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Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
22 posts
Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

Dear Tripadvisors,

I'm planning a trip with a friend to Philippines at the end of October. To be more precise we'll most likely arrive in Manila in the evening on the 22nd and leave in the evening on the 1st. Our only set date is an event in Manila in the evening of the 29th, appart from that we are free to go wherever.

I was thinking it would be nice to have somewhat a mix of city/nature adventure and relaxing on the beach. What would be your recommendations for such a short trip?

One thought was to get an early plane on the 23rd to Cebu and go to Malapascua Island (for relaxing the beach and diving/snorkeling), stay there for four nights and head back towards Manila on the 27th (spending a day in Cebu City and arriving in Manila in the morning on the 29th), spending the evening and following morning in Manila and heading out to a beach nearby (heard they had dolphins near Puearto Galera) for two nights before heading back to the airport in Manila and flying home.

Is Malapascua Island the best place near Manila for relaxing and some diving/snorkeling?

Is Cebu City worth spending a day in? Is Manila worth more then a short stopover?

Is it worth spending almost a day traveling to/from Puearto Galera, are there better places?

Oh, and a bonus question, my parents are slightly freaking out when I told them I was planning to go (due to the current risk of typhoons, terror attacks and the political climate). Any tips on how to calm them down, are the risks really that high?

Thank you in advance for all the help you can give! ツ

Level Contributor
406 posts
29 reviews
11 helpful votes
1. Re: Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

the nearest place from Manila to snorkel and dive is probably Anilao in Batangas. If you are into macro/critter stuff, then Anilao is the place to dive. Some resorts can arrange a boat trip to dive in Puerto Galera from Anilao.

The Cebu - Malapascua route is ok. Great diving in Malapascua, but diving with the tresher requires at least AOW certification or a deep dive course.

Another alternative is travel to Bohol from Cebu. Diving and snorkeling is great plus, there are a lot more land activities.

Destination Expert
for Gambia
Level Contributor
1 836 posts
11 reviews
11 helpful votes
2. Re: Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

Regarding the bonus question, im from UK and i travel all around the Philippines constantly. The terrorist problems are only really apparent in the South, in particular the south of Mindanao Island. Politics - just dont get involved - be a tourist and you wont see anything to concern you (but keep away from illegal drugs)

Typhoon - if there is any threat you will get plenty of notice and time to make sure your safe.

The Philippines is a truly amazing country - go, enjoy.

BtW Malapascua is nice but there are plenty more options also. It's very peaceful there.


Puerto Galera...
Level Contributor
9 169 posts
27 reviews
65 helpful votes
3. Re: Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

I find Philippine cities some of the most unpleasant in Asia and I include Kolkata and Delhi but the beaches and scenery some of the best.

Puerto Galera is two and a bit hours by bus plus ferry, I would try and either set off later in the day doing a quick tour of Cebu then flying evening to manila getting an early morning bus from Pasay or Sikat from Ermita or an early morning flight getting into manila before 11.

Or Bohol / Oslob. Most people say dont fly to manila on day of your flight but if you have a late evening overnight flight from Manila then a morning flight from Cebu and then an afternoon going to Intramuros and 3 hours in a hotelsogo for a shower and rest is an alternative.

If the weather is fine I get the ferry from PG the same day for lunchtime onward flights ( 05.00 from sabang) but many are more cautious than me.

Level Contributor
4 posts
25 reviews
7 helpful votes
4. Re: Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

10 nights is a long time! You can do a lot within that span of time. Your itinerary though includes excellent choices! Cebu is filled with amazing beaches and accommodating people. If you're looking for a quiet time to relax in the beach, can't go wrong with Cebu as a choice.

But if you want to have tons of activities (party, drink, water activities, meet a lot of culture) to do while also enjoying the beach then look no more and go to Boracay Island in Kalibo, Aklan. Yes it's a little crowded during peak seasons but not in October! That's actually a perfect time to go to the beach, not too crowded, sunny but not too hot, a little rainy but it won't hurt your vacation at all.

Regarding your parents' worries about the security of the country, I'd suggest they won't believe all what the media feed them. Philippines is not a war-torn country. And only in the southern Mindanao (southernmost mega island) that there's a constant battling of conflicting groups. Security risk isn't to be completely neglected. However people in the Philippine islands are extremely honest people, I travel a lot and haven't encountered anyone who scammed me. However, you're a foreigner so I can't really speak for everyone in that matter.

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
15 900 posts
155 reviews
354 helpful votes
5. Re: Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

Boracay is NOT in Kalibo.

Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
22 posts
6. Re: Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

Huge thank your for all your kind help! I'm still going through all the information you've provided. =)

It might be leaning more towards spending the first five nights in one place and then doing day trips (I've seen there are some nice volcanoes etc close by) from Manila, it just seems like it would be a lot of hassle to travel somewhere for the last couple of nights. However it's really hard to decide where to go...

I've looked a bit at Tangkaan, seems nice but maybe a tad close to the south and a bit of a long drive? Boracay might be nice, but my friend has already been there and would like to see a different part of the Philippines.

Neither of us has an AOW-license, so Malapascua might loose some of it's charm there, are there other places on Cebu with nice beaches and things to do, maybe a bit closer to an airport?

I'll still have to look further into Bohol and Oslob...

Once again, a huge thank you for your help! =)

7. Re: Philippines trip in October, 10 nights - where to go?

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