Manila Philippines – High Speed, Eat, Drink, Shop 24hrs!

Surprising, friendly and multicultural Manila Philippines! It’s the capital of the Philippines and definitely one of the world’s holiday destinations of excitement if you know where to look. If you’re passing through this hub of the islands, why not take advantage of some of the great things this city has to offer? It’s way more than just a stopover, so get out there and enjoy it!

Manila Philippines isn’t always the first destination that comes to mind when tourists are traveling to the sovereign island country in Southeast Asia. Quite often Manila is simply a stopover, a hub for tourists traveling to other places in this western Pacific Ocean archipelago. If you know you’re going to be in Manila for 24 hours, you’ll be happy to know that there are a lot of things to love about this city. Once you get out and about you can see Manila shed its reputation as a concrete jungle with little to enjoy. It’s easy to get around, it’s surprisingly friendly, the food is great and the culture is interesting!

 

Manila Philippines – 9:00 am – Time to get acquainted!

Rise and shine! Welcome to Manila – you’ll be greeted not only by friendly faces, but by the humidity, so make sure you’re prepared. If you’re looking to get a little more acquainted with the city this morning, the best way to familiarize yourself with Manila Philippines is by getting aboard the the Hop On Hop Off minivan. Go on a two hour trip and see the colourful and interesting regions of the city as you travel in a loop around Manila. There won’t be a formal tour commentary, just friendly and chatty drivers willing to proudly point out their city’s sights. Take advantage of the fact that shopping is quite the obsession here in Manila as you can stop at any of the city’s malls. View the Ayala Museum, the Manila Film Centre, or Rizal Park in honour of national hero and freedom fighter, Dr

Ayala Museum

Ayala Museum

Jose Rizal who was executed by the Spanish in 1898. See the large US embassy, a variety of stunning churches and cathedrals (over eighty percent of Manila Philippines locals are Catholic) and take in the scene as you travel through the city in the early morning.

  • Hop On Hop Off minivan: operating 9am-6pm daily, an all-day pass costs 700 pesos ($18) and most hotels have a map of pick-up points. Visit www.manilahoponhopoff.com.
  • Ayala Museum: Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 am to 6pm.
  • Manila Film Centre, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines

 

Manila Philippines – 10:30 am – Intramuros, Manila’s historic district

Ready to start seeing some sights up close? Get off at Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, the core of Manila’s history and the oldest district in Manila Philippines. You’ll find this 16th-century walled city resting between Rizal Park, and the Pasig River which flows out into the Manila Bay. Construction of the 0.67 square kilometer defensive walls was started by Spanish colonial government in fortify the city from foreign invasions. The towering stone walls once housed and protected government offices, schools, hospitals, monasteries and large mansions, and the only access to Intramuros was via drawbridges over moats. Intramuros is a must-see for anyone passing through Manila, so come take a look! The quaint museums, cobbled streets, and historic landmarks such as Fort Santiago and the oldest church in the entire Philippines (World Heritage-listed San Agustin Church) are both fascinating and beautiful to behold. Horse drawn kalesa carts are available with drivers for hire, so take a guided tour and enjoy this historic piece of the Philippines!

  • Intramuros: entry pass 75 pesos
  • Kalesa tours: 500 pesos

 

Manila Philippines – 12:30 pm – The famous Manila Jeepney!

A trip around Manila Philippines wouldn’t be complete without a ride in a jeepney! The saying “getting there is half the fun” must have been coined by a jeepney passenger, because these half-bus, half-jeep vehicles are a unique and social way of getting around the city of Manila. The long-wheel-base jeeps were inspired by American GI vehicles, and it’s customary for them to be outrageously decorated with airbrushed artworks, religious imagery, mirrors, and kitsch objects. They’re a cheap way to get from point A to point B, but make sure you hash things out with the driver when you get on – jeepneys don’t provide route information other than an ultimate destination, and there are numerous informal stops along the way. Need to get on or off? Just get the driver’s attention. Make sure they understand where you need to go, and how much it will cost to ride this social mode of transportation – and we do mean social!  Many tourists to Manila are used to simply reading the route, paying their fare and riding without any interaction with other passengers, but the jeepney is different. When sixteen passengers are crammed into the back of a vehicle together you’re sure to be striking up a conversation with the local Manila residents. There are, of course, other options for transportation around the city, such as bicycle rickshaws called pedicabs and tricycle motorbikes with canopied sidecars.

  • A single jeepney ride costs about 7 pesos

 

Manila Philippines – 1:30 pm – Where to eat?

No matter what your chosen mode of transportation, or where your ride brings you in Manila, you’re almost sure to encounter a Jollibee Restaurant. You’ll know it when you see the Jollibee’s distinctive logo – the happy little cartoon bumble bee wearing a chef’s hat. Jollibee has hundreds of locations in the Philippines, and is the nation’s number

Jollibee Restaurant

Jollibee Restaurant

one chain restaurant for fast food, beating out even McDonalds! The Jollibee Restaurant began as an ice cream parlour in 1975 and expanded from there, successfully making its mark on the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the UAE among many others, with plans to open more restaurants in eight additional countries. Eating at Jollibee’s is a bit of a cultural must-try, just to say that you’ve been there and done that! You can grab Filipino style noodles with pork called palabok fiesta, fried chicken and rice “chicken joy,” prawns and smoked fish flakes topped with boiled egg slices, or just a plain old burger and fries. Give it a try! If a fast food joint isn’t up your alley but you’re still needing a quick bite on the go, numerous food vendor carts take certain routes at specific times, as some foods are considered time sensitive – meaning the food can only be eaten in the morning for example, or eaten only as an afternoon snack.

  • Taho – A mushy Southeast Asian tofu topped with sugar syrup and tapioca balls. Eaten mostly by children and construction workers in the morning.
  • Mais – Boiled corn-on-the-cob which is sold in the early to late afternoon.
  • Binatog – Boiled corn with coconut milk, sugar, and fresh coconut gratings.
  • Bola Bola – Fried fish balls, small hotdogs and similar fare
  • Assorted Fruit
  • Ice Cream – Sold out of decorative carts with a bell, with flavors such as mango, carabao cheese, pandan, and yam.
  • Fast food meals usually under 100 pesos

 

Manila Philippines – 3:00 pm – A trip to Coconut Palace

After a meal, set your sights on the Coconut Palace, a two storey, seven bedroom mansion constructed in 1978. It was commissioned by the former Philippine first lady, Imelda Marcos, at a cost of $37 million dollars USD, intended for Pope John Paul’s 1981 visit to the city. However, Pope John Paul refused accommodations at the mansion exclaiming it was too much of an extravagant display. The mansion still draws plenty of visitors nonetheless, and implementation of many natural materials such as coconut shell chandeliers and banana fibre bedspreads are all part of what makes this place unique. The grounds feature a swimming pool, butterfly house and orchidarium.

  • Coconut Palace, Cultural Centre of the Philippines (CCP) Complex, Roxas Blvd, Pasay City, phone +630 832 0223. 100 pesos. Open 8am-5pm. Tours are operated on demand.

 

Manila Philippines – 4:30 pm – Shop til you Drop!

Manila is a city infatuated with shopping! Come and get out of the humidity and late day heat inside SM Mall of

SM Mall of Asia

SM Mall of Asia

Asia – the tenth largest mall in the world! This colossal mall stretches on for almost a kilometer on reclaimed land beside Manila Bay. Passing under the Universal Studios-inspired entrance, you’ll discover over one thousand shops, hundreds of cafés and restaurants, six movie cinemas including an IMAX theatre, an Olympic sized ice skating rink, an interactive science museum, a ferris wheel, a bowling alley, and plenty of places to relax.

  • SM Mall of Asia is a 30-minute taxi ride from Makati – if traveling by taxi ask to be taken to “MOA”
  • Mall hours – open 10 am to 10 pm daily

Manila Philippines – 6:00 pm – Take a break and grab a drink

If you haven’t grabbed anything to eat at the (literally) hundreds of places to eat and drink while shopping Manila’s enormous mall, you’ll definitely have worked up an appetite. Swing by one of the Sis Seafood restaurants along the waterfront for a meal, a drink, and an amazing opportunity to watch the sun set. Once you’re seated, select the raw ingredients for your meal from the “wet market” which is the outdoor fish market outside, and choose how you’d like it cooked – baked with cheese for example, or grilled with lemon butter sauce, sweet and sour, teriyaki. Enjoy a drink while your meal is cooked, and enjoy the live music entertainment!

 

Manila Philippines – 8pm – Ambience, and a sweet after-dinner treat!

Catch a cab to The Peninsula, the place to be seen in Manila Philippines! This prestigious hotel’s four story high ceiling paired with beautiful palm trees, grand staircases, stunning water features and architecture makes the spectacular lobby one of the most captivating places to dine in Manila. Relax and treat yourself to a classic Filipino dessert called halo-halo, meaning “mix-mix” in Tagalog. This extraordinary dessert is made with shaved ice, stewed fruit, condensed milk, ice-cream and personalized with a number of other ingredient options. It comes served in a tall glass and is enjoyed with a spoon. Share The Peninsula’s Halo-Halo Harana – it arrives in a large balloon glass and includes purple yam ice-cream, egg yolk custard, gelatin, chickpeas, jackfruit, coconut cream and sweetened kidney beans – with sugar on top. It might sound a bit off the wall, but it’s actually marvelous and a Manila Philippines one of a kind treat!

  • The Peninsula Manila, located at the corner of Ayala and Makati avenues, 1226 Makati City, Metro Manila. Halo-Halo Haranas cost 400 pesos. Visit peninsula.com/Manila.
  • The Peninsula lobby, open 24 hours

Manila Philippines – 10pm and on – Late night Manila entertainment!

Burn off that dessert while you walk along Makati Avenue to Greenbelt 3 Mall. As most places close at 10 pm, you won’t be here to shop but rather to sing! Stop in the Red Box videoke venue and rent a private rooms, and let your vocal chords run wild! A playlist of over one hundred thousand of the latest karaoke, pop music and music videos are updated on a weekly basis. The “beers of the world” tastings are sure to loosen your inhibitions, and  free use of the establishment’s musical instruments make for a great jam session. Late-night movies at Greenbelt 3’s cinema start their last session around midnight, and the price of admission is affordable. Have a great time!

  • Red Box and Greenbelt 3 Cinemas are both at Greenbelt 3, one of five Greenbelt malls in Makati. Red Box is open noon-4am. Rooms cost 499 pesos per person 7pm-midnight (299 pesos a person midnight- 4am) which also includes two drinks.
  • Cinema prices are 120 to 170 pesos.

 

Manila Philippines – sleep

Manila Hotel

One Rizal Park Manila Manila 1000 Philippines 1-866-500-4938

 

Oriental Zen Suites

1545 Alfonso Mendoza St. Sampaloc Manila Metro Manila 1003 Philippines 1-866-500-4938

 

Manila Pavilion Hotel & Casino

United Nations Avenue Ermita Manila 1000 Manila Manila 1000 Philippines 1-866-500-4938

Visit the Asia destinations category to learn more about other tourism opportunities available in Asia!