Manila is just one of the 16 cities comprising of Metro Manila.
Every time that I went or passed by that city, I have always been fascinated by the different buildings that line up the roads: it’s city hall, post office museum, walled city, even its zoo! The idea of touring Manila always gave me a “What?! Yeah right..” feeling because of the numerous time that I have passed by the city as always just admiring it from afar. I actually have stereotyped the city as an unsafe place. Forgive my judgment (I know I can be straight forward). The idea did not even cross my mind until well, it crossed.
My friends, Josette and Mahal (two of my awesomest friends ever!) actually came up with this idea over sundaes and French fries of Mc Donald’s near our place in the wee hours of the morning. YES, we DO NOT gather to plot about something evil like “You’re going down!” (LOL) but we DO share our experiences and opinions. It’s a free country right? So going back, since we three need to get rid of stress and the negativity of our day to day lives, we started discussing about plans to travel. Our target is locally first. Of course, one would have to explore their own back yard before heading out to see the rest of the subdivision/ village right? Josette was able to get a hold of vouchers for a restaurant within Intramuros from which came the eureka moment of touring the city of Manila. We spent the night away planning our itinerary.
September 17 was the scheduled date of our excursion where we were supposed to meet each other up at 6:00am. 6:00AM! Having partied the previous night (‘cause it was TGIF), I was under the sheets at 3:30AM of the same day. I knew it was way too late to plea for a reschedule (duh?!) so I sent a text message to both Mahal and Josette saying they should push on with the original plan and that I would be catching up with them after a 4 hour sleep plus my apologies. I set my alarms for 8:30 am (my clock is 30 minutes advance, too might right?) them collapsed.
I woke up at 7:00 am (dang body clock!)! I tried to get more shut eye but to no avail. Laid down for a few more minutes, to check for hangover. Negative! Surprised as I may, I knew that I have to get up and prepare for the excursion. I texted them that I am up and about and will join them in our meeting place after I fixed myself up and packed my things. Good thing they were willing to wait. And by around 8:00 AM, we were bound for Manila.
First stop MANILA ZOO! Yes yes I know. What would three young adults (no disagreements please!) do in a zoo??! WELL ENJOY OF COURSE!
The zoo was built..ahmm..well.. I don’t know (blushes) HAHAHAHA.. We didn’t bother to do research. Well from the recent news of the zoo, there have been some additions and some losses from the zoo. The one giraffe from the zoo died due to plastic intake. There are some new features in the zoo like a mini park with play areas for kids plus statues of elephants and other animals in the zoo. I was able to visit just once apart from the this visit and it was so long ago..We saw the animals and surprisingly we all three agreed that animals should not be placed in cages but should roam the wild free. Maybe we should join PETA?
Next on the list was Museong Pambata (Children’s Museum). I know, i know.. Grown ups in children’s museum?? It was fun! The pictures will speak for themselves.
By the time we got out of Museong Pampata, we were hungry from all the laughing on the things that we did. So we decided to have lunch. Mahal knows this good authentic Chinese restaurant called ONGPIN MANROSA where they have GIANORMOUS siomai. They really were BIG! Food was amazing and of the lemon grass tea! LOL
From ONGPIN we walked to Quipo Church and it’s historical Plaza Miranda. We didn’t visit the church itself, the original Nazarene was I think moved to another place. We actually went there for a bit of fortune telling! hahaha.. A bit weird right? Fortune telling at the side of the church plus if you look around still, there are amulets and herbs there. What would Jesus say? We weren’t able to take much pictures cause it was a bit risky.
The National Museum was next on the list. This was actually one of the locations that I was excited about since I have never been in there at all. This was where the “Spoliraum”” was displayed to the public for free! I can now actually say “I’ve seen it..For real” The exhibits on display were from national artist. I really enjoyed this one since as they say, “the arts is cleansing for the soul.” We were a bit tired by now but we had a blast busting dancing traditional move to the tune of Pinikpikan’s “Ina Ineneng” at the National Museum 2 (yes there’s a second building!)
Fort Santiago was next in line in the city of Intramuros a.k.a. the Walled City. This was where the Philippines’ Dr. Jose Rizal was held before he was executed. It was full of history since some of the structures were more than 300 years old. Might I add, that it was a bit creepy at night. I actually saw a man on a horse cantering away.
It was raining hard when we were in Fort Santiago and light was fading fast already. Plus I was suffering from a swollen eye that I didn’t have any idea what caused.
We were supposed to end the entire tour in Rizal Park, the 0 kilometer location in the Philippines. But the weather was not cooperating with us plus the swollen eye. We decided to call it the end our our Manila tour and start with our Pak Pak Boom Boom Birth celebration of Josette in SM Mall of Asia.
There are still a lot of places to visit in Manila. I MEAN A LOT more! Maybe we’ll schedule another date. Let me know if you want to come along will you?! 🙂