Some Photographs From Manila

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October 14th 2011
Published: October 14th 2011
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Taken at Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila Taken at Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila Taken at Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila
It's not paradise. It's not everyone's cup of tea. Or (good, undiluted) coffee. It's dirty here and there. But there are pockets of interesting sites you may wish to have a look at before entirely skipping Manila to check out the beaches of Boracay, breathing the mountain air of Baguio, scaling the rice terraces of Banaue, taking a boat ride in the Underground River in Palawan, swimming in the big and small lagoons of El Nido, imagining the unspoilt islands of Batanes, marveling at the Chocolate Hills and tarsiers in Bohol, or diving somewhere off Anilao in Batangas.

This year, I concentrated on domestic destinations and had a wonderful time rediscovering my own country. Each to his own taste. And mine is still lusting for more. In between trips to swim with the whale sharks of Donsol, Sorsogon or visiting heritage houses up north in Ilocos or down south in Silay City or the nearer-to-the-city Taal, Batangas, I had the pleasure of going around Manila every free afternoon I have.

I live in Makati, a skip and a hop away from Greenbelt or the CBD. It is not Manila , of course. The urban landscape
No Temples, We Have Churches. No Temples, We Have Churches. No Temples, We Have Churches.

Intramuros and other parts of Manila have heritage churches you may care to visit, if you have the time.
still pales in comparison with its Asian neighbours but still, it is neater and tidier than most parts of Manila. Yet the rest of the city has its charm. That, despite the fact that Manila is the second most-bombed city in World War II, leaving only a sliver of its historical and cultural heritage.

My usual drill whenever I entertain friends is to give them a day tour of the city beginning with Chinatown (pre-Spanish Period), Intramuros (seat of Spanish colonial government for nearly 400 years), and ending with either the Baywalk/Yacht Club Area for a glimpse of Manila Bay and Imelda's Reclamation Area where now sits some of our cultural centers. This itinerary is "chronologically correct" in so far as our history is concerned. The last "drill" I made was with fellow-TravelBloggers Jan and Polona of Rice Capades 2011 2012 who seem to have taken a liking for Chinatown, the dirtiest of the 3 Manila sites I just mentioned. Jan and Polona liked the dumplings in a hole-in-the-wall eatery I took them to, sharing a table in a tiny room filled with 3 more tiny tables. I know they did, because they told me they went back a second time
Manila BayManila BayManila Bay

Taken from Harbour Square at the end of Baywalk.
after their visit to the Whale Shark Town of Donsol, Sorsogon. $2 for a dozen dumplings? And you see them making it from scratch right from where you sit. Not bad, if you are not squeamish. I didn't have the luxury of time when I met with Ben of LivingTheDream or with Stuart Hurlbut of Stuart, both of whom I brought to this local eatery by the Bay behind the biggest mall in Asia.

It is not the best day trip. I would be more inclined to introduce them to the likes of Carlos Celdran and Ivan Man Dy, both famous tour guides who genuinely love Manila in the midst of all the chaos and show it in their passionate review of the city. Their tours cost US $20-25, but oftentimes they settle for a kiss on the cheek or some other barter to take on a tourist to visit Manila sites with them. They do not expect anything else when they do this (for free), except for their tourists or visitors to gain a good appreciation and understanding of what Manila offers. Hats off to them, really.

As with other cities in other areas of

This is Chinatown where you find good eats and good bargains.
the world, there are those characters you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. Just like there are characters whose minds are closed to what's around them, and miss out on appreciating something interestingly different from what they are used to. Girls and pimps who'd hassle you endlessly. Thieves and snatchers preying on tourists. And then there are those who genuinely like talking to foreigners. When you meet them, give them a chance. The young girls may be a giggly bunch, and I suspect it's how they hide their discomfort with the English language or meeting foreigners, but they may be fun to talk to. I have this habit of talking to young people (Jan and Polona, if you are reading this, you know what I mean) and really enjoy such free-wheeling conversations. No, I am not a lonely old hag with no one to talk to. And though retired from regular work, I do keep a busy schedule too. Fortunately, I do not exactly "attract" the wrong kind. I feel comfortable with young students having that grand time of their lives. They giggle and laugh at almost anything. A few minutes with them can bring cheer to your afternoon.

A maze of streets and alleys, with the aroma of freshly steamed dumplings beckon. One of my fav haunts.
Can you imagine how happy you make them when you treat them to a few cones of ice cream or at Starbucks where they are having their very first espresso ever? Starbucks don't come cheap, and many of them find it a big treat to try this coffee. 😊

I belong to a local Travel blog community counting about 200 members. I suspect (no, I AM SURE) I am the oldest in this group where average age must be in the mid-20s. Don't ask me how I got invited to join them. Maybe I'm cool, for a grandma. 😊 Young, energetic, adventurous and easy to react...........they are also some of the most prolific bloggers I have come to know and read about. I enjoy their blogs whenever I find the chance, and share their love for the country as well as their frustrations over some things where we feel our government can do way better.

Come. And when you do, keep an open mind. Manila ain't all that bad. Besides, I promise you you will find a few sites worth photographing, and good beer to try! Check out this site.

. . . . .
No Crowds in MuseumsNo Crowds in MuseumsNo Crowds in Museums

400 years of Spanish colonization show in these heritage churches and monasteries turned museums.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Inside <div class=Quiapo: Charm in ChaosQuiapo: Charm in ChaosQuiapo: Charm in Chaos

Your friends will warn you to watch your pockets. But the chaos here has its own charm. Never mind that it's not tidy!
the San Agustin Church' style='width:300px;height:240px;' id='img-6018133'>Inside the San Agustin Church

Inside the San Agustin Church

Rizal ParkRizal Park

Rizal Park

Another Empty CorridorAnother Empty Corridor

Another Empty Corridor

View from the WallsView from the Walls

View from the Walls

How about the Philippine Jeepneys?How about the Philippine Jeepneys?How about the Philippine Jeepneys?

They have the tuktuks. We have the jeepneys, and the tuktuks (called pedicabs or tricycles) too. Remnants of US colonization.
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April 6th 2011
Wanna Hear My Confession? (San Agustin Church and Monastery in Intramuros)
Typical Filipino SnacksTypical Filipino Snacks

Typical Filipino Snacks

February 5th 2011
QUIAPO: Heritage Treasures in Manila
Watermelons, Mangoes, ApplesWatermelons, Mangoes, Apples

Watermelons, Mangoes, Apples

April 19th 2011
Manila's Chinatown: Jeepney Rides, Comfort Food and Shopping Bargains
The Steel Vaults of San Sebastian ChurchThe Steel Vaults of San Sebastian Church

The Steel Vaults of San Sebastian Church

April 13th 2011
A Blast From Our Colonial Past
Halo HaloChaos. Charm. Chaos. CharmChaos. Charm. Chaos. CharmChaos. Charm. Chaos. Charm
style='width:200px;height:300px;' id='img-6291276'>Halo Halo

Halo Halo

May 12th 2010
Eating Around the Philippines: Lechon, Max's Fried Chicken, Kare Kare, Adobo, Pinakbet, Tinola and Balut!

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


San Sebastian ChurchSan Sebastian Church
San Sebastian Church
Inside San Sebastian ChurchInside San Sebastian Church
Inside San Sebastian Church
National Art GalleryNational Art Gallery
National Art Gallery
Harbour Square Harbour Square
Harbour Square
Airport Terminal 3Airport Terminal 3
Airport Terminal 3
Airport NEW Terminal Airport NEW Terminal
Airport NEW Terminal
Good beer from Manila!Good beer from Manila!
Good beer from Manila!

San Miguel Brewery is 121 years old this year. Try our beer!

14th October 2011

First of all I like your blogs and the pictures you take. I am planning a trip to Philippines and some other places for 2012. I would like to make a tour with those 2 men you mention. I know Manila is a bit chaotic so perhaps making a tour with them might be a good idea. Do you have their email addresses or phone numbers? Where can I contact them? Thank you for your information. You can write to Graciela from Argentina.
14th October 2011

You may reach Carlos Celdran through here. check out his tour schedules and his contact numbers.
14th October 2011

I admired that you defended Manila from a scratch commentaries of a foreigner that he generalize what he had experience in some places or hotels in Manila, tita Lili. I admired also your photos of some parts of Manila. Singled out lang ng Briton na yon ang Manila.:-).
14th October 2011

You are a cool Grandma
Yes,you are cool,GRANDMA! :) I envy you and your travels. Reading thru makes me there too. Great picture takes! There is so much energy that parang pagod at gutom din ako especially when I see food until reality strikes. But thanks for sharing.
14th October 2011

Beautiful photos indeed, I grew up in QC but now am base in Antipolo City. I am a lover of History, Antiques & Places where important events occurred in the past. I frequent the places you featured in your photo collection & I must say that despite the government of Manila lack luster attention to their priced jewels this places still retains their charm. Keep postings photos that will encourage our people to visit this places instead of cramming themselves inside the Malls during the weekends. Thank you for sharing.
14th October 2011

A beautiful country
Dave and I have been reading your blogs this year and long to visit your country. It is higher on our list than it has ever been because of your wonderful blogs. Hopefully, our paths can cross when we are there.
15th October 2011

Nice photos
Well, to be fair to that foreigner, he does have a disclaimer in his profile asking people not to take his blogs too seriously. While I do have a problem with over-generalizations, I also understand that there is much truth to the phrase "first impressions last". In the latter regard, Manila failed that foreigner and many others before him. If we are to take this constructively, it would do us well to keep in mind that not every tourist who comes our way is willing to wipe the grime just to see the gold underneath. Sometimes, making a good first impression spells all the difference.
15th October 2011

Great job Tita Lili. I've been following your excellent blog and really found substantial and factual pieces of information, unlike that of a Briton who is fund of jumping into generalization.
16th October 2011

Hey Lili, I see you mentioned us and our blog in your post - thanks for that :) Just to let you know, we visited the hole in the wall three times in total. The first time with you, after coming back from Palawan and on our last day in Manila before flying to Jakarta :) Maybe its because every single time while we were in Manila it was Sunday and the other hole in the wall (next to the HSBC bank) was closed :) Loved the blog and the pic. Maybe I will use your way and build more collages from now on to \"describe\" on site. Take care, Jan & Polona
18th October 2011

great blog Tita Li, I agree that Manila aint a perfect city, but as a traveler we must turn the pages continuously to discover awesome things and not stop at first impressions. Yours is an inspiration that discovery is endless and Manila, is unique in itself because the beautiful things are everywhere though bundled with unsavory things (that we all must improve) bottomline, its there to be found.
18th October 2011

Love this post!
Beautiful post :) After all, it is generally true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; so he who does not have at least a photo of any destination, is probably the one at fault for not finding beauty in it. :) Good job, Tita Lili :)
18th October 2011

you obviously did not include paco park and the old senate building
19th October 2011

Brit's Comment on Manila
Yes, I agree that the places he was referring to was dirty as the word dirty. Divisoria, Quiapo, Sta Cruz and Baclaran and Taft Ave. too are sore eyes. It is just that it's hard for us to admit the truth. We Pinoys lack discipline. We throw our wastes everywhere, An act which is very much opposite to our personal hygiene and sanitation. While we take a shower everyday and some more that once a day, we do not know how to put a little piece of candy or biscuit wrapper and some plastics to where they should go. I'm sure this Brit has gone to other places, especially to cities and Asia. And, Manila is very very far when it comes to environmental cleanliness. We have esteros in Manila with stagnant water and foul-smelling. You cannot find these in other Asian cities. Manila is chaotic too. There is no discipline in the streets. There are lots of hawkers. If you disagree with me, well I'm sorry for you. The truth really hurts.
25th October 2011

you have a way of capturing a place or thing in photos and in words that makes one think diffferently and positively. The Philippines is indeed a wonderful place to live in.We may not have the most modern of facilities and infrastructures but these being a little "ancient" make it more romantic and quaint . The real world travellers greatly love this environment and the yet undiscovered places that we have. Thank you for such a passionate blogger and sharing your travels with us. One doesn't have to go physically there anymore after reading your blogs.
11th November 2011

You inspired a forum topic. :)
Check this out!
18th December 2011

This blog is a 2011 TravelBlog favourite!
Check this out, and feel free to add some favourite 2011 TravelBlog anythings of your own. :)

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