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Laguna boasts one of the most beautiful countrysides in the Philippines with a plethora of waterfalls, springs, seven big rivers and the lake from which it got its name spanning all of 90 hectares, making Laguna de Bay the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.
The town of Los Banos ("The Baths") has numerous resorts fed by hot and cold springs. Standing guard over the resort town is Mount Makiling, which houses at its slopes a botanical park, and the National Arts Center, a high school for budding artists.
The quaint town of Pagsanjan was the setting of the Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now." Its star attraction is the Pagsanjan Rapids and fall.
In the town of Alaminos is found Hidden Valley, which is actually a volcano crater. A number of hot, cold and soda springs lace a forest of towering fruit trees, tropical shrubs and flowering plants.
Also in Laguna is the historical town of Calamba where the ancestral house of Dr. Jose Rizal has been turned into a museum.
San Pablo City
In San Pablo City are found seven lakes. For a taste of plantation living, visit Villa Escudero. Here, bamboo cottages gird a river that flows into a dam.
A one hour drive south of Manila is Tagaytay, a city perched on a ridge. From the Tagaytay Picnic Grove, there is an unobstructed view of Volcano Island, a volcano within a lake with a volcano within a lake, which is the standard description of the 406 meter-high Taal Volcano, the smallest volcano in the world.
The heritage town of Taal in the Southern Tagalog province of Batangas features the largest church in the Far East, the Ionic-columned and Gothic-designed Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours.
In the southeast area of Batangas is the resort village of Anilao in Mabini town, the nearest scuba diving center to Manila. Anilao is also a jump-off point for island-hopping expeditions.
Also within Subic is a virgin forest where one can go on a 12-hour trek, visit a tribal village, and take a jungle survival course. Subic Bay is a rich hunting ground for both professional and Sunday anglers alike.
Clark, in the Central Luzon province of Pampanga, is the former homebase of the United States air fleet in Southeast Asia. A short hour and a half drive north of Manila, Clark is a special economic zone that has a recreation network which include an 18-hole golf course, an aviation school, a de-luxe hotel, and duty free shops.
An hour's drive from Clark is Subic, the 18,000-hectare former US naval reservation in the province of Zambales. Subic's recreation area includes an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding trail, firing range, casinos, restaurants, duty-free shops, bowling area, a bungee jumping area, and a marina complex.
Manila is the main gateway to the Philippines and is readily accessible from the travel capitals of the world. Traveling time to Manila from Hong Kong is an hour and 50 minutes; from Singapore, 3 hours and 10 minutes; from Bangkok, 3 hours and 50 minutes; Tokyo, 4 hours and 15 minutes; Sydney, 10 hours and 20 minutes; London, 20 hours and 45 minutes; Paris, 21 hours and 15 minutes; Frankfurt, 19 hours and 40 minutes; San Francisco, 16 hours and 15 minutes; Los Angeles, 15 hours and 20 minutes; and New York, 25 hours and 20 minutes. Philippine Airlines is the national carrier. Manila Clubs and Meetings
There are a myriad of organizations and groups available to residents in Manila.
Some popular groups among expats include: International Women's Clubs (numerous actively operating in Metro Manila. Most nationalities with a presence in Manila have a group-check with your local Embassy), churches - bible studies, charitable groups, business clubs, special interest groups, museum organizations, professional groups, sports clubs, Scouting programs, art and music groups. If you have a special interest or hobby, there probably is an organized association group waiting for you to join!
Social Clubs - A good variety, different nationalities and groups
Business - Chambers of Commerce in Manila
There are many organizations to get involved with in Manila. Here is a list of some of the social clubs, church groups, and sport and country clubs.
-American Chamber of Commerce in Manila Corinthian Plaza, 2nd floor, Makati City,
-Canadian Chamber of Commerce - Unit 1406 Antel 2000, Corporate Center, 121 Valero St., Salcedo Village, Makati City,
-European Chamber of Commerce - PS Bank Tower Makati City,
-Indian Chamber of Commerce Cityland 10, Tower 1, Makati City,
-Chinese Filipino Business Club 825 M. Dela Industria,
-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines Jacem Building, Makati City,
-Makati Chamber of Commerce and Industry H.V. Dela Costa Street, Makati City,
-World Trade Center Member of World Trade Centers
-Association WTCMM Building, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, Manila,
-ADB Women's Club
-Alabang Ladies International Group
-American Women's Club of the Philippines Makati Office
48 McKinley Rd., Makati, Metro Manila Tel: 817-7587
-Alabang Office Park Trade Center 1716 Investment drive
Madrigal Business Park
This Club offers newcomer's coffees, social evenings, children's parties, volunteer opportunities, domestic registry, monthly meetings, interest groups. (note: AWCP-South-is a new branch of the club supporting ladies residing in Alabang, Batangas, Laguna areas south of Makati).
- Australia/New Zealand Association
- British Women's Association
-Canadian Women's Club
-Japanese Association of Manila
-Latin American Ladies Club
-American Association of the Philippines
-American Citizens Abroad
Hands on Manila - A non-profit organization that recruits, educates, and coordinates a network of volunteers for diverse community projects within the Greater Manila area. Fostering the spirit of volunteerism.
-Museum Volunteers of the Philippines
-Women of Union Church Manila
-USA Girl Scouts
-Boy Scouts of America
-Additional Services in Manila
-Car Rental Hire Service
Giant Impressive Malls of Manila
1. Power Plant Mall
This mall has international class convenience and comfort to you. Most stores are for upscale buyers who are particular and can afford to be. But it is highest rated because you don't have to walk miles to find what you want, lots of dining among the shops but it came out on top. Some malls are laid out so you have to see walk by every shop to get in and out of a different door. Not so at Power Plant Mall. Parking is flat rate and reasonable nicely not garishly lighted, fast food and Five Star Restaurants. And it smells good too! This is a great place to while away a few or more hours in comfort and enjoyment.
2. Green Belt Mall
Ayala Malls has done a great job with Greenbelt 2, 3 and 4. Now with Greenbelt 5 it hit the jackpot. It has created lifestyle shopping for Manila's most demanding clientele. crowd. Greenbelt 5 is the place to eat with is its line of restaurants. When you Its big the epitome in big name brands. It is sophisticated wild and night with its bars and cubs, where all ages boogie the place be and be seen.
3. Eastwood Mall
Eastwood has features that are both different, exciting and inviting to shoppers. It features a WiFi-ready four-level shopping center that houses a good mix of local and international brands and world-class movie theaters It also hosts a unique line of restaurants on a park. The park has a lagoon and a giant screen on a high-rise building where the mall's announcements are displayed. The mall's interiors are refreshing, new and stylish. And comfortable l sofas on every floor give tired and elderly shoppers a place to pause and rest, relax, chill out while enjoying the live music played by any number of pianists. The mall' concierge staff, is the friendliest among the customer service staff in Manila. It is great to have someone with a smile by you carrying your bags, friendly chatting too if you are in the mood.
4. Trinoma and Mall of Asia, or Metro Mall of Asia, an Ayala Mall
"Triangle North of Manila", or Trinoma opened in 2007, but swings today. They flow in from the north part of Manila stop at the first quality Mall. This Ayala Mall is the favorite oasis and lifestyle haven for many now. The mall features multilevel gardens and fountains that give you a break from the concrete structures of other malls. It also has direct access to the MRT North Avenue Station, so easy transportation. Also it has the most number of dining places and coffee shops (three Starbucks outlets!) this side of the National Capitol Reigon. This is Northern Quezon City's most alluring lifestyle mall!
It is the country's largest mall. It may be the world's biggest malls depending on how you measure., It has the IMAX Theatre, with the largest screen in the country. And maybe more importantly interactive educational centers like the Science Discovery Center It also boasts the largest ice skating rink in Southeast Asia. Because of its size, the SM Mall of Asia is the only mall in the country with free transportation services that transport you, if you want, from one block to another. Yes, the SM Mall of Asia is the premier people's mall, the one everyone can enjoy and where all are welcome. It should be on every tourist's list of sights to see if not on one of the Seven Wonders of the World list!
5. Shangri-la Plaza and Robinsons Galleria
Not class conscious? He you may be. Shangri-la is upscale, quality shoppers, Filipinos who don't even thing, tawad (bargain.) Fewer people indeed with such quality goods and services. Shang, as the "kool," say, is the only mall in this side of the metropolis that houses Rustan's Department Store. It is located at the Ortigas Business District and connected to the MRT Shaw Station. So it convenient for commuters to go often. The mall also offers a flat rate parking fee of P45, less than a US dollar a day! Shangri-La Plaza is also a great place hang: upscale, wealthy, feel "feelthy" rich. And there are loads of coffee shops and fine restaurants. Even the mall's movies theater are the best in Manila, clean comfortable and not so crowded.
Robinsons Galleria was one of the first malls in the bustling Ortigas District. Through the years, Galle, as the regulars call it, has expanded its floor area to house more shops and restaurants. It is connected to two of the biggest hotels in Ortigas: Holiday Inn Galleria and Crowne Plaza. And it has free WiFi everywhere, don't even need to go into a coffee shop.. The mall it is beside the historic Edsa Shrine. And it is a short walk away from the MRT Ortigas Station store, one of the few places in the country where you can buy stuff for only P85. Maybe it is the "Cheap Charlie," in me but I love of Robinsons Galleria because I know can afford what I want and need and go home with money left in my pocket, at least "jingling money."