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12 Reasons to Visit Manila

Updated on September 12, 2018
hopeman1 profile image

Ganeswar is an author, poet, blogger, tech enthusiast, and travel addict.

Manila is one of the best cities in Southeast Asia and Maynilà, the original name of the city, literally meaning 'where indigo, a tropical plant, is found'. Situated on the eastern shore of Manila bay, the city often gets a bad rap for its horrific traffic jams and is being constantly criticized for uprising of crime and corruption, poverty and pollution, but the metropolitan city of Philippines continues to attract tourists for its vibrant culture, exotic foods, ancient cultural heritage, and nearby heavenly beaches. Manila not only offers traditional landscapes, but it's also home to world's oldest china town, historic Spanish city, and Little Venice.

Situated on Manila bay, Manila often gets a bad rap for its horrific traffic jams and is being constantly criticized for uprising of crime and corruption, poverty and pollution, but the metropolis continues to attract tourists for its vibrant culture, exotic foods, and ancient cultural heritage.

City view taken from a high rise skyscraper
City view taken from a high rise skyscraper

1. Vibrant Culture and Friendly People

Philippines is the only former colony of Spain being ruled by Spaniards for over 300 years from fifteen century to eighteen century and the Filipino people well recognize and preserve the Spanish culture. Intramuros offers a unique opportunity to its tourists to experience the ancient Spanish cultural heritage. Besides Spanish culture, the city offers its own unique traditional culture of being friendly people, unique customs and harmonious religious beliefs.

Intramuros, Manila
Intramuros, Manila

2. Exotic Foods

Filipino food is unique and famous for its delicacy. Though the Filipino cuisine is mix of Malay, Chinese, Spanish and American foods; rice and chicken are often considered the staple foods. Other famous local foods are Halo-Halo (delicious desert), Calamansi juice, Adobo, Sinigang and Barbecue sticks.

Famous Rice and Chicken offered by Mang Inasal
Famous Rice and Chicken offered by Mang Inasal
Filipino Desert Halo - Halo
Filipino Desert Halo - Halo
Filipino Street Foods
Filipino Street Foods

3. Marvelous Architecture

Though most of ancient architectures were destroyed during World War II, but the city managed to conserved some of its unique architectural beauties such as National Museum, Manila Central Post Office and Escolta Street.

Manila National Post Office
Manila National Post Office

4. Chinatown and Little Venice

Manila's Chinatown known as Binondo is the best attraction of the city. If you would like to taste the authentic Chinese food, this place could be your ultimate food trip. Home to thousands of Chinese immigrants, Binondo, the world's oldest Chinatown, could be your ultimate destination for some bargain shopping as well as exploration of Chinese culture.

Venice Grand Canal Mall, located at Taguig city, offers the perfect experience of Venice. Best know as the Little Venice, this grand canal mall not only offers a fabulous ambiance for a perfect family trip but also extends an adequate architectural design to feel that you are in real Venice. From gondola tour on the grand canal tour to great shopping in the mall, Little Venice will add some spicy to your trip that will bring a never-ending experience for years to come.

Binondo, World's Oldest Chinatown
Binondo, World's Oldest Chinatown
Venice Grand Canal Mall (Little Venice), Taguig City
Venice Grand Canal Mall (Little Venice), Taguig City
Venice Grand Canal Mall (Little Venice), Taguig City
Venice Grand Canal Mall (Little Venice), Taguig City

5. Shopping

The Philippines' capital is home to some world class malls and you will have a worthwhile shopping experience whether it is traditional handicrafts or modern fashion outlets, boutiques or movie theater or supermarkets, the city will never disappoint you.

SM Mall Of Asia - 4th largest mall in the world with 4.2 Million Square Feet
SM Mall Of Asia - 4th largest mall in the world with 4.2 Million Square Feet

6. Weather and Climate

When it comes to climate, not only Manila but the whole country enjoys tropical climate - the country does not reach a point of extreme cold or hot, making it place to visit all year long but the best time to visit Manila is between November and May.

7. Language

You will never feel a language barrier as almost 95 per cent of population speak English and you can even easily communicate with a taxi driver. English being the official language, it will not only ease you move around but also help you understand the essence of Filipino culture and the value of its tradition.

8. Traditional Respect

The traditional respect of Filipinos is at its best. Don't be surprised if you will be greeted with “Sir” or “Madam”. It's a very common courtesy of the country to respect others.

9. Jeepney Ride

Riding a Jeepney is fun but it is also the best way to explore the city. The colorful and windy Jeepney is the lifeline transportation system of Filipinos. The story behind the Jeepney goes back to the WW2 where American troops left some old vehicles and the Filipinos converted them with color, design and lighting, and it became of part of the cultural symbol.

Colorful Jeepney
Colorful Jeepney

10. Massage and Rejuvenate

Filipino massage is the best way to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul. The massage not only heals your body but also gives you the best relaxing experience. The Hilot massage, ancient Filipino massage for healing, is considered one of the best healing medicines for muscular and skeletal ailments.

11. Nightlife

Manila is the perfect place for night party. From rooftop cocktail bars to swimming pool barbecue, Manila will give you the best hangouts away from home. Filipinos love to sing, and instead of playing per-recorded albums, you will have an opportunity to listen karaoke. Nevertheless, you will feel the best nightlife ever in Filipino way.


12. Nearby Attractions

The city gives a unique opportunity to every tourist who likes to take advantage of nearby attractions. Batangas is just an hour away from Manila and is home to heavenly beaches, resorts and diving destinations. Anilao, known for its beautiful coral reef and colorful marine life, will give you the best diving experience, and if you would like to explore Greek Santorini then stay at Camp Netanya resort in Mabini. Batangas is not only a diving destination but it is also home to some of the best sunny beaches and it offers the most memorable travel journey that you never like to forget in your entire life.

Diving in Anilao, Batangas
Diving in Anilao, Batangas
Camp Netanya, Mabini, Batangas
Camp Netanya, Mabini, Batangas
Nasugbu Beach, Batangas
Nasugbu Beach, Batangas

© 2018 Ganeswar Sahoo


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    • hopeman1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ganeswar Sahoo 

      21 months ago

      Thanks Dora. I am sure you will be amazed with the city.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      21 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the tour. You showed us a little of everything. Good job! The architecture and the food would be the greatest appeal for me.


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