The hotel introduces two exciting new programs to the iconic Peninsula Academy

Few things carve a deeper knowledge or a better understanding of a place and its people than a sensory experience. Tactile. Evocative. Insightful.

The Peninsula Manila’s iconic experiential program, The Peninsula Academy, with its thoughtfully curated bespoke tours designed to delight and educate guests of all ages, promises exactly that: remarkable experiences that are as memorable as they are enriching. These immersive tours and activities showcase what The Peninsula Manila feels are some of the highlights of the local landscape; inspiring places and experiences anyone looking to know the Philippines shouldn’t miss: historical sites that remain relevant to this day, contemporary art and design and the forces behind them, traditional crafts, and an ever-evolving culinary scene.

Two new experiences have been added to the existing 10 programs, these are a private mango picking session in the Philippines’ second largest mango orchard that the entire family will undoubtedly enjoy as well as a plush toy-making session that children (or the young at heart) will surely love. These, along with a pearl safari to the pristine Palawan Sea; a studio visit to one of the Philippines’ most eminent private jewelers; reliving the past in a heritage tour of the colonial town of Taal; a full day at the atelier of three of the country’s iconic art, style and fashion mavens while discussing trends and shopping to one’s delight; an exhilarating helicopter and tranvia (tram) visit to the island fortress of Corregidor and more, provide guests with 12 unforgettably authentic opportunities to experience some of the very best that the Philippines has to offer.

The Peninsula Academy was created to give guests an insider’s introduction to key aspects of local culture, lifestyle, cuisine, arts and history through individualized classes, tours and activities. The Peninsula Manila has meticulously curated its programs by sourcing the very best tour guides and local partners, bringing the city and the country to life through exclusive activities, all accomplished with the celebrated Peninsula attention to detail.

For Love of Softies: Plush Toy-making Class for Young People

Get Picky: Mango Picking and Tasting Tour

Burda: Embroidery Art of the Philippines

Perlas: Appreciating the Philippine South Sea Pearl

Spirit of Corregidor: World War II Tour by Helicopter and Land

Defining Luxury: Jewelry by Wynn Wynn Ong

Manila Design: Experience Philippine Art, Design and Fashion

Art in the Hills: 27 Years of Philippine Contemporary Art Tour

A Taal Tale: Tour of the Grand Old Houses of Taal Town

If These Walls Could Speak: Tour of the Old Walled City of Intramuros

Lutong Pinoy: Sweet Cooking the Filipino Way for Kids

Pasalubong: A Filipino Crafts Class for Young People

Each program features special touches, from bespoke Peninsula transportation in BMW limousines and the authentic-to the-last-detail Peninsula Jeepney, to unique keepsakes ranging from papier-mâché horses to child-size chef’s aprons, all which provide lasting memories for each guest.

A dynamic new section on The Peninsula’s website has been developed for The Peninsula Academy, including insightful information on each hotel’s programs, images and videos, sample itineraries, maps and other interactive features.

Programs require advance notice so that guests can choose activities according to their interests and travel schedule. Reservations are subject to availability.

Additional details on The Peninsula Manila Academy:

Draw a shape, sew around it, turn it right side out, and you’ve got a toy. Color it red, yellow, purple and blue, glue on some stars and glitters, paste on some fabric patterns and you have the For Love of Softies: Plush Toy-making Class for Young People. This toy-making class can be enjoyed by children from ages five to 12 (or the child at heart, it must be told) by themselves or accompanied by their parents. Watch how delighted, over the moon and amazed they’ll be when they discover they’re the proud maker and designer of their very own wonderful, unique creation. No one else in the world has that toy, just them.

Succulent, meaty, sweet and deliciously tempting, these are just some words to describe glorious Philippine mangoes. The Get Picky: Mango Picking and Tasting Tour is the perfect excuse for the family to fly via helicopter to the second largest mango orchard in the country and pick the fruit right off the trees and learn tons of interesting stuff about growing them while enjoying a picnic lunch under the leafy bowers. Whether giving the kids a lesson on where mangoes come from or enjoying a sunny day surrounded by the beauty of nature, mango fruit-picking in the Philippine countryside is an experience one is sure to love and remember always.

An authentic exploration into Filipino design, Burda: Embroidery Art of the Philippines includes spending time with Len Cabili, founder and designer of Filip + Inna, a private clothing line of contemporary women’s wear inspired by traditional patterns and fabrics. Guests will enjoy a salon show of her gorgeous limited-edition collection of resort wear that will impart a greater appreciation of the ancient techniques of weaving, embroidery and beadwork from different Philippine groups. Len Cabili will share her mission to preserve these ancient traditions of the Philippines that are in danger of being lost. Guests will then be fitted for their own gawa sa kamay (handmade) garment.

Perlas: Appreciating the Philippine South Sea Pearl is a one-day adventure including air and sea travel through one of the world’s greatest, largest and most prolific harvesting grounds that yields a natural treasure of the Philippines: the Philippine South Sea Pearl. One of The Peninsula Manila’s signature WOW! programs, it begins with a helicopter ride to a private pearl farm in the Palawan Sea owned by Jewelmer, a Franco-Filipino luxury jewelry house specializing in these most valuable cultured pearls. During the “pearl safari” guests will explore the mystical process of pearl culturing as the pearl farmers explain the importance of the pearl’s relationship with nature.

Spirit of Corregidor: World War II Tour by Helicopter and Land is another signature WOW! program. This program brings to life the drama of the last stand of the combined Filipino and American defenders against the invading Japanese forces in World War II.

The day begins with a lift-off from the hotel’s helipad where guests will cross Manila Bay to the rocky island fortress of Corregidor upon which a guide will take them on a private tour of the island onboard a 1940s tranvia (tram) and relive the history of major sites, their strategic importance and legacy. Later in the morning, a Peninsula page will offer Champagne and canapés before the helicopter flies along the spectacular Cavite–Batangas coastline before descending into Taal Lake and hovering over Taal Volcano, one of the most geologically active environments in the Philippines. Then the coconut plantations ringing Taal Lake will open to reveal the hillside town of Tagaytay where the helicopter will land near Antonio’s restaurant for a garden lunch at one of Asia’s best restaurants. This is the perfect finish to the “Spirit of Corregidor” tour before returning to The Peninsula Manila with enough memories to last a lifetime.

Defining Luxury: Jewelry by Wynn Wynn Ong takes guests to the private studio of Wynn Wynn Ong, one of the Philippines’ most eminent bespoke jewelers whose pieces have been extensively featured in The Robb Report, Town & Country, Asian Fortune, Platinum and on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily and NY. Over coffee, tea or Champagne and canapés served by a Peninsula page, she will explain the process of creating her works of wearable art that are celebrated for their beauty, craftsmanship and attention to detail. Hotel guests may also commission jewelry which, because of Wynn Wynn’s refusal to make more than one piece of a kind, and no more than a limited number of pieces each year, makes her brooches, bracelets, rings, necklaces and minaudières highly sought after by a select list of clientele who appreciate the extraordinary vision and unflagging commitment to quality that is her hallmark.

Die-hard stylistas will love Manila Design: Experience Philippine Art, Design and Fashion that will allow them to wander at leisure through a pretty and peaceful gated 1950s residential compound that houses the galleries and atelier of three Manila style setters – Albert Avellana (art), Eric Paras (interior design) and Jesus “Jojie” Lloren (fashion) – and where they can discuss over lunch current trends and even buy or commission artworks, limited-edition furniture and couture designs.

With a new dawn rising for Philippine contemporary art, The Peninsula Academy will arrange for curious minds or art enthusiasts to go on a private guided tour of Pinto Gallery,
the Silangan Gardens and Pinto Art Museum with the Art in the Hills: 29 Years of Philippine Contemporary Art program. The tour starts at Pinto Gallery with refreshments served at Silangan Gardens. From there, a guide will take guests to the capilla (chapel) with its antique santos (saints) and then on a short walk down the hillside compound to the museum. The “Art in the Hills” tour comes to a close with a chilled glass of Deutz Peninsula Champagne in hand, as well as a greater appreciation for contemporary Philippine art.

The Taal Tale: Tour of the Grand Old Houses of Taal Town program relives the lifestyle, customs and traditions of a wealthy Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period. Guests will start their journey back in time at Villa Tortuga, a restored 19th-century bahay na bato (stone house) whose gracious owner will host them to a typical provincial lunch and then take them on a walking tour of the centuries-old Basilica of St Martin de Tours before finishing with merienda (Philippine afternoon tea) at Casa Villavicencio.

If These Walls Could Speak: Tour of the Old Walled City of Intramuros brings to life nearly 400 years of Philippine history in a breezy three hours with some of Manila’s most accomplished, educated and interesting historians as the hotel’s private tour guides. The tour starts in Fort Santiago, retracing the steps of Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal and in the process, providing a backdrop for a sometimes biting, oftentimes humorous but always incisively intelligent commentary on the Philippine psyche. The tour ends with either lunch or dinner at a 1930s Art Deco mansion.

Junior guests of The Peninsula Manila eager to learn the ABCs of easy-to-make Filipino desserts can join the Lutong Pinoy: Sweet Cooking the Filipino Way for Kids class and learn how to make halo-halo which is a compound Tagalog (the Philippine national language) word for “mix-mix” because halo-halo means just that – to mix in a glass layers of cooked fruit, egg custard, pulses, shaved ice and ice cream and scoop it up with a spoon. Adult guests are welcome to join too!

After a trip abroad, a Filipino would never dream of returning home without bringing back a pasalubong (souvenir) for one’s family or friends. The Pasalubong: A Filipino Crafts Class for Young People is a wonderful introduction for budding junior artists to work with paper and fabric painting techniques. By the end of a two-hour class, young artists will have painted on a taka (papier-mâché molds shaped like people, horses and the Philippine water buffalo or kalabaw). This is a lovely arts and crafts gift from the Philippines, made even more special by one’s labor of love. Adult guests are welcome to join as well.

For inquiries on prices or reservations for The Peninsula Academy, please call The Peninsula Manila at +63 (2) 887-2888 or email

Additional information on each hotel’s Peninsula Academy programs is available at