The Chinatown which is located in Binondo, Manila is the oldest Chinatown in the world.
Chinatown shows the harmonious bond between the Chinese and Filipino.
I really love the busy streets of China town! Not only because it's just so near in Divisoria market but also due to the Chinese restaurants situated here! My friends and I used to have our food tripping here since College and I continue to do that until now.
I patronize almost all of the restaurants/stores here because they serve my favorites- Naicha (milk tea), dimsums and soy milk. Also, there are numerous bake shops that sell hopia. Hopia is a flaky pastry that comes with various fillings like beans, sweet potato, etc. that makes it tasty! I strongly recommend that you should try it!
The Lunar New Year is one of the important celebrations in the Philippines.
It's very fun to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Chinatown because of the lion dance competitions and dancing dragons! I admire those dancing dragons with the energy they portray with the beats of the drum and deafening sounds of cymbals while dancing on the streets! I also like the way how the lion dancing teams perform in stores/shops then the owners will be giving them "ampao" (red envelope) w/ money inside as a gift. The red lanterns are everywhere that seems like inviting the people to come around and celebrate!
You can’t miss the Binondo Church once you get in the Chinatown!
The Binondo Church is located at the western end street of Ongpin St. where you’ll enter Chinatown arch.
It is also known as the Minor Basilica & National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz.
This church is remarkable since it’s where the Philippines’ 1st canonized saint- San Lorenzo Ruiz (Saint Lorenzo Ruiz). was trained from.
San Lorenzo Ruiz is an altar server (sacristan) of this church who was born from a Filipino mother and Chinese father. He was sent as a Missionary to Japan but was persecuted in refusing to renounce his religion as a Catholic. He was canonized in 1989.
Masses are held every day with schedules posted outside for guidance in different languages- Filipino, English, Mandarin & Hokkien.
Beside the Church is the entrance to Chinatown, the Ongpin St. so after taking a visit of the church, might as well drop by Chinatown and eat a lot of dimsums!
In a very busy business district in Ortigas, who may know that a mini park is located in the middle of the tall buildings around? Well… this mini park in Ortigas is now open to the public. The scenery is fascinating and gives a very relaxing feeling and when you need a cup of coffee to add on it, don’t you worry; there’s the Coffee Bean & tea leaf located in the park. There are lots of restaurants/fast foods nearby as well.
I remember when I used to work in Ortigas a few years back, I often sit here and try to “cleanse” my mind after a very tiring day… and that really helps! Well… I guess, sometimes it’s best to pause for a while.
Divisoria is my favourite shopping place because of low-priced, affordable and unique things that you can buy! there are lots and lots of dresses that are available for everyone's taste as well as anything that people can use, you can find it here.
The only thing that is kinda off in here is that, you must prepare yourself... for the place, the crowd and some energy. Divisoria is a big place and everywhere you can find vendors shouting out to buy their stuffs. And because this place is very popular for its affordable stuffs, prepare yourself for a big crowd. I greatly recommend having an early Christmas shopping as early as October if you don't want to be stranded. Last Christmas season, I went there about the 2nd week of October but lo and behold! I was stuck in an enormous crowd that I can't move...literally! As far as I can remember it was 2pm that day and I was about to go home after I bought a gift to my aunt. I can't even bear remembering that event! It was really awful! I got home at 7pm! I never went shopping again during those times, starting the 2nd week of October.
Divisoria is like the extension of Chinatown, actually, when you walk past the Binondo Church, on its right side, that’s where you can enter Chinatown. Basically, Divisoria is the business district of the Filipino Chinese people. Most of them own the stores in Divisoria. There are 3 malls in Divisoria- Tutuban Mall, 168 Mall and Divisoria Mall. All these 3 malls have stores with affordable things you can buy. Recently, 168 Mall was renovated and a bigger shopping area was made available. Personally, I prefer 168 Mall since there are more shops available offering unique and discounted apparels and it’s the primary reason why I love going into this busy place! It’s like the counterpart of The Platinum Mall in Bangkok.
Aside from the malls, just along the sidewalks, you can find economical stuffs as well; you just have to bargain with the vendors. The #1 important thing to keep in mind especially if it’s your first time shopping here, you must not bring any valuables, like your iphone or ipad, don’t bother, you might just lose it. Snatchers are everywhere since this place is always crowded. Just be simple in shopping. Don’t wear any genuine earrings, necklaces or bracelets. I’ve seen many ladies whose earrings were snatched while in a jeepney. In an instant, both her earrings were gone and we were unable to look for the snatcher. Those snatchers were usually children and teenagers who moves fast. No one can’t help you if this happens to you, the people would get irritated to you instead, since all the people that intends to come here are always briefed to be careful at all times and are always reminded to be simple.
Anyway, there’s nothing to be afraid of as long as you have to be alert at all times and you have the perception and willingness to buy cheap stuffs with quality. And that’s what matters most.
Here are a few attractions in the ocean park:
Oceanarium- discover varieties of creatures underwater! and be amazed that species like these
exist in this earth!
Marine life show- watch the adorable sea lions perform! when we had our chance to have a break
at work, we were able to meet Ira and Vincent! Watch how they act like humans and be surprised!
Jellies dancing fairies
- you got to see the jellyfishes seem like dancing with the instrumental
music in the background. Also, another thing that's catching is the
illumination in the aquarium.
glass bottom boatride
-enjoy close encounters with the fishes without getting totally wet!
-problem of callouses on your feet and hands?
get rid of it by trying this fish spa! these small fishes
will just nibble away those unwanted skin...
but I didn't tried it...not because I don't have any callous! haha!
I dunno... I'm just so scared when the small fishes come in my direction,
Also, I would recommend that you must see the Musical Fountain Show.
after a tiring fish interactions, you must be starving! Try the Makan Makan Asian Food Village, a variety of asian cusines are available to choose from! When my friends and I had the chance to eat here last 2009, it was called Makansutra but recently it was changed to Makan Makan Asian Food Village. I dunno why...
when the sun sets, you may also want to take a rest and chill in the White Moon bar.
For more information on events/promos/attractions, you can visit the website of manila oceanpark:
The oldest Church in the Philippines built by the order of Saint Augustine and one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period designated by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, under the classification "Baroque Churches of the Philippines".
It is actually an earthquake baroque church because of the 2 towers set on both sides and the twin column design. The inside is also lined with columns that serve as support.
The church is not old looking in the outside because of the restoration. Originally the exterior part is built with bricks and stone blocks but smoothed by cement because the bricks are chipping away and they painted it peach.
You have to check the interior of the church and you will find a treasure. Now I know why it is listed in the UNESCO heritage List. It is time for you to know why.
This is for Church lovers and historical travelers.
Having been to many aquariums before, I am so glad that finally we have a world class aquarium on the edge of Manila Bay, with the gorgeous sunset as its background. It can be compared to Singapore's Sentosa Park Aquarium or Melbourne's Aquarium.
Not to be missed is the manta ray overhang and the experience of walking in an underwater tunnel filled with marine animals.
Try having buffet or ala-carte at Tamayo's Ozeano Restaurant. Tamayo is one of the most sought-after wedding caterers in the Philippines. Choco lovers will have their fill in the choco fountain. C'mon and dip those tropical fruits in choco goodness.
Manila Ocean Park's Operating Hours : 10am – 9pm, Mondays through Fridays.
9 am - 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday
Wish they have a sea lion or dolphin show, but hey, that's what Ocean Adventure in Subic, north of Manila, is for!
The Entrance Fee for adults is PHP400 (approximately US$10) and PHP350 (approximately US$9) for children.
Flash photography is not allowed as this scares the marine animals.
"Wish you were here in Philippines". You could write this on your postcard and mail it out.
Postage of postcard to Malaysia is 15 pesos. Get an airmail sticker.
It is always great to receive a postcard. So why not send one while you are in Philippines.
For Virgin Mary devotees, the Malate Church is a must visit. The church houses Our Lady of Remedies (VIrgin Mary) statue that's been said to be miraculous. This 400+ year old church is also historically significant because it was used as the base from which the British launched their assault on Intramuros, which then placed Manila under British rule for a two-year period.
You don't have to go to the far flung provinces to visit the Philippines' oldest church. The San Agustin Church was said to be the only standing structure left after Intramuros was destroyed during the "Liberation of Manila" in 1945. This UNESCO Heritage site, features statues of saints and Chinese lions guarding the huge carved wooden doors of the church. Inside, you will surely get awed by the elaborate Baroque interiors. The church also has an adjacent museum where religious relics and paintings can be viewed.
The church is open daily 7am to 7.30am and 5pm to 6pm. The museum is open daily 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm. Fee is around P50.
Intramuros, a living historical landmark, was a fortress in Manila during the Spanish time, some 400 years ago. Today, the streets are still made of the old bricks they had centuries back and some houses stil stand and mostly converted into establishments - mostly garden restaurants - where weddings and other functions are held.
Horse-driven coaches (caritela) bring tourists around to see the whole fort. Not to miss is the fort santiago where Jose Rizal, the Philippines' National Hero, was held in prison shortly before he was shot at the Luneta, a few blocks away from it.
The National Museum is a must-see. The relics of the past are on display in an old building which the government has restored - the Finance Building. Relics and artifacts from as early as the tabon man from Palawan are housed in this complex.
The Manila Cathedral is one of the landmarks that boasts of the spanish influence on its architecture. Try visiting the WOW Philippines homepage which is developed and maintained by the Philippine government specifically the department of tourism.
The Rizal Park was a tribute to the Philippine's national hero, Jose Rizal, a doctor and novelist who was shot by firing squad at this site on December 30, 1896 on charges of rebellion against the Spanish government.
The name "Luneta" is synonymous to the word "lunette"; the park was said to have the shape of a half moon in Spanish times and located next to a Spanish fort serving as a shield during rebellions by the locals.
Rizal Park has gardens, historical markers, plazas, a grand stadium, an observatory, an open-air concert hall, an artists' sanctuary, a light-and-sound theatre, restaurants, food kiosks and playgrounds, and dozens of fountains.
The 31-meter Philippine flagpole is called kilometer zero, because it is where the distance of the country's towns and cities is measured from.
At the center of the Park is the 1913 bronze Rizal's monument, just beside the flagpole, situated a few meters away from the marker indicating the actual execution site.
The Metropolitan Theatre was built in 1924 when Manila was not only the “Pearl of the Orient” but also the “Milan of Asia”.
The sculptures in the façade of the Theater are from the Italian sculptor Francesco Riccardo Monti, who lived in Manila from 1930 until his death in 1958, and worked closely together with Juan M. Arellano, Filipino architect who designed the theatre.
Walk along, you'll notice the Bridge known today as the Quezon Bridge. During the 1930s the suspension bridge was reconstructed and converted into a modern steel bridge. The Puente Colgante was then renamed as Quezon Bridge after Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippines at that time.
The bridge is said to have been designed by French Engineer Gustav Eiffel, who also designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Plaza Lawton was named after American General Henry Ware Lawton. General Lawton was the highest ranking American official killed in the Philippine-American War.
Plaza Lawton or more commonly known as Liwasang Bonifacio is located just across the Manila Central Post Office.
The Manila Central Post Office is the head office of the Philippine Postal Corporation, and houses the country's main mail sorting-distribution operations. It is located in the Intramuros district of the city, at the bank of the Pasig River. The building's main entrance faces the Liwasang Bonifacio.
The Manila City Hall is one of the distinct landmarks in the capital city of Manila, in the Philippines.
The building is located in the center of tourism area where major government buildings and landmarks, are located.
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