Manila, I Keep Coming Back to Manila

1. RIZAL PARK , also known as Luneta Park is a historical urban park located in the heart of the city of Manila, adjacent to the old walled city of Manila, now Intramuros. The park was a tribute to the Philippine's national hero, Jose Rizal.  Rizal Park is like an oasis for relaxation and fun in the midst of Manila. It has Chinese and Japanese gardens, Orchidarium and butterfly pavilion, chess plaza, a grand stadium, an observatory, an open-air concert hall, an artists' sanctuary, a light-and-sound theatre, restaurants, food kiosks and playgrounds, and dozens of fountains.

2. INTRAMUROS, located along the southern bank of the Pasig River, was built by the Spanish in the 16th century and is the oldest district of the city of Manila. Its name was taken from the Latin, intra muros, which means "within the walls”, because of its most famous feature: a nearly three-mile-long circuit of massive stone walls and fortifications that almost completely surrounds the entire district. Intramuros is surrounded by famous attractions like Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, Baluarte de San Diego, Puerta de Isabel II, Plaza de Roma, San Agustin Museum and Manila Cathedral Church.

3. THE MANILA CATHEDRAL is located within the centuries-old section of Manila called Intramuros. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Manila. Having been destroyed several times by natural disasters and fires during its 400-year history, the current structure standing was completed in 1958, the cathedral's sixth incarnation. It is dedicated to Saint Mary under the title "Immaculate Conception", in her role as patroness of the Philippines.

4. ROXAS BOULEVARD BAYWALK This promenade lies in front of the Manila Bay where you can experience one of the most breathtaking sunsets of the world. Coconut trees and giant kaleidoscopic lamp posts dot this two-kilometer stretch of ample space beside Roxas Boulevard. Some people still walk or jog along Baywalk. There are also small cafes and bars across the street towards the end of Baywalk.

5. THE NATIONAL MUSUEM OF THE PHILIPPINES is the official repository established in 1901 as a natural history and ethnography museum of the Philippines. It is located next to Rizal Park and near Intramuros in Manila. Its main building was designed in 1918 by an American architect Daniel Burnham. Today, that building, the former home of the Congress of the Philippines, holds the National Art Gallery, natural sciences and other support divisions.

6. THE MANILA OCEAN PARK is the first oceanarium in the Philippines. It is located behind the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park.  Envisioned to be the "largest aquarium facility in the Philippines", the Manila Ocean Park contains both an oceanarium and an open water marine habitat that can handle 12,000 cubic meters of seawater, featuring 300 marine species indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Also, in line with its "fusion concept," the complex also features a mall, a restaurant row, a hotel, and multi-purpose function facilities.

7. The MANILA ZOO, the oldest zoo in Asia serves as one of the educational centers in the country where the viewing public can observe, discover and learn interesting facts about the beauty of Philippine fauna and flora. Manila Zoo has a land area of 5.5 hectares and has a current population of about 500 animals. There are 106 species, among which are 30 different kinds of mammals, 63 reptile species and 13 types of birds. In addition to popular zoo occupants such as elephant, tigers lions and the hippos, Manila Zoo also houses several endemic and indigenous species of animals like the bearcat, long-tailed macaques and crocodiles. Located along Adriatico St., the Manila Zoo also has canteens, souvenir shops, boating rentals at the lagoon and several playgrounds that cater to children and tourists

8. MALATE. The Filipino nightlife involves a lot of bar-hopping until morning arrives. Malate is one of the best places to do this, as it is continuously transforming itself as the center of recreation and entertainment for Manila with more restaurants, boutiques, entertainment halls, bars, discos and novelty stores opening for business. The block bound by the streets Maria Orosa, Julio Nakpil, Adriatico and Remedios is converted into party nights for street parties, al fresco drinking and dining, street dancing and even ground-level concerts. As a prime nightlife spot in the Philippines' capital Manila, there are a variety of establishment choices where people can have a good time with friends and colleagues.  You can visit Padis Point, Café Havana, Music 21 Plaza, Café Adriatico, Hobbit House and Library Comedy Bar & Restaurant.

9. BINONDO, located across the Pasig River from Intramuros, Binondo has typified a small Chinese town, and is referred to as the local "China Town". The district is the center of commerce and trade for all types of businesses run by Filipino-Chinese merchants. Given the historic reach of Chinese trading in the Pacific, Binondo was already a hub of Chinese commerce before the first Spanish colonizers arrived in 1521.Binondo is also considered a historic center of the mestizo de sangley community; famous residents include St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, and Venerable Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, founder of the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary

10. DIVISORIA is a market district in the heart of the City of Manila known for its wide assortment of low-priced goods and wholesale and bargain shopping. Clothes, accessories, toys, decorations, pirated films and music, electronics, fruits, dry goods, school, office and household supplies, fabrics, textiles, crafts, novelties, decorations and “everything under the sun” can be found in Divisoria, making it “the mecca of value shopping” and “the mother of all markets in Manila.” It is considered one of the National Capital Region's premiere economic centers, as street shops, tiangge-style bazaars and shopping malls (Tutuban Mall, 168 Shopping Center) are all found here.

11. QUIAPO is a district and city square of Manila. Referred as the "Old Downtown", Quiapo in known for where cheap buys or goods are being sold at rock-bottom prices and was the home of the Quiapo Church, where the feast for the Black Nazarene is held. Plaza Miranda is a square in front of the Quiapo Church, which is a popular site for political rallies. The Quiapo district is also home to a sizable Muslim population in Manila. The Golden Mosque and Green Mosque are located there. A veritable army of fortune tellers and stores offering herbal products surround the Quiapo church. Raon Shopping Center located along Quezon Boulevard, is considered the Mecca of Hardware Electronics. While the Hidalgo Street in Quiapo is a hodge podge of knick-knack vendors, covering legitimate business establishments mostly selling photography-related items. For Filipino photographers it has long been the Mecca for photography equipment at, more often than not, lower than market prices. 

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