Things to do in Manila
Breathe deep on a mountain biking trail
For some fresh air away from the city, take two-wheels off-road at La Mesa Nature Reserve. Demanding trails through forests and invigorating lakeland scenery is guaranteed to induce lactic acid in even the most hardened mountain bikers. Cycle hire and tours can be organised from Beyond Outdoors (tel: +63 9 1783 81624; www.beyondoutdooradventures.com).
Find the floodlit fairways with a round of night golf
It's surprising to discover that an 18-hole golf course exists in the heart of historic Manila, but adjacent to the ancient Fort Santiago, down by the River Pasig, is a par-66, 4,326-yard course. Club Intramuros Golf Course (tel: +63 2 527 6613) is also floodlit, so golfers can shoot birdies long into the night.
Hike high into the volcanic peaks of Luzon Island
Whilst Lake Taal is an easy half-day walk, even experienced hikers will find Mount Makiling a lung-heaving challenge. The trail commences at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, passes through tropical forests and mud pools, before the summit. Provisions and a tent are needed for this serious two-day undertaking; ask Trail Adventours (tel: +63 2 802 3401; www.trailadventours.com).
Make a splash with a white-water raft ride
Shoot the rapids at Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna, approximately 90km (56 miles) south of Manila. This beautiful natural area possesses one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines, where bamboo rafts can take visitors into the falls. Adventurers should arrive via a white-water rafting trip. Book with an accredited tour operator from the tourist office inside Pagsanjan's Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church.
Skate through a shopping mall
Where does one find the largest international Olympic-sized ice-skating rink in South East Asia? Inside a Manila shopping mall, of course. The ice rink is located in the SM Mall of Asia (www.smskatingrink.com) in Pasay City, and open skating day passes are great value. Lessons available for novices.