It’s no secret that Manila has always been a beauty. True, the city is now definitely a far cry from the pristine Manila of yesteryears. Skyscrapers and condotels flanking the landscape, polluted streets and rivers, the constant presence of traffic–with the overpopulation and poor urban planning over the decades, today’s Manila leaves much to be desired.
We have a long way to go when we talk of restoring the city. And while we all hold hope that we can one day work hard enough to rehabilitate the city, we can also keep appreciating Manila’s beauty–especially in the special spots where it has endured.
Here are 5 picturesque places you can visit to appreciate (and share) both Manila’s olden splendor and its potential for the future:
Perhaps the most famous historical site inside Manila, Intramuros is also its oldest district. Its stone walls and fortifications, originating from way back in the Spanish colonial era, are a sight to behold. Home to many monuments and artifacts, a visit to Intramuros is always a history lesson in itself. Check out Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, and Baluarte de San Diego.
Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown, isn’t merely a place to experience amazing food crawls. It is also a visual feast. It is a place to behold both the Filipino-Chinese history and culture, as well as characteristic infrastructure from modern times. Here you’ll find restaurants, herbal stores, groceries, temples… A bustling district perfect to photograph. Check out Ongpin Street, Escolta, and Binondo Church.
3. Paco Park
Paco Park is a garden park which was originally a municipal cemetery built in the Spanish colonial period. It is a circular structure with a fort and a chapel inside. Its landscaping and structures capture the place’s spirit: eerie, yet lovely. Paco park continues to be a popular venue, especially for weddings and receptions, but it is also good for a casual stroll.
4. National Museum
The National Museum of the Philippines or Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas is not only home to landmark works and national treasures like Spoliarium–beyond all the amazing art, the museum’s architecture and design is also visually enticing. You can also visit the National Planetarium and the newly opened National Museum of Natural History.
5. University of Sto. Tomas
The University of Sto. Tomas is the oldest existing university in Asia–and you can definitely experience its rich history in its regal buildings and structures. The campus is a mixture of both old and new architecture, reflecting UST’s beginnings in the 1600s and its growth in the modern years. Check out the Arch of the Centuries, the Main Building, the Santissimo Rosario Central Seminary, and the Grandstand.
Make it a point to visit one of these places especially this Independence Day to celebrate and share your Pinoy pride. Be free to share your photos and videos with Giga Surf 99 on your Smart Prepaid, TNT and Sun Prepaid account. Giga Surf 99 lets you enjoy 2GB data and unlimited texts to all networks. Smart Prepaid and Sun Prepaid customers registering to Giga Surf 99 also get 1 hour of FREE YouTube per day, valid for 7 days.
As a special treat, you can also get additional FREE 1GB data if you register to Giga Surf 99 from June 9 to 17 – perfect for those Independence Day crawls and photowalks! Register to Giga Surf 99 now! Text GIGA99 to 9999 on Smart Prepaid; GIGA99 to 4545 on TNT; and GIGA99 to 247 on Sun Prepaid. INQUIRER.net/MF