Manila may not be famous for its beauty, but its magnetic energy gives you the special feel. Diverse and lively in so many ways, it’s a great city to explore even if you only have one day of time.
At the time of Spanish occupation, the city inside the walls (Intramuros) became the capital of the country. Today Metro Manila region is the cultural, economical and governmental center of the Philippines.
Intramuros or ‘within the wall’ represent the oldest district of Metro Manila, built during the Spanish occupation. It’s the best place to start your day and to soak in the rich history of the Philippines. The part of the boundary walls is still well preserved, even though the huge part was destroyed in the WWII, during the Japanese-American battle for Manila. Still, lots of historical buildings, museums and even 2 churches can be found inside the area. For those who want to know more about this place and the Filipino history in general, it’s recommended to book Intramuros walking tour.
Stop at one of the famous sights inside the Intramuros – the Fort Santiago. As a defense fortress , this citadel played a very important role in the history of Manila. Today it’s still very well preserved and together with lovely gardens and plazas makes a perfect oasis in the center of the city.
Cathedral of Manila
Not far from the Fort, stands the Cathedral of Manila, a Roman Catholic basilica, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s been heavily damaged several times, but it’s now restored to it’s full glory. If you’re lucky enough, on weekends, you’ll have a chance to see a Filipino wedding ceremony.
A break at Rizal Park
You’re probably a bit tired by now. Adjacent to the Intramuros, Rizal parks is the best place to relax a bit and escape Manila’s heavy traffic. It’s a favorite outdoor spot for both tourists and locals. On weekends, it usually packed with people. There are numerous statues in the park, so make sure to capture a few photos while there.
It’s the shopping time!
Finally at Mall of Asia (MOA) for food and shopping! It is currently the 4th largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the 11th in the world. When it opened in 2006 it was the largest shopping mall in the Philippines until SM City North EDSA was redeveloped in 2008.