Manila tours and excursions
'The Big Binondo Food Wok Tour' by Old Manila Walks is a taste-tantalising exploration of Chinatown lasting four hours. Besides architectural background and historical context, the tour involves plenty of snacking. Dumplings and pineapple cakes are among myriad culinary goodies tried. Avoid lunch beforehand.Tel: +63 2 711 3823.
Intramuros, Chinatown and Quiapo are perfect for exploring on foot, and fortunately Manila has a new wave of guides bringing a level of performance art to their walking tours. Arguably the best is the theatrical storyteller Carlos Celdran. His fun-filled yet informative themed tours in English include 'If these Walls could Talk' and 'Living La Vida Imelda'.Tel: +63 2 484 4945.
The closest scuba-diving location outside Manila is just about Eagle Point Resort on the southern tip of Batangas, three hours' south of the capital. Day-long diving packages and snorkelling are available in crystal-clear waters around the offshore Maricaban Island where the resort has private use of Sepoc Beach. The coral reefs are sparkling and wannabe divers can obtain P.A.D.I certification.
Bagalangit, Mabini, Batangas
The last fallback for US forces resisting Japanese invasion in WWII, Corregidor Island was General MacArthur's headquarters until March 1942, when he withdrew to Australia and delivered his celebrated ‘I shall return' speech. The Japanese subsequently fortified Corregidor but lost it during an intense battle on MacArthur’s return. Nowadays, this paradisiacal tropical island off the Bay of Manila makes a fascinating day trip to see the island’s landmarks. These include the Pacific War memorial, artillery batteries and the Malinta Tunnel with its underground hospital and MacArthur’s HQ. Organized day packages are offered by Sun Cruises (tel: +63 2 354 7005; www.corregidorphilippines.com) and include boat trip, lunch, and guided tour. Day tours depart CCP Terminal A CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard.