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Anybody been to the Philippines?

This is a discussion on Anybody been to the Philippines? within the Travel Forum forums, part of the Non Cigar Related Specialty Forums category; Been thinking on going on a solo trip for a while when I saw an add for the Philippines. Anyone ...

  
  1. #1

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Been thinking on going on a solo trip for a while when I saw an add for the Philippines. Anyone want to chime in about their experiences there? What to expect or where to go and such?

    They used to make excellent mild cigars but the industry has since fallen into the doldrums.
    Every hand is a winner and every hand is a loser.

  2. #2

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cigar Guru View Post
    Been thinking on going on a solo trip for a while when I saw an add for the Philippines. Anyone want to chime in about their experiences there? What to expect or where to go and such?

    They used to make excellent mild cigars but the industry has since fallen into the doldrums.
    I know this is a bit of a necro-post but I thought I would chime in anyway. I just moved back to Texas from Philippines and will be going back again in a month or two. It really is a beautiful place filled with many different cultures and sights. Banaue, Palawan, Isla Gigantes, Negros, Bohol, Subic/Olongappo (for the dolphin/whale swimming and petting a tiger!), Cebu (swimming with whales and whale sharks), and Boracay for the party scene and easy tourist fun would all be on my shortlist of places to go. It's a really beautiful country with quite a bit to see. Nearly every island has beautiful beaches and pristine water so don't feel like there is any one you need to check out. Let me know if you have any more questions, I would be more then happy to help out any way I can. Heck, if I am back there (I will be there for at least 3 months) I would be more then happy to burn one down over a cold whisky with you!

  3. #3

    Puffer Fish with many spikes tnlawyer's Avatar


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    I've been there 3 times in the past 5 years and have always enjoyed my time there. Lots of places to go, things to do, etc. Depending on what you're looking for, there are some good forums out there that have a ton of information.
    A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain

  4. #4

    Young Puffer Fish nelldog1's Avatar


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Been there five or six times over the past five years for business trips. People are friendly and helpful. Parts of the country are very nice but there is also a lot of visible poverty and the living conditions of some of the people brought a few if my coworkers to tears. Always busy with work while visiting so I haven't seen any of the tourist areas. Our expats are very happy to spend time there and take advantage of the beaches and diving.

  5. #5

    Leading Puffer Fish sjcruiser36's Avatar


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    I think dmanuel has the most information that I have seen so far with experience with the Philippines. I was there last Spring for a few weeks. We stayed in the Alabong Area, and and hit all the tourist spots in and around Manila. I didn't smoke back then, so I have no idea where to get cigars from, etc., and those with me or who I met only smoked regular or infused cigarettes. I may be going back late Spring or early Winter, but will probably take smokes with me, or pickup a few boxes at Dubai Duty Free.

  6. #6

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Stay away from Kipling's Cigar Bar in Mandarin Oriental (Makati) unless you are looking for overpriced and soggy cigars. The RH had to have been in the mid 70's. My next place to try when I am in Manila (for Christmas) is Tabaqueria de Filipinas in San Pedro, Laguna. This place makes their own cigars and also sells some ISOM's. If you don't have the time to make it out there you can stop by Kultura Filipino in SM Makati, they have a little booth selling their cigars and sometimes someone there is rolling some.

  7. #7

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Since I'm Filipino (born there, raised in NY) I go back every year. Sometimes I hang out at Cafe Havana (bar/restaurant) and smoke a cigar (of my own) and have several cold beers (San Mig Light) or mojito depending on my mood. LOTS of girls to talk to especially at night and on weekends... hence the reason I like hanging out there, lol. Only one time I picked out a cigar from their cigar menu. I picked out a Philippine cigar (I forget the brand), but it was a torpedo. One of the worst cigars I've smoked (loose draw, mild flavor, dry). Or maybe I was just used to the sticks that I smoke... who knows? Since then, I always bring a cigar of my own with me whenever I go to Cafe Havana (located in Makati). Every year I go to the Philippines I bring a desktop humidor that I use as my travel humidor. It holds about 50 sticks. I used to bring a tupperware of sticks with me when I go on vacation, but I've always hidden it in my luggage in my hotel room. I decided to buy a decent looking desktop humidor that I would be proud to display on the desk in my hotel room... besides, I think it's better for the sticks than a tupperdor, right?

  8. #8

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Let me know when you're thinking about going. I usually go Oct/Nov and stay for 4 weeks. I get 6 weeks of vacation at my job, but I only end up using 4 weeks whenever I go to the Philippines. Next year I might use 5 weeks of vacation time. This past Oct/Nov (2013) a buddy of mine came with me to the Philippines (he only stayed for 2 weeks) all because I showed him the pictures I took from the previous year (Dec 2012)... that and the many stories I told him during that trip. After the vacation, he said it was the best vacation he's ever had. Now he wants to go with me every year, lol I'm already making plans for next year. I'm planning on a Oct/Nov trip again for 2014. But in 2015 I'm definitely going to be there for the Holidays (Dec.2015/Jan.2016). I always look forward to my annual vacation to the Philippines. Gives me time to unwind and relax with a awesome stoagie... and of course also to party hard!

  9. #9

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Pic of the pool at my hotel. Relaxing with a Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Piramide and an ice cold San Mig Light.

    Attachment 82345

  10. #10

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlipMo View Post
    Pic of the pool at my hotel. Relaxing with a Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Piramide and an ice cold San Mig Light.

    Attachment 82345
    Let me know next time you return. I might still be here, but no promises. I'm not Pinoy, but I've been living here for a while now. Spend most of my time in the provinces, Manila is just too big, dirty, and crowded for me. Not to mention expensive compared to other places.

    Where do you usually stay at? Sounds like you need to find your way over to Angeles City or Subic lol

  11. #11

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanuel View Post
    Let me know next time you return. I might still be here, but no promises. I'm not Pinoy, but I've been living here for a while now. Spend most of my time in the provinces, Manila is just too big, dirty, and crowded for me. Not to mention expensive compared to other places.

    Where do you usually stay at? Sounds like you need to find your way over to Angeles City or Subic lol
    I actually just made my airline and hotel reservations last night! I had to book my airline reservations early (9-10 months in advance) because I wanted to use my Delta Frequent Flyer Miles for my upcoming trip next year. With my miles, I was able to get a free (well, not actually free since I'm using miles to pay for the flight, but you know what I mean) round-trip ticket to the Philippines in First Class with Delta! Can't wait!

    The pic that I posted was at the hotel that I usually stay in when I'm in Manila. It's the Oasis Hotel at Paco Park, Manila. It's a nice hotel. Not too big as it's known as a "Boutique Hotel" since it only has 40 rooms and the hotel has only 3 floors (no elevator). The staff is very friendly and helpful. I get a good deal since I always stay there and I book my room for 3-4 weeks every year. I only pay P1,800 (which comes out to around $40) per night but it doesnt include breakfast which is fine by me since I can never wake up in time for breakfast.

    Last year, I visited AC for the first time. I've been going to the Philippines every year for 10 years and never been to AC until this past trip (Oct/Nov 2013). I was there for 3 days. I had a blast! Next year when I go back to the Philippines, a longer stay in AC is definitely in order!

    I'll be arriving in the Philippines on October 1st until November 7th (2014). I get an insane amount of (paid) vacation where I work, lol... I'm thinking about going to AC for a week during the 1st or 2nd week I'm in the Philippines, and then another week towards the end of my vacation. If you're still around during that time we should definitely meet up over a few stogies and drinks!

  12. #12

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlipMo View Post
    Last year, I visited AC for the first time. I've been going to the Philippines every year for 10 years and never been to AC until this past trip (Oct/Nov 2013). I was there for 3 days. I had a blast! Next year when I go back to the Philippines, a longer stay in AC is definitely in order!

    ...If you're still around during that time we should definitely meet up over a few stogies and drinks!
    Lol, glad you enjoyed yourself. I'm out of that scene since I am about to get married to a Pinay. I'm surprised you didn't run into problems in AC. Some bars used to not allow in any Phil-Am, only foreigners. Foreigners had their bars (usually on Fields), Phil-Am theirs, and Pinoy's their own. You usually weren't allowed into any of the others.

    If you enjoy AC, I would suggest you check out Subic. It's not as wild (and AC has toned down a lot compared to what it was!) as AC but there are still quite a few bars with a (un)healthy nightlife. There is also a pretty good Zoo where you can pet tigers and feed them and a marine park where you can swim with dolphins and whales.

  13. #13

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanuel View Post
    Lol, glad you enjoyed yourself. I'm out of that scene since I am about to get married to a Pinay. I'm surprised you didn't run into problems in AC. Some bars used to not allow in any Phil-Am, only foreigners. Foreigners had their bars (usually on Fields), Phil-Am theirs, and Pinoy's their own. You usually weren't allowed into any of the others.
    I actually got married in the Philippines many years ago. We're separated now COUGHbitchCOUGH, but we have a beautiful 4 year old daughter together. We're still friends for our daughter's sake and I still take care of my daughter's needs. I fall in love every time I go back to the Philippines. So many beautiful girls (I know since I'm pinoy unlike the foreigners who go for that "exotic look") that will actually care for you and not care about how much $$ you make or what kind of car you drive. My soon-to-be-ex was like that at first, but then I guess things changed and thats when our marriage got rocky. Oh well, it was fun being married and all, but it's even more fun being single and living the life in the Philippines!

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanuel View Post
    If you enjoy AC, I would suggest you check out Subic. It's not as wild (and AC has toned down a lot compared to what it was!) as AC but there are still quite a few bars with a (un)healthy nightlife. There is also a pretty good Zoo where you can pet tigers and feed them and a marine park where you can swim with dolphins and whales.
    I prefer the other type of WILD LIFE when I'm in the Philippines, lol... Zoos? Meh... I prefer AQUARIUMS, you know the ones in the KTV's? LOL

  14. #14

    Puffer Fish with some spikes


     

    Re: Anybody been to the Philippines?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlipMo View Post
    I prefer the other type of WILD LIFE when I'm in the Philippines, lol... Zoos? Meh... I prefer AQUARIUMS, you know the ones in the KTV's? LOL
    Lol I had a hunch that that might be the case


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