Relax in a Spa
Venues offering a wide range of massages are quite common in Manila. Usually advanced booking is not necessary and waiting times are short, but advanced booking through group buying sites might get you a better deal. We have pampered ourselves in the following Spa's: Toccarre Spa in Antel Suites, Makati The Spa with branches at Makati, Ortigas and Quezon City ACE water spa in Quezon City Hourly massage rates are around 400php and above depending on the spa. Most spa also offers free usage of their sauna, steam bath, jacuzzi and shower room.
There are a couple of public swimming pools in Manila, but most of them are in a state of despair or located far away from the city center, so your best option is to use a pool from one of the luxury star hotels. The Hotel Sofitel on Roxas Boulevard has a large outdoor leisure pool. Other good options are the Shangri-La hotel and The Peninsula Manila. The Manila Ocean Park http://www.manilaoceanpark.com/ also has a swimming pool amongst other amenities and is conveniently located close to Intramuros.
There is a small, but challenging golf course inside Intramuros surrounding Fort Santiago. The 18-hole, par- 66 course can be completed in under two hours and is open for non-residents, which have to book at least 2 days in advance. Day rates for non-residents are 40 USD including the 5 USD caddy fee and evening rates are 70 USD.
Cooking classes are gaining popularity under locals and visitors alike. Most cooking schools offer hands-on classes where you will prepare and eat your own dish. We received good reviews from the following long standing schools: Center for Asian Culinary Studies http://www.cacschef.com/ and the Heny Sison Culinary School http://www.henysison.com/Courses/Life_Courses.html. Both schools offer a wide ranges of courses; day courses start around 40 USD.
The historical part of Manila is easily explored on foot and together with a professional guide give you an insight into the life of earlier inhabitants of Manila. Tours guided by Carlos Celdran are deservedly popular and leave from the Fort Santiago - Santa Cara Street in Intramuros and no advance booking is required. For details checkout his blog on http://celdrantours.blogspot.com/.
Traveling can be stressful on the mind and body and some Yoga exercise might be a good way to relief some of this stress. Yoga schools in Manila are open to walk-in visitors. Yoga Manila -www.yogamanila.com is operating from a couple of studios in Manila. The most central location is in Makati - Greenbelt Mansion. Walk-in visitors pay 12 USD for a single session. Prepaid cards with 6 or 12 classes are better value a 55 USD and 88 USD.
Want to cool down after a day in the tropical sun? Why not go skating on real ice in the Mall of Asia. Cost for unlimited ice skating is around 9 USD. For more information have a look on their website: http://smiceskating.com/
Almost all of the malls have cinemas equipped with state of the art audio and video systems. The latest Holywood blockbuster are played with their original soundtrack for just 4 USD. There are a couple of IMAX theatres in Manila, with ticket prices double that of a normal theatre, the most central IMAX theatre is located in Mall of Asia. Details of movies and showtimes are listed on www.clickthecity.com and in local newspapers.