You say “Long Live!”, here in Manila we shout, “Mabuhay!”.
Want to try the grandest nomadic experience of a lifetime, where you’ll spot a treasury of rich culture and history, jam-packed with an amazing set of never-before-seen natural wonders and where the happiest and friendliest creatures on the planet exist? Try and visit Manila.
Capital city of “The Pearl of the Orient Seas,” the Philippines, Manila is one of the culture-richest cities in southeast Asia. Brought about by the diverse influence of foreign invaders during WWII, which is a combination of Japanese, American, German, British, and Spanish, the mixture of different traditions from these countries has been lived up by the Filipinos until today.
At the heart of the city stands the Intramuros, (Latin for “Within the Walls”), which was built by the Spanish colonial government to protect the city from foreign invaders. Try walking across the streets of España Boulevard and you’ll find one-of-a-kind architectural designs of different universities in this U-belt area (U-belt: short for University Belt) and the Rizal Monument where our country’s national hero, José Rizal, together with the other troops, stand amidst the city. You’ll also find a unique, old way of transportation here through the kalesa, a horse-drawn carriage, or if you want something a little bit more unique, try the country’s main mode of public transportation, the jeepney. Even the Manila Bay will offer you the most romantic scene of sunset just across from the SM Mall of Asia (considered as one of the largest malls in Asia).
Being the fun lovers that we are, Pinoys (colloquial for Filipinos) love to celebrate festivities. We have here the Buhusan Festival which aims to reenact the baptism of Jesus by splashing water to whoever passes you on the street in San Juan City. Blame the Spaniards – we now have here siesta time in which we relax and enjoy a part of our day maybe doing leisure with merienda (a light meal between lunch and dinner) or taking a short nap which is mostly during mid-afternoon. If you love gambling, you’ll enjoy sabong (cockfighting) (*see note below) from which you can put a bet, which we also learned during the Spanish colonization. Pinoys love to communicate, interact, and express themselves in any available means, whether it could be through a magnificent painting, a poem, a Facebook selfie, or through blogs. Having English as the second language here in Manila, it isn’t difficult for the Pinoys or Manileños here to have their thoughts be recognized or heard globally.
You’ll also love the delicacies here: sisig, pancit, suman, and especially balut, which has been a favorite of most tourists that visit here.
Even though the population is mostly Christian, about 30% of the residents here are also Muslims. Ramadan (Muslim’s Holy Sabbath day) is also being recognized and done all throughout the country. In Manila, Quiapo Church is the known Worship Place which houses the miraculous “Black Nazarene.”
As a perfect urban abode of rich and poor, there is also enough nightlife to experience until the dawn. Unique “restobars” are all over place, which will compensate the historic and cultural gala for the day.
I am Loraine, an electronics engineer by profession and a passionate writer by heart. I am entangled between the twisted logic of circuitry and the playful beat of my imagination. I love to live by loving, learning, traveling, and creating big things out of little things.
*Note from Christian & Dauntless Jaunter – This is an insightful article into the local scene from a local, and sabong (the cockfighting) is a common activity. I don’t condone it, and hope that this article doesn’t come off like that, but I decided to leave it in so that the reader could get an accurate taste of the modern-day Philippines capital city, blemishes and all.