“The Philippines is nice, you’ll really like it – but you have to get the hell out of Manila”.
That is the advice I received when I first told a friend I was headed to the Philippines. He went on to tell me that Manila is crowded, noisy, dirty, dangerous and everyone tries to take advantage of you.
If nightlife is your thing, then head to Quezon City, Eastwood, Makati, Malate or High Street at Fort Bonifacio. You will find upscale bars, restaurants, night food markets, live music and dance clubs.
Do you want to try your luck? Manila has some great casinos. Resorts World, Manila Pavillion Hotel and Casino, Manila Marriott and several stand alone casinos just to name a few. Along with the existing casinos and the construction of the new Entertainment City you should have no problem getting your game on. Entertainment City is being built as a Vegas Style attraction with hotels, resorts, shopping venues and casinos. (READ: Overview: What you'll see at City of Dreams Manila)
The bottom line is Manila is big, dirty, crowded and loud. It is also vibrant, full of historical sites and entertainment venues. There are upscale shopping locations, great restaurants and hotels. Manila is growing and evolving and a place you should not dismiss as a tourist.
Add to the fact that Manila was recently included in the top 30 cities of the world, in a study by global real estate services firm JLL, and you can see how my friend was wrong.
While I thoroughly enjoy the beautiful beaches in the Philippines I can also enjoy spending time in Manila and I never get bored. Instead of relying on negative articles by travel bloggers and misconceptions of well-meaning friends, give Manila a chance. – Rappler.com