Countries of the World
Manila Through My Eyes - My favorite places in Manila

I didn't expect that creating a blog here would be so restricting (web design wise). I'll do my best to make the blog look nice, though. I originally planned to post pictures of places in Manila that I personally find interesting, but it looks like it would be a challenge (I have to consider the "frames" that I have left). Well, bear with me, and I hope you'll find browsing this site informative. And don't hesitate to contact me if you have further questions. Just scroll down at the bottom of the page to send an email.

And because I'm nice (haha) I'll make scrolling down less of a pain by letting you choose if you have a specific area in this site that you want to go to.

My Favorite Places in Manila

Sta. Cruz
Sta. Mesa

Binondo is an area in Manila mainly populated by the Chinese people living in the Philippines. It is said that Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world. I really love this place. Binondo is a big part of my childhood, I get nostalgic whenever I visit this place. Plus, the food here is amazing! I love Chinese food! You can go visit the Binondo Church, explore the marketplace, and eat Chinese cuisine!

Ermita is a bit notorious for its reputation as a red light district. Which is a bit sad I think, because there are several universities around the area. It was supposed to "cleaned up" already, but when I stroll around Ermita at night, I still see it as a red light district. Ermita is also a popular place for foreigners. A lot of foreigners living here have set up restaurants, KTV's and convenience stores around Ermita. I placed a picture of the Robinson's Place Manila mall above because it's what I automatically think of when I hear the word Ermita. Again, a lot of Sundays within my childhood were spent there and even when I entered a university, me and my high school friends would meet up here (we study in different schools, Robinsons Ermita is a sort of midpoint for us).

Intramuros is often called the 'walled city'. It literally means 'within the walls'. It was heavily damaged during World War II and although an attempt to restore the walled city was done in the 1980's, it has been hard as some of the areas have already been touched by modernization. The most famous place here (I think), is Fort Santiago. It is where our national hero, Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution in 1896. There are also a lot of churches around the area (Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church are pretty popular for tourists) as well as universities (like the University of Santo Tomas, which is the oldest extant university charter in Asia).

Malate is very near Ermita (I think of them as twins). And in a way, the two places are very similar. The picture above is of Malate Church. In front of Malate Church is the Manila baywalk. The sunset is famous for some reason, and it is said that the baywalk is the best place to see the sun set. Just a few years before, the baywalk is sprawling with bars and restaurants. It has been a sort of hip place to go to. It has all been closed down though.

The most famous landmark here in Quiapo would be the Quiapo Church. It houses the Black Nazarene, a dark coloured, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ believed to be miraculous by millions of Filipinos. The feast of the Black Nazarene is celebrated every January 9, and accidents such as injuries and even fatalities is common. There are also mosques around the area as there are many Muslims living here. It's also interesting to note that despite the strong religious presence in the area, Quiapo is also famous for it's fortune tellers as well as kulam (Filipino art of witchcraft) paraphernalia. Another reason to go to Quiapo would be Hidalgo Street. It has been called a 'photographer's haven', where you could buy various photography goods, used or brand new at cheap prices. I also have an insider's secret, look for the place near Quiapo Church where there are a lot of bikes for sale. There are also shops selling rare, second hand CD's and LP's there.

I originally wanted to place a picture of the Santa Cruz church, but realized that I already put up several pictures of churches, so I'm placing the image of the fountain located in front of the Sta. Cruz church instead. The Jesuits built that church, where it served the many Chinese nationals living in the area. Until now, there are a lot of Chinese people living in Sta. Cruz. When you look at the gate of the Sta. Cruz church, the design has some Chinese influence in it.

There's nothing much to see here, but I'm a bit biased since the university where I'm currently going to (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) is located in Sta. Mesa. I wanted to post a pretty shot of the university, but decided against it and place this picture of students protesting instead. It's actually what our university is famous for (aside from having the lowest tuition fee of 12php or 0.28usd per unit in the Philippines) is student activists. Over the years, the exterior of the university has improved a lot. Until now, renovations to make it 'prettier' is still on going. However, when you look inside the classrooms, the laboratories, the library, and various other places, facilities are severely lacking. I think, instead of making the school beautiful, the budget should be focused on giving the students enough chairs, computers, and books. Renovating the university is nice, but beyond making the university look good on pictures, is it really what the students need? I distinctly remember one of my classmates sat on a chair and it broke (he isn't even fat), or the several times when we had to go to other classrooms to get chairs. I do believe that studying here is a privilege, but then again, it's really hard to be thankful when you're sweating because the fans aren't working, then you go out and see constructions workers building god knows what that doesn't seem to have any good purpose aside from looking good.

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Manila Through My Eyes - My favorite places in Manila (Countries of the World)    -    Author : Kaycee - Philippines

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last update : 2011-06-19

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