The City of Manila, the Philippine capital, is on Luzon Island's western side along the shores of Manila Bay. It is one of the cities that comprise the seat of government in the country. The city is one of the most populated cities in the Philippines, which is home to more than 14 million people.
A Short Trip into Manila's History
The City of Manila was known for trading since the 13th century. It is situated along the banks of the Pasig River and was a fortified settlement. The name of the city was derived from the Tagalog phrase 'may nila', which translates to 'there is nila'. Nila is a plant that grew on the shores of the nearby bay and was used for soap making. Another origin of the name can be deduced from the word manila, which is the name of the plant and the prefix 'ma' which indicates a prevalence of something.
The city was severely devastated in World War II. From post Manila's post World War II history we'll find traces of the Filipinos' love for freedom as they struggled for independence and freedom.
There are two pronounced seasons in the country. You should expect tropical storms during the wet season, which is from June to November in the City of Manila, thus making the dry season, which is from late November to the month of May, the best time of the year for a visit. The summer months are from March to May with temperatures rising to as much as 36 or 37 degrees Celsius or 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to See in Manila City
There are historical sites in the city, which date back to the Spanish era. A lot of these tourist attractions are found on the Manila Bay area. One very popular destination in the city is Intramuros. Intramuros was a walled Spanish settlement. Walking along the streets of Intramuros will give you a feel of what it used to be like living in the days of the Spanish colonial years.
Rizal Park is a popular picnic site, bayside restaurants, a great place for early morning jogging or tai chi, or a night of classical music. The park is also a historic site since this is the location of the execution site of the country's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.
Other interesting sites in the city include old churches like cathedrals dating far back into the Spanish settlement like the San Agustin Church and the San Sebastian Cathedral. Manila is also home to a number of schools and universities. Some of the said institutions of note are De La Salle University, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, Mapua Institute of Technology, San Beda College, and University of Santo Tomas.
Where to Eat in Manila
Since Manila is a huge city with a varied cultural background and heritage, you should expect to find all sorts of dishes and cuisine here. If you want to get stuffed with the usual fastfood like McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Italianni's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy's, Dunkin Donuts, and the like, you'll find them on many street corners and mall areas.
There is probably no such thing as a distinct Manila cuisine since you'll find a mix of people bringing in various tastes and flavors from all over the country and the rest of the world. You have Kamayan Restaurant, Mannang, Dencio's, Gerry's Grill, that serves the best of Filipino dishes. Tokyo Tokyo serves Japanese dishes, while Chow King and Mann Hann serve Chinese food.
Those who are a bit adventurous might want to try some exotic food. Some of the exotic food in Manila you might like to try include balut (i.e. boiled duck eggs/embryo with a fully formed duckling), isaw (i.e. grilled chicken intestines), helmet (grilled chicken heads), and adidas (grilled chicken feet). Just remember not to get the said food from small makeshift food stands along the street, as they tend to be unsanitary. Balut Eggspress and Nanay Q are examples of restaurants you should get them.
Where to Stay in Manila
There are many inns and hotels in Manila. The accommodations here range from budget apartments, mid-range hotels, and premiere grade lodgings. Samples of prime grade hotels are Diamond Hotel and Manila Hotel on Roxas Boulevard. Samples of mid-range hotels are Garden Plaza Hotel and Suites in Paco, Binondo Suites, CSB Hotel, and the Legend Villas. Some of the budget class lodgings in Manila include Friendly's Guesthouse in Malate, and Windsor Inn in the Sampaloc district.
The nation's capital is a historic place to visit. Get a feel of the many important events in Philippine history as you walk its streets. Enjoy the best of city life, historic places, and beautiful sunsets in the city of Manila.
Known as the capital city of the Philippines, Manila is reported to have a population of over 14 million people today. Since it is considered as the Philippine capital city, the central government of the country is established in this city. Geographically speaking, the city is the strip of land that can be found between Manila Bay and Laguna Bay. Because of this, it became the center of trade between Central Luzon and Southern Luzon in its early days.
According to statistics, it is considered to be the second most populous Philippine city. It is also one of the cities that make up the metropolitan area of the Philippines, which is also known as Metro Manila. The city is not just popular in the Philippines and in Asia because the Globalization and World Cities of Study Group and Network hailed it as a gamma global city.
As it is one of the most populous places in the country, Manila is made up of 16 industrialized districts which are the following: Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Port Area, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andres, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and Tondo. Most of the districts have alluring restaurants, bars, malls and hotels. Above all, it is in this city where Malacanang Palace, the home of every Philippine president, is located.
For those who want to relax, they can visit the open areas and parks in the city. Found in the south of the district of Intramuros is Rizal Park which is the most important and historical park in the Philippines. At this park, people can see other attractions like the National Museum of the Philippines, Chinese and Japanese Gardens, the Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavillion as well as the Planetarium.
Aside from Rizal Park, people can also stay at Baywalk, which is the best and romantic place to watch the sunset. Baywalk is commonly visited by tourists and other locale people because it has beautiful and attractive restaurants, bars and cafes. However, in the latter part of 2007, Mayor Alfredo Lim ordered the removal of the business establishments to retain the peaceful ambiance in the area.
Other attractions in the city include the historical Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, the Museo Pambata and the Plaza Miranda. People will also remember their visit to the city if they stay at the famous five star hotels in Manila like the Diamond Hotel Manila, Manila Hotel and Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila.
So, for those who are looking for the most relaxing, luring, fascinating and enticing cities to visit, Manila is a city that they should have on their "must see" list.