Manila may be both chaotic and crammed but never dull. New shopping malls are rising next to the slum areas, the poverty and the luxury coexist in some weird alignment just next to each other. This city may not be famous for its beauty, but its magnetic energy gives you a special feel. dissimilar and lively in so many ways, it’s a great city to explore even if you only have one day of time.
Although we’re presented with the BGC’s, Makati CBDs and new uprisen hip spots. We always go back to the core of the city. It is where we find its soul, the old funky vibe of what Manila should be.
This experience guide is a mixture of old and new. Come with us! as we re-introduce Manila to you on a different angle .
Come away with us as we show you Where to EAT, Where to GO, and What to DO in Manila!
This beautiful sanctuary has also served as burial sites of heroes, specifically the three Filipino martyr priests, namely Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora collectively known as GOMBURZA, who were executed by garrote on February 17, 1872. They were interred in unmarked graves near the outer wall of the cemetery.(photo from the right side).
The exact place where Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero was secretly buried after his execution on December 30, 1896 at Bagumbayan. When Rizal’s sisters discovered the site, they bribed a guardia civil veteran to mark the spot with the initials “RPJ” and was guarded for 15 days. His remains was exhumed on August 17, 1898, placed in an urn made by Teodoro Romualdo de Jesus, deposited in the house of his mother in Estraude Street, Bonondo. and on December 30, 1912 laid beneath his monument at Luneta.
Old Swiss Inn-Paco: A Culinary Landmark in the Heart of Manila
When asking those in the older generation about the Old Swiss Inn, they instantly say “in Paco?” Most of their seasoned patrons are more familiar with the Paco branch since it opened in the ’70s when it was moved from the Roxas Blvd. branch.
The Paco branch of the Old Swiss Inn is quite different from its younger brother in Makati that’s open 24/7. While similar in theme, the Paco branch still makes use of the old wooden doors, walls and stone interiors from the old Garden plaza hotel building.
EMBEDDED IN MANILA’S DINING SCENE SINCE 1946
Founded by Swiss national Emil Landert and now celebrating its 70th anniversary. This is their first branch was on Dewey Boulevard, now known as Roxas Boulevard. Many people were captivated by its authentic Swiss cuisine, quaint wood interiors, and service.
In the 1970s the restaurant was transferred to a larger location in Paco to accommodate more patrons. In the 1980s the Paco branch was destroyed in a fire but was eventually rebuilt and re-opened by Mr.Felix Limcaoco in 1990.
Through its history and consistency, the Old Swiss Inn Restaurant is able to continue being relevant from 1946 up to this very day while you are reading this content. Why? because it doesn’t follow and jump quickly to the latest fad. They stick to their vision and values: unapologetically serving comfort food that is neither haute or fusion. A culinary landmark in the heart of Manila.
The National Museum has a three-dimensional goal covering diverse fields of knowledge through various educational, scientific and cultural activities. The personal favorite will always be the preserved cultural significance art in history.
Aside from collections from different known National Artist like Juan Luna, they also showcase contemporary art and installs per time seasons. Making Art today as an open forum for visual statements available for aesthetic consumption.
- Location: The National Museum of Fine Arts
- Opens: 10:00am-5:00 pm
- Entrance: Free
- Address: P. Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Manila
Tuesdays-Sundays, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Along the gritty district of Ermita is a hidden forest park, The Arroceros Forest. A 2.2- hectare of urban forest on the south bank of the Pasig River footing the Quezon Bridge. Having 61 different tree varieties, 8000 ornamental plants, and 10 unique bird species.
This forest park is “Manila’s Last Lung” and it needs our help as private citizens to raise awareness on how important landmarks like this should be preserved.
The park is located in the center of Manila, just north of the Manila City Hall adjacent to the walled district of Intramuros. It is within walking distance from the Central Terminal station and is right across from the Manila Metropolitan Theater.
Located in Intramuros, the museum is housed in a Bahay na Bato that then-CEO Julius Limpe acquired back in 1979. We initially had the impression that it was one of the original official sites where they actually conduct their business, but not to that extent. Former CEO envisioned building a company museum 40 years ago.
Over 166 years company, a good backstory, and having the Bahay the Bato as its showroom. Why not. We absolutely love the Manille Liqueur de Calamansi—a local take on Italian limoncello. Years back you’d see a woman riding gallantly a white horse on her red bikini on primetime local TV commercials and your friendly neighborhood sari-sari store’s calendars. White Castle Whisky stroke every man’s ego desires.
The Bahay the Bato exudes charm and is already inviting. There you will find young Gen Z’s explaining each part of the tour. The museum’s first floor exhibits show the actual process of making rum and whiskey, from fermentation and aging to bottling.
The guide will show you the process of making rum their mini tank of fermenting molasses and a distillation. You will be asked to open a jar and sniff to found out what fermented molasses smells like.
To culminate the tour, a fitting liquor tasting flight experience is a must! We personally would recommend sampling The Philippine Craft Spirit Collection- fine local fruit extracts that are infused with their blended liquors.
The Glory Days
Escolta in her glory years was known to be grand in its architecture and as a centralized location that houses malls, drugstores, stores, and stand-alone theaters. She was roaring lioness that commands respect and adoration in her time.
It was the commercial hub of Manila during the early 1900s and was a witness to many pioneering establishments in the country: first ice cream parlor, first movie house, first electric tram among others.
Commerce in the area was booming, large financial institutions, high-end boutiques, restaurants, and production houses. Neoclassical and Beaux artistry in its buildings built thru various visionaries of the world-renowned local and international architects.
First United Building
For the last three years, 98B COLLABoratory (98B) in partnership with the First United Building (FUB) have been organizing the Saturday X Future Market at Escolta a few years back and now they’re open during weekdays as well. Here you will find HUB: Make Lab is an incubation space for artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs. A project started by a collective community of artists, 98B the market aims to bring back the glory days of the former premier shopping district. Every weekend, most predominantly Saturdays. Where local artist makers of multidisciplinary design disciplines gather and sell their own products. Entrepreneurs gather here and set up shops to interact with the community and sell artist-made merchandise, crafts, and quirky vintage items.
Entrepreneurs gather here and set up shops to interact with the community and sell local artist-made merchandise, crafts, and quirky vintage items.
Cap off with a cup of joe or perhaps an ice cold beer
Aside from the maker’s market, here you can find a nifty specialty coffee shop; The Den. A nondescript space at the back of a classic Art Deco building hailing from the Queen- Escolta. The Den is your gracious host inviting you to come ins and enjoy a cup or two of their specialty coffee.
Fred’s Revolucion the Cubao Expo famous has its second branch opened in First United Building having the same operating hours as the Cubao Expo branch—Tuesdays to Sundays, 5 pm – 1 am.
Read more about Escolta Proj. Here: Escolta Resurrection
We Choose Manila, Always.
Most myriad attractions may look obscure and flawed by the people and lack of government support before, but we can now see that we are picking up slowly and both national gov’t and even private groups are making an effort to resurrect the spirit of the past that influences us now. We are a cultural gumbo of Spanish, American, and Chinese influences are heady and rich.
What we inherited from our ancestors is their resiliency, adaptability and the capacity to rebuild ourselves and our nation after centuries of being handed over from one colony to another.
For convenient and worry-free transportation visit Hertz Philippines to book your own car for your next Manila road trip!
Update: Would you like to experience this day with us? We’ve recently partnered up with Klook to provide Out of the Box activity tours like this. You may book your own tour here A Day in Manila with the Fat Girls Day Out.