A couple of weeks back, I mentioned about Manila here quite briefly. Manila has a lot of exciting things. The people. The streets. The taste. The language. The lifestyle. 

All these words may seem ambiguous at the moment; just like everything else, you must experience everything yourself to be able to understand every words that I've used to described.

Manila is Philippines' capital city, one of the sixteen cities that build up Metro Manila. Located in the black square. It is located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay with San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east and Makati to the South East. Manila has about 1.6 of population, being second the populous city in the Philippines after Quezon - also tabulated to be one of the most populous metropolitan (11th in the world) while the higher urban area is the fifth most populous in the world. (Wikipedia, 2012)

Manila is within the black square.

I met up with Chen and Zena in Makati one day - and we had the awesomest mango crepe cake ever. Rich in flavours yet crispy, it was the perfect combination. While having the crepe cake we discussed over all kinds of things, their crush (hehe) who's staying in the same city as me, their lives and of course the beautiful Philippines. 

To them, as a 20 something year olds - they deem Philippines as having two extremes. The really rich and the super poor. They admitted of having a huge economic gap in wherever city they are, and the ongoing corruption that's been hitting the headlines these past few years, are no help. And I must say, just as an outsider I could well see the two worlds of the rich and the poor in Manila. I don't really know what I feel for the rich, but I was bothered about the poor and the uneducated that struggled  by the streets. 

I was in Manila for a couple of nights, and to me, Manila is filled with its amazing nightlife (I'm talking cheap booze, epic-fun crowds, great suppers), finely elaborated shopping malls of both wholesales and higher ends, ghastly traffic, then there's the street life. The kind of life that for me as a "tourist" would be - a little unsure of, even till today, I never really know how to describe it.

I had no expectations before coming to Manila. Which was really a good thing, I opened my eyes before closing my minds. Everyone was beautiful. 

The young, the worn and the broken. It reminded me so much about the dark side of the infamous Gotham City - where the desperate would kneel and bend their backwards for a couple of dollars. Where the wrong gets the right positions, and the poor gets scrapped even more. The sights were a little provocative at one point, I see kids (without shoes, torn clothes running around chasing tourists for a couple of shillings) even ate over food by the road like it was another day to survive.

I even wanted to break down in the middle of the streets at one point, I couldn't stop asking why are there so many of the poor in the world. And just like among many of my questions, I was never - and maybe will never be answered.

Besides the street life, Manila is like a beautiful fruit with layers, waiting to be discovered bit by bit and the fruit of discovery is exciting! Ah the traffic jam. Because the traffic jam in Manila is.. how do I say this delicately - a real test to your patience, we decided to completely disregard the existence of cabs and hop around Jeepneys instead.

And it was real cheap! For say, around town within 10KMs or so, it would probably cost us maybe less than RM 0.50.  We saved a lot on transportation, and these jeepneys cover everywhere so I can assure you, you would definitely end up where you'd want to be just gotta find the jeepneys that go your way :)

Food. If you must know, Manila or Philippines as a whole has (I'd say) has quite limited selections for halal food.

This might come as a hindrance to Muslim visitors but I hope you guys are not discouraged by it. I saw a few fast food chains that do not serve pork, so you might want to consider buying from them instead. If not, you may opt to request from your hotel :)  

Baboy and San Miguel for dinner
Manila is notorious for its shopping. A variety of everything is everywhere beyond eyesight, and if you're lucky you might be chanced with wholesale shops with prices as low as RM 1 for a gorgeous necklace for yourself or your loved one. You might want to check out cheap wholesale bargains at Divisoria Mall, 999 Mall or 168 Mall.

But because I'm not so much of a shopping person, (I like to do cultural stuff as opposed to shopping) I tend to save more money on doing "cultural" things - and for this trip, I only got myself a blouse, a pair of earrings, a necklace and a pair of sunglasses. Adequate :) 

Biggest brand of all
The Catholic church is the biggest church in Philippines with over 80% of their residents are Catholics. And because of this too, you will stumble upon a lot of churches all filled up even during the day of a weekday. It's really calming and peaceful to see people visiting the churches finding solace at that time of the day. 

Please visit the churches and get to know this holy place when you can :)

The friendly people. The colorful streets with its beautiful people. The fascinating taste and life of all the eateries. The beautiful language. Affordable. And the interesting lifestyle, Manila has these and a lot more other reasons for you.

Make Manila your next stop and you'll bring back tons of stories. That I can assure you.

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


Anonymous said…
I would like to ask if where is the exact place to buy that shoes ! Thanks :D !
Jacqkie Rowena said…
There wasn't a name, more like a street vendor! But it was on the way to Divisoria Mall 😊

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