The capital of the Philippines – its heart and soul – is Manila. It
sets the rhythm of life in this archipelago and is a pulsating hub
that blends the Oriental with the Occidental, the quaint with the
modern, the mundane with the extraordinary. Manila is the center of
government, commerce, education and culture. The gateway many island
destinations, the city itself offers many places of interest.
A tour of the
major historical attractions in Metro Manila, tour starts at Rizal
Park where the monument of the Philippine National hero Jose Rizal
stands. Proceed to Intramuros, the Spanish-constructed walled city
where the historic Fort Santiago and San Agustin Church were built in
the 16th century. Drop by the University of Sto.Tomas, the oldest
institution of higher learning on the country (1611) ride through the
university belt to Malacanang Palace, the official residence of the
Philippines presidents. Get to see the modern business and commercial
district of Makati, pass through plush Forbes Park and visit the
American Memorial Cemetery, the largest and most beautiful war
memorial outside Continental USA. Pass by Las Pinas to visit the
remarkable and only Bamboo Organ in the world built 1818.
Fort Santiago, the
site of torture chambers and dungeons where political prisoners from
Spanish to Japanese times were kept and executed, is now a lush park
with flowering trees and homecoming pigeons. Here, one may enjoy a
leisurely ride aboard a horse-drawn carriage.
At the center of
Intramuros is the grand Manila Cathedral with its detailed stone
carvings, stained glass mosaics and rose windows.
Visit the 400-year old “walled
city” of Intramuros, the Spanish fortress and center of government
during the 16th to the 19th centuries. See the history unfold as you
visit a turn-of-the-century “casa” (house) and other restored
buildings of Spanish architecture. Then proceed to Makati, the
financial and entertainment district of Manila.
Manila offers a wide range of
accommodation facilities with high service standards. Manila is one of
the shopping hubs in Asia for imported name brands as well as fine
garments by Philippine designers who have made their names in fashion
centers in Asia, USA and Europe.
Metro Manila is a gastronomic
trip and Filipinos are forever feeding their guests. The famous eating
hubs in Metro Manila are: Intramuros, the Old Malate District where
numerous restaurants, bars and cafes with varied specialties, Binondo
the old financial District with 19th century origins, known for its
most authentic Chinese cuisine; Makati City, Quezon City, along Tomas
Morato Avenues where a haven of all types of restaurants, cafes, bars
and fast food chains tribe, Mandaluyong City greenhilss and Ortigas
The sunset strip – Roxas
Boulevard, which extends from Paranaque City to Manila, is the Bay
Area from where one can have a view of the famed Manila sunset.
The Boulevard is also home to
the country’s premier performing venue, the Cultural Center of the
Philippines. Within its complex are the Philippine International
Convention Center, the Folk Arts Theater, the Coconut Palace and the
Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel.
As the sun goes down, the
lights go up in Metro Manila’s night spots. Hotels and restaurants
attract diners with performances by local pop artists, folk dance
troupes, string quartets and jazz bands. There are endless evenings of
dancing, music and people-watching at trendy discos. Cozy jazz bars
and music lounges offer wine and mood music along with quiet ambiance
and good conversation.