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Manila: The Forgotten City

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 the 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 by night

Manila by night

Sights

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.

Sounds

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 favorite anthem, be it “Lak-Lak” or if you're the moody type, maybe some Air Supply and Barry Manilow.

Taste

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 a 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!

Manila sunset

Manila sunset

Top things to do in Manila:

  1. Manila Bay Sunset while drinking your chilled San Miguel pale pilsen.
  2. Dinner at the harbor view while eating you less than P100 grilled barbecue feast.
  3. Time to keep fit with jogging in Luneta Park.
  4. 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.
  5. Chill out in one of the many bars in Malate and you might just earn yourself a date.
  6. Ride the Pasig riverboat cruise from Makati to Manila.
  7. Sing the latest (as of press time) videoke anthem “Bugoy's Paano na kaya” in one of the many homey videoke bars.
  8. 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.
  9. Ride a kalesa. Help the hardworking drivers earn a living.
  10. Make new friends. Talk to Manilenyos, they are the most welcoming people in metro Manila.

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About the Author: The author currently lives in Manila, has traveled 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

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking uses and recommends:

Metta Juliana

Wednesday 3rd of April 2013

Philippines, one of the country that i want visit. i wish someday go there to meet my old friend in manila. It's definitely a dream destination for me on my next vacation. i don't know why, but i would like to go to this town as soon as possible to getting great sunset to you all my friends.

Philippines,,wait for me..

Mae

Friday 4th of February 2011

I have many friends who have been to Manila, they all had stories to tell. On my next vacation, I would love to go to the Philippines and check out Manila, I'm sure getting a hotel in the heart of Manila. I wanna capture that same beautiful sunset too!

Joe Marcus

Thursday 27th of January 2011

"Manila’s natural sound may be annoying to some, but for many of its foreign lurkers, it is the perfect key to the culture."

You can say this because it really is Manila's Trademark to be the place with the noisiest streets but you can still find some serene and quiet places or hotels perfect for relaxation but not too far from the great happenings in Manila.

Like the Oasis Park Hotel in Paco Park, complete amenities perfect for business trips with tight budget. Quiet place and they serve the most sumptuous breakfast!

Pinoy Boy

Sunday 9th of May 2010

Manila is unexplainable. one, its a colorful city two, its your first encounter with the philippines. if there are three words to describe manila its enigmatic, bustling and impeccable. Go here!!! It'll be good!

Pinoy Boy

Sunday 9th of May 2010

Manila is unexplainable. one, its a colorful city two, its your first encounter with the philippines. if there are three words to describe manila its enigmatic, bustling and impeccable. Go here!!! It'll be good!

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