Travel to the Philippines – Episode 201

categories: pacific travel

Rice Terraces in the Cordillera - Philippines

The Amateur Traveler talks to Ivan Hernares, an award winning Philippines travel blogger, about his home country of the Philippines.


Ivan leads us on a virtual tour of the 7107 islands of the Philippines archipelago, starting in Manila. Manila has the walled city of Intramuros that reflects its Spanish colonial heritage as well as its Asian heritage in Binondo (its Chinatown where we can pick up some Lumpia or a winter-melon cake ).

There are inexpensive places for backpackers to stay in the Malate neighborhood.

Polish up your layup if you want to meet locals since the unofficial national sport is basketball.

Then we head south to the powder white sand beaches and nightlife of Borocay, the oldest city in the Philippines, which is Cebu, the chocolate hills of Bohol, and the underground river of Palawan.

We explore the rice terraces of Ifugao (a world heritage site) and the WWII historic sites at Corregidor and Bataan.

Ivan talks about unique architecture, such as the Philippine Baroque churches and the “vahay na bato” stone houses.

Ivan loves a good hike up Mount Pinatubo or Mount Pulag in the Cordilleras.

And if you go to the Philippines don’t forget to pick up some dried mangoes.

Traveling Soon? These useful links will help you prepare for your trip.

right click here to download (mp3)
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Show Notes

Ivan About Town
This Week in Travel
Intramuros – walled colonial part of Manila
Old Manila Walks
Backpacker’s accomidations in Manila
Philippines National Museum
Bataan Death March
Retirement Philippines
Cebu Pacific – low cost air carrier
Philippine Airlines


  • Unspoiled Nature in Shadow of a Nuclear Site
  • US Government advises technology executives to trash mobile phones after returning from China
  • Bad Experience with U.S. Airways Dividend Miles

Internet Resources

Miss Refund


Lyndon was appalled to hear “Cardiff, England”. Cardiff is in Wales and Chris is chowderhead.

Chris, thank you for featuring Wisconsin on your 200th episode. Christine did a great job highlighting the best parts of this state where I have lived most of my life. But there are a few things I would like to add:

She mentioned State Madison, the pedestrian-only street that connects the Capitol Square to the UW campus One of the reasons I love State Street is that you can easily find thowbacks to the 1960’s as you stroll along. If you are looking for a poster of Bobby Kennedy, Beatles albums on vinyl, tie-dyed clothing, incense, beaded curtains – or a rally to legalize pot or end the war, any war – State Street is the place.

Also, State Street has a colorful street life, not unlike New York City. In warm weather, merchants put racks outside, restaurants put tables outside, and the sidewalks are jammed. Even in cold weather, because of the high population density in the campus area and too-few parking places, there is always a lot of pedestrian activity on State St.

About Door County – Christine missed mentioning the 10 lighthouses, more than any county in the country. Most in service, some not anymore, some open to the public and some not. But every one is picturesque.

Lastly, she mentioned the Lake Michgan beaches, from Milwaukee up to Door County. One should not mention Lake Michigan beaches without mentioning the water temperatures, which range from still-frigid in June, very cold in July, and merely cold on the hottest day in August. Swimming in any of the Great Lakes is not for the timid.

Lastly, the colors of fall. Rivals the much-better-known colors of New England. And I have lived there, too, so I can compare!

Thanks for all your hard work. I love the podcasts, whether they are about the most exotic corners of the world or to my home state.


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

3 Responses to “Travel to the Philippines – Episode 201”

Benz Rana


thank you for featuring our country!
this couldnt come in a nicer time, the whole country is now in recovery as we were hit badly by flood last saturday.
thank you very much!



Thank you for featuring this show. I am moving to the Philippines, so I really appreciated hearing all about the things to do.

Rebecca Alitagtag


I traveled to the Philippines in 2009, it was my first real outside of the US trip (I don’t count traveling literally 30 minutes into Canada from Montana). Anyway, it was a great trip. I found the Filipino people to be friendly and happy people. One morning I woke up early and just sat on a chair in the house where I was staying. I could hear a man singing in the driveway, a radio playing down the street, and eventually I heard the street vendors as they sang about their wares. It was beautiful. I realized that while the material differences may seem great, the Filipino people have found something in life that many Americans miss… happiness.

Also, Ivan indicated that you can break the ice with the local people by playing basketball, you can also break the ice by just striking up a conversation or by singing. They LOVE karaoke. I attended many karaoke parties while I was there. I love that they clap for everyone, no matter how talented or skilled they are. πŸ™‚

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