Planning for a Manila day trip with your friends or family? Please read my article 🙂
Manila, they say, is a city not for the faint-hearted. When bloggers write something about my home city, they focus on crimes, heavy traffic, pollution, poverty, and all sorts of third world problems. This makes me really sad 🙁
As someone who has been living in Manila for the past 33 years (since birth hehe), I would say that Manila is an interesting place if you look closely with an open mind, and also a safe place if you’re smart enough.
If you’re an introvert (like me) and you’re not into night life and alcohol-drinking, I recommend the following activities when you visit Manila. These places are near each other and you can visit or do all 10 within a day.
1. Visit Paco Park
Paco Park is a Catholic cemetery-garden located in Padre Faura, Paco, Manila. This is the burial place of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, and also a popular wedding venue in Manila. For more information, visit this link: Paco Park Wikipedia.
2. Visit Manila Central Post Office
Originally built in 1936, this is definitely one of the most historic structures in Manila. It’s just a few minutes walk away from Intramuros. Best activities: take photos, ride a horse-carriage, and of course, buy postcards and send it back to your friends and family back home.
3. Church hopping
Since Catholicism is the biggest religion in the Philippines, it’s not surprising to see a lot of Catholic Churches everywhere. A few interesting churches that you can visit: San Sebastian Church, San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral, Binondo Church and Malate Church. Most of these churches are half-millennia old with Spanish architecture style. San Agustin Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site while San Sebastian Church is a National Historical Landmark.
4. Visit Manila City Hall
Manila City Hall has the biggest clock tower in the Philippines. Located in the heart of Ermita, expect heavy traffic around this area from Monday to Friday. It’s just a few minutes walk from Intramuros. I don’t recommend that you go inside the building unless you have an official business. But if you’re curious how it looks inside, you’re free to go. From Intramuros’ Parian Wall, you can have a good view of the entire building and take photos for souvenirs.
5. Have early morning breakfast at Jollibee, Kalaw
Jollibee is the most famous food chain in the Philippines. Your Manila day trip won’t be complete without a Jollibee meal. If you want to avoid the crowd and skip long lines, the best time to visit is early morning around 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM. Jollibee, Kalaw is open 24-hours and only 5 minutes walk from Luneta Park.