Adventures in the Philippines Pt. 1: The Itinerary

Jeannie Mark (the Nomadic Chick) and I landed in Manila this morning (December 1st, 2011) at 2am and are now awaiting our room at the Where2Next hostel in the Malati district. We have spent the six weeks planning the trip and have managed to secure quite a few sponsors for the trip to provide us with accommodations and to take us on different adventures. If all goes well, in the next four weeks we’ll watch some midget boxing in Manila, hike the famous Banaue Rice Terraces on Luzon, swim with whale sharks on Leyte, play with little tarsier monkeys and visit a seldom-contacted hill tribe on Bohol, explore the underground river and visit a unique prison colony on Palawan, and, hopefully, learn to scuba dive, drink some rum, and check out a cock fight or two along the way. It should be quite a trip. This is our itinerary so far.

We haven’t finished booking sponsors for the end of the trip, so if you have a business and would like to be featured on our websites, please feel free to contact me for more information.

Days 1 and 2


Manila Midget Madness
We will spend our first two days getting acquainted with Manila, picking up a few items for the trip, making last-minute arrangements with sponsors, and, most importantly, visiting Manila’s finest cultural establishments: a restaurant called the Hobbit House, which is staffed entirely by midgets, and a bar where they have regular midget boxing matches.


Hobbit House Restaurant and Bar
Phone: +63 2-521-7604
Address: 1801 A Mabini St., Malate, Manila, Philippines

Ringside Bar
Phone: +63 2-899-7106
Address: 4853 Kalayaan at the corner of P. Burgos St., Makati City, Manila, Philippines


Where to Next Hostel
Email | Facebook | Twitter
Phone: +63 2-354-3533
Address: 1776 M. Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila, Philippines

Days 3 -6


Banaue Rice Terraces Next we will move on to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Banaue Rice Terraces, where we will spend a few days trekking among these thousands of year old rice farms that were hand-carved into the mountainsides. I’ve heard great things about this place, and am eager to see it!


Native Village Inn
Phone: +63-916-405-4743

Day 7


Travel to Bohol

Days 8 and 9


Chilling on Bohol
with Anna Cleal of Flip Flop Tours We will be hanging out and staying with Anna Cleal, an acquaintance of Jeannie’s and the founder of Flip Flop tours. We also hope to find time to check out the very cute, very weird, very tiny, bug eyed, and rare tarsier monkey.


Philippine Tarsier Foundation


Flip Flop Tours
Email | Facebook | Twitter
Address: Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines

Days 10 – 15


Bohol Mountain Tribe My friend’s wife is from Bohol and her family once took a group of our friends to visit a remote hill tribe on the island. The trip sounded spectacular, so I asked if she could arrange for us to visit as well. I’m not sure what to expect.

Day 16

Travel to Puerto Princessa, Palawan.

Days 17 – 19


Iwahig Penal Colony and Prison Farm
Iwahig is a unique prison colony in which prisoners are not physically detained, but stay primarily because the island makes escape difficult, and because they are allowed to work the land freely and even make money from their labor. It is said that some prisoners even bring their families to join them

Honda Bay Island Hopping
Honda Bay on Palawan is a classic island hopping spot with white sand beaches and lots of coral reefs and marine life for snorkeling.

Subterranean National Park
Recently named one of the Seven New Natural Wonders of the World, this park features the second longest underground river in the world, a full mountain-to-ocean ecosystem, and what are considered to be some of the most important forests in Asia.

Tour Operator

MAG Tours
Email | Facebook
Phone: +63927 234 9293 or +63919-889-2851 or +63 (048) 723-3258
Address #18 Fernandez Street, Masangcay Building, Room 6, 2nd Floor Puerto Princesa City Palawan, Philippines


House of Rose Hotel | Andy and Rose
Phone: +63 (0)48 4341316
Mobile: +63 (0)9065051829
Address: Abueg Road Bagong Sikat, Puerto Princessa City, Palawan, Philippines

Day 20

Travel to El Nido, Palawan.

Day 21 – 29


We haven’t decided yet.
We have no firm plans, but in El Nido we hope to snorkel and maybe learn to scuba dive, and go kayaking, island hopping and trekking.

Tour Operator

We haven’t booked a tour operator to sponsor our trips in El Nido. If you’d like to be featured on our websites, please feel free to contact me.


We haven’t booked accommodations in El Nido yet. If you’d like to be featured on our websites, please feel free to contact me.

Days 30 – 31

Sadly return to Manila to catch our flight home.

We’d especially like to thank for helping us to arrange our accommodations at the Where 2 Next Hostel (affiliate link) and the House of Rose (affiliate link).

Lead photo by chooyutshing on Flickr.

Every week we hand-pick the best deals from around the web and deliver you up to 80% off your favorite brands like Patagonia, North Face, and Arc'teryx

14 thoughts on “Adventures in the Philippines Pt. 1: The Itinerary”

  1. Hello Matt! Found out from nomadicchick that you guys are here in the Philippines 😀 I’ll be in Cebu on December 10-15. Just send me an email just in case you’d like to go to Cebu, which is just one hour ferry ride from Bohol or maybe I can catch you when you’re back here in Manila! 😀 Alex of CSFT went here too and we explored Batad, Banaue and Pangasinan. Hope you have much fun here in my beloved country 😀

  2. Hey guys,

    Matt and I are spending 3 weeks in the Philippines from the 24th Jan so i look forward to reading about your adventures. We have very sketchy plans so far but swimming with Whale sharks on my birthday is top of the list 🙂 Have fun!

    • Hey Deborah,

      Feel free to email me if you want any tips or advice. I’ve been here twice before, and have still learned a ton about traveling in the country on this trip. I’d be happy to help if you have any questions.

      I’ll be on either Palawan or Luzon on the 24th. If you want to try and meet up, drop me a line when you arrive!

  3. I am on month 17 of my nomadic lifestyle around the globe and will be planning the Phillipines sometime this year. Which accommodations did you like the best in Manila? What are your recommendations?


    • Hey Chrissy. In Manila I would definitely recommend Where2Next hostel. You can find it by Googling it. You will also find a link in one of my upcoming stories. I’ve been super busy since I let the Phils, but I’ll be writing a series about all of the stuff that I did there soon. Stay tuned! I did some awesome stuff (UNESCO World Heritage Sites, remote tribes, swimming with sharks, etc.)

  4. Hi Matt, did you go to El Nido in the end? Trying to find your experience on that but couldn’t find it in this blog. Looking at the pictures I’ve browsed around the Internet, it looks positively amazing and is definitely on my wish list among the options for my next holiday, but the thought of having to do long commuting just to get there is kinda off-putting. Is it worth it? Or perhaps would it be better to settle for one of the beaches directly accessible from the Puerto Princessa area?

    • Hi Andrew,

      I haven’t been to El Nido. A storm prevented me from getting there.

      It’s hard to suggest just one destination in the Philippines because the country is so diverse and each place is amazing in its own way.

      But, I would say that if you visit Palawan, you really should try to get up to El Nido. It’s like nowhere else.

      I hope this helps!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.