The city of Manila is the capital city of the Philippines located in Luzon, the country’s largest island, and home to over 10 million people. Manila is usually the starting point of any traveler’s travel to the Philippines, since most flights to other provinces and islands leave from Manila’s airport. But just before you board your plane to Boracay or ride the bus to Baguio, have you thought of touring the country’s capital? Here are 7 great sights to visit that will make your trip to Manila complete.
The Walled City of Manila – the city within the city, Intramuros was constructed by the Spaniards in 1571 during their colonization of the country. The two oldest stone churches in the Philippines are also located in Intramuros – the Manila Cathedral (the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila) and the San Agustin Church. From cobblestone roads to Spanish style buildings, Intramuros is the highlight of any trip to Manila.
2.The National Museum of the Philippines
Established in 1901, the museum serves as the keeper of the Philippine’s natural and cultural heritage. The museum has tri-dimensional goals and objectives namely: 1. as an educational institution; 2. as a scientific institution; and 3. as a cultural center.
Two of the most famous possessions of the National Museum is the Spoliarium by Juan Luna and the “Tabon Man,” the oldest human remains in the archipelago. Rates for the museum are PHP 100 for adults and PHP 30 for students with ID. The museum is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm and admission is free onThursdays.
3.BSP Money Museum
The BangkoSentral or Central Bank of the Philippines’ Money Museum gives visitors a glimpse of how the economy of the Philippines has evolved, along with an evolution of the country’s currency. Visitors can choose from a variety of activities, from viewing the different coins and paper money that the country has used, to participating in lectures about how to detect counterfeit bank notes and coins. The Money Museum has around 60,000 visitors a year, who are mostly students.
Named after the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, Rizal Park features historical markers, gardens, an observatory, a light-and-sound theater, plenty of fountains, and several busts of heroes with a brief biography and their contribution to the Philippine history. A monument with Rizal’s remains stands at the place where he was executed and carries the following inscription:
I want to show to those who deprive people the right to love of country, that when we know how to sacrifice ourselves for our duties and convictions, death does not matter if one dies for those one loves – for his country and for others dear to him.”
5.Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden
Established in 1959, the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden features a variety of Philippine animals and information about animal habitat. One can opt for a guided tour while exploring the children’s zoo, the picnic area, souvenir stores, and participate in lectures about various animal habitat.
6.Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
The largest cemetery in the Pacific for US personnel who died in World War II. The cemetery is 615,000 sq m in area and located in Taguig, Metro Manila. The cemetery also holds the remains of Filipinos and other allied nations slain during said war. The white crosses that serve as markers are a sight to see – they are aligned from every location viewed.
The most popular Philippine harbor not only because it was the setting for the Battle of Manila Bay, but also for the spectacular sunset that many tourists to Manila patiently wait to see. Tourists often walk the stretch of the Manila Bay to enjoy several places to dine, dance, and listen to performing musicians. The bay has undergone environmental rehabilitation projects to help make and keep it a clean, safe, and wholesome ecosystem.
As with any travel, securing your money from pickpockets is something that you should consider when traveling in Manila. Bring a map, have access to a mobile phone, and make the most of the top transportation methods in the country – the LRT and MRT. They’re more secure and let you get to where you’re going without the traffic.
Mildred H. Hagbergis a veteran lacrosse player. He is currently working as a lacrosse coach and when he is not at the field, he likes sharing his thoughts and tips on Lacrosse on Lacrosse Chronicle.