Making merry in Manila

Fun & frolick in urban Philippines
/ New Delhi
Making merry in Manila

Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is alive with sights and sounds of urban life at its busiest

Though the Philippines may be best known for its beaches and islands, the country’s cities also offer some unique experiences to visitors.
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Being one of the largest archipelagoes in the world with amazing water-based experiences all around, the Philippines is best known for its beaches and mountains, but the destination has a lot more to offer to the visitors. According to a press statement, the cities of the Philippines offer fun and unique activities that can be toured in a single day, with a cosmopolitan vibe.

The statement adds that Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is alive with sights and sounds of urban life at its busiest. It is also a contrast of the old and the new, with a mix of skyscrapers and heritage houses, and cars share the road with colourful jeepneys and horse-drawn calesas.

Casa Manila Museum

Casa Manila is a museum in Intramuros depicting colonial lifestyle during Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

One tourist stop in Manila should be the Walled City of Intramuros, built by the Spanish colonisers 500 years ago. Its stone ramparts are still intact, along with the other defenses such as its moats and cannons that protected the fort from both natural disasters and invaders, says the statement. Visit the Casa Manila Museum to get a feel of life during the Spanish era and take a walking tour to the centuries-old churches Manila Cathedral and San Agutin Church to appreciate their architecture. Fort Santiago holds historic significance as the prison where the Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal was held before his execution in Bagumbayan.

National Museum of Anthropology

The National Museum of Anthropology, formerly known as the Museum of the Filipino People

Other structures to check out nearby are the Manila Central Post Office, a neoclassical building that has been declared as an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum, the Cultural Center of the Philippines which is home to world-class performances by Filipino artists. Visitors can immerse themselves in art at the National Museum of the Philippines that houses the country’s largest and perhaps most iconic painting, the Spoliarium by Juan Luna, the National Museum of Natural History that showcases Philippine flora and fauna, and the National Museum of Anthropology, which houses artifacts from the ancient Filipino cultures.The statement adds that travellers can also take a boat ride along the rehabilitated Pasig River that takes its passengers through 12 stations with photo opportunities of the different bridges and roads along the way. For more water fun, a cruise on the Manila Bay to catch its beautiful sunset reflecting off the water should be on the itinerary.

The Greenhills Shopping Centre in San Juan and Balikbayan Handicraft Centre

The Greenhills Shopping Centre in San Juan and Balikbayan Handicraft Centre

According to the statement, souvenir shopping is fun in Manila, with several must-visit sites for handcrafted, unique items. The Greenhills Shopping Centre in San Juan is known for its stalls that sell a sundry of South Sea Pearl jewellery. For other native items, one can shop around at the Balikbayan Handicraft Centre and Go Lokal Store in Makati City for textiles, food items, and other products made by artisans in the provinces and those looking for Filipino-style home furnishings can browse through the stalls of Tiendesitas in Pasig City.

The statement adds that there are also other cities that visitors can explore. Ilocos, officially named Ilocos Region and administratively designated Region I, forms the northwest part of the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is known for its old towns, historical sites, beaches, and nature attractions.

Similarly, Baguio, best known as the ‘Summer Capital of the Philippines’ with its cool climate, makes it a spot to escape the chaotic scenes in Manila. The city is also home to tropical pine forests, lending the city the nickname ‘City of Pines’. Bohol is famous for its Chocolate Hills; its tarsiers, which may be the world’s smallest primate, its heritage sites and old stone churches. Cebu is the main centre of Christianity in the Philippines. It is often called the ‘Queen City of the South’, says the statement.

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