East and West, yesterday and today blend in a bustling panorama within the colorful neighborhoods that comprise Manila. This itinerary combines the history and cosmopolitan swagger of this great world-class city with the beauty and natural splendor of Bohol, an island of magnificent beaches and chic resorts.
Day 1: Arrive in Manila
Arrive in Manila today. You are welcomed and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 2: Manila
Enjoy a half-day city tour of Old Manila. Drive along Roxas Boulevard to Rizal Park, named to honor Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero. After a brief picture stop, proceed to the Walled City of Intramuros to visit the remnants of the Spanish conquistadores. Travel through the cobbled streets to San Agustin Church, the country’s oldest stone church, and view its wide collection of ecclesiastical icons, vestments and other religious artifacts. Visit Casa Manila, a replica of a 19th century mansion with Oriental and European décor and furnished with Philippine antique furniture. Continue to Fort Santiago, Manila’s main defense against naval invaders. It has been the site of many tragic moments in Philippine history. Proceed to Manila’s central district, Quiapo, often referred to as the heart of Manila with its market, church of the Black Nazarene, jeepney terminals and
bazaars. The unique Chinese cemetery, with its elaborate mausoleums is mute evidence of the fusion of eastern and Christian religions. Finally, drive through the bustling financial and commercial district of Makati City. This afternoon visit Asia’s 2nd largest mall – Mall of Asia, or Greenhills Shopping Center where you may find a bargain in electronics, clothes and jewelry. (BL)
Day 3: Pagsanjan Waterfall
Take a tour to Pagsanjan. Ride up the river in a small dug-out canoe, and experience the natural beauty of the tropical rainforest. The climax of the ride is the Pagsanjan waterfall. Go underneath the waterfall to experience the raw power of nature. Return to Manila in the late afternoon. (BL)
Day 4: Manila / Cebu
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cebu. Upon arrival you are welcomed and transferred to the beach resort. The afternoon is free for you to relax by the beach. (B)
Day 5: Bohol Excursion
Travel on a fast ferry from Cebu to the island of Bohol. This day trip will introduce you to the wonders of Bohol. First stop is the Philippine Tarsier Foundation in the town of Corella, which serves as a refuge for the smallest primate in the world, the tarsier. Observe these rare, nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat and be amazed by their agility as they move about. Then proceed to Baclayon, make a short stop at the historical Blood Compact site, where Spain’s Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftain, sealed their friendship with a symbolic drink. In Baclayon, visit a centuries-old stone church that houses a museum containing a collection of religious art, ecclesiastical vestments, as well as librettos of church music inscribed in Latin on animal skins. Proceed with the tour, passing by Bilar man-made forest, a thick undergrowth of towering mahogany trees grown on the fringes of the highway leading to the Chocolate Hills, the country’s geological wonder. From a distance, these hills look like huge candy drops that change in color with the season, and are aptly named ‘chocolate’ when the hill grasses turn deep brown in summer. Hike up to the viewpoint for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area before moving on to Loboc River where a cruise downstream on a floating restaurant is made more enjoyable with a delectable lunch served on board. Return to the hotel by late afternoon. In the late afternoon, take the fast ferry back to Cebu.
Day 6: Depart Cebu
Transfer to the Mactan International Airport for your onward flight. (B)