Manila Bay

Manila Bay

No trip to Manila would be complete without gazing at the Manila Bay, especially to watch the sunset.  On either side of the bay, there are volcanic peaks topped with tropical foliage.  However, the bay is renown for its spectaculat sunsets. 

If you visit Manila with your loved one as I did, you will enjoy watching the sunset together in peace and serenity.  It is hard to believe that naval battles were fought here, notably the La Naval de Manila in 1646.  Artists in particular would enjoy the Manila Bay. 

The sunsets would make great photographs or paintings.  Anyone who goes to the Manila Bay should not forget to bring their camera.

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Malate Church

Malate Church
Malate Church

The Malate Church is a unique baroque-style church that was built in the 16th century. This church is devoted to Nuestra Senora de Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies).

Nuestra Senora de Remedios is a depiction of the Virgin Mary to whom many people have turned to during troubled times. The Malate Church used to be the base from which the British launched an assault on Intramuros.

This assault placed Manila under British control for two years. My favorite aspect of the Malate Church is the churchr’s rooftop, because it is unique in the fact that it is in the form of a cross on aerial view.

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Binondo Church

Binondo Church
Binondo Church

The Binondo Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in the Philippines. This church was built in 1596 and like other historical places, it has suffered damage over the years due to natural disasters, such as earthquakes.

The only part of the Binondo Church that has not been renovated since its original construction in the 16th century is the grand octagonal bell tower. I felt like I was actually in the 16th century when I visited the Binondo Church.

For those who are interested in architecture, they will definitely love this beautiful church also. My favorite part of this building that stands out is the octagonal bell tower.

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Chinese Cemetery

Chinese Cemetery

The Chinese Cemetery is the second oldest cemetery in Manila.  Originally, this place was used for burial of Chinese citizens who were not allowed to be buried in Catholic cemeteries during the Spanish colonial period.  Currently, the Chinese Cemetery is used for the burial of the wealthy.  I was amazed at this luxurious cemetery. 

I think it should be called “City of the Dead” instead.  My two hour tour here showed me various mausoleums that actually have toilets and showers.  I also learned a lot about the Chinese Filipino culture and architecture during the tour.  I would go here again and recommend it to others.

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Greenbelt Park

Greenbelt Park

After a long day of sight seeing, I enjoyed unwinding in the peaceful Greenbelt Park.  Near the park, you can find various places to eat if you are hungry. 

There is also the Ayala Museum and a lovely circular church nearby.  I also found this park to be a romantic spot for my lover and I to relax and converse after a busy day. 

Aside from lush plants and shrubbery, there is a koi pond, which adds to the natural and peaceful atmosphere, in the Greenbelt Park.  The Greenbelt Park brings serenity to the hectic city of Manila.

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Avilon Zoo

Avilon Zoo

If you are an animal lover like me, you will love the Avilon Zoo.  Being the largest zoo in the Phillipines, the Avilon Zoo is home to over 3,000 specimens of exotic and endemic animals, 400 species of plants, and over 500 types of birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, and invertebrates. 

The Avilon Zoo is also known for its vast flora and fauna.  I saw many gorgeous and amazing animals, such as the sun bear, white tiger, jaguar, pirarucus, black-eared marmoset, phillipine serpent-eagle, red-vented cockatoo, victoria crowned pigeon, sulcata tortoise, bearcat, miniature horse, lion, tiger, and much more.

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Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial is situated on plateau covering 152 acres (615,000 square metres).  This is the largest cemetery in the Pacific dedicated to U.S. Personnel that were killed during World War II.  I found the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial unique, because the headstones are made out of marble and are arranged in eleven symmetric plots that form an enormous circular pattern. 

I also enjoy the pleasant and peaceful surroundings of the tropical trees and shrubbery.  There is also a beautiful chapel that is in the center of the 17,206 graves.  In front, there is a wide terrace that has rooms on each end. 

There are 25 large mosaic maps in the rooms that list the achievements of the United States Armed Forces in the Pacific, India, China, and Burma.  In addition, there are 36,282 names inscribed on rectangular Trani limestone piers.

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Quiapo Church

Quiapo Church
Quiapo Church

The Quiapo Church is one of the most famous churches in the Phillipines. If you plan on visiting, keep in mind that every Friday, this church becomes very crowded due to thousands of people showing up to light a candle in honor of the Black Nazarene.

The Black Nazarene is a grand statue of Jesus Christ that is believed to be miraculous by devotees.

Surrounding the Quiapo Church are vendors that sell candles and amulets. I found the amulets and trinkets to be very interesting. They make a nice tourist gift either for you or someone you know.

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Intramuros

Intramuros
Intramuros

Once upon a time, Intramurous was a walled city that thrived for hundreds of years. Thanks to its ideal location at the mouth of the Pasig River, it was seized by conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1571. Intramuros was then considered the heart of the Spanish occupation in the Phillipines.

During World War II, the walled city suffered a great amount of damage. However, even after the restoration I can see and feel the rich history in the Intramurous district.

This popular tourist destination contains many amazing sights, such as the Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, various statues, and much more. If you become hungry and thirsty during your walk, there are many restaurants to take a break at.

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Corregidor Island

Corregidor Island

I think that anyone who visits the Phillipines, must take the time to go to Corregidor Island.  This small rocky island was nicknamed “the Rock” and resides about 48 km west of Manila. 

This historical island is a representation of the valor, courage, and heroism of the American and Filipino defenders during World War II.  I got to see abandoned tunnels, buildings, structures, and big guns on this island. 

Ironically enough, the shore is a beautiful and serene sight.  When gazing at the ocean it is hard to believe what took place during World War II.

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