Travel Tips

Conference Travel Tips


The conference hotel is the Oracle Hotel, which is the only hotel that is across the street from the campus. Use to make reservations. If you would prefer to stay at a different hotel, there are plenty of options. The map, provided by Agoda (on the left), shows hotels as blue rectangles.

We recommend Microtel by Wyndham Acropolis.  Click here for details on the special rate for our attendees.  This hotel is near Eastwood City Mall, which is great for dining and shopping.

Where is the 2017 APCDA Conference?

by Miguelito Relente

The 2017 APCDA Conference will be held at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, part of metro Manila. The airport for international flights to Manila is called Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Transportation to Quezon City takes between 1 and 2 hours, depending on traffic.

What is this venue like?

The Ateneo de Manila University has a proud tradition of excellence in academics and service which it has nurtured through its almost 150 years of existence. The university is one of the oldest Jesuit administered institutions of higher learning in Asia. The Ateneo traces its roots to 1859, when the City of Manila entrusted to the Jesuit Fathers the administration of the Escuela Municipal de Manila, located in Intramuros, the old walled city. In 1901, the city withdrew its subsidy to the school, and Ateneo officially became a private institution. It changed its name to Ateneo de Manila.

The spirit of excellence embodied by Ateneo's inspiring namesake, the Athenaeum in ancient Rome, is reflected in its growth into a dynamic, fully accredited, and much esteemed University. The extensive campus covers 83 hectares (210 acres) with a grade school, high school, and undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, sciences, law, management, medicine, education, and government.

Quezon City is the largest city in the Philippines in both area and population. It features modern architecture and excellent shopping in a suburban environment. Roads are built for cars and distances are not walkable, but taxis are inexpensive. It is home to both the University of the Philippines Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University.

  Downtown Quezon City at night Quezon Memorial Circle at night.

The Philippines is a gorgeous, friendly country, but the buses and trains do not always run on time, and it is considered rude to show up on time for dinner (15 minutes late is considered polite). For more travel tips, read:

For tips on tipping:


While English is spoken by almost everyone, you may want to know a few words of Filipino to show that you are interested in local customs.

  • Mabuhay: Used for "Welcome" or "Cheers," it literally means "long life."
  • Kamusta: Used for "Hello," it literally means "How are you."
  • Kabuti: a common answer to the above greeting, it means "Fine."
  • Salamat: Thank you
  • Paalam: Goodbye
  • Palawad: Sorry
  • Po: Adds respect to other words. For example, Kamusta po or Kabuti po could be used if speaking to a senior person.


Metro Manila is a big place, and you could easily spend a week looking around. For ideas on what to see in Manila, visit

Much of the charm of the Philippines is in its beautiful tropical scenery. It is difficult to choose from the many wonderful options. This short list can be reached from Manila by bus or car in 5 hours or less:

  • Baguio City: A city in the mountains where you can enjoy cool weather, meet the Ifugao tribes people, and see the amazing Ifugao rice terraces. Banaue and Sagada are also places to view rice terraces.
  • Batangas: A province south of Manila with wonderful beaches. If you are looking for elegant accommodations, try Anilao.
  • Taal Volcano: Approached through the city of Tagaytay in Batangas, Taal volcano blew it’s top many years ago and became a crater lake. It now has a cinder cone raising from its waters. You can walk up the cinder cone for a great view.
  • Hundred Islands: Like to combine beaches with beautiful scenery viewed by boat? This national park is a great place to relax, especially on weekdays. More info:
  • Pahiyas Festival: May 15 the province of Quezon celebrates a harvest festival. Lucban City welcomes thousands of visitors to enjoy the parade and eat special foods associated with this festival. More info:

About 9 hours by bus from Manila is Lagazpu City, where you can gaze at Mt Mayon, a perfectly shaped volcano. But make sure Mt Mayon is not erupting when you visit.

These places can be reached by bus from Manila. Contact Five Star Bus, Dagupan Bus or Victory Liner for bus schedules and pricing. If you prefer a guide to take you there and show you around, here are a few:

If you are willing to hop on another plane after reaching Manila, Coron is a rewarding place to visit. It has fascinating rock formations, great beaches, and is a short flight from Manila.

But is it Safe?

It is easy to find warnings for tourists in the Philippines, and attendees should be cautious. But most of dangers can be avoided. Our conference will be held at a Jesuit university where students go out of their way to be helpful. And Filipinos are known for being caring and generous to visitors. However, attendees should be careful in their taxi selection, avoid areas where drugs are being sold, and avoid Mindanao where unrest is more common. It is more likely that you will experience warm and welcoming friendliness than encountering danger. Should you need assistance during your stay, it is very likely that Filipinos will go out of their way to help you.

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