MxUAKk trip: The Philippines

Asia - Philippines - Manila - A church in Manila

A church in Manila (Philippines)

Recently I had a funtastic trip with my travel buddy Kania Kismadi to Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.

We actually had bought the ticket to the Philippines last year, but as always, we made the trip plan one month before the departure! Lol …

The real plan was just to visit Philippines, but as we looked at the ticket price from Cebu directly to Jakarta using Cebu Pacific was quite expensive, so we diverted our route to Malaysia [Kuala Lumpur] . Then when we found out that the choice of flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta was limited, so we agreed to divert our trip again to Singapore! From 1 week travel, we changed the plan into 2 weeks travel! Haha …

Asia - Philippines - Manila (Makati) city view from Dusit Thani Manila Hotel

The Makati city view from Dusit Thani Manila hotel (Manila, Philippines)

In the title of this blog post, you see ‘MxUAKk’. That’s actually the shorts of Mixed Up Already and Kania Kismadi [Kania has a blog that’s called Kania’s Pensieve], and we used that as the hashtag [#MxUAKk] for our Instagram, so it’s easy for us if we want to track and look back at the photo of this short trip. If you haven’t followed us in Instagram, do follow us, and let’s interact in Instagram too! [Instagram: timothywpawiro & kaniakismadi]. I know perhaps it’s not the best ‘hashtag’ name, but that’s what I could think of at that time. If you have any better hashtag name for this blog [Mixed Up Already] please do let me know in the comment form ;-).

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Binondo - A church around Binondo area

Somewhere in Binondo area (Manila, Philippines)

During our travel, we have teamed up with wonderful partners. In Philippines, we partnered with Dusit Thani Manila and Quest Hotel Cebu, while in Singapore, we partnered with Far East Hospitality. I will let you know later where we stayed in Singapore, but if you are really curious, you can see the place that we stayed when we’re in Singapore in our Instagram :-). Along this trip we also partnered with Hotel Quickly . If you don’t know what Hotel Quickly, it’s a phone app [iPhone, Android, and Blackberry] to find a hotel booking in last-minute. You haven’t tried it yet? Well, why don’t you download the Hotel Quickly app and tried it. It’s fun and easy. You will also find some credit voucher along the way 😉

The Philippines … 

Asia - Philippines - Coron - Mount Tapyas - The Big Cross

The Big Cross at the top of Mount Tapyas, Coron (before the Yolanda typhoon tragedy). Sadly, the typhoon destroyed the big cross (Philippines)

The Philippines is the main reason why we did this trip in the first place [well actually the main reason is Coron – story soon!]. Some of our friends asked us, ‘Why Philippines?’ Well, it’s easy. We haven’t been to Philippines before.

We actually were three people at first, but then sadly, Kania’s friend couldn’t join us.

At first we just wanted to visit Coron, beautiful islands and part of Palawan province, in Philippines [I have posted story about Mount Tapyas in Coron], then I told Kania to stay in Manila and also Cebu for at least 2 nights each. So we then re-arrange our ticket flight, and the plan became like this:

Jakarta – Manila | Manila – Coron | Coron for 2 nights | Coron – Manila | Manila for 2 nights | Manila – Cebu – Malapascua | Malapascua for 2 nights | Malapascua – Cebu | Cebu for 2 nights | Cebu – Kuala Lumpur

What a trip!

Even though we spent around 8 nights in Philippines, it seems that there are so many places that we want to visit in Philippines. So yesss I will go back to Philippines again in the future. I heard March – April is the best months to visit Philippines, as it’s summer? 🙂

We also tried using the local telephone provider. I used Globe , while Kania used Smart. Many of my friends said that Smart is the best, but based on our experience in Cebu and Malapascua, Globe is better than Smart haha [Kania started using Smart in Malapascua and Cebu], and I didn’t have any problems with connectivity while in Coron and Manila.

We didn’t really spend much time exploring Manila and Cebu as the time was short, and we didn’t want to pack our itinerary. So we just went to the popular tourist spots in both cities, including some of the historical places. We did join a walking tour in Intramuros in Manila, while in Cebu, we had a chance to visit the Fort San Pedro and the nearby historical places.

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Intramuros - Inside the Fort Santiago

Visiting Fort Santiago in Intramuros area (Manila, Philippines)

Asia - Philippines - Cebu - Inside Fort San Pedro

Inside Fort San Pedro (Cebu, Philippines)

From the places that we stayed, we usually took taxi, walk, or public transport to commute [jeepney and the pedicab] ; but unfortunately we didn’t try the MRT in Manila. That’s actually the one that differentiate Manila and Jakarta. People like to compare Manila and Jakarta, and at the moment, there’s no MRT yet at Jakarta 😉 We also noticed a difference between the taxi in Manila and Cebu in the city. Most of the taxi that we used in Cebu [in the city, not from the airport] was willing to use the meter, while it’s difficult to find one in Manila. I don’t want to generalize thing, but that’s what we found during our short trip in Manila and Cebu 😉

Asia - Philippines - Manila - Jeepney 'My Big God'

A very attractive jeepney in Manila (photo credit: Nita Wijaya)

For me the highlight of our trip in the Philippines was when we went to Malapascua Island. To be honest, we didn’t do anything special in this island. We just chill and relax, and enjoy our time in the island. I said to Kania that Malapascua looks like Gili Trawangan in Indonesia. The difference between those islands is you can find motor cycle in Malapascua island, while there’s none in Gili Trawangan.

As we both love Gili Trawangan, so we also love Malapascua island! 😉

Asia - Philippines - Cebu - Malapascua - Cebu - The beach

Lovely beach in Malapascua Island (Cebu, Philippines)

To start this series, I have a great post that was made by my new friend that I met in Kuala Lumpur. Her name is Nita, and she is actually Kania’s friend haha. In her post, she will give an introduction about Philippines, but the most important thing, she will share about the food in Philippines in the next post 🙂

Asia - Philippines - Cebu - Sky Experience Adventure - Edge Coaster Ride

Dare to ride this Edge Coaster?? (Cebu, Philippines)


  1. Halim April 25, 2014
    • timothywp April 25, 2014
  2. Khai May 7, 2014
    • timothywp May 8, 2014
  3. Matius Teguh Nugroho May 15, 2014
    • timothywp May 20, 2014
  4. Meidi May 15, 2014
    • timothywp May 20, 2014
    • timothywp May 20, 2014

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