those who like to stay near the top of the water.
One famous dive site is known as Gunter’s Cave, where you can visit a naturally lit, underwater cave. At certain times of the day a beam of light shines through the opening in the cave and illuminates the entire space.

Scuba at Tubbataha Natural Park

While visiting the sites at Tubbataha Natural Park, you must schedule a boat and stay on board during your trip. Its location in the middle of the Sulu Sea, with no human-inhabited land, makes visiting without a boat impossible.

Experienced divers, as well as newcomers to the hobby, will be impressed with no less than 360 coral species, 600 types of fish, 11 different shark species, and 13 whale and dolphin species that call the area home. Since December of 1993, the area has been considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is protected and loved by those who Scuba dive there.

For the Natural Wonder Enthusiasts

The climate and location of the Philippines creates natural wonders you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the natural wonders require boat rentals and some you might want a guided tour to enjoy. Either way, these are experiences you don’t want to miss.

Tour the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and National Park

Copyright by Eric Beltran[/caption]

Under the island of Palawan, you’ll find an exciting experience. The Puerto Princesa subterranean river flows directly beneath the St. Paul Mountain Range, weaving through cave-like structures beneath the mountains for 8.2 km. Getting to the starting point of the underground trip at Sabang is only about a 40km trip from Puerto Princesa. Once you’re there, this “New 7 Wonders of Nature” site will amaze you with waterfalls flowing from cave walls, ancient fossils, and creatures that live nowhere else in the world.

Don’t forget to get a permit to travel there, or else you won’t be allowed in. If you book a guided tour, your permit, boat, guide, lunch, and transport are usually all included. If you are staying in Sabang, you can opt to buy everything separately and use your negotiation skills to save some pesos.

Soak in the Hinatuan Enchanted River

Copyright Dennis Onashi[/caption]

The Hinatuan River is a deep spring, saltwater river on the island of Mindanao, which flows directly into the Philippine Sea and onto the Pacific Ocean. Catching a ride on a habal-habal motorcycle is the preferred way to get to the river once you arrive in Hinatuan.

The enchanting color of the water has long left local people to believe the water holds secrets. Whether the water itself has healing powers or if spirits keep the place safe, no one knows for sure. However, novice adventurers or advanced swimmers alike can find an area of the river they enjoy.

For the History Buffs

The history of the Philippine Islands is diverse. Different regions have unique stories and not all the islands have the same background. Travel the islands and sample cultures from around the world without having to get additional stamps in your passport.

Step Back in Time on Corregidor Island

Corregidor is an island found at the mouth of Manila Bay, in the southwestern part of Luzon Island. It has long been fortified by the reigning military forces to protect the most important seaport located in Manila. During World War II, the area was of great importance to both the Japanese military and the Allied Forces.

Today, the ruins of the fortifications from that time serve as a memorial and reminder to visitors about the cost of war. Families from around the world visit the site to remember loved ones and learn more about the history of the Philippines during WWII.

Hanging Coffins of Sagada

The practice of burying the dead in hanging coffins predates the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. Hoping to get the dead closer to the spirits of their ancestors, Filipinos hung or nailed the coffins to the sides of cliffs. However, the tradition is practiced today on a much smaller scale than in the past.

Today, the burial ceremonies are only held by the elders of Sagada, as the younger generation have adopted more modern burial traditions and enjoy being able to visit their ancestors on All Saints Day.

Walk the Cobblestone Streets of Vigan

Vigan is one of the oldest cities in the Philippines, but its structures have mostly been preserved and restored. The cobblestone streets and unique architecture–which marry the Philippines’ traditional Filipino structures with those of the Spanish-colonial era–make it a popular vacation destination.

One can visit preserved houses near the central park, known as Plaza Salcedo, which surrounds Plaza Burgos. You’ll also find a museum along Crisologo Street with unique antique collections of memorabilia and vehicles. When your feet tire of walking along the cobblestones, snag a ride in a kalesa and complete your journey back in time.

For the Nature Lovers

The unique land, as well as the special plants and animals that call the Philippines home, often require protection. Unfortunately, it would be easy for these unique plant and animal species to be endangered without formal conservation efforts. While you’re there, visit a few of the reservations dedicated to protecting the Philippines’ natural wonders.

Experience Everything El Nido Marine Reserve Park Has to Offer

Located on the northernmost tip of the Palawan mainland, El Nido Marine Reserve Park is a perfect example of the diversity you’ll see when traveling through the Philippines. You can fly into the airport at Puerto Princesa or travel by boat. When you arrive, you’ll see white sand beaches and limestone cliffs, high-end resorts, endemic and endangered species of birds, and lush forests.

With more than 30 dive sites, there’s more to see while diving than you’ll be able to fit in during most trips. The resorts on nearby islands offer snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and spa treatments in addition to the diving expeditions. You can even find a secret beach hidden among rocks if you’re brave enough to swim through a hole in the limestone.

Visit the Tarsier Sanctuary

The Tarsier, one of the world’s smallest primates, is indigenous to the Philippines. You can visit the Tarsier Sanctuary while you are in Bohol and, for a small price, you can pay for a guide to help you trek through the sanctuary and spot the Tarsiers in their natural habitat. Your guide will be glad to help with taking videos and photos along the way. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and culminates on a viewing deck over the sanctuary.

See the Ruins at Mount Mayon Active Volcano Natural Park

Mount Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines and is located on the island of Luzon. The most destructive eruption happened in 1814. Five towns were destroyed in that eruption, but each one was rebuilt, demonstrating the resilience of the locals.

The Cagsawa Ruins are the remnants of a Franciscan church destroyed in the 1814 eruption and are one of the most visited areas of the Natural Park. Near the ruins, you will find the Cagsawa National Museum, which helps the local government care for the park and ruins.

Live Like a Local

One of the greatest treasures you will find while traveling the Philippines are the people who live there. Learn about how they live while doing things the Filipino way. Get to know them, make friends, and let them show you the best ways to enjoy your time in the Philippines.

For more information on how to eat like a local or see what the locals see, check out our blog. Don’t hesitate to send us your questions. We can’t wait to help you visit the Philippines!