Let this be a thing to do, transportation, warning & a tourist trap tip rolled into one kind of tip...
It's fun to ride the kalesa (kah-leh-sah) & see the Manila sites, but before doing so, make sure the driver is telling you the truth. He told us that the fee was 250/hour & we had a 1 hr 1/2 trip, so more or less, the trip was PhP325.
I had my autistic savant brother, RJ w/ me because I didn't want to travel alone @ night after our VT meet & since we arrived Manila at around 4:30PM, we had ample time. I told the driver that "I'd pretend I'm a tourist, but please, don't charge us (his name is Jonjon) sky high because I only have enough". I made sure to tell him that even if I were dressed like a rich person I wasn't equipped. He said, "Of course, ma'am...don't worry"
I was thinking he was just going to give us a ride around the Malate area, but I was wrong, he brought us to Intramuros and Chinatown. I don't regret that, but I thought to myself, What's 325 for moments of pleasure & my brother seems to be having fun...
When we returned to Malate, the 325 became PhP1,000. I don't understand his logic...he said it became per person...so even if it were per person it's only PhP500, right? Then he reasoned it was a special trip...up to Chinatown...I already told him that I'm not really a tourist & he knew darn well that I even know the places...I said 500...then he begged for more..
Honestly, I was going to give him 500, thinking that the tip was already included, but man! The trap was he wouldn't let us down until we gave a good deal or maybe let the trained horse go on if we wouldn't pay his price...It only went down to PhP700!
People like that won't be able to sleep at night...wait a minute, I'm an insomniac. Let me rephrase that, people like that would never sleep like a baby. They will have restless sleep and will ALWAYS be disturbed by their consciences whether they get rich or not!
At any rate, now that you know, you can STAND FIRM that if it's only 250 per hour, it's only 250 per hour!
Malacañan Palace is special to me because...
We were treated as VIPs during dad's promotion. The main picture here shows former President Corazon Aquino (I just came from the beach so I had an extra tan)...the others are from a recent tour I had with some VT brothers and sisters. :)
According to history books:
It was originally built as a private, 18th-century country house and purchased by the government in 1825, this opulent palace is the current seat of the Philippine government and features a palace museum open to the public, but you have to set an appointment first either via your tour group or set by people working there. You may also submit your names. Just call the number listed here. (PhP50.00 per person) Souvenirs are available near the gate. Security is very strict, but you will surely enjoy your visit. :)
As a tourist without friends who are members of this exclusive club, you can still "view" the Yacht Club from the outside, but let me give you a glimpse of how it looks from the inside.
The food is great and the service is superb, but I cannot put this on the resto review because it's for members of only (maybe I'll still do one later)
Browsing through some Philippine VT pages, I noticed that women NOT typical of the ordinary Pinay or Filipina are presented as enticements for the male traveler to visit the Philippines. I propose to show what the typical Pinay really is - not just a pretty face, but a woman of substance equal or maybe even better than her counterparts elsewhere. I renamed my Babes of Manila travelogue to "Babes of the Philippines" because they are not just here in Manila, they're everywhere! The typical "babe" I know is beautiful, brainy, a fine friend, a loyal partner, a great mom or an exciting single (well, the moms are equally exciting), independent, fun, a lot of other superlatives that escapes me at the moment, and most definitely not the cheap variety depicted by others.
Check out the Babes of the Philippines travelogue for yourself, and see the difference. I'm proud to know these ladies.
Manila has a few other historical catholic churches, outside Intramuros:
1. Basilica Minore of the Black Nazarene, Quiapo, Manila
More popularly known as Quiapo Church, this minor basilica is actually named St. John The Baptist Church. Widely visited for its said-to-be miraculous statue of the Black Nazarene, thousands of faithful gather every 9th of January to parade and celebrate its feast day - a must see!
2. Basilica Minore of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo, Manila
This church is a site to behold, considering its old baroque architecture being surrounded by modern structures. Founded in 1596, it was destroyed during WWII and restored in 1972.
3. Basilica De San Sebastian, Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila
This all-steel church, first in the Philippines and in Asia and second in the world, was designed by Gustave Eiffel (designer of Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, etc.) in 1883 and was prefabricated in Belgium. Completely knocked-down for shipping to the Philippines in 6 ships, it weighed close to 50,000 tons. Its stained-glass windows were done in France.
4. Remedios Church, M. H. del Pilar St., Malate, Manila
Another beautiful baroque-era church, the Our Lady of Remedies Church was built in late 16th century by Augustinians. A 1624-statue of the Virgin Mary, unscathed after the bombings of WWII, is kept inside and revealed only during its feast day on every third Sunday of November.
5. Holy Spirit Parish, Sta. Cruz, Manila
Play golf! This is Fairways and Bluewater in Boracay.
Golf is a very popular sport in the Philippines. Most cities have them and even in the heart of busy Manila, there are several courses to choose from. What makes golfing in the Philippines special, though, is the fact that it wouldn't be uncommon to find umbrella girls (to carry umbrellas for you so you don't suffer from heatstroke), ball boys (to fetch your ball if it goes out of bounds), beer boys (make sure that the beer in the coolers are always ice cold), and of course your caddy, who will carry your golf bag for you.
A must-see when in Metro Manila on Christmas season.
Policarpio St in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila is where the most-lighted houses (numbering about 4) in the country come Xmas season. The about 150m street is closed to vehicular traffic on weekends beginning late November till early January every year to give way to the big crowd flocking the place to get a glimpse of these enchanting houses as if the electricity bill doesnt matter.
Visitors would have to park their vehicles in the adjacent streets and walk down through Policarpio St. to experience the event named "Pasko-Pasko sa Policarpio". Keep those cameras clicking for that cool combination of starry lights.
The beautiful campus of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Sampaloc, Manila is like an oasis in the midst of the city's dense concrete jungle. Old trees, parks and green fields co-exist with the institutions infrastructures and dozens of buildings housing various colleges, faculties, hospital, church, etc. The stunning main building houses the university's Museum of Arts and Sciences. At its Espana Gate stands the Arch of Centuries - part of the main entrance of the original UST building at Intramuros destroyed during World War II.
Founded in 1611, UST antedates Harvard University (America's oldest) by 25 years and is reputed to be the oldest existing university in Asia. UST is also the largest catholic university in the world, in terms of student population (Est: 30,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduates).
Since its foundation, academic life was interrupted only twice: 1898 to 1899, during the Philippine revolution against Spain; and 1942 to 1945, during the Japanese occupation of Manila, when the university was converted by the invaders into a concentration camp.
Among its long list of notable alumnus are four Philippine presidents - Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmena, Jose Laurel and Diosdado Macapagal; heroes - Dr. Jose Rizal (national hero), Emilio Jacinto, Apolinario Mabini and Antonio Luna; ten saints, including the first Filipino saint - St. Lorenzo Ruiz; fourteen national artists including Leandro Locsin, Ernani Cuenco and Alejandro Roces; business people Tony Tan Caktiong, Washington Sycip, Alfredo Velayo, etc.
In recognition of the university's achievements, a number of important dignitaries have officially visited, among them, during the last three decades: His Holiness Pope Paul VI on November 28, 1970; His Royal Highness King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1974 and 1995; Mother Teresa of Calcutta in January 1977 and again in November 1984; Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981 and January 13, 1995.
An enjoyable place for the young ones, as well as the young once, Museo Pambata at the north end of Roxas Blvd. is an enjoyable place that excites and stirs my kids' inquisitive minds. Combiming history and "Science-at-Work", the 2-storey museum would surely make any kid to wanna stay longer once in.
A must-see for children 10years and below.
Jeepneys are the most common form of public transport throughout the many islands of the Philippines. In Manila they are so numerous, that there is almost constantly traffic congestion. The jeepneys don't have air-conditioning. They have open windows. Most of the time the jeepneys are constantly-packed with many passengers. Jeepneys offer one of the cheapest ways of getting somewhere. They seldom have a special place to stop. The drivers will slow down enough to enable the passengers to jump on or out.
In the countryside the jeepneys offer possibilities to carry all kind of stuff. Chickens, sometimes even a pork, 50 kg sacs with rice and so on. Passengers are inside the jeepney, but more than once hanging on the back of the jeepney. The jeepneys are many times overloaded. Overloaded? There's always room for "just one more". So, if someone asks you 'How many people can you fit in a jeepney?', you know the only answer: " Just one more!"
Jeepneys are of origin old American jeeps. They were used in the war against the Japanese army who occupied the Philippines for several years. After the Japanese army was defeated and the American military mission was completed, the jeeps were left
This 16th-century church still has its original stone walls. Erected in 1596, Binondo Church is one of the oldest places of Christian worship in the Philippines, but over the centuries the original edifice has sustained considerable damage from earthquakes and other natural disasters. Today the octagonal bell tower is all that remains of the 16th century construction. The upkeep of the present church is largely funded by the Catholic Chinese community, many of whom reside or operate businesses in neighboring Chinatown. The first Philippine saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, started here as an altar boy. Open: Daily 6AM-7PM.
I took the photo through the windshield just as we were going down the bridge into the university belt of Manila.
Under the bridge there's an open air market that's also a must see if you want to shop for flowers and native handicraft.
it will make u see life in a different light.
It was exciting to go through them and sad in part were there are shack but the joy to see the childrens faces,
playing and having fun not a care in the world.. its a great place to teach american kids a lesson in whats important and not the selfish greed they want and never happy with wat they have..
the repository and guardian of the Philippines' natural and cultural heritage. It was established in 1901 as an ethnography and natural history museum, the building was designed in 1918 by the American Architect, Daniel Burnham, (former Old Congress Building) ...i is where the arts, natural sciences and other support divisions are housed ...there's an adjacent building in the Agrifina Circle of Rizal Park "The National Museum of the Filipino People" ...it is where the Anthropology and Archaeology Divisions are housed.
The Dangwa Flower Market in Santa Cruz District of the City of Manila is the Main Trading and Buying station for Flowers and plants of the Metro Manila Area. This is where the flower central of the Metro Manila Area is located and various kinds of flowers and blooms like roses, santans, mumps, orchids and more can be bought here wholesale or for retail. the area can be quite jammed with people and buyers during busy days like All Saints Day, holy week, Valentine's Day, etc. The flowers originate from various locations all over the country and imported flowers from other countries too. You Can Haggle for nice prices if you have good haggling skills here in this flower market.
The Flower Market of Dangwa is open 24 hours a day and can be accesible by jeepney or taxi ride from the Manila Bay Area.