|Being the capital city of the Philippines, an archipelago in
Southeast Asia, the first quick fact that you need to know about
Manila is that it is one of the most populous urban areas in the
world. In a country which is made up of more than 7,000 islands, you
cannot help but marvel at the shock to the senses that you will feel
once you have a ‘close encounter’ with the city.
visitors who pay Manila a visit have different impressions. Some
leave with a down feeling of having been to a place that’s polluted
and chaotic while others have a more pleasant experience.
Without a doubt, it does take awhile to get adjusted to the city of
Manila if your not originally from the Philippines or have never
been to a large Asian city like Manila.
A Glimpse at Manila’s History, Culture, People & Places
During the days of the Spanish occupation, Manila became a seat of
power for the Spaniards. As a result of the harsh Spanish, American
and Japanese invasions, what’s left of the locals when they finally
gained their hard-earned independence is a mishmash of influences
from their occupants.
However, Filipinos in general are warm, hospitable people. Most of
the people in Manila are actually ‘natives’ of other provinces in
one of the three main islands which make up the Philippines: Luzon,
Visayas and Mindanao. If it’s your first time to visit the country,
you can easily get around without having to learn the local dialect
because most people speak English.
Another thing which attracts foreigners to visit Manila is its warm,
humid climate. If you’re looking for the best value for your money,
your American dollars will definitely go a long way when you spend
it in a luxury hotel or a spa treatment in one of the opulent
establishments within the city. Manila is also a great starting
point if you want to explore more of the countryside, where there
are pristine beaches and other tourist destinations.
Manila and the Philippines in general are also famous for the mouth
watering local cuisine. If you have an adventurous palate, you might
want to have a taste of the local street food which includes balut o
boiled duck embryo; deep-fried pork rinds or fried caramelized
bananas served in barbecue sticks.
Explore More of Manila from “Within the Walls”
Going on an all-out exploration of Manila has many delights to offer
especially for first-time visitors. Intramuros, which is Spanish for
“within the walls”, contains some of the most interesting sights
that Manila has to offer including the Manila Cathedral, other
churches and ruins.
Manila is also where Rizal Park, the Bonifacio Shrine, Chinatown,
Paco Park and the official residence of the Philippine president
called the Malacanang Palace is located. You might also want to
explore the local markets in Quiapo and Binondo where a wide array
of local goods is available.
When you combine all these sights with the vibrant Manila
nightlife, a gorgeous view of the sunset as you walk along Manila
Bay and a bone-chilling yet fun ride at the local public transport
which is the colorful jeepney – it all adds up to a delightful
mixture of everything that the city of Manila has to offer.