Maroon’d… in Manila, Philippines

Winter 2017
Taal Volcano crater lake

(iStock/salko3p photo)

Cindy Miller Stephens ’89, P’20 lives in Manila with her husband, Chris Stephens ’81, P’20, (read their Colgate love story) and their daughters Lara ’20, Audrey, and Hailey. They moved to Manila four years ago for Chris’s general counsel position at the Asian Development Bank. Cindy works as a parent advocate in their community and is also the author of travel guides for families. Here are her expert suggestions on visiting the city:

Intramuros… Meaning “within the walls,” this 16th-century city was home to the Spanish during their more than 300-year rule. Make the most of your time here by taking a walking tour with local celebrity Carlos Celdran, who brings the history of this old city to life.

Greenhills Mall… is a rabbit’s warren of stalls selling everything from clothes to electronics to handicrafts. My favorite part is the Pearl Market, where vendor after vendor sells unique freshwater and South Sea pearls native to the Philippines at incredible prices. Bargaining is a must here.

The Peninsula Manila… offers a fantastic tea time in the expansive lobby of this classic hotel. During the holidays, a four-piece orchestra entertains from the mezzanine above. High tea here is a throwback to a more relaxed era in Asia’s history.

Corregidor Island… Take a Sun Cruises tour of the island that time forgot. In 1942, Philippine and U.S. forces fought to keep the Japanese military from entering Manila. The island has been maintained as a museum and tribute to fallen soldiers.

Tagaytay… A 90-minute drive south brings you to this mountain town with views of the Taal Volcano, known for being the world’s only volcano within a lake within a volcano within a lake. Spectacular! Hike to the top or just enjoy the bird’s-eye view from the terrace of the Taal Vista Hotel.

Have tips for people who might be maroon’d in your area? Write us at and put Maroon’d in the subject line.