Happy New Year! This year is going to be a ton of traveling miles and stamps on the passport. We have som many exciting things in the world and coming up I am hoping to cover all of your Bucket list needs. I know for sure I will be doing some of my own personal travel in between the travel club adventures and I can’t wait. If you don’t know I am trying to get in the books as Cristopher Columbus and Magellan once did but of course not on a boat. This year just started and I already put in some some amazing time in Manila, Philippines.

Manila has always been a favorite destination because of the strength in the US dollar, the friendliness, shopping and the food. I don’t think people understand how fast this place has become a urban city that will soon compete with LA or NY with some of the largest shopping centers in the world. The personalities of course are very different of a NYC or an LA but the spa’s, and eateries are catching up fast.

Lets start with the Spa’s. You can get a great massage for $350 pesos about $7.00 US. They have 24 hour room service at almost every hotel and these are deep tissue no joke massages. Even there Spa’s are very upscale complete with facials, cupping, waxing, you name it. I have seen some spa’s in Makati that will blow you away and the massages still under $25.00 US. complete with sauna and steam rooms.

What I am really excited about is the growth in the restaurant world. They have there share of American eateries like California Pizza Kitchen, KFC,Burger King etc but the culinary world is expanding fast. The likes of Ippudo ramen, and even Todd English are there. One visit to the SM mall AURA, Fort Bonifacio’s first high end mall and you will see the whole top floor lined with some great restaurants any foodie would love to try. Metro Manila has over 12 million people and with the strength of Social media one a new spot opens up everyone knows. This city loves to eat like any other but if you know a filipino we are not afraid to try everything.

The night club scene is on fire like any big city with a ton of LIVE music venues like 12 Monkeys, Hard Rock, and Sticky Fingers to name a few. Looking to dance, they have clubs good enough to brag of like Las Vegas maybe even better getting some of the biggest name DJ’s stopping by on the regular.

The Philippines is no Joke and a place you have to put on your bucket list. Dont get me wrong it still has its provinces that are very poor but the city is on another level. Business’s from all over the world are investing in real-estate, development, importing and exporting. It has a lot to offer. Here are some of my recommendations.

Hotel: The Lindon Suites in Pasig is central, affordable and you can get a suite with an office desk and free wifi all under $125. Book through #AGODA you can’t go wrong. Its across the street from the Shangra La mall and the SM mega mall filled with everything you need.

MUST eats: Todd English, Mesa, Spatzel, Ipuddo, Tim Ho Wan, Kettle, and Ramen Nagi. These are just a few you must visit the list is endless. Hungry for some good ol home cooked filipino food visit the Market Market in the Fort. You can get a complete meal for under $8 for 2!

Transportation: Hire a Driver! Headed to Manila email me you can hire mine as long as I am not there! Small car seats 4 it will be $2,500 pesos thats about $60 US dollar not including tip, need a SUV $3,500 pesos about $80 w/ out tip. The driver stays with you for about 12 hours.

Salamat po and get out and enjoy the Philippines! its waiting for you….