"An interesting introduction." Manila by planxty

Manila Travel Guide: 2,126 reviews and 5,258 photos

Like most people visiting the Philippines, I flew into Manila, the capital. I had read a few things about the place but had deliberately avoided reading too much as I do not like to have pre-conceived ideas about a city.

The Philippines was virgin territory to me, despite my having wanted to come here for many years. I had heard stories about the terrible pollution and appalling traffic, both of whic pre-conceptions proved to be true. Yes, the traffic is that bad and the pollution is appalling.

However, and I was lucky enough to be staying out of the main tourist areas, it is a city with huge hearrt and people here are really friendly if you approach them in the right manner. Undoubtedly there are scams going on but I found myself universally greeted with smiles, helpful advice and generally a good time all round.

Undoubtedly, capital cities have the potential to be dangerous but I felt as comfortable walking arond Santa Cruz (where my Filipina friend was appalled I was walking alone late at night) as I would in my home city of London.

In short, if you visit the Philippines, you are almost bound to be in Manila. Certainly, use the normal precautions but do not be freaked out by some of the completely erroneous scaremongering you may find on the net or in guidebooks. It is not a bad place and a smile, like so many other places, will get you a long way.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The capital, and you are bound to end up there.
  • Cons:Traffic and the attendant pollution.
  • In a nutshell:Forget what you have read, it is a great place.
  • Last visit to Manila: Jan 2012
  • Intro Updated Jul 20, 2012
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Reviews (21)

Comments (5)

  • benazer's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    I was there with you and Boracay as well too hot for me there.

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    Interesting page Fergy about a city that I had no real sense of.

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Jan 1, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      I gathered! Some sort of record even by your own standards??? I know that their hospitality is legendary. In terms of your height, you must stand out like a sore thumb!
      It's certainly on The List - but isn't just about everywhere?

    • planxty's Profile Photo
      Jan 2, 2013 at 3:06 AM

      Yes, definitely a record for me but the place was just so damned comfortable to live in. The height and the beard certainly se me apart. The kids call me kanding (Visayan for goat) and half the bar staff in Dumaguete took to calling me bin Laden! Charming. Hope this post is not deleted by the CIA now.

  • cal6060's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Love your Manila tips.. It is on my list places to go!

  • cal6060's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Love your Manila tips.. It is on my list places to go!

  • asiantraveler's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    nice manila page

planxty

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