Manila is a very modern city that is full of history and the is capital of the Philippines. Itâ€™s a shame that Manila is often describe as a polluted and crowded city, but there is so much here to like: the festive, casual, corrupt, laid back, chaos, caring people and more are on display here more than anywhere else in the Philippines.
Manila has many places to satisfy different tastes. History buffs will enjoy the rich heritage of the old Manila city. Most Filipinos are Catholic and Manila has numerous oldÂ churches, some dating back 300 years. The walled Intramuros area was the traditional center of Manila, but was damage in WWII and has never recovered. Intramuros is a good place to explore, just to find the bones of its past.
Other parts of town are more lively. At the center of modern Manila is Makati, the commercial hub of the country. You can shop, eat and drink to your heart's content. Located here are some of the finest hotels and restaurants in Asia. The city offers many places to eat out and provides a vibrant and diverse taste, but the traditional street food is most famous among tourists. Some of the most famous dishes include the banana Cue, quek quek, chicharon, penoy and the faous balut.
Â Also in Metropolitan Manila, you can find four of the largest shopping malls in the world. You can shop for high end brand at SM Mall of Asia and Glorietta or to go to shopping at tiangge, a market of stalls, where everything can be bargained. Shopaholics will love theÂ mallsÂ easily accessible within the metropolis. Shopping is one of a Filipinos favorite things to do.
When one travels to Manila, one of the things to do is to see the Manila Bay sunset. The Sunset at Manila Bay is also one of the most spectacular youâ€™ll ever see You can catch the sunset along Roxas boulevard where you can experience one of the most breathtaking sunsets of the world.
Most tourists in Manila never miss the old Quiapo Church. It is located in Plaza Miranda, the historical center in Manila where so-called parliaments of the streets congregate and boldly air their political agenda or grievances against the government. Quiapo Church is home to the Black Nazarene which is paraded each year with crowds of the faithful escorting it in a very emotional procession.
Most Manilans speak English fluently and you will be understood by most, if not all. Tagalog is the indigenous dialect of Manila, and is a mixture of Malay, Spanish, and Chinese. Chinese is spoken by the Chinese community, while Spanish is spoken by the old aristocratic families of Spanish lineage. Some Filipinos can understand written Spanish with few difficulties.
Â To enjoy your stay in Manila, never be scared of going out to an unsual tourist spot. Those who followed Lonely Planet, Insight, and other guides only left Manila with a sigh of relief, thinking that all is bad in that "third-world" crazed capital. But seriously, Manila has all the first-world amenities any city can offer, it's only fault is that all the guidebooks don't really list the best of Manila. An alternative would be Globetrotter Island Guide Philippines, which is an excellent read, as is Insight Guides Manila.