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Manila isn’t just a city—it’s a living, breathing history book. From enduring centuries of Spanish influence to surviving the ravages of World War II, it’s a place where every corner tells a story. And right at the heart of these tales are the majestic churches that have stood the test of time.
These churches in Manila are a testament to the city’s heritage and cultural significance. If you’re curious to unravel the stories behind these iconic landmarks, let this guide take you on a virtual tour to explore the stunning churches of Manila.
Manila’s 6 Most Famous and Historical Churches You Need to See
Manila is one of the country’s most culturally rich places, as seen through the centuries of history in the city. Take a glimpse into the capital’s past with the list of churches to visit in Manila.
1. Santisimo Rosario Parish

Within Manila’s vibrant University Belt, the Santisimo Rosario Parish stands as a spiritual cornerstone amidst the vibrant energy of the city, located within the esteemed University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Founded in 1611, UST boasts a legacy steeped in tradition, serving as a cradle of academic excellence and heritage. For travelers who want to discover Manila’s diverse landscapes, Santisimo Rosario Parish is a perfect place to start before exploring the surrounding universities.
As you step into the hallowed halls of the university and its adjoining parish, prepare to be greeted by architectural splendor with a profound sense of olden days and tradition. Whether attending a solemn mass or simply marveling at the magnificence of UST’s iconic structures, the Santisimo Rosario Parish offers a serene sanctuary within the hustle and bustle of Manila.
2. Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (San Sebastian Church)


The Basilica Menor de San Sebastian could be one of the best churches in Manila for its architectural ingenuity. It stands proudly as the only all-steel church in Asia with a timeless Gothic-inspired design characterized by soaring spires, intricate steelwork, and breathtaking stained glass windows that mesmerize visitors.
Despite facing challenges, the church is a testament to human perseverance and creativity. Together with its story, the San Sebastian Church presents a unique blend of form and function, solidifying its place as a landmark in the heart of Manila.
3. National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno (Quiapo Church)

Officially known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, this iconic basilica draws thousands of followers and devotees yearly—especially on its feast day or The Traslacion, where they pay homage to the revered Black Nazarene as it’s paraded around the capital.
Architect Juan Nakpil, a National Artist of the Philippines, crafted the church’s plan in the 1930s following a fire that damaged its predecessor. The result is a majestic structure featuring a spacious dome and two imposing belfries that stand as testaments to the church’s architectural grandeur.
Beyond its religious importance, Quiapo Church exudes a unique folk character, active with devotees and street peddlers outside its walls. Its quaint aura has inspired generations of artists, poets, and filmmakers as it encapsulates the essence of Manila as a busy city with a rich past.
4. National Shrine of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz (Binondo Church)

Originally named Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, the Binondo Church is a beautiful church in Binondo, Manila. It holds a special place in the hearts of the Filipino-Chinese community, as masses are conducted in Filipino, English, Hokkien, and Mandarin to reflect the diverse culture of its devotees.
Moreover, Binondo Church attracts not only local parishioners but also food enthusiasts who frequent the nearby restaurants for a Binondo food crawl. 
As part of the largest and oldest Chinatown in the world, Binondo offers a culinary adventure like no other, with its array of delectable dishes and culinary delights waiting to be savored. So, make sure to plan your day and enjoy the sights and sounds of Binondo’s streets.
5. The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)

The Manila Cathedral started as a modest parish built from nipa and bamboo. Today, it’s one of the most historical churches in Manila that has weathered centuries of trials and triumphs, emerging as a symbol of faith in the heart of the walled city of Intramuros.
The cathedral’s story is woven with tales of destruction and reconstruction. Despite facing massive earthquakes and devastation during World War II, it proves to be stronger than its origins. Through centuries, it stands as a paragon of hope and resilience, with each reconstruction serving as a reminder of the indomitable spirit that continues to thrive within its sacred walls.
6. The Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation and Cincture (San Agustin Church)

San Agustin Church is one of the oldest and most famous churches in Manila. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site—standing as a piece of the city’s past within the walls of Intramuros.
Dating back centuries, its Baroque architecture captures the attention of its visitors. Once you step inside, you’re immediately greeted by intricate trompe l’oeil ceilings and a high Baroque altar—each telling a story of devotion and legacy.
The San Agustin Church also holds tales of traditional significance as the final resting place of Manila’s founder, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, serving as a reminder of the city’s colonial past.
Explore Manila’s Cultural Treasures
The churches in Manila are proof of the city’s enduring grandeur and resilience. All easily take their visitors on a journey through time and faith. From the iconic Manila Cathedral to the steel marvel of San Sebastian Church, each holds a piece of Manila’s vibrant history now embedded in city streets and lingering within the city walls.
Now, it’s your turn to explore! With Go Hotels’ affordable and convenient locations in Manila, you’re just a short ride away from the variety of church attractions and cultural treasures in the vicinity. Go Hotels stands out as one of the nearest, if not the nearest, best value hotel options for your stay, offering comfort and accessibility to enhance your exploration experience.
Don’t miss out on our exclusive promos and packages! Book your room in one of the most affordable hotels in the Philippines and start planning your adventure! Contact us today to learn more.
Bacolod City is known for its culinary treasure, a dish that tantalizes taste buds and draws enthusiasts from far and wide: the chicken inasal. This beloved delicacy is more than just a barbecued meal. It’s a flavorful masterpiece crafted with a unique blend of marinade and grilling technique, setting it apart from other dishes.
Unlike its counterparts elsewhere, the best Bacolod chicken inasal boasts a distinctive taste that captures the essence of Filipino cuisine. Eager to know more about Bacolod’s specialty dish and culinary scene? Check out this guide on the best chicken inasal in Bacolod City to see what it’s all about.
History and Culture of Chicken Inasal
Chicken inasal is a famous dish in the Visayan region. The term “inasal” originates from the Hiligaynon language, which means “to roast” or “to grill.” Chicken pieces are marinated in a flavorful mixture of vinegar, calamansi juice, garlic, lemon grass, and annatto oil before being grilled over hot coals. 
According to sources, the earliest mention of chicken inasal was in Felix Laureano’s photobook “Recuerdos de Filipinas,” published in 1895. In his photobook, one of the pictures of a Calenderia showed inihao nga manuc (translated as grilled or roasted chicken) on its menu. 
In the 1970s, inasal became a popular “fast food” in Bacolod City. Commuters and public transport drivers who passed through the city’s plaza would eat this dish on the go. It’s a meal that’s easily accessible since many restaurants and food stalls serve it.
Due to its cultural significance, Bacolod City announced chicken inasal as its cultural property last November 2022. Deeply ingrained in the local culture, chicken inasal is often served during festivals, celebrations, and everyday meals. In fact, the city’s MassKara Festival—a vibrant celebration of music and dance—is incomplete without the sizzling skewers of chicken inasal gracing the streets.
Best Places to Eat Chicken Inasal in Bacolod City
Bacolod City is home to the best chicken inasal. Complete your tourist visit to this city by dropping by Manokan Country for authentic chicken inasal dishes. This bustling complex of stalls is just along Father M. Ferror St., across SM City Bacolod. 
Getting hungry? Grab some chicken inasal from these restaurants in the city—Manokan Country and beyond.
1. Aida’s Chicken
Address: Fr. M. Ferrero St., Manokan Country, Bacolod City
Aida’s Chicken restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, renowned for its succulent chicken inasal. Their signature inasal dish boasts a secret marinade that infuses the meat with a delectable flavor, giving it its prestige as one of the best inasal in Bacolod. Their prices are also budget-friendly, which means you can have a satisfying meal without breaking the bank. 
Besides having one of the best chicken inasal in Bacolod City, Aida’s Chicken also offers other grilled dishes, such as isaw (chicken intestines) and batikulon (gizzard). These, including their tasty chicken inasal, are best paired with garlic rice, chicken oil, and their dipping vinegar.
2. Nena’s Beth Inasal
Address: Fr. M. Ferrero St., Manokan Country, Bacolod City

 
For an authentic taste of Bacolod City’s culinary heritage, Nena’s Beth Inasal is your best bet. This cozy eatery prides itself on using traditional recipes passed down through generations, which gives diners an unforgettable dining experience. The place's ambiance also exudes warmth and hospitality, making diners feel right at home. 
On top of their chicken inasal, they also have seafood options for those who want to have a taste of the sea!
3. Masskara Chicken
Address: B.S. Aquino Dr., Bacolod City


Named after the MassKara Festival, this chicken inasal restaurant captures the festive spirit of the city in every bite. Their chicken inasal, marinated and grilled to juicy perfection, is a crowd favorite. 
Masskara Chicken has multiple branches around Bacolod. It has one near a budget hotel in the city, Go Hotels. So if you’re staying here, you can get to taste their flavorsome chicken inasal with no hassle. Besides chicken inasal, they also serve other mouthwatering dishes like sisig, seafood, pancit, and some sweet desserts. 
4. Nena’s Rose Inasal
Address: Hernaez St., Bacolod City
In the list of Bacolod City’s best chicken inasal, this restaurant is family-owned and passed down for three generations. Nena’s Rose Inasal is a charming eatery known for its homestyle cooking and generous portions. They serve a tasty selection of chicken inasal in different pieces, including pechopak (chicken breast), isol (chicken butt), and pak-pak (chicken wings).
In addition to their chicken inasal, visitors can also try their Cansi soup and fresh oysters dipped in vinegar sauce.
Tips on How to Enjoy Chicken Inasal Like a Local
Typically, chicken inasal is served on a banana leaf with a side of steamed or garlic rice and dipping sauces like vinegar, giving it a presentation as delightful as the dish itself. You can enjoy it as is or eat the meal like a local and be one with the city’s culture.
Here’s a traveler’s guide on how to enjoy chicken inasal Bacoleño-style.
1. Enjoy chicken inasal kamayan style 
The best chicken inasal dishes in Bacolod City deserve to be eaten in a delicious style. And what better way to do so than eating with your hands like a traditional Filipino? Hold the chicken firmly and dip it generously in your sauce of choice. Then, relish the harmony of flavors as you mix the rice with the chicken oil for a truly authentic experience.
2. Savor the meal using utensils
If you prefer a more conventional approach, you can use utensils to grab every piece of meat from your chicken inasal. Cut the chicken into manageable pieces and dig in, but be mindful of its piping-hot temperature to avoid burning your mouth. Take your time to savor each bite and allow the flavors to unfold.
3. Pair your chicken inasal with other dishes and drinks
Elevate your dining experience by pairing chicken inasal with complementary dishes and beverages. You can also enhance the flavors with sinamak vinegar and a squeeze of calamansi or order some fresh oysters. Wash it down with a cold beer or tropical juice for a refreshing contrast. 
4. Delight in various chicken inasal cuts
Chicken inasal isn’t just about the leg quarters. This delicious Filipino food has a variety of cuts and pieces that can give you a diverse culinary experience. Consider indulging in the wings, liver, gizzard, and breast parts, as well as a crispy skin for a symphony of textures and flavors.
5. Explore other dishes in Manokan Country
Besides the chicken inasal, try out other delectable dishes that the Manokan Country offers. From hearty soups like Cansi and Batchoy to sweet treats like Piaya and Napoleones, the culinary delights are endless. To help you explore these gastronomic hotspots more easily, consider staying in an accessible accommodation such as those offered by Go Hotels.
Savor the Taste of Bacolod’s Famous Chicken Dish
Indeed, the chicken inasal is an iconic dish that embodies the essence of Filipino culinary tradition. From its humble origins as a street food staple to its status as a culinary icon, the chicken inasal tells a story of flavor, culture, and community. Each bite of this flavorful dish is a testament to Bacolold’s rich culinary heritage. 
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Bacolod City as you explore their other delicious dishes, consider checking in at Go Hotels Bacolod. This Bacolod hotel not only provides value for money but also gives you the budget on your trip to do this Inisal food crawl. Situated in the city center, it makes it easy for you to visit the different parts of the city and get a fill of your chicken inasal. 
Check out our promos and packages, and book now to get our best rates. Contact us for more information.
Iloilo is well-known for their batchoy, a kind of noodle soup whose history can be traced back to the humble stalls of the La Paz market, thus the name, La Paz batchoy. 
Served piping hot, this local delicacy has warmed the tummies of Ilonggos since time immemorial. But while the batchoy that we know and love is still chock-full of miki (round noodles), pork organs, and beef loin dunked in simmering kaldo (broth) and sprinkled with crushed pork cracklings (chicharon), it has also evolved over time. Whether you prefer to sample the original recipe or eager to try new versions of the batchoy, here’s a list of places that will surely hit the spot.
1. Deco’s

While the history of batchoy is still up for debate, Deco’s is generally touted as the originator of the savory dish. Story has it that the first bowl of batchoy was served in a humble stall in the La Paz market way back in 1938. It was the brainchild of a butcher, Federico Guillergan Sr., who experimented with miki—a type of noodle brought in by the Chinese—as well as pork meat, pork innards, guinamos (shrimp paste) and the final touch, chicharon bits. The recipe has been handed down from one generation to another, and the market stall has grown into several branches, even reaching the shores of Manila. Called Deco’s after Federico’s nickname, the Ilonggos still can’t get enough of the original La Paz batchoy.

 


 

Our Own Version Of " LITE " Ilonggo Lunch ; #lapazbatchoy by DECO'S Iloilo City
A post shared by Antonio Logarta (@tonjmnl) on Feb 2, 2018 at 8:12pm PST



Deco’s is located at 41 Mabini St, Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo. Contact them at (033) 3327424.
2. Netong’s

If you conduct a poll on the best batchoy in the city, Netong’s would be among those at the top. While they have a popular branch in the heart of Iloilo’s new CBD, locals still troop to the original batchoyan (batchoy eatery) in the La Paz market. Topped with scallions and generous handfuls of fried garlic and chicharon, Netong’s La Paz batchoy goes down easy with bites of puto (steamed rice cake).


 

 
 


 



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Netong’s is located at Public Market, Rizal St, La Paz, Iloilo City, Iloilo. Contact them at (033) 396 2189.
3. Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy

Another batchoy institution, Ted’s has grown so popular that it has branched out to different parts of the country. Born in 1945, Ted’s has since served different versions of the famous batchoy. Instead of just miki, the dish is now available with different kinds of noodles such as miswa (salted wheat noodles) and sotanghon (cellophane noodles). And just in case you prefer beef, Ted’s also has 100% beef batchoy on their menu, which is just as delicious as the original pork concoction.


 

 
 


 



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Huhuhu, I'm crying happy tears right now! I missed you #Batchoy!!! #namitgid #wheniniloilo
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Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy is located at | Rizal Street, Lapaz, Iloilo City, Iloilo Province.
4. Popoy’s Original La Paz Batchoy

Many Ilonggos swear by Popoy’s, which can be found inside the Iloilo Central Market. Surrounded by bright turquoise-green pillars, the hot bowls of batchoy are served on long red tables with matching stools and benches, encouraging communal eating. People from all walks of life sit elbow to elbow, with a whirring fan to keep them cool as they gulp down comforting spoonfuls of hot batchoy. Reasonably priced, Popoy’s batchoy is homemade, and lauded as one of the best in the city.
 


 

 
 


 



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Walang sinabi si Basha sa sarap ng batchoy ni Popoy. #lapazbatchoy #ilonggodelicacy #wheniniloilo #iamiloilo
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Popoy’s Original La Paz Batchoy is located at Rizal St, Lapaz Public Market, Iloilo City. Contact them at (033) 320-1079.

5. Oishi Batchoi

How about batchoy with a Japanese twist? Concocted by Chef Benjie Garcia, aka Chef Benjie-San, it’s La Paz batchoy meets ramen. Thanks to more than 20 years as an Executive Chef in Japan, Garcia successfully infuses the flavors of the country into the Ilonggo dish. His version includes miso, egg noodles, and Chasyu pork, making for an interesting fusion. If you’re torn between ramen and batchoy, you know where to go!
 

いただきます。
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Oishi Batchoi is located at Ground Floor, SM City Expansion, Benigno Aquino Jr. Ave., Brgy. Bolilao, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
6. Inggo’s La Paz Batchoy

Claiming to precede Deco’s by several years, Inggo’s batchoy has been in existence since 1920. It has its own set of loyal clientele, with customers seeking out their branches in La Paz. A typical bowl of batchoy contains ribbons of egg interspersing with slivers of pork, with the tasty miki also vying for attention. The broth is light and refreshing, curiously cleansing the palate in preparation for another mouthful. With its light and filling components, Inggo’s batchoy is a meal in itself.


 

Inggo's Batchoy... #OriginalBatchoy! #namitGid!
A post shared by Dominic Rovero (@papadom08) on Jul 2, 2015 at 4:29am PDT


 

7. Lars Buko Batchoy

Anyone up for coconutchoy? That’s coconut + batchoy, by the way. Voted online as the 2016 Choose Philippines’ Best Fusion Dish, the Buko Batchoy is an innovation by Primrose Uy, co-owner of Lars Buko Batchoy. Original La Paz batchoy ingredients like pork meat and noodles are placed inside a freshly coconut. But it doesn’t stop there: coconut strips are added, and the broth is made of stock from bones as well as coconut juice—a heavenly combination of savory and sweet. Located in Mandurriao, the eatery continues to draw a steady stream of customers eager to taste their fusion dishes.
 


 

Coconutchoy
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8. Bayani Café and Resto

Can’t wait to taste batchoy? Don’t worry, you can order a hot bowl of it soon after touchdown! A staple in the Iloilo International Airport, Bayani Café and Resto caters to arrivals hankering for a quick fix of the flavors of Iloilo. Famous for their batchoy, the restaurant’s signature concoction evokes warm feelings of home, appeasing the appetites of returning locals.
Bayani Café and Resto is located at Iloilo International Airport.
While these batchoy restaurants are a testament to the Ilonggos’ love for food, you need to spend a few more days in Iloilo to really get to know the city and its people. Make Go Hotels Iloilo your home base. Just six minutes away by car from the La Paz Market, it’s a great place to start your food adventure from.
Go Hotels Iloilo is located at Robinsons Place Iloilo Complex. Cor. Ledesma St., and Mabini St., and is conveniently situated beside the Robinsons Place Iloilo Mall.
 
 
 
The Philippines has always been known for its gorgeous beaches, but it won’t be long before it reaches global status because of its cuisine, too. To better appreciate what makes Pinoy food so unique, here’s a list of interesting things about the country’s colorful food culture.
1. There’s no shortage of flavor.

Marinated in all sorts of spices for hours, Pinoy dishes like the famous adobo or the classic Bicolano laing are so thoroughly infused with flavor, they leave your taste buds tingling. No wonder they’re always served with rice. If you want to try this, you may want to consider staying at Go Hotels Plus Naga.
2. Each dish has a different story to tell.

Filipino cuisine is heavily influenced by many different cultures. From the Chinese came pancit (a noodle dish), from the Spaniards came lechon (roasted suckling pig), from the Americans came hamburgers. While these hybrid dishes have long assimilated into the Pinoy kitchen, they also give people a glimpse into the country’s storied past.
3. There over 20 kinds of noodles dishes.

Rice may be a perennial Pinoy favorite, but pancit is a close second. In fact, in the Philippines, there are over 20 types of pancit to choose from, with different cities having their own take on the Pinoy staple. Ilocos has the pancit batchoy, while Iloilo boasts of their pancit miki.
4. Duck embryos are considered a delicacy.

The balut is one of the most talked about street food in the Philippines. It’s a developing bird embryo that is boiled and best enjoyed with a dash of rock salt or spicy vinegar. Albeit very intimidating at first, eating balut is actually quite pleasant, and once people get over the grossness factor, they usually go back for seconds.
5. Desserts can also be a meal in itself.

The saying that there’s always room for dessert holds true for Filipinos, but did you know that a Pinoy dessert can actually pass off as a meal in itself? In fact, a typical Filipino afternoon is best spent with a cup of coffee and baked pastries like ensaymada (sweet bread with sugar and butter) or a colorful platter of kakanin (rice cakes).
6. Street food is for everyone. 
Street food vendors can be found almost anywhere in the Philippines—from the early morning vendors selling balut and taho (soft tofu with arnibal or caramelized brown sugar syrup and pearls) to small stall owners selling fish balls, squid balls, and quail eggs. And if you think that street food is only for the regular Juan, think again. These days, gourmet versions of local street food are sold in trendy restaurants as well.   
7. Heads or tails, there’s a Filipino dish for them. 

Filipinos have recipes for almost every part of an animal. A pig’s leg is turned into crispy pata, a pig’s face is turned into dinakdakan, a chicken’s intestines become isaw while its liver and gizzard become adobong atay and balunbalunan. Even pig’s blood becomes dinuguan. While these dishes sound like something you’d only eat on a dare, they’re actually quite tasty and are well-received not only by Filipinos, but also by travelers who visit the Philippines.
8. There’s always some kind of seasoning on the table.

Filipinos like playing around with flavor, as evidenced by the amount of sawsawan (dipping sauces) we have. There’s chilimansi (chili + calamansi), toyomansi (soy sauce + calamansi), bagoong (fish paste), spiced vinegar, and more. While Filipino food is already delicious on its own, these dipping sauces add an extra punch.
The Philippines has such a diverse food culture that no matter where you go, you’ll always find something new and interesting. Luckily, Go Hotels has over 14 branches in the whole country, so whether you want to explore Manila’s food scene or check out what’s cooking down south, there’s a Go Hotels branch that you can make your home. 
1. Watch a play.

If your idea of a good time is to watch plays and musicals, there are a lot of local and international theater groups you can get your dose of this art form from. The Cultural Center of the Philippines, Resorts World Manila, and Solaire are a few of the places (near the airport, too!) you can experience Manila’s theater culture.
2. Visit the National Museum of the Philippines.

Get acquainted with the Philippines’ rich history through its ethnography, archaeology, fine art, and natural history collections. Entrance is absolutely free! Have your photo taken with the Spoliarium, a must-view painting by Filipino artist Juan Luna; imagine surviving your daily life using only the cultural artifacts on display; or take a selfie with the various sculptures on exhibit.
3. Go shopping in Divisoria.

If you’re a multitasker, you can hit two birds with one stone by going to Divisoria. Immerse yourself in the culture and do as the locals do, and find souvenirs and gift items for cheap, cheap prices.
4. Go on a food trip.

There are a ton of places that serve great Filipino dishes. Whether you’re in a mall, at a hole-in-the-wall, or on the street, you’re guaranteed to find something delicious to eat. Our tip? Go for the crowded stalls—there’s certainly a reason behind those long queues!
5. Watch the sunset at Manila Bay.

Manila Bay’s sunset isn’t famous for nothing, so make sure that your camera or phone has enough juice to capture the magic that is the golden hour. While waiting for the sun to set, you can walk, jog, or run, sample the slew of street food available, interact with the locals, or simply take in the city’s color and character.
6. Visit Luneta Park.

One of the biggest urban parks in Asia has a lot to offer its visitors—local and tourists alike—whether it’s to stroll or people-watch, run or join various exercise groups, or even learn a thing or two about the history and culture of the Philippines. Some even hold picnics in this area, too.
7. Ride a jeepney or a kalesa.

Feeling adventurous? Hop on a jeepney and experience what it’s like to get around by riding the country’s unofficial national vehicle. You can also opt for the kalesa, a horse-drawn carriage if you want a more leisurely ride while sightseeing and visiting different spots in Intramuros, Manila’s oldest district.
8. Go on a staycation.

Of course, Manila isn’t just best experienced outdoors. After taking in the sights and sounds of the city, kick off your shoes and relax in the comfort and privacy of a hotel room. Both Go Hotels Ermita-Manila and Go Hotels Otis-Manila offer affordable accommodation to locals and visitors alike. Spend time watching TV, surf the net with their complimentary Wi-Fi connection, or get a relaxing massage. With the promise of a good night’s sleep ahead, you’ll be ending your day in Manila on a wonderful note!
Some of the greatest architectural wonders in the world were made in the name of love. There’s the Kodai-Ji Temple in Japan, the Swallow’s Nest in Crimea, and of course, the ever-famous Taj Mahal in India. In the Philippines, there’s no lack of people honoring past loves, and while tragedy is often the trigger for these grand gestures, what was built in memory of these old romances ensures that the stories will continue to live on.


 

 
 


 



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One such creation is found in the city of Talisay in Negros Occidental. Located at the heart of what was once 440 hectares of sugar plantation, The Ruins is exactly what its name connotes: the ruins of a love affair that was cut a little too short, and a bittersweet reminder of a bygone era.
Mariano and Maria
The story of The Ruins started with Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson in the 1900s. A young bachelor with hectares of land to his name, he had been living the high life with his wealthy friends when the inevitable happened during one of his trips to old Hong Kong. Mariano saw a beautiful Portuguese lady from Macau by the name of Maria Braga and was instantly smitten, so much so that he immediately sought Maria’s father, a captain of his own ship, and asked permission to pursue her.
Maria’s father thought that it was a wonderful idea that was seemingly sealed by fate—“Mariano and Maria” sounded like a good match—and in just a short while, the couple tied the knot and settled down in the young don’s vast sugar property in Talisay.
In the old days, children were considered every parent’s ultimate treasures, which was why Mariano and Maria punctuated their blissful marriage with 10 kids: Victoria, Rafael, Mercedes, Natividad, Sofia, Felipe, Consolacion, Angelina, Ramon, and Eduardo. Their happiness seemed never-ending, especially when it was learned that Maria was carrying their 11th child.
Things, however, took a turn for the worse.
An Unexpected Incident
An accidental bathroom slip caused Maria to profusely bleed. Since she was incapable of making the arduous carriage trip to Silay where the near the nearest clinic was, Don Mariano had his horseman fetch the doctor.
It took two days to get to Silay and another two to return to Talisay. The couple endured the long wait, and with every passing hour, Maria grew weaker as she continued to bleed. Sadly, time was not on their side; Maria and her unborn child passed away long before the doctor arrived.
Mariano was distraught, even more so at the thought that the accident could have been preventable, or that she could have survived it if she were treated right away. He was inconsolable, and the only thought that kept him going was that of his children. Willing himself to keep on living, he swore to immortalize his late wife’s memory by building a mansion in her name and for the 10 children she left behind.
The Construction of The Ruins
Working with Maria’s father, Mariano erected a beautiful palace. He sought the help of local engineer Luis Puentavella, who asked his son to oversee the construction, making sure that only A-grade concrete was used for the foundations and the frames.
Inspired by Maria’s ancestral home, the structure echoed European architecture at that time, with seashell patterns that showed the touch of Maria’s ship captain father. As an ode to his forever love, Mariano molded M’s into posts of the mansion, each row reclining and facing each other to symbolize their eternal commitment. Even the memory of Maria’s alabaster skin was reflected on the structure’s finish, a fine mixture of egg whites and concrete, giving it a marble-like feel.
The family left the house where the tragic accident happened, and moved into the mansion where Mariano’s family created new memories. Some children went away while some stayed and never married, but the mansion remained always open for any of them. The following years were kind, but the Second World War came and threatened their newfound happiness.
World War II

Fearing that the mansion would be used as a Japanese stronghold, guerilla forces were forced to burn it down. The enormous fire lit the sky for three days, reducing the hardwood walls and floors to dust. However, the beautiful skeletal frame of the mansion remained and to this day, continues to stand proud and tall.
The majestic remnants of one man’s testament to eternal love is what locals now call “The Ruins.” The site, which sits among well-tended greens and a calm lake, attracts many tourists on a daily basis, and Don Mariano would probably be glad to know that it is now a well-known wedding reception venue, where couples come with their families and friends to celebrate their own love stories.
It’s a must to pass by this heritage site with a rich backstory if you’re taking a tour of Western Visayas. Coming in by plane through the Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take one of the many available shuttles to Bacolod and ask the driver to drop you off at The Ruins, but if you’re already in Bacolod and have no problems commuting, you can take a jeepney to BATA, get down at Robinson’s Mall, walk to Go Hotels Bacolod, and take a shuttle from there.
Staying at Go Hotels Bacolod is also an option for those who want to explore the surrounding area a little more. Just 30 minutes away from the airport, we have all the necessary amenities for the smart traveler. You can also take advantage of our partner transport service, which will take you to The Ruins for only P50 per person. Talk about a win-win situation!
 
As soon as vacation season rolls in, people start making plans for out-of-town trips. But before they can enjoy a grand vacay, they first have to conquer that thing everybody dreads and hates: packing. To make it less dreadful for you, we've listed down five easy tricks that will help spare you from the cost of excess baggage and save you from a cramped bus, plane, and train rides.
1. Make a list.

Before you start packing your bag, it’s more efficient to create a list of things you need to bring. This way, you can pack faster and you’re sure not to forget anything. Making a list can also prevent you from overpacking. If a particular item is not on your pre-made list, reconsider if you really need to bring it on your trip. Don’t pack a lot of things for those "just in case" scenarios in your head because chances are, you won't even need them!
2. Pack ahead of time.

Packing efficiently also means having ample time to do so. Make sure you give yourself some time to ditch and decide what you will bring. Don't cram on the night before your trip to avoid packing a lot of unnecessary items.

3. Plan your #OOTDs.

Thinking of what you’ll wear before your trip will spare you from packing excess clothes, only to use three to four pieces over and over again. To make sure that you stay fashionable without the extra baggage, pack basics and neutrals that you can mix and match throughout your trip rather than bringing a lot of different options. Don’t forget to bring statement accessories such as hats, necklaces, and shades to spice up your outfits.
4. Wear the heavy and/or bulky clothes.

If you're afraid of the possibility that it will get cold, wear it during your flight or carry it with you instead of packing it. Also, you can also wear your hat instead of stuffing it into your bag for a chic airport look!
5. Pack travel size.

Toiletries and makeup can take up a lot of space, so make sure to reduce the number of items you’ll bring with you. A lot of products have travel size counterparts, so look for those instead of buying the regular size. But if you don't want to spend, you can always be resourceful and refill travel-friendly containers with the products you need for your trip. You can also fill small bottles to store hair products, lotion, and even leftover contact lens cases to store makeup!
Now that you're ready for that out-of-town trip, the next task is to find the right hotel to stay in. Go Hotels is an affordable and convenient choice for travelers who want a hassle-free vacation. See if there's a Go Hotels branch where you're staying here. 
This article originally appeared on Candymag.com
Modifications have been made by the Content Marketing editors.

1. Plan, plan, plan.

You don't have to decide on every little detail of your trip right now, but being prepared saves you time, effort, and money. For example, looking for accommodations ahead of time (and booking directly on the hotel's website) gives you the luxury of choosing the most affordable rates and getting the best deals. Planning, however, spans not just your itinerary, but also the things you would bring to your destination, like clothes, accessories, and toiletries. It’s best to plan months ahead of your scheduled trip, but make sure to be flexible enough to make changes as the travel date draws near.
2. Plot your itinerary on Google Maps.

This way, the information will be readily available when you need it. Study it beforehand, if you can. You can also download the areas you’re going to so you can navigate them offline, just in case there’s no Wi-Fi or the data signal’s poor.
3. Don’t expect it to be easy.

Having this mindset will keep you on your toes and help you react to circumstances effectively in case something happens. Have backup options for when things don’t go as envisioned, like when the resto you want to try won’t be open ‘til the next few hours or the train to your next destination doesn’t leave as scheduled so that you get to maximize your trip!
4. Be prepared for possible drawbacks.

It’s fun to be carefree once in a while (and it can be quite tempting to do so while on a trip!) but do not go #YOLO on the basic stuff. As much as possible, bring meds for headache, fever, stomach flu—you don’t want to be sick and alone in another place even just for a few days. When in another country, ensure you have all your travel documents with you. If possible, make copies of your passport and IDs in case of emergencies.
5. Be patient with yourself.

Give yourself time to adjust to your new location and the people in it. Instead of getting stressed over a few mistakes, learn from each blunder and chalk everything up to experience. These lessons will come in handy for when you go on another trip by yourself! And by then, you now know how to handle things better.
6. Be thick-skinned.

Whether you like it or not, you have to have some kapal ng mukha when traveling solo. You’ll need it to ask for directions, have your #OOTDs taken, and join tour groups to save money, among many other things.
7. Don’t reveal too much.

You’ll meet fellow travelers along the way and make new friends (which is great!), but for your safety, don’t tell everyone you meet that you’re a first-time solo traveler. In other words, don’t go TMI on them. As much as possible, avoid disclosing personal details and your destination plans especially when it’s not needed.
8. Keep in touch with your family and friends back home.

While going on solo trips can be fun, going home to an empty hotel room without anyone to share your stories with can trigger homesickness. Connect with your family and friends by sharing a snap or two—but remember not to go overboard!
If you're taking a solo trip around the Philippines, check to see if there's a Go Hotels branch near you here. Conveniently located in the heart of most major cities and neighborhoods, Go Hotels ensures that you have a hassle-free and comfortable stay at an affordable price—all the better to budget your remaining travel fund! 

CSAT