This is a tip from someone who works in a very trusted news source, the BBC.
'My fellow Filipinos, they're very hospitable, always smiling, very happy,' says Mr Rico Hizon, a 41-year-old news presenter on BBC World.
That's why he enjoys returning to Manila six to eight times a year.
'Once you arrive, you'll see them smiling, not grouchy. They will go out of their way to make you feel at home,' he says, noting that you can have a good time simply by hanging out in the coffee shops.
Mr Hizon was the first Filipino news presenter to join BBC World, and presents a daily programme called Asia Business Report.
The Singapore permanent resident is married with a son.
Here are his six recommendations to having a good time there.
1. Try an ensaymada
Like a glorified doughnut with cheese, this is a very popular Filipino pastry that you can find in most pastry shops. Most shops sell it for 50 cents. Alternatively, braver souls can try the balut. It is an egg with an unhatched chick embryo inside it. It costs between 10 and 20 cents.
2. Check out 168 Mall
Located in the heart of Divisoria - which is considered the Orchard Road of Manila - and along Sta Elena and Soler streets, the mall has over 1,000 stores where you can get bargains at up to 30 or 40 per cent off. If you are the first customer of the day, you can even get a 50 per cent discount as the Filipinos regard their first sale as a blessing.
3. Bring home a scale model of the Jeepney
One of the city's most iconic features, it is an adapted version of the American jeep and has been dubbed 'The King of the Road'. It seats about a dozen people and a ride costs only one cent. A scale model will cost from S$8-S$10.
4. Chill at one of the many Figaro cafes
It is a home-grown brand and customers come to people-watch and drink coffee. Figaro is like the Starbucks of Manila. A latte costs S$3 and a hot chocolate will be about S$2.
5. Give the karaoke bars a miss
Instead, do as the locals do and buy a MusicSing Microphone. This is a microphone that has a chip installed to enable it to store up to 500 songs. Just plug it into your television set or your car, punch in the song number and sing. It even rates your singing abilities when you are done. Almost every household in Manila owns one. A standard microphone should cost about S$160.
6. Visit the town of Tagaytan
It is about one hour away by car to the south of Manila. Many people head there during weekends to have organic food and enjoy the cool weather. The temperature ranges between 16 and 18 deg C. You can rent a car from Avis. Visit www.avis.com.ph/ for more details on rental rates.
This is a fortnightly column where expatriates reveal little-known facts about their home countries.