Manila The Abysymal Jungle Of Southeast Asia
Manila The Abysymal Jungle Of Southeast Asia Reviews
Oct 07, 2007
Someone asked for a review about manila, but i had a hard time writing it, if he only meant manila (capital) or metro manila (the greater capital consisting of 16 cities and 1 municipality)
i was born, lived and raised here for a quarter of my life. I saw manila changed its faces through the years. Its the largest urban area in southeast asia - 11 million people in the greater area.
for a foreigner (specially whites, who people almost always mistook and prejudiced as american and whistling of "hey jo"), its not safe to go out of the touristic areas without a guide or someone who knew the city by heart, for there are lots of street urchins and crimes are abundant in the city.
for the touristic area, i'd recommend:
- of course the big shopping malls - but i'd recommend my favorite of all - its called greenbelt (an open air mall full of lush greens and parks), situated in the city of makati (greater metro manila) where hundreds of über elite shops and restos can be found - but compared to the prices in the western countries more cheaper than expected but the qualities and services and staffs are more friendly and personal than you can expect. In this area - my favorite restaurant is not of the typical filipino cuisine - it's called soleil in greenbelt 3 (i dont know if its still there) a first class french restaurant where you can have tres bien provence cuisine, entree, champagne, and dessert for about 20 euros per person (which costs unbelievably 100 euros in europe).
- next is intramuros or the old quarter of manila, still encircled with a wall and some cobblestone streets left, it is where lots of spanish colonial remnant architectures can still be found - such as the casa manila, san agustin church (oldest church in the philippines as well as in asia), the manila cathedral (war and earthquake torned and built several times yet remain an imposing landmark), colegio de san juan de letran founded in 1620 (my old school) - the 2nd oldest college in the philippines and the oldest all boys school in asia and the palacio del gobernador.
- after touring intramuros, you can sit in one of the open cafes in the roaxas boulevard popularly known as baywalk, have a nice cold drink of your chioce of philippine fruit juices and watch the sunset across the manila bay.
- then the nightlife of malate - with hundreds of bars, karaokes, clubs, live bands performing to your taste and a bottle of the philippines own brewed beer - san miguel beer.
always be careful with your documents - passports, wallets, mobiles, handbags, cameras, mp3 player and other valuables because there are lots of professional robbers roaming around the streets and also be patient of the famous traffic congestion where it can take you 1-2-3 hours to your next destination. Dont be fooled with taxi cab drivers better rent a car for hire for it is very safe to do so.
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