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Manila Travel Guide


Manila Introduction


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Manila, Philippines, is a city of contradictions. Residents often complain about the pollution, garbage and lack of adequate infrastructure, but many choose to live in the city for its upbeat tempo and laid-back atmosphere. The sight of beggars confirms the country's economic struggles, but a few minutes in the shopping complexes show happy-go-lucky people who try to find a day's pleasure, regardless of what tomorrow may bring.  Click here to see the full Manila travel guide on Travel42 »

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Manila Geography


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Manila is actually made up of 13 cities and four municipalities that President Ferdinand Marcos placed under one urban umbrella in the 1970s. Many of the municipalities were granted city status and are now bustling beehives of commerce and industry.  Click here to see the full Manila travel guide on Travel42 »

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Manila History


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Maynila, as the first Malayan settlers called it, started out as a thriving trading center—merchants from ancient China, Japan and Thailand bartered goods there. Aristocrats from the nearby island of Borneo settled in Maynila and transformed it into a city protected by strong wooden palisades. The area remained protected by local rulers until the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. Raja Sulayman, a fierce Maynilan ruler, was able to thwart the first Spanish attempts to take over the land, but Spain's empire eventually won out.  Click here to see the full Manila travel guide on Travel42 »

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Manila Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Sightseeing in Manila encompasses two categories: the ancient and the modern. Intramuros, the remnants of the walls of Manila when it was still the capital of the Spanish colonizers, is a must-see if only for the sense of history. Within Intramuros are San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral and several museums such as the San Agustin Museum and Casa Manila. Fort Santiago, the garrison that held Filipino rebels during Spain's rule and soldiers during the Japanese occupation, has been renovated into a minipark (with some of the old cannons visible) and an open-air theater.   Click here to see the full Manila travel guide on Travel42 »

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Manila Nightlife


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Malate used to be a red-light district that had girlie bars, live shows and bars that stayed open until sunrise, but it is now known for its cozy, intimate spots that attract the after-work crowd. Although the Malate area is still a favorite hangout, the crowds have thinned because of the boom of the glitz-and-glam mall bars in Eastwood City and Greenbelt 2. The malls occasionally hold concerts and live shows on weekends. Although Eastwood City patterns itself after street events that fill entire minidistricts, the nightlife of Greenbelt 2 and 3 is more romantic, with music playing amidst the sparkling waters of a fountain in the garden park.  Click here to see the full Manila travel guide on Travel42 »

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Manila Restaurants & Dining


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For Filipinos, eating is not just a culinary pleasure, it is a social event—a way to bond with colleagues over a business transaction or to strengthen the ties between old friends. You'll see groups of no fewer than three chatting animatedly over lunch, snacks or dinner in any restaurant. Filipinos have a hearty appetite and dine out often with family and friends. There is a wide gap between the rich and poor, however, and you may sometimes be aware of it when you find yourself in the most modern facilities while the poorer segment of society can hardly eat three meals a day.  Click here to see the full Manila travel guide on Travel42 »

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