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===Landmarks===
 
===Landmarks===
* '''Rizal Monument''' located inside '''Luneta Park''', this monument is a winning entry by a Swiss sculptor when a competition was held on the 15th year commemorating National Hero [[José Rizal]]’s martyrdom. Visiting this hallowed ground and laying flowers is a protocol for all heads of states and governments.  The '''Independence Flagpole''', the tallest in the Philippines at 100 ft and is planned to be replaced by an even higher one, marks '''Kilometer Zero''', the spot from which all road distances are measured. The [[GOMBURZA]] (Fathers Gomez, Burgos, & Zamora) monument, a tribute to the three native priests who were garroted by the Spanish colonizers in the same park is the next important, stands nearby.
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* '''Rizal Monument''' — located inside '''Luneta Park''', this monument is a winning entry by a Swiss sculptor when a competition was held on the 15th year commemorating National Hero [[José Rizal]]’s martyrdom. Visiting this hallowed ground and laying flowers is a protocol for all heads of states and governments.  The '''Independence Flagpole''', the tallest in the Philippines at 100 ft and is planned to be replaced by an even higher one, marks '''Kilometer Zero''', the spot from which all road distances are measured. The [[GOMBURZA]] (Fathers Gomez, Burgos, & Zamora) monument, a tribute to the three native priests who were garroted by the Spanish colonizers in the same park is the next important, stands nearby.
  
* '''Bonifacio Monuments''' there are two Bonifacio homages in the city both of which are landmarks, one is in '''Liwasang Bonifacio''' (or '''Plaza Bonifacio''' in Spanish) fronting the '''Manila Post Office Building''', in which a “dare me” fighting posture of the Hero is installed, and another one located at the intersection of '''Padre Burgos Av''' and '''Taft Av''', a collage-relief imagery.  These monuments honor [[Andres Bonifacio]] a proletariat who founded and organized the Spanish Independence struggle. The one in''' Liwasang Bonifacio''' is more famous as an assembly place for political demonstrations on top of being a grand jeepney terminal while this one is a grand bus and jeepney waiting station.  Here, he is stylized more like part of a stage background. He is again honored at an aesthetically and compositionally imposing monument at '''Monumento''' [[EDSA]], [[Caloocan City]], accessed through the North LRT Line-1 last station.
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* '''Bonifacio Monuments''' — there are two Bonifacio homages in the city both of which are landmarks, one is in '''Liwasang Bonifacio''' (or '''Plaza Bonifacio''' in Spanish) fronting the '''Manila Post Office Building''', in which a “dare me” fighting posture of the Hero is installed, and another one located at the intersection of '''Padre Burgos Av''' and '''Taft Av''', a collage-relief imagery.  These monuments honor [[Andres Bonifacio]] a proletariat who founded and organized the Spanish Independence struggle. The one in''' Liwasang Bonifacio''' is more famous as an assembly place for political demonstrations on top of being a grand jeepney terminal while this one is a grand bus and jeepney waiting station.  Here, he is stylized more like part of a stage background. He is again honored at an aesthetically and compositionally imposing monument at '''Monumento''' [[EDSA]], [[Caloocan City]], accessed through the North LRT Line-1 last station.
  
* '''Legazpi-Urdaneta Monument''', corner '''Padre Burgos Av''' and '''Bonifacio Dr''' west of [[Intramuros]] District bordering on propaganda, of the style preceding the relatively closer genre of  [[Soviet Realism]] giving tribute to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. Located on Manila’s backyard, if not for its powerful imagery, it will not be noticed. One of a few remaining thanksgiving ode to Mother Spain depicting two key characters in the formal takeover of Manila and the Philippines –state and church, '''Governor Legazpi''' the soldier and cousin '''Bishop Urdaneta''' the priest. Both are gung-ho in their synchronized frozen dance to the glory of Spain akin to the “I’m King of the World” pose by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Titanic. So far, this is the most steering, visually dramatic, Classic Romanticism sculpture in the Philippines.
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* '''Legazpi-Urdaneta Monument''', corner '''Padre Burgos Av''' and '''Bonifacio Dr''' west of [[Intramuros]] District — bordering on propaganda, of the style preceding the relatively closer genre of  [[Soviet Realism]] giving tribute to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. Located on Manila’s backyard, if not for its powerful imagery, it will not be noticed. One of a few remaining thanksgiving ode to Mother Spain depicting two key characters in the formal takeover of Manila and the Philippines –state and church, '''Governor Legazpi''' the soldier and cousin '''Bishop Urdaneta''' the priest. Both are gung-ho in their synchronized frozen dance to the glory of Spain akin to the “I’m King of the World” pose by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Titanic. So far, this is the most steering, visually dramatic, Classic Romanticism sculpture in the Philippines.
  
* '''Lacson Monument''', '''Plaza Goiti''', '''Santa Cruz''' District a hideous and caricature-ish human-looking depiction of a well-loved real hero and flamboyant Mayor [[Arsenio Lacson]] of Manila, standing beside the '''Santa Cruz Church''', has an overstretched [[Gumby]]-like tumor-infected legs. Just another manifestation of the city’s civic art commissions not subjected to open competition and pre-execution public criticism, on top of Manila’s lack of urban planning.  
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* '''Lacson Monument''', '''Plaza Goiti''', '''Santa Cruz''' District — a hideous and caricature-ish human-looking depiction of a well-loved real hero and flamboyant Mayor [[Arsenio Lacson]] of Manila, standing beside the '''Santa Cruz Church''', has an overstretched [[Gumby]]-like tumor-infected legs. Just another manifestation of the city’s civic art commissions not subjected to open competition and pre-execution public criticism, on top of Manila’s lack of urban planning.  
  
* '''Rajah Sulayman Monument at Plaza Sulayman''', '''Malate''' District another rendition of a real role model this time from the Pre-Spanish Era, made horrendously stiff and surreal in what seemed to be just one in a litany of important monument projects gone awry, including the botched job [[EDSA]] '''People’s Power''' Revolt Monument in [[Quezon City]] and the private outdoor Yuchengco Monument at the [[Yuchengco Museum]] in [[Makati City]], eliciting laughter more than awe. Probably, Manila is the only city in the world memorializing true-to-life heroism in Picasso-like, childish distortions - instead of [[Realism Style]] found in memorial filled-cities from Paris to Pyongyang.
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* '''Rajah Sulayman Monument at Plaza Sulayman''', '''Malate''' District — another rendition of a real role model this time from the Pre-Spanish Era, made horrendously stiff and surreal in what seemed to be just one in a litany of important monument projects gone awry, including the botched job [[EDSA]] '''People’s Power''' Revolt Monument in [[Quezon City]] and the private outdoor Yuchengco Monument at the [[Yuchengco Museum]] in [[Makati City]], eliciting laughter more than awe. Probably, Manila is the only city in the world memorializing true-to-life heroism in Picasso-like, childish distortions - instead of [[Realism Style]] found in memorial filled-cities from Paris to Pyongyang.
  
* '''Malacañan Palace''', '''San Miguel''' District - Manila is the host of the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Its riverfront faҫade - highly impossible to be seen by a curious ordinary visitor, unless one gets to cruise the [[Pasig River]] - can be glimpsed in the ₱20 bill. Its interiors are finished in varnished Philippine mahogany and exotic tropical hardwoods provoking the current President to comment that it’s not a lively place to work for its depressingly dark brownish interior atmosphere. Inside the Palace grounds, visitors can roam the garden afterwards. The palace and grounds are rich in anecdotes and urban legends - haunted rooms, ogres, and ghosts. The road to the palace is replete with old houses, a few one-handful well maintained and renovated, converted as restaurants, offices, while the rest are left to rot, and will collapse take or give a few years.  
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* '''Malacañan Palace''', '''San Miguel''' District — Manila is the host of the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Its riverfront faҫade - highly impossible to be seen by a curious ordinary visitor, unless one gets to cruise the [[Pasig River]] - can be glimpsed in the ₱20 bill. Its interiors are finished in varnished Philippine mahogany and exotic tropical hardwoods provoking the current President to comment that it’s not a lively place to work for its depressingly dark brownish interior atmosphere. Inside the Palace grounds, visitors can roam the garden afterwards. The palace and grounds are rich in anecdotes and urban legends - haunted rooms, ogres, and ghosts. The road to the palace is replete with old houses, a few one-handful well maintained and renovated, converted as restaurants, offices, while the rest are left to rot, and will collapse take or give a few years.  
  
* '''Mendiola Bridge''' – From a narrow street leading to [[Malacañan Palace]] is [[Mendiola Bridge]] as soon as [[Mendiola St]] crosses an estero or tributary of the [[Pasig River]]. Officially named [[Don Chino Roces Bridge]] after an illustrious Marcos picketer, this bridge is a symbolic reminder of the often bloody demonstration against the tumultuous '''Marcos''' & [[Cory Aquino]] regimes. What seemed to be a non-bid public monument civic artwork '''Peace Arch''' judging from its lame and tacky appearance marks the foot of the bridge; an exorcising gesture in stone of the image of the man whose name bears the bridge’s is placed at the foreground.
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* '''Mendiola Bridge''' — from a narrow street leading to [[Malacañan Palace]] is [[Mendiola Bridge]] as soon as [[Mendiola St]] crosses an estero or tributary of the [[Pasig River]]. Officially named [[Don Chino Roces Bridge]] after an illustrious Marcos picketer, this bridge is a symbolic reminder of the often bloody demonstration against the tumultuous '''Marcos''' & [[Cory Aquino]] regimes. What seemed to be a non-bid public monument civic artwork '''Peace Arch''' judging from its lame and tacky appearance marks the foot of the bridge; an exorcising gesture in stone of the image of the man whose name bears the bridge’s is placed at the foreground.
  
* '''Jones Bridge''', on the northwest side of the '''Manila Post Office Building''', [[Ermita]] District – Bridging [[Santa Cruz]] and [[Ermita]] Districts, it is one of the three major bridges crossing the [[Pasig River]] erected during the American Era. Replacing the flimsy [[Puente de España]] in the early 1900, it is evocative of the [[Pont de la Concorde]] in Paris generously accented by sculptures, a passable version of France’s [[Beaux Arts Style]] during the [[Fin de Siècle]] Era, which to the Philippines, meant the good old days of beautiful Manila before its destruction during World War II, (eventually becoming as the worse destructed city second to [[Warsaw]]) and the spiraling downhill deterioration aftermath. It experienced the horrors of World War II, particularly the destructive assault of [[Intramuros]] by the Americans, it stood frontline by the path of blitzkrieg bombings coming from north of the river aimed at flushing out the hardened Japanese Army.  
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* '''Jones Bridge''', on the northwest side of the '''Manila Post Office Building''', [[Ermita]] District — bridging [[Santa Cruz]] and [[Ermita]] Districts, it is one of the three major bridges crossing the [[Pasig River]] erected during the American Era. Replacing the flimsy [[Puente de España]] in the early 1900, it is evocative of the [[Pont de la Concorde]] in Paris generously accented by sculptures, a passable version of France’s [[Beaux Arts Style]] during the [[Fin de Siècle]] Era, which to the Philippines, meant the good old days of beautiful Manila before its destruction during World War II, (eventually becoming as the worse destructed city second to [[Warsaw]]) and the spiraling downhill deterioration aftermath. It experienced the horrors of World War II, particularly the destructive assault of [[Intramuros]] by the Americans, it stood frontline by the path of blitzkrieg bombings coming from north of the river aimed at flushing out the hardened Japanese Army.  
  
* '''Walls of [[Manila/Intramuros|Intramuros]]''' – The walls of [[Intramuros]] are easily identifiable icons of the city.
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* '''Walls of [[Manila/Intramuros|Intramuros]]''' — the walls of [[Intramuros]] are easily identifiable icons of the city.
  
* '''[[Memorare]]''' Sculpted in the mold of the emotionally steering [[Pieta]] by Michealangelo, this least noticeable landmark tableau is a memorial to the innocent victims of World War II.  
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* '''[[Memorare]]''' — Sculpted in the mold of the emotionally steering [[Pieta]] by Michealangelo, this least noticeable landmark tableau is a memorial to the innocent victims of World War II.  
  
* '''Manila Hotel''' - Just outside Intramuros and on the edge of [[Manila Bay]] is the grand and historic [[Manila Hotel]], a legacy of the American colonial era and the place where General [[Douglas MacArthur]] made his home before World War II, and the favorite billeting house for celebrities and dignitaries visiting the Philippines.
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* '''Manila Hotel''' — just outside Intramuros and on the edge of [[Manila Bay]] is the grand and historic [[Manila Hotel]], a legacy of the American colonial era and the place where General [[Douglas MacArthur]] made his home before World War II, and the favorite billeting house for celebrities and dignitaries visiting the Philippines.
  
* '''Binondo [[Manila/Binondo|Chinatown]] Welcome Arch''' - Manila has one of the well-established Chinatowns in the world, where one can find exotic cuisine and goods such as shark’s fin, haw flakes, tikoy or sticky rice cake, moon cake, ginseng, and Ye Tin mint rub. It is marked by a welcome arch of Chinese imagery and the ubiquitous dragon on top of a clay roof. Ignore the political advertising credits prominently embossed on the archway.  
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* '''Binondo [[Manila/Binondo|Chinatown]] Welcome Arch''' — Manila has one of the well-established Chinatowns in the world, where one can find exotic cuisine and goods such as shark’s fin, haw flakes, tikoy or sticky rice cake, moon cake, ginseng, and Ye Tin mint rub. It is marked by a welcome arch of Chinese imagery and the ubiquitous dragon on top of a clay roof. Ignore the political advertising credits prominently embossed on the archway.  
  
* '''[[Manila/Quiapo]] Muslim Town Welcome Arch''' a unique welcome arch is placed at '''Globo de Oro St''' in [[Quiapo]] signaling that you are passing through Muslim territory. It incorporates subdued Islamic design elements of crescent moon & stars.
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* '''[[Manila/Quiapo]] Muslim Town Welcome Arch''' — a unique welcome arch is placed at '''Globo de Oro St''' in [[Quiapo]] signaling that you are passing through Muslim territory. It incorporates subdued Islamic design elements of crescent moon & stars.
  
* <see name="University of Santo Tomás" alt="Unibersidad de Santo Tomás (UST)" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">this University is the oldest existing University in the whole of Far East and second to be founded in the Philippines. Used as a concentration camp by the Japanese for the whole period of their occupation and cramming about 10,000 for a compound intended for a maximum capacity of 4,000. The University has a museum housing a collection that dates back to 1682. The statue of '''Fray Benavidez''', the founder is a landmark in the campus. Landscaped and arboreal, with pocket gardens amidst the noisy studentry, the campus is a welcome thirst quencher for oxygen-deprived tourists in this park-challenged District.</see>
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:Only in the Philippines you can find flagrant in-your-face, front and center credits of politicians who commissioned permanent structures that destroys the essence of the building project (is it for the public’s use or to perpetuate his/her name?) Tasteless and mischievous politicians they are, their names are embossed in the Welcome Arches of Chinatown in Binondo and Muslim Town in Quiapo Districts.
  
* '''Manila Metropolitan Theater''' - [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_Metropolitan_Theater] informally called '''The Met''' is an Art Deco building with rich detailing designed by the Filipino architect [[Marcos de Guzman Arellano]], and inaugurated in 1931, with a capacity of 1,670. The theater is located on '''Padre Burgos Av''', near the '''Manila Central Post Office'''. Renovated under the auspices of former First Lady [[Imelda Marcos]], it now falls back under the management of neglect and decadence.
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* <see name="University of Santo Tomás" alt="Unibersidad de Santo Tomás (UST)" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> &mdash; this University is the oldest existing University in the whole of Far East and second to be founded in the Philippines. Used as a concentration camp by the Japanese for the whole period of their occupation and cramming about 10,000 for a compound intended for a maximum capacity of 4,000. The University has a museum housing a collection that dates back to 1682. The statue of '''Fray Benavidez''', the founder is a landmark in the campus. Landscaped and arboreal, with pocket gardens amidst the noisy studentry, the campus is a welcome thirst quencher for oxygen-deprived tourists in this park-challenged District.</see>
  
* '''Manila Central Post Office''' - [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_Central_Post_Office]Designed by Filipino architect [[Juan Marcos de Guzman Arellano]], located in a very prominently visual and commanding spot of the first Civic Center in Manila, at the bank of the [[Pasig River]] next to [[Intramuros]], the Building, almost identical to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. (ca. 1929) but conceived much earlier, was built in neoclassical architecture in 1926, designed to look without sides and backside, it can be viewed appreciatively in any angle. It was severely damaged in World War II, and rebuilt in 1946 preserving most of its original design. The front of the building faces the [[Liwasang Bonifacio]] or '''Plaza Bonifacio''' (formerly known as '''Plaza Lawton''').
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* '''Manila Metropolitan Theater''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_Metropolitan_Theater] &mdash; informally called '''The Met''' is an Art Deco building with rich detailing designed by the Filipino architect [[Marcos de Guzman Arellano]], and inaugurated in 1931, with a capacity of 1,670. The theater is located on '''Padre Burgos Av''', near the '''Manila Central Post Office'''. Renovated under the auspices of former First Lady [[Imelda Marcos]], it now falls back under the management of neglect and decadence.
  
* '''Manila City Hall and Clock Tower''' – In answer to [[Big Ben]] and '''Parliament House''' of London, the city of Manila put up this city hall in similar fashion, albeit in its sanitized '''Mughal''' style depicted in the tower, reflective of the city’s Islamic heritage. The lobby to the Council Chamber is decorated with a city-themed mural by painter [[Carlos “Botong” Francisco]] – the [[Diego Rivera]] of the Philippines whose style skewed more on tropical rainbow pastels from Rivera’s deep red and brown tones. But as of this writing, it is taken down for restoration.
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* '''Manila Central Post Office''' - [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_Central_Post_Office] &mdash; designed by Filipino architect [[Juan Marcos de Guzman Arellano]], located in a very prominently visual and commanding spot of the first Civic Center in Manila, at the bank of the [[Pasig River]] next to [[Intramuros]], the Building, almost identical to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. (ca. 1929) but conceived much earlier, was built in neoclassical architecture in 1926, designed to look without sides and backside, it can be viewed appreciatively in any angle. It was severely damaged in World War II, and rebuilt in 1946 preserving most of its original design. The front of the building faces the [[Liwasang Bonifacio]] or '''Plaza Bonifacio''' (formerly known as '''Plaza Lawton''').
  
* '''Cultural Center of the Philippines, Malate, Manila''' – another first in Asia, the icon that will forever be associated with [[Imelda Marcos]], First Lady of the Philippines and wife of the dictator [[Ferdinand Marcos]] from 1965-1986. [[Leandro Locsin]], its architect was heavily influenced by clean zen lines, [[Frank Lloyd Wright]]’s emphasis on the horizontality (himself heavily influenced by Japanese concepts of art), as well as [[Oscar Niemeyer]], and further down, by [[Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe]].  
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* '''Manila City Hall and Clock Tower''' &mdash; in answer to [[Big Ben]] and '''Parliament House''' of London, the City of Manila put up this structure in similar fashion, albeit in its simplified '''Mughal''' style depicted in the tower, reflective of the city’s Islamic heritage. The lobby to the Council Chamber is decorated with a city-themed mural by painter [[Carlos “Botong” Francisco]] – the [[Diego Rivera]] of the Philippines whose style skewed more on tropical rainbow pastels from Rivera’s deep red and brown tones. But as of this writing, it is taken down for restoration.
  
* '''Philippine International Convention Center''' – southwest of the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]] is one more icon and legacy of [[Imelda Marcos]], finished in 1976 (just in time for the '''World Bank''' Meeting as its gala hosting) as the very first international convention center in Asia when the rest of Asia was still slumbering from toying the idea of putting up theirs. Another composition of massive blocks finished in a mix of concrete and crushed clam shells and chipped off to texture, interplayed by glass windows, more a [[Mies Van Der Rohe]] influence but heavily weighted on Wright by its emphasis on horizontality and daring cantilevers.
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* '''Cultural Center of the Philippines, Malate, Manila''' &mdash; another first in Asia, the icon that will forever be associated with [[Imelda Marcos]], First Lady of the Philippines and wife of the dictator [[Ferdinand Marcos]] from 1965-1986. [[Leandro Locsin]], its architect was heavily influenced by clean zen lines, [[Frank Lloyd Wright]]’s emphasis on the horizontality (himself heavily influenced by Japanese concepts of art), as well as [[Oscar Niemeyer]], and further down, by [[Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe]].  
  
* '''Folk Arts Theater''' west of the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]] is another enduring [[Imelda Marcos]] icon now in disrepair, capturing the trademark Filipino, and to a profound degree, Asian proportions of a house which typically has very prominent roof structure ribboned around the base with a serial interplay of sharp walls and windows (or doors). This concert theater is naturally ventilated taking into consideration its breezy and therefore siesta-inducing seaside location.  
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* '''Philippine International Convention Center''' &mdash; southwest of the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]] is one more icon and legacy of [[Imelda Marcos]], finished in 1976 (just in time for the '''World Bank''' Meeting as its gala hosting) as the very first international convention center in Asia when the rest of Asia was still slumbering from toying the idea of putting up theirs. Another composition of massive blocks finished in a mix of concrete and crushed clam shells and chipped off to texture, interplayed by glass windows, more a [[Mies Van Der Rohe]] influence but heavily weighted on Wright by its emphasis on horizontality and daring cantilevers.
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* '''Folk Arts Theater''' &mdash; west of the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]] is another enduring [[Imelda Marcos]] icon now in disrepair, capturing the trademark Filipino, and to a profound degree, Asian proportions of a house which typically has very prominent roof structure ribboned around the base with a serial interplay of sharp walls and windows (or doors). This concert theater is naturally ventilated taking into consideration its breezy and therefore siesta-inducing seaside location.  
  
 
* '''Coconut Palace''' - a villa commissioned and built along the reclaimed waterfront west of the [[Cultural of the Philippines]] building, by former First Lady [[Imelda Marcos]] for [[Pope John Paul II]]'s visit in 1981, designed by '''Indigenous/Return-to-Grassroots Architecture''' advocate, [[Manuel Mañosa]]. While open to the public at some point, it is presently (as of June 2011) occupied by the current Vice President and still open for public visits (calling by appointment the '''Office of the Vice President''', leaving a return call number and waiting for a confirmation).
 
* '''Coconut Palace''' - a villa commissioned and built along the reclaimed waterfront west of the [[Cultural of the Philippines]] building, by former First Lady [[Imelda Marcos]] for [[Pope John Paul II]]'s visit in 1981, designed by '''Indigenous/Return-to-Grassroots Architecture''' advocate, [[Manuel Mañosa]]. While open to the public at some point, it is presently (as of June 2011) occupied by the current Vice President and still open for public visits (calling by appointment the '''Office of the Vice President''', leaving a return call number and waiting for a confirmation).
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===Museums===
 
===Museums===
* <see name="National Museum of the Philippines" "Museum of the Filipino People" alt="Pambansang Museo" address="P. Burgos Ave" directions="" phone="+63 2-527 1209" email="" fax="" url="http://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph/" hours="" price="">built and opened in the 1900s, the museum showcases significant collections from archaeology, arts, cultural properties, zoology, botany and many more. This museum boasts of amassing over a million artifacts but in actual, only 125 pieces or so are on show. An optimist would describe something as a glass half full, but it can’t be helped but lament that this museum is less than half full for one would see halls and halls of empty space. A floor would have just about a maximum of two utilized halls with displays in it. As in anywhere in the Philippines, things are forever in transition. At the entrance is somewhat an apology board explaining that there's supposed to be three separate buildings - this one and the one facing it as showcases for anthropological and archaeological artifacts while the third one, the former '''Senate Building''' functioning as the '''National Art Gallery''' where paintings and sculptures are to be housed. There is no time frame when this wishful thinking will be achieved. </see>
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* <see name="National Museum of the Philippines" "Museum of the Filipino People" alt="Pambansang Museo" address="P. Burgos Ave" directions="" phone="+63 2-527 1209" email="" fax="" url="http://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph/" hours="" price=""> &mdash; built and opened in the 1900s, the museum showcases significant collections from archaeology, arts, cultural properties, zoology, botany and many more. This museum boasts of amassing over a million artifacts but in actual, only 125 pieces or so are on show. An optimist would describe something as a glass half full, but it can’t be helped but lament that this museum is less than half full for one would see halls and halls of empty space. A floor would have just about a maximum of two utilized halls with displays in it. As in anywhere in the Philippines, things are forever in transition. At the entrance is somewhat an apology board explaining that there's supposed to be three separate buildings - this one and the one facing it as showcases for anthropological and archaeological artifacts while the third one, the former '''Senate Building''' functioning as the '''National Art Gallery''' where paintings and sculptures are to be housed. There is no time frame when this wishful thinking will be achieved. </see>
  
 
*'''The National Art Gallery''' as explained, took over the premises of the former '''Senate House''' and the repository of works of Filipino masters. The more than life-sized painting of [[Juan Luna]] titled '''Spolarium''', a bravura-filled powerful imagery in the mold of classical themes and [[Romanticist ]] in style is the museum's version of "Mona Lisa", meaning the most priced Philippine artwork, won by the artist at the '''National Exposition of Fine Arts''' competition of Madrid in 1884 when most Filipinos had hardly seen a paint brush and knew what it’s for. What is also interesting is that the artist led a very TV serial-worthy colorful and tragic life akin to those of artists like [[Van Gogh]], [[Diego Rivera]], & [[Frida Kahlo]] but the exhibit doesn’t dwell on that.  
 
*'''The National Art Gallery''' as explained, took over the premises of the former '''Senate House''' and the repository of works of Filipino masters. The more than life-sized painting of [[Juan Luna]] titled '''Spolarium''', a bravura-filled powerful imagery in the mold of classical themes and [[Romanticist ]] in style is the museum's version of "Mona Lisa", meaning the most priced Philippine artwork, won by the artist at the '''National Exposition of Fine Arts''' competition of Madrid in 1884 when most Filipinos had hardly seen a paint brush and knew what it’s for. What is also interesting is that the artist led a very TV serial-worthy colorful and tragic life akin to those of artists like [[Van Gogh]], [[Diego Rivera]], & [[Frida Kahlo]] but the exhibit doesn’t dwell on that.  
  
*<see name="Museum of Philippine Political History" alt="National Historical Institute Museum" address="T.M. Kalaw Ave., Manila" directions="" phone="" url="" price="" lat="" long="">Includes documents such as the signing of Independence displayed in a holy grail-like showcase.</see>
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*<see name="Museum of Philippine Political History" alt="National Historical Institute Museum" address="T.M. Kalaw Ave., Manila" directions="" phone="" url="" price="" lat="" long=""> &mdash; includes documents such as the signing of Independence displayed in a holy grail-like showcase.</see>
  
*<see name="Museo Pambata" alt="National Children's Museum" address="Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive Manila, Philippines 1000" directions="From EDSA, turn right on Roxas Boulevard then take a U-turn on T.M. Kalaw St. From Quiapo, take Quezon Bridge going to Padre Burgos St then turn left on Roxas Bl. Or you may take the LRT or a jeepney (A. Mabini route), get off on United Nations Avenue, and walk to Roxas Boulevard. Museo Pambata is right beside the U.S. Embassy" phone="+63 2-523 1797 or +63 985-360595 (mobile)" url="http://www.museopambata.org/" hours="Aug-Mar: 0800-1700 daily; Apr-Jul: 0900-1700 daily" price="₱100" lat="" long="">a children's interactive museum, the first of its kind in the Philippines. Opened in 1994, Museo Pambata is the dream come true of Nina Lim-Yuson, who was inspired by the Boston Children’s Museum to open up a similar facility in Manila.</see>
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*<see name="Museo Pambata" alt="National Children's Museum" address="Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive Manila, Philippines 1000" directions="From EDSA, turn right on Roxas Boulevard then take a U-turn on T.M. Kalaw St. From Quiapo, take Quezon Bridge going to Padre Burgos St then turn left on Roxas Bl. Or you may take the LRT or a jeepney (A. Mabini route), get off on United Nations Avenue, and walk to Roxas Boulevard. Museo Pambata is right beside the U.S. Embassy" phone="+63 2-523 1797 or +63 985-360595 (mobile)" url="http://www.museopambata.org/" hours="Aug-Mar: 0800-1700 daily; Apr-Jul: 0900-1700 daily" price="₱100" lat="" long=""> &mdash; a children's interactive museum, the first of its kind in the Philippines. Opened in 1994, Museo Pambata is the dream come true of Nina Lim-Yuson, who was inspired by the Boston Children’s Museum to open up a similar facility in Manila.</see>
  
*'''The Museum of the City of Manila''' right besides Museo Pambata (Children’s Museum), South Drive, [[Ermita]].
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*'''The Museum of the City of Manila''' &mdash; right besides Museo Pambata (Children’s Museum), South Drive, [[Ermita]].
  
*'''San Agustin Church Museum, Intramuros''' displays a large collection of ecclesiastical art – iconography, priest vestments, mass utensils, monstrances, books and hymnals, probably the most complete collection of Philippine ecclesiastical art.
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*'''San Agustin Church Museum, Intramuros''' &mdash; displays a large collection of ecclesiastical art – iconography, priest vestments, mass utensils, monstrances, books and hymnals, probably the most complete collection of Philippine ecclesiastical art.
  
*'''Fort Santiago Museum, Intramuros''' a museum for Philippine history buffs, featuring the heroism of Filipino heroes.
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*'''Fort Santiago Museum, Intramuros''' &mdash; a museum for Philippine history buffs, featuring the heroism of Filipino heroes.
  
* '''Plaza San Luis, Intramuros''' a commercial complex recreation of five affluent 19th century houses:  '''Casa Manila''', '''Casa Urdaneta''', '''Casa Blanca''', '''Los Hidalgos''', and '''El Hogar Filipino'''. Plaza San Luis showcases Filipino-Hispanic Architecture. Other than souvenir shops there is a museum in Casa Manila.
+
* '''Plaza San Luis, Intramuros''' &mdash; a commercial complex recreation of five affluent 19th century houses:  '''Casa Manila''', '''Casa Urdaneta''', '''Casa Blanca''', '''Los Hidalgos''', and '''El Hogar Filipino'''. Plaza San Luis showcases Filipino-Hispanic Architecture. Other than souvenir shops there is a museum in Casa Manila.
  
*<see name="Bahay Tsinoy" alt="Museum of Chinese in Philippine Life" address="#8 Anda, corner Cabildo Sts, [[Intramuros]]" directions="Facing the '''Manila Cathedral''', take the right side street.  Turn left two blocks after Manila Cathedral, about 50&nbsp;m is the entrance to Bahay Tsinoy museum." phone="+63 2-527 6083" url="www.kaisa.org.ph" hours="0900-1700" price="₱100" lat="" long=""> Bahay Tsinoy is one of the three museums of its kind in Southeast Asia and, arguably, the world, the two others,  called [[Peranakan]] Houses are in Singapore, and Penang, Malaysia .  The Chinese, arriving in the Philippines in batches since pre-Spanish colonial times, have been settling and assimilating as Filipinos.  The museum gives an idea of the nuanced past that the Chinese immigrants had to live through, and details their impressive journey from largely being itinerant vendors and coolies during the Spanish Occupation to being captains of industry and prominent figures in art, politics, media and government today. Museum is closed on Mondays, open on Sundays.  Although Bahay Tsinoy is open by 0900, try to go there at 1300 at the earliest; only then is the air-conditioning turned on, for electricity-saving reasons.</see>
+
*<see name="Bahay Tsinoy" alt="Museum of Chinese in Philippine Life" address="#8 Anda, corner Cabildo Sts, [[Intramuros]]" directions="Facing the '''Manila Cathedral''', take the right side street.  Turn left two blocks after Manila Cathedral, about 50&nbsp;m is the entrance to Bahay Tsinoy museum." phone="+63 2-527 6083" url="www.kaisa.org.ph" hours="0900-1700" price="₱100" lat="" long=""> &mdash; Bahay Tsinoy is one of the three museums of its kind in Southeast Asia and, arguably, the world, the two others,  called [[Peranakan]] Houses are in Singapore, and Penang, Malaysia .  The Chinese, arriving in the Philippines in batches since pre-Spanish colonial times, have been settling and assimilating as Filipinos.  The museum gives an idea of the nuanced past that the Chinese immigrants had to live through, and details their impressive journey from largely being itinerant vendors and coolies during the Spanish Occupation to being captains of industry and prominent figures in art, politics, media and government today. Museum is closed on Mondays, open on Sundays.  Although Bahay Tsinoy is open by 0900, try to go there at 1300 at the earliest; only then is the air-conditioning turned on, for electricity-saving reasons.</see>
  
*<see name="Metropolitan Museum of Manila" alt="Met Museum" address="Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard" directions="" phone="+63 2-521 1517" url="http://www.metmuseum.ph" hours="M-Sa 0900-1800" price="" lat="" long="">Inaugurated during Imelda's heyday, it used to display works by [[Caravaggio]] and other name-drop worthy Western painters. This premiere art museum showcases traditional, Hispanic, and modern art.  Located along Roxas boulevard, across the Manila Yacht club.</see>
+
*<see name="Metropolitan Museum of Manila" alt="Met Museum" address="Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard" directions="" phone="+63 2-521 1517" url="http://www.metmuseum.ph" hours="M-Sa 0900-1800" price="" lat="" long=""> &mdash; inaugurated during Imelda's heyday, it used to display works by [[Caravaggio]] and other name-drop worthy Western painters. This premiere art museum showcases traditional, Hispanic, and modern art.  Located along Roxas boulevard, across the Manila Yacht club.</see>
  
* '''Cultural Center of the Philippines Humanities Museum, CCP Complex, Malate''' the Museum has permanent and temporary exhibits. Permanent exhibits consist mostly of musical instruments of indigenous and folk cultures of the Philippines, and elsewhere, puppets, and objects d’art.
+
* '''Cultural Center of the Philippines Humanities Museum, CCP Complex, Malate''' &mdash; the Museum has permanent and temporary exhibits. Permanent exhibits consist mostly of musical instruments of indigenous and folk cultures of the Philippines, and elsewhere, puppets, and objects d’art.
  
*'''University of Santo Tomás Museum, Sampaloc''' the University has a museum housing a collection that dates back to 1682 - mostly natural history, coins & medals, ethnography, oriental arts, and catholic iconography. The building, known as the '''Paraninfo''' or simply '''UST Main Building''' to most, styled as Asian '''Art Deco''', hints of a subdued and sanitized [[Angkor Wat]] or [[Borobudur]], is where the museum sits, contains a lobby finished with a wall-to-wall historical mural by National Artist '''Carlos ''Botong'' Francisco''' in the genre and bravura style of [[Diego Rivera]].
+
*'''University of Santo Tomás Museum, Sampaloc''' &mdash; the University has a museum housing a collection that dates back to 1682 - mostly natural history, coins & medals, ethnography, oriental arts, and catholic iconography. The building, known as the '''Paraninfo''' or simply '''UST Main Building''' to most, styled as Asian '''Art Deco''', hints of a subdued and sanitized [[Angkor Wat]] or [[Borobudur]], is where the museum sits, contains a lobby finished with a wall-to-wall historical mural by National Artist '''Carlos ''Botong'' Francisco''' in the genre and bravura style of [[Diego Rivera]].
  
  
 
===Parks===
 
===Parks===
* '''Rizal Park''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rizal_Park] Right outside the walled city is Rizal Park interchangeably called '''Luneta'''. In front of the centerpiece of the park, the National Hero-Martyr’s monument is the [[Quirino Grandstand]], used for the ceremonial inauguration of the incoming President.
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* '''Rizal Park''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rizal_Park] &mdash; right outside the walled city is Rizal Park interchangeably called '''Luneta'''. In front of the centerpiece of the park, the National Hero-Martyr’s monument is the [[Quirino Grandstand]], used for the ceremonial inauguration of the incoming President.
 
:The Park is the nation’s living room & porch, used for national celebration of New Year’s Eve & Countdown, as well as Christmas & [[Eid’l Fitr]]. One of the largest aquarium in Asia, the '''Manila Ocean Park''', is also cited in this park complex, as well as other city landmarks and amenities notably the '''National Museum''' renamed '''Museum of the Filipino People''' group of buildings and the pathetically funded and maintained 1950's style '''National Library''' and '''National Archives'''. The Park is also the country’s biggest teaching aide in patriotism, maintaining a huge relief map of the country emerging from a water pool and a ''Hall of Fame'' style busts of anti-imperialism national heroes. There used to be a huge horticulture clock and simulated waterfalls landscape composition about 30 to 40 years ago but they quietly disappeared (the waterfalls dried up) and replaced by more profitable attractions. One such replacement is the recently introduced theme park Halloween style spooky cavern.  
 
:The Park is the nation’s living room & porch, used for national celebration of New Year’s Eve & Countdown, as well as Christmas & [[Eid’l Fitr]]. One of the largest aquarium in Asia, the '''Manila Ocean Park''', is also cited in this park complex, as well as other city landmarks and amenities notably the '''National Museum''' renamed '''Museum of the Filipino People''' group of buildings and the pathetically funded and maintained 1950's style '''National Library''' and '''National Archives'''. The Park is also the country’s biggest teaching aide in patriotism, maintaining a huge relief map of the country emerging from a water pool and a ''Hall of Fame'' style busts of anti-imperialism national heroes. There used to be a huge horticulture clock and simulated waterfalls landscape composition about 30 to 40 years ago but they quietly disappeared (the waterfalls dried up) and replaced by more profitable attractions. One such replacement is the recently introduced theme park Halloween style spooky cavern.  
  
 
:The Park also contains open-air life-size sculpture-dioramas of the execution of Dr. [[José Rizal]] and that of the [[GOMBURZA]] martyrs (Fathers Gomez, Burgos, & Zamora), their martyrdom was also staged in this park. At night there’s a lights and sounds show, bringing sense and life to these statues, narrating their stories.
 
:The Park also contains open-air life-size sculpture-dioramas of the execution of Dr. [[José Rizal]] and that of the [[GOMBURZA]] martyrs (Fathers Gomez, Burgos, & Zamora), their martyrdom was also staged in this park. At night there’s a lights and sounds show, bringing sense and life to these statues, narrating their stories.
  
*'''Paco Park''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paco_Park]was actually built as graveyard for Spanish families residing in Manila, designed as a circular in shape and walled and compartmentalized like a condominium of columbarium. After [[José Rizal]]'s execution, his remains were sent and buried here, which is today commemorated by a monument in the park. It is now a public park with jogging lanes and open air concerts, and is also as popular venue for weddings.  It is accessible by taxi and bus, as well as a 10 minute walk from the LRT [[United Nations Av]] Station.
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*'''Paco Park''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paco_Park] &mdash; was actually built as graveyard for Spanish families residing in Manila, designed as a circular in shape and walled and compartmentalized like a condominium of columbarium. After [[José Rizal]]'s execution, his remains were sent and buried here, which is today commemorated by a monument in the park. It is now a public park with jogging lanes and open air concerts, and is also as popular venue for weddings.  It is accessible by taxi and bus, as well as a 10 minute walk from the LRT [[United Nations Av]] Station.
  
  
 
===Nature and Wildlife===  
 
===Nature and Wildlife===  
  
*'''Manila Zoo''' [http://www.manila.gov.ph/manilazoo.htm] - is rather decrepit, and in need of drastic renovations. '''Manila Zoo''' covers an area of 2 ha, accessible via [[Quirino LRT]] Station. Also here is housed its famous occupant, the lonely elephant '''Maali''', the Philippines' only living elephant, friend to Hollywood stars such as Sir Paul McCartney & Pamela Anderson who have signified their objection to her solitary confinement but have yet to visit and console her.
+
*'''Manila Zoo''' [http://www.manila.gov.ph/manilazoo.htm] &mdash; is rather decrepit, and in need of drastic renovations. '''Manila Zoo''' covers an area of 2 ha, accessible via [[Quirino LRT]] Station. Also here is housed its famous occupant, the lonely elephant '''Maali''', the Philippines' only living elephant, friend to Hollywood stars such as Sir Paul McCartney & Pamela Anderson who have signified their objection to her solitary confinement but have yet to visit and console her.
  
*'''Manila Ocean Park''' - is a much better maintained marine wildlife facility which was recently opened in 2008 and is located behind the [[Quirino Grandstand]] at [[Rizal Park]].  The 8,000 sq m (86,000 sq ft) oceanarium is larger than the Sentosa Underwater World oceanarium in Singapore, and features a 25 m (82 ft) underwater acrylic tunnel.  Mostly accessible by taxi, but can be walked if you are in the vicinity of Rizal Park.
+
*'''Manila Ocean Park''' &mdash; is a much better maintained marine wildlife facility which was recently opened in 2008 and is located behind the [[Quirino Grandstand]] at [[Rizal Park]].  The 8,000 sq m (86,000 sq ft) oceanarium is larger than the Sentosa Underwater World oceanarium in Singapore, and features a 25 m (82 ft) underwater acrylic tunnel.  Mostly accessible by taxi, but can be walked if you are in the vicinity of Rizal Park.
  
*'''Arroceros Forest Park''' - situated in the heart of downtown Manila, a veritable thick jungle of trees that may become too dangerous at night, The Park is a 2.2-ha piece of land behind the old Art Deco masterpiece '''Manila Manila Metropolitan Theater'''.  Arroceros got its name, which means “rice dealers,” from the rice trade along the Pasig riverbank during the early colonial period.
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*'''Arroceros Forest Park''' &mdash; situated in the heart of downtown Manila, a veritable thick jungle of trees that may become too dangerous at night, The Park is a 2.2-ha piece of land behind the old Art Deco masterpiece '''Manila Manila Metropolitan Theater'''.  Arroceros got its name, which means “rice dealers,” from the rice trade along the Pasig riverbank during the early colonial period.
  
  
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====Spanish Colonial Churches====
 
====Spanish Colonial Churches====
 
Baroque colonial churches where once proud showcases of the past especially before World War II. But the wanton destruction of the Japanese and the equally guilty American soldiers during the Battle of Manila in 1945 dissolved all that except for a handful remaining. Lack of maintenance, vandalism, theft, and no proper awareness, guidance, or education among administering priests and architects who undertook renovation blunders (multiplied more in the provinces) complicated the already pathetic state of remaining churches.   
 
Baroque colonial churches where once proud showcases of the past especially before World War II. But the wanton destruction of the Japanese and the equally guilty American soldiers during the Battle of Manila in 1945 dissolved all that except for a handful remaining. Lack of maintenance, vandalism, theft, and no proper awareness, guidance, or education among administering priests and architects who undertook renovation blunders (multiplied more in the provinces) complicated the already pathetic state of remaining churches.   
*'''Manila Cathedral''' located inside [[Intramuros]] District, a '''Byzantine-Romanesque Revival''' styled edifice belonging to the late 19th century, numerous times it was destroyed and rebuilt. This cathedral’s interior is rather somber and austere.
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*'''Manila Cathedral''' &mdash; located inside [[Intramuros]] District, a '''Byzantine-Romanesque Revival''' styled edifice belonging to the late 19th century, numerous times it was destroyed and rebuilt. This cathedral’s interior is rather somber and austere.
*'''San Agustin Church''' also located inside [[Intramuros]] District, the church is a fascinating blend of [[Mexican Classical Baroque Architecture]] with Chinese lion stone sentinels flanking the entrance gate, and the tropical pastel painted wood-carved '''retablos''' in its huge monastery. It’s a favorite wedding venue especially for the elite Catholic Chinese-Filipinos mainly because of the sense of high European culture it evokes through its gilded vaults, intricately finished ceilings, and crystal chandeliers. The founder of Manila, [[Miguel de Legazpi]] is buried here in his special nook. The '''antecoro''' is said to be haunted part of the church, not because of the World War II victims but because a priest was said to be murdered here.
+
*'''San Agustin Church''' &mdash; also located inside [[Intramuros]] District, the church is a fascinating blend of [[Mexican Classical Baroque Architecture]] with Chinese lion stone sentinels flanking the entrance gate, and the tropical pastel painted wood-carved '''retablos''' in its huge monastery. It’s a favorite wedding venue especially for the elite Catholic Chinese-Filipinos mainly because of the sense of high European culture it evokes through its gilded vaults, intricately finished ceilings, and crystal chandeliers. The founder of Manila, [[Miguel de Legazpi]] is buried here in his special nook. The '''antecoro''' is said to be haunted part of the church, not because of the World War II victims but because a priest was said to be murdered here.
*'''Malate Church''' a rather quaint and charming church evocative of [[Philippine Baroque]] '''Style'''. Nature seems to be at play here just like those famous architectural ruins left abandoned. The dirtier it looks the better. This church stonework simply has got some chemistry with the city smog.
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*'''Malate Church''' &mdash; a rather quaint and charming church evocative of [[Philippine Baroque]] '''Style'''. Nature seems to be at play here just like those famous architectural ruins left abandoned. The dirtier it looks the better. This church stonework simply has got some chemistry with the city smog.
*'''Santa Ana Church''' a [[Philippine Baroque]] '''Style''' church with a spacious atrium oddly situated on its side due to the limited façade front yard.
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*'''Santa Ana Church''' &mdash; a [[Philippine Baroque]] '''Style''' church with a spacious atrium oddly situated on its side due to the limited façade front yard.
*'''Binondo Church''' outstanding [[Philippine Baroque]] composition (although the nave roof spoils the façade) in the center of Chinatown, the proportion is very Filipino, quintessentially what is referred to as [[Earthquake Baroque]], the bell tower has Chinese pagoda element in it. Dangling mess of power lines around it seems to enhance its antiquity.
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*'''Binondo Church''' &mdash; outstanding [[Philippine Baroque]] composition (although the nave roof spoils the façade) in the center of Chinatown, the proportion is very Filipino, quintessentially what is also referred to as [[Earthquake Baroque]], the bell tower has Chinese pagoda element in it. Dangling mess of power lines around it seems to enhance its antiquity.
*'''Santa Cruz Church''' fairly new, rebuilt just more than a half century old after so much destructions – war, earthquake…, but the present version keeps the spirit of the previous hundred-year old designs.
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*'''Santa Cruz Church''' &mdash; fairly new, rebuilt just more than a half century old after so much destructions – war, earthquakes…, but the present version keeps the spirit of the previous hundred-year old designs.
*'''Tondo Church''' home to [[Santo Niño]] (or Sto in Spanish abbreviation) and its famous all-out fiesta. It was burned by the Japanese during their retreat defeat but the icon of the Child Jesus was miraculously saved.
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*'''Tondo Church''' &mdash; home to [[Santo Niño]] (or Sto in Spanish abbreviation) and its famous all-out fiesta. It was burned by the Japanese during their retreat defeat but the icon of the Child Jesus was miraculously saved.
*'''Basilica of San Sebastian''' - the only all steel church of the Asia, the owners were tired of building the church over and over again after fires and earthquakes, they finally decided to use solid steel. Designed by [[Gustav Eiffel]] of the famed [[Eiffel Tower]] of Paris, its materials were pre-fabricated from Europe.
+
*'''Basilica of San Sebastian''' &mdash; the only all steel church of the Asia, the owners were tired of building the church over and over again after fires and earthquakes, they finally decided to use solid steel. Designed by [[Gustav Eiffel]] of the famed [[Eiffel Tower]] of Paris, its materials were pre-fabricated from Europe.
  
 
Beyond the City of Manila within the metropolitan area:
 
Beyond the City of Manila within the metropolitan area:
*'''Parish Church of St. Joseph''' in [[Las Piñas City]] - see the [[Las Piñas Bamboo Organ]] here.
+
*'''Parish Church of St. Joseph''' in [[Las Piñas City]] &mdash; see the [[Las Piñas Bamboo Organ]] here.
 
*'''Pasig Cathedra'''l in [[Pasig City]]
 
*'''Pasig Cathedra'''l in [[Pasig City]]
*'''St. Peter & Paul Church of Makati''', [[Makati City]] hidden beneath the skyscrapers of Makati at the foot of Makati Av.  
+
*'''St. Peter & Paul Church of Makati''', [[Makati City]] &mdash; hidden beneath the skyscrapers of Makati at the foot of Makati Av.  
 
*'''Guadalupe Nuevo Church''' in [[Makati City]]
 
*'''Guadalupe Nuevo Church''' in [[Makati City]]
 
*'''San Felipe Neri Church''' in [[Mandaluyong City]]
 
*'''San Felipe Neri Church''' in [[Mandaluyong City]]
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*'''Parañaque Church''' in [[Parañaque City]]
 
*'''Parañaque Church''' in [[Parañaque City]]
  
====Iglesia Ni Kristo Churches====
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====Iglesia Ni Kristo churches====
 
Aside from the interesting Spanish colonial churches, there is one group of church-structures belonging to the [[Iglesia ni Kristo]], a homegrown reformist church established by a Manilan named [[Felix Manalo]] in 1914 that is uniquely Filipino somewhat parallels with the Latter-Day-Saints Mormons (its cultish-ness and disciplined regimen demanded from its congregation), that merits some curiosities. These unique churches have two outstanding features: for a polluted city, they are amazingly always kept in pristine white condition (with some little pastel highlights), and they soar to the sky like those gothic cathedrals, or [[Sagrada Familia]] in Barcelona, or the [[Salt Lake Temple]] in Utah. In some cases, they jot out in the middle of a green countryside off the suburbs of Metro Manila. But even in the midst of urban jungle in Manila, one can't help but notice its immaculate white towers, spires, and giant nave roof pediments projecting through the clouds among the busy skyline, a welcome relief from the smog smeared structures of Manila.
 
Aside from the interesting Spanish colonial churches, there is one group of church-structures belonging to the [[Iglesia ni Kristo]], a homegrown reformist church established by a Manilan named [[Felix Manalo]] in 1914 that is uniquely Filipino somewhat parallels with the Latter-Day-Saints Mormons (its cultish-ness and disciplined regimen demanded from its congregation), that merits some curiosities. These unique churches have two outstanding features: for a polluted city, they are amazingly always kept in pristine white condition (with some little pastel highlights), and they soar to the sky like those gothic cathedrals, or [[Sagrada Familia]] in Barcelona, or the [[Salt Lake Temple]] in Utah. In some cases, they jot out in the middle of a green countryside off the suburbs of Metro Manila. But even in the midst of urban jungle in Manila, one can't help but notice its immaculate white towers, spires, and giant nave roof pediments projecting through the clouds among the busy skyline, a welcome relief from the smog smeared structures of Manila.
  
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For the anthropologically curious, it provides a good peek into the daily life of the locals, young and old, men or women. This activity reveals a facet trait of the Filipino - being fatalistic and true blue believer of some higher spirits.
 
For the anthropologically curious, it provides a good peek into the daily life of the locals, young and old, men or women. This activity reveals a facet trait of the Filipino - being fatalistic and true blue believer of some higher spirits.
  
*'''The Black Nazarene Minor Basilica''', [[Quiapo]] District, Manila - Its feast day is on January 9 but its special day of the week falls on Fridays.
+
*'''The Black Nazarene Minor Basilica''', [[Quiapo]] District, Manila &mdash; its feast day is on January 9 but its special day of the week falls on Fridays.
*'''St. Jude Thaddeus Shrine''', [[San Miguel]] District, Manila - Near [[Malacañan Palace]], this church is the busiest on Thursdays.
+
*'''St. Jude Thaddeus Shrine''', [[San Miguel]] District, Manila &mdash; near [[Malacañan Palace]], this church is the busiest on Thursdays.
*'''Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine''', Not in the City of Manila but situated in [[Baclaran]] District of Pasay City. Nevertheless heavy traffic affects the southern portion of the city towards the cities of Pasay-Paranaque, all interconnected by the LRT line. This Church is the liveliest on Wednesdays much more especially so because the surrounding area is carpeted by a flea market.
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*'''Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine''' &mdash; not in the City of Manila but situated in [[Baclaran]] District of Pasay City. Nevertheless heavy traffic affects the southern portion of the city towards the cities of Pasay-Paranaque, all interconnected by the LRT line. This Church is the liveliest on Wednesdays much more especially so because the surrounding area is carpeted by a flea market.
  
  
 
===Self-guided tours===
 
===Self-guided tours===
*'''Intramuros Tour''' - visit the '''Walled City''' starting from '''Fort Santiago'''. Inside is the [[Rizal Shrine]], honoring the country's National Hero, [[José Rizal]] - polymath, doctor, engineer, scientist, artist, linguist, propagandist, and most of all, an avid traveler who was incarcerated in exactly that same cell before he was executed, now transformed into his Shrine, housing his memorabilia. His patriotism and nationalist advocacy preceded that of [[Mahatma Gandhi]]'s by about 20 years. Other places to see are the '''Plaza Mayor''', '''Plaza de Roma''', '''Ayuntamiento''', '''Palacio del Gobernador''', and the [[Manila Cathedral]]. '''San Agustin Church''' needs more than a passing glance. The monastery-church complex houses a priceless collection of religious art. Across is '''Plaza San Luis Complex''' comprising of a group of houses replete with authentic furnishings of the colonial period. Trace the walls of the '''Walled City''' and its gates, eight in all namely (clockwise, from Fort Santiago) '''Puerta Almacenes''', '''Puerta de la Aduana''', '''Puerta de Santo Domingo''', '''Puerta Isabel II''', '''Puerta del Parian''', '''Puerta Real''', '''Puerta Sta. Lucia''', and '''Puerta del Postigo'''. Each gate has its unique architecture. Then head to '''Bahay Tsinoy''', meaning House of the Filipino-Chinese. The House-Museum extolls the economic, political, and cultural, among other things, from the humble beginnings to, achievements and contributions of the Filipino-Chinese community.
+
*'''Intramuros Tour''' &mdash; visit the '''Walled City''' starting from '''Fort Santiago'''. Inside is the [[Rizal Shrine]], honoring the country's National Hero, [[José Rizal]] - polymath, doctor, engineer, scientist, artist, linguist, propagandist, and most of all, an avid traveler who was incarcerated in exactly that same cell before he was executed, now transformed into his Shrine, housing his memorabilia. His patriotism and nationalist advocacy preceded that of [[Mahatma Gandhi]]'s by about 20 years. Other places to see are the '''Plaza Mayor''', '''Plaza de Roma''', '''Ayuntamiento''', '''Palacio del Gobernador''', and the [[Manila Cathedral]]. '''San Agustin Church''' needs more than a passing glance. The monastery-church complex houses a priceless collection of religious art. Across is '''Plaza San Luis Complex''' comprising of a group of houses replete with authentic furnishings of the colonial period. Trace the walls of the '''Walled City''' and its gates, eight in all namely (clockwise, from Fort Santiago) '''Puerta Almacenes''', '''Puerta de la Aduana''', '''Puerta de Santo Domingo''', '''Puerta Isabel II''', '''Puerta del Parian''', '''Puerta Real''', '''Puerta Sta. Lucia''', and '''Puerta del Postigo'''. Each gate has its unique architecture. Then head to '''Bahay Tsinoy''', meaning House of the Filipino-Chinese. The House-Museum extolls the economic, political, and cultural, among other things, from the humble beginnings to, achievements and contributions of the Filipino-Chinese community.
  
*'''Rizal Park Tour''' gaze at '''Rizal Monument''', on vigil watch by Marine Guards of Honor, a must stopping point for visitors and tourists. After saluting the Monument, look aboutface and gaze at the '''Quirino Grandstand''', wandering how many Philippine Presidents have taken their ceremonial inauguration oath and Popes have graced the stand to address millions of crowd. Visit the '''National Museum''' (split into two buildings), the '''City Museum''', and the '''Children's Museum''', as well as the '''Museum of Philippine Political History'''. Wander around the '''Japanese''', '''Chinese''', and '''Filipino''' Gardens, the '''Orchidarium''', and the '''Planetarium''' – all in their Third World mediocrity in collection and presentation. Although the '''Manila Ocean Park''', a wall-to-ceiling aquarium, quite stands above the rest.  Also see the '''The National Art Gallery''' farther out on the northeast side of the Park. See the scattered outdoor sculptures of National Artist [[Francisco Tolentino]], the Philippines only sculptor trained in the '''Classical Style''' mold.  Get a glimpse of the '''National Library''' and the conjoined '''National Archives''', pathetically small for a population of 100 million people. The Philippines does not have a Library System and this is a rare opportunity to see a free-standing library in this country. See the giant relief map (meaning 3D, with exaggerated mountains) of the Philippines surrounded by real waters. Gaze about the '''Hall of Fame''' busts of Philippine personalities who fought against Spanish, American, & Japanese imperialism.  In the early morning, join jogging and '''Tai Chi''' enthusiasts in the open air gym, and at night participate in the ballroom dancing, listen to an open-air theater featuring free classical music concerts and watch acclaimed international films screenings. The park is a popular meeting spot for family picnics as well as lovers' trysts. Ride the[[ Tartanilla]] and the [[Calesa]] – Spanish-era horse-drawn carriage, and a mini train that loops around the park for ₱100 per pax. At the end of the tour, have your photo taken in front of the Police Station designed to look like a typical well-off turn-of-the-20th century provincial house. At the bayside restaurants facing the bay, dine till sunset and admire the sun’s romantic lights show.
+
*'''Rizal Park Tour''' &mdash; gaze at '''Rizal Monument''', on vigil watch by Marine Guards of Honor, a must stopping point for visitors and tourists. If you happened to be here by noon, watch the changing of the guards at the '''Rizal Monument'''. After saluting the Monument, look about face and gaze at the '''Quirino Grandstand''', wandering how many Philippine Presidents have taken their ceremonial inauguration oath and Popes have graced the stand to address millions of crowds. Visit the '''National Museum''' (split into two buildings), the '''City Museum''', and the '''Children's Museum''', as well as the '''Museum of Philippine Political History'''. Wander around the '''Japanese''', '''Chinese''', and '''Filipino''' Gardens, the '''Orchidarium''', and the '''Planetarium''' – all in their Third World mediocrity in collection and presentation. Although the '''Manila Ocean Park''', a wall-to-ceiling aquarium, quite stands above the rest.  Also see the '''The National Art Gallery''' farther out on the northeast side of the Park. See the scattered outdoor sculptures of National Artist [[Francisco Tolentino]], the Philippines only sculptor trained in the '''Classical Style''' mold.  Get a glimpse of the '''National Library''' and the conjoined '''National Archives''', pathetically small for a population of 100 million people. The Philippines does not have a Library System and this is a rare opportunity to see a free-standing library in this country. See the giant relief map (meaning 3D, with exaggerated mountains) of the Philippines surrounded by real waters. Gaze about the '''Hall of Fame''' busts of Philippine personalities who fought against Spanish, American, & Japanese imperialism.  In the early morning, join jogging and '''Tai Chi''' enthusiasts in the open air gym, and at night participate in the ballroom dancing, listen to an open-air theater featuring free classical music concerts and watch acclaimed international films screenings. The park is a popular meeting spot for family picnics as well as lovers' trysts. Ride the[[ Tartanilla]] and the [[Calesa]] – Spanish-era horse-drawn carriage, and a mini train that loops around the park for ₱100 per pax. At the end of the tour, have your photo taken in front of the Police Station designed to look like a typical well-off turn-of-the-20th century provincial house. At the bayside restaurants facing the bay, dine till sunset and admire the sun’s romantic lights show.  
:If you happened to be here by noon, watch the changing of the guards at the '''Rizal Monument''' .
+
  
*'''Quiapo Tour''' - This self-guided tour starts at '''Bahay Nakpil''' on '''Bautista St''' in [[Quiapo]], on a turn-of-the-century house, then to [[Plaza Miranda]], now teeming with vendors of religious, herbal merchandizes, as well as fortune tellers and prayer proxies as you make your way to the '''Quiapo Basilica''' housing the [[Black Nazarene]]. Stroll to '''Raon''', '''Villalobos''', and '''Palanca''' Sts on your way to Quinta Market and the Ile de Toule (Ilalim ng Tulay) for handicrafts and souvenirs.  
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*'''Quiapo Tour''' &mdash; This self-guided tour starts at '''Bahay Nakpil''' on '''Bautista St''' in [[Quiapo]], on a turn-of-the-century house, then to [[Plaza Miranda]], now teeming with vendors of religious, herbal merchandizes, as well as fortune tellers and prayer proxies as you make your way to the '''Quiapo Basilica''' housing the [[Black Nazarene]]. Stroll to '''Raon''', '''Villalobos''', and '''Palanca''' Sts on your way to Quinta Market and the Ile de Toule (Ilalim ng Tulay) for handicrafts and souvenirs.  
  
 
*'''Escolta Tour'''
 
*'''Escolta Tour'''
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*'''Divisoria Night Market Tour'''
 
*'''Divisoria Night Market Tour'''
  
*'''Roxas Boulevard & Sunset Tour''' – Follow the promenade strip along '''Roxas Bl''' with the view of [[Manila Bay]] on one side and the array of buildings fronting the bay. At sunset, stop and gaze at the setting sun if you don’t mind the retiring homeless people staking out their claim along the breakwall.
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*'''Roxas Boulevard & Sunset Tour''' &mdash; follow the promenade strip along '''Roxas Bl''' with the view of [[Manila Bay]] on one side and the array of buildings fronting the bay. At sunset, stop and gaze at the setting sun if you don’t mind the retiring homeless people staking out their claim along the breakwall.
  
*'''Malate & Ermita Tour''' - Cover this area starting from [[Plaza Rajah Sulayman]] and [[Malate Church]], a quaint [[Baroque]] church, then meander in any direction along '''Adriatico''', '''Mabini''', '''Del Pilar''' Sts and back and stop by a pub. The tour ends at '''San Andres Market'''.
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*'''Malate & Ermita Tour''' &mdash; cover this area starting from [[Plaza Rajah Sulayman]] and [[Malate Church]], a quaint [[Baroque]] church, then meander in any direction along '''Adriatico''', '''Mabini''', '''Del Pilar''' Sts and back and stop by a pub. The tour ends at '''San Andres Market'''.
  
*'''CCP Complex Tour''' - Probe into the mind of [[Imelda Marcos]] by strolling, jogging, or biking into the reclaimed CCP Complex where a menagerie of her showcase art-beauty-culture projects stands, albeit not in its spic-n'-span condition. See '''Districts/Malate''' section. These public buildings except for the '''Cultural Center of the Philippines''' Building or '''Theater for the Performing Arts''', used to be accessible but have now been reduced to being admired from the outside.  
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*'''CCP Complex Tour''' &mdash; probe into the mind of [[Imelda Marcos]] by strolling, jogging, or biking into the reclaimed CCP Complex where a menagerie of her showcase art-beauty-culture projects stands, albeit not in its spic-n'-span condition. See '''Districts/Malate''' section. These public buildings except for the '''Cultural Center of the Philippines''' Building or '''Theater for the Performing Arts''', used to be accessible but have now been reduced to being admired from the outside.  
  
 
:The most prominent of these buildings is the '''Cultural Center of the Philippines'''. Arch. [[Leandro Locsin]] composed this structure from two massive horizontal blocks – the podium below and the roof above which projects similarly to [[Frank Lloyd Wright]]’s [[Falling Water House]] masterpiece. The podium walls’ base smoothly curl from the ground, then vertically up, reminiscent of the typical '''Hokusai-Hiroshige''' [[Ukiyo-E]] print tsunami depictions, while the texturing composed of plain concrete mixed in with crashed [[Manila Clam]] shells gathered from [[Manila Bay]] evokes the [[Ryoanji Temple Garden]] in Japan, resembling its raked white sands. In the course of his career he developed this signature finish and applied it to his succeeding projects. That tsunami curl on the podium base reverberates in the main entry and foyer. The access ramp evokes the over simplicity exemplified in [[Oscar Niemeyer]]’s Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, a boxy structure which was in turn inspired by the [[Bauhaus]] architect [[Mies Van Der Rohe]] and the 1960’s animated cartoon series The '''Jetsons'''’ space age forms. Facing of the massive roof fascia is in travertine. The interior permeates with relaxing zen serenity.
 
:The most prominent of these buildings is the '''Cultural Center of the Philippines'''. Arch. [[Leandro Locsin]] composed this structure from two massive horizontal blocks – the podium below and the roof above which projects similarly to [[Frank Lloyd Wright]]’s [[Falling Water House]] masterpiece. The podium walls’ base smoothly curl from the ground, then vertically up, reminiscent of the typical '''Hokusai-Hiroshige''' [[Ukiyo-E]] print tsunami depictions, while the texturing composed of plain concrete mixed in with crashed [[Manila Clam]] shells gathered from [[Manila Bay]] evokes the [[Ryoanji Temple Garden]] in Japan, resembling its raked white sands. In the course of his career he developed this signature finish and applied it to his succeeding projects. That tsunami curl on the podium base reverberates in the main entry and foyer. The access ramp evokes the over simplicity exemplified in [[Oscar Niemeyer]]’s Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, a boxy structure which was in turn inspired by the [[Bauhaus]] architect [[Mies Van Der Rohe]] and the 1960’s animated cartoon series The '''Jetsons'''’ space age forms. Facing of the massive roof fascia is in travertine. The interior permeates with relaxing zen serenity.
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:The [[Coconut Palace]], always unpredictably closed, is now open for viewing, by appointment. Inside, marvel at the unassuming coconuts considered as the '''Tree of Life''' in the Philippines, used not only as source of nourishment and medication, but also as construction material taking center stage, and also using capiz or hardened and layered oyster saliva as embellishment – another abundant and taken for granted material in the Philippines, transforming this house into a work of artistic marvel. Starting with a beehive pattern motif akin to the round shape of the coconut shell, and close to the figure “8” that may have some [[Fung Shui]] good luck undertones, this villa is governed by this layout visible everywhere such as the floor plan, the floor patterns, to the window panes and screen panels. Among some ingenuous local sourced applications institutionalized in this house are the coconut trunk colonnades, the coconut tiled bathrooms, the coconut clusters of chandeliers, the capiz window panes, the mother-of-pearl inlay painstakingly jigsawed by schoolgraders on a long dining table cut from a single three trunk, a tobacco leaf laminated table top, and upholstery and wallpaper using [[abaca]] plant fibers, a relative of the banana plant.
 
:The [[Coconut Palace]], always unpredictably closed, is now open for viewing, by appointment. Inside, marvel at the unassuming coconuts considered as the '''Tree of Life''' in the Philippines, used not only as source of nourishment and medication, but also as construction material taking center stage, and also using capiz or hardened and layered oyster saliva as embellishment – another abundant and taken for granted material in the Philippines, transforming this house into a work of artistic marvel. Starting with a beehive pattern motif akin to the round shape of the coconut shell, and close to the figure “8” that may have some [[Fung Shui]] good luck undertones, this villa is governed by this layout visible everywhere such as the floor plan, the floor patterns, to the window panes and screen panels. Among some ingenuous local sourced applications institutionalized in this house are the coconut trunk colonnades, the coconut tiled bathrooms, the coconut clusters of chandeliers, the capiz window panes, the mother-of-pearl inlay painstakingly jigsawed by schoolgraders on a long dining table cut from a single three trunk, a tobacco leaf laminated table top, and upholstery and wallpaper using [[abaca]] plant fibers, a relative of the banana plant.
  
*'''City Tour of Metro Manila Via LRT''' - this do-it-yourself tour provides a panoramic view of the city from a different vantage point, exactly from a moving elevated train about 15 feet above street level. Line-1 (Yellow) traverses the North to South Route of the City of Manila and beyond to the south at EDSA, Pasay City, and to the north at the other end of the circumferential EDSA, Caloocan City. Next is Line-2 (Purple) for the East-West Route, a quarter of which is in the City of Manila. You may extend to tour beyond the city onward to the east towards from the end of Manila which is Sta Mesa to [[Marikina City]]. Extra tour is Line-3 (Blue) for the circumferential route, totally out of the city either from the southernmost Line-1 Station or at the northernmost Line-1 Station. For an all- female-tour, LRT has an exclusive all female coach just for discerning takers. Time your tour during off rush hours.
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*'''City Tour of Metro Manila Via LRT''' &mdash; this do-it-yourself tour provides a panoramic view of the city from a different vantage point, exactly from a moving elevated train about 15 feet above street level. Line-1 (Yellow) traverses the North to South Route of the City of Manila and beyond to the south at EDSA, Pasay City, and to the north at the other end of the circumferential EDSA, Caloocan City. Next is Line-2 (Purple) for the East-West Route, a quarter of which is in the City of Manila. You may extend to tour beyond the city onward to the east towards from the end of Manila which is Sta Mesa to [[Marikina City]]. Extra tour is Line-3 (Blue) for the circumferential route, totally out of the city either from the southernmost Line-1 Station or at the northernmost Line-1 Station. For an all- female-tour, LRT has an exclusive all female coach just for discerning takers. Time your tour during off rush hours.
  
  
 
===Value-added tours===
 
===Value-added tours===
*'''Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way Tour''' Intramuros tour with interesting commentaries, humor, and theatrics.
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*'''Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way Tour''' &mdash; Intramuros tour with interesting commentaries, humor, and theatrics.
  
*'''Electric Chariots Tour of Intramuros''' - tour in style, meaning in segway rented from White Knight Hotel, Intramuros.
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*'''Electric Chariots Tour of Intramuros''' &mdash; tour in style, meaning in segway rented from White Knight Hotel, Intramuros.
  
 
*'''Pasig River Cruise'''  
 
*'''Pasig River Cruise'''  
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Filipinos, fed with abundant sunlight and Omega 3-rich seafood diet, are predisposed to merrymaking, singing, and dancing. These are institutionalized into the world acclaimed folkloric troupes namely the [[Bayanihan Dance Troupe]] and the [[UP Madrigal Singers]] (University of the Philippines) consistently garnering grand prix in international competitions and are sought after by city tour invitations from Bucarest to Buenos Aires. Based at the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]] here in Manila, local contingents are left to satisfy the entertainment craving of the local audience, performing seasonally.
 
Filipinos, fed with abundant sunlight and Omega 3-rich seafood diet, are predisposed to merrymaking, singing, and dancing. These are institutionalized into the world acclaimed folkloric troupes namely the [[Bayanihan Dance Troupe]] and the [[UP Madrigal Singers]] (University of the Philippines) consistently garnering grand prix in international competitions and are sought after by city tour invitations from Bucarest to Buenos Aires. Based at the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]] here in Manila, local contingents are left to satisfy the entertainment craving of the local audience, performing seasonally.
  
*'''Folkloric Ballet''' see the world famous and multi-awarded [[Bayanihan Dance Company]] one of the in-house dance company of the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]]. This dance troupe assembles a unique tapestry in sights and sounds of the different cultures of the Philippines – from the indigenous to folksy, from north to the south.
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*'''Folkloric Ballet''' &mdash; see the world famous and multi-awarded [[Bayanihan Dance Company]] one of the in-house dance company of the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]]. This dance troupe assembles a unique tapestry in sights and sounds of the different cultures of the Philippines – from the indigenous to folksy, from north to the south.
  
 
*'''Chorale, Chamber, and Symphonic Music''' –the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]], the institution of performing arts in the whole of Asia, boasting of many firsts, is the venue of varied performances, though not on a regularly occurring basis.
 
*'''Chorale, Chamber, and Symphonic Music''' –the [[Cultural Center of the Philippines]], the institution of performing arts in the whole of Asia, boasting of many firsts, is the venue of varied performances, though not on a regularly occurring basis.
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===Fiestas, Fairs, & Festivals===
 
===Fiestas, Fairs, & Festivals===
*'''New Year Welcoming Festival''' - '''Luneta''' or '''Rizal Park''', the safest pocket of outdoor public place in Manila. The rest of the city and the metropolis are converted into a war zone with eardrum piercing noise, blanket haze, and stray bullets fired from random sources.
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*'''New Year Welcoming Festival''', '''Luneta''' or '''Rizal Park''' &mdash; the safest pocket of outdoor public place in Manila. The rest of the city and the metropolis are converted into a war zone with eardrum piercing noise, blanket haze, and stray bullets fired from random sources.
*'''Chinese New Year Welcoming Festival''' - Chinatown, Binondo District and the malls, featuring most importantly, the dragon dance, and sale of tikoy – a very sticky rice cake specially eaten during this time, symbolizing bonding between family and relatives. Chinese banks during this occasion may hand over red packets containing cash inside (about ₱8 or ₱88, a very lucky number for the Chinese) and especially designed in red and gold-motif collector’s item give-away calendar. Time your transaction with them during this period.
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*'''Chinese New Year Welcoming Festival''', Chinatown, Binondo District and the malls &mdash; featuring most importantly, the dragon dance, and sale of tikoy – a very sticky rice cake specially eaten during this time, symbolizing bonding between family and relatives. Chinese banks during this occasion may hand over red packets containing cash inside (about ₱8 or ₱88, a very lucky number for the Chinese) and especially designed in red and gold-motif collector’s item give-away calendar. Time your transaction with them during this period.
*'''Feast of the Black Nazarene''' in '''Caroza Parade''' - Quiapo District, Manila, January 9 the city is paralyzed on this day with the display of fanaticism and superstition of the Filipinos converging into this procession, more than two million warm bodies, mostly men, try to climb the caroza to reach the icon to rub with a towel and touch, hoping to be infected with healing and magical powers even if there are opportunities to kiss and touch it on any time and day of the year. Also a feast for pickpockets as they press bodies and squeeze with the crowd.
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*'''Feast of the Black Nazarene''' in '''Caroza Parade''', Quiapo District, Manila, January 9 &mdash; the city is paralyzed on this day with the display of fanaticism and superstition of the Filipinos converging into this procession, more than two million warm bodies, mostly men, try to climb the caroza to reach the icon to rub with a towel and touch, hoping to be infected with healing and magical powers even if there are opportunities to kiss and touch it on any time and day of the year. Also a feast for pickpockets as they press bodies and squeeze with the crowd.
*'''Feast of [[Santo Niño]]''' [[Tondo]] District, Manila, 3rd Sunday of January, marked by street parades.
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*'''Feast of [[Santo Niño]]''',[[Tondo]] District, Manila, 3rd Sunday of January &mdash; marked by street parades.
*'''Manila Summer Sea Sports Festival''' - along '''Roxas Bl''', held in March, mainly a regatta and boat race events.
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*'''Manila Summer Sea Sports Festival''' along '''Roxas Bl''', held in March &mdash; mainly a regatta and boat race events.
*'''Lenten Week or [[Semana Santa]]''' - catholic churches throughout Manila, movable. For this masochistic ritual, some streets close their traffic for penitents as these self-confessed sinners walk in file, their heads covered (to hide their identity) as they exposed their torso and identifiable tattoos to self- flagellate until blood and bruised wounds appear. Roam around the city on bike and be curious as this is the best day of no car traffic (population reduced due to residents returning to their hometowns, in the beach, or up in the mountain resorts) but bring lots of sunscreen and water since these days are the height of summer season.
+
*'''Lenten Week or [[Semana Santa]]''', catholic churches throughout Manila, movable &mdash; for this masochistic ritual, some streets close their traffic for penitents as these self-confessed sinners walk in file, their heads covered (to hide their identity) as they exposed their torso and identifiable tattoos to self- flagellate until blood and bruised wounds appear. Roam around the city on bike and be curious as this is the best day of no car traffic (population reduced due to residents returning to their hometowns, in the beach, or up in the mountain resorts) but bring lots of sunscreen and water since these days are the height of summer season.
*'''Santacruzan Festival''', held throughout catholic churches ladies, recruited as the prettiest in the locality, or if afforded by organizers, movie stars and beauty queens, are paraded under a bamboo framed valance or canopy of flowers, costumed and personifying avatars of '''Mary''' the '''Mother of Jesus''', and other biblical figures. The star of the parade is [[Queen Helena]], mother of [[Emperor Constantine]] whose feat, according to legend, dispatched an expedition in search of the Holy Cross where Jesus was crucified.  
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*'''Santacruzan Festival''', held throughout catholic churches &mdash; ladies, recruited as the prettiest in the locality, or if afforded by organizers, movie stars and beauty queens, are paraded under a bamboo framed valance or canopy of flowers, costumed and personifying avatars of '''Mary''' the '''Mother of Jesus''', and other biblical figures. The star of the parade is [[Queen Helena]], mother of [[Emperor Constantine]] whose feat, according to legend, dispatched an expedition in search of the Holy Cross where Jesus was crucified.  
*'''Flores de Mayo''' - catholic churches throughout Manila, Sundays of May, a Marian devotion, children offer flowers, most likely mischievously picked from somebody’s garden, to the image of '''Mary''' the '''Mother of Jesus'''.
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*'''Flores de Mayo''' &mdash; catholic churches throughout Manila, Sundays of May, a Marian devotion, children offer flowers, most likely mischievously picked from somebody’s garden, to the image of '''Mary''' the '''Mother of Jesus'''.
*'''Philippine Independence Day Celebration''' - at the Luneta, June 12, flag raising ceremonies by top officials, free to the public cultural dance and music shows.
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*'''Philippine Independence Day Celebration''' at the Luneta, June 12 &mdash; flag raising ceremonies by top officials, free to the public cultural dance and music shows.
*'''All Souls & Saints Day Celebration''' - cemeteries throughout Manila, November 1, living relatives bring fiesta and entrepreneurial spirit to their dead ones at the cemetery, including potlucks, refreshments, beers, guitars, TV and stereo units, candles, and flowers.
+
*'''All Souls & Saints Day Celebration''', cemeteries throughout Manila, November 1 &mdash; living relatives bring fiesta and entrepreneurial spirit to their dead ones at the cemetery, including potlucks, refreshments, beers, guitars, TV and stereo units, candles, and flowers.
*'''Marian Festival''' in [[Intramuros]] - caroza parade of Marian images, First Sunday of December, another of these devotions to '''Mary''' the '''Mother of Jesus''', important icons of her are synchronically paraded inside Intramuros.
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*'''Marian Festival''' in [[Intramuros]] &mdash; caroza parade of Marian images, First Sunday of December, another of these devotions to '''Mary''' the '''Mother of Jesus''', important icons of her are synchronically paraded inside Intramuros.
*'''Misa De Gallo''' - held in all churches, 9 sunrise masses prelude to Christmas, a Catholic tradition, families have to wake up early at dawn for these masses and end up eating breakfast on the way home. '''Bibingka''' and '''puto bungbong''' stands, put up along the direction of the church sell these rice cakes cooked over charcoal, are eaten together with '''salabat''' or ginger brew.
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*'''Misa De Gallo''' held in all churches, 9 sunrise masses prelude to Christmas &mdash; a Catholic tradition, families have to wake up early at dawn for these masses and end up eating breakfast on the way home. '''Bibingka''' and '''puto bungbong''' stands, put up along the direction of the church sell these rice cakes cooked over charcoal, are eaten together with '''salabat''' or ginger brew.
*'''Christmas Day''' - held in all Christian homes and churches, December 25.
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*'''Christmas Day''', held in all Christian homes and churches, December 25.
*'''Metro Manila Film Festival Float Parade''' - along [[Roxas Bl]], late afternoon of December 25, parade of local stars participating in the festival being carried in their respective film entry floats. Dubbed as an All-Filipino film festival, no competing Hollywood films are shown during this week.
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*'''Metro Manila Film Festival Float Parade''', along [[Roxas Bl]], late afternoon of December 25 &mdash; parade of local stars participating in the festival being carried in their respective film entry floats. Dubbed as an All-Filipino film festival, no competing Hollywood films are shown during this week.
*'''Pageant of the Three Kings''' - held in all churches, every 1st Sunday of January, the three legendary wise men who traced the Nativity of Jesus are depicted by three locals as they give away treats to children.  
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*'''Pageant of the Three Kings''' &mdash; held in all churches, every 1st Sunday of January, the three legendary wise men who traced the Nativity of Jesus are depicted by three locals as they give away treats to children.  
*'''Bota De Flores''' [[Ermita]] District, held in December 26.
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*'''Bota De Flores''', [[Ermita]] District, held in December 26.
*'''Araw ng Maynila''' founding day of the City of Manila, held in June 24.
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*'''Araw ng Maynila''', June 24 &mdash; founding day of the City of Manila.
  
  
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Monsoon season covers the months of June to October. During these months, typhoons frequently visit the Philippines. But Filipinos are fun loving people and the rainy season is not the time to be depressed, turning serious typhoon calamities into celebrations, and of course another occasion for Instagram '''selfie''' photo ops. Annually, about 20 typhoons make landfall, not counting the occasional typhoon-less days but day-long downpours and flashfloods – in an intermittent two rainy days a week to three to four rainy days in a row. And each one of them is a potential day for merrymaking, especially anticipated by children and children at heart. When heavy rains fall, classes are suspended drawing kids out of their homes, down dressing and frolicking like gangs of mustangs in a wide desert country. If it rains for over an hour, over 60% of Manila roads go under water while vehicular traffic stops, duplicating this scenario in the metropolis and adjoining regions, converting these open spaces into Waterworld attractions, encouraging kids to frolic even longer, unmindful of the cocktail of diseases they can catch, while the sophisticated ones slide out their waverunners, and the gay at heart dive into their mermaid suits. So many Filipino antics to see. You may join in the fun, if you think you are healthy enough. It’s evident with the smiles in people’s faces while enjoying the extra public holiday. Who’s afraid of playing in the water?
 
Monsoon season covers the months of June to October. During these months, typhoons frequently visit the Philippines. But Filipinos are fun loving people and the rainy season is not the time to be depressed, turning serious typhoon calamities into celebrations, and of course another occasion for Instagram '''selfie''' photo ops. Annually, about 20 typhoons make landfall, not counting the occasional typhoon-less days but day-long downpours and flashfloods – in an intermittent two rainy days a week to three to four rainy days in a row. And each one of them is a potential day for merrymaking, especially anticipated by children and children at heart. When heavy rains fall, classes are suspended drawing kids out of their homes, down dressing and frolicking like gangs of mustangs in a wide desert country. If it rains for over an hour, over 60% of Manila roads go under water while vehicular traffic stops, duplicating this scenario in the metropolis and adjoining regions, converting these open spaces into Waterworld attractions, encouraging kids to frolic even longer, unmindful of the cocktail of diseases they can catch, while the sophisticated ones slide out their waverunners, and the gay at heart dive into their mermaid suits. So many Filipino antics to see. You may join in the fun, if you think you are healthy enough. It’s evident with the smiles in people’s faces while enjoying the extra public holiday. Who’s afraid of playing in the water?
  
Another telltale sign of a fiesta is evident. Honed in during ordinary fiestas, every community is brought together in the spirit of participation called the '''Bayanihan'''. Committees are formed to put up the buntings, market and cook the food, or provide sound engineering, and entertainment. But during this calamitous event, the virtue of impromptu cooperation manifests in rescuing those who are trapped in their houses, distributing meals, checking out and evacuating the very young, the sick, the old, and in case a neighbor has no able-bodied men, assist in sliding piles of concrete blocks under the sofa or refrigerator or just evacuating it upstairs hopefully unreachable to the rising floodwaters.   
+
Another telltale sign of a fiesta is evident. Honed in during ordinary fiestas, every community is brought together in the spirit of participation called the '''bayanihan'''. Committees are formed to put up the buntings, market and cook the food, or provide sound engineering, and entertainment. But during this calamitous event, the virtue of impromptu cooperation manifests in rescuing those who are trapped in their houses, distributing meals, checking out and evacuating the very young, the sick, the old, and in case a neighbor has no able-bodied men, assist in sliding piles of concrete blocks under the sofa or refrigerator or just evacuating it upstairs hopefully unreachable to the rising floodwaters.   
  
  
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===Medical check-ups and shopping===
 
===Medical check-ups and shopping===
There is such a thing as medical tourism in the Philippines as evident by more foreigners checking out the pharmacy counters in tourist districts – Malate and outlying Makati City area, not simply to buy Diatabs or Paracetamol. Definitely the come on is the cheap medication offered by the Philippines, same quality, compared to First World countries. Though you need medical prescription issued by a local doctor. Consultation is about ₱200 or $4.50 for a general practitioner and ₱500-₱800 ($11.50-$18.30) for a specialist. Here in the Philippines, the longer the line means the cheaper the consultation fee. Form-filling or paper works also takes about a minute of your time, compared to 30 minutes or more in the US, going through dozens of pages of fine print. [[Mercury Drugstore]] with its wide network and established decades of quality drugs and service, is one of the fast drug dispensing counters in the country, these amazing certified pharmacist-dispensers and cashiers with the skills of a casino card dealer cum waiter, do it less ritualized, less protocol, in a jiffy with a few click clacks of the keyboard, juggling five customers at a time without mistake, and the average waiting time is less than five minutes, an added entertainment value. '''TGP''' or [[The Generics Drugstore]] is in a fierce competition geared to the low income bracket, with [[South Star Drug]] closely behind.   
+
There is such a thing as medical tourism in the Philippines as evident by more foreigners checking out the pharmacy counters in tourist districts – Malate and outlying Makati City area, not simply to buy Diatabs or Paracetamol. Definitely the come on is the cheap medication offered by the Philippines, same quality, compared to First World countries. Though you need medical prescription issued by a local doctor. Consultation is about ₱200 or $4.50 for a general practitioner and ₱500-₱800 ($11.50-$18.30) for a specialist. Here in the Philippines, the longer the line means the cheaper the consultation fee. Form-filling or paper works also takes about a minute of your time, compared to 30 minutes or more in the US, going through dozens of pages of fine print. [[Mercury Drugstore]] with its wide network and established decades of quality drugs and service, is one of the fast drug dispensing counters in the country, these amazing certified pharmacist-dispensers and cashiers with the acute skills of a casino card dealer cum waiter, do it less ritualized, less protocol, in a jiffy with a few click clacks of the keyboard, juggling five customers at a time without mistake, and the average waiting time is less than five minutes, an added entertainment value. '''TGP''' or [[The Generics Drugstore]] is in a fierce competition geared to the low income bracket, with [[South Star Drug]] closely behind.   
  
  
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| region1description=  
 
| region1description=  
 
Ilocanos, the most affluent and prominent of ethnic tribes next to the Tagalogs, are famous for their industry and accustomed to live frugally in a limited cultivable strip of land bounded between West Philippines Sea and the Cordillera mountain range in northern Luzon island. They have also migrated to the Cagayan Valley in the northeast side of the island and have matched, if not surpassed its original inhabitant’s numbers, the Ibanags.
 
Ilocanos, the most affluent and prominent of ethnic tribes next to the Tagalogs, are famous for their industry and accustomed to live frugally in a limited cultivable strip of land bounded between West Philippines Sea and the Cordillera mountain range in northern Luzon island. They have also migrated to the Cagayan Valley in the northeast side of the island and have matched, if not surpassed its original inhabitant’s numbers, the Ibanags.
*'''Pinakbet '''vegetable stew with small amount of fried pork chunks (including the rind) seasoned with bagoong (shrimp paste). The list of veggie ingredients which may sound exotic includes '''talong''' (Philippine aubergine), '''ampalaya''' (bitter gourd), '''sigarillas''' (winged bean), '''sitaw''' (haricots), squash & squash flowers, '''bataw''' (hyacinth bean), '''patani''' (lima bean), '''alucon''' or '''alocon''' flowers (worm-like or cat’s tail – no translation), & '''okra'''.
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*'''Pinakbet ''' &mdash; vegetable stew with small amount of fried pork chunks (including the rind) seasoned with bagoong (shrimp paste). The list of veggie ingredients which may sound exotic includes '''talong''' (Philippine aubergine), '''ampalaya''' (bitter gourd), '''sigarillas''' (winged bean), '''sitaw''' (haricots), squash & squash flowers, '''bataw''' (hyacinth bean), '''patani''' (lima bean), '''alucon''' or '''alocon''' flowers (worm-like or cat’s tail – no translation), & '''okra'''.
*'''Dinengdeng''' –similar to pinakbet, uses grilled or fried fish together with or just plain vegetables, and soupier using fish or any seafood stock such as bagoong (shrimp paste).
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*'''Dinengdeng''' &mdash; similar to pinakbet, uses grilled or fried fish together with or just plain vegetables, and soupier using fish or any seafood stock such as bagoong (shrimp paste).
*'''Papaetan''' - tripe seasoned with bile secretion, goat tripe is preferred.
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*'''Papaetan''' &mdash; tripe seasoned with bile secretion, goat tripe is preferred.
*'''Bagnet''' pork chunks and chops fried and seasoned in '''bagoong''' (shrimp paste).
+
*'''Bagnet''' &mdash; pork chunks and chops fried and seasoned in '''bagoong''' (shrimp paste).
*'''Ilocos Empanada''' Ilocano version of fried spring roll but actually the thicker wrapper is folded into half like an empanada; includes meat and vegetable ingredients – bagnet, Ilocos longganiza (Ilocos sausage), unbeaten egg, and mung bean sprouts or grated green papaya.
+
*'''Ilocos Empanada''' &mdash;  Ilocano version of fried spring roll but actually the thicker wrapper is folded into half like an empanada; includes meat and vegetable ingredients – bagnet, Ilocos longganiza (Ilocos sausage), unbeaten egg, and mung bean sprouts or grated green papaya.
*'''Igado''' although derived from the Spanish word ‘liver’, the style of cooking is ancient. Like adobo, it’s got many regional variations owing to the marinating ingredients. From basic pork and liver strips, this dish is popularized by the southern province of La Union and the Autonomous Cordillera Region where Chinese immigrant cooks leveled up the taste.
+
*'''Igado''' &mdash; although derived from the Spanish word ‘liver’, the style of cooking is ancient. Like adobo, it’s got many regional variations owing to the marinating ingredients. From basic pork and liver strips, this dish is popularized by the southern province of La Union and the Autonomous Cordillera Region where Chinese immigrant cooks leveled up the taste.
 
The southernmost Ilocano province of Pangasinan contributed '''tupig''' – a popular Manila snack made from sweetened grated root crops and coconut flesh tucked in coconut frond and grilled over charcoal.
 
The southernmost Ilocano province of Pangasinan contributed '''tupig''' – a popular Manila snack made from sweetened grated root crops and coconut flesh tucked in coconut frond and grilled over charcoal.
  
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Pampagueños lead in the art of assimilating and combining the best of Spanish, Mexican, and Cantonese on top of Malay legacies, blessed with a very fertile river delta homeland that offers abundant harvest of ingredients. Having abundance, they channel their energies to become the most meticulous of the ethnic tribes and have supplemented it with culinary creativity and resourcefulness. Aside from the common beef, pork, chicken, they have exotic treats such as '''kamaru''' (mole cricket adobo), '''betute tugak''' (stuffed deep-fried frog), '''barag''' (spicy stewed monitor lizard), '''itik''' (duck stewed in blood), '''pindang damulag''' (pickled carabao meat), '''pinaupong manok ''' (free range chicken stuffed with herbs and spices, smoked in sitting position), '''burong burig''' (catfish or mudfish in fermented rice),  tamales or '''boboto''' (Mexican tamale but instead wrapped in banana leaf), and '''taba ng talangka ''' (crab fat paté or the Philippine caviar).
 
Pampagueños lead in the art of assimilating and combining the best of Spanish, Mexican, and Cantonese on top of Malay legacies, blessed with a very fertile river delta homeland that offers abundant harvest of ingredients. Having abundance, they channel their energies to become the most meticulous of the ethnic tribes and have supplemented it with culinary creativity and resourcefulness. Aside from the common beef, pork, chicken, they have exotic treats such as '''kamaru''' (mole cricket adobo), '''betute tugak''' (stuffed deep-fried frog), '''barag''' (spicy stewed monitor lizard), '''itik''' (duck stewed in blood), '''pindang damulag''' (pickled carabao meat), '''pinaupong manok ''' (free range chicken stuffed with herbs and spices, smoked in sitting position), '''burong burig''' (catfish or mudfish in fermented rice),  tamales or '''boboto''' (Mexican tamale but instead wrapped in banana leaf), and '''taba ng talangka ''' (crab fat paté or the Philippine caviar).
 
Pampanga dishes that percolated down to an average Manilan table are:
 
Pampanga dishes that percolated down to an average Manilan table are:
*'''Buro''' - fermented rice and fish.
+
*'''Buro''' &mdash; fermented rice and fish.
*'''Tapa''' - sweetened beef jerky.
+
*'''Tapa''' &mdash;  sweetened beef jerky.
*'''Pampanga Tocino''' - fermented pork or chicken in sugar.
+
*'''Pampanga Tocino''' &mdash; fermented pork or chicken in sugar.
*'''Pampanga Longganiza''' - fermented pork or chicken sausage in sugar & vinegar.
+
*'''Pampanga Longganiza''' &mdash; fermented pork or chicken sausage in sugar & vinegar.
*'''Relleno''' - stuffed fish or chicken.
+
*'''Relleno''' &mdash; stuffed fish or chicken.
*'''Pastel '''evolved from the Spanish pastel, is served during occasions but is now transformed as pot dish served without the crust on everyday setting (with rice).
+
*'''Pastel ''' &mdash; evolved from the Spanish pastel, is served during occasions but is now transformed as pot dish served without the crust on everyday setting (with rice).
*'''Galantina''' stuffed chicken roll.
+
*'''Galantina''' &mdash; stuffed chicken roll.
*'''Cocido''' fish & vegetable stew.
+
*'''Cocido''' &mdash; fish & vegetable stew.
*'''Pansit Palabok''' dry glassy noodle with an array of garnishing and achiote-based sauce.
+
*'''Pansit Palabok''' &mdash; dry glassy noodle with an array of garnishing and achiote-based sauce.
*'''Sisig''' the most ubiquitous Pampanga dish in Manila, a dish of chopped pig’s liver added with the finely chopped cheeks and ears of a pig to add crunch, then creamed with mayonnaise and spiced with Philippine chili. New variants are chicken, beef, bangus (fresh water fish) and squid.
+
*'''Sisig''' &mdash; the most ubiquitous Pampanga dish in Manila, a dish of chopped pig’s liver added with the finely chopped cheeks and ears of a pig to add crunch, then creamed with mayonnaise and spiced with Philippine chili. New variants are chicken, beef, bangus (fresh water fish) and squid.
 
They also excel in fine desserts such as '''Turon de Casuy''', '''Mazapan''', '''Leche Flan''' and '''Biscochos Borrachos'''.
 
They also excel in fine desserts such as '''Turon de Casuy''', '''Mazapan''', '''Leche Flan''' and '''Biscochos Borrachos'''.
 
 
 
 
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| region3description=
 
| region3description=
 
Tagalogs, the prime movers and shakers of the country,  are generally good cooks too with all the influences and ingredients at their disposal:
 
Tagalogs, the prime movers and shakers of the country,  are generally good cooks too with all the influences and ingredients at their disposal:
*'''Adobo''' - now considered as the National Dish. With so many regional variations, this Tagalog version dominates. It's pork, beef, chicken, or practically anything marinated in soy sauce and vinegar, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
+
*'''Adobo''' &mdash; now considered as the National Dish. With so many regional variations, this Tagalog version dominates. It's pork, beef, chicken, or practically anything marinated in soy sauce and vinegar, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
*'''Sinigang''' - Philippines' answer to Thailand's Tom Yam, a meat or seafood boiled in a sour fruit and also has regional versions. The sour seasoning depends on the sour fruit in season.
+
*'''Sinigang''' &mdash; Philippines' answer to Thailand's Tom Yam, a meat or seafood boiled in a sour fruit and also has regional versions. The sour seasoning depends on the sour fruit in season.
*'''Dinuguan''' - internal organs of butchered animals and cooked with pork blood and served with sweet rice cake. (Note: eating animal organs was introduced by the Spaniards). It has also spawned numerous variations, some with even western based vegetable ingredients such as broccoli and zucchini.
+
*'''Dinuguan''' &mdash; internal organs of butchered animals and cooked with pork blood and served with sweet rice cake. (Note: eating animal organs was introduced by the Spaniards). It has also spawned numerous variations, some with even western based vegetable ingredients such as broccoli and zucchini.
*'''Hipong Halabos '''- boiled shrimp.
+
*'''Hipong Halabos ''' &mdash; boiled shrimp.
*'''Sinaing na Tulingan''' native fish called Tulingan boiled in banana leaf with vinegar & soy sauce.
+
*'''Sinaing na Tulingan''' &mdash;  native fish called Tulingan boiled in banana leaf with vinegar & soy sauce.
*'''Embotidong Batangas '''this is brought over by itinerant vendors coming from Batangas province, about 100 plus km south of Manila. How much more native and organic you can get when the usual meat loaf is wrapped in aluminum foil, while this one is wrapped in banana leaf.
+
*'''Embotidong Batangas ''' &mdash; this is brought over by itinerant vendors coming from Batangas province, about 100 plus km south of Manila. How much more native and organic you can get when the usual meat loaf is wrapped in aluminum foil, while this one is wrapped in banana leaf.
*'''Kari-Kari '''- beef parts mixed with vegetables and flavored with pounded peanut turned into sauce, very elaborate and tedious by Philippine cooking standards due to pressurized tenderizing of the tripe, and grinding the peanuts by hand to make it into a paste.
+
*'''Kari-Kari ''' &mdash; beef parts mixed with vegetables and flavored with pounded peanut turned into sauce, very elaborate and tedious by Philippine cooking standards due to pressurized tenderizing of the tripe, and grinding the peanuts by hand to make it into a paste.
*'''Biya with Gata''' - fish cooked in coconut milk.
+
*'''Biya with Gata''' &mdash; fish cooked in coconut milk.
*'''Pangat''' - fish boiled but without coconut milk.
+
*'''Pangat''' &mdash;  fish boiled but without coconut milk.
  
 
| region4name=Southern Luzon Peninsula Region (Bicol)
 
| region4name=Southern Luzon Peninsula Region (Bicol)
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| region4description=
 
| region4description=
 
Bicolanos are considered the hotties because they can tolerate chili more than any other Filipino. They also like coconut milk. Recently, their love for chili and coconut milk fueled some fodder in experimentation of chili flavored ice cream and milk shake.
 
Bicolanos are considered the hotties because they can tolerate chili more than any other Filipino. They also like coconut milk. Recently, their love for chili and coconut milk fueled some fodder in experimentation of chili flavored ice cream and milk shake.
*'''Pinangat''' - minced young coconut meat with either shrimps or freshwater fish (mudfish, tilapia, catfish) and hot pepper wrapped in taro leaves then cook boiled in pure coconut milk.
+
*'''Pinangat''' &mdash; minced young coconut meat with either shrimps or freshwater fish (mudfish, tilapia, catfish) and hot pepper wrapped in taro leaves then cook boiled in pure coconut milk.
*'''Tanagukto'''k - (also called '''Sinanglay''') fish stuffed with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and the inevitable hot pepper wrapped in banana leaf and then cooked in coconut milk.
+
*'''Tanaguktok''' &mdash;  (also called '''Sinanglay''') fish stuffed with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and the inevitable hot pepper wrapped in banana leaf and then cooked in coconut milk.
*'''Gulay na Natong''' or simply called '''Laing''' cut or torn taro leaves cooked in coconut milk.
+
*'''Gulay na Natong''' or simply called '''Laing''' &mdash; cut or torn taro leaves cooked in coconut milk.
*'''Bicol Express''' - a dish comprising of julienned chili peppers with a mixture of fatty pork, salted small shrimps (locally known as balaw) sautéed in onions, garlic, ginger and sometimes tomatoes then cooked in coconut milk. It has evolved to include more meat chunks, preferred by most Manilans particularly construction workers for its energizing high calorie content on top of its appetizing taste.
+
*'''Bicol Express''' &mdash; a dish comprising of julienned chili peppers with a mixture of fatty pork, salted small shrimps (locally known as balaw) sautéed in onions, garlic, ginger and sometimes tomatoes then cooked in coconut milk. It has evolved to include more meat chunks, preferred by most Manilans particularly construction workers for its energizing high calorie content on top of its appetizing taste.
*'''Kinunot''' Bicol’s sinful dirty secret dish for using the endangered stingray (pagui) as an ingredient. De-fibered stingray flesh is cooked with coconut milk, long light green chili (Philippine chili), and moringa leaves (malunggay); sold only in dining stalls in public markets with heavy Bicolano traffic clientele.
+
*'''Kinunot''' &mdash; Bicol’s sinful dirty secret dish for using the endangered stingray (pagui) as an ingredient. De-fibered stingray flesh is cooked with coconut milk, long light green chili (Philippine chili), and moringa leaves (malunggay); sold only in dining stalls in public markets with heavy Bicolano traffic clientele.
'''Pili''' nut is endemic to this region, the taste is somewhat of a cross between macadamia and almond. It is sold glazed, speckled like sugared pretzel, or roasted in Manila confectionary stores in supermarkets and malls as it is quite expensive.
+
'''Pili''' nut is endemic in this region; the taste is somewhat of a cross between macadamia and almond. It is sold glazed, speckled like sugared pretzel, or roasted in Manila confectionary stores in supermarkets and malls as it is quite expensive.
  
 
| region5name=Eastern Visayas Islands Region or Samar-Leyte (Waray)
 
| region5name=Eastern Visayas Islands Region or Samar-Leyte (Waray)
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| region5description=
 
| region5description=
 
Warays, carefree and fun-living, live in barren islands and are coconut milk lovers minus the hot chili pepper.
 
Warays, carefree and fun-living, live in barren islands and are coconut milk lovers minus the hot chili pepper.
*'''Kinilao''' - raw fish in lime and vinegar with coconut milk, served as appetizer or pulutan.
+
*'''Kinilao''' &mdash; raw fish in lime and vinegar with coconut milk, served as appetizer or pulutan.
  
 
| region6name=Central Visayas Islands Region (Cebu)
 
| region6name=Central Visayas Islands Region (Cebu)
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| region6description=
 
| region6description=
 
Cebuanos, also famous for their very exuberant music and guitars were influenced by the Spaniards in a different twist, having been more Mexicanized. Perhaps the Acapulco-to-Manila route was too long and boring for the Mexican sailors that they were dying to jump ship as soon as they reach the islands, the earliest accessible of which is Cebu. The combination of dry and barren climate, sandy soil, and the heavy influence of the Mexicans are a perfect match for the corn and tamale to blossom.
 
Cebuanos, also famous for their very exuberant music and guitars were influenced by the Spaniards in a different twist, having been more Mexicanized. Perhaps the Acapulco-to-Manila route was too long and boring for the Mexican sailors that they were dying to jump ship as soon as they reach the islands, the earliest accessible of which is Cebu. The combination of dry and barren climate, sandy soil, and the heavy influence of the Mexicans are a perfect match for the corn and tamale to blossom.
*'''Tamales''' similar to the Mexican tamale.
+
*'''Tamales''' &mdash;  similar to the Mexican tamale.
*'''Pintos''' or '''Corn Suman''' - corn desert removed from the cob and re-wrapped in the husk.
+
*'''Pintos''' or '''Corn Suman''' &mdash; corn desert removed from the cob and re-wrapped in the husk.
*'''Danggit''' sun dried rabbit fish and similar dried fishes, important for breakfast meals matched with fried rice and hot chocolate in a typical Manila morning table, are supplied by Cebu.
+
*'''Danggit''' &mdash; sun dried rabbit fish and similar dried fishes, important for breakfast meals matched with fried rice and hot chocolate in a typical Manila morning table, are supplied by Cebu.
  
*'''Otap''' or '''Hojaldres''' - Cebuano biscuit.
+
*'''Otap''' or '''Hojaldres''' &mdash;  Cebuano biscuit.
*'''Dried Sweet Mango''' - Cebu is famous for its dehydrated sweet sliced mango snack.
+
*'''Dried Sweet Mango''' &mdash; Cebu is famous for its dehydrated sweet sliced mango snack.
*'''Bohol Kisses''' from the island of Bohol, a Hershey kisses-shaped confectionary from roughly grated peanuts.
+
*'''Bohol Kisses''' &mdash;  from the island of Bohol, a Hershey kisses-shaped confectionary from roughly grated peanuts.
  
 
| region7name=Western Visayas Islands Region (Ilongo)
 
| region7name=Western Visayas Islands Region (Ilongo)
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| region7description=
 
| region7description=
 
These islands, of which Iloilo is the homeland, are fertile and more blessed with rain than the other Visayan Islands and the waters abound with fish. Ilongos are some of the most ingenious in the Visayas when it comes to cooking. Most of them are recruited as maids and laundry women for Manila but end up in the kitchen churning out gastronomic delights.
 
These islands, of which Iloilo is the homeland, are fertile and more blessed with rain than the other Visayan Islands and the waters abound with fish. Ilongos are some of the most ingenious in the Visayas when it comes to cooking. Most of them are recruited as maids and laundry women for Manila but end up in the kitchen churning out gastronomic delights.
*'''Batchoy''' or '''La Paz Batchoy''' the town of La Paz in Iloilo is well known for its Batchoy, a Chinese contribution (the word means pork bits and pieces). The ingredients are chicharón or fried pork rinds, boiled beef and its stock, chopped garlic, and noodles.
+
*'''Batchoy''' or '''La Paz Batchoy''' &mdash;  the town of La Paz in Iloilo is well known for its Batchoy, a Chinese contribution (the word means pork bits and pieces). The ingredients are chicharón or fried pork rinds, boiled beef and its stock, chopped garlic, and noodles.
*'''Pansit Molo''' - soup with wanton like dumplings.
+
*'''Pansit Molo''' &mdash;  soup with wanton like dumplings.
*'''Linaga''' boiled beef flavored with jackfruit flesh.
+
*'''Linaga''' &mdash;  boiled beef flavored with jackfruit flesh.
*'''Laswa''' - vegetables cooked in little water with fermented fish, similar to the Ilocos Pinakbet.
+
*'''Laswa''' &mdash;  vegetables cooked in little water with fermented fish, similar to the Ilocos Pinakbet.
*'''Linagpang''' - broiled fish.
+
*'''Linagpang''' &mdash; broiled fish.
*'''Inasal ''' originally as spiced fish, now chicken cooked over charcoal, popularized by a lot of restaurants in Manila.
+
*'''Inasal ''' &mdash; originally as spiced fish, now chicken cooked over charcoal, popularized by a lot of restaurants in Manila.
*'''Kadyos '''- vegetables with fish, shrimp, or meat.
+
*'''Kadyos ''' &mdash; vegetables with fish, shrimp, or meat.
*'''KBL- Kadios Baboy Langka or Kadyos''' using pork chunks and jackfruit.
+
*'''KBL- Kadios Baboy Langka''' &mdash;  uses pork chunks, pigeon peas, and jackfruit.
*'''Pinalmalhan''' fish cooked with vinegar and salt with ginger and chili, ingredients more common before the era of the refrigerator.
+
*'''Pinalmalhan''' &mdash; fish cooked with vinegar and salt with ginger and chili, ingredients more common before the era of the refrigerator.
*'''Tinumkan''' - pounded fish meat mixed with chopped onions, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
+
*'''Tinumkan''' &mdash;  pounded fish meat mixed with chopped onions, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
*'''Binakol''' uses native chicken and coconut juice with green papaya.
+
*'''Binakol''' &mdash;  uses native chicken and coconut juice with green papaya.
*'''Tinola'''- chicken cooked with green papaya, ginger, lemon grass, and pepper leaves.  
+
*'''Tinola''' &mdash; chicken cooked with green papaya, ginger, lemon grass, and pepper leaves.  
  
 
Bacolod City, linguistically linked to and facing Iloilo City and island, is the Ilongo-speaking part of the island of Negros where the principal crop is sugar cane exported to the US. It’s famous for its giveaway treats to sweet tooth friends and colleagues upon return:
 
Bacolod City, linguistically linked to and facing Iloilo City and island, is the Ilongo-speaking part of the island of Negros where the principal crop is sugar cane exported to the US. It’s famous for its giveaway treats to sweet tooth friends and colleagues upon return:
*Butterscotch Iloilo/Bacolod version.
+
*Butterscotch &mdash; Iloilo/Bacolod version.
*'''Piaya''' unleavened grilled bread filled with a slather of any of these: jams, sweet bean, Nutella, yam, or chocolate.
+
*'''Piaya''' &mdash; unleavened grilled bread filled with a slather of any of these: jams, sweet bean, Nutella, yam, or chocolate.
*'''Barquillos''' sweet biscuit roll from thin wafer.  
+
*'''Barquillos''' &mdash; sweet biscuit roll from thin wafer.  
*'''Napoleones''' sweet layered pastry.  
+
*'''Napoleones''' &mdash;  sweet layered pastry.  
  
 
| region8name=Mindanao Region
 
| region8name=Mindanao Region
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| region8description=
 
| region8description=
 
The second largest island, but the least influential, Mindanao has three distinct regions – the Lumads or the Pre-Islamic tribal minorities, the Muslim or Islamic, and Hispanized Zamboanga enclave at the tip of the western peninsula and the Hispanic Christian migrants mainly from the Ilocano and the Cebuano group settling around, except the central part which is the Muslim territory. Mindanao always connotes the Muslim group and their culinary influence in Manila is not fully ingrained. In the Muslim section of Manila, one can find '''Piassok''' with beef as an ingredient, '''Pialam''', or '''Landang-Landang''' not common to the average Manilans. In Quiapo district of Manila, among the dishes and rice cakes display stands are exotic spices that have never been in Christianized kitchens. One can also see palisades of bamboo-skewered and grilled whole tuna about half a meter long. Popularly selling comfort food here is the pandan leaf wrapped steamed rice called '''Binalot''' in coconut milk with spicy chicken sauce for ₱20 (₵ 0.45).   
 
The second largest island, but the least influential, Mindanao has three distinct regions – the Lumads or the Pre-Islamic tribal minorities, the Muslim or Islamic, and Hispanized Zamboanga enclave at the tip of the western peninsula and the Hispanic Christian migrants mainly from the Ilocano and the Cebuano group settling around, except the central part which is the Muslim territory. Mindanao always connotes the Muslim group and their culinary influence in Manila is not fully ingrained. In the Muslim section of Manila, one can find '''Piassok''' with beef as an ingredient, '''Pialam''', or '''Landang-Landang''' not common to the average Manilans. In Quiapo district of Manila, among the dishes and rice cakes display stands are exotic spices that have never been in Christianized kitchens. One can also see palisades of bamboo-skewered and grilled whole tuna about half a meter long. Popularly selling comfort food here is the pandan leaf wrapped steamed rice called '''Binalot''' in coconut milk with spicy chicken sauce for ₱20 (₵ 0.45).   
*'''Lumpiang Ubod''' Lumpia or spring roll by itself is an influence of the Chinese who settled among the Hispanized natives of Zamboanga. This popular snack is a raw-eaten vegetable salad wrapped in a rice sheet. The filling is freshly shredded banana stamen. The Manila version has been into evolution lately substituting the rice wrapper with egg based green-colored crêpe incorporated with a sprinkling of bits of moringa leaves.  
+
*'''Lumpiang Ubod''' &mdash; Lumpia or spring roll by itself is an influence of the Chinese who settled among the Hispanized natives of Zamboanga. This popular snack is a raw-eaten vegetable salad wrapped in a rice sheet. The filling is freshly shredded banana stamen. The Manila version has been into evolution lately substituting the rice wrapper with egg based green-colored crêpe incorporated with a sprinkling of bits of moringa leaves.  
 
The main fruit contribution of Mindanao is summed up in suha or Philippine grapefruit, mangosteen, and durian – an exotic fruit popularly grown in Davao and exported to Manila.
 
The main fruit contribution of Mindanao is summed up in suha or Philippine grapefruit, mangosteen, and durian – an exotic fruit popularly grown in Davao and exported to Manila.
 
}}
 
}}
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====Stationary vendors====
 
====Stationary vendors====
*'''Grilled Corn-On-The-Cob''' charcoal grilled using the sticky white corn variety.
+
*'''Grilled Corn-On-The-Cob''' &mdash; charcoal grilled using the sticky white corn variety.
*'''Peanuts-On-Shell, Yellow & White Corn-On-The-Cob - Simply Boiled'''
+
*'''Peanuts-On-Shell, Yellow & White Corn-On-The-Cob &mdash; Simply Boiled'''
*'''Bird Eggs - Simply Boiled'''
+
*'''Bird Eggs &mdash; Simply Boiled'''
**'''Balut''' Although popular in Vietnam and even China which seems downplayed by media, this culinary brand is associated most with the Philippines which bears the brunt of owning its trademark tag under the gross category. This boiled duck embryo, generally safe to eat as the whole duck egg is intact and well cooked. The sight of a fully-formed duckling, complete with wings, ribbed feet, and beak may not be too easily swallowed by the squeamish however; either tapped in rock salt or clear vinegar unlike in Vietnam where they sprinkle it with julienned ginger, chopped cucumber, and parsley.
+
**'''Balut''' &mdash; Although popular in Vietnam and even China, this culinary brand is associated most with the Philippines which bears the brunt of owning its trademark tag under the “gross” category. This boiled duck embryo, generally safe to eat as the whole duck egg is intact and well cooked. The sight of a fully-formed duckling, complete with wings, ribbed feet, and beak may not be too easily swallowed by the squeamish however; either tapped in rock salt or clear vinegar unlike in Vietnam where they sprinkle it with julienned ginger, chopped cucumber, and parsley.
**'''Penoy''' boiled undeveloped duck egg - just the white and the yolk.
+
**'''Penoy''' &mdash; boiled undeveloped duck egg - just the white and the yolk.
**'''Pugo''' boiled quail egg – just the white and the yolk.
+
**'''Pugo''' &mdash; boiled quail egg – just the white and the yolk.
  
*'''Meat Cuts & Processed Meats Skewered in Bamboo Stick and Charcoal Grilled '''
+
*'''Meat Cuts & Processed Meats &mdash; Skewered in Bamboo Stick and Charcoal Grilled '''
**'''Chicken or Pork Barbeque''' bite-size pieces marinated: pork cuts, chicken legs, chicken wings.
+
**'''Chicken or Pork Barbeque''' &mdash; bite-size pieces marinated: pork cuts, chicken legs, chicken wings.
**'''Isaw''', '''Helmet''', '''Adidas''' and '''Betamax''' - chicken or pork intestines, chicken head, feet, and blood with funny names, respectively.  
+
**'''Isaw''', '''Helmet''', '''Adidas''' and '''Betamax''' &mdash; chicken or pork intestines, chicken head, feet, and blood with funny names, respectively.  
**'''Atay''', '''Balun-Balunan''', '''Puso''' chicken body parts - liver, gizzard, heart.
+
**'''Atay''', '''Balun-Balunan''', '''Puso''' &mdash; chicken body parts - liver, gizzard, heart.
**'''Day-Old Chick''' newly hatched whole chick.
+
**'''Day-Old Chick''' &mdash; newly hatched whole chick.
 
**'''Hotdog, Frankfurter'''
 
**'''Hotdog, Frankfurter'''
  
*'''Meat Flavored Dough Balls & Processed Meats Deep Fried '''
+
*'''Meat Flavored Dough Balls & Processed Meats &mdash; Deep Fried '''
**'''Bola Bola''' rice flour dough balls flavored from fish, squid, crab, shrimp, pork, chicken, beef, or even lobster stock; sometimes mixed with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or spring onion, fried and served in vinegar based dip. Although varied, it needs to level up to the Japanese and Chinese variations.
+
**'''Bola Bola''' &mdash; rice flour dough balls flavored from fish, squid, crab, shrimp, pork, chicken, beef, or even lobster stock; sometimes mixed with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or spring onion, fried and served in vinegar based dip. Although varied, it needs to level up to the Japanese and Chinese versions.
**'''Kikyam''' ground meat and dough mix wrapped in bean curd sheets.
+
**'''Kikyam''' &mdash; ground meat and dough mix wrapped in bean curd sheets.
**'''Chicken Nuggets''' processed chicken breast.
+
**'''Chicken Nuggets''' &mdash; processed chicken breast.
**'''Chicken Saucers''' processed chicken breast.
+
**'''Chicken Saucers''' &mdash; processed chicken breast.
**'''Bite-Sized Hotdog, Sausage, Frankfurter''' small cured meat cuts, grilled or deep fried.
+
**'''Bite-Sized Hotdog, Sausage, Frankfurter''' &mdash; small cured meat cuts, grilled or deep fried.
**'''Day-Old Chick''' newly hatched whole chick, immediately drowned into a cauldron of boiling oil.
+
**'''Day-Old Chick''' &mdash; newly hatched whole chick, immediately drowned into a cauldron of boiling oil.
  
*'''Meat Flavored Dough Balls & Processed Meats Skewered in Bamboo Stick and Steamed'''
+
*'''Meat Flavored Dough Balls & Processed Meats &mdash; Skewered in Bamboo Stick and Steamed'''
 
**'''Bola Bola, Kikyam, Chicken Nugget, & Hotdog'''
 
**'''Bola Bola, Kikyam, Chicken Nugget, & Hotdog'''
**'''Siomai''' ground meat of fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, or beef formed into balls and wrapped in dough sheets.
+
**'''Siomai''' &mdash; ground meat of fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, or beef formed into balls and wrapped in dough sheets.
  
 
*'''Processed Meats Heated on Hot Rollers'''
 
*'''Processed Meats Heated on Hot Rollers'''
**'''Hotdog''' these are heat-rolled them the way 7-11 stores do it; in different sizes – bite and jumbo, and meat types, skewered, grilled and topped with sauces - New York style, chili, pesto, mayo, catsup, cheese, chili cheese, etc.
+
**'''Hotdog''' &mdash; these are heat-rolled them the way 7-11 stores do it; in different sizes – bite and jumbo, and meat types, skewered, grilled and topped with sauces - New York style, chili, pesto, mayo, catsup, cheese, chili cheese, etc.
  
 
*'''Batter & Filling – Deep Fried'''
 
*'''Batter & Filling – Deep Fried'''
**'''Kwek Kwek''' (Duck) and '''Tokneneng''' (Quail) very uniquely Filipino and ubiquitous, the choice comfort and street food of Class D & E Manilans, consist of boiled egg (duck, chicken, or quail) dipped and drenched in an artificial orange colored batter, then deep fried. When eaten, usually floated in a small bowl of vinegar sauce with chopped cucumbers, onions, chili peppers, and garlic, while being mashed or cut into pieces by fork or bamboo stick.
+
**'''Kwek Kwek''' (Duck) and '''Tokneneng''' (Quail) &mdash; very uniquely Filipino and ubiquitous, the choice comfort and street food of Class D & E Manilans, consist of boiled egg (duck, chicken, or quail) dipped and drenched in an artificial orange colored batter, then deep fried. When eaten, usually floated in a small bowl of vinegar sauce with chopped cucumbers, onions, chili peppers, and garlic, while being mashed or cut into pieces by fork or bamboo stick.
**'''Ukoy''' - shrimp, mung sprouts, carrots or any veggie thrown in and poured into flat patty from a batter and deep fried.
+
**'''Ukoy''' &mdash; shrimp, mung sprouts, carrots or any veggie thrown in and poured into flat patty from a batter and deep fried.
**'''Battered Day-Old Chick''' chick dipped in batter, deep fried.
+
**'''Battered Day-Old Chick''' &mdash; chick dipped in batter, deep fried.
**'''Battered Isaw''' chicken intestines drenched in batter, deep fried.
+
**'''Battered Isaw''' &mdash; chicken intestines drenched in batter, deep fried.
 
**'''Corn Dog'''
 
**'''Corn Dog'''
  
 
*'''Batter – Poured & Molded'''
 
*'''Batter – Poured & Molded'''
**'''Takoyaki''' Japanese style batter with a clarity of a diluted starch glue and poured in molds that form into balls, placed into a paper tray with sprinkled flakes, nuts, and poured sauce. It is not yet popular though with the D & E masses, patronized more by the B & C crowd, and still in its pure Japanese form. Takoyaki stands are positioned on LRT train stations and supermarkets only.
+
**'''Takoyaki''' &mdash; Japanese style batter with a clarity of a diluted starch glue and poured in molds that form into balls, placed into a paper tray with sprinkled flakes, nuts, and poured sauce. It is not yet popular though with the D & E masses, patronized more by the B & C crowd, and still in its pure Japanese form. Takoyaki stands are positioned on LRT train stations and supermarkets only.
**'''Waffle with Filling''' from the original hotdog, it has now transformed into many fillings such as bacon, tuna-hotdog, cheese-pineapple, sweet bean, cheese-pimiento, Bavarian crème, yam…
+
**'''Waffle with Filling''' &mdash; from the original hotdog, it has now transformed into many fillings such as bacon, tuna-hotdog, cheese-pineapple, sweet bean, cheese-pimiento, Bavarian crème, yam…
  
*'''Rolls & Wraps Deep Fried'''
+
*'''Rolls & Wraps &mdash; Deep Fried'''
**'''Shanghai Roll''' ground beef rolled in rice wrapper, deep fried.
+
**'''Shanghai Roll''' &mdash; ground beef rolled in rice wrapper, deep fried.
**'''Cheese Sticks''' cheese stick rolled in rice wrapper, deep fried.
+
**'''Cheese Sticks''' &mdash; cheese stick rolled in rice wrapper, deep fried.
  
 
*'''Veggie Wraps'''
 
*'''Veggie Wraps'''
**'''Lumpia''' a salad of vegetable, rolled in rice wrapper or crepe, poured with sauce; eaten fresh.
+
**'''Lumpia''' &mdash; a salad of vegetable, rolled in rice wrapper or crepe, poured with sauce; eaten fresh.
**'''Lumpiang Ubod''' shredded banana stamen rolled in rice wrapper or crepe, poured with sauce; eaten fresh.
+
**'''Lumpiang Ubod''' &mdash; shredded banana stamen rolled in rice wrapper or crepe, poured with sauce; eaten fresh.
  
 
*'''Meat & Bread'''
 
*'''Meat & Bread'''
**'''Empanada''' crunchy bread with variety of meat-based fillings such as cheese, chicken, tuna, pork, beef, etc., either fried or baked.
+
**'''Empanada''' &mdash; crunchy bread with variety of meat-based fillings such as cheese, chicken, tuna, pork, beef, etc., either fried or baked.
**'''Burgers''' - exactly American style – chicken, beef, bacon, tuna, cheese, etc. but half the size.
+
**'''Burgers''' &mdash; exactly American style – chicken, beef, bacon, tuna, cheese, etc. but half the size.
**'''Sandwiches''' - exactly American style, most common are cheese, salami, ham, tuna, or simply mayonnaise.
+
**'''Sandwiches''' &mdash; exactly American style, most common are cheese, salami, ham, tuna, or simply mayonnaise. [[Burger Machine]] sells them at even 2 for the price of 1.
**'''Pita''' - same as the Persian or Italian styles, more like Greek gyros.
+
**'''Subway Sandwiches''' &mdash; exactly American style sold at their franchises.
**'''Shawarma''' - introduced by Filipinos who have worked in Middle East and acquired Middle Eastern taste, it has been acquired into the Manila palate, common in malls.
+
**'''Pita''' &mdash; same as the Persian or Italian styles, more like Greek gyros.
**'''Tacling''' sold only in Shoemart Food Courts, it’s taco with same fillings. The twist is that the shell is formed in bite-sized cupcake holder and oddly colored green or red.  
+
**'''Shawarma''' &mdash; introduced by Filipinos who have worked in Middle East and acquired Middle Eastern taste, it has been acquired into the Manila palate, common in malls.
**'''Pita''' - same as the Persian or Italian style, more like Greek gyros.
+
**'''Tacling''' &mdash; sold only in Shoemart Food Courts, it’s taco with same fillings. The twist is that the shell is formed in bite-sized cupcake holder and oddly colored green or red.  
 +
**'''Pita''' &mdash; same as the Persian or Italian style, more like Greek gyros.
  
*'''Kariman''' [[Mini-stop]], [[7-11]]’s fiercest rival in the 24/7 convenience store chain business offers super quick bites especially to Class B comfort food seekers, now has come up with a popular lineup of filled crumbed oily bread called Kariman suspected to be a Japanese-Mid East concoction . This deep fried square-shaped, four by six-inch, flat half inch-thick bread offers choices of – tomato tuna, chicken a-la-king, pizza, spam, and omelet fillings, and even Belgian chocolate and cream cheese for less than $0.60.  
+
*'''Kariman''' &mdash; [[Mini-stop]], [[7-11]]’s fiercest rival in the 24/7 convenience store chain business offers super quick bites especially to Class B comfort food seekers, now has come up with a popular lineup of filled crumbed oily bread called Kariman suspected to be a Japanese-Mid East concoction . This deep fried square-shaped, four by six-inch, flat half inch-thick bread offers choices of – tomato tuna, chicken a-la-king, pizza, spam, and omelet fillings, and even Belgian chocolate and cream cheese for less than $0.60.  
  
*'''Dimsum''' - Cantonese is the most influential of Chinese food contribution to Filipino palate, bequeathing the popular dimsum and its multiplicity of concoctions.
+
*'''Dimsum''' &mdash; Cantonese is the most influential of Chinese food contribution to Filipino palate, bequeathing the popular dimsum and its multiplicity of concoctions.
**'''Siomai''' - meat dumpling wrapped in wonton wrapper with variations as: pork, shrimp, chicken, beef, sharks fin, or beef.  
+
**'''Siomai''' &mdash; meat dumpling wrapped in wonton wrapper with variations as: pork, shrimp, chicken, beef, sharks fin, or beef.  
**'''Siopao''' - steamed bun with stuffings such as asado, bola bola (ground pork), or egg, or combination. It may be also sweet bun made up of sweet beans, yam, or custard. Lately there is now a baked wheat version.
+
**'''Siopao''' &mdash; steamed bun with stuffings such as asado, bola bola (ground pork), or egg, or combination. It may be also sweet bun made up of sweet beans, yam, or custard. Lately there is now a baked wheat version.
  
*'''Noodles''' - dry such as palabok, canton, bihon, miki, or wet such as sotanghon, molo, luglug, batchoy, etc..   
+
*'''Noodles''' &mdash; dry such as palabok, canton, bihon, miki, or wet such as sotanghon, molo, luglug, batchoy, etc..   
  
*'''Dry Fried Noodles''' Hong Kong inspired, is a basic combination of fried dry noodles and a choice of fried pork, BBQ pork, beef, chicken, tuna, meatballs, or siomai dumplings and then topped with do-it-yourself concoction from an array of sauce choices - teriyaki, garlic chili, barbeque, sweet chili, chili, sweet, sweet & sour, peanut, or oyster, finally topped with Philippine lemon and garlic, etc., eaten on a paper bowl and chopsticks.
+
*'''Dry Fried Noodles''' &mdash; Hong Kong inspired, is a basic combination of fried dry noodles and a choice of fried pork, BBQ pork, beef, chicken, tuna, meatballs, or siomai dumplings and then topped with do-it-yourself concoction from an array of sauce choices - teriyaki, garlic chili, barbeque, sweet chili, chili, sweet, sweet & sour, peanut, or oyster, finally topped with Philippine lemon and garlic, etc., eaten on a paper bowl and chopsticks.
  
*'''Sisig To Go''' - hot spicy, from one basic ingredient of chopped chicken, chicken liver, pork, beef, milkfish, tuna, or squid, topped by fish, [[Chicharón]] and garlic flakes, and mixed all together with mayonnaise, local lemon (or calamansi), then garnished with the local chili. This type of preparation mimics that of a SUBWAY outlet where there is an array of cuts, ingredients, and condiments to choose from. It must be accompanied by rice.
+
*'''Sisig To Go''' &mdash; hot spicy, from one basic ingredient of chopped chicken, chicken liver, pork, beef, milkfish, tuna, or squid, topped by fish, [[Chicharón]] and garlic flakes, and mixed all together with mayonnaise, local lemon (or calamansi), then garnished with the local chili. This type of preparation mimics that of a SUBWAY outlet where there is an array of cuts, ingredients, and condiments to choose from. It must be accompanied by rice.
  
 
*'''Sushi Rolls'''
 
*'''Sushi Rolls'''
  
 
*'''Plantains'''  
 
*'''Plantains'''  
**'''Boiled Sabá''' Philippine plantain bundled in 3’s, plain boiled, has high carbo content.
+
**'''Boiled Sabá''' &mdash; Philippine plantain bundled in 3’s, plain boiled, has high carbo content.
**'''Banana Cue/Q''' the most ubiquitous, Philippine plantain fried in hot oil coated with caramelized brown sugar and served on a barbecue stick like a barbecue.
+
**'''Banana Cue/Q''' &mdash; the most ubiquitous, Philippine plantain fried in hot oil coated with caramelized brown sugar and served on a barbecue stick like a barbecue.
**'''Maruya''' deep fried sugared plantain slices held together by a batter.
+
**'''Maruya''' &mdash; deep fried sugared plantain slices held together by a batter.
**'''Turon''' sweet spring rolled plantain with a slice of jackfruit flesh, deep fried.
+
**'''Turon''' &mdash; sweet spring rolled plantain with a slice of jackfruit flesh, deep fried.
  
 
*'''Root Crops'''  
 
*'''Root Crops'''  
**'''Camote Cue/Q''' playing second billing to Banana-Q, it is sweet potato served the same way as banana cue/q.
+
**'''Camote Cue/Q''' &mdash; playing second billing to Banana-Q, it is sweet potato served the same way as banana cue/q.
**'''Kalingking''' - sweet potato cut French fries style, a handful are held together in batter and deep fried.
+
**'''Kalingking''' &mdash; sweet potato cut French fries style, a handful are held together in batter and deep fried.
**'''Caramel Camote Fries''' sweet potato cut French fries style, drench in brown sugar and deep fried.
+
**'''Caramel Camote Fries''' &mdash; sweet potato cut French fries style, drench in brown sugar and deep fried.
  
 
*'''Fresh Fruit Snacks'''
 
*'''Fresh Fruit Snacks'''
**'''Pakwan''' - sliced watermelon on stick (seasonal), or in chunks.
+
**'''Pakwan''' &mdash; sliced watermelon on stick (seasonal), or in chunks.
**'''Singkamas''' sliced jicama topped with fermented shrimp.
+
**'''Singkamas'''&mdash; sliced jicama topped with fermented shrimp.
**'''Pinya''' sliced pineapple on stick.
+
**'''Pinya''' &mdash; sliced pineapple on stick.
**'''Mangga''' famously called '''Manila Mango''' or '''Philippine Mango''', the Queen of Philippine Fruits and the National Fruit, this special variety of mango is abundant and cheap during December and May. In its unripe and crunchy form, it is sliced or julienned then topped with salt or fermented shrimp paste.
+
**'''Mangga''' &mdash; famously called '''Manila Mango''' or '''Philippine Mango''', the Queen of Philippine Fruits and the National Fruit, this special variety of mango is abundant and cheap during December and May. In its unripe and crunchy form, it is sliced or julienned then topped with salt or fermented shrimp paste.
**'''Lanzones''' in season from September-October.
+
**'''Lanzones''' &mdash; in season from September-October.
**'''Lychee''' - Chinese import.
+
**'''Lychee''' &mdash; Chinese import.
**'''Rambutan''' – in season from August-September.
+
**'''Rambutan''' &mdash; year-round.
**'''Santol''' in season from August-September.
+
**'''Santol''' &mdash; in season from August-September.
**'''Guapple''' - giant guava the size of a jumbo apple, sliced and sprinkled with salt; very crunchy.
+
**'''Guapple'''&mdash; giant guava the size of a jumbo apple, sliced and sprinkled with salt; very crunchy.
**'''Indian Mango''' small green crunchy ones.
+
**'''Indian Mango'''&mdash; small green crunchy ones.
**'''Mangosteen''' in season year-round.
+
**'''Mangosteen''' &mdash; in season year-round.
**'''Durian'''- in season year round.  
+
**'''Durian''' &mdash; in season year round.  
**'''Suha Davao''' grapefruit dipped in rock salt.
+
**'''Suha Davao''' &mdash; grapefruit dipped in rock salt.
**'''Atis''' or Sugar Apple resembling the head of a kinky-haired Ati belonging to the curled Negritoid indigenous tribal minority, its season comes during September.
+
**'''Atis''' or Sugar Apple &mdash; resembling the head of a kinky-haired Ati belonging to the curled Negritoid indigenous tribal minority, its season comes during September.
**'''Saging''' banana, the fruit of the common Manilan is abundant and cheap, has two commercial variations – '''Lakatan''' and '''Latundan'''. Latundan appeals more to international tastes similar to '''Cavendish''', but Cavendish is sold only in up-scale supermarkets and fruit stands. Another rare appearance is the '''Señorita''' and the '''Morado''', both also selling in Public Markets, occasionally. The Philippine plantain or '''sabá''' (accent on the á) must be cooked before eaten.
+
**'''Saging''' &mdash; banana, the fruit of the common Manilan is abundant and cheap, has two commercial variations – '''Lakatan''' and '''Latundan'''. Latundan appeals more to international tastes similar to '''Cavendish''', but Cavendish is sold only in up-scale supermarkets and fruit stands. Another rare appearance is the '''Señorita''' and the '''Morado''', both also selling in Public Markets, occasionally. The Philippine plantain or '''sabá''' (accent on the á) must be cooked before eaten.
 
*'''Sweet Batter & Fillings'''
 
*'''Sweet Batter & Fillings'''
**'''Pancake''' simply slathered with margarine.
+
**'''Pancake''' &mdash; simply slathered with margarine.
**'''Crepe''' with variation in fillings just like the European counterparts, patronized more by Class A & B crowd.
+
**'''Crepe''' &mdash; with variation in fillings just like the European counterparts, patronized more by Class A & B crowd.
**'''Waffle'''see under Batter – Poured & Molded sub-section
+
**'''Waffle''' &mdash; see under Batter – Poured & Molded sub-section
**'''Japanese Pancake''' - with variation in jelly fillings similar to donuts.
+
**'''Japanese Pancake''' &mdash; with variation in jelly fillings similar to donuts.
  
 
*'''Native Cakes'''
 
*'''Native Cakes'''
**'''Puto Bungbong''' exact Philippine version of the Puto Bambu sold at Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur and where "white" tourists are going gaga. Here, the mixture of grounded rice and sugar is steamed over a real bamboo over charcoal on a clay pot and not by industrial stove as the Malaysian version. It is sold especially during the 9 days of "Misa de Gallo", a very long time tradition of early morning mass prelude to Christmas.
+
**'''Puto Bungbong''' &mdash; exact Philippine version of the Puto Bambu sold at Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur and where "white" tourists are going gaga. Here, the mixture of grounded rice and sugar is steamed over a real bamboo over charcoal on a clay pot and not by industrial stove as the Malaysian version. It is sold especially during the 9 days of "Misa de Gallo", a very long time tradition of early morning mass prelude to Christmas.
**'''Nilupak''' a steady fixture along the streets abutting markets, this local pudding variety is made from sweetened pounded root crop tuber and formed in a style of mashed potato but with drier and stickier consistency.
+
**'''Nilupak''' &mdash; a steady fixture along the streets abutting markets, this local pudding variety is made from sweetened pounded root crop tuber and formed in a style of mashed potato but with drier and stickier consistency.
**'''Bico''' molasses sweetened rice as is (not grounded) and steamed.
+
**'''Bico''' &mdash; molasses sweetened molded rice as is (not grounded) and steamed.
**'''Puto'''- similar to other Asian grounded rice cakes, these are sweet and good if steamed al dente.
+
**'''Puto''' &mdash; similar to other Asian grounded rice cakes, these are sweet and good if steamed al dente.
**'''Kalamay''' finely grinded rice, gooey in composition, topped with fried scum of coconut.
+
**'''Kalamay''' &mdash; finely grinded rice, gooey in composition, topped with fried scum of coconut.
**'''Bibingka'''- coconut rice cheesecake.
+
**'''Bibingka''' &mdash; coconut rice cheesecake.
**'''Palitaw''' tonque-shaped rice cake drenched in grated coconut, rough sugar, and sesame seeds.
+
**'''Palitaw''' &mdash; tonque-shaped rice cake drenched in grated coconut, rough sugar, and sesame seeds.
**'''Kuchinta''' button mushroom-shaped smooth and jelly soft cakes.
+
**'''Kuchinta''' &mdash; button mushroom-shaped smooth and jelly soft cakes.
**'''Pichi Pichi''' - cassava patties.
+
**'''Pichi Pichi''' &mdash; cassava patties.
**'''Espasol'''- cassava flour based tube cake with the consistency of a marshmallow, drenched in flour.
+
**'''Espasol''' &mdash; cassava flour based tube cake with the consistency of a marshmallow, drenched in flour.
**'''Ube''' purple seems to be the unofficial color of the Philippines (mix the red and blue from the Philippine flag) as the color of this cake from yam flour.
+
**'''Ube''' &mdash; purple seems to be the unofficial color of the Philippines (mix the red and blue from the Philippine flag) as the color of this cake from yam flour.
**'''Ube Halaya'''- another version of ube cake.
+
**'''Ube Halaya''' &mdash; another version of ube cake.
**'''Sapin Sapin'''- layered smooth jelly rice cake, in different layers, each one as colorful.
+
**'''Sapin Sapin''' &mdash; layered smooth jelly rice cake, in different layers, each one as colorful.
**'''Suman''' - glutinous sweet rice or cassava tube cake wrapped in coconut or banana leaf and steamed.
+
**'''Suman''' &mdash; glutinous sweet rice or cassava tube cake wrapped in coconut or banana leaf and steamed.
**'''Tupig'''- taro and coconut flour shaped inside a palm frond, grilled
+
**'''Tupig''' &mdash; taro and coconut flour shaped inside a palm frond, grilled
  
 
*'''Japanese and Chinese Pastries'''
 
*'''Japanese and Chinese Pastries'''
**'''Mochi''' same as the Japanese mochi, Filipinos have acquired the taste of the Japanese.
+
**'''Mochi''' &mdash; same as the Japanese mochi, Filipinos have acquired the taste of the Japanese.
**'''Buchi'''- same as the Chinese buchi, with all the varying fillings and drenched in sesame seeds.
+
**'''Buchi''' &mdash; same as the Chinese buchi, with all the varying fillings and drenched in sesame seeds.
**'''Peanut Ampao''' –hollow deep fried rice flour shells, made to expand like cobwebs, then drenched in peanut crumbs.
+
**'''Peanut Ampao''' &mdash; hollow deep fried rice flour shells, made to expand like cobwebs, then drenched in peanut crumbs.
**'''Rice Ampao''' –same thing but drenched in pop rice granules.
+
**'''Rice Ampao''' &mdash; same thing but drenched in pop rice granules.
**'''Tikoy'''- very sticky and mushy soft rice cake rolled or sliced.
+
**'''Tikoy''' &mdash; very sticky and mushy soft rice cake rolled or sliced.
**'''Hopia''' this Chinese sweet cake has its fillings originally started from mung, black beans, and pork, has now diversified into cheese, yam, condol (a kind of squash), macapuno (coconut sport), pandan, salted duck egg with lotus cream, and pork-condol variation
+
**'''Hopia''' &mdash; this Chinese sweet cake has its fillings originally started from mung, black beans, and pork, has now diversified into cheese, yam, condol (a kind of squash), macapuno (coconut sport), pandan, salted duck egg with lotus cream, and pork-condol variation
  
 
*'''European Bread & Pastries'''
 
*'''European Bread & Pastries'''
 
**'''Donut'''
 
**'''Donut'''
**'''Bavarian Cream'''- Donut with Bavarian Cream filling in various variations.
+
**'''Bavarian Cream'''&mdash; Donut with Bavarian Cream filling in various variations.
**'''Pan de Coco''' - bread with grated coconut filling.
+
**'''Pan de Coco''' &mdash; bread with grated coconut filling.
**'''Ensaymada''' has spawned variations in fillings, but originally sweet soft bread with cheese garnishing.
+
**'''Ensaymada''' &mdash; has spawned variations in fillings, but originally sweet soft bread with cheese garnishing.
  
 
*'''Fusion'''
 
*'''Fusion'''
**'''Putopao''' - a product of Philippine ingenuity, the common Chinese pao or bao, or steamed meat bun has its dough substituted by steamed rice cake instead.
+
**'''Putopao''' &mdash; a product of Philippine ingenuity, the common Chinese pao or bao, or steamed meat bun has its dough substituted by steamed rice cake instead.
  
*'''Cold Beverage''' or '''Palamig''' - very popular, cheap, and are now spinning into other variations and combinations.
+
*'''Cold Beverage''' or '''Palamig''' &mdash; very popular, cheap, and are now spinning into other variations and combinations.
**'''Gulaman''' - one of the most ubiquitous, refreshing drink made from sugar syrup and water, made heavier by adding colorful squiggly pieces of jelly from agar agar, sometimes mixed with evaporated milk.
+
**'''Gulaman''' &mdash; one of the most ubiquitous, refreshing drink made from sugar syrup and water, made heavier by adding colorful squiggly pieces of agar agar jelly, sometimes mixed with evaporated milk.
**'''Sagó''' - another very popular local drink, sugar syrup mixed on iced water with tapioca balls similar to Korean Boba.
+
**'''Sagó''' &mdash; another very popular local drink, sugar syrup mixed on iced water with tapioca balls similar to Korean Boba.
**'''Mix''' - mix of gulaman & sago.
+
**'''Mix''' &mdash; mix of gulaman & sago.
**'''Buko Juice''' - coconut juice and shreds.
+
**'''Buko Juice''' &mdash; coconut juice and shreds.
**'''Melon Juice''' cantaloupe or morning dew juice enhanced by sugar syrup and noodle-shaped shreds of melon flesh.
+
**'''Melon Juice''' &mdash; cantaloupe or morning dew juice enhanced by sugar syrup and noodle-shaped shreds of melon flesh.
 
**'''Pineapple Juice'''
 
**'''Pineapple Juice'''
**'''Guyabano Juice''' - soursop
+
**'''Guyabano Juice''' &mdash; soursop
**'''Pakwan Juice''' watermelon juice enhanced by sugar syrup and chunks of watermelon flesh.
+
**'''Pakwan Juice''' &mdash; watermelon juice enhanced by sugar syrup and chunks of watermelon flesh.
  
*'''Other Palamig Combinations''' - the first three sugar syrup based beverages above may be combined with other ingredients to form the following:
+
*'''Other Palamig Combinations''' &mdash; the first three sugar syrup based beverages above may be combined with other ingredients to form the following:
**'''Fruit Salad Juice''' - just like a fruit salad but with thinner consistency to be gulped and not spooned.
+
**'''Fruit Salad Juice''' &mdash; just like a fruit salad but with thinner consistency to be gulped and not spooned.
**'''Halo Halo Juice''' - same principle as in fruit salad but with Halo-Halo ingredients (see Local Snack or Ice Cream Parlors Section).
+
**'''Halo Halo Juice''' &mdash; same principle as in fruit salad but with Halo-Halo ingredients (see Local Snack or Ice Cream Parlors Section).
**'''Ube Macapuno Juice''' - yam & coconut sport or abnormally formed coconut flesh.
+
**'''Ube Macapuno Juice''' &mdash; yam & coconut sport or abnormally formed coconut flesh.
**'''Corn Juice''' sweet corn extract and together with the ears.  
+
**'''Corn Juice''' &mdash; sweet corn extract and together with the ears.  
 
**'''Coffee Juice'''
 
**'''Coffee Juice'''
**'''Scramble''' it’s not eggs, but crushed ice poured with milk, some candy flavorings, and tapioca balls or jelly strips, a favorite of children.  
+
**'''Scramble''' &mdash; it’s not eggs, but crushed ice poured with milk, some candy flavorings, and tapioca balls or jelly strips, a favorite of children.  
  
*'''Creamed Palamig''' - much thicker in consistency and less as a beverage.
+
*'''Creamed Palamig''' &mdash; much thicker in consistency and less as a beverage.
**'''Buko Macapuno Cream''' - young sport coconut shredded with very diluted cream almost like evaporated milk, in a portable cup.
+
**'''Buko Macapuno Cream''' &mdash; young sport coconut shredded with very diluted cream almost like evaporated milk, in a portable cup.
**'''Buko Pandan Cream''' - likewise, with Pandan flavor distinguished by its green color.
+
**'''Buko Pandan Cream''' &mdash; likewise, with Pandan flavor distinguished by its green color.
**'''Buko Macapuno Pandan Cream''' combination of the above two.
+
**'''Buko Macapuno Pandan Cream''' &mdash; combination of the above two.
**'''Buko Macapuno and Nata de Coco Cream''' likewise, but added with Nata from coconut, the jelly cream formed from fermented coconut juice.  
+
**'''Buko Macapuno and Nata de Coco Cream''' &mdash; likewise, but added with Nata from coconut, the jelly cream formed from fermented coconut juice.  
**'''Jelly Cream''' - an all-jelly cast, including nata.
+
**'''Jelly Cream''' &mdash; an all-jelly cast, including nata.
 
**'''Combined Macapuno & Jelly'''
 
**'''Combined Macapuno & Jelly'''
  
*'''Salads''' Manilans, or Filipinos prefer their salad sweet and mayonnaise-based with a combination of three or four western and tropical fruits.
+
*'''Salads''' &mdash; Manilans, or Filipinos prefer their salad sweet and mayonnaise-based with a combination of three or four western and tropical fruits.
  
 
*'''Sorbetes/Ice Cream'''
 
*'''Sorbetes/Ice Cream'''
Line 902: Line 904:
 
====Ambulant food====
 
====Ambulant food====
 
This is a special class of Street Food distinguished from the stationary establishments. Vendors roam around in their carts in a certain route and a specific time, as some foods sold are time sensitive, meaning they can only be eaten say, in the morning, or as an afternoon snack. Some of their itineraries are neighborhoods, where their target clientèle are pre-school or school age children, and some are office blocks, where their prime targets are lady workers. There are only a few types of these foods that are mobile.
 
This is a special class of Street Food distinguished from the stationary establishments. Vendors roam around in their carts in a certain route and a specific time, as some foods sold are time sensitive, meaning they can only be eaten say, in the morning, or as an afternoon snack. Some of their itineraries are neighborhoods, where their target clientèle are pre-school or school age children, and some are office blocks, where their prime targets are lady workers. There are only a few types of these foods that are mobile.
*'''Tahó''' (accent on the ó) this ubiquitous mushy tofu, found in the whole Southeast Asia has this Philippine version topped with sugar syrup and tapioca balls. It's patronized mostly by children and construction workers in the morning, and has now gone to early morning-shift security guards, and incoming white collar workers.
+
*'''Tahó''' &mdash; (accent on the ó) this ubiquitous mushy tofu, found in the whole Southeast Asia has this Philippine version topped with sugar syrup and tapioca balls. It's patronized mostly by children and construction workers in the morning, and has now gone to early morning-shift security guards, and incoming white collar workers.
*'''Mais''' - boiled corn-on-the-cob sold in the early to late afternoon.
+
*'''Mais''' &mdash; boiled corn-on-the-cob sold in the early to late afternoon.
*'''Mani''' - boiled peanuts sold also in the afternoon, may extend to night time.
+
*'''Mani''' &mdash; boiled peanuts sold also in the afternoon, may extend to night time.
*'''Sabá''' - boiled Philippine plantain sold every morning by ambulant vendors capturing the captive commuters while the red light at the intersection is on, as breakfast-on-the-go.
+
*'''Sabá''' &mdash; boiled Philippine plantain sold every morning by ambulant vendors capturing the captive commuters while the red light at the intersection is on, as breakfast-on-the-go.
*'''Binatog''' - boiled glutinous corn topped with coconut milk, sugar, and fresh coconut gratings.
+
*'''Binatog''' &mdash; boiled glutinous corn topped with coconut milk, sugar, and fresh coconut gratings.
*'''Bola Bola''' - fried fish balls, kikyam, chicken nuggets, bite-sized hotdogs, etc...
+
*'''Bola Bola''' &mdash; fried fish balls, kikyam, chicken nuggets, bite-sized hotdogs, etc...
*'''Assorted Fruits''' mostly pineapples, jicamas, jackfruit…
+
*'''Assorted Fruits''' &mdash; mostly pineapples, jicamas, jackfruit…
*'''Ice Cream''' or '''Dirty Ice Cream''' - sold in folksy box carts, it announces its presence with a bell, some are elaborate that may be mistaken for a collector's item. Even the ice cream covers speak of Indo-Malayan-Spanish touch influencing this food cart, a trivia to the discerning folk anthropologist. Flavors are as native themed as its cart - mango, carabao cheese, pandan, and yam.
+
*'''Ice Cream''' or '''Dirty Ice Cream''' &mdash; sold in folksy box carts, it announces its presence with an elaborately crafted bell, may be mistaken for a collector's item. Ice cream covers suggest folksy Indo-Malayan-Spanish touch, a trivia to the discerning anthropologist. Flavors are as native themed as its cart - mango, carabao cheese, pandan, and yam.
*'''Scramble''' vendors of this snack peddle mostly during noon to late evening and a favorite of children.
+
*'''Scramble''' &mdash; vendors of this snack peddle mostly during noon to late evening and a favorite of children.
*'''Native Cakes'''
+
*'''Native Cakes''' &mdash; sold by ambulants in their trademark '''bilao''' or round wicker trays rolled in wooden cart and beach umbrella.
  
  
Line 919: Line 921:
 
First, these are the key words in Tagalog: '''''Si'''nangag'' for fried garlic rice and ''It'''log''''' for egg more often sunny side up and rarely scrambled. They combine to form the portmanteau "'''SILOG'''". Along with these is the main item - meat or fish plus the given mainstays - '''Set A''': lettuce-sliced tomato-sliced cucumber, '''Set B''': carrots and peas toppings over sinangag, '''Set C''': achara or pickled unripe papaya and carrots, '''Set D''': fried garlic or shallots over sinangag, or '''Set E''': onion rings. The main items are as follows:
 
First, these are the key words in Tagalog: '''''Si'''nangag'' for fried garlic rice and ''It'''log''''' for egg more often sunny side up and rarely scrambled. They combine to form the portmanteau "'''SILOG'''". Along with these is the main item - meat or fish plus the given mainstays - '''Set A''': lettuce-sliced tomato-sliced cucumber, '''Set B''': carrots and peas toppings over sinangag, '''Set C''': achara or pickled unripe papaya and carrots, '''Set D''': fried garlic or shallots over sinangag, or '''Set E''': onion rings. The main items are as follows:
  
*'''Tapsilog''' - for tapa or cured beef jerky, the very first concoction created.
+
*'''Tapsilog''' &mdash; for tapa or cured beef jerky, the very first concoction created.
*'''Dasilog''' - for daing or any sun-dried fish
+
*'''Dasilog''' &mdash; for daing or any sun-dried fish
*'''Adosilog''' - for adobo (vinegar & soy sauce marinated chicken, pork or beef)
+
*'''Adosilog''' &mdash; for adobo (vinegar & soy sauce marinated chicken, pork or beef)
*'''Hamsilog''' - for ham
+
*'''Hamsilog''' &mdash; for ham
*'''Disilog''' - for dilis or fried smelt or anchovy  
+
*'''Disilog''' &mdash; for dilis or fried smelt or anchovy  
*'''Cornsilog''' - for corned beef
+
*'''Cornsilog''' &mdash; for corned beef
*'''Bacsilog''' - for bacon
+
*'''Bacsilog''' &mdash; for bacon
*'''Bangsilog''' - for bangus or milkfish
+
*'''Bangsilog''' &mdash; for bangus or milkfish
*'''Bisteksilog''' - for beef steak
+
*'''Bisteksilog''' &mdash; for beef steak
*'''Dangsilog''' - for danggit or rabbit fish
+
*'''Dangsilog''' &mdash; for danggit or rabbit fish
*'''Labsilog''' - for labahita or a fleshy sun dried salty fishy
+
*'''Labsilog''' &mdash; for labahita or a fleshy sun dried salty fishy
*'''Vicsilog''' - for vic or chinless hogfish
+
*'''Vicsilog''' &mdash; for vic or chinless hogfish
*'''Chosilog''' - for chorizo or Spanish style sausage
+
*'''Chosilog''' &mdash; for chorizo or Spanish style sausage
*'''Chiksilog''' - for fried chicken
+
*'''Chiksilog''' &mdash; for fried chicken
*'''Embotidosilog''' - for embotido or Philippine-style meatloaf
+
*'''Embotidosilog''' &mdash; for embotido or Philippine-style meatloaf
*'''Shanghaisilog''' - for shanghai roll or Philippine-style fried spring roll
+
*'''Shanghaisilog''' &mdash; for Shanghai roll or Philippine-style fried spring roll
*'''Hotsilog''' - for hotdog or Philippine-style red hotdog
+
*'''Hotsilog''' &mdash; for hotdog or Philippine-style red hotdog
*'''Longsilog''' - for longganisa or Philippine-style sausage (derived from Chinese style)
+
*'''Longsilog''' &mdash; for longganisa or Philippine-style sausage (derived from Chinese style)
*'''Tosilog''' - for tosino or sugar/honey cured meat
+
*'''Tosilog''' &mdash; for tosino or sugar/honey cured meat
*'''Masilog''' - for 'Ma Ling' brand Chinese luncheon meat
+
*'''Masilog''' &mdash; for 'Ma Ling' brand Chinese luncheon meat
*'''SPAMsilog''' - for 'SPAM' brand luncheon meat
+
*'''SPAMsilog''' &mdash; for 'SPAM' brand luncheon meat
*'''Nuggetsilog''' - for chicken nuggets
+
*'''Nuggetsilog''' &mdash; for chicken nuggets
*'''Porksilog''' - for chuleta or pork chop
+
*'''Porksilog''' &mdash; for chuleta or pork slices
*'''Lechonsilog''' - for roasted pork
+
*'''Lechonsilog''' &mdash; for roasted pork
*'''Liemposilog''' - for crispy pork
+
*'''Liemposilog''' &mdash; for crispy pork
*'''Bangusilog''' - for fried milkfish
+
*'''Bangusilog''' &mdash; for fried milkfish
*'''Baloneysilog''' - for Bologna sausage
+
*'''Baloneysilog''' &mdash; for Bologna sausage
*'''Pusitsilog''' - for fried breaded squid rings or octopus tentacles, or plain midget squids
+
*'''Pusitsilog''' &mdash; for fried breaded squid rings or octopus tentacles, or plain midget squids
*'''Siomaisilog''' - for siomai ( a type of meat dumpling)
+
*'''Siomaisilog''' &mdash; for siomai ( a type of meat dumpling)
*'''Tuyosilog''' - for sun dried mackerel
+
*'''Tuyosilog''' &mdash; for sun dried mackerel
*'''Isawsilog''' - for a piece of pork intestines
+
*'''Isawsilog''' &mdash; for a piece of pork intestines
 
This is assisted with hot coffee, tea, or juice and a couple of morning bread called Pan de Sal (salted bread).  
 
This is assisted with hot coffee, tea, or juice and a couple of morning bread called Pan de Sal (salted bread).  
  
Line 997: Line 999:
  
  
===Local Snack or Ice Cream Parlor===
+
===Local snack or ice cream parlor===
 
Some of the food offered by these parlors may be also be on restaurant menus (since these are categorically dessert items), those that specialize in local cuisine. But these parlors are also a separate category of their own. [[Goldilocks]] and [[Red Ribbon]], super hygienic Americanized establishments stand out from the rest usually found in malls, and from the humble food stalls in the public markets where they originated. These two are basically bakeshops but they function as native ice cream parlors, serving more or less the following which are authentically or adaptively Filipino:
 
Some of the food offered by these parlors may be also be on restaurant menus (since these are categorically dessert items), those that specialize in local cuisine. But these parlors are also a separate category of their own. [[Goldilocks]] and [[Red Ribbon]], super hygienic Americanized establishments stand out from the rest usually found in malls, and from the humble food stalls in the public markets where they originated. These two are basically bakeshops but they function as native ice cream parlors, serving more or less the following which are authentically or adaptively Filipino:
*'''Ice Cream'''- mostly serving never heard flavors at least in the western world such as durian, purple yam, avocado, carabao cheese, coconut, or pandan.
+
*'''Ice Cream''' &mdash; mostly serving never heard flavors at least in the western world such as durian, purple yam, avocado, carabao cheese, coconut, or pandan.
*'''Sago Parfait''' - tapioca balls parfait.
+
*'''Sago Parfait''' &mdash; tapioca balls parfait.
 
*'''Creamed Coconut and Pandan flavored Jellies'''
 
*'''Creamed Coconut and Pandan flavored Jellies'''
*'''Almond Jellies Lychees''' - also with shaved ice.
+
*'''Almond Jellies Lychees''' &mdash; also with shaved ice.
*'''Sweetened Sport Coconut Flesh''' - also with shaved ice.
+
*'''Sweetened Sport Coconut Flesh''' &mdash; also with shaved ice.
 
*'''Frozen Fruit Salad'''
 
*'''Frozen Fruit Salad'''
*'''Halo-Halo''' - the queen of Philippine Snacks/Desserts, a Japanese invention of a salad of sweet beans and peas, jellies, and fruits and shaved ice found everywhere in the Far East. The Philippine version always has these ingredients - young sweetened coconut shreddings called '''Macapuno''', nipa palm nut flesh or '''Kaong''', '''Pinipig''' or toasted sweet rice, '''Ube''' or purple yam paste, '''Leche Flan''' or egg custard, and ice cream.  
+
*'''Halo-Halo''' &mdash; the queen of Philippine Snacks/Desserts, a Japanese invention of a salad of sweet beans and peas, jellies, and fruits and shaved ice found everywhere in the Far East. The Philippine version always has these ingredients - young sweetened coconut shreddings called '''Macapuno''', nipa palm nut flesh or '''Kaong''', '''Pinipig''' or toasted sweet rice, '''Ube''' or purple yam paste, '''Leche Flan''' or egg custard, and ice cream.  
*'''Guinomis''' - '''Pinipig''' or toasted sweet rice and sago in coconut syrup and shaved ice.
+
*'''Guinomis''' &mdash; '''Pinipig''' or toasted sweet rice and sago (tapioca balls) in coconut syrup and shaved ice.
 
*'''Mango Jam'''
 
*'''Mango Jam'''
*'''Mais Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish)''' - iced sweet corn porridge in syrup.
+
*'''Mais Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish)''' &mdash; iced sweet corn porridge in syrup.
*'''Sabá Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish)''' - iced stewed plantain in syrup.  
+
*'''Sabá Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish)''' &mdash; iced stewed plantain in syrup.  
*'''Langka Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish)'''- fresh jackfruit in syrup.
+
*'''Langka Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish)''' &mdash; fresh jackfruit in syrup.
*'''Mangga at Sumang Malagkit''' Philippine version of the Thai mango and glutinous sweet rice. In this case the rice is steamed while wrapped in banana or palm leaf.
+
*'''Mangga at Sumang Malagkit''' &mdash; Philippine version of the Thai mango and glutinous sweet rice. In this case the rice is steamed while wrapped in banana or palm leaf.
 
*'''Banana and Young Coconut Pies'''
 
*'''Banana and Young Coconut Pies'''
 
*'''Leche Flan or Custard'''
 
*'''Leche Flan or Custard'''
 
*'''Mango Pudding'''
 
*'''Mango Pudding'''
*'''Crema de Fruta''' - layered fruit cocktail cake.
+
*'''Crema de Fruta''' &mdash; layered fruit cocktail cake.
 
*'''Cashew Tart'''
 
*'''Cashew Tart'''
 
*'''Egg Bonbon'''
 
*'''Egg Bonbon'''
 
*'''Silvana'''
 
*'''Silvana'''
*'''Paradiso''' - an assortment of camote (sweet potato), ube (yam), and macapuno (grated coconut sport) laid on a bed of sweet sauce.
+
*'''Paradiso''' &mdash; an assortment of camote (sweet potato), ube (yam), and macapuno (grated coconut sport) laid on a bed of sweet sauce.
*'''[[Guinatan]]''' boiled assortment of camote (sweet potato), ube (yam), taro, macapuno (grated coconut sport), bilo-bilo (taro balls), plantains, and pieces of jackfruit flesh in a thick mixture of coconut milk, served hot.
+
*'''[[Guinatan]]''' &mdash; boiled assortment of camote (sweet potato), ube (yam), taro, macapuno (grated coconut sport), bilo-bilo (taro balls), plantains, and pieces of jackfruit flesh in a thick mixture of coconut milk, served hot.
*'''Guinatang Ube''' guinatan with purple yam as the coloring agent.
+
*'''Guinatang Ube''' &mdash; guinatan with purple yam as the coloring agent.
*'''Guinatang Mais''' guinatan using sweet rice and corn kernels as the only two ingredients.
+
*'''Guinatang Mais''' &mdash; guinatan using sweet rice and corn kernels as the only two ingredients.
*'''Guinatang Munggo''' guinatan using sweet rice and mung beans as the only two ingredients.
+
*'''Guinatang Munggo''' &mdash; guinatan using sweet rice and mung beans as the only two ingredients.
  
  
Line 1,039: Line 1,041:
 
'''Rufos''' and '''Tapa King''', with aggressive advertising flyers are also popular Filipino style fastfood chains.
 
'''Rufos''' and '''Tapa King''', with aggressive advertising flyers are also popular Filipino style fastfood chains.
  
'''Bon Chon''' a Korean fastfood chain is also popular especially with its signature crispy deep fried chicken and seafood with secret sauce.
+
'''Greenwhich'''  a locally owned fast food chain offering Italian meals, has leveled up to competition, now more in the league of '''Subway''' and '''Pizza Hut''', a far cry from its humble beginnings 25 years ago.
 +
 
 +
'''Bon Chon''' a Korean fast food chain is also popular especially with its signature crispy deep fried chicken and seafood with secret sauce.
  
 
Cafés such as '''Starbucks''' and '''Seattle's Best''' have also recently become quite common in malls and commercial centers as more Manila urbanites especially those office bound, are acquiring the sophisticated taste of brewed and fancy coffees.
 
Cafés such as '''Starbucks''' and '''Seattle's Best''' have also recently become quite common in malls and commercial centers as more Manila urbanites especially those office bound, are acquiring the sophisticated taste of brewed and fancy coffees.
Line 1,048: Line 1,052:
 
===Snacks/chichireya===
 
===Snacks/chichireya===
 
Snacks or nibblers called '''Chichireya''' or '''Papak''' while office workers multi-task and at the same time working and chatting. Also, it is eaten on long journeys or while watching movies or simply doing school work.
 
Snacks or nibblers called '''Chichireya''' or '''Papak''' while office workers multi-task and at the same time working and chatting. Also, it is eaten on long journeys or while watching movies or simply doing school work.
*'''Sung Sung''' shelled boiled peanut, then dried.
+
*'''Sung Sung''' &mdash; shelled boiled peanut, then dried.
*'''Mani Na May Balat''' deep fried peanut with the skin intact, salted.
+
*'''Mani Na May Balat''' &mdash; deep fried peanut with the skin intact, salted.
*'''Garlic Mani''' - garlic-flavored fried peanut, salted.
+
*'''Garlic Mani''' &mdash; garlic-flavored fried peanut, salted.
*'''Adobong Mani''' - adobo-flavored deep fried peanut, salted.
+
*'''Adobong Mani''' &mdash; adobo-flavored deep fried peanut, salted.
*'''Hot Chili Mani''' red chili-flavored deep fried peanut, salted.
+
*'''Hot Chili Mani''' &mdash; red chili-flavored deep fried peanut, salted.
*'''Japanese Mani''' - batter cracker coated, sometimes with minutely chopped seaweeds.
+
*'''Japanese Mani''' &mdash; batter cracker coated, sometimes with minutely chopped seaweeds.
*'''Buto ng Casoy''' roasted cashew nut.  
+
*'''Buto ng Casoy''' &mdash; roasted cashew nut.  
*'''Butong Pakwan''' - watermelon seeds, salted.
+
*'''Butong Pakwan''' &mdash; watermelon seeds, salted.
 
*'''Sunflower Seed'''
 
*'''Sunflower Seed'''
*'''Green Pea''' - garlic-flavored fried green pea, salted.
+
*'''Green Pea''' &mdash; garlic-flavored fried green pea, salted.
*'''Pop Beans''' dried fried lima beans, salted.
+
*'''Pop Beans''' &mdash; dried fried lima beans, salted.
*'''Sweet Beans''' sugar soaked boiled, then dried white beans.
+
*'''Sweet Beans''' &mdash; sugar soaked boiled, then dried white beans.
*'''Tip Top''' - local version of M&M.
+
*'''Tip Top''' &mdash; local version of M&M.
*'''Shrimp Chicha''' - shrimp-flavored cracker.
+
*'''Shrimp Chicha''' &mdash; shrimp-flavored cracker.
*'''Onion Twist Chicha''' onion-flavored cracker dipped in vinegar.
+
*'''Onion Twist Chicha''' &mdash; onion-flavored cracker dipped in vinegar.
*'''Onion & Garlic Potato Chicha''' onion & garlic –flavored cracker dipped in vinegar.
+
*'''Onion & Garlic Potato Chicha''' &mdash; onion & garlic-flavored cracker dipped in vinegar.
*'''Chicharón Classic''' original style.
+
*'''Chicharón Classic''' &mdash; original style.
*'''Chicharón Ilocos''' - pork crackers styled from Ilocos region.
+
*'''Chicharón Ilocos''' &mdash; pork crackers styled from Ilocos region.
*'''Chicharón Bulaklak''' specially fried chicaron to make it more puffy.
+
*'''Chicharón Bulaklak''' &mdash; specially fried chicaron to make it more puffy.
*'''Cornick''' - garlic-flavored fried corn ear, salted.
+
*'''Cornick''' &mdash; garlic-flavored fried corn ear, salted.
*'''Cornick Ilocos''' fried corn ear styled from Ilocos region, salted.
+
*'''Cornick Ilocos''' &mdash; fried corn ear styled from Ilocos region, salted.
*'''Cheese Cornick''' - cheese-flavored fried corn ear.
+
*'''Cheese Cornick''' &mdash; cheese-flavored fried corn ear.
*'''Shing-A-Ling''' - fried noodle made from egg & wheat, comes in other flavors such as garlic and malunggay.
+
*'''Shing-A-Ling''' &mdash; fried noodle made from egg & wheat, comes in other flavors such as garlic and malunggay (moringa leaves).
*'''Mikiron''' fried miki noodles chicharón style.
+
*'''Mikiron''' &mdash; fried miki noodles chicharón style.
*'''Sampaloc''' - preserved sweet tamarind flesh.
+
*'''Sampaloc''' &mdash; preserved sweet tamarind flesh.
*'''Santol''' - preserved sweet santol seed & flesh.
+
*'''Santol''' &mdash; preserved sweet santol seed & flesh.
*'''Champoy''' - preserved dried fruits, salted.
+
*'''Champoy''' &mdash; preserved dried fruits, salted.
*'''Kiamoy''' - preserved sweet dried plums.
+
*'''Kiamoy''' &mdash; preserved sweet dried plums.
*'''Dikiam''' - preserved dried sweet plum variety.
+
*'''Dikiam''' &mdash; preserved dried sweet plum variety.
*'''Cherry''' - preserved dried sweet cherry.
+
*'''Cherry''' &mdash; preserved dried sweet cherry.
*'''Haw Flakes''' - imported from China, extracted from dry sweet plum, formed into super thin, small communion wafers
+
*'''Haw Flakes''' &mdash; imported from China, extracted from dry sweet plum, formed into super thin, small communion wafers
*'''Macapuno Balls''' - soft glutinous candy from coconut flesh.
+
*'''Macapuno Balls''' &mdash; soft glutinous candy from coconut flesh.
*'''Macapuno Pastillas''' - coconut sport with solidified carabao milk candy.
+
*'''Macapuno Pastillas''' &mdash; coconut sport with solidified carabao milk candy.
*'''Ube Balls''' - soft yam balls.
+
*'''Ube Balls''' &mdash; soft yam balls.
*'''Ube Pastillas''' - yam with solidified carabao milk candy.
+
*'''Ube Pastillas''' &mdash; yam with solidified carabao milk candy.
*'''Yema Balls''' - candy from carabao milk.
+
*'''Yema Balls''' &mdash; candy from carabao milk.
*'''Peanut Panocha''' –a concretized mix of peanut and muscovado (molasses) laid out in a saucer-shaped form.
+
*'''Peanut Panocha''' &mdash; a concretized mix of peanut and muscovado (molasses) laid out in a saucer-shaped form.
*'''Coco Panocha''' –a concretized mix of peanut and muscovado (molasses) laid out in a saucer-shaped form.
+
*'''Coco Panocha''' &mdash; a concretized mix of peanut and muscovado (molasses) laid out in a saucer-shaped form.
*'''Bukayo''' - caramel coated coconut gratings in round biscuit shapes, the other version is a snack bar.
+
*'''Bukayo''' &mdash; caramel coated coconut gratings in round biscuit shapes, the other version is a snack bar.
*'''Pinasugbu''' cone shaped sliced caramelized banana plantains, licked like an ice cream.
+
*'''Pinasugbu''' &mdash; cone shaped sliced caramelized banana plantains, licked like an ice cream.
*'''Egg Dilis''' - fried anchovies coated with egg.
+
*'''Egg Dilis''' &mdash; fried anchovies coated with egg.
*'''Squid''' - squid in thick dried caramel syrup.
+
*'''Squid''' &mdash; squid in thick dried caramel syrup.
*'''Cheese Curls''' - popular junk food from corn.
+
*'''Cheese Curls''' &mdash; popular junk food made from corn.
*'''Nachos''' Mexican corn chips, with or without accompanying dip.
+
*'''Nachos''' &mdash; Mexican corn chips, with or without accompanying dip.
*'''Chippy''' particular popular junk food chips from corn.
+
*'''Chippy''' &mdash; particular popular junk food chips made from corn.
*'''Ampao''' - pop rice molded in blocks by sugary syrup.
+
*'''Ampao''' &mdash; pop rice molded in blocks by sugary syrup.
*'''Taro Chips'''- taro.
+
*'''Taro Chips''' &mdash; taro.
*'''Banana Chips''' curled sweet banana chips.
+
*'''Banana Chips''' &mdash; curled sweet banana chips.
*'''Camote Chips''' - cheese-flavored Pringles-type from sweet potato.
+
*'''Camote Chips''' &mdash; cheese-flavored Pringles-type from sweet potato.
*'''Camote Fries''' French fries style sweet potato.
+
*'''Camote Fries''' &mdash; French fries style sweet potato.
*'''Polvoron''' - some foreigners call this volcano candy because it spews the powdery concoction once the mouth is opened while chewing it, a Spanish shortbread from flour, sugar, carabao's milk, and nuts.
+
*'''Polvoron''' &mdash; some foreigners call this volcano candy because it spews the powdery concoction once the mouth is opened while chewing it, a Spanish shortbread from flour, sugar, carabao's milk, and nuts.
*'''Ampao''' sweet rice crackers, Philippine version of granola bars.
+
*'''Ampao''' &mdash; sweet rice crackers, Philippine version of granola bars.
*'''Peanut Bar'''- Chinese biscuit made from thin layers of wafer interspersed with specks of peanuts.
+
*'''Peanut Bar''' &mdash; Chinese biscuit made from thin layers of wafer interspersed with specks of peanuts.
*'''Barquillos''' rolled sweet wafer  
+
*'''Barquillos''' &mdash; rolled sweet wafer  
*'''Apa''' sweet wafer, similar to the fortune cookie  
+
*'''Apa''' &mdash; sweet wafer, similar to the fortune cookie  
  
 
Other biscuit-type snacks include Pacencia, Pilipit, Otap, Broas, Choco Chips, Jacobina, Egg Cracklet, Mamon Tostado, especially sold at provincial bus terminals, but also sold just around every corner grocery stores, etc.
 
Other biscuit-type snacks include Pacencia, Pilipit, Otap, Broas, Choco Chips, Jacobina, Egg Cracklet, Mamon Tostado, especially sold at provincial bus terminals, but also sold just around every corner grocery stores, etc.
Line 1,120: Line 1,124:
  
 
*'''Deep Fried'''
 
*'''Deep Fried'''
**'''Chicharón''' &mdash; (also spelled Chicharón or tsitsaron), pork rinds that have been salted, dried, then fried.
+
**'''Chicharón''' &mdash; (also spelled Chicharón or tsitsaron), pork rinds that have been salted, dried, then fried.
**'''Chicharong Bituka''' &mdash;  pig intestines that have been deep fried to a crisp.
+
**'''Chicharong Bituka''' &mdash;  pig intestines that have been deep fried to a crisp.
**'''Chicharong Bulaklak''' &mdash;  similar to Chicharong bituka it is made from mesenteries of pig intestines and has a bulaklak or flower appearance.
+
**'''Chicharong Bulaklak''' &mdash;  similar to Chicharong bituka it is made from mesenteries of pig intestines and has a bulaklak or flower appearance.
**'''Chicharong Manok''' &mdash;  chicken skin that has been deep fried until crisp.
+
**'''Chicharong Manok''' &mdash;  chicken skin that has been deep fried until crisp.
**'''Mani''' &mdash;  (peanuts) deep fried in garlic, and may be spiced.
+
**'''Mani''' &mdash;  (peanuts) deep fried in garlic, and may be spiced.
**'''Pea''' &mdash;  all varieties from chick peas to endadame (not fried), same as peanuts.
+
**'''Pea''' &mdash;  all varieties from chick peas to endadame (not fried), same as peanuts.
**'''Kropeck''' &mdash;  fish and shrimp crackers.
+
**'''Kropeck''' &mdash;  fish and shrimp crackers.
  
 
*'''Grilled'''
 
*'''Grilled'''
 
**'''Tilapia'''  
 
**'''Tilapia'''  
**'''Bangus''' &mdash; Milkfish.
+
**'''Bangus''' &mdash; Milkfish.
**'''Pusit''' &mdash; Squid.
+
**'''Pusit''' &mdash; Squid.
**'''Octopus''' &mdash;   
+
**'''Octopus''' &mdash;   
 
**'''Hipon''' &mdash;  Shrimp
 
**'''Hipon''' &mdash;  Shrimp
 
**'''Talangka''' &mdash; Crunchy whole little crabs, sprinkled with flour then deep fried.
 
**'''Talangka''' &mdash; Crunchy whole little crabs, sprinkled with flour then deep fried.
Line 1,142: Line 1,146:
 
**'''Lechong Manok''' &mdash; skewered piece or rotisseried whole chicken marinated in a usually sweet blend.
 
**'''Lechong Manok''' &mdash; skewered piece or rotisseried whole chicken marinated in a usually sweet blend.
 
**'''Betamax''' &mdash; salted solidified pork or chicken blood which is skewered.
 
**'''Betamax''' &mdash; salted solidified pork or chicken blood which is skewered.
**'''Adidas''' &mdash; which is grilled or sautéed chicken feet.
+
**'''Adidas''' &mdash; grilled or sautéed chicken feet.
 
**'''Sisig''' &mdash; made from the pig's cheek skin, ears, liver, and even brains that are initially boiled, then grilled over charcoal and afterwards minced and cooked with chopped onions, chillies, and spices.
 
**'''Sisig''' &mdash; made from the pig's cheek skin, ears, liver, and even brains that are initially boiled, then grilled over charcoal and afterwards minced and cooked with chopped onions, chillies, and spices.
  
Line 1,169: Line 1,173:
 
Manila has a largely English-speaking, educated, and low wage labor force.  There are no readily available job opportunities for travelers.  Common backpacker jobs found in other parts of Asia, such as English teaching, do not exist here.
 
Manila has a largely English-speaking, educated, and low wage labor force.  There are no readily available job opportunities for travelers.  Common backpacker jobs found in other parts of Asia, such as English teaching, do not exist here.
  
Good looking ones, male or female have a big chance on landing in an advertising, TV, or movie project. Fresh, young and beautiful people are always welcome. The ethnic feature that endear most to Filipinos are the Mestizo/Latina types, meaning dark Moorish features, not too Northern Caucasian, great body, silky smooth hair, and pearly white Chinese skin. The Brazilian Diana Meneses who got her break hopping from Thailand as shampoo model and Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres are good examples of the type Filipinos desire. They assimilate very well and speak Tagalog fluently.
+
Good looking ones, male or female have a big chance on landing in an advertising – runway and graphic, and even TV or movie projects. Fresh, young and beautiful people are always welcome in the industry. The ethnic feature that endear most to Filipinos are the Mestiza/Latina types, meaning dark Moorish features, not too Northern Caucasian, great body, silky smooth hair, and pearly white Chinese skin a must. The Brazilian Diana Meneses who got her break hopping from Thailand as shampoo model and Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico are good examples of the type Filipinos desire. These two assimilate very well and speak Tagalog fluently.
  
That said there are a number of foreigners working in Manila.  The thriving call center industry, in particular, employs a number of Americans in management or training roles.  Keep in mind that virtually all hiring of foreigners takes place in their home country, and not in the Philippines.
+
That said, there are still a number of foreigners working in Manila.  The thriving call center industry, in particular, employs a number of Americans in management or training roles.  Keep in mind that virtually all hiring of foreigners takes place in their home country, and not in the Philippines.
  
 
Foreigners also occasionally work at NGOs, all types of which exist in the Philippines. Others have opened businesses.  
 
Foreigners also occasionally work at NGOs, all types of which exist in the Philippines. Others have opened businesses.  
Line 1,211: Line 1,215:
 
As a slum haven, Manila is one of the most blighted cities in Asia rivaling Calcutta, Bombay, and Dacca. Sufficient to say that it is not convenient to wander around as carefree as can be, as one would encounter sidewalks fringed with makeshift shanties that lead to a sudden turn into a labyrinth of squatter neighborhoods. It is very scary if not annoying encountering lolling group of male adult and teenage bystanders, although nowadays, these areas are most likely manned by village watchmen and everyone is more than willing to help and interact with lost strangers.  
 
As a slum haven, Manila is one of the most blighted cities in Asia rivaling Calcutta, Bombay, and Dacca. Sufficient to say that it is not convenient to wander around as carefree as can be, as one would encounter sidewalks fringed with makeshift shanties that lead to a sudden turn into a labyrinth of squatter neighborhoods. It is very scary if not annoying encountering lolling group of male adult and teenage bystanders, although nowadays, these areas are most likely manned by village watchmen and everyone is more than willing to help and interact with lost strangers.  
  
Nuisances that impedes a pleasurable walking tour are dirty and malnourished children who freely use the streets as their playground, manholes that were left open (or probably its cover stolen to be sold as metal scrap), dog feces, uncollected garbage, undisciplined cars and mostly jeepneys weaving in and out of the lanes as they pick up passengers, and on the mild visually nauseating side, political billboards as in-your-face ads, like the political credits embossed in the Welcome Arches of Chinatown in Binondo and Muslim Town in Quiapo Districts.
+
Nuisances that impedes a pleasurable walking tour are dirty and malnourished children who freely use the streets as their playground, manholes that were left open (or probably its cover stolen to be sold as metal scrap), dog feces, uncollected garbage, undisciplined cars and mostly jeepneys weaving in and out of the lanes as they pick up passengers, and on the mild visually nauseating side, political billboards as in-your-face ads.
  
 
A popular scam as of recent days is for someone to approach you and pretend they recognize you. They will say they work at your hotel (such as room service or security) and that they know you from there. They then say it is their day off and since they just happened to bump into you they want to show you something nice that is nearby. They may be very convincing even to experienced travelers. It is always a scam.
 
A popular scam as of recent days is for someone to approach you and pretend they recognize you. They will say they work at your hotel (such as room service or security) and that they know you from there. They then say it is their day off and since they just happened to bump into you they want to show you something nice that is nearby. They may be very convincing even to experienced travelers. It is always a scam.
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Theft is common, especially pick pocketing. You should act cautiously as you would in any other poor country, especially considering if you do not look Filipino. Thieves and scam artists are likely to see you as an easy target. However, most travelers from other Asian nations, especially from southeast Asia, should have no problem blending in with the crowd.
 
Theft is common, especially pick pocketing. You should act cautiously as you would in any other poor country, especially considering if you do not look Filipino. Thieves and scam artists are likely to see you as an easy target. However, most travelers from other Asian nations, especially from southeast Asia, should have no problem blending in with the crowd.
  
Never wear valuable jewelry or anything else to broadcast your wealth. Displaying that expensive mobile phone, tablet, or digital camera out in the open is also a good way to attract thieves. Buses can be held up chances are nil for those passing through Manila as this is a thickly populated area. Only those going through the outskirts along desolated highways are likely to be robbed.
+
Never wear valuable jewelry or anything else to broadcast your wealth. Displaying that expensive mobile phone, tablet, or digital camera out in the open is also a good way to attract thieves. Buses can be held up but chances are nil for those passing through Manila as this is a thickly populated area. Only those going through the outskirts along desolated highways are likely to be robbed.
  
  
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===Embassies and Consulates===
 
===Embassies and Consulates===
* [[Image:ch-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="China" alt="" directions="" address="4896 Pasay Rd, Dasmarinas Village, Makati" phone="+63 2 8443148" email="chinaemb_ph@mfa.gov.cn " fax="+63 2 8452465" url="http://ph.china-embassy.org" hours="" price=""></listing>
+
* [[Image:ar-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Argentina" alt="" directions="" address="8/F Liberty Center Bldg, 104 H.V. dela Costa St, Salcedo Village, Makati City" phone="+632 845.3218" fax="+632 845.3220" email="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:au-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Australia" alt="" directions="" address="Level 23 Tower 2, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Av, Makati City" phone="+632 757.8100" fax="+632 757.8268" email=""  url="http://www.philippines.embassy.gov.au" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:at-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Austria" alt="" directions="" address="4/F, Prince-Building, 117 Thailand St (former Rada St.) Legaspi Village, Makati City" phone="+632 817.9191" fax="" url="" email="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:bd-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Bangladesh" alt="" directions="" address="Universal-Re Building, 2/F 106 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City" phone="+632 817.5001" fax="+632 816.4941" email="dutabash.phil@pacific.net.ph" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:bl-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Belgium" alt="" directions="" address="Multinational Bancorporation Center 9/F, 6805 Ayala Av, Makati City" phone="+632 8451869" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:br-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Brazil" alt="" directions="" address="16/F, Liberty Center Bldg, 104 H.V. Dela Costa St, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City" phone="+632 845.3651" fax="+632 845.3676"  email="brascom@info.com.ph" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:bn-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Brunei" alt="" directions="" address="11/F, Ayala Wing, BPI Building, Ayala Av cor. Paseo De Roxas, 1226 Makati City" phone="+632 816.2836" fax="+ 632 891.6646" email="manila.philippines@mfa.gov.bn" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:ca-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Canada" alt="" directions="" address="Level 6, Tower  RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, 1200 Makati City" phone="+632 857.9000" fax="" email="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:cl-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Chile" alt="" directions="" address="17/F, Liberty Center Bldg, 104 H.V. de la Costa St, cor Leviste St, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City" phone="+632 843.3461" fax="+632 843.1976" email="echileph@eastern.com.ph" url="http://chileabroad.gov.cl/filipinas/" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:ch-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="China" alt="" directions="" address="4896 Pasay Rd, Dasmarinas Village, Makati City" phone="+632 8443148" fax="+632 8452465" email="chinaemb_ph@mfa.gov.cn " url="http://ph.china-embassy.org" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:co-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Colombia" alt="" directions="" address="18/F Aurora Tower, Araneta Center Cubao, Quezón City" phone="+632 911.3101" fax="+632 911.2846" email="cmanila@cancilleria.gov.co" url="http://ph.china-embassy.org" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:dk-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Denmark" alt="" directions="" address="51/F PBCom Tower 6795 Ayala Av cor Herrera St, 1226 Makati City" phone="+632 815.8015" fax="+632 815.8017" email="mnlconsul@maersk.com" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:fi-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Finland" alt="" directions="" address="21/F, BPI Buendia Center, Senator Gil J. Puyat Av, Makati City" phone="+632 8915.0115" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:fr-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="France" alt="" directions="" address="16/F, Pacific Star Building Gil Puyat cor Makati Avs, 1200 Makati City" phone="+632 857.6999", fax="+632 857.6948" email="chancellerie@ambafrance-ph.org" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:de-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Germany" alt="" directions="" address="25/F Tower II, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Av, 0707 Makati City" phone="+632 702.3000", fax="+632 702.3015" email="deboma@pldtdsl.net" url="http://www.manila.diplo.de" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:gr-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Greece" alt="" directions="" address="12/F, Sage House, 110 Rufino St, Legaspi Village, Makati City" phone="+632 817.4444, fax="+632 812.0202 email="gremb.man@mfa.gr" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:in-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="India" alt="" directions="" address="2190 Paraiso St, Dasmariñas Village, Makati City" phone="+632 843.0101", fax="+632 815.8151" email="admin@embindia.org.ph" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:id-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Indonesia" alt="" directions="" address="185 Salcedo St,  Legaspi Village, Makati City" phone="+632 892.5061", fax="" email="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:it-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Italy" alt="" directions="" address="6/F, Zeta Condominium, 191 Salcedo St, Legaspi Village, Makati City" phone="+632 892.4531", fax="+632 812.8943" email="informazioni.manila@esteri.it" url="www.ambmanila.esteri.it" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:ja-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Japan" alt="" directions="" address="2627 Roxas Bl, Pasay City" phone="+632 551.5710" email="" fax="+632 551.5780" url="http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:kr-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="South Korea" alt="" directions="" address="10/F, Pacific Star Bldg, Makati Av, 1226 Makati City" phone="+632 811.6139" fax="+632 811.6148" email="philippines@mofat.go.kr" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:my-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Malaysia" alt="" directions="" address="10/F,  The World Center Bldg, 330 Sen. Gil Puyat Av, 1200 Makati City" phone="+632 864.0761", fax="" email="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:mt-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Malta" alt="" directions="" address="Rm 1242, Megaplaza Bldg, ADB Av cor W Garnet Rd, Ortigas Center, Pasig City" phone="+632 893.7042", fax="+632 687.7245" email="maltaconsul.manila@gov.mt" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:mx-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Mexico" alt="" directions="" address="2/F GC Corporate Plaza, 150 Legaspi St, Legaspi Village, 1229 Makati City" phone="+632 812.2211", fax="+632 892.7635" email="embmxfil@info.com.ph" url="http://www.sre.gob.mx/filipinas" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:mc-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Monaco" alt="" directions="" address="2178 Paraiso St, Dasmarinas Village, Makati City" phone="+632 810.9729", fax="+632 893.9075" email="fortuneledesma@yahoo.com" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:nz-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="New Zealand" alt="" directions="" address="23/F, BPI Buendia Center, 350 Senator Gil Puyat Av, 1200 Makati City" phone="+632 891.5358", fax="+632 891.5357" email="nzemmanila@globelines.com.ph" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:ng-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Nigeria" alt="" directions="" address="2211 Paraiso St, Dasmariñas Village, Makati City" phone="+632 843.9866", fax="+632 843.9867" email="embassy@nigeriamanila.org" url="http://www.nigeriamanila.org/" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:nl-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Netherlands" alt="" directions="" address="26/F, Equitable Bank Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City" phone="+632 786.6666" fax="+632 786.6600" email="man@minbuza.nl" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:no-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Norway" alt="" directions="" address="21/F, Petron Mega Plaza Bldg, 358 Senator Gil Puyat Av, 1209 Makati City" phone="+632 982.2700", fax="+632 982.2799" email="emb.manila@mfa.no" url="http://www.norway.ph/" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:pk-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Pakistan" alt="" directions="" address="6/F  Alexander House 132 Amorsolo St, Legaspi Village, Makati City" phone="+632 817.2772 fax="+632 840.0229" email="pakrepmanila@yahoo.com" url="http://pkembphil.cpsctech.org" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:pe-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Peru" alt="" directions="" address=" Ste 405 CLMC Bldg, EDSA, Greenhills, 1500 Mandaluyong City" phone="+632 727.3921 fax="+632 721.0843" email="bang@post.harvard.edu" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:po-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Portugal" alt="" directions="" address="CSC Compound, P Suico St, Tingub 6014 Mandaue City" phone="+6332 344.0234", fax="+6332 344.0234" email="portugalconsulate@pldtdsl.net" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:ru-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Russia" alt="" directions="" address="1245 Acacia Road, Dasmariñas Village, Makati" phone="+632 817-5406" fax="+63 2 810-9614" email="RusEmb@i-manila.com.ph" url="http://www.philippines.mid.ru/" hours="Monday – Thursday 08.00-15.15 Friday 08.00-15.00" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:sm-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="San Marino" alt="" directions="" address="G/F, PJL Corporate Centre Bldg, 1728 Nicanor Garcia St cor Candelaria St, 1209 Makati City" phone="+632 899.8757", fax="+632 899.8450" email="jhlceo@yahoo.com" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:sg-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Singapore" alt="" directions="" address="505 Rizal Dr  Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City" phone="+632 856.9922", fax="+632 856.9932" email="singemb@singemb.org.ph" url="http://www.mfa.gov.sg/manila" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:za-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="South Africa" alt="" directions="" address="29/F, Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Av, 1227 Makati City" phone="+632 889.9383" fax="63 2 889.9337"  email="manila@foreign.gov.za" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:es-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Spain" alt="" directions="" address="27/F Equitable Bank Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas, 1226 Makati City" phone="+632 817.6676", fax="+632 817.4892" email="emb.manila@maec.es" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:ch-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Switzerland" alt="" directions="" address="24/F Equitable Bank Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas, 1226 Makati City" phone="+632 757.9000", fax="+632 757.3718" email="man.vertretung@eda.admin.ch" url="http://www.eda.admin.ch/manila" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:th-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Thailand" alt="" directions="" address="107 Rada /Thailand St, Legaspi Village, Makati City" phone="+632 815.4219", fax="+632 815.4221" email="adminmnl@pldtdsl.net" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
 +
 
 +
* [[Image:uk-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="United Kingdom" alt="" directions="" address="120 Upper McKinley Rd, McKinley Hill, 1634 Taguig City" phone="+632 858 2200" email="" fax="+632 858 2313" url="https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-manila" hours="Monday to Friday 08.00-16.45" price=""></listing>
  
* [[Image:gr-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Greece" alt="" directions="" address="12th Floor, Sage House, 110 Rufino Str.Legaspi Village, Makati City, Manila" phone="+632 817-4444, Emergencies: +639279677637" email="gremb.man@mfa.gr" fax="+632 812-0202" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
+
* [[Image:us-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="United States" alt="" directions="" address="1201 Roxas Bl, Ermita, Manila" phone="+632 301.2000" fax="+63 2 301.2017" email="" url="http://manila.usembassy.gov/" hours="" price=""></listing>
  
* [[Image:ja-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Japan" alt="" directions="" address="2627 Roxas Blvd, Pasay City" phone="+63 2 551-5710" email="" fax="+63 2 551-5780" url="http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/" hours="" price=""></listing>
+
* [[Image:uy-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Uruguay" alt="" directions="" address="5/F, PCCI Bldg, 118 Alfaro St, Salcedo Village, Makati City" phone="+632 815.0625 fax="+632 816.3057" email="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
  
* [[Image:ru-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Russia" alt="" directions="" address="1245 Acacia Road, Dasmariñas Village, Makati" phone="+63 2 817-5406" email="RusEmb@i-manila.com.ph" fax="+63 2 810-9614" url="http://www.philippines.mid.ru/" hours="Monday – Thursday 08.00-15.15 Friday 08.00-15.00" price=""></listing>
+
* [[Image:ve-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Venezuela" alt="" directions="" address=" 17 A Multinational Bancorporation Centre, 1226 Makati City" phone="+632 845.2841 email="" fax="+632 845.2866" url="http://www.venphi.com/" hours="" price=""></listing>
  
* [[Image:us-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="United States" alt="" directions="" address="1201 Roxas Blvd" phone="ACS +632 301-2000" email="" fax="ACS +63 2 301-2017" url="http://manila.usembassy.gov/" hours="" price=""></listing>
+
* [[Image:vn-flag.png|20px]]  <listing name="Vietnam" alt="" directions="" address="670 Pablo Ocampo (formerly Vito Cruz) Av, Malate, Manila" phone="+632 521.6843", fax="+632 526.0472" email="vnembph@yahoo.com" url="http://www.vietnamembassy-philippines.org/" hours="" price=""></listing>
  
  
Line 1,247: Line 1,329:
 
* '''[[Tagaytay]]''' &mdash; is a city located on a ridge overlooking Taal Lake.  The spectacular view of the Taal volcano in the middle of the lake, combined with the exquisite cuisine from the numerous ridge-side restaurants has made this a favorite weekend excursion for Manila residents. (roughly 1 hour from Ninoy Aquino International Airport)
 
* '''[[Tagaytay]]''' &mdash; is a city located on a ridge overlooking Taal Lake.  The spectacular view of the Taal volcano in the middle of the lake, combined with the exquisite cuisine from the numerous ridge-side restaurants has made this a favorite weekend excursion for Manila residents. (roughly 1 hour from Ninoy Aquino International Airport)
  
* '''[[Mount Batulao]] '''&mdash; is a popular trekking destination near Tagaytay, with the same nice views and cool weather, making for a nice dayhike. Other nearby dayhikes include Pico de Loro and Mount Maculot (which has nice views of Taal Lake).  
+
* '''[[Mount Batulao]] ''' &mdash; is a popular trekking destination near Tagaytay, with the same nice views and cool weather, making for a nice dayhike. Other nearby dayhikes include Pico de Loro and Mount Maculot (which has nice views of Taal Lake).  
  
* <do name="Scenic and Folkloric Lake Bai Tour" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax=""> &mdash;  tour of idyllic towns of Lake Bai that compares with the folksy towns of Mexico, offering lively and colorful fiestas and traditions. Angono, an art town, haven for painters specializing on romanticist and folk genre, notably the Blanco family; concentration of art galleries; Pagsanjan - shooting the rapids and ancestral homes, Biñan - coco pie, native pastries, and candies, Calamba - hometown of National Hero José Rizal and Charice - You Tube singing sensation.  </do>
+
* <do name="Scenic and Folkloric Lake Bai Tour" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax=""> &mdash;  tour of idyllic towns of Lake Bai that compares with the folksy towns of Mexico, the cultural life centered on the nucleus of a Spanish Colonial Church, offering lively and colorful fiestas and traditions. Angono, an art town, haven for painters specializing on romanticist and folk genre, notably the Blanco family; concentration of art galleries; Pagsanjan - shooting the rapids and ancestral homes, Biñan - coco pie, native pastries, and candies, Calamba - hometown of National Hero José Rizal and Charice - You Tube singing sensation.  </do>
  
* '''[[Villa Escudero]]''' &mdash;  hacienda resort amidst coconut plantation, architecture, and folk-attired attendants – the whole kit and caboodle.
+
* '''[[Villa Escudero]]''' &mdash;  hacienda resort and heritage park amidst coconut plantation, architecture, and folk-attired attendants – the whole kit and caboodle.
  
 
* '''[[Las Casas de Acuzar]]''' &mdash; open-air museum and heritage park in Bagac, Bataan featuring a collection of Spanish-era houses transferred into this location. It has dining and accommodation amenities.
 
* '''[[Las Casas de Acuzar]]''' &mdash; open-air museum and heritage park in Bagac, Bataan featuring a collection of Spanish-era houses transferred into this location. It has dining and accommodation amenities.
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[[WikiPedia:Manila]]
 
[[WikiPedia:Manila]]
 
[[Dmoz:Asia/Philippines/Regions/National Capital Region/City of Manila]]
 
[[Dmoz:Asia/Philippines/Regions/National Capital Region/City of Manila]]
 +
[[World66:asia/southeastasia/philippines/manila]]

Revision as of 02:56, 23 September 2013

Discussion on defining district borders for Manila is in progress. If you know the city pretty well, please share your opinion on the talk page.

Manila is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.


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Manila Bay skyline

Manila (Filipino: Lungsod ng Maynila)[1] is the capital of the Philippines and the nation's center of education, business, and transportation.

Manila has a reputation as a filthy, chaotic, congested concrete jungle, described by Dan Brown, author of ‘’DaVinci Code”, in his fourth novel “Inferno” as The Gates of Hell and is often overlooked as a mere stopover for travelers aiming to reach other tourist friendly island-destinations. To an extent this reputation is deserved, but Manila is nevertheless rapidly developing and has its own rich history and experiences to offer. The city is sprawling, bustling, and culturally complicated, with a colorful multi-cultural heritage and varied nightlife.

Contents

Districts

Map of Manila with its Districts

Manila is distributed into 16 territorial districts, (not to be confused with the cities and town comprising Metropolitan Manila). Each district is distinguished through its history and culture.

The 8 districts north of the Pasig River are:

Tondo
The densest, poorest, dangerous, and unrehabilitated part of Manila.
Notwithstanding, Tondo offers Tutuban Centermall , a national historical piece connected to the armed struggle for independence from Spain and an architectural jewel, used to be Manila’s humble answer to New York Grand Central Terminal, touching the lives in the olden days of almost every Manilan, it’s now successfully restored and converted into a prime shopping mall. Its architecture is a hallmark tropical interpretation of the Late 19th Century Eclectic European Classical Revival Styles and a charming contribution to Antillan Architecture.
Tondo Church, another treasure, a restored colonial church set on fire by the Japanese at the Battle of Manila during World War II, is the center of cultural life and the jewel box of the District’s revered icon, the image of Santo Niño a.k.a. the Child Jesus whose fiesta is one of the significant events in the country.
Noteworthy, it’s a cradle of important event and figures, the birthplace of the Anti-Spanish Revolt, Manila’s Pre-Hispanic Kings & Nobility, and colorful Philippine personalities including artists – both visual & literary, movie stars, & political figures among them, the founding father of Philippine independence and an actor-ex-President.
Binondo
The world's oldest Chinatown thriving before the arrival of the Spaniards in 1571.
It’s the city's original center for business, finance, and wholesale, as well as retail trade that ranges from jewelry to aromatic essences. It's famous for its authentic Chinese, mostly Cantonese and Fukienese cuisine, and Chinese multi-story shop-houses. The streets of Binondo are veritable millionaires’ rows concealed by these unimpressive structures owned by low-profile Filipino-Chinese multi-millionaires consisting of a shop downstairs, a storey or two above for merchandise warehousing, and living spaces upstairs with security a prime consideration indicated by dense window and balcony grilles.
Its church is a fascinating fusion of Spanish Baroque & Chinese architecture as shown in its pagoda bell tower.
Eng Bee Tin Store, an unassuming typical Chinese shop-house is the grand showcase and birthplace of the modern Hopia, a diminutive version of the Moon Cake, in this case eaten not only during Moon Cake Festival but every day by millions of craving Filipinos. This specialty store is proud to introduce a Filipino twist to this pastry using exotic fillings on top of the usual beans and pork. It also sells Tikoy, another Filipino-Chinese pastry, popular during the Filipino-Chinese New Year Festival, again reinvented to adapt to Filipino taste. The rags to riches owner doubling as firefight volunteer, encapsulates the virtues of the thousands of success stories of the Filipino-Chinese community.
San Nicolas
Shares Divisoria Market, the premier trading mecca of the country with Tondo as the other co-district.
Not only catering to wholesale, Divisoria also offers adventure for cheap retail bargain shopping spree. Cheap is the twin word for Divisoria. This place is heavily packed and frenzied in the run up to National Back-To-School Opening and Christmas to New Year Days.
Santa Cruz
On the edge of Chinatown, a district of usual frenzied mix of commercial and residential premises.
Here starts Escolta - the main artery that used to be Manila's old Wall Street and Fifth Avenue during the early American Colonial Era to the 1960's. Some grand palaces of commerce and banking in the 1930’s designed by US trained renowned Filipino architects, are still standing and fully functioning. Carriedo St is where a hodge podge of stalls selling locally-made clothes, export overruns, and household items can be found and continuing on to Quiapo to the east.
Rizal Av used to be Manila’s answer to New York’s Broadway back in the 1930’s to late 1970’s, offered the finest palatial cinemas patterned after the likeness of Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater, are good family time hang outs on Sundays, now beyond repair.
It’s home to a cultural curio and the second oldest cemetery in the city - the Chinese Cemetery up on its extreme northern frontier, where the Chinese community's burials were relegated due to restrictions by the Spanish colonial administration. It features palatial mausoleums with hotel-like suites, some with jacuzzis.
Quiapo
Home to Plaza Miranda and the Black Nazarene.
Plaza Miranda, Manila's original answer to London’s Trafalgar Square now has finally found it’s true calling as the answer to New York’s Madison Square spruced up and installed with a jumbotron.
Especially, it’s home to the Black Nazarene, an enduring Catholic icon brought from Mexico in the early 1600s housed in Quiapo Basilica, the true epicenter of commerce of the District emanating from right at its doorstep and gathering like a storm at Plaza Miranda before radiating to different directions in what seem to be organized confusion of human activity and feast for the eyes. Starting with flowers, herbal remedies, love potions, tarot card holding fortune tellers, and religious items that made this place popular, other merchandise can be found, bikes & Rambo gear as well as electronic goods, even colorful panties and briefs to pitch black abayas, to rat poison to mothballs have their designated streets and alleys. And yes, it also has a section to native handicrafts and tourist curios sold farther down at Quinta Market and under an overhead bridge fondly called by some locals as Ille de Toule a French corruption from Tagalog "Ilalim ng Tulay" translated in English as "Under the Bridge". Old and delightful Philippine styled Art-Nouveau elite houses are now converted to tumbledown slum enclaves sharing space with B-rated movie houses past their grandeur and glory days.
The premier and oldest mosque in the city, the Globo de Oro Mosque, serves as a centerpiece for Manila's small rendition of Arab & Muslim Town to the east of the church by way of crossing Quezon Av via Lacson Underpass. This mini trading town, a concept set up by former First Lady Imelda Marcos amidst the Moro Conflict in the mid-1970’s to imbibe some cosmopolitanism in the city.
This District saw the humble beginnings of the real estate and mall mogul, Mr. Henry Sy, the richest Filipino according to Forbes Magazine. He started shop as a cobbler and shoe seller in one of the stalls of Quezon Av and now has a formidable mega mall (42 and counting) empire stretching from across the Philippines.
Sampaloc
From the Tagalog word for tamarind, this University Belt district is the nerve center of the country's major institutions of learning and a hotbed of diploma mills.
The University of Santo Tomás (not Thomas, there’s accent on the “á”) is found here, East Asia's oldest existing university (founded in 1611, and as the cliché goes, older than Harvard), with its big share of movers and shakers alumni, notorious not only for its morally bankrupt Dominican Friars during the Spanish colonial days as the inspiration of the National Hero José Rizal in his fiction novels, but also for being converted into the biggest concentration camp of international civilians held by the Japanese during World War II.
The District is also the student dorm central of the Philippines where most Filipinos claim temporary board and lodging - in the myriad of apartment houses and ever rising condo-dorms (some as high as forty plus stories) lining a warren of narrow streets - while enrolled in a plethora of educational institutions and review centers within it, along with service shops such as bookstores, shops for photocopying & printing (including fake certification papers, diplomas, and identification cards a jobseeker needs, as well as medical certificate), thesis and school reports mills, and computer rental shops, as well as entertainment joints catering to student clientele such as internet and video games, bootleg DVD & software shops, billiard halls, and student-budgeted sex and related vices safe houses.
Along España Bl towards Nicanor Reyes Av is a veritable catwalk for the nation’s chic and stunning co-eds identifiable in their neat school uniforms.
The navel of this commercial jungle is the Nicanor Reyes-CM Recto Avs formed from a T-shaped convergence, in a Tokyo’s Ginza District-like ambiance for its loud billboards and a thick beehive of pedestrians, mostly youthful students converging and chillaxing out, if not busy cramming at its fast food houses, bookshops and shopping centers. Three things make these vibrant stretches buzz. Tucked within is the Professional Regulation Commission or PRC main office where every Filipino who wants to change his fortune and status – aspiring would-be accountant to zoologist - passes through its gate in a symbolic life ritual of taking the yearly state qualifying exam. Another is Far Eastern University, one of the populous scholastic institutions in the world, if not, still deserving a glance, for its passed over architectural charm, a pleasing oasis of harmonious but compact collection of Late Art Deco-styled edifices. Another very populous university next door is the University of the East.
The imposing San Sebastian Church, inside the campus of another university, is the first and only iron pre-fab church in the Philippines manufactured in Belgium in the mid-1800s.
A few blocks off from the University of Santo Tomás is the Dangwa Flower Market, extremely busy during Valentine’s and All Souls’ Days.
San Miguel
Hosts the Malacañan Palace and colleges and universities spilling over from the University Belt District.
Malacañan Palace is located here, the official executive seat and residence of the sitting Philippine President as well as a museum. Mendiola Bridge is a memorable piece of structure and symbolic spot in the city as it traverses the demarcation line between the 'powers that be' (Malacañan Palace) and the 'have-nots' (often the radical left and right oppositions) whose marches are not allowed to cross beyond. The foot of Mendiola Bridge is the last stand for political, often violent protests against the government.
It’s also the birthplace of the famous namesake San Miguel Beer Brewery.
Santa Mesa
Derived its name from the Spanish term holy table, this working class district is not so holy anymore as it hosts most of the city's short time love hotels and motels. Historically, here marks the first shot of the Filipino-American War.

The 7 other districts south of the Pasig River are:


Intramuros
Taken from the Spanish, intra & muros, literally "within the walls", the History Town of the Philippines and considered as Old Manila itself during Spanish times.
Just right south of the mouth of the traversing Pasig River, it is a medieval styled fortress city used to be surrounded by a moat now transformed into a putting green, and it’s where the old Spanish Fort Santiago was headquartered. The fort, converted into a museum, a very historical piece of landmark where almost all the who's who of anti-imperialism resistance - Spanish, American, & Japanese were incarcerated. Intramuros used to house more or less a dozen churches and congregation mother houses that during clear skies the skyline was picturesquely lined with cupolas and spires and the morning air was deafening with peeling bells coming from belfries; the finest assembly of colonial architecture, just reduced to ashes with the exception of San Agustin Church during the last World War. Sir Banister Fletcher, a noted architectural historian wrote "Until...years ago the Philippines could offer many well-preserved examples of Spanish architecture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Intramuros, the old walled stronghold of Manila, the capital, which was once a treasure-house of Ultramarine Hispanic Art, suffered irreparable damage during World War II." Ultramarine Hispanic Art, whatever it was, would be sorely missed by future generations. A great plan was under way in the 1970's by Imelda Marcos to reconstruct the old city but since everything else associated with her means opulence and extravagance, it fizzled off and never generated interest from the public. While the Gyeongbokgung Palace Complex in Seoul, South Korea which was 99% destroyed by the Japanese has been fully restored by 1994.
The Manila Cathedral styled as Philippine interpretation of Romanesque-Byzantine Revival Style, prominently stands within the walls of this district, quite evoking the image of Venice’s St Mark’s Cathedral .
Ermita
One of the two Tourist Belt Districts (another is Malate District) south and east of Intramuros.
It has lively, diverse, and colorful attractions and nightlife catering to tourists, not only shops offering numerous coin, art & antique collections, and souvenirs abound. It used to be the one and only Red Light District (for both straight and gays) - bars, pubs, cafes, bistros, night clubs, and massage parlors share equal billing (and rent) with most of the country's overseas job recruitment & medical screening firms, a cozy set up for mostly Middle Eastern employers to unwind after a day's round of interviewing prospective employees on a business with pleasure trip.
Framing the district on the west is the seaside Roxas Bl, the Philippines’ answer to the French Riviera. This baywalk that used to give that famous Mediterranean strip a run for its money is by now repulsing to high-end tourists with the hazardous and polluted Manila Bay atmosphere. Back in the 1930’s, this area was touted as the finest and most romantic harbor-setting in the Far East with its coconut palm fringed boulevard and white washed Miami Art Deco-Venetian styled palazzo-mansions punctuated with balconies facing the Bay, and now replaced by skyscraper hotels and apartelles (apartment-motels). Open double-deckers used to ply this boulevard up to the 1960’s.
Here, the ignoble share with the sublime as personified by Luneta Park eponymously called Rizal Park where the National Hero-Martyr José Rizal was executed by firing squad by the Spanish colonizers, now immortalized by his tomb and statue-and-obelisk-on-a-pedestal memorial, a hallowed ground rudely overshadowed by dignity defying skyscrapers creeping closer and closer to the park, reflective of Post American Colonial and even Post-Imelda Era’s muddled governance and lack of or lax city planning ordinance.
Designed by renowned early 20th century Urban Planner, Daniel Burnham, this park is the Philippines' answer to Paris' Jardin des Tuileries, New York Central Park, or Washington Mall.
Originally used as a three-rowed promenade, it’s now heavily suffocated with structures housing the nation’s recreation, amusement, edutainment, and ceremonial, celebratory functions, as well as stage for a million capacity national redress of grievance. With no more available green park space in the city to open, it's still the biggest lung around.
Across the east end of the Park stands the Bonifacio Shrine, a memorial to the hero of Philippine armed struggle against Spanish colonial rule. Beyond is what used to be Wallace Field, where the American-style Mardi Gras festival, the Manila Carnival featuring a grand ball debuting the most eligible bachelorettes and bachelors, scions of the elite Philippine society, was held yearly for 32 years until abruptly ended by World War II, never revived. This large tract of land northeast of the Park and more known in relation to as east of the walled city, is informally called as Extramuros, the designated new Civic Center by the American colonial government. It is heralded from the north of Pasig River by the Classical Revival style Manila Post Office Building with a majestic 360-degree visual approach because of its imposing spot, one which should have been used for a more stately function such as that of the Senate’s which sat on the Senate House, less grandly approached on an oblique glance. Rightfully so, the Senate House is now demoted as the National Art Gallery. Also, the stylish but deteriorating Art-Deco Manila Metropolitan Theater, an architectural jewel of the 1930’s, and the City Hall with its subdued Mughal-styled Big Ben version clock tower, are situated nearby.
Framing the district on the east is Taft Av on top of which is the overhead LRT-1 Line, this avenue has seen better days and used to look like a promising answer to Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Élysées, with government bureaucracy headquarters, intellectual institutions, and international organizations using it as their front address, now made drab and dingy especially as more high rise condos along it’s stretch are being constructed. The anarchy of sprouting skyscrapers, let alone the introduction of traffic infrastructures – vehicular and pedestrian - that failed to foresee the onslaught of a bursting populace point to aversion to sensible urban planning, a concept associated with former First Lady Imelda Marcos who personifies frivolous fondness to aesthetics, now stifled in glaring gusto after her demise from power, just another scapegoat for the low civic sense quotient prevailing in the city, metropolis, or even nation, as observed by intellectuals and expats.
Along Taft Av sits the Supreme Court Building, back to back with the equally Greek/Roman Classical-styled campus of the Manila branch of the premier state university, the University of the Philippines where the very first campus was built in 1900 before it was transferred to Diliman District in Quezon City after World War II. The Asian branch of World Health Organization lies nearby. Also, here lies the Philippine General Hospital Complex, a pioneering medical center in the Far East founded in the early 1900s. This hospital is an annex of the University of the Philippines System, assigning its medical students as interns in that hospital, for reasons why its iconic Oblation (the university’s signature welcoming naked cruciform figure) is installed here.
Back to Rizal Park, on its northwest corner or just southwest of Intramuros lies the grand Manila Hotel, still one of the finest hotels in the Far East, another of those respectable landmarks with dust blemished exterior that attests to the city’s unchecked air pollution.
Ermita is also where the caged and castled American Embassy is located, sitting on an untouchable piece of real estate bordering the bay that checkmates the westward reclamation expansion of the city, the vulnerable Americans preferring to have their backs and escape route protected by water.
The largest and most affluent shopping mall in the city, the Robinson’s Galleria is located here.
Malate
Just right south of Ermita, bohemian Malate is an equally very colorful tourist belt district.
It used to be famous for its mansions where the city's cream of the crop resides and its elite girls convent schools as well as the De La Salle University, which started as an elite boys school now transformed into a learning center of choice for the country's Chinese elite. Malate still retains its bohemian flavor even at night but not as vibrant as those beyond the city as it has undergone deterioration. Also, the site of the fiercest atrocity done by the Japanese to any civilians at the closing of World War II where whole neighborhoods were forced to assemble in the nearby Rizal Memorial Sports Coliseum to be dealt with mass orgy of rape and massacre.
The District has a quaint and handsome Philippine Baroque styled Malate Church.
The Manila Zoo, Asia's oldest zoo and, together with the title, is probably the most haggard looking.
Former First Lady Imelda Marcos' dreamy City by the Bay called the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex or CCP Complex for short, a flat extended open space reclaimed from the bay that resembles Beijing's Tiananmen or Moscow's Red Squares lined with coconut palm trees, as civic center and breezily tropical as it gets, is bannered by the zen-inspired boxy Cultural Center of the Philippines - home for national theatrical performances, co-inaugurated by then Ferdinand Marcos buddy and Governor Ronald Reagan. Designed by Leandro Locsin, King Bolkiah of Brunei and Imelda's favorite architect, in the mold of Oscar Niemeyer and Mies Van Der Rohe, this travertine veneered masterpiece is typical of those "less is more" fancies of the 1960's-70's. His other major projects in the area include the Philippine International Convention Center, the first in Asia, the National Design Center, a supporting institution for the growth of industrial design arts, the Folk Arts Theater, built specifically to host the 1974 Miss Universe Pageant and the boxing showdown between Mohammed Ali & JoeFrazer. Another in the vicinity designed by him is the sharp and still spiffy Philippine Plaza Hotel, a multiplicity of basic geometric blocks formed into a rectangular tower. All these are now in their not-so-pristinely-intended condition. The two other important landmarks in the complex not designed by him are the said to be haunted Manila Film Center the massive-looking Parthenon-styled venue for the first and only Manila International Film Festival which premiered the film Gandhi in 1982, now the repository National Film Archives, and the architecturally intriguing, humble and yet tasteful Coconut Palace made mostly of coconut materials and others indigenous to the Phlippines, now as the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines. The last important structure here is the GSIS Building or the Government Service Insurance System, meant as the social security apparatus of government workers with the Banawe Rice Terraces concept in mind, also architecturally engaging, now temporarily housing the National Senate, the senior legislative arm of the government. Although physically related and technically contiguous, these landmarks, except for the Cultural Center, are not part of the district but belong to Pasay City. These edifices were constructed in a span of 15 years by four different architects, blending harmoniously while those during the Post-Imelda Era which include a broadcast station, a theater house featuring Broadway musicals, a buffet restaurant, an alligator park, and an amusement center lacked taste and architectural character.
The second largest and upmarket shopping mall in Manila, Harrison Plaza, is located in this district.
Pandacan
Home to many of the country's literary and musical geniuses.
This district is named after the pandan plant species. It remains the industrial yard of the city where oil depots sit side by side with the country’s premiere residence, the Malacañan Palace in neighboring San Miguel District.
Mabini Shrine, inconspicuously packaged as a typical 19th century humble home of another National Hero Apolinario Mabini, of the triumvirate of Philippine Independence Revolution which counts Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. Considered as the Benjamin Franklin of the Philippines, this paraplegic is a looming figure in that armed struggle. Aside from its significant owner, this house interestingly has this quintessential Filipino working man’s adaptation of liberal European concepts evoking the very high pitched French roof (Philippine roofs are prominent but not as prominent as this) constructed at the time when Non-Spanish European ideas are becoming accessible.
Paco
It started out as Little Tokyo during the Spanish era.
But the District is gaining momentum as Little India with the establishment of Indian specialty shops and the proliferation of Indian businessmen, mostly riding in motorcycles and cornering the micro-financing business or 5-6 in Philippine parlance (barrow ₱5.00 and pay ₱6.00 at the end of the month) catering to small-time vendors around Paco Market.
Here lies the city's historic but ruined and abandoned Paco Train Station where overhead, Japanese and American planes combated in a dogfight showdown after the Pearl Harbor attacks and the run-up to the invasion of Manila by the Japanese while stranded passengers hunkered down inside the bunker below.
It's also the site of the mysterious circular cemetery nowadays simply called Paco Park, the first burial stop of the national hero – José Rizal, after he was executed by the Spaniards, now used as venue for chamber music symphony concerts.
Paco Market, another of the city's major wet-dry public market, has one of the most frenzied, colorful, and interesting market scenes spilling over to adjoining streets with its boisterous ambulant vendors, busy Chinese owned stalls, and hawker market food. The district specializes in furniture, kitchen wares, and hardware items.
San Francisco Church or Paco Church, as Francisco is nicknamed by the Spaniards, is one of the biggest and busiest in the city.
Santa Ana
Known as Sapa in ancient times, then a well off residential suburb.
This District is the old capital of Namayan Kingdom which is the precursor of modern Manila and used to be a quiet upmarket residential neighborhood comparable to Chelsea District in London during the American colonial era, where high ceilinged interiors, tall windows reaching to the floor, and grand staircase entrances with porte cochere typify the houses, but now a blighted working class district just a stone’s throw away from the defunct Santa Ana Hippodrome (located in next door Makati City which used to be suburbia), once, the oldest and one of the finest horse racetracks in Asia, now bought by the developer Ayala Land and being converted as another of their signature mixed commercial-residential high rise projects.
A small museum by the colonial church of Our Lady of the Abandoned or simply Santa Ana Church, shows remnants of a pre-Spanish settlement.
San Andres Bukid
A working class district, previously part of Santa Ana District.

Also known as St. Andrew Fields as its English translation sounds more pleasant to the ear, this is home to San Andres Market - another major public market, famous for its variegated fruit stalls and a little bit touristy ambiance.

The last district north and south of the Pasig River:


Port Area
The country's chief seaport north and south of the Pasig River, where warehouses are arrayed elbow to elbow along docking and refueling stations for all ships, ferries, and cruise liners, and where one can witness the dramatic sunset of Manila Bay.


Understand

San Agustin Church, Intramuros Manila

Visitors who have been to Manila agree that this Asian capital does not appear exotically Asian. A square peg in a round hole, it has Castilian medieval-styled fortress walls and classical Greco-Roman modeled buildings. We see even in the skyline of Manila and beyond the Filipinos’ love for imitation, after hundreds of years of being bombarded that the western culture is more superior, Manila is more international (meaning western-dictated), judging from the steel and glass skyscrapers. For Filipinos, to follow and imitate the latest and the greatest, the culture of the current winners, the popular, and the mainstream, are the ultimate of having been arrived.

An ignorant foreigner will be surprised that the average local looks just like any Asian but bears an Anglo-Saxon - especially Irish, or Hebrew name and most probably a Spanish sounding surname, feels comfortable in T-shirt and jeans or jersey, conversant in English, reads and writes in Roman text, and is not at home with chopsticks.


History

For over three centuries Manila was colonized and administered by Spain which left an enduring architectural heritage throughout the Philippines, especially with respect to churches, forts and other colonial buildings which can still be seen in the ruins of Intramuros, built starting in the late 16th century. Manila began as a settlement on the banks of the Pasig River, and its name originates from "Maynilad", referring to the mangrove plant known as Nilad, which was abundant in the area. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century, Manila was home to Muslim-Malays, who were descended from the Arabs, Indians, East and other Southeast Asians. In 1571, 50 years after Ferdinand Magellan's discovery of the islands, Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi claimed the Philippines as a colony and established Manila as its capital. The Philippines was part of Spain until 1898 when the U.S. took over after the Spanish-American War. Manila was also briefly colonized by the British in 1762 for two years.

The Spaniards wanted a counterbalance to the expanding Portuguese empire which had almost taken a big slice of the pie in the lucrative Spice Trade. They got it through Manila, so strategically placed between China together with the rest of Asia, and Mexico - the next closest transit point for goods onwards from Asia to Europe.

Its location seemed a well thought out choice. Legazpi took five years after arriving in the Philippines and settling in Cebu in 1565 to mull over before deciding to finally move up north to Manila in 1571 and make it the capital of the new territory. By numbers, it shortened the traveling distance to the other side of the empire in Acapulco. Manila is also in a much easy and straighter drafting reach for sailing ships to catch the Pacific Trade Winds as it blow northeastward to Japan for Acapulco and then blow precisely towards San Bernardino Strait, the easternmost entry to the Philippines for the westward-bound return trip, without being diverted any farther. Most importantly, Manila is much closer than Cebu to China.

With trade protectionism as the norm, no other European ship can use Manila’s port unless it flies the Spanish flag.

When Mexico pushed for its independence from Spain and finally shoved her out, the Philippines' glittering importance began to diminish due to the discontinuance of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, cutting off the Acapulco to Vera Cruz segment on Mexico side. A token administration was just maintained in Manila which confined it to the doldrums being one of the unreachable and hard to maintain colonies of Spain. It resurrected again, but not to its former glory when the Suez Canal, Europe’s southern sea gateway and the most accessible from Asia via the Indian Ocean, was opened enabling Chinese exports to go opposite direction, and making Singapore as the most important transit hub to Europe in the region. Until a new imperialist era dawned, emboldened countries embarked on a new competition for raw materials and market.

Netherlands, Britain, and France have their colonies staked out while Germany, lurking somewhere ready to grab the next big catch and fit to fill in the void about to be vacated by a waning superpower, is now sniffing its way for a kill when the US, spurred by the windfall of acquiring Hawaii and desperately wanting a toehold in Asia for her trade notably with Japan and China, overtook it and grabbed the first opportunity of coveting the Philippines at a bargain fee of $20 million from Spain. The Philippines once more, so strategically placed as the soon-to-be-linchpin of another imperialism, extended her colonial servitude to the US.

With the dynamic geo-politics working, the Philippines and Manila in particular, prove to be manna from heaven as Japan begins to flex her muscles. The result, the Philippines served as first line of defense for Australia and the mainland US to buy time and it really proves more beneficial as another realignment was in force after World War II when communism came into the scene and is threatening to swallow the whole of south East Asia, putting the Philippines as a buffer zone for whatever adverse contingency and as long as the Manila leadership sides with the US, everything seemed fine.

Now that communism is under control and almost every country on both sides of the Pacific is embracing free market economy, all of Southeast Asia is grinding strong and busy buzzing. The factors of time, location, and distance are now superseded by peace and order, productivity and creativity as considerations to outcompete one’s neighbors for visitors’ attention.

Being a city with its ears and antennae acutely tuned in to American and some European trends, and in the forefront of modernization and constant cultural refinement, Manila witnessed or hosted innovations - political, cultural, civic etc. more than any other city in Southeast Asia or Asia as a whole.

Orientation

Manila sits on an archipelago just at the edge of the Asian continent, some 14° 35' N, 121º 00 E'. It’s 700 miles (1,100 km.) or 2 hours flight time from Hong Kong, 1,400 miles (2,200 km.) or 3:15 hours from Bangkok, 1,500 miles (2,400 km) or 3:35 hours from Singapore, 1,900 miles (3.000 km) or 4:15 hours from Tokyo, and 1,800 miles (2,800 km.) or 4:25 hours from Beijing.

Ever so physically endowed, it is sitting in the throes of two notoriously dangerous volcanoes – Pinatubo to the north, which made headlines in 1991 when it spewed dust all over the world and dropped global temperature by 2°, and Taal to the south which always makes headlines every decade or so, while this city straddles the Pacific Rim of Fire underneath. What more, it lies in the path of the tropical monsoon bringing those more and more powerful typhoons during the second half of the year. It is fringed to the south by the idyllic Lake Bai - a veritable scenic showcase of Hispanized native folk and traditional culture, and farther south by cool and refreshing Lake Taal.

The City of Manila is in the western part of Metro Manila. It is bordered on the west by Manila Bay, to the north by Navotas City, Quezon City and Caloocan City, to the east by San Juan and Mandaluyong City and to the south by Pasay City and Makati City.


Get in

By Air

The Philippines has only six border crossings all of which are accessed by sea, and are all the way down south namely Bongao and Turtle Islands in Tawi Tawi Province, Taganac and Balabac in Palawan Island, and Batunganding and Tibanban, Davao del Sur Province. It is highly unlikely that foreigners will go to the trouble of crossing these border stations on their way to Manila by boat from Malaysia or Indonesia, its only close neighbors.

The most reasonable and practical way to reach Manila is by air.

Airport

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the Philippine's most used gateway to the country and is the largest international airport in the country as well. Unfortunately it is divided into four terminals - Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and the Manila Domestic Airport - without easy connections between them and the only way of hopping around terminals is through taxis and jeepneys.

There are buses outside the arrival area heading to downtown Makati City and Quezon City via EDSA or Epifanio de Los Santos Av. This arrangement is preferable for those with only one light backpack heading for the mentioned areas.

Airport metered taxis are colored yellow, and have the right to stop and pick up passengers and line up the porte cochere area as you step out of the arrival hall. Each departing taxi is registered by a dispatcher. The base fare is ₱70, ₱30 more than in any spot in the city.

For those penny pincher budget junkies, go up the elevator to the departure level and "hijack" those white painted (standard color for all city taxis) taxis that have just dropped off their departing passengers and are heading their way out of the airport. Fortunately, they don't pass any airport fees to passengers they may pick up and that's the advantage. The pay back is since the yellow ones have the exclusive right to pick up passengers, security guards are under orders to shoo away non-yellow (and non-registered) taxis picking up passengers in the departure area. But based on experiences by other travelers, yellow cabs, although registered, tend to have faster calibrated meters. So it may end up that a white cab can get you to your destination for less than half the fare it cost you to use the yellow cab.

It would not be easy updating the list of airlines using which Terminal as it's still in a state of flux and confusion. Airlines keep on moving their landing/take-off locations between the three within a year or so. However, the rule of thumb is all international airlines use Terminal 1 while Philippine Airlines uses Terminal 2 and Cebu Pacific uses Terminal 3.

By Boat

Manila is the hub of the Philippine ferry network, and ferries to most major cities will stop at the Manila South Harbor, the city's main passenger seaport. Several companies operate ferries to Manila from points throughout the Philippines, and cruise ships occasionally stop in Manila throughout the year. However, the safety track record of these ferries is so dismal claiming lives in the hundreds every year and is being outcompeted by cheap air fares.


Talk

Although there are more than 170 indigenous languages in daily use, the most widely understood and, alongside English, one of two official languages, the language of Manila is Filipino and it is commonly spoken in many homes. Filipino is almost completely based on Tagalog and may be viewed as a prestige register of it.

English is also widely spoken in Manila as well. English is the language of the government and the preferred choice for formal written communications, be it in school or business. Tourists who have just arrived here can easily catch up with the latest gossip news in the local tinsel town, as well as government scuttlebutts, as there are plenty of English version newspapers, magazines, and tabloids.

In Binondo, Manila's Chinatown district, Hokkien is widely spoken while Mandarin might also be known as it is taught in Chinese educational institutions. It is fast becoming the third most important language following Filipino and English, unseating Spanish.

Spanish used to be the official language of the Philippines and gradually became the language of the old time generations; at one time it used to be taught for a 12-unit course in all university curriculi. A tertiary education is not complete unless one takes the whole course and must at least have basic conversation skills. Now, Spanish is hardly spoken in the Philippines, but the language has somehow percolated through the Filipino vocabulary.

Manila's economic growth has attracted people from provinces with a delusion that a better life can be attained in the city. These people had brought diversity in Manila's culture from their home towns with tongues that speak Ilocano from the Ilocos Region, [Ibanag]] from the Cagayan-Isabela Region, Pampango from the Province of Pampanga, Bicolano from the Bicol Region, Hiligaynon from Western Visayas Region, Cebuano principally from Cebu & Bohol Islands, and Waray from Leyte and Samar Islands.

Taglish has been part of everyday life of Manilans as they try to grapple with expressing themselves the easiest and the most effective way, mix n' matching English words and phrases with Tagalog and vice versa. It used to be frowned upon by teachers but as the quality of education deteriorates, they too found themselves committing the same act since this new wave of teachers are also a product of the newer generation.

The assault on purists comes both ways, those who have inadequate schooling in English at lost for words, and on the other side, those specifically bred and schooled in the US establishing their foothold back in the country struggling with their broken Tagalog; or finding experiences that can't be expressed in Tagalog, throwing in some English words as filler. It so happened that being "foreign", "western", and "American", are more endeared and adorable to the grounded natives, their way of speaking becoming the "in" thing. Also, English being at the forefront of technological and cultural development produces new words and experiences that can't be purely translated.

Movie personalities being role models are more of the culprits as they magnify the popularity of Taglish (Tagalog and English combined).


Get around

By train

Manila's light rail transit system

Manila is crossed by three lines of the Strong Republic Transit System (SRTS), Metro Manila's (partially) integrated railway network. The SRTS Yellow and Purple lines, operated by the Light Rail Transit Authority, cross through Manila city proper, converging at the intersection of Rizal Avenue and C.M. Recto Avenue. The Yellow Line, also known as LRT Line 1 (LRT-1), serves Malate, Ermita, Quiapo, Binondo and Santa Cruz, while the Purple Line, also known as MRT Line 2 (MRT-2 or LRT-2), serves Quiapo, Sampaloc and Santa Mesa. Most tourist sites are along the Yellow Line.

Metro Manila's main regional passenger train station is Tutuban in Tondo. From Tutuban Statio, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) operates the Commuter Express (Commex), also referred to as the SRTS Orange Line. Fifty trains serve the commuter service daily, with the line crossing through Tondo, Sampaloc, Santa Mesa, Paco and San Andres before extending to Metro Manila. There is an interchange with the Yellow Line at Blumentritt Station, and with the Purple Line at Santa Mesa Station.

Fares

Fares on the SRTS are distance-based, with the base fare being ₱12 for the Yellow and Purple Lines, and ₱10 for the Orange Line. Each line has a differing fare structure:

  • Yellow Line: ₱12 for the first four stations, ₱15 for more than four stations. A journey on the Yellow Line from Vito Cruz, the first station on the line within the City of Manila, to Abad Santos, the last station within city limits, is ₱15.
  • Purple Line: ₱12 for the first three stations, with an increase of ₱1 depending on the number of stations crossed thereafter. A journey on the Purple Line from Recto to V. Mapa (the last station within city limits) is ₱12.
  • Orange Line: ₱10 base fare with increases of ₱5 depending on the distance from Tutuban station. Travel on the Orange Line within the City of Manila, from Tutuban to Vito Cruz (not to be confused with the Vito Cruz station on the Yellow Line), as well as points in between, is charged the ₱10 base fare.

Single-journey and ₱100 "stored value" tickets may be purchased at LRT stations. Stored value tickets are valid for six months after first use. The LRT has full fare integration for stored-value tickets: stored-value tickets purchased for use on one line are also valid on the other line. However, this does not extend to single-journey tickets, which are only valid for one line, and the Orange Line, which uses a separate paper-based ticket system.

Be advised that SRTS Blue Line (Metro Rail Transit; MRT-3) stored-value tickets are not valid on the LRT. However, the SRTS Flash Pass, available for ₱250, is valid for LRT journeys: the Flash Pass grants the bearer unlimited use of the LRT and MRT for one week. This, however, is available for purchase only at selected Blue Line stations.

By provincial bus

Provincial bus companies also operate their own terminals which are dispersed throughout the city. They concentrate mostly in EDSA in Cubao District, Quezon City for those destined north (Northern, Central, and Southern Luzon, the Bicol Region including Catanduanes & Masbate Islands), around the junction of EDSA and South Superhighway for those destined south (Southern Tagalog Bicol Region), and around the Sampaloc District in Manila for those heading north.

By city bus or jeepney

Several city bus routes either cross through or terminate in Manila. Most buses which serve Manila proper will cross through the Lawton bus terminal, which is conveniently located in front of the Central Terminal LRT station. Routes include points in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan, and bus fares normally begin at ₱10.

Manila city bus routes are not numbered. However, the bus route is prominently displayed on the side of the bus as well as on the dashboard, listing both the route's endpoints and major points in between which will be served by that particular route. When in doubt, ask the bus conductor if a particular bus will go to a particular destination.

PUJs or Public Utility Jeepneys as they are formally called, served some of those that are previously served by Manila's pre-World War II tram system. Plaza Lawton is a major jeepney terminal, with several jeepneys crossing through, terminating or originating here. Fares begin at ₱8.00 for the first four kilometers. Like buses, jeepney routes are not numbered, but the route is prominently displayed on the sides of the jeepney as well as on the dashboard. Drivers or specialized barkers announce their destination and departure at route origins.

Jeepneys - giving a wrong sense of pride for the Philippines and an icon that embodies the anachronistic and stubborn village mentality of Filipinos, are designed with only the Filipino stature, girth, and budget in mind. Even if there are now many Filipinos who are plus-sized, the jeepney in some departure points will not roll out unless the seat designated for, say 10 people, is magically stretched to 11. Dispatchers will insist. Inside, being an unfamiliar foreign traveller, you will be hard pressed to get your bearings. Even if it’s not packed, you will most likely stoop, twist your body, and frown at the same time just to get a glimpse outside for a do it yourself sense of direction with the window set at your back and below the average eye level. Your view is projected down to the pavement and pedestrians’ feet and you will be at the mercy of local fellow passengers for directions. Glancing at the road ahead to check through the windshield is also an exercise in futility since it’s filled with stickers and knick knacks. You will never enjoy the view, unless you hire the whole jeepney and driver for yourself while roaming the city like what Vin Diesel did (not sarcasm, just suggestion) who extolled his trip experience to the high heavens while sales pitching his movie. Remember that in Manila being a humid city, riding in an enclosed non-air-conditioned space will make you perspire profusely. Adding to the cramp sardine can feeling of discomfort is the dark space and the ear-splitting noise emitted by the stereo, worse if the driver happens to be on an upbeat mood or in love and with the stereo fitted with a woofer. This is a poor option to sightsee and travel at the same time.

By UV express

UVs or Utility Vehicles as they are commonly called and a.k.a. FXs, are sports utility vehicle-size type (and some are van-sized) of public transport, another alternative inter-city mode to the more discerning time and still relatively budget conscious average Manilan commuter. These vehicles are equipped with not only sides, but also a rear passenger door as well, less garish than a jeepney, rather plainly painted white like Manila sedan taxicabs, they display a sign on the windshield valance that shows their destination. The trip usually starts at City Point A which may be a popular public terminal and may pick up passengers at 3 or 4 more consecutive spots along the designated route, if not yet full, and at some point in time it will proceed without stopping until it reaches City Point B, give two or three consecutive stops. AUVs cut ample travel time compared to the cumbersome loading and unloading of passengers, the whole length of the trip especially if it’s long. The only thing to contend with is the traffic stoplights and the traffic jam. AUVs are always packed, the driver meant to maximize his profit, and the fare is double that of jeepneys’ even for a less than 4-km. trip. A bit of info, they are air-conditioned.

By tricycle or pedicab

Tricycles and pedicabs are, in the City of Manila, limited to short distances as it can access hard-to-reach (narrow) areas. Tricycle and pedicab terminals are found throughout the city: major points for taking tricycles and pedicabs within the downtown area include the Lawton bus terminal, the area around Doroteo Jose and Recto LRT Stations, Tutuban railway station, Plaza Lacson in Santa Cruz, and Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo. Tricycle and pedicab terminals are normally located alongside jeepney terminals and LRT stations.

By law, tricycles and pedicabs must display a fare matrix which displays fares to areas served by the vehicle, and is normally adhered to for short distances. For longer distances, it is not uncommon to negotiate the fare beforehand with the driver. But always bear in mind that most tricycle and pedicab drivers are the vultures of the road, they operate through a quick response to market forces, sensing a kill, they jack up their price, some even 10 fold like if it rains heavily, or if they need to trudge a flooded trip.

By e-trike

Manila and other cities are now diversifying to the e-trike which is a tuktuk like concoction, more sleek and metro-image looking minus the folksiness and flamboyance of the jeep or the original Thai tuktuk, streamlined with soft curves and just plainly painted yellow. They are in the experimental stage funded by the Asian Development Bank and powered by you guess it - electrically powered batteries. They are confined limitedly.

By calesa

In Ermita, Intramuros and Binondo, it is still possible to ride a calesa, or traditional horse-drawn carriage. While no longer used as a meaningful form of transport by most locals, calesas are useful for navigating through narrow streets (similar to tricycles and pedicabs), as well as getting a feel of transport in colonial Manila. Fares are negotiated beforehand with the cochero (driver), and a one-hour ride for two people normally costs around ₱50-70.

By taxi

In uniform white color, taxis are convenient forms of transport alternative to tourists. It’s air-conditioned and a necessity in this tropical humid climate. Relatively, they are safe as the name of the taxi and number to call are posted on the doors and the meters dispense receipts. The plug down rate is ₱40.00 or 92 cents and is calibrated at ₱6.00 or 13 cents per kilometer or so. Watch out for the meter and ask for receipt. Lock the doors and close the windows as there are snappy hands that grab your belongings, done mostly by teenage boys as soon as the taxi stops at a red light.


See

Rizal Park
Fort Santiago, Intramuros
The Manila Cathedral

Landmarks

  • Rizal Monument — located inside Luneta Park, this monument is a winning entry by a Swiss sculptor when a competition was held on the 15th year commemorating National Hero José Rizal’s martyrdom. Visiting this hallowed ground and laying flowers is a protocol for all heads of states and governments. The Independence Flagpole, the tallest in the Philippines at 100 ft and is planned to be replaced by an even higher one, marks Kilometer Zero, the spot from which all road distances are measured. The GOMBURZA (Fathers Gomez, Burgos, & Zamora) monument, a tribute to the three native priests who were garroted by the Spanish colonizers in the same park is the next important, stands nearby.
  • Bonifacio Monuments — there are two Bonifacio homages in the city both of which are landmarks, one is in Liwasang Bonifacio (or Plaza Bonifacio in Spanish) fronting the Manila Post Office Building, in which a “dare me” fighting posture of the Hero is installed, and another one located at the intersection of Padre Burgos Av and Taft Av, a collage-relief imagery. These monuments honor Andres Bonifacio a proletariat who founded and organized the Spanish Independence struggle. The one in Liwasang Bonifacio is more famous as an assembly place for political demonstrations on top of being a grand jeepney terminal while this one is a grand bus and jeepney waiting station. Here, he is stylized more like part of a stage background. He is again honored at an aesthetically and compositionally imposing monument at Monumento EDSA, Caloocan City, accessed through the North LRT Line-1 last station.
  • Legazpi-Urdaneta Monument, corner Padre Burgos Av and Bonifacio Dr west of Intramuros District — bordering on propaganda, of the style preceding the relatively closer genre of Soviet Realism giving tribute to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. Located on Manila’s backyard, if not for its powerful imagery, it will not be noticed. One of a few remaining thanksgiving ode to Mother Spain depicting two key characters in the formal takeover of Manila and the Philippines –state and church, Governor Legazpi the soldier and cousin Bishop Urdaneta the priest. Both are gung-ho in their synchronized frozen dance to the glory of Spain akin to the “I’m King of the World” pose by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Titanic. So far, this is the most steering, visually dramatic, Classic Romanticism sculpture in the Philippines.
  • Lacson Monument, Plaza Goiti, Santa Cruz District — a hideous and caricature-ish human-looking depiction of a well-loved real hero and flamboyant Mayor Arsenio Lacson of Manila, standing beside the Santa Cruz Church, has an overstretched Gumby-like tumor-infected legs. Just another manifestation of the city’s civic art commissions not subjected to open competition and pre-execution public criticism, on top of Manila’s lack of urban planning.
  • Rajah Sulayman Monument at Plaza Sulayman, Malate District — another rendition of a real role model this time from the Pre-Spanish Era, made horrendously stiff and surreal in what seemed to be just one in a litany of important monument projects gone awry, including the botched job EDSA People’s Power Revolt Monument in Quezon City and the private outdoor Yuchengco Monument at the Yuchengco Museum in Makati City, eliciting laughter more than awe. Probably, Manila is the only city in the world memorializing true-to-life heroism in Picasso-like, childish distortions - instead of Realism Style found in memorial filled-cities from Paris to Pyongyang.
  • Malacañan Palace, San Miguel District — Manila is the host of the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Its riverfront faҫade - highly impossible to be seen by a curious ordinary visitor, unless one gets to cruise the Pasig River - can be glimpsed in the ₱20 bill. Its interiors are finished in varnished Philippine mahogany and exotic tropical hardwoods provoking the current President to comment that it’s not a lively place to work for its depressingly dark brownish interior atmosphere. Inside the Palace grounds, visitors can roam the garden afterwards. The palace and grounds are rich in anecdotes and urban legends - haunted rooms, ogres, and ghosts. The road to the palace is replete with old houses, a few one-handful well maintained and renovated, converted as restaurants, offices, while the rest are left to rot, and will collapse take or give a few years.
  • Mendiola Bridge — from a narrow street leading to Malacañan Palace is Mendiola Bridge as soon as Mendiola St crosses an estero or tributary of the Pasig River. Officially named Don Chino Roces Bridge after an illustrious Marcos picketer, this bridge is a symbolic reminder of the often bloody demonstration against the tumultuous Marcos & Cory Aquino regimes. What seemed to be a non-bid public monument civic artwork Peace Arch judging from its lame and tacky appearance marks the foot of the bridge; an exorcising gesture in stone of the image of the man whose name bears the bridge’s is placed at the foreground.
  • Jones Bridge, on the northwest side of the Manila Post Office Building, Ermita District — bridging Santa Cruz and Ermita Districts, it is one of the three major bridges crossing the Pasig River erected during the American Era. Replacing the flimsy Puente de España in the early 1900, it is evocative of the Pont de la Concorde in Paris generously accented by sculptures, a passable version of France’s Beaux Arts Style during the Fin de Siècle Era, which to the Philippines, meant the good old days of beautiful Manila before its destruction during World War II, (eventually becoming as the worse destructed city second to Warsaw) and the spiraling downhill deterioration aftermath. It experienced the horrors of World War II, particularly the destructive assault of Intramuros by the Americans, it stood frontline by the path of blitzkrieg bombings coming from north of the river aimed at flushing out the hardened Japanese Army.
  • Memorare — Sculpted in the mold of the emotionally steering Pieta by Michealangelo, this least noticeable landmark tableau is a memorial to the innocent victims of World War II.
  • Manila Hotel — just outside Intramuros and on the edge of Manila Bay is the grand and historic Manila Hotel, a legacy of the American colonial era and the place where General Douglas MacArthur made his home before World War II, and the favorite billeting house for celebrities and dignitaries visiting the Philippines.
  • Binondo Chinatown Welcome Arch — Manila has one of the well-established Chinatowns in the world, where one can find exotic cuisine and goods such as shark’s fin, haw flakes, tikoy or sticky rice cake, moon cake, ginseng, and Ye Tin mint rub. It is marked by a welcome arch of Chinese imagery and the ubiquitous dragon on top of a clay roof. Ignore the political advertising credits prominently embossed on the archway.
  • Manila/Quiapo Muslim Town Welcome Arch — a unique welcome arch is placed at Globo de Oro St in Quiapo signaling that you are passing through Muslim territory. It incorporates subdued Islamic design elements of crescent moon & stars.
Only in the Philippines you can find flagrant in-your-face, front and center credits of politicians who commissioned permanent structures that destroys the essence of the building project (is it for the public’s use or to perpetuate his/her name?) Tasteless and mischievous politicians they are, their names are embossed in the Welcome Arches of Chinatown in Binondo and Muslim Town in Quiapo Districts.
  • University of Santo Tomás (Unibersidad de Santo Tomás (UST)). — this University is the oldest existing University in the whole of Far East and second to be founded in the Philippines. Used as a concentration camp by the Japanese for the whole period of their occupation and cramming about 10,000 for a compound intended for a maximum capacity of 4,000. The University has a museum housing a collection that dates back to 1682. The statue of Fray Benavidez, the founder is a landmark in the campus. Landscaped and arboreal, with pocket gardens amidst the noisy studentry, the campus is a welcome thirst quencher for oxygen-deprived tourists in this park-challenged District.
  • Manila Metropolitan Theater [2] — informally called The Met is an Art Deco building with rich detailing designed by the Filipino architect Marcos de Guzman Arellano, and inaugurated in 1931, with a capacity of 1,670. The theater is located on Padre Burgos Av, near the Manila Central Post Office. Renovated under the auspices of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, it now falls back under the management of neglect and decadence.
  • Manila Central Post Office - [3] — designed by Filipino architect Juan Marcos de Guzman Arellano, located in a very prominently visual and commanding spot of the first Civic Center in Manila, at the bank of the Pasig River next to Intramuros, the Building, almost identical to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. (ca. 1929) but conceived much earlier, was built in neoclassical architecture in 1926, designed to look without sides and backside, it can be viewed appreciatively in any angle. It was severely damaged in World War II, and rebuilt in 1946 preserving most of its original design. The front of the building faces the Liwasang Bonifacio or Plaza Bonifacio (formerly known as Plaza Lawton).
  • Manila City Hall and Clock Tower — in answer to Big Ben and Parliament House of London, the City of Manila put up this structure in similar fashion, albeit in its simplified Mughal style depicted in the tower, reflective of the city’s Islamic heritage. The lobby to the Council Chamber is decorated with a city-themed mural by painter Carlos “Botong” Francisco – the Diego Rivera of the Philippines whose style skewed more on tropical rainbow pastels from Rivera’s deep red and brown tones. But as of this writing, it is taken down for restoration.
  • Philippine International Convention Center — southwest of the Cultural Center of the Philippines is one more icon and legacy of Imelda Marcos, finished in 1976 (just in time for the World Bank Meeting as its gala hosting) as the very first international convention center in Asia when the rest of Asia was still slumbering from toying the idea of putting up theirs. Another composition of massive blocks finished in a mix of concrete and crushed clam shells and chipped off to texture, interplayed by glass windows, more a Mies Van Der Rohe influence but heavily weighted on Wright by its emphasis on horizontality and daring cantilevers.
  • Folk Arts Theater — west of the Cultural Center of the Philippines is another enduring Imelda Marcos icon now in disrepair, capturing the trademark Filipino, and to a profound degree, Asian proportions of a house which typically has very prominent roof structure ribboned around the base with a serial interplay of sharp walls and windows (or doors). This concert theater is naturally ventilated taking into consideration its breezy and therefore siesta-inducing seaside location.
  • Coconut Palace - a villa commissioned and built along the reclaimed waterfront west of the Cultural of the Philippines building, by former First Lady Imelda Marcos for Pope John Paul II's visit in 1981, designed by Indigenous/Return-to-Grassroots Architecture advocate, Manuel Mañosa. While open to the public at some point, it is presently (as of June 2011) occupied by the current Vice President and still open for public visits (calling by appointment the Office of the Vice President, leaving a return call number and waiting for a confirmation).


Museums

  • National Museum of the Philippines (Pambansang Museo), P. Burgos Ave, +63 2-527 1209, [4]. — built and opened in the 1900s, the museum showcases significant collections from archaeology, arts, cultural properties, zoology, botany and many more. This museum boasts of amassing over a million artifacts but in actual, only 125 pieces or so are on show. An optimist would describe something as a glass half full, but it can’t be helped but lament that this museum is less than half full for one would see halls and halls of empty space. A floor would have just about a maximum of two utilized halls with displays in it. As in anywhere in the Philippines, things are forever in transition. At the entrance is somewhat an apology board explaining that there's supposed to be three separate buildings - this one and the one facing it as showcases for anthropological and archaeological artifacts while the third one, the former Senate Building functioning as the National Art Gallery where paintings and sculptures are to be housed. There is no time frame when this wishful thinking will be achieved.
  • The National Art Gallery as explained, took over the premises of the former Senate House and the repository of works of Filipino masters. The more than life-sized painting of Juan Luna titled Spolarium, a bravura-filled powerful imagery in the mold of classical themes and Romanticist in style is the museum's version of "Mona Lisa", meaning the most priced Philippine artwork, won by the artist at the National Exposition of Fine Arts competition of Madrid in 1884 when most Filipinos had hardly seen a paint brush and knew what it’s for. What is also interesting is that the artist led a very TV serial-worthy colorful and tragic life akin to those of artists like Van Gogh, Diego Rivera, & Frida Kahlo but the exhibit doesn’t dwell on that.
  • Museum of Philippine Political History (National Historical Institute Museum), T.M. Kalaw Ave., Manila. — includes documents such as the signing of Independence displayed in a holy grail-like showcase.
  • Museo Pambata (National Children's Museum), Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive Manila, Philippines 1000 (From EDSA, turn right on Roxas Boulevard then take a U-turn on T.M. Kalaw St. From Quiapo, take Quezon Bridge going to Padre Burgos St then turn left on Roxas Bl. Or you may take the LRT or a jeepney (A. Mabini route), get off on United Nations Avenue, and walk to Roxas Boulevard. Museo Pambata is right beside the U.S. Embassy), +63 2-523 1797 or +63 985-360595 (mobile), [5]. Aug-Mar: 0800-1700 daily; Apr-Jul: 0900-1700 daily. — a children's interactive museum, the first of its kind in the Philippines. Opened in 1994, Museo Pambata is the dream come true of Nina Lim-Yuson, who was inspired by the Boston Children’s Museum to open up a similar facility in Manila. ₱100.
  • The Museum of the City of Manila — right besides Museo Pambata (Children’s Museum), South Drive, Ermita.
  • San Agustin Church Museum, Intramuros — displays a large collection of ecclesiastical art – iconography, priest vestments, mass utensils, monstrances, books and hymnals, probably the most complete collection of Philippine ecclesiastical art.
  • Fort Santiago Museum, Intramuros — a museum for Philippine history buffs, featuring the heroism of Filipino heroes.
  • Plaza San Luis, Intramuros — a commercial complex recreation of five affluent 19th century houses: Casa Manila, Casa Urdaneta, Casa Blanca, Los Hidalgos, and El Hogar Filipino. Plaza San Luis showcases Filipino-Hispanic Architecture. Other than souvenir shops there is a museum in Casa Manila.
  • Bahay Tsinoy (Museum of Chinese in Philippine Life), #8 Anda, corner Cabildo Sts, [[Intramuros]] (Facing the '''Manila Cathedral''', take the right side street. Turn left two blocks after Manila Cathedral, about 50 m is the entrance to Bahay Tsinoy museum.), +63 2-527 6083, [6]. 0900-1700. — Bahay Tsinoy is one of the three museums of its kind in Southeast Asia and, arguably, the world, the two others, called Peranakan Houses are in Singapore, and Penang, Malaysia . The Chinese, arriving in the Philippines in batches since pre-Spanish colonial times, have been settling and assimilating as Filipinos. The museum gives an idea of the nuanced past that the Chinese immigrants had to live through, and details their impressive journey from largely being itinerant vendors and coolies during the Spanish Occupation to being captains of industry and prominent figures in art, politics, media and government today. Museum is closed on Mondays, open on Sundays. Although Bahay Tsinoy is open by 0900, try to go there at 1300 at the earliest; only then is the air-conditioning turned on, for electricity-saving reasons. ₱100.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Manila (Met Museum), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, +63 2-521 1517, [7]. M-Sa 0900-1800. — inaugurated during Imelda's heyday, it used to display works by Caravaggio and other name-drop worthy Western painters. This premiere art museum showcases traditional, Hispanic, and modern art. Located along Roxas boulevard, across the Manila Yacht club.
  • Cultural Center of the Philippines Humanities Museum, CCP Complex, Malate — the Museum has permanent and temporary exhibits. Permanent exhibits consist mostly of musical instruments of indigenous and folk cultures of the Philippines, and elsewhere, puppets, and objects d’art.
  • University of Santo Tomás Museum, Sampaloc — the University has a museum housing a collection that dates back to 1682 - mostly natural history, coins & medals, ethnography, oriental arts, and catholic iconography. The building, known as the Paraninfo or simply UST Main Building to most, styled as Asian Art Deco, hints of a subdued and sanitized Angkor Wat or Borobudur, is where the museum sits, contains a lobby finished with a wall-to-wall historical mural by National Artist Carlos Botong Francisco in the genre and bravura style of Diego Rivera.


Parks

  • Rizal Park [8] — right outside the walled city is Rizal Park interchangeably called Luneta. In front of the centerpiece of the park, the National Hero-Martyr’s monument is the Quirino Grandstand, used for the ceremonial inauguration of the incoming President.
The Park is the nation’s living room & porch, used for national celebration of New Year’s Eve & Countdown, as well as Christmas & Eid’l Fitr. One of the largest aquarium in Asia, the Manila Ocean Park, is also cited in this park complex, as well as other city landmarks and amenities notably the National Museum renamed Museum of the Filipino People group of buildings and the pathetically funded and maintained 1950's style National Library and National Archives. The Park is also the country’s biggest teaching aide in patriotism, maintaining a huge relief map of the country emerging from a water pool and a Hall of Fame style busts of anti-imperialism national heroes. There used to be a huge horticulture clock and simulated waterfalls landscape composition about 30 to 40 years ago but they quietly disappeared (the waterfalls dried up) and replaced by more profitable attractions. One such replacement is the recently introduced theme park Halloween style spooky cavern.
The Park also contains open-air life-size sculpture-dioramas of the execution of Dr. José Rizal and that of the GOMBURZA martyrs (Fathers Gomez, Burgos, & Zamora), their martyrdom was also staged in this park. At night there’s a lights and sounds show, bringing sense and life to these statues, narrating their stories.
  • Paco Park [9] — was actually built as graveyard for Spanish families residing in Manila, designed as a circular in shape and walled and compartmentalized like a condominium of columbarium. After José Rizal's execution, his remains were sent and buried here, which is today commemorated by a monument in the park. It is now a public park with jogging lanes and open air concerts, and is also as popular venue for weddings. It is accessible by taxi and bus, as well as a 10 minute walk from the LRT United Nations Av Station.


Nature and Wildlife

  • Manila Zoo [10] — is rather decrepit, and in need of drastic renovations. Manila Zoo covers an area of 2 ha, accessible via Quirino LRT Station. Also here is housed its famous occupant, the lonely elephant Maali, the Philippines' only living elephant, friend to Hollywood stars such as Sir Paul McCartney & Pamela Anderson who have signified their objection to her solitary confinement but have yet to visit and console her.
  • Manila Ocean Park — is a much better maintained marine wildlife facility which was recently opened in 2008 and is located behind the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park. The 8,000 sq m (86,000 sq ft) oceanarium is larger than the Sentosa Underwater World oceanarium in Singapore, and features a 25 m (82 ft) underwater acrylic tunnel. Mostly accessible by taxi, but can be walked if you are in the vicinity of Rizal Park.
  • Arroceros Forest Park — situated in the heart of downtown Manila, a veritable thick jungle of trees that may become too dangerous at night, The Park is a 2.2-ha piece of land behind the old Art Deco masterpiece Manila Manila Metropolitan Theater. Arroceros got its name, which means “rice dealers,” from the rice trade along the Pasig riverbank during the early colonial period.


Churches

Spanish Colonial Churches

Baroque colonial churches where once proud showcases of the past especially before World War II. But the wanton destruction of the Japanese and the equally guilty American soldiers during the Battle of Manila in 1945 dissolved all that except for a handful remaining. Lack of maintenance, vandalism, theft, and no proper awareness, guidance, or education among administering priests and architects who undertook renovation blunders (multiplied more in the provinces) complicated the already pathetic state of remaining churches.

  • Manila Cathedral — located inside Intramuros District, a Byzantine-Romanesque Revival styled edifice belonging to the late 19th century, numerous times it was destroyed and rebuilt. This cathedral’s interior is rather somber and austere.
  • San Agustin Church — also located inside Intramuros District, the church is a fascinating blend of Mexican Classical Baroque Architecture with Chinese lion stone sentinels flanking the entrance gate, and the tropical pastel painted wood-carved retablos in its huge monastery. It’s a favorite wedding venue especially for the elite Catholic Chinese-Filipinos mainly because of the sense of high European culture it evokes through its gilded vaults, intricately finished ceilings, and crystal chandeliers. The founder of Manila, Miguel de Legazpi is buried here in his special nook. The antecoro is said to be haunted part of the church, not because of the World War II victims but because a priest was said to be murdered here.
  • Malate Church — a rather quaint and charming church evocative of Philippine Baroque Style. Nature seems to be at play here just like those famous architectural ruins left abandoned. The dirtier it looks the better. This church stonework simply has got some chemistry with the city smog.
  • Santa Ana Church — a Philippine Baroque Style church with a spacious atrium oddly situated on its side due to the limited façade front yard.
  • Binondo Church — outstanding Philippine Baroque composition (although the nave roof spoils the façade) in the center of Chinatown, the proportion is very Filipino, quintessentially what is also referred to as Earthquake Baroque, the bell tower has Chinese pagoda element in it. Dangling mess of power lines around it seems to enhance its antiquity.
  • Santa Cruz Church — fairly new, rebuilt just more than a half century old after so much destructions – war, earthquakes…, but the present version keeps the spirit of the previous hundred-year old designs.
  • Tondo Church — home to Santo Niño (or Sto in Spanish abbreviation) and its famous all-out fiesta. It was burned by the Japanese during their retreat defeat but the icon of the Child Jesus was miraculously saved.
  • Basilica of San Sebastian — the only all steel church of the Asia, the owners were tired of building the church over and over again after fires and earthquakes, they finally decided to use solid steel. Designed by Gustav Eiffel of the famed Eiffel Tower of Paris, its materials were pre-fabricated from Europe.

Beyond the City of Manila within the metropolitan area:

Iglesia Ni Kristo churches

Aside from the interesting Spanish colonial churches, there is one group of church-structures belonging to the Iglesia ni Kristo, a homegrown reformist church established by a Manilan named Felix Manalo in 1914 that is uniquely Filipino somewhat parallels with the Latter-Day-Saints Mormons (its cultish-ness and disciplined regimen demanded from its congregation), that merits some curiosities. These unique churches have two outstanding features: for a polluted city, they are amazingly always kept in pristine white condition (with some little pastel highlights), and they soar to the sky like those gothic cathedrals, or Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, or the Salt Lake Temple in Utah. In some cases, they jot out in the middle of a green countryside off the suburbs of Metro Manila. But even in the midst of urban jungle in Manila, one can't help but notice its immaculate white towers, spires, and giant nave roof pediments projecting through the clouds among the busy skyline, a welcome relief from the smog smeared structures of Manila.

No name yet is given to this architectural style but it may safely be called Philippine Gothic Revival and the churches show the usual suspects of Gothic tracery, lacework, and rosettes, with the emphasis of verticality and noticeable indigenous geometric motifs as substitute.

Its "Vatican" is located in the New Era District of Quezon City and in what seemed to be a geo-political strategic move, might be replaced by the county-sized, wide track of land the organization bought in South Dakota, USA. It can be easily seen from about two to three miles away from all directions heralding in a Disneyland Cinderella-like castle fashion, their main shrine.

A good example of the INK Church in Manila is at Pureza St, near the Pureza LRT Station in Santa Mesa District, visible on the north facing windows of the passing train. The organization has about less than a dozen more grand churches scattered within the city.


Saint Days

Manilans are mostly very pious Catholic people. On a different angle, being afflicted with problems and ailments, Manilans may not have much alternative and feel that some things are just out of their control and the best way is to ask for answers and solutions to their favorite saints. It would be interesting to note that some streets leading to a patron saint's home church are extra tight during their special days.

For the anthropologically curious, it provides a good peek into the daily life of the locals, young and old, men or women. This activity reveals a facet trait of the Filipino - being fatalistic and true blue believer of some higher spirits.

  • The Black Nazarene Minor Basilica, Quiapo District, Manila — its feast day is on January 9 but its special day of the week falls on Fridays.
  • St. Jude Thaddeus Shrine, San Miguel District, Manila — near Malacañan Palace, this church is the busiest on Thursdays.
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine — not in the City of Manila but situated in Baclaran District of Pasay City. Nevertheless heavy traffic affects the southern portion of the city towards the cities of Pasay-Paranaque, all interconnected by the LRT line. This Church is the liveliest on Wednesdays much more especially so because the surrounding area is carpeted by a flea market.


Self-guided tours

  • Intramuros Tour — visit the Walled City starting from Fort Santiago. Inside is the Rizal Shrine, honoring the country's National Hero, José Rizal - polymath, doctor, engineer, scientist, artist, linguist, propagandist, and most of all, an avid traveler who was incarcerated in exactly that same cell before he was executed, now transformed into his Shrine, housing his memorabilia. His patriotism and nationalist advocacy preceded that of Mahatma Gandhi's by about 20 years. Other places to see are the Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Roma, Ayuntamiento, Palacio del Gobernador, and the Manila Cathedral. San Agustin Church needs more than a passing glance. The monastery-church complex houses a priceless collection of religious art. Across is Plaza San Luis Complex comprising of a group of houses replete with authentic furnishings of the colonial period. Trace the walls of the Walled City and its gates, eight in all namely (clockwise, from Fort Santiago) Puerta Almacenes, Puerta de la Aduana, Puerta de Santo Domingo, Puerta Isabel II, Puerta del Parian, Puerta Real, Puerta Sta. Lucia, and Puerta del Postigo. Each gate has its unique architecture. Then head to Bahay Tsinoy, meaning House of the Filipino-Chinese. The House-Museum extolls the economic, political, and cultural, among other things, from the humble beginnings to, achievements and contributions of the Filipino-Chinese community.
  • Rizal Park Tour — gaze at Rizal Monument, on vigil watch by Marine Guards of Honor, a must stopping point for visitors and tourists. If you happened to be here by noon, watch the changing of the guards at the Rizal Monument. After saluting the Monument, look about face and gaze at the Quirino Grandstand, wandering how many Philippine Presidents have taken their ceremonial inauguration oath and Popes have graced the stand to address millions of crowds. Visit the National Museum (split into two buildings), the City Museum, and the Children's Museum, as well as the Museum of Philippine Political History. Wander around the Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino Gardens, the Orchidarium, and the Planetarium – all in their Third World mediocrity in collection and presentation. Although the Manila Ocean Park, a wall-to-ceiling aquarium, quite stands above the rest. Also see the The National Art Gallery farther out on the northeast side of the Park. See the scattered outdoor sculptures of National Artist Francisco Tolentino, the Philippines only sculptor trained in the Classical Style mold. Get a glimpse of the National Library and the conjoined National Archives, pathetically small for a population of 100 million people. The Philippines does not have a Library System and this is a rare opportunity to see a free-standing library in this country. See the giant relief map (meaning 3D, with exaggerated mountains) of the Philippines surrounded by real waters. Gaze about the Hall of Fame busts of Philippine personalities who fought against Spanish, American, & Japanese imperialism. In the early morning, join jogging and Tai Chi enthusiasts in the open air gym, and at night participate in the ballroom dancing, listen to an open-air theater featuring free classical music concerts and watch acclaimed international films screenings. The park is a popular meeting spot for family picnics as well as lovers' trysts. Ride the Tartanilla and the Calesa – Spanish-era horse-drawn carriage, and a mini train that loops around the park for ₱100 per pax. At the end of the tour, have your photo taken in front of the Police Station designed to look like a typical well-off turn-of-the-20th century provincial house. At the bayside restaurants facing the bay, dine till sunset and admire the sun’s romantic lights show.
  • Quiapo Tour — This self-guided tour starts at Bahay Nakpil on Bautista St in Quiapo, on a turn-of-the-century house, then to Plaza Miranda, now teeming with vendors of religious, herbal merchandizes, as well as fortune tellers and prayer proxies as you make your way to the Quiapo Basilica housing the Black Nazarene. Stroll to Raon, Villalobos, and Palanca Sts on your way to Quinta Market and the Ile de Toule (Ilalim ng Tulay) for handicrafts and souvenirs.
  • Escolta Tour
  • Binondo Chinatown Tour
  • Divisoria Night Market Tour
  • Roxas Boulevard & Sunset Tour — follow the promenade strip along Roxas Bl with the view of Manila Bay on one side and the array of buildings fronting the bay. At sunset, stop and gaze at the setting sun if you don’t mind the retiring homeless people staking out their claim along the breakwall.
  • Malate & Ermita Tour — cover this area starting from Plaza Rajah Sulayman and Malate Church, a quaint Baroque church, then meander in any direction along Adriatico, Mabini, Del Pilar Sts and back and stop by a pub. The tour ends at San Andres Market.
  • CCP Complex Tour — probe into the mind of Imelda Marcos by strolling, jogging, or biking into the reclaimed CCP Complex where a menagerie of her showcase art-beauty-culture projects stands, albeit not in its spic-n'-span condition. See Districts/Malate section. These public buildings except for the Cultural Center of the Philippines Building or Theater for the Performing Arts, used to be accessible but have now been reduced to being admired from the outside.
The most prominent of these buildings is the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Arch. Leandro Locsin composed this structure from two massive horizontal blocks – the podium below and the roof above which projects similarly to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water House masterpiece. The podium walls’ base smoothly curl from the ground, then vertically up, reminiscent of the typical Hokusai-Hiroshige Ukiyo-E print tsunami depictions, while the texturing composed of plain concrete mixed in with crashed Manila Clam shells gathered from Manila Bay evokes the Ryoanji Temple Garden in Japan, resembling its raked white sands. In the course of his career he developed this signature finish and applied it to his succeeding projects. That tsunami curl on the podium base reverberates in the main entry and foyer. The access ramp evokes the over simplicity exemplified in Oscar Niemeyer’s Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, a boxy structure which was in turn inspired by the Bauhaus architect Mies Van Der Rohe and the 1960’s animated cartoon series The Jetsons’ space age forms. Facing of the massive roof fascia is in travertine. The interior permeates with relaxing zen serenity.
The Coconut Palace, always unpredictably closed, is now open for viewing, by appointment. Inside, marvel at the unassuming coconuts considered as the Tree of Life in the Philippines, used not only as source of nourishment and medication, but also as construction material taking center stage, and also using capiz or hardened and layered oyster saliva as embellishment – another abundant and taken for granted material in the Philippines, transforming this house into a work of artistic marvel. Starting with a beehive pattern motif akin to the round shape of the coconut shell, and close to the figure “8” that may have some Fung Shui good luck undertones, this villa is governed by this layout visible everywhere such as the floor plan, the floor patterns, to the window panes and screen panels. Among some ingenuous local sourced applications institutionalized in this house are the coconut trunk colonnades, the coconut tiled bathrooms, the coconut clusters of chandeliers, the capiz window panes, the mother-of-pearl inlay painstakingly jigsawed by schoolgraders on a long dining table cut from a single three trunk, a tobacco leaf laminated table top, and upholstery and wallpaper using abaca plant fibers, a relative of the banana plant.
  • City Tour of Metro Manila Via LRT — this do-it-yourself tour provides a panoramic view of the city from a different vantage point, exactly from a moving elevated train about 15 feet above street level. Line-1 (Yellow) traverses the North to South Route of the City of Manila and beyond to the south at EDSA, Pasay City, and to the north at the other end of the circumferential EDSA, Caloocan City. Next is Line-2 (Purple) for the East-West Route, a quarter of which is in the City of Manila. You may extend to tour beyond the city onward to the east towards from the end of Manila which is Sta Mesa to Marikina City. Extra tour is Line-3 (Blue) for the circumferential route, totally out of the city either from the southernmost Line-1 Station or at the northernmost Line-1 Station. For an all- female-tour, LRT has an exclusive all female coach just for discerning takers. Time your tour during off rush hours.


Value-added tours

  • Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way Tour — Intramuros tour with interesting commentaries, humor, and theatrics.
  • Electric Chariots Tour of Intramuros — tour in style, meaning in segway rented from White Knight Hotel, Intramuros.
  • Pasig River Cruise


Theatrical performances

Filipinos, fed with abundant sunlight and Omega 3-rich seafood diet, are predisposed to merrymaking, singing, and dancing. These are institutionalized into the world acclaimed folkloric troupes namely the Bayanihan Dance Troupe and the UP Madrigal Singers (University of the Philippines) consistently garnering grand prix in international competitions and are sought after by city tour invitations from Bucarest to Buenos Aires. Based at the Cultural Center of the Philippines here in Manila, local contingents are left to satisfy the entertainment craving of the local audience, performing seasonally.

  • Folkloric Ballet — see the world famous and multi-awarded Bayanihan Dance Company one of the in-house dance company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This dance troupe assembles a unique tapestry in sights and sounds of the different cultures of the Philippines – from the indigenous to folksy, from north to the south.
  • Chorale, Chamber, and Symphonic Music –the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the institution of performing arts in the whole of Asia, boasting of many firsts, is the venue of varied performances, though not on a regularly occurring basis.


Fiestas, Fairs, & Festivals

  • New Year Welcoming Festival, Luneta or Rizal Park — the safest pocket of outdoor public place in Manila. The rest of the city and the metropolis are converted into a war zone with eardrum piercing noise, blanket haze, and stray bullets fired from random sources.
  • Chinese New Year Welcoming Festival, Chinatown, Binondo District and the malls — featuring most importantly, the dragon dance, and sale of tikoy – a very sticky rice cake specially eaten during this time, symbolizing bonding between family and relatives. Chinese banks during this occasion may hand over red packets containing cash inside (about ₱8 or ₱88, a very lucky number for the Chinese) and especially designed in red and gold-motif collector’s item give-away calendar. Time your transaction with them during this period.
  • Feast of the Black Nazarene in Caroza Parade, Quiapo District, Manila, January 9 — the city is paralyzed on this day with the display of fanaticism and superstition of the Filipinos converging into this procession, more than two million warm bodies, mostly men, try to climb the caroza to reach the icon to rub with a towel and touch, hoping to be infected with healing and magical powers even if there are opportunities to kiss and touch it on any time and day of the year. Also a feast for pickpockets as they press bodies and squeeze with the crowd.
  • Feast of Santo Niño,Tondo District, Manila, 3rd Sunday of January — marked by street parades.
  • Manila Summer Sea Sports Festival along Roxas Bl, held in March — mainly a regatta and boat race events.
  • Lenten Week or Semana Santa, catholic churches throughout Manila, movable — for this masochistic ritual, some streets close their traffic for penitents as these self-confessed sinners walk in file, their heads covered (to hide their identity) as they exposed their torso and identifiable tattoos to self- flagellate until blood and bruised wounds appear. Roam around the city on bike and be curious as this is the best day of no car traffic (population reduced due to residents returning to their hometowns, in the beach, or up in the mountain resorts) but bring lots of sunscreen and water since these days are the height of summer season.
  • Santacruzan Festival, held throughout catholic churches — ladies, recruited as the prettiest in the locality, or if afforded by organizers, movie stars and beauty queens, are paraded under a bamboo framed valance or canopy of flowers, costumed and personifying avatars of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and other biblical figures. The star of the parade is Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine whose feat, according to legend, dispatched an expedition in search of the Holy Cross where Jesus was crucified.
  • Flores de Mayo — catholic churches throughout Manila, Sundays of May, a Marian devotion, children offer flowers, most likely mischievously picked from somebody’s garden, to the image of Mary the Mother of Jesus.
  • Philippine Independence Day Celebration at the Luneta, June 12 — flag raising ceremonies by top officials, free to the public cultural dance and music shows.
  • All Souls & Saints Day Celebration, cemeteries throughout Manila, November 1 — living relatives bring fiesta and entrepreneurial spirit to their dead ones at the cemetery, including potlucks, refreshments, beers, guitars, TV and stereo units, candles, and flowers.
  • Marian Festival in Intramuros — caroza parade of Marian images, First Sunday of December, another of these devotions to Mary the Mother of Jesus, important icons of her are synchronically paraded inside Intramuros.
  • Misa De Gallo held in all churches, 9 sunrise masses prelude to Christmas — a Catholic tradition, families have to wake up early at dawn for these masses and end up eating breakfast on the way home. Bibingka and puto bungbong stands, put up along the direction of the church sell these rice cakes cooked over charcoal, are eaten together with salabat or ginger brew.
  • Christmas Day, held in all Christian homes and churches, December 25.
  • Metro Manila Film Festival Float Parade, along Roxas Bl, late afternoon of December 25 — parade of local stars participating in the festival being carried in their respective film entry floats. Dubbed as an All-Filipino film festival, no competing Hollywood films are shown during this week.
  • Pageant of the Three Kings — held in all churches, every 1st Sunday of January, the three legendary wise men who traced the Nativity of Jesus are depicted by three locals as they give away treats to children.
  • Bota De Flores, Ermita District, held in December 26.
  • Araw ng Maynila, June 24 — founding day of the City of Manila.


Monsoon Season

Monsoon season covers the months of June to October. During these months, typhoons frequently visit the Philippines. But Filipinos are fun loving people and the rainy season is not the time to be depressed, turning serious typhoon calamities into celebrations, and of course another occasion for Instagram selfie photo ops. Annually, about 20 typhoons make landfall, not counting the occasional typhoon-less days but day-long downpours and flashfloods – in an intermittent two rainy days a week to three to four rainy days in a row. And each one of them is a potential day for merrymaking, especially anticipated by children and children at heart. When heavy rains fall, classes are suspended drawing kids out of their homes, down dressing and frolicking like gangs of mustangs in a wide desert country. If it rains for over an hour, over 60% of Manila roads go under water while vehicular traffic stops, duplicating this scenario in the metropolis and adjoining regions, converting these open spaces into Waterworld attractions, encouraging kids to frolic even longer, unmindful of the cocktail of diseases they can catch, while the sophisticated ones slide out their waverunners, and the gay at heart dive into their mermaid suits. So many Filipino antics to see. You may join in the fun, if you think you are healthy enough. It’s evident with the smiles in people’s faces while enjoying the extra public holiday. Who’s afraid of playing in the water?

Another telltale sign of a fiesta is evident. Honed in during ordinary fiestas, every community is brought together in the spirit of participation called the bayanihan. Committees are formed to put up the buntings, market and cook the food, or provide sound engineering, and entertainment. But during this calamitous event, the virtue of impromptu cooperation manifests in rescuing those who are trapped in their houses, distributing meals, checking out and evacuating the very young, the sick, the old, and in case a neighbor has no able-bodied men, assist in sliding piles of concrete blocks under the sofa or refrigerator or just evacuating it upstairs hopefully unreachable to the rising floodwaters.


Do

Grooming

  • Groom – an advice for certified stingy travellers coming from affluent countries is not to cut your hair, nor your finger, nor even your toe nails on your scheduled date with the groomer before the trip. When you arrive in the Philippines, take a brief rest then head straight to a grooming salon where service is superior but cheap and does not require any tipping. Hair salons here charge as low as ₱50 or $1.15 for men and ₱200 or $4.50 for women, that comes with wash and blow dry on neighborhood salons. Competition is tough; needless to say, manicures and pedicures are cheap as well. Women have varying treatments in grooming, with different fee scales, sophisticated nuanced terminology like “bonding” and “cellophane”, not heard before 15 years ago, and something that is required for the Asian hair as the average Asian woman has become affluent, carrying over even her Filipina counterpart. Expect additional charges for extras but it will only come up in cents. Nowadays, salons have sprouted like wild mushrooms in almost every other neighborhood corner. Attendants are visibly seen from the glazed storefront with their hands always full.
  • Relax & Rejuvenate – most hair shops operate with spas spurred by Korean owned and Thai inspired grooming salons, and some operate exclusively for spa and massage service. Now, massage shops have been democratized and de-stigmatized, serving lady consumers as well, a phenomenon far from the olden days when only men used their service to be sexually relieved. Full-Body Massage can be had for ₱200 or $4.50 for a one-hour session.
  • Dental Grooming & Relaxation – also, time your teeth cleaning session schedule in the Philippines. Basic cleaning service comes with flossing, brushing depending on how deep the deposit is, polishing, and gum massaging, and is charged by a professional dentist for ₱350 or $8.00 only, no insurance, no red tape required.


Medical check-ups and shopping

There is such a thing as medical tourism in the Philippines as evident by more foreigners checking out the pharmacy counters in tourist districts – Malate and outlying Makati City area, not simply to buy Diatabs or Paracetamol. Definitely the come on is the cheap medication offered by the Philippines, same quality, compared to First World countries. Though you need medical prescription issued by a local doctor. Consultation is about ₱200 or $4.50 for a general practitioner and ₱500-₱800 ($11.50-$18.30) for a specialist. Here in the Philippines, the longer the line means the cheaper the consultation fee. Form-filling or paper works also takes about a minute of your time, compared to 30 minutes or more in the US, going through dozens of pages of fine print. Mercury Drugstore with its wide network and established decades of quality drugs and service, is one of the fast drug dispensing counters in the country, these amazing certified pharmacist-dispensers and cashiers with the acute skills of a casino card dealer cum waiter, do it less ritualized, less protocol, in a jiffy with a few click clacks of the keyboard, juggling five customers at a time without mistake, and the average waiting time is less than five minutes, an added entertainment value. TGP or The Generics Drugstore is in a fierce competition geared to the low income bracket, with South Star Drug closely behind.


Conventions and fairs

Every month, around the metropolis’ gigantic malls, a major convention or fair is held for culinary aficionados, computer geeks, paper crafts hobbyists, bookworms, film enthusiasts, anime and manga lovers, coin collectors, rappers – what have you.


Cosplay

Alongside with conventions and exhibits, Manilans are also into cosplay fashion shows which are copies of the weekly events in Roponggi District in Tokyo – a way of venting up some personality problems. Malls are venues for this, and if not formally held on a certain date, one is welcome to cosplay and display one’s self inside.


Malling

If your comfort zone is defined by Western-type malls, you can’ miss the malls. Despite their universality, malls offer the only alternative to Filipino food and culture from a safe and comfortable standpoint, providing mug- and tout-free, and guaranteed pollution- and sweat-free barriers to the real world.

To a local standpoint, there are not much museums, libraries, nature and wildlife parks, or state-of-the-art amusement parks in Manila to see, these are the alternatives. And they are actually filling-in the shoes of these institutions by hosting exhibitions of the likes. And especially on hot and muggy weekends rain or shine, Manilans come in droves in tank tops and shorts to take advantage of free air-conditioning. It's best to see these living museums if you want to observe Filipino behavior and culture.

If you can’t help but swing in and out of Manila, around the metropolis are about 90 more malls. More are under construction. On a wider note, Filipinos in general are one of the world’s top frequent mallers with 4 of the Top 20 Mammoth Malls in the World, and with easily 60% of them each covering more than 100,000 sq. m. of commercial space. You can’t miss SM Mall of Asia, currently the 4th largest mall in the world but this is in nearby Pasay City.

You may pass by malls initialed with the letters SM. These are owned by Henry Sy, the Philippines foremost billionaire (valued by Forbes at $15B in2013) and whose clan is the Philippines' answer to the Waltons. Chinese-Filipino Mr. Sy and his family owned at the latest count, four malls-department stores in the city of Manila alone. Notice too, that SM stands for Shoemart indicating the humble beginnings of the empire from just merely selling shoes in an unrecognizable stall at Quezon Bl in Quiapo in 1958 to its flagship department store in Carriedo St also in Quiapo. Now it has fully diversified into the malling business beyond megalomanic proportions, its corporate visible presence and tentacles spreading to practically all the metropolitan areas in the Philippines.

Tutuban Centermall in Tondo, Robinsons Plaza in Ermita, Harrizon Plaza in Malate, SM Arroceros also in Ermita, or SM Santa Mesa are the five recommended malls in Manila because of their diversity, good vibes, and most of all, feel of security.


Buy

Cash and Credit

The unit of currency is the Peso (symbol: ), and judging by the impressive performance of the economy and its big foreign currency reserves, the peso is at US$1 to ₱44. Bill denominations are in ₱20, ₱50, ₱100, ₱500, & ₱1000 while coin denominations are in 25¢, 50¢, ₱1, ₱5, & ₱10. 25¢ has always been very common and the jeepney fare has decreased to a base fare of ₱8.00 (January 2013).

Banks and Money Changers are available in the airport but it's better to change money outside where competition abound. Money changers are everywhere and most homecoming Filipinos prefer to change them here than in banks, or Western Union, or M. Lhuillier branches. There is no commission. The farther it is from the Tourist Belt Area, and the nearer it is around a town or city public market, the better the exchange rate is. Safety is not a problem especially if you change them during busy hours (safety in numbers). Be sure to count everything and put them safe in your person before you leave the premises.

Money can be withdrawn from ATM and they are also everywhere. The Philippines is one of the countries with the most available ATM machines per capita.

Credit Cards are accepted almost everywhere especially at all upmarket shops.


Shops

A part of the Philippine's bustling capital is a remarkable melting pot of Asian, Oceanic, and Latin cultures, which are thick with history and flavor in tune with most traveler's interests. The best way to get a feel for Manila shopping is to go to a tiangge, a market of stalls where everything can be bargained. There are shopping centers catering to handicrafts, antiques, and curio souvenirs. Aside from Ilalim ng Tulay in Quiapo are the shops in the districts of Ermita and Malate around M. Adriatico, A.Mabini, and M.H. del Pilar.


Malls

Tutuban Centermall, Robinsons Galleria in Ermita District, Harrison Plaza in Malate District, SM Arroceros also in Ermita District, and Shoemart City in Sta Mesa District are examples of such. For another alternative to bargain hunting is the 168 Shopping Mall in Binondo Chinatown district.


Public markets

Public markets are one microcosm of Manila. Practically, Manilans from all walks of life come here to buy their everyday needs. They are as lively and colorful as any market in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam. Generally, they are divided into wet and dry sections and another section for dining. Dining is very cheap and can be wholesomely hygienic. Just look out for the huge block of ice dragged along the floor on its way from the delivery truck to a kitchen stall. If you see one delivered in that manner, never mind, don't eat there, ever. Joking aside, a filling meal will cost you as little as US$1.25.


Ukay ukays

If you happen to see just about every Tom, Dick, and Harry in a blighted neighborhood in Manila wearing Abercrombie & Fitch & Levis jeans, chances are it's original and bought at Ukay Ukays. How could they afford it? Ukay Ukay is the answer. Manilans love them and it’s a lucrative private enterprise. Ukay ukay happens to be a contraction of the Tagalog word "Hukay" meaning to dig, the description for the exact action done while rummaging through the bins of clothes. But there are actually no bins installed in those stores, only clothes neatly hanged on the racks. For less than $5, one can find hand me down good qualities of branded wear. The more enterprising provide home delivery and roaming services by hanging them on racks installed on pedicabs, as they make the rounds on neighborhoods. Judging by the unaffordable cost of living to most of the middle class and the soaring gasoline prices, plus, as a treasure hunt extra, a good chance that there may be a dollar bill carelessly or secretly tucked in one of the pockets, they are here to stay.

It's also great for the budget traveller who would not want to have the hassle of packing and carrying tons of clothes by simply buying them here, then discarding them as he leaves to make room for accumulating souvenirs.


Shopping list

Make sure you buy the traditional Barong Tagalog. These are long shirts similar to those Cuban & Mexican Guayaberas, made of very light-weight, tropical friendly material, often decorated with embroidered Filipino motifs symmetrically on the left and right panels of the chest and are worn mostly by men but women too in their feminine version on all occasions. It can be as informal as a casual wear Hawaiian Shirt and as opaque somber and smart as an office uniform, or as semi-translucent intricately embroidered elegant formal tuxedo substitute for wedding, depending on the material and design. Cotton varieties are much more affordable, but for the real deal, go for one made by the strands of a pineapple leaf. It is worn in conjunction with short-sleeved underwear shirt, otherwise the nipples are visible, while the hem goes outside trousers – i.e. not "tucked in". If you really are looking for the "bee's knees", travel to the Visayan island of Negros and buy some barongs hand woven from Ábaca fibre (used to be called Manila Hemp - made from the trunk of Musa textilis, a species of banana native to the Philippines) with geometric design details from the mountains to the west of Bais City.


Eat

Manila started out as a village of Malay Muslims eclipsed by the Spaniards. Their culinary contributions are now fully ingrained in everyday and occasional celebration dining such as Menudo, Apritada (Afritada), Caldereta, Almondigas (Albondigas), Mechado, etc. These are supplemented by the Chinese dishes such as Pansit, Lumpiang Shanghai, Pata Timv, & Dimsum. The Italian dominated Americans took their turn influencing the Filipinos with their fast food Burgers, Hotdogs, Pizzas, and Spaghettis – lately Lasagnas & Carbonaras, as shown by the proliferation of their fast food joints. But there are still others previously on the sidelights that are also melting into the pot.


Regional dishes

Manila is a national hub of regional cooking and has all the regions of the Philippines represented - either in exclusively regional eateries or featured with other cuisines – that were introduced by these migrants from other regions. For example, the northern region called Ilocos has its favorite fare called Pinakbet approved by practically everyone but still closely identified as Ilocano fare.

Here are just some of the regional dishes that feature in the restaurants, canteens, and carinderias in Manila and the surrounding areas:

Northern Luzon Island Region or Ilocos (Ilocano)
Ilocanos, the most affluent and prominent of ethnic tribes next to the Tagalogs, are famous for their industry and accustomed to live frugally in a limited cultivable strip of land bounded between West Philippines Sea and the Cordillera mountain range in northern Luzon island. They have also migrated to the Cagayan Valley in the northeast side of the island and have matched, if not surpassed its original inhabitant’s numbers, the Ibanags.
  • Pinakbet — vegetable stew with small amount of fried pork chunks (including the rind) seasoned with bagoong (shrimp paste). The list of veggie ingredients which may sound exotic includes talong (Philippine aubergine), ampalaya (bitter gourd), sigarillas (winged bean), sitaw (haricots), squash & squash flowers, bataw (hyacinth bean), patani (lima bean), alucon or alocon flowers (worm-like or cat’s tail – no translation), & okra.
  • Dinengdeng — similar to pinakbet, uses grilled or fried fish together with or just plain vegetables, and soupier using fish or any seafood stock such as bagoong (shrimp paste).
  • Papaetan — tripe seasoned with bile secretion, goat tripe is preferred.
  • Bagnet — pork chunks and chops fried and seasoned in bagoong (shrimp paste).
  • Ilocos Empanada — Ilocano version of fried spring roll but actually the thicker wrapper is folded into half like an empanada; includes meat and vegetable ingredients – bagnet, Ilocos longganiza (Ilocos sausage), unbeaten egg, and mung bean sprouts or grated green papaya.
  • Igado — although derived from the Spanish word ‘liver’, the style of cooking is ancient. Like adobo, it’s got many regional variations owing to the marinating ingredients. From basic pork and liver strips, this dish is popularized by the southern province of La Union and the Autonomous Cordillera Region where Chinese immigrant cooks leveled up the taste.

The southernmost Ilocano province of Pangasinan contributed tupig – a popular Manila snack made from sweetened grated root crops and coconut flesh tucked in coconut frond and grilled over charcoal.

Central Luzon Island Region (Kapampangan)
Pampagueños lead in the art of assimilating and combining the best of Spanish, Mexican, and Cantonese on top of Malay legacies, blessed with a very fertile river delta homeland that offers abundant harvest of ingredients. Having abundance, they channel their energies to become the most meticulous of the ethnic tribes and have supplemented it with culinary creativity and resourcefulness. Aside from the common beef, pork, chicken, they have exotic treats such as kamaru (mole cricket adobo), betute tugak (stuffed deep-fried frog), barag (spicy stewed monitor lizard), itik (duck stewed in blood), pindang damulag (pickled carabao meat), pinaupong manok (free range chicken stuffed with herbs and spices, smoked in sitting position), burong burig (catfish or mudfish in fermented rice), tamales or boboto (Mexican tamale but instead wrapped in banana leaf), and taba ng talangka (crab fat paté or the Philippine caviar).

Pampanga dishes that percolated down to an average Manilan table are:

  • Buro — fermented rice and fish.
  • Tapa — sweetened beef jerky.
  • Pampanga Tocino — fermented pork or chicken in sugar.
  • Pampanga Longganiza — fermented pork or chicken sausage in sugar & vinegar.
  • Relleno — stuffed fish or chicken.
  • Pastel — evolved from the Spanish pastel, is served during occasions but is now transformed as pot dish served without the crust on everyday setting (with rice).
  • Galantina — stuffed chicken roll.
  • Cocido — fish & vegetable stew.
  • Pansit Palabok — dry glassy noodle with an array of garnishing and achiote-based sauce.
  • Sisig — the most ubiquitous Pampanga dish in Manila, a dish of chopped pig’s liver added with the finely chopped cheeks and ears of a pig to add crunch, then creamed with mayonnaise and spiced with Philippine chili. New variants are chicken, beef, bangus (fresh water fish) and squid.

They also excel in fine desserts such as Turon de Casuy, Mazapan, Leche Flan and Biscochos Borrachos.

Central Luzon Island Region (Tagalog)
Tagalogs, the prime movers and shakers of the country, are generally good cooks too with all the influences and ingredients at their disposal:
  • Adobo — now considered as the National Dish. With so many regional variations, this Tagalog version dominates. It's pork, beef, chicken, or practically anything marinated in soy sauce and vinegar, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
  • Sinigang — Philippines' answer to Thailand's Tom Yam, a meat or seafood boiled in a sour fruit and also has regional versions. The sour seasoning depends on the sour fruit in season.
  • Dinuguan — internal organs of butchered animals and cooked with pork blood and served with sweet rice cake. (Note: eating animal organs was introduced by the Spaniards). It has also spawned numerous variations, some with even western based vegetable ingredients such as broccoli and zucchini.
  • Hipong Halabos — boiled shrimp.
  • Sinaing na Tulingan — native fish called Tulingan boiled in banana leaf with vinegar & soy sauce.
  • Embotidong Batangas — this is brought over by itinerant vendors coming from Batangas province, about 100 plus km south of Manila. How much more native and organic you can get when the usual meat loaf is wrapped in aluminum foil, while this one is wrapped in banana leaf.
  • Kari-Kari — beef parts mixed with vegetables and flavored with pounded peanut turned into sauce, very elaborate and tedious by Philippine cooking standards due to pressurized tenderizing of the tripe, and grinding the peanuts by hand to make it into a paste.
  • Biya with Gata — fish cooked in coconut milk.
  • Pangat — fish boiled but without coconut milk.
Southern Luzon Peninsula Region (Bicol)
Bicolanos are considered the hotties because they can tolerate chili more than any other Filipino. They also like coconut milk. Recently, their love for chili and coconut milk fueled some fodder in experimentation of chili flavored ice cream and milk shake.
  • Pinangat — minced young coconut meat with either shrimps or freshwater fish (mudfish, tilapia, catfish) and hot pepper wrapped in taro leaves then cook boiled in pure coconut milk.
  • Tanaguktok — (also called Sinanglay) fish stuffed with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and the inevitable hot pepper wrapped in banana leaf and then cooked in coconut milk.
  • Gulay na Natong or simply called Laing — cut or torn taro leaves cooked in coconut milk.
  • Bicol Express — a dish comprising of julienned chili peppers with a mixture of fatty pork, salted small shrimps (locally known as balaw) sautéed in onions, garlic, ginger and sometimes tomatoes then cooked in coconut milk. It has evolved to include more meat chunks, preferred by most Manilans particularly construction workers for its energizing high calorie content on top of its appetizing taste.
  • Kinunot — Bicol’s sinful dirty secret dish for using the endangered stingray (pagui) as an ingredient. De-fibered stingray flesh is cooked with coconut milk, long light green chili (Philippine chili), and moringa leaves (malunggay); sold only in dining stalls in public markets with heavy Bicolano traffic clientele.

Pili nut is endemic in this region; the taste is somewhat of a cross between macadamia and almond. It is sold glazed, speckled like sugared pretzel, or roasted in Manila confectionary stores in supermarkets and malls as it is quite expensive.

Eastern Visayas Islands Region or Samar-Leyte (Waray)
Warays, carefree and fun-living, live in barren islands and are coconut milk lovers minus the hot chili pepper.
  • Kinilao — raw fish in lime and vinegar with coconut milk, served as appetizer or pulutan.
Central Visayas Islands Region (Cebu)
Cebuanos, also famous for their very exuberant music and guitars were influenced by the Spaniards in a different twist, having been more Mexicanized. Perhaps the Acapulco-to-Manila route was too long and boring for the Mexican sailors that they were dying to jump ship as soon as they reach the islands, the earliest accessible of which is Cebu. The combination of dry and barren climate, sandy soil, and the heavy influence of the Mexicans are a perfect match for the corn and tamale to blossom.
  • Tamales — similar to the Mexican tamale.
  • Pintos or Corn Suman — corn desert removed from the cob and re-wrapped in the husk.
  • Danggit — sun dried rabbit fish and similar dried fishes, important for breakfast meals matched with fried rice and hot chocolate in a typical Manila morning table, are supplied by Cebu.
  • Otap or Hojaldres — Cebuano biscuit.
  • Dried Sweet Mango — Cebu is famous for its dehydrated sweet sliced mango snack.
  • Bohol Kisses — from the island of Bohol, a Hershey kisses-shaped confectionary from roughly grated peanuts.
Western Visayas Islands Region (Ilongo)
These islands, of which Iloilo is the homeland, are fertile and more blessed with rain than the other Visayan Islands and the waters abound with fish. Ilongos are some of the most ingenious in the Visayas when it comes to cooking. Most of them are recruited as maids and laundry women for Manila but end up in the kitchen churning out gastronomic delights.
  • Batchoy or La Paz Batchoy — the town of La Paz in Iloilo is well known for its Batchoy, a Chinese contribution (the word means pork bits and pieces). The ingredients are chicharón or fried pork rinds, boiled beef and its stock, chopped garlic, and noodles.
  • Pansit Molo — soup with wanton like dumplings.
  • Linaga — boiled beef flavored with jackfruit flesh.
  • Laswa — vegetables cooked in little water with fermented fish, similar to the Ilocos Pinakbet.
  • Linagpang — broiled fish.
  • Inasal — originally as spiced fish, now chicken cooked over charcoal, popularized by a lot of restaurants in Manila.
  • Kadyos — vegetables with fish, shrimp, or meat.
  • KBL- Kadios Baboy Langka — uses pork chunks, pigeon peas, and jackfruit.
  • Pinalmalhan — fish cooked with vinegar and salt with ginger and chili, ingredients more common before the era of the refrigerator.
  • Tinumkan — pounded fish meat mixed with chopped onions, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
  • Binakol — uses native chicken and coconut juice with green papaya.
  • Tinola — chicken cooked with green papaya, ginger, lemon grass, and pepper leaves.

Bacolod City, linguistically linked to and facing Iloilo City and island, is the Ilongo-speaking part of the island of Negros where the principal crop is sugar cane exported to the US. It’s famous for its giveaway treats to sweet tooth friends and colleagues upon return:

  • Butterscotch — Iloilo/Bacolod version.
  • Piaya — unleavened grilled bread filled with a slather of any of these: jams, sweet bean, Nutella, yam, or chocolate.
  • Barquillos — sweet biscuit roll from thin wafer.
  • Napoleones — sweet layered pastry.
Mindanao Region
The second largest island, but the least influential, Mindanao has three distinct regions – the Lumads or the Pre-Islamic tribal minorities, the Muslim or Islamic, and Hispanized Zamboanga enclave at the tip of the western peninsula and the Hispanic Christian migrants mainly from the Ilocano and the Cebuano group settling around, except the central part which is the Muslim territory. Mindanao always connotes the Muslim group and their culinary influence in Manila is not fully ingrained. In the Muslim section of Manila, one can find Piassok with beef as an ingredient, Pialam, or Landang-Landang not common to the average Manilans. In Quiapo district of Manila, among the dishes and rice cakes display stands are exotic spices that have never been in Christianized kitchens. One can also see palisades of bamboo-skewered and grilled whole tuna about half a meter long. Popularly selling comfort food here is the pandan leaf wrapped steamed rice called Binalot in coconut milk with spicy chicken sauce for ₱20 (₵ 0.45).
  • Lumpiang Ubod — Lumpia or spring roll by itself is an influence of the Chinese who settled among the Hispanized natives of Zamboanga. This popular snack is a raw-eaten vegetable salad wrapped in a rice sheet. The filling is freshly shredded banana stamen. The Manila version has been into evolution lately substituting the rice wrapper with egg based green-colored crêpe incorporated with a sprinkling of bits of moringa leaves.

The main fruit contribution of Mindanao is summed up in suha or Philippine grapefruit, mangosteen, and durian – an exotic fruit popularly grown in Davao and exported to Manila.


Street food/comfort food

Street Food is often described as "Pamatid Gutom" or food to tide over, something to temporarily hush a stomach growl, sold at small food stalls, food stands, or food carts set up in places with high amount of pedestrian traffic. Cheap and rushed, it could be something commuters can chew & swallow standing up, or gulp in seconds while transferring from one route to another, or from station to station, with a quick stop at a sushi, siomai, barbecue, or hotdog stall.

The variety of street food available is tremendous, both international and local, and may reward the truly adventurous traveler. Because of the huge variety, this section is split into two: those dishes normally sold by Stationary Vendors and those often sold by Ambulant (or Itinerant) Vendors:


Stationary vendors

  • Grilled Corn-On-The-Cob — charcoal grilled using the sticky white corn variety.
  • Peanuts-On-Shell, Yellow & White Corn-On-The-Cob — Simply Boiled
  • Bird Eggs — Simply Boiled
    • Balut — Although popular in Vietnam and even China, this culinary brand is associated most with the Philippines which bears the brunt of owning its trademark tag under the “gross” category. This boiled duck embryo, generally safe to eat as the whole duck egg is intact and well cooked. The sight of a fully-formed duckling, complete with wings, ribbed feet, and beak may not be too easily swallowed by the squeamish however; either tapped in rock salt or clear vinegar unlike in Vietnam where they sprinkle it with julienned ginger, chopped cucumber, and parsley.
    • Penoy — boiled undeveloped duck egg - just the white and the yolk.
    • Pugo — boiled quail egg – just the white and the yolk.
  • Meat Cuts & Processed Meats — Skewered in Bamboo Stick and Charcoal Grilled
    • Chicken or Pork Barbeque — bite-size pieces marinated: pork cuts, chicken legs, chicken wings.
    • Isaw, Helmet, Adidas and Betamax — chicken or pork intestines, chicken head, feet, and blood with funny names, respectively.
    • Atay, Balun-Balunan, Puso — chicken body parts - liver, gizzard, heart.
    • Day-Old Chick — newly hatched whole chick.
    • Hotdog, Frankfurter
  • Meat Flavored Dough Balls & Processed Meats — Deep Fried
    • Bola Bola — rice flour dough balls flavored from fish, squid, crab, shrimp, pork, chicken, beef, or even lobster stock; sometimes mixed with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or spring onion, fried and served in vinegar based dip. Although varied, it needs to level up to the Japanese and Chinese versions.
    • Kikyam — ground meat and dough mix wrapped in bean curd sheets.
    • Chicken Nuggets — processed chicken breast.
    • Chicken Saucers — processed chicken breast.
    • Bite-Sized Hotdog, Sausage, Frankfurter — small cured meat cuts, grilled or deep fried.
    • Day-Old Chick — newly hatched whole chick, immediately drowned into a cauldron of boiling oil.
  • Meat Flavored Dough Balls & Processed Meats — Skewered in Bamboo Stick and Steamed
    • Bola Bola, Kikyam, Chicken Nugget, & Hotdog
    • Siomai — ground meat of fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, or beef formed into balls and wrapped in dough sheets.
  • Processed Meats Heated on Hot Rollers
    • Hotdog — these are heat-rolled them the way 7-11 stores do it; in different sizes – bite and jumbo, and meat types, skewered, grilled and topped with sauces - New York style, chili, pesto, mayo, catsup, cheese, chili cheese, etc.
  • Batter & Filling – Deep Fried
    • Kwek Kwek (Duck) and Tokneneng (Quail) — very uniquely Filipino and ubiquitous, the choice comfort and street food of Class D & E Manilans, consist of boiled egg (duck, chicken, or quail) dipped and drenched in an artificial orange colored batter, then deep fried. When eaten, usually floated in a small bowl of vinegar sauce with chopped cucumbers, onions, chili peppers, and garlic, while being mashed or cut into pieces by fork or bamboo stick.
    • Ukoy — shrimp, mung sprouts, carrots or any veggie thrown in and poured into flat patty from a batter and deep fried.
    • Battered Day-Old Chick — chick dipped in batter, deep fried.
    • Battered Isaw — chicken intestines drenched in batter, deep fried.
    • Corn Dog
  • Batter – Poured & Molded
    • Takoyaki — Japanese style batter with a clarity of a diluted starch glue and poured in molds that form into balls, placed into a paper tray with sprinkled flakes, nuts, and poured sauce. It is not yet popular though with the D & E masses, patronized more by the B & C crowd, and still in its pure Japanese form. Takoyaki stands are positioned on LRT train stations and supermarkets only.
    • Waffle with Filling — from the original hotdog, it has now transformed into many fillings such as bacon, tuna-hotdog, cheese-pineapple, sweet bean, cheese-pimiento, Bavarian crème, yam…
  • Rolls & Wraps — Deep Fried
    • Shanghai Roll — ground beef rolled in rice wrapper, deep fried.
    • Cheese Sticks — cheese stick rolled in rice wrapper, deep fried.
  • Veggie Wraps
    • Lumpia — a salad of vegetable, rolled in rice wrapper or crepe, poured with sauce; eaten fresh.
    • Lumpiang Ubod — shredded banana stamen rolled in rice wrapper or crepe, poured with sauce; eaten fresh.
  • Meat & Bread
    • Empanada — crunchy bread with variety of meat-based fillings such as cheese, chicken, tuna, pork, beef, etc., either fried or baked.
    • Burgers — exactly American style – chicken, beef, bacon, tuna, cheese, etc. but half the size.
    • Sandwiches — exactly American style, most common are cheese, salami, ham, tuna, or simply mayonnaise. Burger Machine sells them at even 2 for the price of 1.
    • Subway Sandwiches — exactly American style sold at their franchises.
    • Pita — same as the Persian or Italian styles, more like Greek gyros.
    • Shawarma — introduced by Filipinos who have worked in Middle East and acquired Middle Eastern taste, it has been acquired into the Manila palate, common in malls.
    • Tacling — sold only in Shoemart Food Courts, it’s taco with same fillings. The twist is that the shell is formed in bite-sized cupcake holder and oddly colored green or red.
    • Pita — same as the Persian or Italian style, more like Greek gyros.
  • KarimanMini-stop, 7-11’s fiercest rival in the 24/7 convenience store chain business offers super quick bites especially to Class B comfort food seekers, now has come up with a popular lineup of filled crumbed oily bread called Kariman suspected to be a Japanese-Mid East concoction . This deep fried square-shaped, four by six-inch, flat half inch-thick bread offers choices of – tomato tuna, chicken a-la-king, pizza, spam, and omelet fillings, and even Belgian chocolate and cream cheese for less than $0.60.
  • Dimsum — Cantonese is the most influential of Chinese food contribution to Filipino palate, bequeathing the popular dimsum and its multiplicity of concoctions.
    • Siomai — meat dumpling wrapped in wonton wrapper with variations as: pork, shrimp, chicken, beef, sharks fin, or beef.
    • Siopao — steamed bun with stuffings such as asado, bola bola (ground pork), or egg, or combination. It may be also sweet bun made up of sweet beans, yam, or custard. Lately there is now a baked wheat version.
  • Noodles — dry such as palabok, canton, bihon, miki, or wet such as sotanghon, molo, luglug, batchoy, etc..
  • Dry Fried Noodles — Hong Kong inspired, is a basic combination of fried dry noodles and a choice of fried pork, BBQ pork, beef, chicken, tuna, meatballs, or siomai dumplings and then topped with do-it-yourself concoction from an array of sauce choices - teriyaki, garlic chili, barbeque, sweet chili, chili, sweet, sweet & sour, peanut, or oyster, finally topped with Philippine lemon and garlic, etc., eaten on a paper bowl and chopsticks.
  • Sisig To Go — hot spicy, from one basic ingredient of chopped chicken, chicken liver, pork, beef, milkfish, tuna, or squid, topped by fish, Chicharón and garlic flakes, and mixed all together with mayonnaise, local lemon (or calamansi), then garnished with the local chili. This type of preparation mimics that of a SUBWAY outlet where there is an array of cuts, ingredients, and condiments to choose from. It must be accompanied by rice.
  • Sushi Rolls
  • Plantains
    • Boiled Sabá — Philippine plantain bundled in 3’s, plain boiled, has high carbo content.
    • Banana Cue/Q — the most ubiquitous, Philippine plantain fried in hot oil coated with caramelized brown sugar and served on a barbecue stick like a barbecue.
    • Maruya — deep fried sugared plantain slices held together by a batter.
    • Turon — sweet spring rolled plantain with a slice of jackfruit flesh, deep fried.
  • Root Crops
    • Camote Cue/Q — playing second billing to Banana-Q, it is sweet potato served the same way as banana cue/q.
    • Kalingking — sweet potato cut French fries style, a handful are held together in batter and deep fried.
    • Caramel Camote Fries — sweet potato cut French fries style, drench in brown sugar and deep fried.
  • Fresh Fruit Snacks
    • Pakwan — sliced watermelon on stick (seasonal), or in chunks.
    • Singkamas— sliced jicama topped with fermented shrimp.
    • Pinya — sliced pineapple on stick.
    • Mangga — famously called Manila Mango or Philippine Mango, the Queen of Philippine Fruits and the National Fruit, this special variety of mango is abundant and cheap during December and May. In its unripe and crunchy form, it is sliced or julienned then topped with salt or fermented shrimp paste.
    • Lanzones — in season from September-October.
    • Lychee — Chinese import.
    • Rambutan — year-round.
    • Santol — in season from August-September.
    • Guapple— giant guava the size of a jumbo apple, sliced and sprinkled with salt; very crunchy.
    • Indian Mango— small green crunchy ones.
    • Mangosteen — in season year-round.
    • Durian — in season year round.
    • Suha Davao — grapefruit dipped in rock salt.
    • Atis or Sugar Apple — resembling the head of a kinky-haired Ati belonging to the curled Negritoid indigenous tribal minority, its season comes during September.
    • Saging — banana, the fruit of the common Manilan is abundant and cheap, has two commercial variations – Lakatan and Latundan. Latundan appeals more to international tastes similar to Cavendish, but Cavendish is sold only in up-scale supermarkets and fruit stands. Another rare appearance is the Señorita and the Morado, both also selling in Public Markets, occasionally. The Philippine plantain or sabá (accent on the á) must be cooked before eaten.
  • Sweet Batter & Fillings
    • Pancake — simply slathered with margarine.
    • Crepe — with variation in fillings just like the European counterparts, patronized more by Class A & B crowd.
    • Waffle — see under Batter – Poured & Molded sub-section
    • Japanese Pancake — with variation in jelly fillings similar to donuts.
  • Native Cakes
    • Puto Bungbong — exact Philippine version of the Puto Bambu sold at Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur and where "white" tourists are going gaga. Here, the mixture of grounded rice and sugar is steamed over a real bamboo over charcoal on a clay pot and not by industrial stove as the Malaysian version. It is sold especially during the 9 days of "Misa de Gallo", a very long time tradition of early morning mass prelude to Christmas.
    • Nilupak — a steady fixture along the streets abutting markets, this local pudding variety is made from sweetened pounded root crop tuber and formed in a style of mashed potato but with drier and stickier consistency.
    • Bico — molasses sweetened molded rice as is (not grounded) and steamed.
    • Puto — similar to other Asian grounded rice cakes, these are sweet and good if steamed al dente.
    • Kalamay — finely grinded rice, gooey in composition, topped with fried scum of coconut.
    • Bibingka — coconut rice cheesecake.
    • Palitaw — tonque-shaped rice cake drenched in grated coconut, rough sugar, and sesame seeds.
    • Kuchinta — button mushroom-shaped smooth and jelly soft cakes.
    • Pichi Pichi — cassava patties.
    • Espasol — cassava flour based tube cake with the consistency of a marshmallow, drenched in flour.
    • Ube — purple seems to be the unofficial color of the Philippines (mix the red and blue from the Philippine flag) as the color of this cake from yam flour.
    • Ube Halaya — another version of ube cake.
    • Sapin Sapin — layered smooth jelly rice cake, in different layers, each one as colorful.
    • Suman — glutinous sweet rice or cassava tube cake wrapped in coconut or banana leaf and steamed.
    • Tupig — taro and coconut flour shaped inside a palm frond, grilled
  • Japanese and Chinese Pastries
    • Mochi — same as the Japanese mochi, Filipinos have acquired the taste of the Japanese.
    • Buchi — same as the Chinese buchi, with all the varying fillings and drenched in sesame seeds.
    • Peanut Ampao — hollow deep fried rice flour shells, made to expand like cobwebs, then drenched in peanut crumbs.
    • Rice Ampao — same thing but drenched in pop rice granules.
    • Tikoy — very sticky and mushy soft rice cake rolled or sliced.
    • Hopia — this Chinese sweet cake has its fillings originally started from mung, black beans, and pork, has now diversified into cheese, yam, condol (a kind of squash), macapuno (coconut sport), pandan, salted duck egg with lotus cream, and pork-condol variation
  • European Bread & Pastries
    • Donut
    • Bavarian Cream— Donut with Bavarian Cream filling in various variations.
    • Pan de Coco — bread with grated coconut filling.
    • Ensaymada — has spawned variations in fillings, but originally sweet soft bread with cheese garnishing.
  • Fusion
    • Putopao — a product of Philippine ingenuity, the common Chinese pao or bao, or steamed meat bun has its dough substituted by steamed rice cake instead.
  • Cold Beverage or Palamig — very popular, cheap, and are now spinning into other variations and combinations.
    • Gulaman — one of the most ubiquitous, refreshing drink made from sugar syrup and water, made heavier by adding colorful squiggly pieces of agar agar jelly, sometimes mixed with evaporated milk.
    • Sagó — another very popular local drink, sugar syrup mixed on iced water with tapioca balls similar to Korean Boba.
    • Mix — mix of gulaman & sago.
    • Buko Juice — coconut juice and shreds.
    • Melon Juice — cantaloupe or morning dew juice enhanced by sugar syrup and noodle-shaped shreds of melon flesh.
    • Pineapple Juice
    • Guyabano Juice — soursop
    • Pakwan Juice — watermelon juice enhanced by sugar syrup and chunks of watermelon flesh.
  • Other Palamig Combinations — the first three sugar syrup based beverages above may be combined with other ingredients to form the following:
    • Fruit Salad Juice — just like a fruit salad but with thinner consistency to be gulped and not spooned.
    • Halo Halo Juice — same principle as in fruit salad but with Halo-Halo ingredients (see Local Snack or Ice Cream Parlors Section).
    • Ube Macapuno Juice — yam & coconut sport or abnormally formed coconut flesh.
    • Corn Juice — sweet corn extract and together with the ears.
    • Coffee Juice
    • Scramble — it’s not eggs, but crushed ice poured with milk, some candy flavorings, and tapioca balls or jelly strips, a favorite of children.
  • Creamed Palamig — much thicker in consistency and less as a beverage.
    • Buko Macapuno Cream — young sport coconut shredded with very diluted cream almost like evaporated milk, in a portable cup.
    • Buko Pandan Cream — likewise, with Pandan flavor distinguished by its green color.
    • Buko Macapuno Pandan Cream — combination of the above two.
    • Buko Macapuno and Nata de Coco Cream — likewise, but added with Nata from coconut, the jelly cream formed from fermented coconut juice.
    • Jelly Cream — an all-jelly cast, including nata.
    • Combined Macapuno & Jelly
  • Salads — Manilans, or Filipinos prefer their salad sweet and mayonnaise-based with a combination of three or four western and tropical fruits.
  • Sorbetes/Ice Cream

Low income workers patronize comfort food stalls the most indiscriminately as they commute to their homes, often taking two-hour trips. These are noted in the open streets where they are the cheapest and these are what most bloggers and media immediately see. But there are mall food court & train station versions which are even as cleaner as those found in Bangkok or at par with those in hawker centers in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, or Japan and Korea.

Mall walkways and Food Courts offer a wide selection of Street Food menu and that is some notches less in worrying about hygiene. Expect the cost to be a little bit higher, although that would just come up to be in cents difference.


Ambulant food

This is a special class of Street Food distinguished from the stationary establishments. Vendors roam around in their carts in a certain route and a specific time, as some foods sold are time sensitive, meaning they can only be eaten say, in the morning, or as an afternoon snack. Some of their itineraries are neighborhoods, where their target clientèle are pre-school or school age children, and some are office blocks, where their prime targets are lady workers. There are only a few types of these foods that are mobile.

  • Tahó — (accent on the ó) this ubiquitous mushy tofu, found in the whole Southeast Asia has this Philippine version topped with sugar syrup and tapioca balls. It's patronized mostly by children and construction workers in the morning, and has now gone to early morning-shift security guards, and incoming white collar workers.
  • Mais — boiled corn-on-the-cob sold in the early to late afternoon.
  • Mani — boiled peanuts sold also in the afternoon, may extend to night time.
  • Sabá — boiled Philippine plantain sold every morning by ambulant vendors capturing the captive commuters while the red light at the intersection is on, as breakfast-on-the-go.
  • Binatog — boiled glutinous corn topped with coconut milk, sugar, and fresh coconut gratings.
  • Bola Bola — fried fish balls, kikyam, chicken nuggets, bite-sized hotdogs, etc...
  • Assorted Fruits — mostly pineapples, jicamas, jackfruit…
  • Ice Cream or Dirty Ice Cream — sold in folksy box carts, it announces its presence with an elaborately crafted bell, may be mistaken for a collector's item. Ice cream covers suggest folksy Indo-Malayan-Spanish touch, a trivia to the discerning anthropologist. Flavors are as native themed as its cart - mango, carabao cheese, pandan, and yam.
  • Scramble — vendors of this snack peddle mostly during noon to late evening and a favorite of children.
  • Native Cakes — sold by ambulants in their trademark bilao or round wicker trays rolled in wooden cart and beach umbrella.


Breakfast fare

Breakfast in the city and the entire metropolis is described as dry - meaning not wet as in noodle and soup or porridge and cha kwueh (Chinese donut) like what is taken in the morning in most Southeast Asian cities. More like an amalgam of the East and the West, specifically the American, Hispanic, and Malay, somehow as if McDonald's and Cuban entrees collided with Malaysian Nasi Lemak to form these creations that are very catchy to begin with for they all end with "SILOG".

First, these are the key words in Tagalog: Sinangag for fried garlic rice and Itlog for egg more often sunny side up and rarely scrambled. They combine to form the portmanteau "SILOG". Along with these is the main item - meat or fish plus the given mainstays - Set A: lettuce-sliced tomato-sliced cucumber, Set B: carrots and peas toppings over sinangag, Set C: achara or pickled unripe papaya and carrots, Set D: fried garlic or shallots over sinangag, or Set E: onion rings. The main items are as follows:

  • Tapsilog — for tapa or cured beef jerky, the very first concoction created.
  • Dasilog — for daing or any sun-dried fish
  • Adosilog — for adobo (vinegar & soy sauce marinated chicken, pork or beef)
  • Hamsilog — for ham
  • Disilog — for dilis or fried smelt or anchovy
  • Cornsilog — for corned beef
  • Bacsilog — for bacon
  • Bangsilog — for bangus or milkfish
  • Bisteksilog — for beef steak
  • Dangsilog — for danggit or rabbit fish
  • Labsilog — for labahita or a fleshy sun dried salty fishy
  • Vicsilog — for vic or chinless hogfish
  • Chosilog — for chorizo or Spanish style sausage
  • Chiksilog — for fried chicken
  • Embotidosilog — for embotido or Philippine-style meatloaf
  • Shanghaisilog — for Shanghai roll or Philippine-style fried spring roll
  • Hotsilog — for hotdog or Philippine-style red hotdog
  • Longsilog — for longganisa or Philippine-style sausage (derived from Chinese style)
  • Tosilog — for tosino or sugar/honey cured meat
  • Masilog — for 'Ma Ling' brand Chinese luncheon meat
  • SPAMsilog — for 'SPAM' brand luncheon meat
  • Nuggetsilog — for chicken nuggets
  • Porksilog — for chuleta or pork slices
  • Lechonsilog — for roasted pork
  • Liemposilog — for crispy pork
  • Bangusilog — for fried milkfish
  • Baloneysilog — for Bologna sausage
  • Pusitsilog — for fried breaded squid rings or octopus tentacles, or plain midget squids
  • Siomaisilog — for siomai ( a type of meat dumpling)
  • Tuyosilog — for sun dried mackerel
  • Isawsilog — for a piece of pork intestines

This is assisted with hot coffee, tea, or juice and a couple of morning bread called Pan de Sal (salted bread).


Tapsihan or Silogan

There are stalls that specialize in this breakfast "SILOG" fare called "Tapsihan" named for the first type of these combo ever concocted, the tapsilog. But "Silogan" may be an appropriate name.

There are now food carts that sell these silogs packed in paper bowls like instant noodles and eaten on the go. They also offer steamed rice and java rice (fried rice seasoned and colored with achiote – a Mexican spice) instead of fried rice. With the same concept, rice is put on a paper bowl with a choice of toppings – burger steak, pork barbeque, gravy pork, sweet chili pork, lechon kawali, pork sisig, bicol express, chicken inasal, caldereta, or chicken nuggets.


Lugawan

Classes C & D patronize specialized carinderias such as Lugawans offering exclusively porridge or lugaw in the vernacular, and tokwa’t baboy on the sides. They are more popular to those who need to break their hangover from all night alcoholic binge. Most of them operate midnight to early sunrise. Another stall similar to this features pares – a combo of fried rice and a soup made from pigs intestines.


Restaurant Dining

In a nutshell, Filipino cuisine can be described as timid in flavor and substance, as well as lame in presentation. Food is trained to have only one dominant flavor - either the bitterness, or the sourness…etc. is enhanced. Ingredients are limited and Filipinos are just as happy and contented, people who have no sophisticated royalty, like the Thais, who, among those that had/have, developed their superior palate and presentation skills through the royal court. No particular doting attention to food is given other than it fills the stomach of the ordinary hungry person while the affluent class mostly from the older generations who were supposed to patronize and raise it up to more appetizing and sophisticated levels had their sights and hearts on Spanish, French, or Japanese cuisines.

For some reason, the range of ingredients used is constricted unlike those in Thailand, Vietnam, or Malaysia, its closest neighbors. In a close comparison between the Philippines and Vietnam on a vegetable & spice market tour, the Philippine counterpart pales. For seasoning, Filipino dishes do not digress from the daily triumvirate of garlic, onion, and tomatoes, sometimes ginger. No cloves, anise, or cardamom, considered as rare, found only in high-end specialty supermarkets. On the herb section, only parsley, spring onion, and lemon grass are popularly available, while there are a rich variety of herbs used in the daily diet of an average Vietnamese. The troika of soy sauce, vinegar, and fish sauce defines the limited inventory of Philippine sauce condiments section. One glaring observation, basil is not used at all, laurel is not cooked fresh, only as seasoning sold as dry as a dead leaf. As a side note, the saw-leaf herb which is an everyday ingredient in Vietnam happened to have originated in Mexico, ironically skipped the Philippines during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade.

Speaking of Acapulco, Mexicans drink tamarind as a beverage, a by-product of trading with Manila. Surprisingly, another conundrum is that tamarind juice coming from the fruit, being as Asian as rice, is surprisingly absent in the Philippine beverage menu even though it is popular in Latin American and Southeast Asian countries, which happen to be on the Philippines’ left and right spheres. Filipinos also do not make paste out of tamarind unlike the Thais and Vietnamese and contented to just throwing them in as a broth seasoning. Nowadays, majority relies on lazy mix of modern all-in-one seasoning packed in sachets with ingredients such as MSG to season their dishes. Lotus, another tropical plant, is used by the Vietnamese in their dishes and their desserts, is absent in the Philippines. And surprisingly, the ubiquitous peanut is thrown in as ingredient in soups in most of its neighboring countries, is not used as such. It’s amazing how they share something in common but with creativity, these countries incorporate them in other ways and processed them to add value and variation.

If the Italians transformed the Mexican tomato into a sauce and borrowed the Chinese noodle to become its trademark Spaghetti while the Japanese took their cue from the Chinese noodle then spawned a regional spectrum of Ramen dishes, each variation a masterpiece on its own, the Philippines, much accessible to China and Mexico than other countries was suspiciously absent-minded during the age of exploration and experimentation of cuisines. Its signature Pansit Bihon still looks and tastes like the original noodle dish one would find in Hong Kong. Only the name has changed. On a closer scrutiny, the variety of its noodles is limited compared to neighboring Vietnam. The lack of creativity is also seen in rice wrappers for spring roll is just one type. Putting so much variation and versatility on something, the Vietnamese would even use rice as sesame sprinkled crackers in their main meal, the same way as Mexicans would make their corn into taco shells, or Indians would use wheat as poppadoms.

Filipino food is safe to say more as a comfort food of the peasants and fisher folks, a food concocted at a time when all Filipinos were living on agricultural-fishing existence, contented to eat simply on rice and one or two-dish meal - one dry and the other wet or soupy. It's only now that Filipinos are realizing from the diaspora starting from the 1970's the startling revelations of being the 12th most populous country in the world and yet standing low in the totem pole of world cuisine in what could be like the turning point when the French welcomed the arrival of an Italian Medici into the royal throne and transformed French cuisine. And with increasing pride and economic competition among neighboring countries, nowadays, one may find a Manila restaurant struggling to offer haute cuisine adobo flakes laced with cayenne pepper and Spanish paprika.

Only a handful of lucky authentic fancy Filipino restaurants have attained fine dining on the level with Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, French, or Italian associated with gourmet dining. Most sit-down and casual dining restaurants in Manila would fall under the mid-range category like Kamayan, Max’s of Manila, Aristocrat, and Barrio Fiesta.

Almost all restaurants here do not require reservations, accoutrements of western fancy restaurants that do not apply here in a Third World country, except for events, which you need to pay an upfront fee. You should be OK to walk-in to any restaurant that you fancy.

For the rock-bottom budget associated with hygienic dining, follow the office workers making a beeline to building basements, canteens, or gourmet food trucks or carts during lunch break in the city and especially in high class Makati City Business District, outside of Manila. A lot of these customers have IDs dangling on their chests, the men usually wear short sleeved Barong Tagalog and the ladies, like bank teller attires (if they don’t want their food delivered to their work stations by the Naglalako usually a matron called Manang carrying sack bags of lunch individually packed in plastic bags). These are not lowly, but white collar workers paying lunch as cheap as $1.00 complete with a clear broth, a dish, and a cup of rice enough to energize one for the rest of the day. University canteens open to the public offer student meals and have resident nutritionists too. Along Recto and Nicanor Reyes Sts. in Sampaloc District, the epicenter of downtown university belt cosmos, and along Taft Ave-De La Salle/Padre Faura Area, the southern university belt district, there are dime a dozen private shops that offer complete and filling budget meals as low as ₱35.


Dampa Dining

This oxymoron sums up what is all about eating in this genre of dining - eating high-end type seafood fares (prawns, tuna, abalone, and lobsters) most Filipinos can't afford, inside a humble shack. Dampa is a Tagalog term for a hovel on a roadside by the sea. That's where it all started. They may be there since time immemorial, mostly proliferating along the southern part of Metro Manila from the reclaimed area along Roxas Boulevard to Cavite - the next-door province south of Metro Manila, where the catch from the sea and Manila Bay was easily downloaded and freshly grilled for fish-loving Manilans, or may have been copied from dining experiences in trendsetting Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Bangkok, or Singapore. It has been transformed into more decent Singapore-style wet and fancy-free hawker center to even air-conditioned "pearl-jade-dragon" style Chinese restaurant and now, are scattered in every entertainment-dining district in the metropolis. But the billboard sign still says - Dampa-Style Dining.

The concept is simple: catch (or pick) it and throw in the fire in real time - no time lapse in between, right before your eyes, so to speak. So, one can savor it as fresh as it gets. Simply as it is, it is like the turo-turo style (point and take) where arrays of dishes are arranged on a counter and the customer checks and chooses by pointing his forefinger, this time the ingredient is still alive, some in aquarium boxes. Then, the next thing to do is instruct the attendant what style it should be cooked and what other spice and vegetable ingredients to be added.

This type of dining has also took-off from seafood to other ingredients like beef, pork, and chicken, etc... Some variations, it may still be that lowly dampa-looking structure in the middle of a fish pen raising milkfish or tilapia along Laguna de Bay or a rice paddy.


Buffet Dining

Gaining steady popularity, it's less ubiquitous than in other East Asian cities. A lot of hotels are offering buffet dining at an average $12.00 per person.


Carinderya/Carinderia

Carinderyas/Carinderias sound like Spanish style cooking but not a trace at all. It's simply a collective term for a working class type of eating stall, now with table and seats for sit-in meals, more as a hole-in-the-wall or a makeshift school canteen (some may have wheels) for the lowly construction worker, the jeepney driver, or the student low and tight on budget. The style of presenting the food (no menus but some have posted menus) is laid out on a glass-covered or open counter in pots or deep square aluminum platters (for the more classy ones) and where the customer can just scan his eyes and choose what he wants.


Local snack or ice cream parlor

Some of the food offered by these parlors may be also be on restaurant menus (since these are categorically dessert items), those that specialize in local cuisine. But these parlors are also a separate category of their own. Goldilocks and Red Ribbon, super hygienic Americanized establishments stand out from the rest usually found in malls, and from the humble food stalls in the public markets where they originated. These two are basically bakeshops but they function as native ice cream parlors, serving more or less the following which are authentically or adaptively Filipino:

  • Ice Cream — mostly serving never heard flavors at least in the western world such as durian, purple yam, avocado, carabao cheese, coconut, or pandan.
  • Sago Parfait — tapioca balls parfait.
  • Creamed Coconut and Pandan flavored Jellies
  • Almond Jellies Lychees — also with shaved ice.
  • Sweetened Sport Coconut Flesh — also with shaved ice.
  • Frozen Fruit Salad
  • Halo-Halo — the queen of Philippine Snacks/Desserts, a Japanese invention of a salad of sweet beans and peas, jellies, and fruits and shaved ice found everywhere in the Far East. The Philippine version always has these ingredients - young sweetened coconut shreddings called Macapuno, nipa palm nut flesh or Kaong, Pinipig or toasted sweet rice, Ube or purple yam paste, Leche Flan or egg custard, and ice cream.
  • GuinomisPinipig or toasted sweet rice and sago (tapioca balls) in coconut syrup and shaved ice.
  • Mango Jam
  • Mais Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish) — iced sweet corn porridge in syrup.
  • Sabá Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish) — iced stewed plantain in syrup.
  • Langka Con Yelo (Hielo in Spanish) — fresh jackfruit in syrup.
  • Mangga at Sumang Malagkit — Philippine version of the Thai mango and glutinous sweet rice. In this case the rice is steamed while wrapped in banana or palm leaf.
  • Banana and Young Coconut Pies
  • Leche Flan or Custard
  • Mango Pudding
  • Crema de Fruta — layered fruit cocktail cake.
  • Cashew Tart
  • Egg Bonbon
  • Silvana
  • Paradiso — an assortment of camote (sweet potato), ube (yam), and macapuno (grated coconut sport) laid on a bed of sweet sauce.
  • Guinatan — boiled assortment of camote (sweet potato), ube (yam), taro, macapuno (grated coconut sport), bilo-bilo (taro balls), plantains, and pieces of jackfruit flesh in a thick mixture of coconut milk, served hot.
  • Guinatang Ube — guinatan with purple yam as the coloring agent.
  • Guinatang Mais — guinatan using sweet rice and corn kernels as the only two ingredients.
  • Guinatang Munggo — guinatan using sweet rice and mung beans as the only two ingredients.


Panaderya

Panaderyas/Panaderias are bakeries but the line is not clear if they are a separate class of their own or as Street Food. Goldilocks Bakeshop operate as a full-time restaurant but they can have some presence in malls as food stand types. Dunkin’ Donuts or Mister Donut also establish their presence as either a shop with dining tables or as a stand-alone donut and soda dispensing stall.


Fast Food

Even while the enlightened world hates McDonalds/Pizza Hut guts, Filipinos are great lovers of its dining style and menus - hotdogs on stick, hotdogs on bun, hamburgers, pizzas, and spaghettis. They proliferate everywhere, be it as street food or sit-in meal. Manilans also love donuts in the personification of Mister Donut which has its creations not as sweet as its American competitions. On a side note, Philippine style spaghettis are done sweeter than normal. Fettuccini and lasagna have already gained foothold, and lately, carbonara is now fast becoming a favorite offered not only in those fast food chains but are trickling down to market stalls of the masses.

Manila has most of the usual American fast food chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dairy Queen, Shakey's Pizza, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, TGIF, Italianni's, Outback, and KFC.

Jollibee, the Filipino counterpart of McDonald's now eclipsing it's once held dominant position, it is very common in Manila. It started out as a spoof spin-off of McDonald's, copying its menu and business model but substituting it with local ingredients (ex. mango pie for apple pie) and taking consideration of the local palate, now has become a billion peso franchise business empire. In China alone, by 2013, its outlets are nearing its 100 mark. Another spin-off of this business is Chow King, the same business model and packaging (styrofoams, plastics, and cardboards) but with Chinese influenced menus and has become as ubiquitous as Jollibee and McDonalds too. Another spin-off to the spin-off is Mang Inasal, this time the theme is country or provincial style menu with packaging this time using banana leaf and cane and bamboo baskets as plates, and claypots as serving plates catering to native food lovers.

Rufos and Tapa King, with aggressive advertising flyers are also popular Filipino style fastfood chains.

Greenwhich a locally owned fast food chain offering Italian meals, has leveled up to competition, now more in the league of Subway and Pizza Hut, a far cry from its humble beginnings 25 years ago.

Bon Chon a Korean fast food chain is also popular especially with its signature crispy deep fried chicken and seafood with secret sauce.

Cafés such as Starbucks and Seattle's Best have also recently become quite common in malls and commercial centers as more Manila urbanites especially those office bound, are acquiring the sophisticated taste of brewed and fancy coffees.

Meals could be as low as US$2 to 3 in most fast food joints. A typical burger meal with fries and a drink would fall under this range.


Snacks/chichireya

Snacks or nibblers called Chichireya or Papak while office workers multi-task and at the same time working and chatting. Also, it is eaten on long journeys or while watching movies or simply doing school work.

  • Sung Sung — shelled boiled peanut, then dried.
  • Mani Na May Balat — deep fried peanut with the skin intact, salted.
  • Garlic Mani — garlic-flavored fried peanut, salted.
  • Adobong Mani — adobo-flavored deep fried peanut, salted.
  • Hot Chili Mani — red chili-flavored deep fried peanut, salted.
  • Japanese Mani — batter cracker coated, sometimes with minutely chopped seaweeds.
  • Buto ng Casoy — roasted cashew nut.
  • Butong Pakwan — watermelon seeds, salted.
  • Sunflower Seed
  • Green Pea — garlic-flavored fried green pea, salted.
  • Pop Beans — dried fried lima beans, salted.
  • Sweet Beans — sugar soaked boiled, then dried white beans.
  • Tip Top — local version of M&M.
  • Shrimp Chicha — shrimp-flavored cracker.
  • Onion Twist Chicha — onion-flavored cracker dipped in vinegar.
  • Onion & Garlic Potato Chicha — onion & garlic-flavored cracker dipped in vinegar.
  • Chicharón Classic — original style.
  • Chicharón Ilocos — pork crackers styled from Ilocos region.
  • Chicharón Bulaklak — specially fried chicaron to make it more puffy.
  • Cornick — garlic-flavored fried corn ear, salted.
  • Cornick Ilocos — fried corn ear styled from Ilocos region, salted.
  • Cheese Cornick — cheese-flavored fried corn ear.
  • Shing-A-Ling — fried noodle made from egg & wheat, comes in other flavors such as garlic and malunggay (moringa leaves).
  • Mikiron — fried miki noodles chicharón style.
  • Sampaloc — preserved sweet tamarind flesh.
  • Santol — preserved sweet santol seed & flesh.
  • Champoy — preserved dried fruits, salted.
  • Kiamoy — preserved sweet dried plums.
  • Dikiam — preserved dried sweet plum variety.
  • Cherry — preserved dried sweet cherry.
  • Haw Flakes — imported from China, extracted from dry sweet plum, formed into super thin, small communion wafers
  • Macapuno Balls — soft glutinous candy from coconut flesh.
  • Macapuno Pastillas — coconut sport with solidified carabao milk candy.
  • Ube Balls — soft yam balls.
  • Ube Pastillas — yam with solidified carabao milk candy.
  • Yema Balls — candy from carabao milk.
  • Peanut Panocha — a concretized mix of peanut and muscovado (molasses) laid out in a saucer-shaped form.
  • Coco Panocha — a concretized mix of peanut and muscovado (molasses) laid out in a saucer-shaped form.
  • Bukayo — caramel coated coconut gratings in round biscuit shapes, the other version is a snack bar.
  • Pinasugbu — cone shaped sliced caramelized banana plantains, licked like an ice cream.
  • Egg Dilis — fried anchovies coated with egg.
  • Squid — squid in thick dried caramel syrup.
  • Cheese Curls — popular junk food made from corn.
  • Nachos — Mexican corn chips, with or without accompanying dip.
  • Chippy — particular popular junk food chips made from corn.
  • Ampao — pop rice molded in blocks by sugary syrup.
  • Taro Chips — taro.
  • Banana Chips — curled sweet banana chips.
  • Camote Chips — cheese-flavored Pringles-type from sweet potato.
  • Camote Fries — French fries style sweet potato.
  • Polvoron — some foreigners call this volcano candy because it spews the powdery concoction once the mouth is opened while chewing it, a Spanish shortbread from flour, sugar, carabao's milk, and nuts.
  • Ampao — sweet rice crackers, Philippine version of granola bars.
  • Peanut Bar — Chinese biscuit made from thin layers of wafer interspersed with specks of peanuts.
  • Barquillos — rolled sweet wafer
  • Apa — sweet wafer, similar to the fortune cookie

Other biscuit-type snacks include Pacencia, Pilipit, Otap, Broas, Choco Chips, Jacobina, Egg Cracklet, Mamon Tostado, especially sold at provincial bus terminals, but also sold just around every corner grocery stores, etc.


Pulutan

The Philippines has its own version of the Spanish Tapas but little is known about it outside the country even if Filipinos have invaded almost all corners of the globe, employed and even permanently residing in their host countries but have not influenced them about their food style like this one. Anyway, it's more or less the same kind of presentation - as a finger, toothpick, or fork food, and relevance - to accompany any alcoholic drink, mostly beer, on a social gathering between neighbors, relatives, work colleagues, peers, and clients and mostly fall under male-bonding or camaraderie social dining. It comes from the root word "PULUT" meaning "to pick up".

It is always served in a communal plate or bowl with plenty of forks (if it needs to pick up the food, otherwise finger is OK) arrayed on a plate like oars on a boat. If there's a need for a dipping sauce, then a bowl is also served with it to be used communally.

  • Boiled
    • Mani — (peanuts) are often sold boiled in the shell, salted. (Note that peanut is also called mani in Latin America.)
    • Balut — duck embryo.
  • Fried & Boiled
    • Tokwa't Baboy — tofu fried with boiled pork the particular part of the pig is the face and ears or mask as they call it, all diced and mixed together then dipped in a garlic-flavored soy sauce or vinegar dip.
  • Deep Fried
    • Chicharón — (also spelled Chicharón or tsitsaron), pork rinds that have been salted, dried, then fried.
    • Chicharong Bituka — pig intestines that have been deep fried to a crisp.
    • Chicharong Bulaklak — similar to Chicharong bituka it is made from mesenteries of pig intestines and has a bulaklak or flower appearance.
    • Chicharong Manok — chicken skin that has been deep fried until crisp.
    • Mani — (peanuts) deep fried in garlic, and may be spiced.
    • Pea — all varieties from chick peas to endadame (not fried), same as peanuts.
    • Kropeck — fish and shrimp crackers.
  • Grilled
    • Tilapia
    • Bangus — Milkfish.
    • Pusit — Squid.
    • Octopus
    • Hipon — Shrimp
    • Talangka — Crunchy whole little crabs, sprinkled with flour then deep fried.
    • Isda — skewered fish, all sorts.
    • Pork — it could also be Lechon Kawali or Liempo
    • Barbekyung Isaw — chicken or pig intestines marinated and skewered, barbecued.
    • Barbekyung Tenga — pig ears that have been marinated and skewered, barbecued.
    • Barbekyung Baboy or Pork Barbecue — skewered pork marinated in a usually sweet blend.
    • Lechong Manok — skewered piece or rotisseried whole chicken marinated in a usually sweet blend.
    • Betamax — salted solidified pork or chicken blood which is skewered.
    • Adidas — grilled or sautéed chicken feet.
    • Sisig — made from the pig's cheek skin, ears, liver, and even brains that are initially boiled, then grilled over charcoal and afterwards minced and cooked with chopped onions, chillies, and spices.


Drink

Local alcohols are tuba (coconut wine) and lambanog (rice wine). Lapad and Kwatro Kantos are slang for brandy and gin popularly bought in sari-sari stores (literally varied-varied) or mini neighborhood groceries.

Beerhouses and beer gardens

A much localized drinking experience in Manila is held in beer gardens (or beerhouses as commonly called). They are scattered mostly around the working districts of Sampaloc, Santa Mesa, Quiapo and even the tourist belt areas of Ermita and Malate. Every city in the metropolis has practically its own adult entertainment strip, block, or district where these establishments can be found. These are heavily sexualized. It's mostly working class men and those working in the military and police establishments who are the clientele with young sexy and provocatively dressed waitresses or euphemistically called GROs or Guest Relations Officers serving the customers. Some beer gardens take it up a level higher and have entertainment on the sides with scantily two-piece suit dancers taking turns on the stage. The kind of food served somewhat resemble the Spanish Tapas style ranging from the simple such as peanuts, corn, and peas - boiled or deep fried to mundane such as fried pork, beef, chicken to the adventurous such as other body parts - ears, gizzards, livers, hearts, intestines, brains, balls, blood, and what have you. They are categorized under the subject Pulutan.

Pubs

For establishments resembling the western version of a pub, these establishments are concentrated in Remedios Circle in Malate district, a very important hub of nightlife. Outside of the city are in Bonifacio Global Village in Taguig City, Tomas Morato in Kamuning District in Quezon City, and Eastwood in Libis District, Quezon City. Bohemian Malate, the older Ermita neighborhood and the Baywalk that stretches between them contains a variety of venues serving a combination of food, comedy, alcohol, and live music.

Karaoke & Videoke

Karaoke and Videoke bars are also very common as the majority of Manilans are American Idol fans.

Private gatherings, those that are held and spilling out on public sidewalks in neighborhoods for lack of space, are game to foreigners wanting to join.

In any session, these songs should be off limits in your repertoire for you will get into trouble, namely: George Michael’s ‘’Careless Whisper”, Billy Ocean’s “Suddenly”, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, or Michael Learns to Rocks’ “Sleeping Child.

Hot beverages

Local hot beverages include kapeng barako (special coffee beans grown in Batangas province) popular during funeral wakes and salabat (ginger tea) especially soothing on a rainy day. Filipinos in general are not into fancy coffee, and go without any ritual, just mix their coffee from instant granules and preferring the Robusta, Arabica, and Indica types with sugar and sometimes evaporated milk. The affluent office types are the ones who have acquired sophisticated tastes adding coffee concoctions with latte, cream, and mocha, etc.


Work

Manila has a largely English-speaking, educated, and low wage labor force. There are no readily available job opportunities for travelers. Common backpacker jobs found in other parts of Asia, such as English teaching, do not exist here.

Good looking ones, male or female have a big chance on landing in an advertising – runway and graphic, and even TV or movie projects. Fresh, young and beautiful people are always welcome in the industry. The ethnic feature that endear most to Filipinos are the Mestiza/Latina types, meaning dark Moorish features, not too Northern Caucasian, great body, silky smooth hair, and pearly white Chinese skin a must. The Brazilian Diana Meneses who got her break hopping from Thailand as shampoo model and Miss Universe 1993 Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico are good examples of the type Filipinos desire. These two assimilate very well and speak Tagalog fluently.

That said, there are still a number of foreigners working in Manila. The thriving call center industry, in particular, employs a number of Americans in management or training roles. Keep in mind that virtually all hiring of foreigners takes place in their home country, and not in the Philippines.

Foreigners also occasionally work at NGOs, all types of which exist in the Philippines. Others have opened businesses.

Standard working time varies, especially with the proliferation of Call Centers, but the usual working hours are 8AM-5PM. Given that the traffic within the Manila escalates exponentially as the day begins, it's always better to leave early for meetings.

There is also a local saying known as "Filipino Time" wherein it was expected that the attendee would be late by up to one hour. However, this has been significantly reduced through the years, although the bad traffic is usually (and realistically) cited as the main cause for missing one's appointment.

Beginning in 1960’s Makati City has been the country's main CBD, or Central Business District, and, on every given weekday, it seems that all roads lead here. Multinational firms and big businesses hold offices here.

Ortigas Center, which cuts across the borders of Mandaluyong City, Pasig City and Quezon City, seems to be the alternative CBD, with companies such as the Asian Development Bank headquarters and the World Bank Manila office located in this vicinity.


Sleep

Check for accommodation listings in the appropriate districts

You can sleep in a Manila Hotel for as cheap as ₱500 per night if you wish. Don't expect many luxuries at this price though!

Manila has a lot of hotels, inns and apartelles. Most of these accommodations can be found within Roxas Boulevard overlooking Manila Bay, or in the districts of Ermita and Malate. Manila's hotel accommodations are 20 to 30 minutes away from the international and domestic airport.

There are many major international hotel chains which have a presence in Metro Manila. Rates are still generally cheaper here compared to the same class of hotels in western cities. A stay in these hotels however, would be considered a luxury by Philippine standards - particularly since these rates would represent a month's income for some Filipinos.

Airbnb.com has over a 1000 listings available in Manila. Private rooms and entire homes are on offer in every neighborhood of Manila with prices starting around ₱750 a night.


Contact

Payphones are very common in the city center. The use of mobile phones is also very extensive. To use your mobile phone, it has to be at least a dualband GSM phone. Globe and Smart are the Philippine's largest mobile carriers and they invite you to use them as a roaming partner (inquire from your home carrier if they have Globe and Smart as a roaming partner).

To call anywhere within Metro Manila, simply dial the 7-digit telephone number from a payphone or a landline. If you need to call anywhere else within the Philippines, dial 0 + area code + telephone number. To make an international phone call, dial 00 + country code + area code + telephone number.

Internet cafes have become a common sight in Metro Manila. Most malls would have at least one internet cafe. Most internet cafes provide broadband speeds. Netopia and Pacific Internet are common chains. Netopia also has a branch at the MRT Ayala Station. Cheap overseas calls can be made at Netopia branches via their VOIP service.

Most coffee shops now also have WiFi services available so you can surf the net while sipping a cuppa. Airborneaccess.net and WIZ are the most common WiFi providers. Ask around if usage is free of charge, otherwise, as the case is often, you will have to buy an internet access card at the counter.


Stay Safe

Manila is a city where one should exercise caution.

As a slum haven, Manila is one of the most blighted cities in Asia rivaling Calcutta, Bombay, and Dacca. Sufficient to say that it is not convenient to wander around as carefree as can be, as one would encounter sidewalks fringed with makeshift shanties that lead to a sudden turn into a labyrinth of squatter neighborhoods. It is very scary if not annoying encountering lolling group of male adult and teenage bystanders, although nowadays, these areas are most likely manned by village watchmen and everyone is more than willing to help and interact with lost strangers.

Nuisances that impedes a pleasurable walking tour are dirty and malnourished children who freely use the streets as their playground, manholes that were left open (or probably its cover stolen to be sold as metal scrap), dog feces, uncollected garbage, undisciplined cars and mostly jeepneys weaving in and out of the lanes as they pick up passengers, and on the mild visually nauseating side, political billboards as in-your-face ads.

A popular scam as of recent days is for someone to approach you and pretend they recognize you. They will say they work at your hotel (such as room service or security) and that they know you from there. They then say it is their day off and since they just happened to bump into you they want to show you something nice that is nearby. They may be very convincing even to experienced travelers. It is always a scam.

Another popular scam is for a con artist to befriend a tourist and offer to show them around, hang out, etc. After gaining the tourist's trust, the con artist then slips drugs into the tourist's food or drinks. The con artist then leads the drugged, groggy victim to an ATM and watches while he/she enters her pin. The con artist is then free to withdraw all the money from the account.

Get into a car or go anywhere with people only if you know them (even of they say that have helped you at the hotel on a previous occasion). Of course, if you ask them which hotel they will not be able to answer. They are best fended off if you just ignore them. If they persist, say, "Are you going to leave me alone or should I call the police?" That makes them leave quickly.

Theft is common, especially pick pocketing. You should act cautiously as you would in any other poor country, especially considering if you do not look Filipino. Thieves and scam artists are likely to see you as an easy target. However, most travelers from other Asian nations, especially from southeast Asia, should have no problem blending in with the crowd.

Never wear valuable jewelry or anything else to broadcast your wealth. Displaying that expensive mobile phone, tablet, or digital camera out in the open is also a good way to attract thieves. Buses can be held up but chances are nil for those passing through Manila as this is a thickly populated area. Only those going through the outskirts along desolated highways are likely to be robbed.


Cope

Customer service is not something to brag about in this Third World country. Calling a pubic service company, say a museum, and the phone rings is one story, while being answered is another story. Public museums are always under-manned and under-budgeted, same is true for the rest. Expect that transacting with a government office would be marred with frustration. Checking out their websites, one may find the phone number but calling them and getting a successful response is a big question mark. Banks are dependable, but not 100%, as one department may not be coordinated with the rest, and routing your call to the intended destination could have run around consequences.

Embassies and Consulates

  • Ar-flag.png Argentina, 8/F Liberty Center Bldg, 104 H.V. dela Costa St, Salcedo Village, Makati City, +632 845.3218 (fax: +632 845.3220).
  • Au-flag.png Australia, Level 23 Tower 2, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Av, Makati City, +632 757.8100 (fax: +632 757.8268), [11].
  • At-flag.png Austria, 4/F, Prince-Building, 117 Thailand St (former Rada St.) Legaspi Village, Makati City, +632 817.9191.
  • Bd-flag.png Bangladesh, Universal-Re Building, 2/F 106 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, +632 817.5001 (, fax: +632 816.4941).
  • Bl-flag.png Belgium, Multinational Bancorporation Center 9/F, 6805 Ayala Av, Makati City, +632 8451869.
  • Br-flag.png Brazil, 16/F, Liberty Center Bldg, 104 H.V. Dela Costa St, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City, +632 845.3651 (, fax: +632 845.3676).
  • Bn-flag.png Brunei, 11/F, Ayala Wing, BPI Building, Ayala Av cor. Paseo De Roxas, 1226 Makati City, +632 816.2836 (, fax: + 632 891.6646).
  • Ca-flag.png Canada, Level 6, Tower RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Avenue, 1200 Makati City, +632 857.9000.
  • 20px Chile, 17/F, Liberty Center Bldg, 104 H.V. de la Costa St, cor Leviste St, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City, +632 843.3461 (, fax: +632 843.1976), [12].
  • 20px Denmark, 51/F PBCom Tower 6795 Ayala Av cor Herrera St, 1226 Makati City, +632 815.8015 (, fax: +632 815.8017).
  • Fi-flag.png Finland, 21/F, BPI Buendia Center, Senator Gil J. Puyat Av, Makati City, +632 8915.0115.
  • De-flag.png Germany, 25/F Tower II, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Av, 0707 Makati City, (, fax: +632 702.3015), [15].
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, 12/F, Sage House, 110 Rufino St, Legaspi Village, Makati City, ().
  • Id-flag.png Indonesia, 185 Salcedo St, Legaspi Village, Makati City.
  • Ja-flag.png Japan, 2627 Roxas Bl, Pasay City, +632 551.5710 (fax: +632 551.5780), [17].
  • Kr-flag.png South Korea, 10/F, Pacific Star Bldg, Makati Av, 1226 Makati City, +632 811.6139 (, fax: +632 811.6148).
  • My-flag.png Malaysia, 10/F, The World Center Bldg, 330 Sen. Gil Puyat Av, 1200 Makati City.
  • Mt-flag.png Malta, Rm 1242, Megaplaza Bldg, ADB Av cor W Garnet Rd, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, (, fax: +632 687.7245).
  • Mx-flag.png Mexico, 2/F GC Corporate Plaza, 150 Legaspi St, Legaspi Village, 1229 Makati City, (, fax: +632 892.7635), [18].
  • Nl-flag.png Netherlands, 26/F, Equitable Bank Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, +632 786.6666 (, fax: +632 786.6600).
  • No-flag.png Norway, 21/F, Petron Mega Plaza Bldg, 358 Senator Gil Puyat Av, 1209 Makati City, (, fax: +632 982.2799), [20].
  • Pk-flag.png Pakistan, 6/F Alexander House 132 Amorsolo St, Legaspi Village, Makati City, (, fax: +632 840.0229), [21].
  • Pe-flag.png Peru, Ste 405 CLMC Bldg, EDSA, Greenhills, 1500 Mandaluyong City, (, fax: +632 721.0843).
  • Ru-flag.png Russia, 1245 Acacia Road, Dasmariñas Village, Makati, +632 817-5406 (, fax: +63 2 810-9614), [22]. Monday – Thursday 08.00-15.15 Friday 08.00-15.00.
  • Sm-flag.png San Marino, G/F, PJL Corporate Centre Bldg, 1728 Nicanor Garcia St cor Candelaria St, 1209 Makati City, (, fax: +632 899.8450).
  • Za-flag.png South Africa, 29/F, Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza, 6819 Ayala Av, 1227 Makati City, +632 889.9383 (, fax: 63 2 889.9337).
  • Es-flag.png Spain, 27/F Equitable Bank Tower, 8751 Paseo de Roxas, 1226 Makati City, (, fax: +632 817.4892).
  • Th-flag.png Thailand, 107 Rada /Thailand St, Legaspi Village, Makati City, (, fax: +632 815.4221).
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, 120 Upper McKinley Rd, McKinley Hill, 1634 Taguig City, +632 858 2200 (fax: +632 858 2313), [25]. Monday to Friday 08.00-16.45.
  • Us-flag.png United States, 1201 Roxas Bl, Ermita, Manila, +632 301.2000 (fax: +63 2 301.2017), [26].
  • Uy-flag.png Uruguay, 5/F, PCCI Bldg, 118 Alfaro St, Salcedo Village, Makati City, (fax: +632 816.3057).
  • Ve-flag.png Venezuela, 17 A Multinational Bancorporation Centre, 1226 Makati City, (fax: +632 845.2866), [27].


Get Out

  • Cavite — Puerto Azul, Marbella Beach, Caylabne
  • Batangas — Gerthel Beach, Submarine Garden, Mahabang Buhangin Beach, Hugon Beach, Matabungkay Beach, Mt. Maculot, Calijon Falls, Mainit Hot Springs, Cueva Sitio, Ilijan Falls, Sepok Point, Bulalacao Falls.
  • Bicol — Mayon Volcano, Caramoan (where several Survivor shows was held in this location), CWC (wakeboarding) enthusiast.
  • Tagaytay — is a city located on a ridge overlooking Taal Lake. The spectacular view of the Taal volcano in the middle of the lake, combined with the exquisite cuisine from the numerous ridge-side restaurants has made this a favorite weekend excursion for Manila residents. (roughly 1 hour from Ninoy Aquino International Airport)
  • Mount Batulao — is a popular trekking destination near Tagaytay, with the same nice views and cool weather, making for a nice dayhike. Other nearby dayhikes include Pico de Loro and Mount Maculot (which has nice views of Taal Lake).
  • Scenic and Folkloric Lake Bai Tour. — tour of idyllic towns of Lake Bai that compares with the folksy towns of Mexico, the cultural life centered on the nucleus of a Spanish Colonial Church, offering lively and colorful fiestas and traditions. Angono, an art town, haven for painters specializing on romanticist and folk genre, notably the Blanco family; concentration of art galleries; Pagsanjan - shooting the rapids and ancestral homes, Biñan - coco pie, native pastries, and candies, Calamba - hometown of National Hero José Rizal and Charice - You Tube singing sensation.
  • Villa Escudero — hacienda resort and heritage park amidst coconut plantation, architecture, and folk-attired attendants – the whole kit and caboodle.
  • Las Casas de Acuzar — open-air museum and heritage park in Bagac, Bataan featuring a collection of Spanish-era houses transferred into this location. It has dining and accommodation amenities.
  • Taal — is a heritage town containing many Spanish period homes that were built from the spoils of coffee, sugar and other 19th century export crops. A number of these homes have been turned into heritage museums that allow one to imagine what life was like during those times.
  • Antipolo City — Manilans make their annual summertime pilgrimage to the shrine of the Nuestra Senora dela Paz y Buenviaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage) in this hilltop town. Once there, you can partake of the delicacies such as roasted cashew nuts and kalamay (glutinuous rice pudding). The Hinulugang Taktak Falls are nearby and prove a welcome respite to the city's hustle and bustle. On the way up to Antipolo via the Sumulong Highway are restaurants and bars which provide an excellent view of the Metro skyline. (around 1.5 hours from airport).
  • Solaire Resort & Casino — located in reclaimed Entertainment City, in the metropolitan suburb of Parañaque City, it is first class resort with 5-star hotel and casino.
  • Subic Freeport Zone — this former American military base has been converted into an industrial park and ironically, an eco-tourism zone. Within the confines of the freeport one can partake of practically all of the activities that most tourists generally experience in the Philippines: sun-tanning on white sand beaches, bay side dining, studying English, forest canopy walking, wreck diving, casino gaming, survival trekking with native Aeta guides, bar hopping, golfing, getting a massage (one spa even offers synchronized massage with two masseuses) and other spa treatments, outlet shopping, you name it. (around 3.5 hours from airport)
  • Corregidor Island — a sentimental spot for Americans as this is the last stand for the defeated Americans during World War II when General MacArthur ‘’abandoned’’ them. The island-park showcases the fort’s facilities and equipment that were decommissioned, now as museum pieces.
  • Puerto Galera — in the island of Mindoro, famous for its white sand beaches and shipwreck scuba diving sites hopping stop.
  • Palawan — famous for its one of the 7th Wonder of the World, the Underground River Caves. El Nido Islands, and much more.
  • Baguio — lies further north and up in the mountains of the Cordilleras. With its cool climate and pine trees, Baguio is Summer Capital of the Philippines and has a Presidential Summer Mansion maintained there. (around 8 hours from airport)


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!





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