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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Lovely Manila - Part 1 || Manila, Philippines


For many, they think over-populated, smoggy, congested, which is pretty true.

But Manila is ALSO alive, beautiful, and a place I am so thrilled to called "home".As a person who has had the privilege of traveling and living in many places, one of the things that I love most is living in cities...big cities. Why?

Because the excitement and culture of a city can be found and it's impossible to ever get bored!

So come along with me as I show you a Manila that you may, or may not, know of.

She's lovely. And she's My Manila. :)


Almost every weekend in Makati City, there is a weekend market on the Saturday & Sunday. Two different markets - Salcedo Saturday Market and Legaspi Sunday Market. Both are opened early at 8am until about 2pm.

Each has a different flavor. The Saturday market has lots of food...lots! While the Sunday market has lots of artisans...and an organic produce market as well!

Find more info online about each market at:

Saturday Salcedo Community Market‎

Getting around Manila is pretty easy but nuts - Jeepneys, below are everywhere and can take you most places...but because they are cheap to ride and a ton of them, and a ton of people who ride them, it can be an experience to say the least! But one MUST ride one at least once!

While Makati is known as the Central Business District, it does have lots of malls, restaurants and even the Ayala Museum, that will give you some amazing history about our country and there is usually a great exhibit on to avail of as well.

As you can see, the high rises look out over the surrounding areas of Makati and beyond. It's very breathtaking really.


One cannot visit Manila without visiting our beloved Intramuros. As the original city of Manila way back, Intramuros still houses some government buildings, as well as a ton of schools and colleges and, of course, there is lots for the tourist to see.

Going on Carlos Celdran's WALK THIS WAY tour is a must. From the animated, theatrical presentation, to seeing the old Fort Santiage, all the way to riding a kalesa and eating some halo-halo,
Carlos' ability to paint a gorgeous, and real, picture of our Manila is amazing.

Visit his site for updated schedules of his tours at


One of my favorite places to visit in Metro Manila is definitely Chinatown, or Binondo area. Said to be the biggest Chinatown in the world, Binondo's streets are filled with almost everything you can imagine. 

Going down ONGPIN STREET will keep your stomach satisfied with all of it's food options! (Filipinos love eating!!)

You will always see kalesas, trikes and people as well as stalls of food and other treasures that you can take home with you!


Let's go out of the city about 30 minutes to a spot where you can get away from the hussle of the Metro and take in some nature.

Wawa Dam is located around Rodriguez, Rizal, and you can hike around the dam, swim if you want to get cooled off, and slow down to rural life speed. It's truly a breath of fresh air. Literally. :)


What used to be a shoe hub is now a hipster hang-out and has some of the coolest shops and restaurants around, Cubao X is so easy to access, as it's just at Araneta Center off of EDSA Rd.


Not far from Cubao X, is a street with some more restaurants and shops that cater to the University Belt close by.

One of my favorite places was visiting Jetro's restaurant, Van Gogh is Bipolar. Jetro has turned his home into a restaurant and cooks all the meals himself. Being diagnosed many years ago with Bi-polar he learned how food plays a huge part of moods. With this he developed his menu, that sometimes changes depending on, well, the day, and it is amazing. And Jetro and his eclectic abode/restaurant is simply amazing as well.

Manila - She is strange, unique, artistic, classy, bizarre, and wonderful. And she is home...for now. :)

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