Manila Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.