This is a guest post by Jerik de Guzman. If you want to guest post on Go Backpacking, please read more here.
Re-discover Manila and be prepared for the surprises it'll bring you.
Less than P50 is all you need to ride public transportation: be it a jeepney, FX or a bus going to Manila where fun and good times meet.
Manila is the city long forgotten by many because of the exciting, overly-secure and posh malls of Makati. Home to the President of the Republic, the glaring red light district and obscure menu is also the city that never sleeps.
What once was the pride and glory of the country is now part of history books and police watch lists. We all want a little thrill once in a while, so the next time you're planning a vacation, plan a trip to Manila.
Here's a roundup of cool things to do in the metro area.
Manila is a beautiful city that boasts arts, leisure and entertainment. Erected with numerous landmarks like the National Museum, the Planetarium, Luneta Park and Manila Zoo amongst others. A short trip will do good for your head, so you can start brushing up again on your knowledge of history and science.
Part of any experience in Manila is the gorgeous sunset of Manila Bay. World famous for its harbor view, one can experience the tossing of the day and night in the benches while you enjoying your ” sopdrink”? in plastic and old style ” mamon.”?
At night, Manila turns into a throbbing district littered with anything that screams good times, fueled with a display of electric light shows from the many bars, massage parlors, saunas, and clubs. Walking in the streets of Malate is a treat as it is the real heart of Manila nightlife. Local and foreign restaurants offer the real food for the gods, the ultimate Pinoy Inuman combo of Pork Sisig and San Miguel beer.
Manila's natural sound may be annoying to some, but for many of its foreign lurkers, it is the perfect key to the culture. One can find the best cover singers of Matt Monroe and Elvis Presley in the spirit of popular live acoustic bars, or maybe one can listen to new Manila sound of OPM chill out music as you navigate the streets of Orosa and Nakpil.
Manila at night isn't just about listening to music, it's about creating some. The most popular hobby at this side of the metro is the pinoy star dreamer in all of us, so be prepared to sing you favourite anthem, be it” Lak-Lak”? or if you're the moody type, maybe some Air Supply and Barry Manilow.
Food in Manila is unlike anywhere else in the world. It's unique, flavorful and definitely not for the fainthearted. Manila offers the most absurd, and surprisingly most sumptuous, local delicacy anyone will ever taste. Balut and Penoy are for tourists. Western food has finally hit the core market of Manila.
Forget about paying P300 for a plate of pasta in fine dining restaurant, and head to the Quiapo market along villalobos and order a single serving of sweet-style spaghetti and palabok. Plus, you can order crispy Fried Chicken with wings at less than P50. One may also discover the secret hub for Chinese food lovers in a place called Estero in Binondo for huge servings of Mami, lomi and pancit at dirt cheap prices.
If the pressure of designer living in the city center has taken its toll on you, head to Manila where you can feel the spirit of luxury living for a fraction of your peso. Manila, where every visit seems like the first time. Cheers Panyero!
Top things to do in Manila:
- Manila Bay Sunset while drinking your chilled San Miguel pale pilsen.
- Dinner at the harbor view while eating you less than P100 grilled barbecue feast.
- Time to keep fit with jogging in Luneta Park.
- If you're in dire need of a makeover, head to the true blue discount shops of 168 and Divisoria for some 101 on style.
- Chill out in one of the many bars in Malate and you might just earn yourself a date.
- Ride the Pasig river boat cruise from Makati to Manila.
- Sing the latest (as of press time) videoke anthem ” Bugoy's Paano na kaya” in one of the many homey videoke bars.
- They say there's a poet inside each of us. So write some poetry and read it aloud in nightly poetry reading sessions in one of the art cafes in malate.
- Ride a kalesa. Help the hardworking drivers earn a living.
- Make new friends. Talk to Manilenyos, they are the most welcoming people in metro Manila.
About the Author: The author currently lives in Manila, has travelled around South East Asia but always finds himself going back to his roots, roaming the streets of this enigmatic and one of a kind city and finding the pleasure that is innate in a city like no other. He narrates his journeys in his blog called Pinoy Boy Journals www.jerik76raverz.blogspot.com