Philippines with (young!) kids??

Mar 17th, 2007, 10:23 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26
Philippines with (young!) kids??

Hi everyone,
I'm wondering if there's anyone here with experience of travelling in the Philippines (particularly in and around Manila) with young children?
My husband and I will be there just after Easter on business - based in the Pasig area of Manila - and will be taking our two sons, one aged 3 years, the other just 4 months.
After Pasig we're hoping to have a week or so to see a bit of the country. I have several guidebooks, but with no previous knowledge of the country I'm at a bit of a loss...!
We are thinking of perhaps the Taal Lake area followed by a few days at a beach. But where to find a nice, low key sandy beach area that is good for our 3 year old and isn't too dive orientated?
We don't want to spend mega bucks but do have a reasonable budget.
We were thinking that it would be too much hassle to fly anywhere domestically, but now we're thinking that perhaps we SHOULD fly to Boracay or Palawan... Any advice, input, tips very gratefully received!!!
Finally, it is worth taking our baby buggy (stroller) for the little one, or would it be better to rely on a sling for carrying him around? IE are the roads & pavements OK for using a buggy? Are they widely used in the Philippines or do the locals use slings more?
Would love to hear from anyone who can help. Thanks very much
Firefly is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 11:39 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 328
Have you checked on what the security issues are in the Phillipines?

My son was there two years ago on business. He said he felt sort of okay when he was with the people from the company he was visiting, but he did not feel safe at all being on his own. He finished his work assignment early and got the first available flight home. He gave up business class and came home economy.

Maybe things have settled down now, but I just looked and there is still a warning about terrorist.
Susan33 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 10:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 19
It is absolutely safe in the Philippines. Just stay in the metro areas like Pasig City and Makati City. Where you are staying, there are 4 main malls nearby:
1. SM Megamall - its a mall with 2 Wings! It takes 20 minutes to walk across from wing A to wing B. All the Boutiques with Manila's biggest Department Store, SM. You can do most of your shopping here, but there are a lot of people.
2. Shangrila Mall - right next door to SM Megamall (within 5 minute walking distance of Wing A), More upscale. It has your Hugo Boss, Samsonite, Escada, Armani, Mango, Zara, Marks and Spencer, Oshkosh Boutiques. It also has a more high end department store, Rustan's.
3. Podium - A much smaller, more high end version of SM Megamall.
4. Greenhills (Virra Mall(- if you are into day markets, it is a market style mall with lots of haggling.

DAY TRIPS:
1. Makati City - The financial center of the Philippines, this is where the main business district is, Pasig being the 2nd. It also houses two main malls:
a. Glorietta Mall (1,2,3,4)
A huge mall, it is divided into 4 parts. If there are 2 malls to go to and your time is limited, this should be where you should go.
b. Greenbelt Mall (more upscale than Glorietta) Very small mall.

STROLLER: If youre going to do a lot of walking, I would suggest you bring a stroller. Most families use this in malls. All families carry the baby buggy at the back of their cars. Make sure it is foldable.

OVERNIGHT TRIPS:need 1 hour plane ride
1. BORACAY. Hands down the best beach in the Philippines. Has the best sand, nightlife and food. I have been to a lot of beaches around the world. Better than ANY beach in Phuket,Bali,California,Australia. Places to stay:
A. Station 1 - personally,i stay here because, it has the best stretch of sand, is the cleanest, and is quite a walk from all the noise of the bars, and the mall in the middle of the island.
1. Friday's - most expensive on the island.
2. Waling-waling - where i stay. A more economical choice than Friday's,it has about 6 huts with pillows in front of the beach where your family can eat,lounge, and stay.


2. PALAWAN you have a choice of one or two resorts:
A. El Nido
B. Club Noah

3. CEBU - 1 hour plane ride
1. Shangrila Mactan - absolute resort heaven, this would be good for your kids, it has all the amenities of a plush resort.

4. BAGUIO - if you like the mountains and like the smell of pine trees, head over to Baguio, our Summer Capital. Its a 4 hour road trip, so it might be too much for the young ones. If you do so, there are only 2 places to stay.
a. The Manor at Camp John Hay - log cabin rooms, very clean, very new. Excellent maintenance.
b. Baguio Country Club (you have to know a member to stay here)

DAY TRIPS OUTSIDE MANILA:
1. Tagaytay Highlands - a mountain 1 hour away from Manila. Have yourself booked at Tagaytay Highlands Spa Resort
2. Punta Fuego - only 2.5 hours away from Manila, its got 12 beaches! I go to this place because it has the best beach closest to Manila. However, the beaches are a bit rocky.

Enjoy!
Hmh_504 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 04:17 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 642
Hi Firefly! A visit to Tagaytay where taal lake is situated is a good idea. Air is cleaner and weather is cooler than in Manila and it's a short drive from the city.

For the beach, having very young children, I would go to Cebu Shangri-la Hotel. Although Boracay's beach can't be beat, travelling to the island will involve a plane ride then a boat ride as opposed to Shangri-la where you just take a plane ride then a car ride to the resort. This is what we did when our children were younger, relaxing time for all.

I don't think you can get into Tagaytay Highlands or Punta Fuego as these are private country clubs and only members can sponsor you as guests. But knowing how Filipinos are, if you express the desire to go there to one of your local hosts, they will try their best to find a way for you to visit and stay in these places - guarantee you a great time if you do!
Martinan is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 06:45 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1
Hi Firefly....for me, Boracay is so full of people especially during this time of the year as it is summer vacation time and a lot of high school and college kids go there...a good bet is Palawan, the beach is way better than Boracay (which mind you is very nice...Phuket is nothing compared to Boracay...so imagine how beautiful Palawan is)...it would be good to ask from your Filipino host, they would be more than happy to help you have a great time...
khernitz is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 04:00 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 96
I haven't gone to the places suggested above myself, but I know they are all very good. I do suggested though that you ask about flight availability to any of the destinations and book one soon. I can imagine that a lot of locals will be going out of town because of the long holidays so flights will most likely be full . Enjoy!
darna is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 06:16 AM
  #7  
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Posts: 26
hi everyone - thanks so much for your responses, advice etc. All really appreciated!
We're leaving on 6th April. So exciting!
Happy travels to you all
Firefly is offline  
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