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13 Days In Philippines

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1. Posted by radd (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

radd has indicated that this thread is about Philippines

Im currently trying to plan my very short 13 days in Philippines and this includes dedicating 4 days for a Padi Open water course for my companion.

We will be flying in through Clark and out from Clark. Right now, Im considering a couple of different locations to travel. Please feel free to suggest any other possible routes.

Day 1 - Clark
Day 2 - Travel to Puerto Gelara
Day 3- 6 Dive Course
Day 7 - Travel to Manila
Day 8 - Fly to Boracay / Cebu
Day 9-11 - Boracay / Cebu
Day 12 - Manila
Day 13 - Clark

I could also substitute Puerto Gelara with Palawan or somewhere else. Im actually hoping to throw in Bohol or the rice terraces but I dont see how I can fit those in with that Dive course.

Is transportation from Boracay to Palawan nearer? Cos I do realised I seem to be spending quite a bit of time travelling around.

Anyway, any form of feedback is very welcomed..

Many Thanks

2. Posted by GingerFerrer (Budding Member 6 posts) 7y

instead of going to puerto galera, I suggest trying cagayan de oro. Try the white water rafting activities and zip line. These often come bundled up with your hotel reservation. Anyway, Boracay is something NOT to be missed when travelling to the Philippines. The rice terraces are pretty much out of your way. Or since you'd be coming in from Clark, you may also try searching for travel packages to Grande Island. Way better than puerto galera. :)

3. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

I don't understand what you mean by

"Day 8 - Fly to Boracay / Cebu
Day 9-11 - Boracay / Cebu"

Boracay is nowhere near Cebu. Do you mean you are flying to Boracay from Manila, staying there for 3 days then flying to Cebu for 1 day before returning to Manila? Or do you mean you are deciding whether to go to either Boracay OR Cebu?

4. Posted by radd (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

My schedule is no where from fixed yet, thus, I am considering between Boracay Vs Cebu for my last few days.

5. Posted by kayegougan (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

I would suggest you visit palawan over puerto galera. It's better by heaps and bounds! :)

6. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

On the Boracay/ Cebu thing, it totally depends what you are after. Cebu is the Philippines 2nd city so it is big, but not big like Manila. You can walk around Cebu quite easily if you don't mind walking a lot. But it is just a big city, but if you like cities then I would recommend it as it is a nice place with cleaner air than Manila. Boracay is obviously there just for beach holidays. I haven't actually been to Boracay before as it is a bit too touristy I have heard. I will try it one day, but I haven't made it there yet. There are so many great beach resorts in the Philippines where there are absolutely no tourists that are just as nice as Boracay (apparantly, but like I said, I haven't been to Boracay). For example Sipalay in Negros Occidental is an amazing beach resort. I have been there a few times and it is always very quiet. I was there in September and the weather was gorgeous and the beaches were totally deserted. It really was as you expect paradise to be.

7. Posted by wershwie (Budding Member 64 posts) 7y

If you want to maximize your beach trips while having that PADI certification, it might be better for you to head out to Bohol instead of Puerto Galera.

Puerto Galera should not be overlooked, especially if you're talking about diving. But if it's just about getting certified while checking out more beaches, then I think you'll be able to get more value in staying in Bohol. It's just a ferry ride away from Cebu, and should also be nearer Boracay.

Have you already gotten in touch with a dive instructor? I highly recommend my dive instructor. Just PM me if you want more details. Maybe your companion can already start some of the class sessions online so he/she can concentrate on the skills training and actual diving when you get here :)

Lemme know!

8. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

Quoting radd

Day 1 - Clark
Day 2 - Travel to Puerto Gelara
Day 3- 6 Dive Course
Day 7 - Travel to Manila
Day 8 - Fly to Boracay / Cebu
Day 9-11 - Boracay / Cebu
Day 12 - Manila
Day 13 - Clark

I personally think you are trying to fit too much into 13 days, Philippines is a bit harder to travel in than, for example. Thailand.

From Clark to Puerto Galera you are looking at around 8 hours plus travelling time on two seperate buses (which the terminals in Manila are nowhere near each other - think an hour walking and that's the distance!) and then boat. I wouldn't recommend Puerto Galera for a PADI course, the diving isn't that good there. The visibility is not great, my boyfriend has dived there and he said he has seen better when snorkelling.

Travelling back to Manila (this will take you 5 hours or so by boat and bus) to then get a flight to Cebu/Boracay for 2 days doesn't make much sense, you seem to be spending a lot of your time travelling rather than seeing anywhere. These are huge distances we are talking about, Manila to Cebu is about a 1.5-2 hour flght, the equivilent of the UK to Spain! Also bear in mind that internal flight can be changed last minute which can mess up your onward travel plan. We had this once where our flight was first cancelled, then re-instated, then cancelled and re-instated to the next day at a totally different time...all in the space of 2 days!

Your idea of Palawan, it's tough travelling overland between places, between Puerto Princesa and the north you are looking at a 12 hour bus journey one way on bad roads and a very cramped bus and there aren't actually that many dive shops located in Palawan for you to do your PADI.

With the 13 days you have you are going to be spending a lot of time travelling over huge distances, you will end up not seeing very much at all. Just my opinion!

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 5, 2008, at 5:55 AM by loubylou ]

9. Posted by radd (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

thanks for all the suggestions.

I realized that my initial route totally did not make sense, thus, I had revamp my routes.

I planned to go to Manila-Bohol (for diving) - Cebu for a day trip - Boracay - Manila.

I guess this might make a little more sense. I will probably amend my tickets for a 2 days extension.

Hopefully this makes more sense.
=)