Manila Trip

We just returned from a trip to Manila, to file my annual report with the Bureau Of Immigration.

While we were in Manila, we stayed at the Swagman Hotel in Ermita. Their location is easy walking distance from the U.S. Embassy, and a short taxi ride from Intermurals. The Swagman will pick you up at the airport for free, and bring you back there for your return flight. I find the workers to be very friendly and helpful, but the building is rather old. Sometimes, when taking a shower, the water keeps changing tempurature, and the towels are rather old and dingy looking. My favorite part of staying at the Swagman is their Outback Bar/Restaurant. They have good Australian and Philipino foods, ranging from real steaks to crispy pata. What I like the least about this location are the many street hawkers outside the door! It seems like everytime I walk outside, someone is trying to sell me a cheap immitation rolex,  belt made in Italy (street in Marikina), or expired viagra. Also watch out for the guys with regular cars, claiming to be taxi drivers. Their prices are much higher than what you will pay with a meter.

One day I went out to Pizza Hut, and I saw this child bathing in a tub along the sidewalk. While I wouldn’t find this surprising in Samar, I was surprised to see that in a major city. Here is a picture:



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sailorjohn
    Feb 07, 2010 @ 15:30:29

    I have walked by this hotel in the past and was not impressed. But then again, if yo can handle the appearance of most of the hotles in the Philippines, then it is OK.

    My Asawa is more critical then I am. In our last visit last May/June, while in Tacloban, she had our driver take her to a few hotels. We checked out rooms they had until she selected one.


  2. Admin Dale
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 08:58:04

    Hello John,

    You’re right, from the outside the Swagman looks pretty old, and the people selling things can be annoying. Next time, give the restaurant a try. Especially if you have been in Samar already, it is good to find someplace with good western style food.

    Can I ask what hotel you usually stay at in Manila?


  3. sailorjohn
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 15:52:12

    We really don’t have one we stay at all the time.

    In 2007, I found one within 15 mins of the Mall of Asia that looked real good on the internet. But the pictures were when it was just opened.

    On our arrival in Manila late that night, our room was OK.

    On our return to Manila, we stayed there again and this time the room was a total mess.

    In 2009 trip, we did not stay in Manila when we arrived as we went directly to the new Domestic terminal and took the 5 am flight to Taclobam City.

    On our return home, we stayed at a hotel close to the airport which was nice. Don’t remember the name off hand.

    Asawa’s cousin always stays at a 5 star hotel down the street from the Mall of Asia which runs close to or over $100.00 a night.


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