It's more fun in the Philippines

Where to Stay

The country is known worldwide for its charming brand of hospitality. Not surprisingly, you can find the best chains of hotels in the metropolis, all providing top-rate services and amenities at reasonable prices. Accommodation facilities may be found in the city’s numerous districts, from Manila’s famed Roxas Boulevard to the Ayala Commercial District in Makati, and from the Ortigas Centre in Mandaluyong to the nightlife districts of Tomas Morato in Quezon City. Budget-conscious travelers can also avail of the city’s myriad of inns, apartelles and pension houses.

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Eating Out and Nightlife

Dining in Manila is such a delight, and one will be absolutely thrilled by the exciting blend of Philippine, Spanish, Malay, Chinese and American influences. Filipinos love to eat, and so restaurants are simply all over the place. The local cuisine, with its many regional flavors and specialties, should appeal to the most discriminating palates. Manila is the perfect place to go for daring culinary adventures. Look out for balut, taho, fishballs and dirty ice cream. Try San Miguel Beer with everything you eat, but for the more adventurous, there’s tuba, gin bulag and Tanduay Rhum. Street vendors are everywhere, and you can even buy peanuts and all sorts of goodies while riding in taxis, jeepneys and buses. Five-star hotels and luxuriously-appointed restaurants make perfect dinner venues for topquality events. And if it’s partying you’re after, then it’s partying you get! The nightlife offers everything from dazzling cultural shows to futuristic discotheques, karaoke bars, lively casinos, sensational entertainment lounges, and fashionable cafes. Manila, after all, is the Entertainment Capital of Southeast Asia!

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Shops Markets and Crafts

Manila is a shopping dreamland, and the city has the largest concentration of malls and shopping complexes in the entire Philippines. Some of them, like Shoe Mart’s (SM) Mall of Asia, are listed as among the world’s largest. All of them provide quality local and foreign merchandise at very affordable prices.
Other than the posh fashion emporiums and endless rows of high-end retail boutiques, there are also the small bazaars, trade fairs, shops, sidewalk stalls and markets that sprout all over the metropolis. Shop for South Sea Pearls, fashion accessories, ready-to-wear clothing, shoes and bags, housewares and home decoration items and be pleasantly surprised at the amount of savings made. And forget not to haggle, for haggling is not just acceptable but a protocol when shopping in Manila’s frenzied, frantic flea markets. Find out more

Brief Description

The Philippines is a country of 7,107 vibrant and colourful islands,all pulsating with life and teeming with flavour. Yet, it is in Manilawhere you can hear its heart beating the loudest! Manila is asophisticated capital - the seat of power, centre of trade and industry, commerce, education, entertainment and the arts. It is an invigorating blend of some of the country’s oldest and richest heritage treasures, and the most modern metropolitan features of the Philippine landscape. Its people have acquired an urban cosmopolitan air about them, but have managed to retain their warm and friendly smiles that have made Filipino hospitality renowned throughout the world. Manila started as a small tribal settlement along the Pasig River before it became the seat of Spanish colonial rule in Asia during the 16th century. For more than 300 years, Manila served as the center of Spanish military might in the region, and an important port in the trans-Pacific galleon trade. When the Philippines was ceded to the United States by the late 19th century, Manila transformed into a cosmopolitan city, patterned after the styles of American post-colonial designs. Today, surrounded by ultramodern skyscrapers, one can still catch glimpses of this Spanish-American past. Manila has thrived and survived it all, a bustling megalopolis of 17 cities and municipalities and over 12 million inhabitants.

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Transportation within the Metropolis

Getting around the city can be quite an adventure, and one does not truly experience Manila’s way of life without a ride in a kaleidoscopic jeepney. Originally converted from left-over US Army jeeps, the jeepney has become an icon of Filipino ingenuity and creativity and is the backbone of the Philippine transportation system. Passengers may get on and off just about anywhere. It is the preferred mode of public transport for short distances.
Taxicabs and buses also ply the main routes of the city. For inner city roads, one can always take a tricycle (motorbike with a side car) or a pedicab (bicycle with aside car). Some areas like Binondo and Intramuros still have those quaint little kalesas or horse-drawn carriages.
There are presently three elevated railway systems that ply the entire width and breadth of Metro Manila. Stops are strategically positioned to make traveling very convenient and comfortable. The system is a faster option to visiting the city’s various sights and attractions.

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Manila Attractions and Landmarks

Basilica Minore de San Sebastian

The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian or, more known as San Sebastian Church, is the seat of the Parish of San Sebastian and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. It is a fine example of the revival of Gothic architecture in the Philippines. It prides itself as the only all-steel basilica in Asia. The church is under the care of The Order of the Augustinian Recollects and is located at Legarda Street, Quiapo, Manila. 

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