Always Summer in the Philippines: Hello, Manila! (tour update)
How do you start a much-awaited tour of a group of social media influencers to the Philippines (for the very first time)? Book them direct flights with the country’s pioneer national flag carrier! Our group, some of which flew in from San Francisco and Los Angles, indulged in exclusivity and of course the warmth of Filipino hospitality that is Philippine Airlines.
They arrived in Manila a little past four in the morning. And just in time for sunrise, the group took in some of the city sights such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines and of course the famed Manila Bay on their way to Kabila Filipino Bistro in Makati city.
The tour’s first stop is the famed Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park, the site where the country’s national hero Jose P. Rizal was executed. Carlo Lumontad, the tour’s official guide, was very knowledgeable and had delivered professional tour service. His comical yet professional style in providing information offered a more interesting experience for everyone.
The group continued their historical tour to the neighboring landmark of Rizal Park -- the Walled City or popularly known as Intramuros. There’s no better way to introduce this Spanish-era destination than seemingly traveling through time via horse-drawn carriage or kalesa ride as called in the Filipino culture. The ride took them around the walled city passing the ancient Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin, the Manila Bulletin, schools, and through roads lined by beautiful structures heavily influenced by Spanish architectural designs.
Soon as the kalesa ride came to its end, the group proceeded to a walking tour of the city’s historic fortress - Fort Santiago.
After some fun and learning during the historical tour, the group was brought to the airport as they continued the journey to their next island destinations – Puerto Princesa, Palawan,Bohol, Cebu, and Boracay.
Right after they arrived once again in Manila from their Boracay flight via Philippine Airlines, the Mango Tours transfer crew picked up the group and continued their way to the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig where a hosted farewell dinner awaited.
The group was given a warm welcome by the Marketing Department of Mango Tours at the Crisp on 28th restaurant. Together, they all shared a wonderful time over outstanding food selections, courtesy of the establishment.
The all-day dining café featured a selection of interesting, flavor-filled dishes from Filipino to Asian and European. Also, the healthy alternatives were a good option for those who were on a strict food diet. Having a group of individuals who had different food diets made the Crisp on 28th the best choice for their casual dinner.
Laughter, appreciation, and stories filled the night. And to show Mango Tours’ genuine gratitude and appreciation, the social media influencers received a diecast jeepney.
When the night was over, the group was finally able to check in at their official home-base in Manila, The Manila Hotel. Before heading to their own rooms, everyone had to bid farewell to the few who were flying out early the next morning.
The following day, after check out, the rest of the social media influencers continued exploring the last few stops before their flight back home. First was - a hosted lunch at Burgers in Brewskies in BGC.
With an innovative menu of not-so-ordinary burgers, beverages, and other comfort meals, the juicy, mouth-watering meal was a heavenly experience.
Once everyone had their fill, the remaining travel group members were treated to a much-deserved pampering at The Spa Wellness in The Fort before their 14-hour journey back to the US.
The first ever familiarization tour hosted by Mango Tours was truly a success! Apart from being able to promote the beauty of the country through some of the world’s popular social media influencers, it was also a harmonious learning experience for both Mango Tours and the participants. “From a learning standpoint, traveling with this crew of like-minded individuals remains invaluable. The trip evolved into everything from an open forum discussing all things social media related, to insights on future digital trends and even gadget comparison,” concluded Juan Francisco III, Vice President of Business Development and Operations of Mango Tours.