Manila                                                                                                                            Return

I am not sure what to say about Manila. We have always had fun blading in Makati and Fort Bonifacio. But we have been warned, many times, never to go outside those areas – too dangerous – Criminals with guns, taxi drivers with guns, men with guns, kids with guns, just plain dangerous. We have been told the number one sport in the Philippines is kidnapping. And even in Makati so many would-be great locations – residential ‘compounds’ – are blocked off by private security and rollerbladers are not allowed in. That leaves the city streets, main roads, which as you can imagine are full of traffic and normally in poor condition. 

Fort Bonifacio though is a new business area, still fairly undeveloped and quite good for rollerblading. The streets are not too busy there, and are in still good repair.                                                                      Rainy day in Manila


Overall we have had a lot of fun, but also several big crashes, one involving a bus. In one crash I burned a hole through my right knee pad.

In Manila there are lots of residential areas where the roads are pretty good. The problem is you can not get in. They are guarded by private security and the seldom will let you in on skates. One area such as this has the power plant mall located in it. So the road to the mall is “open”. Sort of. There are guards on the road but they let cars pass. When we skate to the mall to see a movie or play paintball the guards always try to stop us. The road in the secure zone is a hill with the top of the hill right in the middle. If we can make it to the top of the hill before the guards catch us then we have it made, we can zoom down the hill, slow down at that bottom enough to do a left turn at the light into the mall.

Several times we have done this while being chased. Once we were chased by guards on motorcycles with sidecars. The guard in the sidecar was waving a shotgun and trying to ram us off the road.

Going back, they were hanging around, so we meekly went up the hill on the sidewalk (too small and too uneven to skate well on), until we reach the top then it was a hop over to the road, a turn and a wave back at the watching guards and down the hill.

The first time on this hill, we were just learning to skate and did not yet know how to stop. It was at night and the guards did not notice us. Up the hill we went, then starting down, faster and faster. We came up on the cars waiting at the stop light. Unable to stop or even slow down, we through ourselves on the asphalt, sliding on or knee, elbow and wrist pads. We slide so hard I burned a hole in my knee pad. But they work well, and saved me from harm. The next time we went down the hill we could slow down better and managed the downhill well, with guards chasing up. We have done the hill a few times now. It provides dual excitement, the stopping going down hill in heavy traffic kind, and the being chased by men on motorcycles waving shotguns kind.

Gabriel has a funny story about Manila. He and I were skating around Makita. It was hot and we skated all over. By the time we got back I was wasted. I always stay at the Mandarin Oriental (They now have Wireless Broadband access!!!!). We went in through the Deli. I needed to get some bottles of cold water. The plan was to have some water, and then take our skates off at the Deli before going to our rooms. I was soooo tired I could not lift my leg to take off my skates. So I said lets just skate to the rooms. We skate from the Deli through the fancy lobby restaurant that was full of people, out to the elevators and up to our rooms. (Where I collapsed on my bed until I could find the energy to get my skates off). A couple of days later Gabriel was at the airport when a guy came up to him and said “I think I know you, oh yea I remember you, you were that fellow skating through the hotel!!” Instant fame!!


Category Description



Road Surface

Describes road surface conditions


Lots of Suprises.

Road Conditions

Is there enough room for skating on the road? Are intersections crossable?


Not really. You have to make you own path.

Traffic Conditions

Describes level and condition of traffic. Is the traffic heavy, fast or erratic.

Heavy, I mean really Heavy.

Driver Attitudes

Describes how drivers react to and treat skaters


Not too bad. Generally they will leave you alone.

Danger Level

Describes overall danger of skating in this location. Everyplace is dangerous to street skate. Street skating means crumbling roads, bad drivers (or worse), air pollution and even nature. But some places are more dangerous than others

Tough. Be Carefull at all times.

Criminal Factor

How serious is crime in this location.

Were warned to be very carefull!!

Cool Factor

Is this a cool place to skate.

Reasonably cool..

Fun Factor

Is this a fun place to skate.




Are there sidewalks, and if there are what are they like? Often having sidewalks can be worse than not having them. With a bad sidewalk drivers may assume you should be using it - no matter how dangerous it is to use, and react very badly when they see you on the road instead of the sidewalk.


The ones they had were not that suitable for skating.


Any other conditions or issues that were found while skating here




A summarization of the skating experience at this location.


Desire to Return - Overall Rating

The bottom line. Is the place good enough that we want to return here to skate it more. With all the above taken into consideration how much are we looking forward return and skate this location further.

Return? I like Manila, but I would not come here just for skating. When we come back we will bring skates, but I will not be staying awake dreaming of skating here.

Photo Gallery



 Country Information



Airport Pick Up

Please arrange car pick up to and from airport.

Airport Tax

All travellers leaving the country by way of Manila international airport must pay a Peso 550 departure tax.

Business Hours

Private and government offices are open either from 8 a.m to 5 p.m or from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some private companies are open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Most shopping centers and department stores are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Most banks operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.


Summer-weight clothing is suitable in Manila. Conducting business calls in short or long-sleeved shirt and tie without a coat is common and acceptable. However, for formal meetings, either a two-piece suit or the native "barong tagalog" (a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt worn without a tie) is the popular attire. Light suits and dresses are appropriate for women.


PHP (Philippino Peso)

Custom Rules and Regulations

Tobacco Products: 200 cigarettes (double for residents) or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco.

Alcoholic Beverages: 2 bottles of wine and 2 bottles of liquor.

Entry Requirements

All visitors to the Philippines must have a valid passport for a period of not less than six months beyond the intended period of stay. Visas are required for all visitors except: 1) transit passengers; 2) foreign tourists and business travelers, provided that their length of stay does not exceed 21 days, passports are valid, and they have return or onward tickets; 3) citizens of Hong Kong, British and Macau are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay of not exceeding seven days. Visitors can get visa extensions by visiting the Bureau of Immigration in downtown Manila, though the process can take up most of a day. Many travel agencies can handle the task for you for a fee of about 500 pesos.

Health Risks

Among the most common diseases in the Philippines are dengue hemorrhagic fever, hepatitis and cholera. Wear long sleeves or bring plenty of insect repellant when visiting rural areas. Drink bottled water.




Pilipino is the national language. English is widely spoken and is extensively used in business and government, making the Philippines the third-largest English-speaking country in the world. Chinese and Spanish are other major languages spoken by some groups, aside from about 100 regional dialects.

Local Climate

The city is protected from extreme weather conditions by the hills of the Eastern Cordillera to the east and by the mountains of Bataan Peninsula, which lies west of Manila Bay. The tropical climate is characterized by a wet season that lasts from June to November and by a dry season lasting from December to May. High humidity and thunderstorms are common in July, August, and September, when more rain is received than in other months.

Name of Airport

Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It is about 9 kilometers from the Makati business district, but the ride can take up to two hours in rush hour traffic or heavy rains. An airport tax of 550 pesos is charged upon departure. For general information call tel: 877-1109; for flight information, tel: 833-8135.

Phone adaptors

Power adaptors


The standard practice is to add 10% of the total bill in restaurants. However, some establishments already include a 10% service charge, making additional tipping optional. For cabs, it is customary to round off the fare.

Useful Links

Philippines - Department of Tourism - OnLine
CIA -- The World Factbook -- Philippines

Useful Numbers

Call 117 for Police assistance
Flight Information: 877-1100; 833-8135
Visa Card hotline: 1-800-1111-9015
MasterCard hotline: 1-800-1111-0061





KL Services Sheet

Airport Pick Up

Please arrange car pick up to and from airport.

Airport Tax

Airport tax is included in price of airline ticket.

Business Hours

Department stores and supermarkets: From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Shops: From 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (in Kuala Lumpur, as well as in most major towns, there are several 24-hour stores)

Banks: From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.); 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Sat.); closed on Sundays in most states


As Malaysia's climate is sunny almost year-round, light clothing is ideal. However, this is a predominantly Muslim country and modest dress is advisable. For men, a long-sleeved white or plain-colored shirt and a tie is the norm for business meetings. A jacket can be added when meeting senior officials. A long-sleeved batik shirt and long trousers are often worn for evening events. Shorts and casual shirts should be avoided. Women should dress for business as in Western countries, remembering to cover the shoulders and avoid very short skirts and shorts.


(RM) Ringgit Malaysia

Custom Rules and Regulations

Alcoholic Beverages - maximum 1 litre of wine, spirits or malt liquor.

Gifts and Souvenirs - maximum RM25 for each unit or set of souvenirs and gifts; a total maximum value of RM200, if more than one unit or set.

Entry Requirements

Validity - Passports or passport replacing travel documents must be valid at least six months beyond the period of stay in Malaysia.

Health Risks

Major Malaysian cities like Kuala Lumpur are generally safe from most sanitation-related diseases. However, it is still wise to take extra precautions, like making sure meat is cooked very well, avoiding local dairy products and peeling fresh fruit and raw vegetables. Tap water in the cities is considered safe, but bottled water is a safer bet when traveling to rural areas. Malaria is present in Sabah, Sarawak and some remote areas in peninsular Malaysia. Use insect repellant when visiting the countryside. Ask your doctor about vaccinations.




English; Bahasa Malaysia; Mandarin; other Chinese dialects; Tamil. Majority speak English and Bahasa.

Local Climate

The characteristic features of the climate of Malaysia are uniform temperature, high humidity and copious rainfall and they a rise mainly from the maritime exposure of the country. Winds are generally light. Situated at the equatorial doldrum area, it is extremely rare to have a full day with completely clear sky even in periods of severe drought. On the other hand, it is also rare to have a stretch of a few days with completely no sunshine except during the northeast monsoon seasons.

The daily range of temperature is large, being from 5C to 10C at the coastal stations and from 8C to 12C at the inland stations but the excessive day temperatures which are found in continental tropical areas are never experienced. It may be noted that air temperature of 38C has very rarely been recorded in Malaysia. Although the days are frequently hot, the nights are reasonably cool everywhere.


Visitors to Malaysia should note that there are severe penalties for all drug offences including, in some cases, the death penalty.

No smoking in public places especially if it is air-conditioned and some indoor restaurants. Most tourist publications on Malaysia give further details.

Name of Airport

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

From KLIA to Town : Buy limousine coupons or tickets for the various bus services to the city at designated counters in the Arrival Concourse (Level 3 of the Main Terminal Building).

Limousines/Taxis : A 24-hours Airport Limousine/Taxi Service operates to and from KLIA. To book a limo/taxi to the airport, ring toll-free (1-800) 880 873 or (1-800) 880 678 and pay the driver on a cash basis.

Airport Information : Pick up a free "Passenger Guide to KLIA" or a "KLIA Pocket Guide" from Information Counters on Levels 4 and 5 of the Main Terminal Building.

Phone adaptors

Power adaptors


Tipping is usually not necessary, unless service is excellent. Most hotels and large restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge in addition to the 5% government tax to the bill.

Useful Links

The Government of Malaysia
Tourism of Malaysia
Airports of Malaysia

Useful Numbers

Police/Fire/Ambulance: 999
Tourist Police: 241-5522; 243-5522; 249-6590
Visa Card Hotline: 1-800-800-159
MasterCard Hotline: 1-800-804-594





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