Written by manlalakbay on 02 Mar, 2010
I lived in Angeles City back when I was in elementary. Back then, there was hardly anything there. There were no malls to hang out in. Instead there were small PX goods stores for people to buy their imported goods. Most…Read More
I lived in Angeles City back when I was in elementary. Back then, there was hardly anything there. There were no malls to hang out in. Instead there were small PX goods stores for people to buy their imported goods. Most of the stores were locally owned.It has been more than twenty years since then and so much has changed. Big Philippine mall chains have conquered Angeles City including SM and Robinson's. The latest addition to the Angeles City mall family was Ayala Mall. Ayala has long been known for the infusion of conceptual architecture with their buildings. Marquee was no different from other Ayala Malls.We came late, around 10PM, so the main mall was already closed. But there are restaurants and cafes that were still open in the outside area. We were supposed to have our dessert at Starbucks, that was why we came.When I got down from the car, instead of heading straight to Starbucks, I was immediately distracted by the beautiful display of color right outside the restaurants.It was a series of water holes that would shoot out water in a choreographed way. The water would change color every so often. From blue to green to red to orange to pink. The water would come out together then in a series then alternating. It was wonderful!I felt like a kid again! I wanted to join the kids who were running to and fro, playing a game of tag with the water. They seemed to have timed it well because they were never hit.Families just converged in the area, taking pictures of each other and of their children enjoying the fountain display.The child in me wanted to run around too, but I didn't want to get wet. I did have a picture taken over one fountain hall that was not working. It's a good place to hang out especially in the evening. You can bring some food with friends and have some conversation while watching the beautiful light and water display of the Marquee! Close
Written by Opcon LLC on 06 Aug, 2007
Upon arrival in Catacalin airport we were picked-up by our travel agency and promptly driven to the port where we were to take a short boat ride to Boracay Island. The travel coordinator requested that we pay 50 Php each for an environmental tax and…Read More
Upon arrival in Catacalin airport we were picked-up by our travel agency and promptly driven to the port where we were to take a short boat ride to Boracay Island. The travel coordinator requested that we pay 50 Php each for an environmental tax and a 20 Php port fee (70 Php per person) before we boarded the boat. By this time my wife and I had been in the Philippines nearly two weeks and we were totally fed-up with hidden fees, governmental taxes, bait and switch gimmicks and the sort. Since we paid for an all-inclusive vacation package we refused to pay the tax and fee. After several minutes of going back and forth with the agency we asked to speak with his manager which he refused. We threatened to call our travel agent who we bought the package from in Manila and he acquiesced letting us board the vessel. Funny, no one checked upon departure or arrival whether or not we paid any fees or taxes.
The beaches on this resort island are absolutely the best I have ever experienced. The cleanliness of the water and sand is unprecedented. The gradual gradient of the beach into the ocean is so subtle that it is perfect for children or those not confident in their swimming abilities. Restaurants and small shops line the hinterland of White Beach serving-up worldly cuisine and over-priced trinkets. There are also a number of dive shops which provide extensive dive package courses. My wife and I were able to find dive packages as low as $25 US which included everything. The two dives we went on were fantastic! The visibility was superb and the marine life was abundant and exciting.
Our favorite restaurants along White Beach were Don Vito’s Italian Restaurant; Jammers burger bar; Seoul Restaurant; and Le Solei Hotel. Of note, Don Vito’s was one of the very few establishments that offered both indoor air conditioned dining and outdoor on the beach dining. We especially liked this restaurant. On the down-side we had exceptionally poor experiences with the following establishments: Regency Hotel Bolgogi Korean Restaurant; Lavendara Nitan laundry shop; and Southwest Tours transfer service based on Catacalin Island.
Overall our experience in Boracay was positive and we enjoyed our time there. You should keep in mind that although lodging is cheaper than Palawan, it is still equal to or slightly above prices found in Europe or the U.S. You won’t find any bargains here unless the accommodations are substandard (we looked at many, many resorts/hotels).
Although my wife and I didn’t spend much time out at night, the few times we did, we felt the beach bars transformed into this seedy, drunken congregation of prostitutes and drugs. We avoided it as much as possible opting instead to walk along the beach or remain in the resort. We also felt that the main drag along the beach that is lined with shops, restaurants, and resorts was usually very crowded with hawkers, professional beggars, and scam artists. You might want to take this into consideration if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation. You will be constantly haggard. I know this might sound petty, but one of the positive aspects of Boracay was that it did have 24/7 electricity beach-wide which means 24/7 air conditioning. After spending a week of hell in Palawan without any air conditioning, this was a big deal. My wife and I also felt that it was very easy to find good food even though it was pricey for the Philippines but generally worth it. The last positive thing I can say about Boracay is that snorkeling and SCUBA diving is very affordable. Just make sure you have been medically cleared by a doctor and have your certifications current, some dive shops unfortunately don’t care about this and it has the potential to end your holiday in disaster.
This past June my wife and I traveled to the Philippines for a much needed vacation to unwind from the hustle & bustle of daily urban life. We visited Manila, Palawan, and Boracay during our three-week trip. My first experience with the Philippines was back…Read More
This past June my wife and I traveled to the Philippines for a much needed vacation to unwind from the hustle & bustle of daily urban life. We visited Manila, Palawan, and Boracay during our three-week trip. My first experience with the Philippines was back in 1990 after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in which I traveled to Luzon to provide much needed disaster relief. Over the next fifteen years I traveled there while in the military working with the Filipino armed forces. Although I have spent my fair share of time in the Philippines, I never actually spent any leisure time there and never visited the resort islands of Boracay or Palawan. First I want to preface my article with a disclaimer: Neither my wife nor I are in anyway affiliated with the travel/vacation industry. Okay, with that said, this is how it went…My wife and I hit Manila three times during the nearly month-long vacation; arrival in the Philippines, transit between Palawan and Boracay and finally departure from the Philippines. My advise…spend as little time here as possible. Every-single person we came into contact with tried (some succeeded) to rip us off in some fashion or another. I have been traveling around the world for the past twenty years (mostly to places that are very inhospitable) and consider myself pretty savvy, but the scam artist here are truly first-rate. Be very, very careful when talking to anyone on the crowded streets of this city. In my experience, Manila is one of the most violent cities in the world.
Upon our arrival we stayed at the Holiday Inn Manila for $143 a night. It is touted as a 4.5-star hotel but in my humble opinion, it barely makes three. Although the staff were very friendly, the room smelled foul (we moved twice), was old and the decor was dark and seemed stuck in the 1970s. For the price we paid I definitely do not believe we received our money’s worth.
Cool guy tip#1: Never take a private car from the airport to your hotel, only metered taxies. We paid way too much getting to the hotel.
Our second time to Manila was far better. While in Palawan I was determined to find better accommodations on the Internet and invested some serious time researching hotels near the airport. I came up with the Pan Pacific Hotel which turned out to be a huge blessing. It is rated as a 5-star hotel and earns every bit of that distinction. Immediately upon arrival I noticed a tremendous difference in the staff. They dispatched with speed and alacrity to handle our luggage, were very professional, extremely courteous and knowledgeable. It seemed as though they clouded do enough for us and not once did any of the staff pressure us for a tip. My personal philosophy on tipping is that if you expect it, forget it. If you don’t and do a decent job, I’ll "hook a brother up." The reality is, nearly everyone will put the screws to you to extract some kind of tip. In one instance a taxi driver unsheathed a barong (very big curved knife) and demanded that we pay him a tip on top of the meter because he had to drive us in rush-hour traffic.
Anyway, the Pan Pacific Hotel was fabulous. Upon checking in the staff advised me of a cheaper rate that I was qualified for and also credited my sky miles for me. The room was spacious, extremely clean, new and already had all the amenities that you might require (iron/ironing board, Internet, shaving kit, hair dryer, etc.). You have your own private butler assigned to your room that can even bring a pot of hot coffee to you with your morning wake-up call. The best part aside from the experience was that it cost $120 per night.
Cool guy tip#2: Be absolutely clear when negotiating lodging that you understand whether the charges are per person or per room. On numerous occasions we were quoted prices that seemed great until we discovered that it was per person. Fortunately we never fell for that scam, but definitely came close ($350 a night at a beach resort sounded great until we found out that it was going to cost my wife and I $350 times two which equals $700 plus that 10% service charge and 12% government tax and 8% credit card convenience fee and oh yeah, the 1% tax to save the environment. So 31% times $7000 equals an affordable nightly rate of $917. See the importance of knowing what you are REALLY paying for?).
Cool guy tip #3: Make sure you know the exchange rate and how to convert currency. Carry a small calculator or mobile phone with one on it. A lot of creative accounting can go on at some of the venders or establishments you visit. It may not sound like much, but don’t forget to add in the mandatory 10% service charge for every meal/purchase, 12% government tax and 5 to10% convenience fee if you use your plastic. All those fees and taxes REALLY add up over the course of a week or more.
In general, I would advise you not to spend too much time on the streets around the hotel complex because you will be incessantly hounded by beggars, scam artists, drug dealers, phony money exchangers and ladies (and men) of ill repute. I don’t know if there are any good streets in Manila, but this area certainly doesn’t have them. The only good thing I can bring to your attention is that there is a Muslim Laundromat just outside the hotel’s main entrance that is worth its weight in gold. They washed several pounds of our clothes, pressed and folded it for a surprisingly reasonable price. We were impressed with the service and happy to finally have some clean clothes after a week in Palawan with no electricity to wash or dry our basic garments.
There is a large shopping mall (Robinson’s) less that three hundred meters away from the hotel but I would avoid it unless there is absolutely something you need that you can’t live without. Prices were comparable to those in the States and Europe. The mall is old, filthy and over-crowded with packs of young teenagers hanging out with apparently nothing else to do (not a good indicator). The Fridays restaurant there, I have to say, was good but that’s all I can say about Robinsons. A better option would be to get a metered cab and have him/her drive you to the Mall of Asia which is about 10 minutes from the Pan Pacific Hotel. Same high prices but at least it was a first-rate experience shopping in a modern clean environment.
My entire article can be summed up as follows: "If you want an adventurous vacation, go to Palawan; If you want a relaxing vacation go to Boracay and no matter what you want, avoid Manila at all cost." I know, I know, Palawan is a…Read More
My entire article can be summed up as follows: "If you want an adventurous vacation, go to Palawan; If you want a relaxing vacation go to Boracay and no matter what you want, avoid Manila at all cost." I know, I know, Palawan is a pristine ecological environment barely untouched by modern man. That’s what attracted me to spend my money visiting, but here it is August (three months later) and I still have scars on me from the scabies and gargantuan mosquitoes.
To get to Palawan required a short flight from Manila in which we landed at the Puerto Princessa airport in the capital city. That was our first mistake. The capital is about seven hours from El Nido where the vacation spots and beautiful beaches are located. There was nothing to see or do in Puerto Princessa except hundreds of t-shirt shops and hustlers on the street. We spent a good three hours trying to find a decent hotel and after much searching finally found one that didn’t have paint peeling from the walls and ceiling (and had air conditioning). If you travel to Palawan, one of the first things you will discover is that most establishments do not have air conditioning. This made for quite an uncomfortable stay since the temp rarely dropped below 95 degrees Fahrenheit with 90%+ humidity day and night.
If you are lucky enough to find a place with a/c be ready to pay BIG bucks. It doesn’t come cheap. We left Puerto Princessa the next morning and took a private car to the Coco Loco Resort which was about two hours north. It was a totally private island with just a handful of staff working it. Again, no a/c but we did have a fan in our grass hut (when the electricity was on). Very Spartan living conditions but tranquil and the staff were extremely helpful and friendly. We had a nice time even though our clothes were soaking wet the entire three days because there was no way to dry them. As it turned out, we had to wear wet clothes for the next week of our stay on Palawan because no one had dryers. This may sound minor, but I challenge you to try it. It helped push us to the decision of leaving the island and trying Boracay.
I spent years in the military training in the steamy leech-infested jungles of Thailand and the Philippines and just couldn’t stomach paying top dollar to be wet and miserable. Think about it. Anyway, Cindy and I headed north once again in search of the perfect resort when we stopped at the quaint town of Tay Tay where we discovered the Casa Rosa guest house. Immediately we were greeting by Thierry the owner and his very large family. They were very warm and inviting. They were without question the nicest people we met along our journey. His children were absolutely adorable! My wife even got into the kitchen and learned how to make pizza from the chief. The accommodations were very clean and well maintained. The only limitation is that the entire northern portion of Palawan is without electricity until evening. No fan and no a/c. Aside from the breath taking view of Tay Tay bay, there wasn’t much else to see. We ventured off into the town but didn’t find anything of interest.
The next day we left for El Nido where we stayed for several days before giving up and heading to Boracay. It was much of the same. The decent hotel/resorts were all well over $450 per person per night so we roughed it again until we finally stopped asking ourselves why we were paying to be miserable and just left. Don’t get me wrong, the islands and water were spectacular, but living conditions were horrible. If you like paying for pain, then go for it.
Written by writeonthespot on 23 Apr, 2007
Ani, in Filipino, literally means “harvest”. Filipinos, since time immemorial, puts emphasis on their association with their land. And, with the Philippines being a tropical and agricultural country, harvest time has always been a cause of celebration. Since locals get to experience…Read More
Ani, in Filipino, literally means “harvest”. Filipinos, since time immemorial, puts emphasis on their association with their land. And, with the Philippines being a tropical and agricultural country, harvest time has always been a cause of celebration. Since locals get to experience the dry season with cracked land and brown plants, a rich harvest is something every family in the countryside looks forward to. The northern part of the Philippines has always been the country’s rice granary. Even the rugged mountains of Luzon have been transformed to steps of rice paddies which are more popularly known as rice terraces. The Dingras town in Ilocos Norte celebrates the Ani Festival every March with festivities, music, and color. Promoting the local culture of the northern people, Tam-awan Village pays homage to this festival by making it its theme for March. A large signage of “Ani Festival”, with a life-size figure of a man riding a carabao made of hay displayed, greets us at the entrance. Scarecrows and other highlights of the festival are scattered all over the artist village.For farmers, Ani Festival speaks of hope and a brighter tomorrow. For artists, it is the preservation of the culture of Filipino tribes. For tourists, it is a window to the farming and tribal lifestyle of the locals. Overall, it gives one a perspective of how people live life and enjoy it. Close
Written by RaquelKato on 23 Apr, 2007
In November 2006, my husband and I went off to Montemar Beach Club in Bagac, Bataan. More than just a leisure trip, this outing was primarily to attend the Grand Pawikan Fest, a special project to relate the importance of the “pawikan” (Philippine sea turtle),…Read More
In November 2006, my husband and I went off to Montemar Beach Club in Bagac, Bataan. More than just a leisure trip, this outing was primarily to attend the Grand Pawikan Fest, a special project to relate the importance of the “pawikan” (Philippine sea turtle), not only to the locals of Bataan, but to everyone in the Philippines.
My husband and I learned about this Pawikan Conservation Project from colleagues in his Rotary Club District. As Rotarians, they have been constantly searching for worthwhile activities that they can participate in to help the society progress in any way possible.
According to the management of Montemar, this project started when they noticed turtle hatchlings wandering on the beach of the resort in 2003. They then reported this to the involved bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Meetings and observations were conducted regarding this discovery. Training of locals who were going to manage the proposed turtle hatchery program was also done.
All these led to this Grand Pawikan Fest, which was highlighted by the ceremony of releasing our sponsored “pawikan” hatchling into the clear waters of Montemar.
After a whole day of basking in the sun and swimming in the sea, the program started right before dusk with the awarding of certificates to all sponsors of the “pawikan” hatchlings. All of the sponsors, were then given a hatchling each. We all proceeded to the shore and released the hatchlings all at the same time, as the sun was setting. It was truly a touching moment. It was so inspiriting to see that there are still many people, families, in fact, who care for the environment.
The Grand Pawikan Fest is now an annual event to continuously help this Pawikan Conservation Project. We only needed to donate 800 pesos to sponsor a pawikan hatchling and help conserve this endangered creature. For me, it was truly an inexpensive, simple and exciting way of helping our biological environment. Close
Written by manlalakbay on 10 Apr, 2007
My buds and I decided to do a road trip for this Holy Week. Early morning of Maundy Thursday, we set of for Surigao del Sur. Our target was to go around the CANCARMADCARLAN (Cantilan, Carmen, Madrid, Carascal and Lanuza) network.By Black Saturday, we decided…Read More
My buds and I decided to do a road trip for this Holy Week. Early morning of Maundy Thursday, we set of for Surigao del Sur. Our target was to go around the CANCARMADCARLAN (Cantilan, Carmen, Madrid, Carascal and Lanuza) network.By Black Saturday, we decided to check Lanuza out and see how fare their surfing rates. After asking around, we ended up in Lanuza Bay Surfing Company. Their room rates were pretty reasonable. P200/head for the dormitory rooms, and P450 for twin sharing. Their surfing rates aren’t that bad either, at P200/hour for an instructor and P250/day surf board rental.They made surfboards from the local tree Amakan which costs P3,500/sq foot. Some of those Lanuza-made beauts are exported to California even! Proudly Pinoy-made surf boards. Anyway, I had first dibs trying the surf board as we crossed the delta to the beach. Lying prone on the board while maintaining balance was not easy during the first time. It kept tilting precariously. But once I got the hang of it, I was able to traverse the delta by paddling. When I got to the other side, I could already feel the adrenaline pumping. When I saw the waves racing to the shore, I was ready to hang ten. Or at least try to.Philip and Ilongo were the instructors assigned to our group of seven. I was instructed first. I just had to do what I did crossing the delta. Paddle. When a good wave came, Philip gave me the initial push and shouted, “padol!” and paddle I did.It seemed like I was the most excited about surfing, as I did not stop trying to stand on the board for the two hours we were on the beach. The other guys would take breaks or pass the board to another. I kept going at it non-stop. Despite my tremendous effort, I could not stand up from the short board though I was already able to more or less determine a good wave to ride. Until Philip told me it would be easier using the long board. Once I was able to exchange the short board I was using with the long board, Philip helped me launch. A good wave came. I was able to stand for two seconds. Woohoo! The adrenaline just kept pumping harder after that. I only stopped trying when all the other six people were already on the shore resting. After everyone had taken their baths, all the bruises and body aches started to come out. I had a cut on my chin, bruises on my pelvis, thigh, knees and right elbow. Despite all that, I was perfectly satisfied with the day. It was a good end to our long break. And at the back of my head, I was thinking, I can try this again!This November 20-25, they will have the 3rd International Longboard Invitational and the 5th National Surfing Open. Contact Poktoy Palm Haven at 09064413025 for accommodations and details. Close
Written by manlalakbay on 26 Mar, 2007
I was able to convince my friends to go try out the Bulalacao island hopping trip with me for our Holy Week vacation. I was able to find a contact, so accommodations wouldn’t be a problem.So our only concern for the trip was to look…Read More
I was able to convince my friends to go try out the Bulalacao island hopping trip with me for our Holy Week vacation. I was able to find a contact, so accommodations wouldn’t be a problem.So our only concern for the trip was to look for a way to get there. The vans from Calapan City, the capital of Oriental Mindoro, only had routes to Roxas. Roxas is two towns before Bulalacao. We hired a van to take us straight there.When we got to Roxas, the bus would be leaving at 3pm. It was only 12:30pm. It was there we also needed to meet up with our guide. While waiting, we negotiated with the driver to take us straight to Bulalacao. The driver has not been there yet but decided to accept the offer anyway. No wonder the vans only reached until Roxas! The road to Bulalacao was rough, dusty, dry, and zigzaggy. Plying the route felt like you were in the middle of nowhere. Minutes to hours passed, and it felt like we weren’t going anywhere at all, as each turn and bend looked the same as the ones before.Three hours after, we finally reached a paved road. Houses were starting to appear, first sparingly, until they began to cluster together. A sure sign that we have come back to civilization.Bulalacao was a quiet little municipality. There were only small stores and humble houses lining the roads. Our guide led us to a boat. It was only then that we realized that we were staying on an island across. It was already after 5pm when we got to Bulalacao, so we were greeted by a nice sunset as we crossed to the island we were staying in. Our foster home for the night was the family of a student of my contact. They were already preparing our dinner, which we were to have at the barge a few meters from the shore. While making our way there, one of our companions suffered a mishap as she slid and scraped her leg badly on the barnacles of the raft we were to ride. Good thing, we had a doctor among our troop. We looked for somebody who could take her and the doctor to the hospital, or at least a clinic. It was thirty minutes away by motor. Thankfully, the locals were more than willing to help us. Our hurt companion was kind enough to give us her blessing to go on and enjoy the rest of the night anyway.Minus the accident in our minds, it was a peaceful night. The sky clear and starry and the beach calm while we have a nice warm dinner on a floating hut, our feet dipped in the salty cool water. The local teens took care of us, who helped prepare our dinner and rowed the boat from the shore to the barge.It was your idyllic rustic setting. Beautiful. Close
Written by Pinoy Traveler on 06 Jul, 2006
In this complex city, getting from Luneta to Cubao or Zapote, Las Pinas to Santa Cruz, Manila can be a grand odyssey in itself. Manila's more privileged residents get to negotiate traffic from the comfort (or discomfort) of their own cars. Those who are vehicle…Read More
In this complex city, getting from Luneta to Cubao or Zapote, Las Pinas to Santa Cruz, Manila can be a grand odyssey in itself. Manila's more privileged residents get to negotiate traffic from the comfort (or discomfort) of their own cars. Those who are vehicle deficient yet can afford to part with just over pesos 7.50 per short trip might opt for one of those large Japanese reconditioned buses plying the long stretch of EDSA. The rest of the herds have to settle for being squashed, sardine-like, in a jeepney or the MRT during rush hours along the EDSA route.
The jeepney, tricycle, or lately the pajak, is widely considered the bane of Manila’s roads, its colorful buntings and in some instances speaker accessories, make it seem jeepney’s obnoxious little brother. The faults attributed to it are as numerous as Imelda’s famous shoe collection: there’s the general unpleasantness of the buses themselves, all infested with pickpockets, holdupers, and snatchers, spewing thick exhaust; the incessant and unnecessary stopping to pick up and drop off passengers wherever they please, hardly ever halting at actual bus stops and the conducturas, cramming in as many people as possible, always insisting there’s "still plenty more space".
But people have places to go and so they give in even if it means hanging on for dear life from the always- open doorframe. The way our fellow Filipino drivers weave through traffic would surely give Michael Schumacher a coronary. I guess it’s all about accumulating fares—the faster they go, the more fares they can rack up in a day for their operators! On the flip side, they won't even budge until the bus or train is overloaded, holding up traffic along the way. And beware, if it’s nighttime and your bus ride is suddenly quite empty; odds are you’ll get shunted onto another bus, just a kilometer or two, short of your destination, while your previous transport heads back to its depot.
Then there’s the credibility of the bus drivers themselves. Occasionally, a bus will stop somewhere that doesn’t even remotely resemble a terminal, and the driver will climb off only to be replaced by some dubious-looking fellow. Since more often than not, they don’t wear any uniforms; your well-being is now in the hands of someone who for all you know hasn’t even mastered the tricycle.
And then there are the usual incidents, like being hijacked by running protesters in Recto’s Mendiola, or being bled dry by friendly neighborhood pickpockets along Espana or Quirino Avenue. Keeping a low profile is therefore crucial when riding in public. All things considered, cattle—class train can seem like first class transportation by comparison. At least you avoid traffic!
Written by writeonthespot on 09 Jun, 2006
Every hot season, local and foreign tourists alike flock to popular beaches in the Philippines like Boracay, Puerto Galera, Panglao, and Palawan. I’ve been used to sharing a shoreline or beachfront with several other bunches of people. Never had I expected that my friends and…Read More
Every hot season, local and foreign tourists alike flock to popular beaches in the Philippines like Boracay, Puerto Galera, Panglao, and Palawan. I’ve been used to sharing a shoreline or beachfront with several other bunches of people. Never had I expected that my friends and I would enjoy an entire island exclusively to ourselves. It was just sweet haven to flip in the sea with no other people around. That made our trip to Mantigue extra special.
It was a 20-minute boat ride from the main island of Camiguin to Mantigue. This island is just about 4 hectares in land size.
The clear waters reveal the corals and sea weeds that surround the island, making it ideal for snorkeling and swimming. The white powdery beach glows from afar, creating a brilliant sight as we approach Mantigue. In the middle of Mantigue is a lush, green mini-forest filled with wild grasses and several trees and plants.
Amazingly, Mantigue is inhabited by 10 families, all related to each other. A small school was built for these families. They are the ones who took care of us. They provided us with a boat to Mantigue, they cooked us a meal and lent us some snorkeling gear and life jackets for a minimum price. These families maintain the peace and cleanliness in the island.
So, there we were hugging the scenery and the waters to our delight. Some fishermen on fishing boats would pass by and wave at us. It seemed like it was another world in this island, far from the maddening noise of the city and the chaos of traffic jams. All we had in Mantigue was pure bliss that is just so priceless.