Manila Things to Do Tips by jumpingnorman
Manila Things to Do: 571 reviews and 1,223 photos
Impressive Chinese Facades
Okay, here I am again with my cemetery trips! Of course, I enjoyed the tomb of Evita, of Lincoln, of Unknown Soliders...but nothing can beat the majesty and extravagance put in by rich Filipino-Chinese families into their loved ones' final resting places! Except the tombs of the pharaoh in Egypt of course....
Have you ever attended a Chinese Funeral/Wake in Manila? It's so different -- they have these little versions of a house and little cute things -- very colourful...then they burn them! But that's they're culture (I should say mine too because I am partly Chinese).
But the Filipino-Chinese are the richest ethnic group in Manila, and when I say rich, they are RICH! The tombs have electricity and even running water, well decorated and true expressions of wealth.
I just like walking in peaceful cemeteries and this is a great place to escape the chaos of Manila...
See me so small beside my Mom at Nayong Pilipino
This is actually just a cultural park that has been beside the airport since I was a small boy. I remember seeing the mini-rice terraces here and I think it still has a small scale version of the Mayon Volcano. I also enjoyed watching the planes flying over the site --- I'd like to thank my parents for bringing me here often and making my imagination grow and want to see so many places!!! Sometimes, I think I've overdone it though, hehehe...
It has a collection of mini-villages which will expose you to the different cultures in the Philippines -- from the thatched huts of the Ifugao village to even muslim mosques. Open 0600-2100 (but check if times have changed)
On Sundays, there is an interesting dance number at the Mindanao Village. Don't tell anybody, but I did do a Minadanao-Ifugao Folk Dance number while I was in college (yikes, hehehe...and I also had to her the infamous ifugao g-string, surprising comfortable, hehehe)
There is also a walk-through aviary but I don't think they have the famous Monkey-eating eagle...
Daughter celebrating my birthday with me, Manila
If you're a foreigner visiting Manila, this is the place to visit, specially if you are staying in nearby Ermita or Malate.
It is the main historical landmark of Manila, but when I was younger, it was the place to walk with the girlfriends, hehehe...very nice gardens and truly romantic. Reminds you of the time of the Spaniards and you can almost hear the Spanish guards "guardia civils" at night if you have an active imagination like me. But of course, I would advise walking in this area during the day, especially if you are foreign-looking.
This is the old-walled city which has a massive Southwest corner bastion called the baluarte de San Diego, built on the site of the first Spanish fortress. In the southeast is the Baluarte de San Andres.
The northern end had Fort Santiago which lies beside the pasig River. I did a lot of excursions here as a young student and so you might see some schoolkids walking around. There is a memorial to the national hero, Jose Rizal who grewu up in my Grandma's hometown of Calamba (some relatives say we are related to Rizal himself!).
Then at the very center, the awesome Manila Cathedral, rebuilt in 1958 but the original one that was here was built in 1581. In the south on general Luna Street, you mgiht see a wedding happening at the San Agustin Church (1571) - very beautiful both outside and inside and so you have to reserve more than a year before if you want to get married here! The Spaniard Legaspi, the "founder" of Manila is buried in this awesome church which has a small museum open Tues-Sun 0900-1200 and 1300-1700.
Also see the Plaza Luis which is a complex of 9 buildings which represent different architectural styles in Manila and casa manila which is a 19th century rich-man's house.
Address: Roxas Blvd., Manila
Architecture in "real" China, Beijing
I have been to many Chinatowns around the world, but I consider the one in Manila the best because it is very nostalgic for me. The streets are very small and my father would drive me around with his Lambretta motor scooter and then we would look for siopao (which is meat in a white floury cover) and also HOPIA ( which is a sweet mung delicacy)....yummy!
It strecthes from Santa Cruz Church in the east and all the way to Binondo Church in the west. And areas of it had been burned down and then rebuilt - but it is terribly congested and a bit overcrowded with buildings --- a sore to the eye sometimes, but i think it is what makes it special and "authentic". Very colourful place to visit...Especially on Chinese New year with the dragon parades --- awesome sight for tourists!
Chinatown in Manila is also famous for all the sales, specially the gold jewelry (at Escolta and Ongpin) that can be bought by weight. but when you're there, just wear simple clothes to avoid standing out. But if you have blond or red hair, I can't help you with that, hehehe...
My shoes after a tiring walk in Paris...
As a young man, I did go to protest against the dictatorial regime duing the 1986 Revolution in the major highway EDSA (People Power). Then after that, we did visit the Malacanang Palace to see the massive collection of shoes of Imelda Marcos. There were about 1220 pairs of shoes, as well as 500 gowns and 300 bras (one was bullet-proof). I also marvelled at the huge perfume bottles from Europe and the huge circular bed where the former First Lady slept...a true palace.
But there is more to Malacanang than just seeing the wealth that the marcos's had amassed. The building has a very rich history - being situated on the north bank of the Pasig River, it was originally the home of a Spanish merchant. But in the early 19th century, it became the residence of Spanish and then eventually American governement officials. Then the Philippine presidents followed suit after the Philippines gained independence (independence day is June 12).
But now the rules have changed as to which part of the palace you could see. renovations keep on going and if you are planning to go to the Museum, you need to have a written letter of request be sent to Malacanang Palace Museum and address it to the director--- seven (7) days prior to your visit and indicate your full name.
Write to The Director, Malacanang Museum, Kalayaan Hall, Malacanang, Manila
From the malacanang website:
"The Malacañang Museum at Kalayaan Hall is open from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and can be reached through the Kalayaan Gate. Visitors coming in private vehicles or by taxi should enter the Malacañang environs through either the Arlegui Street or J.P. Laurel Street Entries and either park or disembark in the Mendiola Street Car Park, after which a short stroll along J.P. Laurel Street will bring them to Kalayaan Gate. Visitors on foot can also arrive by way of the General Solano Street or San Rafael Street Entries.
Please note that, due to prevailing conditions, visits and tours of the Malacañang Museum are STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, and can be initiated by writing or faxing at least SEVEN DAYS IN ADVANCE
It is quite a hassle but rules do change in Philippines quickly so you can ask your hotel concierge if this rule still applies. "
Cameras (especially high-powered dSLR photographers) are not allowed to enter the premises - definitely no picture taking is allowed…
Other Contact: Fax: 63-2 7361120
Phone: 63-2 7364662
Bought a guitar, Luneta Park in Manila,Philippines
I have pictures of myself as a three-year-old enjoying the slides at Luneta Park (considered the Philippines' National Park)--- and I actually have very early memories of waking up early so that my parents could bring myself and my sister (VTer Jumpingwithnorman) to Luneta, now also known as Rizal Park.
This park has been here since Spanish colonial times and this is where the people gathered and even watched executions, like the famous one which killed our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 1896. His hands were tied and his back was to the gunfire, but when the shots were fired, he turned around to face his executioners! There is now a group of brass statues that form the centerpiece of a Light and Sound Show (630 Pm – 730 PM). Also see the changing of the guards at the memorial to Rizal.
Best time to visit Luneta is at about 5AM (wake up, Sunshine!), just before sunrise, when you will see these people practicing the art of Tai Chi (that slow-moving style of Chinese exercise). It’s nice to jog in the park with the honking of the jeepneys on the road, and everybody is just starting their day. There is also less smog during the early morning and you still smell the wetness of the grass.
On Sunday afternoons, there can be Filipino martial arts exhibitions, and sometimes free concerts at the Park Auditorium. You can also enjoy the nice botanical gardens in the Park itself – the Chinee and Japanese gardens. There is even a Planetarium!
Evenings are for young couples dating in the park, and if you are hungry, there are several nearby restaurants.
Park Location: along Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila
Address: Roxas Blvd., Manila
Kalesa ride in Manila with sister-in-law, 2006
When walking in Manila near the Luneta Park, you will see some horse carriages called "Kalesa" that will bring you around the little streets of Manila, including parts of Chinatown. I hadn't ridden one for so long, so I decided to ride on it.
So, the horse carriage took us around the streets of manila and it's amazing how he maneuvers this car in the car-filled streets. The ride is fun an quite exhilirating, and definitely touristy. The guide does not really talk much, unless you talk to them (some might speak some English).
At the end of the tour, I asked how much I was to pay and I think he charged us something like 3,000 pesos total for myself, my wife and my sister-in-law! That's about $20 dollars each at the time which I thought was not too bad, but my sister-in-law who lived in the Philippines thought it was overpriced.
But, overall, a very nice trip to take and I would do it again next time and would even add some tip to help my fellow Filipinos...
More Reviews (6)
jumpingnorman's Related Pages
Manila Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Mabuhay, Welcome to Manila!"
- "Capital of the Philippines"
- "Aliwan Fiesta 2011: Ilonggo's Pride and Victory"
- "Love It Or Leave It..."
- "Capital City of the Philippines"
- "IMPREXXION: MANILA"
- "What can you say about a town like Manila?"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Manila
- Hotels in Manila
- Transportation in Manila
- Nightlife in Manila
- Restaurants in Manila
- Shopping in Manila
- Warnings and Dangers in Manila
- See All...
Explore the World
- Palau Hotels
- Discovery Bay Hotels
- Fort Wayne Hotels
- Pulau Kayangan Hotels
- Providenciales Island
Badges & Stats in Manila
- 13 Reviews
- 23 Photos
- 11 Forum posts
- 26 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (39)
Have you been to Manila?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Manila
- Posted in Miscellaneous Forum "Re: Facebook Cover Photo Contest!"
- Uploaded a Photo to "JUMP with JumpingNorman and JumpingFamily!"
- updated a Manila Travelogue "VT Jumping Manila Meet Collages for June 5, 2010"
- Commented on one of asianbelle's Manila travel pages
- Wrote a Review Only a 2-3 hour ferry ride - Corregidor Island! about Corregidor in Manila Off The Beaten Path
- Uploaded a Video to Manila
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Phoenix Intro, 52 reviews, 113 photos, 5 travelogues
- Lisbon Intro, 16 reviews, 93 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Al Karnak Intro, 6 reviews, 89 photos, 10 travelogues
- Glendale Intro, 15 reviews, 77 photos, 6 travelogues
- Paris Intro, 19 reviews, 72 photos, 3 travelogues
- Pasay City Intro, 1 review, 87 photos, 10 travelogues
- Europe Intro, 1 review, 85 photos, 10 travelogues
- New York City Intro, 11 reviews, 74 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination San Juan Intro, 16 reviews, 69 photos, 1 travelogue
- Mandaluyong Intro, 85 photos, 10 travelogues
FriendsSee All Friends (319)
Latest Manila hotel reviews
- Legend Hotel
- 3 Reviews & Opinions
- Grand Boulevard Hotel
- 1 Review & Opinion
- Acl Suites Hotel
- 10 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 6, 2012
- Hotel Rembrandt
- 18 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 14, 2013
- Hotel Intramuros de Manila
- 2 Reviews & Opinions
- Holiday Inn Galleria Manila
- 302 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 1, 2013
- Copa Businessman's Hotel
- 20 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 6, 2013
- Prince Plaza II Manila
- 72 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 2, 2013
- Days Hotel Batangas
- 25 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 11, 2013
- AIM Conference Center Manila
- 29 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 28, 2013
- Saint Illian's Inn
- 1 Review & Opinion
- Torre Venezia
- 30 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 9, 2013
- Broadway Court
- 13 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 2, 2013
- Hotel Indah Manila
- 4 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 12, 2012
- Nichols Airport Hotel
- 1 Review & Opinion
- Intramuros- 118 Reviews, 232 Photos
- Manila Bay- 64 Reviews, 163 Photos
- Luneta- 49 Reviews, 98 Photos
- Chinatown- 14 Reviews, 35 Photos
- Malls- 35 Reviews, 74 Photos
- Malate- 25 Reviews, 41 Photos
- Makati- 27 Reviews, 37 Photos
- City Scene- 25 Reviews, 50 Photos
- Paco Park- 6 Reviews, 14 Photos
- Manila American Cemetery- 10 Reviews, 22 Photos