The capital

Manila Travel Blog

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Basilica of the Black Nazarene

There is without a doubt, no other place like home.

Manila is the capital of the Philippines.  It is intricate and densely-populated (being the second most populous place in Southeast Asia).  Here is where Filipinos from different parts of the Philippines and  different walks of life interconnects.   Manila breeds diverse ethnic groups with different dialects but  Tagalog is widely spoken and serves as the common ground.  This is one place in Asia where almost everybody can understand and speak English.

In and around Manila, there are many interesting places to see and visit. 

Intramuros tops my list.

Makati
  Casa Manila located in Intramuros, is a shopping arcade where you can find Filipiniana souvenirs and fine Philippine arts and crafts.

CCP Complex - This huge complex highlights the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, theperforming arts hub for concerts, performances, theatrical plays, ballets etc.  Within the complex you will also see 1) the Coconut Palace, an architectural ingenuity using coconut and other native materials; 2)PICC (Phil Int'l Convention Centre) and PHILCITE for exhibits and shows; 3)Manila Film Centre;  4)Folk Arts Theatre; 5)World Trace Centre and nearby Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas right across.

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila (Roxas Blvd) &  The National Museum, Manila - Showcasing Filipino arts and culture, the museum prides itself with modern and contemporary visual arts.

Makati
  To be here is to have a  closer look at the Filipino people, their culture and history.

Luneta Park / Rizal Park -where the national hero was executed and buried.

Manila Ocean Park - Recently built oceanarium similar to that of Hong KOng.  Located at the back of Quirino Grandstand.

Post Office/Liwasang Bonifacio - a prominent Manila landmark fronting a park commerating Andres Bonifacio, the Filipino revolutionary leader.

China Town - Known as Binondo, the place where Chinese immigrants reside and do business. It used to be the country's financial district before Makati, which explains the many different banks, insurance companies etc. in and around the area.  Noteable Chinese restaurants offering authentic Chinese cuisine (fresh dumplings, stir fried noodles) are present, of course.

Ayala Avenue
  Ther specialty Chinese delicacies are also available.

Escolta - Just a short jeepney ride away (or walk if you may) is the famous Escolta where pre-WWII buildings can still be seen standing (Regina Building and Perez-Samanillo).

Quiapo Church - (Basilica of the Black Nazarene). Built in 1582, this is one of the most popular churches in the Philippines.  The Black Nazarene is believed by many to be miraculous which is why there is an annual procession (every January) for those who call themselves Black Nazarene devotees.  Inside the church, you'll see devotees kneeling from the entrance door all the way to the altar as they pray novena or the rosary.  The practice of venerating and touching the images have been a topic of controversy among Catholics, renewed Catholics and other religions.

Makati
  Meanwhile outside the church is like a carnival with all sorts of things imaginable being sold, many kinds of food to eat and different concoctions to drink (or not to drink).  It's like a slow dance:  different people bumping into each other, as they move to different directions.  Friday, the most crowded day, is when the faithfuls (rich or poor) flock to the church to fervently pray.  The thick crowd is an attraction for pickpockets, so beware. 

University Belt - (Sampaloc/Quiapo/Sta. Cruz) Not far away from Quiapo area is the University Belt where various colleges and universities are located.

Divisoria - Famous outdoor market for great bargains of all sorts - fashion, textiles, houseware goods and everything else.

Manila
  There is also an airconditioned mall nearby for those who want comfortable shopping.   To bargain is the name of the game here..... so, indulge yourself.

Paco Park - is not just another interesting place to see.  There is something really special and serene about this park.  Built in 1700s it used to be a cemetery during the Spanish era which has been converted to a national park in the 80s.  Since then Paco Park became a prime venue for hosting cultural events participated by locals and overseas guests. There is a catholic chapel inside the park, really charming which is famous for weddings due to its classic garden setting.  

There is a LRT in Manila (light rail transit) which makes hopping from one place to another easier.

Glorietta
  The train line runs from Monumento (north) to Baclaran (south). 

Pity I dont have enough photos to show these places but will make an effort to get them later.

And while I will make such an effort,  something else is mind-boggling for me. 

The real pity.
Which is the  government's sense of history.  There is no apparent exertion of any huge effort to preserve and promote historical buildings, sites and heritage.  The Filipino legacy, customs, traditions and values are slowly fading away.    But deep inside every Filipino's heart, we never lose hope for something better to come.

 


 

 

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Basilica of the Black Nazarene
Basilica of the Black Nazarene
Makati
Makati
Makati
Makati
Ayala Avenue
Ayala Avenue
Makati
Makati
Manila
Manila
Glorietta
Glorietta
Greenbelt Church
Greenbelt Church
Basilica of the Black Nazarene
Basilica of the Black Nazarene
Liwasang Bonifacio
Liwasang Bonifacio
Post Office
Post Office
Manila Traffic
Manila Traffic
Makati Skyline
Makati Skyline
Greenbelt
Greenbelt
Greenbelt
Greenbelt
Luneta (Rizal Park)
Luneta (Rizal Park)
Cultural Center of the Phils.
Cultural Center of the Phils.
Makati Business District
Makati Business District
San Agustin
San Agustin
13,330 km (8,283 miles) traveled
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Manila
photo by: Deats