Things To SEE & DO in Manila
Here are some things to "see" & "do" in the country's capital of Manila:
1.) Experience the famous Manila Sunset
2.) Stroll along Roxas Boulevard where you get an unobstructed view of the Manila Bay
3.) Visit antiquated churches around town especially along the old Manila area (e.g., Malate)
4.) Visit Intramurous--the old and charming historic district of Manila
5.) Eat at the many Filipino oriented restaurants serving an array of local dishes/specialties
6.) Visit Luneta Park/Rizal Park
7.) Visit the Japanese Garden
8.) Visit Nayong Pilipino (a replica of famous tourist spots in the country)
9.) Visit the Cultural Center of the Philippines
10.) Visit the Manila Chinatown in Binondo
11.) Visit Fort Santiago
12.) Visit the neighboring cities (e.g., Quezon City, Makati, Pasay, San Juan, etc.)
13.) Shopping in the "tiangges" (local markets) of Quiapo for cheap native handicrafts & souvenirs. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities in the upscale malls of Makati.
Enjoy your trip to busy Manila!
Manila: Emptier than it should be
As crowded as Manila is, it should be more so. No country exports more people to farther corners of the world then does the Philippines. Many of these people have university-level educations but can't find lucrative enough work in Manila so they seek menial, but better-paying employment elsewhere. Most work hard in service jobs (who hasn't seen Filipino waiters and bar workers in Asian cities?) or menial positions (unfairly, this gives Filipinos an underclass stigma in some peoples' eyes). But some also travel abroad as skilled labor and even engineers -- often to Persian Gulf countries where good employees are in short supply. In all cases, though, the money they send back to the Philippines is an important part of that nation's economy. And they almost all are supporting some family back home.
A Typical Filipino Meal
A typical Filipino meal consists of at least one viand (ulam in Tagalog) served with boiled or fried rice (kanin), which is eaten much like Westerners eat potatoes. Filipinos also regularly use spoons together with forks, as opposed to knives and forks in Western culture. They also eat with their hands, especially in informal settings and when eating seafood. Accompanying rice, popular dishes such as adobo (a meat stew made from either pork or chicken), lumpia (meat or vegetable rolls), pancit (noodle dish), and lechón (whole roasted pig) are served on plate.
Other popular cuisines or dish include: afritada, asado, chorizo sausages used in pancit or fried rice, empanadas, mais (corn), mani (roasted peanuts), paksiw (fish or pork, cooked in vinegar and water, some spices like garlic and pepper), pan de sal (salted bread rolls), pescado (fried or grilled fish), torta (omelette). Indigenous Filipino and regional cuisines include: dinuguan, kare-kare (ox-tail stew), kilawen, pinakbet (vegetable stew), pinapaitan, and sinigang (tamarind soup with a vareity of pork, fish or shrimp), balut (boiled egg with unfertilized duckling inside).
Popular snacks and deserts indulged are chicharon (deepfried pork or chicken skin), halo-halo (crushed ice with condensed milk, flan, and sliced tropical fruits), puto (little white rice cakes), bibingka (rice cake with butter or magarine and salted eggs), ensaymada (sweet roll with grated cheese on top), polvoron (shortbread), and tsokolate (chocolate) are eaten outside the three main meals. Local liquors such as lambanog, tuba, and basi are served on cup.
pls see my local customs tips for pictures of some of the filipino foods and sweets!
Go Inside the Church
Churches can be more interesting from inside. People won't mind your taking pictures of the interiors and of them. Just be discreet, quiet, and smile when you do make eye contact with the church goers.
Mango With Sticky Rice!
Mango with sticky rice is a sweet south east asian invention. It is composed of Ripe yellow Mango with glutinous sticky rice and sometimes flavored with brown sugar or coconut milk. I don't really know which country started it but it is the BEST DESSERT ever! Here in The Philippines it's called "Suman sa Lihiya at Mangga" and in Thailand, it is called "Khao Niaw Ma Muang" Look at the Pictures here for the similarities of Both! But however, as I said before, Philippine Carabao Mangoes are aknowledged by the Guiness Book of World Records as the Wolrd's Sweetest and Juiciest Mango.