The Philippines capital city is Metro Manila, the most crowded city in the Philippines. One of the things you’ll notice is the Jeepneys, one of the trademarks of the Philippines. Jeepney is one of the cheap ways of public transportation that most Filipinos rely on to get to school, work and around the city.
There are amazing things to do while you are in Manila: Like the impressive old churches, parks, plazas where you can rest after the long and tiring day, markets where you can buy cheap fruits and vegetables, monuments that represent the events and history of the people of the Philippines and the Museums.
Top Landmarks in Manila
Malacanang Palace is the official residence of the Philippines state representatives. And don’t forget to visit Intramuros is the oldest district in Manila.
Makati is the central business district that is 10 KM far from Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Most of the travellers spend time at this city to enjoy the different kind of restaurants with different cuisines, big malls and cinemas, spa and wellness, 5 stars hotels and skyscraper buildings as well as the entertainment at night.
Eat your way through the Filipino restaurants with a wide range of cuisines from the different regions. From the high-end restaurants that offer the mouth-watering food to Chinese restaurants to taste the authentic mainland delicacies and the street food that most of the tourists try to eat like the famous Balot, chicken feet and Isaw (chicken intestine).
To those who love to go home late night or early morning just to enjoy their vacation in the city, Manila has a wide range of bars, clubs and theatres. For the endless night of singing, drinking and dancing go to Makati Avenue, Timog and Quezon City.
So if you want to experience a nightlife, visit Manila and make sure you ride the Jeepney and tricycle.
Attractions: Cultural Center of the Philippines
Cultural Center of the Philippines is located at CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Magdalena Jalandani, Malate, Pasay City Manila. It is the showcase of arts in the Philippines founded in September 1969 it has been presenting visual arts, theatre, dance, music, literary and cinematic for more than forty years.
Their purpose is to encourage the growth of more aspiring artists, art managers, online educational resources and new audiences through master classes and workshops.
They lead in the venue management and professionalization of stagecraft and practice in the technical theatre and design. They provide performance and exhibition venues for various local and international productions at this 62 hectares complex, which is owned by the Government of the Philippines.
It was founded on October 19th, 1995 and is located in San Lorenzo South, Santa Rosa Laguna, Philippines. It covers an area of 17 hectares and is located about 39 kilometres from Manila.
This park is operated and managed by Enchanted Kingdom Incorporated, a member of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
The Theme Park was founded by Cynthia and Mario Mamon. There are attraction and rides, dining and shopping opportunities, events and entertainment and more magical packages like enchanting celebrations, school tours and more. One of the entertainer’s lead character is Princess Victoria, the EK’s premiere all-female vocal group Victoria’s Way. They showcase a total sing and dance performance, mesmerizing voices leaving the audience wanting for more.
The rides and attractions of the park have now seven theme zones. The Portabello, Brooklyn Place, Jungle Outpost, Spaceport, Midway Boardwalk, Victoria Park and Boulderville. And now with the total of 30 rides – if you really want to make your day special, Enchanted Kingdom is one of the best.
It is located in Makati the Central Business District of the Philippines. It is one of the best museums that can surely make you lose yourself in amazing contemporary art and uplift your heart through Philippine’s inspiring history. It has the collection of archaeological artefacts, the Museum’s highlight is notably the Gold of Ancestors: Pre-Colonial treasures in the Philippines.
It signifies the inherent craftsmanship and serves as a testament to the Filipino’s rich ancestry. Ayala Museum also exhibits the Philippine Diorama Experience which is visually narrating the milestones of the 60 handcrafted dioramas of the Philippine History. This Museum is a sanctuary in the city that keeps the Philippine cultures and arts.
Rizal Shrine (Intramuros) – Manila
It is a dedication to the lifeworks of Dr. Jose Rizal and is located at Santa Clara Street, Fort Santiago, Intramuros Manila, Philippines. Jose Rizal, the national hero spent his last night there and it’s where the family found his famous poem, Mi Ultimo Adios means My Last Farewell.
Intramuros or “within the walls” in English words, it is the historic core and the oldest district in the city. Known to be the original city of Manila and a component realm of the Spanish empire. The districts beyond the walls are called “extramuros” or in English “outside the walls”.
It was heavily damaged during the second world war with the battle to recapture the city from the Japanese Imperial Army.
The walls were reconstructed in 1951 when the government declared a National Historical Monument which continues up to this day by the intramuros administration (IA).
Quiapo Church Manila:
Quiapo church is a Catholic church in Manila. This place has thousands of devotees and they always conduct a novena every Friday as a respect to the Black Nazarene. During the mass celebration, the church is very crowded and outside the church, you can find many hawkers selling different kinds of religious items like herbs, voodoo, charms and amulets.
This place is a sacred and prestigious place managed by the priest. Every year there is a celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo district and thousands of devotees attend this celebration.
Quiapo church is one of the remarkable and oldest churches in the city of Manila. The Black Nazarene is considered as a miraculous statue that gives relief to those who are suffering from illness.
Manila Zoo is an amusement park with different exotic animals, located at Malate in Quirino Highway. The zoo is one of the favourite places for tourists, especially kids, because of its different species. This popular zoo was open to the public on July 25, 1959, and tourist can discover, learn, and observe some interesting facts about animals there.
In the zoo animals are well maintained and the environment is clean but there were times some animals were dirty and unhealthy. That it the reason some animals like Lion and Giraffes are not there anymore.
One of the most favourite species in this park is the Catalina Macaw, It is a kind of a bird that has many different colours. Aside from Catalina Macaw there is a small playground for kids where they can do boat riding and horseback riding. If you love birds there is a photo booth where you can take a picture of tamed birds.
The Manila Cathedral is one of the most famous and oldest churches in the Philippines. Many couples decide to get married in this church and even some celebrities because of the striking design of the building and the large space inside. It also serves as a home for the pope during his visits here in the Philippines. The wonderful altar is the most notable design inside the church with a Roman-inspired, unique carving and beautiful ceiling designs.
Many tourists visit this church because of its antique materials inside and also the illustration of the extra stability of the building. Outside the Cathedral locals sell tour services and souvenirs. They offer tours going to Intramuros, Casa Manila, San Agustin Church, Rizal Shrine and Fort Santiago. You can ride the Kalesa or horse-powered vehicle.
San Agustin Church
The San Agustin Church in Intramuros is located in Manila and is a Roman Catholic Church under the patronage of St. Augustine. The initial church was constructed during the Spanish Colonial Era and is made of nipa and bamboo, but unfortunately, it was destroyed by earthquake and fire.
In 2013 the church was built again and is now made with a colorful exterior of sophisticated colourful stones. Many tourists come back and forth to visit the church because of the natural beauty of this structure. The Church of San Agustin is a prestigious and religious guidance by priests who strongly believe in the Lord.
Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park, is the most popular, most visited and most photographed monument in Manila. The iconic monument of Jose Rizal at the Luneta Park in Manila is replicated in Madrid , Spain at the junction of Avenida de Las Islas Filipinas.
Aside from Madrid, the Jose Rizal Monument have many replicas in other countries around the world, but the original one here in the Philippines is the most valuable and memorable place because it has been the spot where the country’s national hero Jose Rizal was carried out for death in front of Filipino crowd during the Spanish Colonial Era.
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Fort Santiago Manila:
Fort Santiago is a cultural heritage that plays a significant role in the Philippine History. It is a historical place where Jose Rizal, the National Hero was imprisoned during the Spanish Era.
There is a Rizal Memorial within the fortress which has footprints that are filled to the course. It is said that Jose Rizal walked on it the date on which he was executed. It is the site of countless massacres during the colonial period and World War II. It has also been destroyed and rebuilt no less than four times.
Despite its almost five-centuries lasting history, up to this day, it still remained, but more in the form of remnants of an ancient fortress, although some buildings such as the gateway to the castle are very well preserved.
The Fort Santiago is not just a subject for photographers but something to be proud of. The walled city is an essential place to keep the Philippine history alive.
The National Museum of the Philippines:
The National Museum of the Philippines is a government institution in the Philippines located at Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila which serves as an educational and cultural institution preserving the History and various artefacts that were collected in the past.
Most of the schools even travel a long way just to visit the museum to show and introduce the past life of the Filipinos and other foreign people who colonized and teaches their cultural activities in the Philippines to their students, and also show the vintage designs of houses from the different races who live in the country.
They also have the Planetarium which introduces different kinds of planets and galaxies existing in the space and its history like where they got their names, compositions and shapes. The objective of this museum is to teach the past to the new generation and pass it on and vice versa.
The Minor Basilica:
Minor Basilica is composed of 12 churches in the Philippines and each church was built in a particular style. It evolves into an ancient Christian church, with a crescent apse. The basilica is a sacred place and it binds artistic beauty, historic connotation and active prayer life that can turn your family vacation into satisfaction with the manifestation of God’s Kingdom.
This place is religious and its title, as requested, should be liturgically committed to God and become outstanding as one of the centres of an active and pastoral liturgy, limitation of one example for each other.
The Manila Ocean Park
Manila Ocean Park is the first marine theme park and a premier educational facility.
It is considered to be the first world-class theme park in the country. It consists of a marine-themed park, Restaurant, swimming pool, hotel and multi-purpose facilities. It is one of the attractions both for tourists and locals in Manila. It is set up in an a-la-carte style. The ticket packages can vary in prices, depending on the attractions that you wish to avail.
The Malacañan Palace
A Malacañang Palace is an authoritative place where the president is officially residing for their work. During the Spanish colonial Era, the Malacañang Palace was made of nipa-coated and limited bamboo design constructed on the water. In the past few years, the Malacañang Palace was renovated and it has improved a lot.
The building now is durable because it is made of poured cement, classic log, roof and it is totally bullet-proof and air-conditioned. The Malacañang Palace is known in the field of politics and it is always attended by influential people in every event held.
Star City is a 35,000 m2 amusement park located within the Cultural Center of the Philippine complex in Pasay City where a world of excitement, entertainment and education awaits.
The amusement park was also the first to introduce different types of rides and attractions in the Philippines. There’s a lot of other attractions that can serve the interest of different kinds of people. It has a reasonably cheap entrance fee, and you get a good option for a fun weekend with your friends and family.
One of the oldest Catholic churches in the Philippines, Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, also known as Binondo Church, is located in the District of Binondo, Manila fronting Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz (Manila’s Chinatown at the western end of Ongpin Street, Binondo).
This church is one of the remnants of the 300 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines.
Inside of the church is as surprising as is the outside. There is a beautiful image under the dome of the Church of Jesus and the angels hovering near. Old rich heritage was preserved in this church. The masses are solemnly held daily.
The Basílica Menor de San Sebastián
The San Sebastian church is a roman catholic minor basilica that is also calledBasilica Menor de San Sebastian and is located in Philippines centre of Manila. Many tourists visit this site to attend the mass and pray to God. The Basilica Menor De San Sebastian is one of the brilliant creations of the early16th century. It is also one of the treasures held by the Philippines.
In the past few years, The San Sebastian church has experienced invasions of corrosion of steel due to the sea breeze coming from the nearby Manila Bay. In few years, the church will be renovated and to become more attractive again.
The Coconut Palace
Coconut Palace also called the Filipino Home. It is located in the Cultural Center of the Philippines the (CCP) in Pasay City. Thanks to the inherent beauty of this palace it is always featured in various TV shows. The Coconut Palace is subject to adjustments that remain to be official office and residence of the vice president. Before it became official office and residence of the vice president, it was also used at wedding receptions.
The palace is composed of amenities which attractive in the eyes of the people.
The Museo Pambata:
The Museo Pambata is located at Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila. The museum hours are from 8am-5pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1pm-5pm on Sundays and closed every Monday and on a selected official holidays. Admission fee is P 250 for 2 years old and above and also for adults.
This museum is patronized because of its quality in terms of service. The Environment theme where children are introduced to their natural surroundings is to inspire them to take action and help mother nature. Another is Old Manila theme where it is a journey back in the past for them to be aware of what Manila used to be before.
Career Options theme is where they are asked what they want to be when they grow up? Kids can discover their specific skills and visualize their professions in the near future.
Malate Church – Manila
Malate Church, a Baroque-style or relating to a style of an European architecture, is a Roman Catholic church opened in the year 1934. It is located at M.H Del Pilar St. Corner Remedios st. Malate, Manila and it is also known as Our Lady of Remedies Parish Church. This is one of the oldest churches in the city and has a long aisle.
Masses are held either in English or Filipino. It is really a solemn place to worship God and it is a blend of history and religion. A visit to Malate Church never fails to recharge catholic faith.
This place is special for pregnant women and women who want to become a mother. This is a place to go to pray for getting pregnant and for a good pregnancy and giving birth without complications that’s why it is more patronized by the women.
Manila City Hall:
The Manila City Hall is located in Ermita, Manila. It is where the Mayor holds an office and the Manila City Council takes place. In the past, the Manila City Hall was criticized because of the lack of entrances and the Clocktower location.
But after years of continued existence, it became a compliment. Those who used to criticise now praise it for its unique and original design. It was intentionally build to look like a shield of a Knight which symbolizes that the country is on the influence and protection of the Roman Catholic Church.
Also, the Clock Tower became an attraction to the people because it is the largest clock tower in the Philippines. It stands out during the night time when the whole tower lights up. The bell rings 3 times every hour which now became the icon for the city of Manila.
The Manila Metropolitan Theater:
The Manila Metropolitan Theatre, also known as the Met, is located in Padre Burgos Avenue near the Manila Central Post Office. In 1950’s the building was an old-design one and was used for performance art. During the Marcos Era, First Lady Imelda Marcos grabbed it again and re-established the building to make it beautiful and to improve it.
Many different performances are held here each year because of the external and internal structure of the building being in a good condition. It was developed for the field of art and served as one of the magnificent landmarks in the city of Manila.
Masjid al-Dahab: Masjid al-Dahab was led by Muslims and is considered the largest mosque in Metro Manila. Many people admire it because of the golden dome designed out of the mosque which is attractive to the human eye. The place is sacred for Muslims and they worship it every Friday noon. The mosque is adjacent to the Quiapo church which is the centre of the Christian devotion.
It merges a mix of foreign and local influences. The dome and minaret are modelled after the former Middle Eastern arrangements. The shape adopted a geometric design from the colours and the diversity of ethnic Maranao and Tausug art.
The Plaza de Armas:
The Plaza de Armas, one of the popular tourist attractions in the Philippines, is located in Intramuros, Manila. Being one of the two major plazas in Intramuros, The Plaza de Armas is believed to be the site where wooden palisade of Rajah Sulayman was located.
It is also surrounded by storehouses and military barracks, which currently stand only as ruins today. Aside from its famous open green area, the statue of Rizal known as Rizal Shrine is located at the western side of the plaza which was built in honour of Jose Rizal, who was imprisoned there and executed in 1896. The Shrine is located at the centre of the plaza.
El Hogar Filipino Building:
El Hogar Filipino Building, which was built in 1914 and is located in Manila’s Binondo District, is just one of the historic buildings preserved in Manila. It is one of the structures that serve as a reminder to the past, from the transformation of a loyal Spanish city to a vibrant American Pearl of the Orient Seas up to the colourful capital of the Philippines.
While El Hogar has always been the subject of demolitions, Filipinos have thrived to save the building from further destruction. El Hogar is just one of the important buildings that our future generation should see. They should be reminded of the past, from numerous events such as the American insular government to the Philippine Commonwealth, up to the independence of our country in 1946.
El Hogar has also survived bombings during World War II which significantly shows that it is indeed a witness to our great history.
Mall of Asia Arena:
The Mall of Asia Arena is a sports venue within the SM Mall of Asia complex located in Pasay, Philippines and has the maximum capacity of 20,000. Major events are being held at the arena including sports events, religious events, concerts and other important events like parties and it serves as an alternate venue of the Philippine Basketball Association especially when the Smart Araneta Coliseum is unavailable.
What makes it popular are the ultramodern amenities, such as the 360-degree LED scoreboard, restaurants, VIP boxes, retractable seats and a 2,000 capacity car park building. Aside from the best facilities, the arena is clean, very modern and spacious. And they also have a separate building for parking which you can just walk to by crossing the bridge.
In any event, people always look for comfort and that’s what Mall of Asia Arena can bring you.
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The Arroceros Forest Park:
Arroceros Forest Park, also known as Manila’s last lung is one of the notable places of Manila’s cultural and environmental heritage which was developed in 1993. It is located in the central district of Ermita, Manila that lies near the Pasig River.
The name Arroceros was originated from rice dealers as the park became a venue for rice dealers in the late 16th and 17th century in Manila.
The lush green trees, the fresh air, different ornamental plants, different bird species and the tranquillity make this place a favourite among the tourists and visitors. It is open to all, you just need to sign their logbook and you can go to the park for free.
Aside from its purpose of providing people with a good place to wander, the park also serves as an educational place to visit.
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