MANILA, Philippines – Manila, once hailed the Pearl of the Orient, has changed drastically in the decades following the 2nd World War.
It’s gotten such a bad reputation that many will balk at the idea of wandering its streets, unless doing so is a part of their daily grind. Remember when one author infamously described it as "the gates of hell?"
But amid the grit and chaos, Manila lives on: there have been efforts to revive some of its historic places, such as the Manila Metropolitan Theater. It hides gems, both old and new, all worthy of attention and will teach people a thing or two about the city’s history. (READ: Manila, through the eyes of a visitor)
Manila has many things to offer that cater to every interest. To get you started, here are our recommendations for a one-day itinerary.
Don’t forget to bring an umbrella and bottled water, and stay alert!
Get cultured at the National Art Gallery
Escolta, once the country’s center of business and commerce, is a stone’s throw away from Chinatown. To get there from Chinatown, one of the routes you can take is to walk through Ongpin until you reach the entrance gate that’s across the Santa Cruz Church, cross the street and walk until you reach Escolta street. It’s right before the Roman R. Santos Building (with a BPI branch on the ground floor), but look out for the street sign so you know where to turn.
Located on the ground floor of the First United Building, HUB: Make Lab is home to hip and young merchants who sell vintage items, quirky finds, homemade food items, clothing by independent designers, and many more.