We had the chance to tour at least three foreigners (who later on became our friends)- Marisa (from Sao Paolo), Melissa (from Mumbai) and Sandeep (from Bangalore). An opportunity to interact with them and introduce our city was a pleasure.
If you are a local of Manila, interested on introducing your city to a stranger, here are the eight things you can try with them:
1.) Ride the Jeepney
The Jeepney is the king of Manila roads and the most popular means of public transportation in the city. When going to your first itinerary, you can let them have the jeepney experience. (Make sure to bring dust masks countering air pollution.)
2.) Pay tribute to our national hero
The first itinerary should be a visit to our national hero’s monument in Rizal park around 6am. Under the Rizal monument is the remains of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
3.) Eat Taho for breakfast
Eat Taho – a famous snack in the Philippines made of fresh soft/silken tofu, arnibal, and tapioca pearls. I remember Marisa (from Sao Paolo) getting excited for this snack and sending a photo to her husband.
4.) Ride the Kalesa
Near the Rizal Park and those Taho vendors are the Kalesas- a horse-drawn calash introduced to the Philippines by Spanish colonizers. Using the Kalesa will help them visualise how was life in 18th century Manila.
5.) Visit Intramuros
You may visit Intramuros (‘within the walls’ ) via Kalesa. This is the oldest district and historic core of Manila.
6.) Walling in San Agustin Church
7.) Visit the National Museum
8minutes by jeepney from Intramuros is the Philippine National Museum. The museum secures the La Spolarium by Antonio Luna depicting the harsh treatment of colonisers to the natives. It also contains other artifacts which tells much of the Philippines’ culture and history.
Below is one of the windows of the museum inscripted with old Philippine alphabet ‘alibata’
8.) Eat lunch in Jollibee
Eat in the most famous fast food restaurant in the Philippines- Jollibee. Below is Sandeep (from Bangalore)
9.) Watch the sunset in Manila Bay
‘I will die without seeing the dawn of the country of my birth. You who witness this, do not forget those who fell in the darkness of the night.’- Elias, Noli Me Tangere
Manila Bay sunset is considered as one of the breath-taking sunsets in the world. The Manila Bay sunset has been pictured as well in many novels and poems.
10.) Roam around Manila City Hall
11.) Rooftop View from Bayview Hotel
12.) Eat at Barbara’s Restaurant