Favorite thing God, I have never met a race who enjoyed shopping so much. Men & women; young & old. Bring on the word "Sale!" and see the many gigantic malls flood with an avalanche of people, jostling and being jostled for an item of desire. And the malls - they bring new meaning to big and plenty. Manila is simply a city of shopping malls!
Favorite thing Most shopping malls are helping save water in Manila by installing water free urinals. This saves millions of liters of water each week. Just imagine, every time you sneak off for a leak there are usually several other people in the toilets, so consider how many use the facilities each day and it is not hard to imagine the the amount of water being saved.
Favorite thing While wandering around Manila you will find many stalls selling delicious yellow corn, either boiled or heated over charcoal. This makes for a tasty snack and will cost around 10-20 pesos during the season.
Favorite thing go to the malls. This is the best place to do some people-watching. You can also escape the heat and dust in the mall because of the airconditioning. Some of the Manilenos even take their jackets with them when going to mall!! An artificial world, but at least you're comfortable. The best malls are the Shangrila Mall, Rockwell Power Plant Mall and the brand new Greenbelt Mall. These ones are definitely world class.
Fondest memory The numerous pubs and restaurants.
Favorite thing See something outside Manila - then at least you will get a taste of what the Philippines is really like. It's not all skyscrapers and jeepneys. (ok it is all jeepneys but not the skyscrapers bit).
Fondest memory All that cheap shopping - legit cd's for half the price back home and countless other stuff that never makes it to Finlands rocky shores. Crikey they even have marks and spencer in manila !
Favorite thing I guess Manila/Quezon City is a place where every corner you turn to now, is a mall. I will even dare and call it the 'city of malls'.
As far as food is concerned, I would probably try the eateries in the malls then venture out eventually. I think even though 1/3 of my life was spent in this city, after half a decade of being away, I will need someone to guide me and take me around. It seems the city is much more crowded both with people and cars than 10 years ago. Anyone who has not been in the city for a while will surely get lost, confused and frustrated. Gone are the spacious areas and old landmarks along EDSA.
Fondest memory I have been away from the Philippines for almost 12 years now. But I really miss the turo-turo places in Chinatown. I did not get a chance to visit it last time I was there and for all I know it may not exist anymore.
UP Diliman is also very close to my heart. I would suggest for anyone visiting for the first time to give this place a peek. I guess since the city has been turned into a concrete urban jungle, UP Diliman seemed untouched. There are still trees and lots of greeneries in the campus.
Favorite thing Most ATM's in Metro Manila Area allow withrawals of International ATM consortiums like Cirrus, Maestro, Discover and Plus. Just look at the symbols at the ATM booths to see if they accept International ATMs since all ATMs have English Signs.
ATM's are available everywhere but be sure to only withdraw in well lit and crowded areas to fend off holduppers or snatchers.
Fondest memory just remember that there is a withdrawal fee of 150 pesos with international ATM withdrawals, whatever the amount you would withdraw (whether 500 pesos or 5,000 pesos) plus your local bank in your country will also charge you a finance charge per International ATM withdrawal. so If you would need to get money from the ATM, be sure to withdraw a large amount.