Me and my Philippines: Edu Manzano, actor and politician

    Edu Manzano talks about his best-kept holiday secret and a hellish night spent in Nasugbu, Batangas

    Edu Manzano with his son Luis Manzano on the left

    My most memorable holiday in the Philippines was…my childhood holiday spent in Polo Pinya, an island in Iloilo where I grew up. Every summer holiday, we’d leave Manila for Iloilo and spend most of our time outdoors. My dad loved the outdoors and made sure we learned how to fish, to throw the fishnet, and to plant coconut trees and rice.

    Amanpulo resort's white sandy beach
    I’m a certified…
    beach bum. I spend a lot of time in Amanpulo resort in Palawan. They have some really good food. They have the best cheeseburger I’ve tasted. And they have great margaritas and good tapas. I’m also a regular of The Peninsula Manila because of its very good service.

    Breathtaking sunset, also from Amanpulo resort
    For a perfect holiday, I need…
    good weather, service and good food. 

    When I travel I always pack…as little as I can. Two pairs of denim pants or shorts, four or five shirts, and slippers.

    My best piece of travel advice would be…try not to rush a vacation. Ask for advice and go get the guide books.

    My best kept holiday secret is…a little sandbar close to Leyte that can be reached from Cebu. It’s a 30-minute drive from Lahug in Cebu to the jump-off point where we took a one-and-a-half hour ride via a private high-speed cigarette boat to the sandbar. The sandbar is about a kilometer long with one house on it, no bathroom, and surrounded by trees. It has the whitest sand, even whiter than Boracay’s. The house on the sandbar was put up by fishermen as a place to stay in bad weather. We camped. It was so windy at night. You have to have everything with you. Contact Islands Banca Cruises for tours.

    My worst holiday was…in Nasugbu, Batangas where there was a band playing rock music early in the evening, which I could stand. Then later on, the singing became quite bad, you could hardly understand what they were saying because they were drunk already. I could hear everything from my room. It went on until two, three, four in the morning and I thought they kind of overdid it. The next day, I packed my bags and took off.

    I love Boracay but…I will never stay in the middle of the island. I’d stay on the edge. Maybe if I were 20 years younger and would party every night perhaps I wouldn’t mind as much. What I used to hate about Boracay before was when you’re already asleep on the beach, peddlers would wake you up to ask if you wanted a massage. Or, you’re lying down with your sunglasses on, somebody comes and asks if you want to buy sunglasses.

    Discovery Shores Boracay
    My top Boracay resort choices are…
    Discovery Shores Boracay and Two Seasons. My kids like Fridays.

    When on holiday, I try to avoid…a person who likes to dictate what to do. I like everything at my own pace. That’s why it’s called a vacation.

    Edu Manzano is one of the Philippines’ best-loved actors and TV hosts. He is running for senator as an independent in the Philippines May 2016 national elections. 

    Follow Edu Manzano on Instagram

    Cover photo is a screengrab from @realedumanzano.

    Originally published in InFlight Traveller June to July 2009. Updated March 2016