Thursday, July 23, 2015


Should you need a tour of Manila, allow me to recommend the following guides. I'm not the only game in town, you know. Bookmark this page in case you need them.

This is an updated version. May 2015

For the best guides in town: 

MABUHAY GUIDES of the Department of Tourism. Trained by Blue Badge of London, they are perfect for touring around dignitaries or your own relatives who are in town visiting. They are young, fun, street smart, and are the kind of people you would want to hang out with anyway.
Ms. Goya Reynoso (63) 917 8411246

MANILA FOR A DAY - Dustin Ancheta does really creative tours of Manila. Time travelling he calls it. Intramuros is his specialty and he can tailor make tours to your preference. Check his site here: MANILA FOR A DAY 
Reservations : Ms. Anne (63)939 397 6478
 Dustin (63) 999 196 4715 

BAMBIKE TOURS - Award winning bamboo bicycle designer Bryan Mclelland has put together a team of guides to take you all around the walled city on their funky rides. They were featured on CNN and are totally the most hipster thing you could do when in town. Check out their site here: 
(632) 5258289

SMOKEY TOURS -  See the deepest heart of. Go around the city's lesser known parts and discover gems in the rough. Visit an old dumpsite, visit a prison, a marketplace, a slum, a cemetery, or see a cockfight. A tour that is for people with big hearts, not faint ones. And this isn't "Poorism". The guides are involved in uplifting the communities you visit. Check out their website:
(63) 917 578 5398 
(63) 2 622 1325

GREG DORRIS - Tall American (easy to spot when walking through crowded areas). Also has a book of archival photos of Old Manila like mine. My official alternate.
(63) 916 7669170

BRYAN OCAMPO - Blue Badge trained veteran of the Mabuhay Guides. Aside from his Manila tours, he now has his own operation which specialises in food tours of Pampanga (1.5 hours out of Manila. Check his website:
(63) 917 899 3948

IVAN MANDY - The master of Chinatown. Does tours of Binondo, San Miguel, and Chinese Cemeteries. Check for his schedules. He is the master of his own walking tour operation called: Old Manila Walks.

(63) 917 3291622

ARMANDO HILDAWA - One of the smartest tour guides in town, if not THE smartest. His specialty is Corregidor. He practically lives there. 

(63) 916 4940623

VITO HERNANDEZ - Smart dude from University of the Philippines. Really really nice guy. Knowlegable in history, sociology, and geology. 

(63) 916 6349649

PATRICK TUDANCA - Speaks German. Affable and organized. He does out of town trips too and is quite knowledgable 
(63) 917 5266786

PJ CARITATIVO - Department of Tourism trained French speaking guide. Charming and knows the ins and outs of Old Manila. She also does tours of Sagada, Banaue, and other points north.

(63) 915 1426468

JULIUS GERARD MAGNO - Department of Tourism trained Spanish speaking guide. Perfect for those who want to learn about Manila's Hispanic past. Also part of a whole bunch of DOT accredited guides.

(63) 917 8664137

MILA ALCUAZ METHARAM - Great Spanish Guide. Been around the tour guiding scene for a while. Can tailor make a day for you. 

(63) 917-8204747
(63) 932-1277437

JJ YULO - Best Food Tour Guide in the City. No one knows how to go about Filipino food the way this man does. He also has his own blog: PINOY EATS WORLD. He is Makati based and can do early evening dining tours. 
(63) 917 5301160 


CARLO CALDITO - Premier Tour Guide of Laoag. The act to beat up north. Very Theatrical and knows all the cool places in the great North. 
(63) 917 4396759


GENER and KAT (TAO TOURS) - Does a highly recommended Honda Bay tour on a traditional sailboat and picnic. Amazing.
(63) 9052646377


Ka Balbino Guerrero - A guy who certainly knows the Queen City of the South. Check out his facebook profile here.
(63) 9328151975

Tell them I sent you.



Anonymous said...

hay bilib talaga ako sayo! ni-promote mo pa ang mga (kung tutuusin) competitors mo.

si georgie d porgie, nakaka-stress na guide. nagmamadali palagi. sayang, nakaka-aliw pa naman sana sya.

si anthony naman..hmm..wag na lang.


Sidney said...

Wow! Quite a lot of competition... but I guess you are the best of the guide crop. So no real danger for you. Ferrari also don't really need to fear the competition.
I see there is still space for a Dutch speaking guide... maybe one day if I need some extra money to buy a new camera! ;-)

carlosceldran said...

Really? Anonymous. You think I should erase Anthony and George from the list? Feedback is most welcome here please!

And Sidney, from what I have experienced. Most Dutch people I have met speak excellent English. So most Dutch tourists just go with the English tourist guides.

What is the percentage of English speakers there anyway? Eighty percent? More?

Anonymous said...

ay wag naman po nyo alisin. observation/opinyon ko lang naman yun, baka sa iba click sila. :)


Kris said...

Carlos, all of a sudden there is a big drop in the popularty rating of your blog apres ths 2010 brouhaha.

Your blog is now unpopular as GMA.

Don't take it personally.

Just among us girls, djmontano's blog is now blog central. Manila loves gossip especially among the social (climber) set.

carlosceldran said...

Hahaha. That's just fine by me!

I heard. That blog is bigger now than Christmas.

I do hope the guy gets his money back.

And I hope this is a lesson learned for DJ and company. They could do so much for society if they only just start looking beyond themselves. They have been given so much in this world. They should be doing more to give back.

Kris said...

Bless you Carlos. Honestly, I have always admired you. We all love this country. No Filipino will ever mess with the so-called Manila's social (climbers) set. JLo has learned that by now.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carlos!

Can you please feature Malate as one of your tour destinations?That would be great!As soon as I get back for summer back in manila I'd be glad to join one of your tours! That would be a good academic stress reliever for me. cant wait for july :)



mtan said...

I just opened my email and found a quote of the day "Be who you are and be that well" - says St. Francis of Sales. I think that works in this case. You've never deviated from your convictions and you've never been wishy washy.
I prefer that to the balimbings among the politicians in our midst.

Sidney said...

I know Carlos... 99,9 % of those bloody Dutch can speak English... maybe I should start learning Korean first ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Carlos, I went thru DJ blog....yuks makes my head ache...nothing compared to class at all...keep it up.... you're still the best.

carlosceldran said...

Thanks Anonymous.

And thank you Mila.

You guys rock. Mila. We gotta hang out soon.

webhop said...

I just saw you on Travel Time here in the US. I can't wait to take all your tours when I come visit Manila again, hopefully soon.

I've been reading some Philippine history and literature via Project Gutenberg on the net.

What Philippine history books do you recommend? Preferably, nothing, too "textbookish."

Great job on the blog. Thank you.

carlosceldran said...

Sorry for the late reply.

My usual recommendations for starters:

Manila My Manila
Portrait of the Artist as Filipino\
History of the Burgis
Streets of Manila
America's Boy

Anonymous said...

Hi Carlos! I have been wanting to go to Corregidor with my friends this December (coz it's my bday *winks*), do you have tour schedule for this month. thanks =)

Bim said...

Oooh...I'm so excited to join one of your tours! We have balikbayans this month and your tours are on our list! :) The thing will not only be them who will enjoy it...I think it will be more of me and my gaga sister! ;p

Anonymous said...

Hi Carlos! Tell us you are not posting this 'guides' list because you are leaving Manila? The others may be good but I've never seen anyone as entertaining and as enjoyable to be a part of your tours. =)

carlosceldran said...

No. No. It's just that there are too many requests for private tours. I really can't accomodate them all.

And these guys really know their stuff.

Brian Shane said...

I agree. Greg Dorris took my mother and I on a tour. It was wonderful!!!!!
And he is fabulous!!!!
What a great list Carlos.

Gordon said...

Carlos, Like your page very much. Brings back memories of the very happy six months I spent in your country. My friend is visiting the Philippines from the U.K. in April and is particularly interested in birdwatching around Los Banos. Do you know of a guide you could recommend? Many thanks.

Gordon said...

Carlos, I've just found details of the trees hostel inside the reserve at Mount Maikiling and information that a guide may not be needed. Still, any advice that you may have gratefully received.

carlosceldran said...

Hi Gordon. Just check the listing above. I recommend Armand.


carlosceldran said...

Gordon. Also check out

They do great birding tours... said...

i didnt realize there were so many "tourguides" in Manila!!! I must try one of these! thanks for the guide!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what you make of this:

Teodoro abandons reproductive health bill

carlosceldran said...

Teodoro dropped the bill but not the RH issue. I am still confident that he hasn't lost sight of the goal. It's election season. The CBCP is getting rabid. Why waste precious time fighting them. Even Noy has "softened" his stand or perhaps will be abandoning it altogether as well. It's a sad reality. But we as constituents have to demand the church stop pulling this shit.

EJ said...

Hello Carlos! Hope you dont mind if I place a link from our blog (Manila Reviews) to this blog post. I think it's great that your telling everyone about the available tour guides -- i though we only had you and Ivan Dy! Shows how much you love Manila! :) Thanks for posting this & more power!

Bibi said...

Golly~! this is just what I need to start my assignment~ thank you very much for the information.

Mabuhay Guides said...

Wow! Thanks for plugging us, Carlos! More power to you!

docmarius said...

Hi Caloy, My name is Marius. Do you know a Corregidor tourist guide by the name of Steve Kwiecinski? My american friend would like to know if he's still around. thanks and more power to you.

Bacolod Tours said...

hi carlos, maybe we can invite you to come to Bacolod and speak in our Tour Guiding Course about your experiences. The course is conducted by Negros island Tourism, Inc., an NGO, and will run for 10 Saturdays starting on April 17, 2010 to June 26, 2010. what are your thoughts on this?

carlosceldran said...

I would love to. Please text me at 920 9092021...

Ka Bino said...

salamat Don Carlos at nasamo mo ako sa listahan mo. bago na pala # ko +639193805853

Tesa Celdran said...

Oi, did you ever figure out who among them bad mouthed you?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Carlos Celdran

Do you know where I can find a large enough picture of that portrait with the Marcoses?

aires ipaz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

hi! i'd like to take my uncle on one of these tours, but is there a cheaper way to it? :D thank you!

rumah dijual said...

I agree with a lot of what you're saying here but it could do with more detail. They stayed away in droves.

Pearl Joy Caritativo said...

Hi Carlos! Thank you for recommending me; it is such an honor to be part of your list. See you around and more power to you!

-Pearl Joy "PJ" Caritativo