Thanks John.

I'm hoping to avoid Manila altogether, other than using the airport as a gateway to other places on the island. I have a full 8 days to do what I like, which is just enough to be tempted to do a few areas, or equally to just hang out on a beach for the entire time (although the photographer in me says NOOOOOOOOOOOO!). I'm doing quite a bit of internet research, but for whatever reason, I still prefer having a real guidebook in hand (which hopefully will arrive tomrorrow) to help me make final decisions. I definitely won't be going to Mindanao while I'm there, and hopefully won't have to deal with any typhoons either, regardless of where I am.