When I had a chance to see Manila, the first thing that came up in my head was this city really looks like Jakarta. It’s more like a business destination rather than a leisure one.
My trip to Manila last week was also for business. However, I am lucky enough to have a spare time late night and on my last day in the city. Based on my experience with limited time, these are things you need to try once you are visiting Manila.
1. Bonaficio High Street
Located at the Bonaficio Global City (BGC) in Taguig, this is a new integrated area in Metro Manila. Previously, BGC was a military camp, while now it is a combination of office buildings complex, hotels, open-air sports center, apartment and condominium, and entertainment spots.
BGC is a very well-developed and clean area of Manila. You have many options from jogging in the early morning, having lunch around the city walk area, and go for wine tasting at night. Staying in BGC area would make you experience the other taste of Manila.
When I had a chat with friend discussing on what I have to try in Manila, she said that I need to try Jollibee. I have no idea what it is until the next day when my client asked me to go to one of its restaurant. Jollibee is a popular fast food brand in Phillipines. I have been informed that the taste is different and very Philippines. Before visited the restaurant, I thought that the taste will not be that different, but I was wrong. It tastes good!
You have to try Jollibee when you visit Phillipines or Manila. Order the famous Chickenjoy or the Beef burger. Yum!
3. Bourbon Street (Nightlife)
You might want to spend sometimes to experience the “Manila-style” of nightlife. Do a bar-hoping around Bourbon street. I can’t say that it’s a quit safe place, but if you want to try something “new” for nightlife, Bourbon is the one. And, it’s only recommended for man.
I have two tips if you are planning to visit Bourbon street. #1 If you see you are the only man in the bar, move to another bar. #2 If you meet girls who ask you to buy drink(s) for her, you better ask first how much will you need to pay for that. Otherwise, you might end-up with a shocking bill.
If this kind of place is not your cup of tea, try Republiq Club at Resort World Manila. It’s a new hip club in the city.
It’s a complex of old buildings in Manila. You can find several historical places in this area, namely Fort Santiago, Rizal Shrine (a beautiful museum dedicated to the lifework of Filipino hero Jose Rizal), Manila Cathedral, and many more.
My most favourite place is the Rizal Shrine, where the visitor could see some historical items of Rizal, including part of his bone.
5. Filipino Food
Travel without tasting the local food is a big no-no. During my three-days trip to Manila, I had an opportunity to visit one of the Philippine small restaurants named Kanin Club.
My favourite food there is Seafood Kare-Kare. It’s a plate of seafood containing shrimp, squid, shells with a kind-of Malayan gulai sauce. Other than that, the beef soup, Tinapa rice (rice with smoked salted fish) and Pinakbet (veggie) are also recommended. For the non-halal food eater, many people say that their pork are supergreat.
San Miguel is a district in Manila and it is where the San Miguel beer name comes from. The beer is originally from Philippines; that is why San Miguel is everywhere and cheap! Usually in a bar, you will be offered with San Miguel Light and Pale Pilsen. Try the Pale Pilsen one.
7. Dried Mango and Boy Bawang
People usually will ask you to bring Dried Mango home. It’s good and it’s a must try, but there is other snack that I think you need to try: Boy Bawang. It’s a fried garlic-corn with Chilli Cheese and Original Garlic as variant of taste. Both are could be found easily in any supermarket in Manila.
Beside what I have suggested above, you might want to see what others recommendation about traveling to Manila, click here.
Enjoy your time in Manila!
– The Toilet Post
Photos: Aziz Hasibuan