„Be cautious; take care!“ Everyone I told about my planned weekend trip to the capital of Philippines was more worried than me, that I will get robbed, stabbed or get a cold. Besides that my nose really got blocked – due to the air-conditioning in the plane – visiting Manila was an interesting but never dangerous adventure. Maybe, because I did not focus my trip on walking in dark alleys at 3 am but rather on soaking up the history of the city. And it was a rich and delicious one.
At my first morning, I directly went to see the biggest park complex in Manila, the Rizal park. Here one statue follows the next explaining the history of Philippines and their desperate cry for freedom, which they eventually achieved. At the beginning is the Lapu-Lapu statue, standing between the National Museum of Anthropology and the National Museum of History.
He looks all way through the park to the Rizal Monument and the Kilometer Zero.
On the side of the park, different attractions wait to be visited, such as the Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden or the Nayong Pilipino, the local Orchid Garden.
I wanted to get more information of the city and the country itself, but the traveller’s SIM I got at the airport did not work properly. So I had to do it the old fashioned way and go to a museum and get smarter there. Due to my strive for information, I ended up visiting four museums, where two of them had been dedicated to Dr. Jose Rizal, who died in martyrdom for his country.
The other two have been the already mentioned Museum of Anthropology and the National Museum (of fine Arts). Here I could see different historical eras contained in paintings, sculptures, clothes and everyday objects.
The district of old Spanish colonization was one of the best parts, because it is full of European architecture and flair. Besides the ruins of the old city wall, where I attended an Architecture festival by coincidence, the church of San Augustine, the Cathedral of Manila and various other less important buildings.
Part of Intramuros is also Fort Santiago with its rebuilt and half-rebuilt gate and inner life.
Besides the poverty of the city, which present at the bay, the sunset was incredibly beautiful. The colours of the picture do not really show the real life equivalent.
Wanderers Guest House
One factor that made my short trip to Manila worthwhile was perfectly located the Guest House I had been in for two nights. The rooftop bar, where you can get authentic local cuisine and cheap refreshing drinks is a place a warmth and hospitality. You sit on a table and start talking to the others without pressure, getting to know so many interesting travellers from all around the world. There I also get friends with adventure-seekers from Austria, Slovakia and London, who made me feel like Manila is not a bad place to be in.
And of course it was not, it was awesome! Point finish.