45 Days in Manila

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Have you ever imagined how Manila looks like and all the small little things in Manila? The places to visit, food to try, location, and even the cultures of its people?

Today, I will share some things about Manila & its people due to my 45 days of experiences in Manila last year. I’ll share about their language, culture, temperature, places to visit, souvenirs, and also food to try.

A. CULTURE, LANGUAGE, AND TEMPERATURE

Philippines is an archipelago state that located in south-east asia. It was the most developed country in ASEAN after World War II. But then it has lagged since the economic growth is too low. The main reason why it can happen is because there are a lot of corruption in this country. Philippines is often regarded as the only country in Asia that has a strong influence of Western Culture. And Manila, is the capital of the Philippines which is located in the northest island of Philippines, named Luzon Island. Most of the people religion there are Chatolic (80%), followed by Moslem in Mindanao and the south part of Philippines (11%), and the rest are Buddhist, and Protestan.

There are 2 main languages that widely spoken in Manila. The first one is Tagalog Language. It’s being the first language of Filipino. But beside that, almost 85 percent of the Filipino in Manila can speak English well. Even the security and public transportation drivers can speak English fluently. It can happen because Philippines was colonized by Spain and also USA.

The temperature in Manila is almost the same with the temperature in Indonesia. It’s around 30 celcius degree. There are 2 seasons in this country; wet season and dry season.

B. PLACES TO VISIT

1) Intramuros

Intramuros, is a walled city in colonial times. It’s located in the heart of Manila. I went to this place twice when I was in Manila, since this is a very beautiful place to visit and hunting pictures. You can find some beautiful places inside Intramuros. Some of them are Casa Manila, Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral Church, and San Agustin Church.

Casa Manila is a museum in Intramuros depicting colonial lifestyle during Spanish colonization of the Philippines. It’s being one of the most favourite places to visit in Intramuros, said the local people.

Fort santiago is one of the most important historical sites in Manila. It was built on the 16th century, during the Spanish Colonization. It’s only a few meters away from the Manila Cathedral.

Manila Cathedral Church is a roman catholic church inside Intramuros district, Manila. It becomes one of the most coveted wedding venues in Manila for couples who want a wedding venue to symbolize their love for each other. This 444 year-old historical site, which undergone preventive repairs in 2012, is decked with beautiful black marble flooring, charming brickwork, and an improved central nave and vaulted ceiling that captures Spanish architecture elements.

San Agustin Church is also a roman catholic church inside Intramuros district, Manila. In 1993, it was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976.

In Intramuros area, you can rent a calesa (horse carriage in Manila) or a trycycle. But be careful with scam when you rent it. Some times the trycycle drivers can be annoying by asking us with a little force to rent their trycycles. Not only once, but several times. The price of both trycycle and calesa are extremely higher in Intramuros than in another area in Manila.

2) University of Santo Tomas (UST)

Based on the local people I was asking to, there are 4 best universities in Manila : University of the Philippines (UP Diliman), Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, and De La Salle University. I had visited all of them. But in my personal opinion, the best university building to visit for hanging out and taking pictures in Manila goes to University of Santo Tomas (UST).

UST is one of the four best universities in the Philippines. It’s a private, Roman Catholic research university located in España Blvd, Sampaloc, Manila, the Philippines. When you come there, you will feel really comfortable with the situation. The green park, the breezy wind, the clock’s ring, and also the beautiful European architecture building.

3) Art in Island, Interactive 3D Museum, Cubao, Quezon City

This art museum (not really a museum) is the largest 3D art museum in Asia. It’s owned by 18 Korean master painters and was opened in December 2014. The museum had over 200 masterpieces, including reproduction of works of masters, animals, Egyptian ruins and others. These arts give the illusion of depth when viewed from a certain angle, and is designed to serve as a backdrop for photo opportunities. There are many differenr themes (zones), such as underwater zone, animal zone, christmas zone, religious zone, fantasy zone, central hall, and so on. The entrance fee for adult is P500 (IDR 150.000 or around 11.5 USD). But you will get 20% discount if you bring your student ID card or if you are a senior adult.

4) China Town, Binondo, Manila

Binondo is a district in Manila and referred the world’s oldest Chinatown.

5) Makati City

This city is famous of its nightlife and bars. I never go here for enjoying the nightlife, but the local people said that it’s a good place for enjoying the night. If you like to go clubbing or drinking, this city provides a lot of nice bars!

6) Manila Bay

Actually it’s located inside the same area with SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. You can go to Manila Bay by entering this mall. It’s not too far from the airport. People use this place for seeing the sunset at evening, or enjoying the view of MOA eye.

7) Carriedo LRT Station

From this LRT Station, you can see beautiful buildings. There is a pretty Bank of the Philippine Island Building.

8) Churches in the Philippines

Since the majority religion of Filipino are Catholic, there are a lot of beautiful churches in the Philippines. I cannot mention it one by one since it’s quite a lot. Just stop and look inside when you find beautiful churches along your way.

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C. SOUVENIRS

What are you looking for?

T-Shirts and Souvenirs

If you want to buy t-shirts and good quality souvenirs, I suggest you to visit a store called Kultura. The price is quiet affordable and the t-shirts are very nice.

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Ombre T-Shirt from Kultura

Dried Mangoes

If you want to buy dried mangoes, you can find it everywhere (inside a mall, or even supermarket). But I recommend you to buy the “Profood Cebu Philippines Dried Mangoes”. The price is slightly higher, but I can say that this brand provides the best taste! Both the green package and also blue package are taste good.

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Polvoron

THIS IS A MUST TO TRY! Since I can’t find this product outside the Philippines. Go to Goldilocks Bakeshop, and try this item! From 1 to 10, I can say that the taste is 9.9/10.

Another Options?

I suggest you to buy the POPCORN! I have 2 good brands to try : Chef Tony’s Popcorn and Goldilocks Popcorn.

Chef Tony’s popcorn is a little bit expensive, but it provides a lot of variances. The packaging is nice, because it uses a plastic round container. The taste is also nice. You can find it also in another countries (I heard that Singapore also sell this popcorn).

Another cheaper and nice option is Goldilocks Popcorn. The popcorn is different from Chef Tony’s because this place only sell the caramel popcorn. But it’s also nice!!

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D. FOOD TO TRY

Mango Dessert / Pancake / Ice Cream

Mango is being the most favorite fruit in the Philippines. You should go to a restaurant named Iceberg’s and try the Mango Ice Cream. The portion is quite big and I think you can share it with someone. There are the fresh mangoes and also mango ice cream in one glass.

Balut

If you have a strong mental, go try this food. There are fried balut and also the boiled one. I just dare to tried the fried one, since the boiled has a disgusting shape. And you know what, I dared to try 4 days before I was leaving Manila. In the first 41 days of my 45 days journey in the Philippines, I still feel afraid to try HAHA.

The taste is nice actually and it contained a lot of protein. Getting curious with the shape? Please google it :))

Street Ice Cream

Just try random street ice cream from random ice cream sellers. The price is very cheap and the taste is unique.

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Carmen’s Best Ice Cream

It’s located in Echostore Centris Walk. The price per small container is P120 (last year, 2016). Go try the salted caramel & cookie dough flavours!!

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Bibingka

Bibingka is baked rice-cakes in banana leaves topped with a variety of cheese & salted duck egg. You can buy in Bibingkinitan stores. YOU CAN ONLY FIND IT IN THE PHILIPPINES. Try try!

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Halo-halo

Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk, boiled sweet beans, coconut, sago, jelly, and fruits. It usually served in a tall glass or even bowl. Similar to “Es Campur” in Indonesia, but has different toppings.

I think that’s all from me about Manila. Hope the information would be useful for everyone who need it. Try mango, mango, and mango! Since the mango in Philippines is very nice.

Anddd I challenge you to go around, ride a jeepney, and enjoy your experiences in the Philippines! ❤

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