City Streets/City Scene, Manila
Fondest memory: The post office of Manila is in 'Lawton' before you reach the Manily City Hall if you are coming from Quezon City ( the former capital of Philippines) This post office is the main and biggest in Philippines.
Favorite thing: If you enjoy the hustle-bustle of city life by locals then check out the Quiapo - Binondo area! I love this area! It is also the chinatown are area of Manila so if you like Chinese food this is the place to check out!!
Manila, at night, is a city aglow. Armed with a tripod and a camera, I enjoy going to the Fort just across EDSA from Makati on a clear night to take long exposure pics of the Makati skyline. The area is safe. In fact, you might get noticed by security people if you stay too long in one spot - there are mobile private security personnel roaming at night.
Fondest memory: The evening skyline is unique.
My sudden visit to the Philippines turned out to be most enjoyable. I found the people very friendly. Even the security guards that were posted outside shop frontages were all pleasant in their greetings.
I had a bit of a scary thing happen one day when I was out wandering. In a shop, a young boy (maybe 15) asked me if I was married. I was startled but said I was (safer I thought). When I left the shop, I didn't realise it but he was following me. I got to a street corner and I felt this hand on my wrist. Startled I immediately thought he was taking my watch. The young man took his hand off my wrist and gestured to the watch. I decided that he may have been a little retarded so I didn't panic and said 'NO'. The next corner the same thing happened and he was really trying hard I think to ask if he could have my watch. Again I said 'NO' and told him firmly not to do that again. I guess in hindsight I was taking a gamble but it didn't feel so. Not much further on he just disappeared into a house and that was the end of it.
Fondest memory: Probably one of the things that I remember concerning the people was, just around the corner from the hotel where I was staying, there was a little local restaurant that I decided to go and try. I sat down by myself and people were coming and going with take out. An old man came up to me and asked if he could sit down, his friends sat at a nearby table. He started asking about where I came from and told me he was a money changer in Manila. We actually had a lovely conversation and when I was finished with my meal, said goodbye and went back to my hotel.
While there is obviously need for caution with the poverty in Manila and all that brings about, it unfortunately makes us a little hesitant to be on guard all the time and maybe miss little things like simple curiosity and friendliness.
I agree with all of them. and so you could be sure. you can verify this site for weather updates. PAGASA is where all radio station, media, and most people in the Philippines get there forecast for the day!
give the city a chance. Sure, everyone (even the locals!) can't wait to get out of Manila and head off to the more attractive destinations the Philippines has to offer...but if you look long and hard enough, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise.
Fondest memory: I call Manila home...my friends and family are here, so I guess that's the best thing about it. But I've found that every time I leave Manila, I miss absolutely everything...the chaos, the crowds, the traffic, cable TV...
This may sound absolutely crazy to most, but I highly recommend getting in a car during rush hour if you have time to spare. People who have never seen Manila traffic are amazed when given a first-hand experience. I remember a friend, who was planning to visit some years back, kept insisting that he'll come in December. I told him that December is a bad time to go because there's heavy traffic everywhere especially around the malls. He laughed it off and said, nothing is worse than NYC traffic. Now it was my turn to laugh and tell him that I've been to NYC and wondered, 'Where's the traffic?'
Fondest memory: I miss my friends the most when I'm away from Manila. I miss the long dinners that only end when the restaurant has to close, coffee at a nearby Starbucks after, and maybe a couple of drinks at a club with a band playing 70's-80's music. While it's true that the music scene is kinda lacking, it doesn't really matter since it only serves as a background for great conversation.
Not exactly my fondest memory, but more an account of what I felt when I just arrived in Manila.
When I arrived at the airport I took a cab to the pension where I had booked my first night's stay. I was quite unprepared for my 4 month stay in Manila. I had only booked for one night since I figured I would probably find a place to live soon enough. (Eventually I did). Anyway, as soon as I dropped my bags in my room I went outside to take walk and get to know the area. I was staying in the 'Malate' area, a busy touristy and commercial area.
My first impression of Manila was one of confusion. I just got back from a 5 month stay in the US before I went on to Manila. Upon seeing all the tall buildings, huge shopping malls, fastfood chains everywhere, English written newspapers and hearing the US-style radio DJ's, I thought I had mistakenly took the plane to the other end of the US instead of Asia.
Though the Philippines were under Spanish rule for almost 400 years, there are not many remains that can show this. I gues the Americans did a pretty good job at 'Americanizing' everything when they followed up on the Spanish and stayed in the Philippines for about 50 years. Amazing what can happen in only 50 years compared to the 400 years before that...
Try HALO-HALO, which is a frozen dessert based upon shaved ice with different kinds of fruit, macapuno (coconut meat), and pinipig (toasted rice). If you order 'halo-halo especial' it comes with a scoop of ice cream and a cube of leche flan (custard). Not only a study in flavours, it is often an architectural miniature that seems to defy gravity. The protocol is to eat from the bottom to the top. It is usually served in the late afternoon around the time of merienda, c. 4 - 6 pm. (See SHAVE ICE on my Hawai'i page).
Fondest memory: The beautiful sunsets over Manila Bay as seen from the lanai (terrace) of the historic Manila Hotel.
There's plenty for a tourist to do, either out and about, or staying at one of the Embassy recommended resorts. For the 10 days I stayed: I relaxed by the pool while the waiter kept my hand filled with Pina Coladas. I went to restaurants, and I danced the night away in clubs. Warning to sensitive people!!! There are many people wandering the streets, and they send their children over to you to beg for money. If you give them any, you will be surrounded my more. The best thing we did was take the kids and buy them some snacks at the McDonalds on the corner. This way, anything they get is for them, and their parents can't take the money. Also many clubs are "girly bars." This means there's a bunch of girls in bikinis on a stage, walking/dancing/swaying, and then when their time is up, they switch out with the next group. These girls then walk around the bar looking to be taken 'home.' Many of them are very nice, and very smart. They're just stuck in a poor culture.
Fondest memory: The regular clubs are very "dress code," so they weren't fun to go to. The girly bars are right near the large hotels. Each one usually has a separate dance floor, and a DJ that is happy to take requests. The club managers are also very polite, so if you just want to buy yourself drinks and dance all night - it's ok! The city is a Japanese business-man's Hawaii. I danced for a while with a friend, and Japanese men were watching and throwing money at us. We picked it up and gave it to the girls we met and became friends with - after all, it was their place of employment and we would have felt bad taking the money!
Former name of the 8-lane major arterial road before it became Roxas Boulevard:
*Originally called Cavite Boulevard
*Was renamed as Dewey Boulevard
*Name changed again to Heiwa Boulevard in late 1941 during the Japanese Ruling before it became Roxas Boulevard in 1960's
The golden rule in driving through Manila is to be patient, tolerant and to expect the unexpected.The traffic is soo congested and there are a lot of drivers that like to squeeze between the cars so you have to be extremlly carefull especially if you don't know the way.
Fondest memory: I would say that is the Manila Bay, where you can actually see the sea, the boats. There's also the Coco Palace. Unfortunatelly it was closed when I was there. Next time I will definetelly see it.