What to Do in Manila
Manila offers a wide selection of adventurous activities, side-splitting fun, open spaces and underwater amazement. The appeal that brings hordes of visitors to the Philippines each year can too be found around Manila-Metro. Blessed with some of Southeast Asia’s best golf courses, many an enthusiast has been known to holiday here purely for its golf credentials.
A leader in the realm of spa and wellness, you won’t be stuck for controlled relaxation options. For those who enjoy the great outdoors, Manila offers great opportunities to get better acquainted with the Philippines' spectacular landscape, with many biking tours to choose from, using just one example. The undisputed stars of the vast archipelago are the azure shorelines and the tropical marine life that inhabits them. Put simply: diving is a must.
Manila Golf Courses
Being a business and commerce centre, golf is of course a popular pastime to many of Manila's long and short-term residents. Manila promises some of the best golfing in Asia, with courses designed by pillars of the profession – including Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Gary Player and Arnold Palmer.
Most courses are no more than an hour's drive from Manila. Green fees vary from the economical to the expensive and without exception the courses on offer are picturesque, well designed and maintained, offering the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of central Manila.
The big draw of this course is that it can easily be completed in two hours – perfect for an extended lunch beak. The building of the Club began in 1907, making it the doyen of Manila's flourishing golf scene. The principal challenge lies in the water holes.
- Location: Located along the walls of the old fortress city.
- Remarks: 18 Holes - Par 60
- Tel: +632 527 6612
Manila Country Club
One-time host to Shell's Wonderful World of Golf and the U.S. LPGA mixed pro-am that features the American Women's pro circuit, the course is comparatively shorter than most championship courses. The picturesque course is enhanced by the rolling terrain, and impeccable greens planted with Zoysia Japonica grass and tree-lined fairways.
- Remarks: 18 Holes - Par 71
- Address: Harvard Road, Forbes Park, Makati City, Metro Manila
- Tel: +632 815 2641
Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club
This club features two 18-hole courses designed by Jack Nicklaus. The Masters course is slightly longer than the Legends, and both are par 72. The Masters is punctuated by traps and water hazards, while the Legends is accentuated by high banks. Spread out over 420 hectares, the course has been designed to blend in with its unique terrain.
- Remarks: 18 Holes - Par 72
- Address: 1 Southwoods Avenue, Carmona, Cavite
- Tel: +632 430 0260
Manila Bowling Alleys
The Philippines is justifiably proud of producing six-time world bowling champion, Paeng Nepomuceno. Being heavily influenced by the culture of America, bowling is very popular in the Philippines.
Manila has some of the most architecturally and aesthetically advanced alleys in the world, worth visiting even if you’re not a bowling enthusiast for the sheer experience. Bowling offers the perfect opportunity to have some group fun, especially when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Celebrity Sports Plaza
- Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 12:00 - 23:00, Sat - Sun 09:00 - 23:00
- Address: Capitol Hills Rd, Quezon City
- Opening Hours: 08:00 - 15:00
- Location: Greenhills Shopping Center
- Address: Ortigas Boulevard
Biking in Manila
At first impression Manila appears as if motorised vehicles dominate the city. This is of course true, to some extent, but you would be wrong not to discover the many excellent bicycle tracks the city has to offer. The western slopes of Southern Sierra Madre offer numerous quality trails for mountain bikers. Ranging from beginners to the very technical, these trails are all easily accessible within an hour by road from Manila. A newly constructed concrete road brings you to the entrance of the subdivision where you can park your car, and from where all the trails and adventures begin.
Montalban – San Mateo
Montalban is a town situated at the northern extremity of JP Rizal Avenue, the main road of San Mateo. Its main assets are the Wawa Gorge. The five-river crossing trail starts at the parking lot where numerous and simple restaurants have set up for bikers.
The Philippines has been truly blessed as regards to its natural assets, from its mountain peaks to the depths of the ocean. Experience the rare and rich marine life of this country, while still being able to get back in the bright lights of the city before dark. The Philippines has been the dive spot of choice for underwater enthusiasts for some time and the country's standards of professionalism, safety and security are without question excellent and are still affordable. Popular destinations from Luzon include Batangas, a great firsthand introduction to the world of diving. Batangas is considered the jump-off point for both new and experienced divers to delve into other dive destinations. Most importantly, it is only two-and-half hours from Manila by car, making it the nearest diving spot to the city. La Union is the nearest research site, with wrecks from WW II. Water temperatures are 22 C - 25 C during the cooler months of December to March and 25 C - 28 C from April to November.
The Philippines has been truly blessed as regards to its natural assets, from its mountain peaks to the depths of the ocean. Experience the rare and rich marine life of this country, while still being able to get back in the bright lights of the city before dark.
The Philippines has been the dive spot of choice for underwater enthusiasts for some time and the country's standards of professionalism, safety and security are without question excellent and are still affordable. Popular destinations from Luzon include Batangas, a great firsthand introduction to the world of diving.
Batangas is considered the jump-off point for both new and experienced divers to delve into other dive destinations. Most importantly, it is only two-and-half hours from Manila by car, making it the nearest diving spot to the city. La Union is the nearest research site, with wrecks from WW II. Water temperatures are 22 C - 25 C during the cooler months of December to March and 25 C - 28 C from April to November.
Blue Rock Diver Centre
- Address: Baloy Beach, Bo, Barretto, Olongapo City
- Tel: +632 224 7802
- Address: G/F L&S Bldg., 1414 Roxas Blvd., 1232 Metro Manila
- Tel: +632 524 0867
Diver's Network PADI 5 Star
- Location: In front of Mario’s restaurant
- Address: 192-194 Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City
- Tel: +632 926 446
The Philippines is renowned for its relaxation, rejuvenation and regeneration properties through ancient healing knowledge passed down over generations. Nowadays, many high-end hotels and luxury serviced apartments in Manila have their own lavish in-house spas, where brands like Mandara or ESPA operate. These can often be the safest bet, albeit a more expensive one.
Outside of the five-star hospitality realm there are many different levels of spas for you to choose from, with everything from independently owned luxury operations to the more economical no-frills option. Spa menus mostly feature varied style of massages, body scrubs and wraps, facial and cosmetic treatments, herbal baths and aromatherapy.
Nestled within the Garden Wing of the Shangri-La hotel, the Chi Spa brings together the philosophy of a spa within a spa. Offering a sensuous list of treatments, from classical oil massage to the signature Himalayan healing stone massage, the Chi Spa offers the perfect answer to a hectic day in Manila.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
- Address: Edsa Shangri-La 1 Garden Way, Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City 1650
- Tel: +632 633 8888
This holistic centre is popular for the promotion of oriental healing traditions that cater to the body, mind and soul. The signature treatment is the Filipino traditional 'hilot', a form of deep-tissue massage using virgin coconut oil. Also offered are aromatherapy massage, Thai massage, reflexology, shiatsu, Tui Na, and lava stone massage.
- Opening Hours: Sun - Thu 15:00 - 24:00, Fri - Sat 15:00 - 03:00
- Address: 1829 Jorge Bocobo Street, Malate, Manila 1004
- Tel: +632 450 1127
The Suriya Spa is a blend of Asian influences that provide a sense of well being, renewal and rejuvenation. The ambience and mood of Suriya is one of tranquility and peacefulness, providing a sanctuary for relaxation.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 - 01:00
- Address: 6th Level, Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati City 1224
- Tel: + 632 728 8899