Author Topic: Philippines  (Read 11794 times)

Online ponash123

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Re: Philippines
« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2023, 04:22:47 PM »
El Nido definitely has better hotel options  (near Chabad). Cebu is really lacking

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Re: Philippines
« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2023, 01:52:51 PM »
AirSwift availability changes daily, keep an eye out for it.

Update: I was able to get one round trip ticket for myself (not at the exact times I wanted, but will make it work) and one return ticket for my husband. Keeping fingers crossed that outgoing ticket opens up for him in the next few days

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Re: Philippines
« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2023, 02:44:23 PM »
Update: I was able to get one round trip ticket for myself (not at the exact times I wanted, but will make it work) and one return ticket for my husband. Keeping fingers crossed that outgoing ticket opens up for him in the next few days
Check every few hours and good luck!
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Re: Philippines
« Reply #63 on: December 13, 2023, 10:58:29 AM »
Secured the tickets  :)

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Re: Philippines
« Reply #64 on: December 13, 2023, 11:00:09 AM »
Secured the tickets  :)
Well done!
TR please when you're done :)
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Re: Philippines
« Reply #65 on: December 13, 2023, 11:13:44 AM »
Well done!
TR please when you're done :)

Definitely!

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Re: Philippines
« Reply #66 on: December 22, 2023, 01:29:13 AM »
I haven't been, but El Nido has long been on my radar.

El Nido is still on my bucket list, even though Iíve been to Puerto Princesa. I only had a brief stay in Cebu for work, so I couldnít explore much beyond the city.

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Re: Philippines
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2024, 02:01:34 PM »
Philippines Mini TR:
I was traveling to Manila for work for a few days. My husband had off and was able to join, so we added on a few days after for pleasure. We didn't do much and just enjoyed being there, so there's not much to write and this is more of a mini TR. 

On Sunday afternoon, we flew from Newark to Toronto, had a short stopover with just a enough time to grab some food, and then continued on with a flight from Toronto to Manila on Philippines Airlines. 
After an uneventful comfortable flight, we landed in Manila at about 4:30 AM on Tuesday Morning. 

Manila:
Did not do much at all other than work at night and sleep during the day. Honestly, there is really not much to do there and it's a very grungy, loud, hectic city. We walked around a bit, went to Rizal Park (which is nothing to write home about) and that's about it. We brought most of our own food, but did get lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday from the Jewish Association and it was very good. 

Thursday Morning we took a 10:00 AM flight to El Nido. We flew Air Swift, which is a small little airline. PSA: they are very very strict about baggage weight. We had Premium tickets (which were the only ones available for those dates) which allows 7kgs of carryon baggage and 20kgs of Checked baggage. I pre purchased additional weight for a few dollars, the maximum they allow is 20 kg. We were bringing a lot of heavy items for Chabad so we had a lot of weight, but with the extra  baggage, we were fine. If you don't pay beforehand, they charge per kilo and it's quite expensive. They did weigh our carryon and it was 9kg, so they wanted us to check it. I briefly explained that it has valuable religious items and they allowed it through. 

We had a short flight to El Nido where we landed in one of the cutest, tiniest airports I've ever seen.  We were then picked up by our hotel and drove about 15 minutes to the H Hotel. We wanted to stay within walking distance to Chabad, which means there are really limited options. H Hotel was the nicest hotel we could find. The rooms were clean and nice, and the view from the hotel rooftop bar and our balcony were unbeatable. It was about a 15 minute walk from Chabad. 

El Nido is an interesting place. It's a very popular tourist destination yet it's extremely underdeveloped and not 'touristy' at all. It's a tiny little town nestled between limestone cliffs and the bay. Most people use it as  a jumping off point for island hopping, snorkeling, diving etc. 

We were quite tired by the time we checked into our room, so we didn't do much. We walked around the town and browsed a bit. Friday was Asara B'Teves and a a short day, so again we did not do much. We took a tricycle (main mode of transportation there) to the Lio Shoppes and village and enjoyed walking around. We then dropped off our packages by Chabad and got ready for Shabbos. We had a very enjoyable Shabbos just relaxing with nice weather and beautiful views.

 I had booked an island hopping tour for Sunday. We booked Tour B, primarily because we were interested in seeing the caves and stalagmites and stalactites. We were excited about it, but unfortunately on Sunday morning as we were getting ready to leave, we got the message that the tour was cancelled due to monsoon winds. Although disappointed we wouldn't get out on the water, we decided to do an inland tour instead, which we very much enjoyed. We did a hike to waterfalls combined with a beach visit and it worked out perfectly. 

We initially had flights from El Nido to Manila on Monday afternoon. However, we realized that flight would only leave us with exactly 2 hours between landing and our international flight and it would not be enough time (more on Manila airport later). Unfortunately, the only available flight was 7:45 AM. So we were forced to leave El Nido a lot earlier than we had planned. We then had the day in Manila with not much to do, but we made it work. 

It turned out to be a good thing we switched flights. PSA: the Manila airport is highly dysfunctional so give yourself LOTS of extra time.
The domestic and international airports are in 2 different buildings and located about a 10 minute drive from each other. The shuttle took about 20 minutes to come. We then went to a different terminal to store our luggage for the day. We spent a few hours walking around the old town and exploring Fort Santiago. We then headed to Chabad restaurant where we cooled off and enjoyed lunch. Although it was still early, we headed back to the airport. As it turned out, once we retrieved our bags, it took about an hour and a half just to get to the right terminal. The shuttle only comes about once an hour and then takes about half hour between the drive, loading, and unloading. We checked in, headed to the Mabuhay lounge where we showered, ate supper (thanks to the Hot Logic we brought with us) and rested. We then had a direct flight to JFK which was great and ended up only being 14.5 hours, which felt like a breeze.

Hope this is helpful, feel free to ask any questions. 


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Re: Philippines
« Reply #68 on: January 05, 2024, 10:04:31 AM »
Added point:
On our Philippines Airlines flight home, we had food from the The Jewish Association of the Philippines. I did not eat the dinner, but my husband did and said it was the best airline meal he ever had (it was salmon and vegetables).