I have never visited the Philippines as a holiday destination. My closest brush with the Filipino culture was when I was still a kid, when I still had my domestic helper around.
So when the invitation to visit the Philippines came, I accepted it with that thought in mind, and it turned out to be one of the more memorable trips that I’ve had (If I had the option to live there, Camella Calamba is on the top of my list)!
Together with other media folks, we set off from Singapore on Cebu Pacific Air, which operates numerous flights from Singapore to cities like Clark, Cebu and Davao. Our first stop was at Clark.
Clark in the Philippines did not spring to mind when Singaporeans talk about holiday destinations. However, as an adventurous soul, I like to explore places less trodden by my peers.
When I saw the itinerary to visit Clark, I felt like a child unwrapping a mystery Christmas gift with wide-eyed anticipation.
Located in the heart of Philippine’s Central Luzon region, Clark is part of the Pampanga province. It is about 4 hours’ flight from Singapore, with two flights daily from Singapore to Clark via Cebu Pacific. It is almost the size of Singapore, and it is packed with a spectrum of activities that cater to both business travellers and tourists looking to unwind.
For example, the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in February and Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul) in December are annual highlights not to be missed.
We checked in at Park Inn by Radisson Clark, which is just a 10 minutes’ drive away from Clark International Airport. It was getting late and we were feeling slightly worn out after the flight, but my senses were immediately awakened once I stepped into Park Inn. I was overwhelmed by the warm hospitality upon nearing the entrance. Dancers decked in vibrant colourful costumes smiled and cheered as they performed cultural dances for our enjoyment. And it was truly an apt introduction to the hotel – one that boasts vitality and vibrancy in its DNA.
I have long heard about the Filipina hospitality but this is further proven in Park Inn. You’d feel a strong wave of happiness washing over you as you step through its doors. The eclectic mix of colours and the excellent service provided by its staff attest to their “Happiness Guarantee” maxim.
In fact, if you are not satisfied with the service, notify them. And if your problem isn’t solved, you don’t even have to pay! I’m pretty sure they are taking their businesses seriously, because it pays to be happy, and happiness pays right?
So while the hotel itself had what I needed for a good unwind, I couldn’t wait to check out the rest of the city. Of course, it was only for a temporary stay, so I was more than pleased to find that the Carlson Rezidor hotel group folks had worked up an itinerary that allowed us to experience the essence of the city.
Next, we headed to Angeles City to explore other parts of Clark.
Singaporeans are well known for being consummate foodies. If there’s good food, our tum-tums are always ready. We got introduced to this Instagram-worthy eatery called 25 Seeds, started by Chef Sau del Rosario. I was already enamoured by the decor of the place once we stepped in, not to mention the delectable dishes served. Well, I should let the photos do the talking!
Though it was only a brief stay at Clark, it was definitely one that opened my eyes to the wonderful culture of the Philippines. Heartfelt thanks to the fabulous folks at Carlson Rezidor for the awesome itinerary, Park Inn by Radisson Clark for the splendid stay, and Cebu Pacific for our flight! Follow me in the next posts as we check out Cebu and Davao! 🙂
Park Inn by Radisson Clark is the second Park Inn by Radisson in the Philippines. It opened its doors to the public in December 2015. A 154-room hotel that enjoys a prime location, next to SM City Clark, a premier destination mall outside of Metro Manila. The hotel is 10 minutes away from Clark International Airport and centrally located in the city near tourist attractions, museums and historical landmarks.