Manila, Philippines – The City that Never Sleeps

I had to fly to Manila over the weekend and decided to make a post about it. The trip was actually for family business but I decided that I might as well take advantage of the situation and go around the city. When I say “Manila”, I actually mean Pasay City because that’s where I stayed. We – the people from the provinces – usually refers to Luzon, in general, as “Manila”.

Pasay City is where the Ninoy Aquino International is, so it’s a short cab ride to where I was going to stay. There were five of us so we should have taken the Avanza cab (which is bigger) but the driver is asking around US $12 for it. That’s expensive considering that our destination’s not that far. We decided to take the metered “Yellow” taxi and agreed to pay extra for the fifth person.

We stayed at Metro Deluxe Residences which is really cheap. They have bed spaces which are great for backpackers. We only have one bag each so we decided to stay there. Since there were five of us in the group, the owner agreed to give us a discount. We only paid US $9 per night per head, that’s lower than the regular rate of US $12 per night.

The place was clean and each room has its own bathroom and lavatory. They also have a microwave oven and a fridge at their kitchenette which guests can use free of charge. The only comment I have about the place is that it’s not along the highway so you have to walk into a street to reach it. Nothing bad ever happened while I was there but I sure wished the place is more accessible.

SM Mall of Asia

On our first day, we decided to go around SM Mall of Asia, which is supposedly one of the biggest malls in Asia. There were a lot of shops to buy from so it’s a great place if you want to go shopping. One of the things that I noticed is that there were also a lot of restaurants and food kiosks – a testimony to how much Filipinos love to eat. This mall offers all sorts of cuisine – American, Italian, Japanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Filipino. If you’re hungry and aren’t sure where to eat, The Mall of Asia will definitely give you a lot of choices.

Food Fair at the Bay Walk

We were there over the weekend and we learned that they hold a food fair at the Bay Walk, which is right behind MOA. We decided to hit it and boy, it was a food lover’s haven! The different stalls offer barbecues, different kinds of Sisig, Bagnet, Lechon, desserts and chips. The food were so cheap that we decided to visit it again on our second day. One of the stall owners said they hold the fair every Friday, Saturday and Sunday so be sure to visit it.

Bagnet Sisig

Bagnet Sisig

Crispy Bagnet

Crispy Bagnet

Squid Sisig

Squid Sisig

Bangus (Milkfish) Sisig

Bangus (Milkfish) Sisig

Star City

We also decided to visit Star City, which is a popular amusement park in Pasay. We were supposed to visit Enchanted Kingdom but it was too far so we settled on Star City instead. For an adult, I was not impressed but I’d say kids would surely enjoy the rides. Ride-all-you-can fee is only US $12, although some attractions such as Snow World and the Max Rider 4D have separate entrance fees. I would suggest checking the weather before going as the park closes all outdoor rides if it rains.

Pork Lechon

Pork Lechon

Interview with a Tourist

While at the airport, I saw a tourist sipping coffee and decided to ask him for a short interview. After a short introduction, here’s how our conversation went.

Me: Is this your first time in the Philippines?

David: Yes

Me: So, where are you from?

David: I’m from California, USA.

Me: Are you here for a vacation?

David: Yes

Me: What made you decide to pick The Philippines?

David: Actually, my brother has visited the country and told me all about it. He says it’s really very cheap and that the beaches are really nice. He also told me about how friendly and nice the people are.

Me: Yeah, Filipinos are known for being very hospitable. So, which cities are you planning to visit?

David: Cebu and Palawan. I’m also flying to Thailand after.

Me: Wow! I’m sure you’d love the beaches there. How about Davao? Are you planning to visit it?

David: Yeah, I heard about it from a friend and how safe it is as long as you don’t go out the city. Maybe I’ll add it to my list.

Me: Yeah, you should definitely visit it! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview.

David: Sure, no problem!

David was also so kind to have his picture taken. Thanks David!

manila, philippines

manila, philippines

Conclusion

Manila is indeed a great place for shopping and serving as a start off point to the different provinces in the country. I would never live in it, but only because I’m more comfortable in how simple the way of life is in Davao. Manila is also a good place to do business as it’s highly urbanized and people are more open in spending money for shopping and dining.

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