City Guide Travel

I’m going to Manila and Tokyo!



I’m super stoked to be traveling to the Philippines for the first time with my sister! I’ve partnered with ANA (All Nippon Airways) and will be heading to Manila for a few days then to Tokyo as part of the “By Design” campaign, which highlights how the airline brings their customers service with intention and purpose. Back in college, a classmate once told me the nicest beach he’s ever been to was the one in the Philippines so I’m excited to check it out. My schedule is a bit tight so I only get to explore the Philippines for a few days but I’d love to hear any island suggestions if you have any. I hear Boracay or Palawan is the place to go, but I can’t decide which island would be better for us to chill and relax.
After Manila, we’ll be headed to Tokyo for another few days and I’m excited to explore the city this time. Last time I went, I wasn’t able to explore much so if you have any must places that I should visit while I’m there, please let me know!
Also, make sure to follow along on my Instagram , snapchat (@songofstyle), twitter, and Facebook for live updates!!
This post was created in partnership with ANA – All Nippon Airways. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of ANA.


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  2. So excited you are going to visit the Philippines! I’m actually going to Manila next month to relax and visit my family as well. I went to Palawan like 5 years ago and had the best time ever! The area wasn’t too touristy then, however we did see all the new hotels they were building near the water so I’m sure it’s picked up since then. We took a boat tour out to one of the smaller secluded islands from Palawan and it was PARADISE! The beach was so calm, pristine, and we basically had the place to ourselves. Also, the water was teeming with colorful fish – I actually freaked out a little bit since I wasn’t suspecting to look down into the water and see so many colorful little fish surrounding me!

    I’m sure you’ll have a great time no matter where you visit, can’t wait to see all your photos from the trip!


  3. You should definitely visit Palawan over Boracay. Boracay’s just too crowded and ruins the feel of relaxing under the sun, in my opinion.
    So excited to have you over here!

    – x

  4. Tokyo and the Philippines both sound like amazing places to visit. My favorite beach has to be in Thailand though. Can’t beat the pearly white sand and amazing food there.

    I’m a fashion and lifestyle blogger from NYC. Follow my stylish adventures at Also looking for bloggers to collaborate with!

    With love from NYC,

  5. MANILA REPRESENT! Add Cebu to your list! Wherever you end up, I’m sure you and your sister will have tons of fun! Just please don’t melt. LOL Temperature is starting to rise nowadays! We don’t have Spring here, we skip that part and go right in to Summer! Enjoy!

  6. Marivi says on March 23, 2015

    Excited you’re coming! My suggestions:

    Boracay: Discovery Shores or Two Season/Sur/White House if you want a more ’boutique’ approach. Fly direct to Caticlan (seeing as you won’t be here that long)

    El Nido: Entalula (El Nido Town), Dolarog (if you want a more rustic approach to the point where monkeys will start stealing your flip flops and/or sunglasses), or one of the ‘El Nido Resorts’ properties (if you feel like going lux). Make sure to take to take a direct El Nido flight via ITI

    Balesin (should you want something closer to Manila): It’s by membership but surely someone at ANA is a member and can hook you up. Stay at Balesin Village! Other options tend to give off a Vegas feel imho.

    Enjoy your time here!!!

  7. You’re lucky! That’s my hometown! Me and my hubby got married in Boracay 6 years ago and it’s the best island! I want to go to Palawan too to see the under ground river! Xo from colorado!!!

  8. You’re lucky! That’s my hometown! Me and my hubby got married in Boracay 6 years ago and it’s the best island! I want to go to Palawan too to see the under ground river! Xo from colorado!!!

  9. For when you’re in the Philippines, Palawan is definitely the better place to go for a relaxing time at the beach. Look up El Nido and Coron. :-)
    For Manila, go to malls such as Rockwell Power Plant, Greenbelt, and Shangri-La. I’m from Manila but I live in LA now and we definitely have the same taste in food, so I would definitely suggest these restaurants: Green Pastures, Mango Tree, VASK, The Wholesome Table, Your Local, Mamou, and 2nd’s. Enjoy!!! <3

  10. Cassandra L says on March 22, 2015

    I have been to both Palawan and Boracay. If you want to relax and enjoy nature away from all the hustle and bustle, go for Palawan. Between El Nido and Coron, I like Coron better. More beautiful beaches, shores and you will get to see more of the local life. It’s peaceful but still plenty to do. Boracay is fun as well, but add the party life, restaurants and shops.

  11. Akina says on March 22, 2015

    Shimokitazawa is the must go town in Tokyo. There’re tons of vintage clothes shops, cozy cafes/bars and you can never stop exploring this little lovely town. Have some Japanese craft beer or seasonal cocktail at They also have vegan menus and the atmosphere is just magical.
    Hope you’ll enjoy Tokyo!

  12. Erena says on March 21, 2015

    Tokyo places for you :
    Traditional coffee house / kissaten- called Chatei Hatou ( 茶亭 羽當), in Shibuya, they give you an antique coffee cup that they think suits your personality!
    Wander around daikanyama and Nakameguro for cute shops and restaurants and beautiful cherryblossom and more of a neighbourhood feel
    Go to Cat Street opposite Omotesando hills
    Go to the Nezu museum for beautiful simple architecture and a bit of tranquility on their garden after the hustle bustle of Omotesando
    Enjoy – it really is a great city i love it here!! Xs

  13. aww you’re coming to tokyo!
    I’d suggest Brooklyn Parlor in Shinjuku and Bondi Cafe in Yoyogi Urehara for super nice food in a relaxed atmosphere!
    Also, if you’re after some vintage treasures, come by at Vintage Shop Amore, just off Omotesando (maybe 3min from Chanel)
    But anyway, have lot’s of fun in the Philippines and in Tokyo with your sister!

  14. Hello Aimee! If you want to enjoy that island party experience, go to Boracay. I find Boracay too commercialized and crowded these days, but if you don’t mind that, Boracay would be okay. But if you would rather relax and chill, definitely go to Palawan. There are also a lot of tourist spots there like the Underground River, El Nido, and Koron. You can check out Cebu, too. We have a main city, but we also have a lot of beaches and tourist spots that are either a car or bus ride away. Cebu is mostly known for the beaches. There are so many places to go in the Philippines though. Hope you have a blast during your trip!

  15. Laurene says on March 21, 2015

    If you want a more relaxed, island girl vibe then choose Palawan. If you want an island where you can still have a nightlife then choose Boracay. But either way, they’re both beautiful places with crystal clear waters and fine, white sand. Enjoy Philippines! :)

  16. Heya Aimee!

    I adore your style! Anyway, being a Filipina, Palawan would be better if you’re really looking for a get away since although Boracay has its charms it’s more commercialized. So get one with nature in Palawan- specifically either EL NIDO or CORON.

    I do hope you enjoy our country! ❤️

  17. Definitely go to Palawan for relaxation!

    In terms of Tokyo – Meiji shrine, shinjuku, Omoide Yokocho, and Shibuya. Loved walking around Harajuku as well. Try Ichiran ramen :)

    Have fun and safe travels!

  18. So happy to hear about your Philippine trip,be prepared for traffic (super triple than LA on rush hours,Manila is congested even on regular days),I’m from Philippines few beach suggestions if you want a crowd and a night life plus white sand,Boracay is the place,if you want white sand lesser crowd,more peaceful try El Nido in Palawan,if you want to see the underground cave it is in Puerto Princessa Palawan,this place also has it share of white beaches,of Coron Palawan,but you have to fly to get there about 45 mins-1 hr. flight,,,Good luck have fun can’t wait for your travel diaries in the Philippines”)
    be safe.


  19. Kristina Marie Liscano says on March 21, 2015

    I’m from the Philippines but I just moved to Dubai a month ago. Too bad I’m not there to see you. :( But you’ll definitely enjoy your stay there! Have a great time! xoxo

  20. I’m glad that you’ll come and visit my homeland. I’d rather you go to Palawan. Really scenic views. But we also have Balesin Island in Quezon, if you like the Mykonos Inspired beaches. Or the Hamilo Coast Pico de Loro Nasugbu Batangas. Enjoy!

  21. Charyle says on March 20, 2015

    Wow sounds like a great plan. With a beautiful, quiet beach of white sand, and interesting activity program away from mass tourism, Pangulisian Resort in El Nido is a beach to visit!

  22. Go to El Nido, Palawan or Batanes. Both if you have enough time. Best places in the Philippines IMHO. I grew up in the Philippines and I’ve been around the country. Enjoy my home country.

  23. So excited!!! Wish I can see you when you visit the Philippines! would be better if you visit Palawan. it’s almost summer here and most people go to Boracay. It’ll be crazy. go to El Nido or Coron in Palawan if you can! Have a good trip! :)

  24. Geela Garcia says on March 20, 2015

    Boracay is great but I’d rather let you go to Palawan. It’s more beautiful and it isn’t commercialized. I can’t wait for your photos and I hope I see you around. I’m a reader from the Philippines!

  25. Sooooo Jelly!! My boyfriend is filipino but I still haven’t been there yet & Japan is my most favourite place in the world!! I posted a few guides & photologues on my blog but too bad I haven’t done the Tokyo one yet haha Hope you have an amazing time in both countries!


  26. Shane auch says on March 20, 2015

    OMG! I really hope to bump into you while your in Manila!! Will definitely check instagram once every min! ;) Vigan, Ilocos Sur is a nice place to go! The houses there really look vintage-y and the beach is nice as well as the sand dunes. Hope you enjoy!

  27. Tokyo! You definitely have to check out:

    *The Robot Restaurant (think medieval times with robots, it’s crazy town)
    *Tokyo Ramen Street (the basement level of the train station with 7+ ramen joints)
    *Shibuya 109 (department stores of my dreams)
    *Tokyo Sky Tree (gorgeous lookout over Tokyo)
    *Imperial Palace (rent a bike + cycle through on a Sunday, they close down a loop for the locals to bike around it)

    I also recommend renting a pocket WiFi device for around $10/day to stay connected so you can google directions etc. Email me if you have more questions! xo – Lisa

  28. Do NOT go to Boracay. It’s heavily commercialized and dirty. The water has been reported not safe to swim in.

    Go to Palawan. Fewer tourists. They take care of the environment and is focused on sustainability. It’s paradise.

  29. Ahh I love the Philippines- my Mum is from there. I’ve visited a few times and the places that stick in my mind the most are Manila (especially at night time) and Borocay Islands a personal favourite of my Mum. Her favourite place to stay is The Panoly Resort hotel- this always gets a mention whenever borocay Islands is brought up. I don’t remember Borocay Islands being particularly busy, in fact I found it a novelty that during my whole time on the island there was never more than my family and one couple on the beach the entire duration of our stay- so pretty secluded. I would definitely recommend going if you have the opportunity as it is a truly beautiful and very peaceful place and you will definitely appreciate the contrast after spending a few days in the hustle and bustle of Manila.
    Have a safe trip.x

  30. If you’re looking for a place to chill and relax in the Philippines definitely go to Palawan – El Nido or Coron! Hope you guys will have a blast! :)

  31. ahhh my home country of the Philippines…I’m so excited for you Aimee and can’t wait to see your updates from your travels..I would suggest to you Palawan since I think it has more natural aesthetic to it with all the caves and the lagoons which you can also visit by boat..Boracay is more touristic and busy but it’s still lovely nonetheless..I hope you have a fantastic time and can’t wait to see your posts about your trip :)