Best things to do in Metro Manila and sightseeing in Metro Manila
Manila - Metro Manila
Manila is pure brouhaha. That's the only word to describe it. Never has organized-chaos looked so appealing. Elongated jeeps called 'Jeepneys', all shiny silver and flashy paint jobs and cyborg-like motorbikes with sidecars called 'Trikes', zip around the roads, skirting traffic. Skyscrapers stand side by side with shanty towns. And the people : Manila is a pretty small city, but there are so many people here that it's earned the title of 'most densely populated city in the world'. But the gentle, Tagalog-speaking folk are a likeable lot, so really, it's okay that there are so many of them. If you have a few hours in Manila, there are a couple of places you must visit. The Walled City of Intramurous is Manila's oldest district; it was where the Spanish ruled from in the 1500s. Guarding the city is Fort Santiago, built by the conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. National martyr Jose Rizal was imprisoned here before his execution in 1896 for seditious activities. Rizal Park, adjacent to Intramuros, pays homage to the hero, and houses the Rizal Monument that contains Rizal's remains. Intramuros is also well known for its cafes and restaurants. Hunker down at one of them and sate your hunger. Chinatown is nearby and is great for a round of bag-shopping and a dose of the crazy before heading to sophisticated Makati for high-end retail therapy and finally, check out the nightlife at Ermita. Be wary of people offering you beer- accepting one is a secret code for ....ummm..consent!
Manila, lying on the eastern shore of Manila Bay, is a modern city with modern conveniences, hard-working people and a rich history. It is also the most densely populated city in the world. Located inside the walled city of Intramuros in Manila lies Fort Santiago, the oldest Spanish fortress in the Philippines. Strategically located near the mouth of the Pasig River just off Manila Bay, Fort Santiago was built in 1571. Originally the site of a Muslim kingdom headed by Rajah Sulaiman the area was destroyed by Spaniards and the fort was built and soon became the main defense fortress during the spice trade with the Americas. The original earthen and log fort was destroyed by invading Chinese Pirates and was reconstructed with volcanic rock. The fort served as a Spanish Fortress, Headquarters of the US Army during the American colonial period and WW2 and was captured by the Japanese during WW2 and used as a prison. Most of the fort was destroyed during the Battle of Manila in February 1945 and is now a historical park administered by the Philippine National Parks Development Committee. Used by the Japanese military, after they captured Manila, numerous Filipino and American prisoners were tortured and executed in the infamous dungeons. Some reports estimate that as many as 2500-3000 Filipinos were executed in Intramuros and Fort Santiago during the last days of Japanese occupation. A cross bearing an inscription and denoting the final resting place of approximately 600 Filipino and American prisoners is located on the grounds. Today the dungeons are closed to the public along with the underground chambers. Visitors are allowed in some parts and can walk the grounds.
Rizal Park - Metro Manila
Later during the day we went to Rizal Park, which is where many historical moments took place. The gaining of Filipino Independence took place here, as well as the execution of Rizal, who was a leader in the movement for Independence. It's a great place to relax on a Sunday - there were many families here walking around and enjoying the greenery. Tourists also are common, hence the many individuals who tried to sell us photos, tours, and rides on horse-drawn carriages.
Legazpi Sunday Market - Metro Manila
The Boracay Beach - Metro Manila
Boracay, one of the most drop dead gorgeous beaches that i’ve ever been to in my life. Soft, fine white sand…crystal clear water ..amazing sunsets….it’s just indescribable! We took our advance dive certification in Boracay as well. Best decision ever made. We saw a wide variety of marine life and the corals were so colourful! A pity we did not have a underwater camera with us to capture those amazing creatures :(
San Augustin - Metro Manila
The San Augustine Cathedral is the oldest in the Philippines. It is an absolutely gorgeous structure, and there are tons of portraits and sculptures which are placed a bit randomly in the hallways.There was a wedding taking place in the cathedral, which we were able to observe from the upper balcony in the back. The ceremony was breathtaking, and we saw the bridal party walk up the aisle in pairs.Then the bride arrived, and everyone started taking pictures. The train of her dress was very long. It was beautiful but seemed very awkward to handle, especially when she got up to the altar and needed 4 helpers to assist in arranging and managing the fabric. Both her mother and father accompanied her up the aisle and "gave her away" to the groom.
Baywalk - Metro Manila
Everyone enjoyed the peace and relaxed atmosphere. However, we weren’t able to see a glorious sunset due to the thick gray clouds that gathered quickly at the horizon. We would have wanted to let our friends witness the glory of Puerto Princesa’s sunset, just like the last time we visited here. Here’s something you don’t see every day…unless you’re in Puerto Princesa. The Duders ordered sorbetes (Filipino ice cream made of purple yam and cheese) in a hamburger bun. Lilian said it was delicious!
Tiendesitas - Metro Manila
Later that night we went to a shopping area called "Tiendesitas," translated as "little shops," from Spanish. There was a whole row of shops that sold animals, from tarantulas and rabbits to dogs and cats. It was really sad how cramped some of the conditions were. A large golden retriever shouldn't be living in a small cage.
Intramuros - Metro Manila
Our visit in Manila started out with a trip to the Intramuros, which is a walled historic city from the Spanish colonial times. There are museums, cathedrals, and overall beautiful architecture. Surprisingly, there are a lot of universities within the walls as well, and we saw lots of students and canteens where they can grab a quick and cheap meal. We were able to walk around on top of the walls, which were once fortified with cannons.