Welcome to The Pop Blog’s guide to attending concerts in Manila, Flight and Hotel Booking edition.
A few months after graduating from college and earning my salary, I found it automatic to treat myself, especially ticking off my bucket list of the bands and artists I wanted to see live in concert. However, the thing is, I always had to do it on my own, at least during that time. I only have a few friends who were fans of the acts I wanted to see. I live in Davao, and most concerts are held in Manila. I had to experience everything myself, as I didn’t have a guide to attending concerts in Manila.
It’s an unfortunate situation. Living outside of Manila, especially in Visayas in Mindanao, means that more expenses will be incurred when wanting to see our favorite acts live in concert. If you don’t have a house in Manila, or at least relatives and friends to stay with, then you’re on your own to get your flight tickets and hotels and budget your food and fare when you’re in Manila.
I’m sure you’ve been through tips and tricks about how to book flights and hotels on a budget. But I’ll try my best to give you a thorough guide to attending concerts in Manila, and how to find the cheapest and most worth-your-money hotels while keeping you safe, ‘coz yes, there are a lot of affordable alternatives, too, but your safety is not guaranteed.
Guide to Attending Concerts in Manila: Flight Booking
Right after getting your tickets to the concert, the next step is to book your flights. For some, booking flights comes first for some reason. I have traveled extensively (mostly from Davao to Manila), and Cebu Pacific Air has always been my go-to airline. Not only ‘coz it’s the cheapest, but it’s also the most valuable airline by far.
After the pandemic, I noticed that flights are becoming more turbulent, which is already common. According to a study, flight turbulence has increased in the past few decades. In fact, due to climate change, air turbulence is expected to rise more and more. It is expected, no matter which airline you ride. However, my family members, friends, and I noticed that among the airlines in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific Air pilots have a lot of experience. We shouldn’t be afraid of turbulence, but if it makes you uncomfortable, choosing Cebu Pacific is ideal because, compared to other airlines, their pilots manage it best.
Another great thing about Cebu Pacific is that there are no hidden charges when you book your flights with them. There are no additional fees like online booking/credit card fees when paying your fare. The options such as insurance, donations, in-flight meals, and seat selector are not automatically chosen, so you don’t have to uncheck them if you won’t avail.
Guide to Attending Concerts in Manila Flight Tips:
Advance Booking: You get the best deals when you book ahead of time. Once you get your concert ticket, book your flights right away. In line with that is the CEB Super Pass.
CEB Super Pass: If you’re a frequent traveler or know that there will be more concerts coming up that you’ll attend, be sure to avail of Cebu Pacific’s CEB Super Pass. They offer it at least once a year. The Super pass is a voucher you can purchase in advance (at a discounted price) and redeem at a particular time. You can buy a maximum of 10 super passes at a time. Each pass costs at least only 99PHP base fare. You can save a lot when you have it because you’ll only need to add a few pesos for surcharges like fuel and other important stuff.
Pack Light: Since this article is mainly about budgeting, consider packing light. Plan your OOTDS. If possible, don’t bring heavy and bulky clothes and shoes. Cebu Pacific offers up to 7kg of hand-carry baggage. Make sure that your luggage won’t exceed 22 inches. You are allowed one luggage and a carry-on bag (for your essentials).
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Guide to Attending Concerts in Manila: Hotel Booking
The hotel and staycation industry has been booming for the past decade, and recently, due to countless concerts in Metro Manila, many of these hotels have been booked as well. To be honest, there are countless of them to choose from, and some are also cheap. However, the question is, how safe are they? How clean are they?
Many cheap options are in the market, but not all can be trusted. Some have bad Wi-Fi signals, pests, small spaces, no elevators (you must walk a flight of stairs to reach your room), and unclean rooms and beds. The truth is that if given the budget, we all want to stay in hotels. But booking hotels will cost you at least 5000Php per room, so we have to look for a cheaper alternative.
Getting the Best out of your Budget
It’s good that we can get the best of both worlds with Go Hotels. It’s a budget hotel but with all the benefits of a five-star hotel. For just less than 2000php, you get a twin bed or a queen bed for two people.
Despite being hailed as a budget hotel, the room is luxurious, with a nice view, cable TV, fast unlimited WI-FI, a sophisticated bathroom and bed, and everything great when staying at a five-star hotel. When you’re bored in your room or want to work somewhere you can’t sleep, their lobby is available to hang out. It even has fun games for guests, like a coloring board and other activities.
When I first entered the room, it was love at first sight! I couldn’t believe that it was only worth less than 2000php. When, in fact, 5-star hotels are three times its price.
Secure and Safe Booking
Unlike other hotels and apps, the Go Hotel website is a secure way to book your stay in Manila. Paying is secure since it’s under the same company as Cebu Pacific. But if you’re wary about paying in advance, Go Hotels allows customers to reserve and book without paying upfront. You pay upon arriving at the hotel. This is one thing that hotel/home booking websites don’t have, and most of them are even uncancellable.
Another great news about Go Hotels is that if you’re a loyal customer of booking websites such as Agoda and want to increase your points on the platform, then lucky you! You can also book a room on Go Hotels on the Agoda and Booking.com. However, it’s best to book at Go Hotel’s official website to avail of the pay-upon-checking-in option.
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Guide to Attending Concerts in Manila Hotel Tips:
Location is Key: When choosing a hotel, consider its proximity to the concert venue. Staying near the venue can save you time and transportation costs unless you have other important things to do elsewhere. Go Hotels have a lot of branches near concert venues. If your concert is at the Mall of Asia Arena, I recommend Go Hotels Manila Airport Road as it’s also near NAIA. If you’re attending one at the Araneta Coliseum, their Mandaluyong or Ortigas branch is perfect. Be sure to leave early for your flight home, as traffic might be heavy in those two areas.
Early Booking: Like flights, booking your accommodation in advance can often lead to better rates. Apart from that, you’re sure to have a place to stay that’s near the concert venue.
Food Budget: If you’re a breakfast eater, availing of the breakfast meal at Go Hotels is worth your money. Otherwise, there are a lot of cheap finds at convenience stores near Go Hotels. If your budget is tight, you can avail of those cheap meals. Go Hotels also has a blog where you can explore stuff to do for a side trip on non-concert days.
Packing Light: We’ve already discussed this earlier, but staying at Go Hotels means that you already have some of your needs met, like towels, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, as well as shampoo and body wash. Hair Dryers and clothes irons are also available upon request.
Thank you for reading this guide to attending concerts in Manila. Concerts can be an unforgettable experience for probinsyanos and probinsyanas looking to enjoy live music in the heart of the Philippines. You can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to the bustling capital city by carefully planning your flight and hotel bookings. Remember to book early and choose accommodation that suits your budget while not compensating for safety and cleanliness. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to rock the concert scene in Manila!