High-speed, high-energy is how I describe the cosmopolitan capital of the Philippines. A cultural hotchpotch, a sparkling metropolis, a historical bridge – Manila has many facets, and each equally surprising. Embrace this multidimensional city as I show you around some of my much-loved places in 24 hours.
Starting my morning with a halo-halo
Shaved ice, milk, sweetened beans and ice cream with a kick of caffeine – how’s that for a pick-me-up drink?
Jogging at the CCP
Time to burn some calories! I put on my running shoes and head for the sprawling Cultural Centre of the Philippines.
Making a wish at Casa Manila
What a beautiful colonial house! Ready to throw a coin in the fountain? Who knows, your wish might just come true.
Touring Fort Santiago
Stone stairways and manicured gardens as far as the eye can see. Who thought a lesson in history could be so beautiful?
Kalesa ride at Intramuros
A horse- drawn calash may be old-fashioned but it’s a romantic way to see the sights.
Walking through the Binondo Ark
Walking through this colourful ark is like passing into another world. Chinatown calls and I’ve got my camera ready!
Window-shopping in Chinatown
Food stalls, shops selling knick-knacks and locals bargaining – did I mention I’m in the world’s oldest Chinatown?!
Local eats on the street
It doesn’t get more local than street food. So I follow my nose to this delicious cart and dig in!
Making friends with Jose Rizal
In these beautiful tranquil gardens, I make sure I introduce myself to one of Manila’s famous faces.
Taking the Carlos Celdran tour
Why go for a boring history tour when you can do it the fun way? I recommend this tour for a humorous take on Manila’s history.
Admiring the San Agustin Church
Philippines’ oldest church may be best known for its ornate interior, but it looks equally pretty from the outside.
Driving through Roxas Boulevard
Palm trees to the right, sea to the left, I can’t help but feel glam rolling down Roxas Boulevard.
Enjoying the sunset from my hotel bar
I couldn’t ask of a more perfect place to watch the sunset. Cheers to Manila!
Some pampering with an in-room Spa
Rose petals on the duvet, scented candles around – it’s time to unwind in an indulgent way.
Seafood shopping at Dampa, Macapagai Avenue
For the freshest seafood, I head to a dampa. Before you buy, don’t forget to haggle!
Dining at Dampa, Macapagai Avenue
Fish, crabs, mussels – there is so much on the plate and everything is fresh and bursting with flavor. Pass the prawns please!
Taking a stroll at Rizal park
There’s something about fountains and lights that always attracts me. I watch these beauties change colours while taking an evening stroll in the park.
Picking souvenirs at Mall of Asia
I ditch the branded shops to pick something traditional. A perfect souvenir from my Manila travels.
Trying traditional food at Dencio’s
Up for some Filipino dishes? This is the place to get the best Sisig, Crispy Pata and other traditional favourites.
Unwinding at the Roadhouse
Music lovers, get ready to swing to some classics. The lively atmosphere and cheering crowd makes me want to stay.
Seeing the whole city from the Mall of Asia Eye
A ride on the Mall of Asia Eye – The Philippines’ Ferris wheel – won’t have you on the edge of your seat, but the view sure takes your breath away.
Unwinding in Manila’s green space
A night-time stroll through Rizal Park – one of Asia’s largest urban parks – what a beautiful way to end the day.
Being greeted at my hotel
It may be way past midnight, but the staff at my hotel never fail to give me the warmest welcome.
Returning to the comforts of my room
From the art on the walls to the freshly changed sheets, I can’t help but feel like I’m home.