Manila is distributed into 16 territorial districts, which are all original towns except one, the Port Area District. All of these original towns except Port Area have their own churches and several of these districts have attained identification in their own right.
The eight districts north of the Pasig River are:
- Binondo — country's Chinatown before the arrival of Spaniards in 1571 and the city's main center for business, finance, wholesale trade and exotic delicious foods
- Quiapo — Hometown of the Black Nazarene and also a place which offers cheap prices on items ranging from electronics to native handicrafts, plus pirated DVD films
- Sampaloc — means tamarind fruit is the district wherein the University of Santo Tomas, Asia's oldest university and the famous Dangwa Flower Market is located (near Windsor Inn at Maceda Street).
- San Miguel — known as the University Belt District and the location of residence of the Philippine Government, Malacañang Palace
- San Nicolas — shares Divisoria Flea Market with other co-district is the hub for the adventurous shoppers that may venture for cheap buys
- Santa Cruz — is on the edge of Chinatown, which is the district of usual frenzied mix of commercial and residential premises
- Santa Mesa — from the Spanish term Holy Mass, this district marks the first shot of the Filipino-American War
- Tondo — the largest, historically 1100 years old, it is one of the first provinces to be established and rebelled against Spain and is now the Southeast Asia's Most Densely Populated District
- Ermita — one of the two Tourist Belt (another is the Malate district), it is the former Red District but now with all kinds of bars, nightclubs, cafes and also offers numeorus coin, art and antique shops. It has a lively and diverse nightlife. Ermita is also where the American Embassy is located, also Rizal Park, and Manila Bay Hostel is in the 4th floor of a pre-war building across Museo Pambata children's hospital and beside Miramar Hotel.
- Intramuros — taken from the Latin, intra muros, literally "with in the walls", the History Town of the Philippines and considered as Old Manila itself during Spanish times, just beside Ermita
- Malate — known as the center of bohemian night life in the city and in the metropolis and beside Ermita
- Paco — lies city's historic but mysterious octagonal park cemetery
- Pandacan — district home of many of the country's literary and musical geniuses
- Port — the country's chief seaport consisting of North and South Port where one can witness the dramatic sunset of Manila Bay
- San Andres Bukid — was previously part of Santa Ana, this district has a touch of Moslem culture and has a mosque
- Santa Ana— known as Sapa in ancient times, this district is the old capital of Namayan Kingdom which is the precursor of modern Metro Manila
Manila is often described as the only capital city in Asia that resembles a Spanish influenced city. Many visitors have described it as polluted and crowded, but there is much to discover in Manila that makes it a must-visit for the tourist. Next to Warsaw, Poland it was one of the most destroyed cities during World War II, but before this, Manila was one of the most beautiful cities in the world, having been compared with London, Paris and other European cities. Manila was the capital of the Spanish East Indies for 3 centuries and Intramuros, the ruins of the original city founded by the Spaniards in 1571, still stands today despite bombings during WWII. This modern capital city is considered as the hub of Christianity in Asia and considered as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world with a bustling growing population of 1.5 million people. As a whole, Metro Manila is the most populous of the twelve defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines. As of the 2007 census, it had a population of 11,553,427, comprising 13% of the national population. Including suburbs in the adjacent provinces (Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) of Greater Manila, the population is around 20 million.
For over 3 centuries Manila was colonized and administered by Spain which left a great architectural heritage throughout the Philippines, especially with respect to churches, forts and other colonial buildings which can still be seen in the ruins of Intramuros, built in the late 16th century. Manila began as a settlement on the banks of the Pasig River, and its name originates from "Maynilad," referring to the mangrove plant known as Nilad, which was abundant in the area. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, Manila was home to Muslim-Malays, who were descended from the Arabs, Indians, East Asians and other Southeast Asians. In 1571, 50 years after Magellan's discovery of the islands, Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi claimed the Philippines as a colony and established Manila as its capital. Manila was also briefly colonized by the British for 2 years. Manila was also part of the Spanish East Indies until 1898, when the U.S. took over the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.
Manila is but one of 17 cities and one municipality that comprise the area known as Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) of the Philippines. The NCR is in the southern portion of the island of Luzon, in between the Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog Regions, between Manila Bay and the inland lake of Laguna de Bay. The City of Manila, where most of the historical attractions are located, lies at the confluence of Manila Bay and the Pasig River.
The City of Manila is in the western part of Metro Manila. It is bordered on the west by Manila Bay, to the north by Navotas,Quezon City and Caloocan City, to the east by San Juan and Mandaluyong City and to the south by Pasay and Makati.
The Philippines has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: wet and dry. Typhoons and tropical storms are a common occurrence during the wet season, particularly in the northern part of the Philippines, and occurs from late May till early November. Dry season starts from late November until late April. December to February is a pleasant time to visit the Philippines. Temperatures during this time range from 24-30°C (75-86°F) at its peak. From March to May, temperatures heat up but as Manila is by the coast, it rarely goes beyond 37°C (99°F).
English and Filipino (Tagalog) are the common languages in the northern mainland of Luzon. Tagalog is the native tongue of most Filipinos native to Manila and the surrounding Tagalog-speaking regions of Luzon. English comes second as a medium of instruction in any institution including businesses and the like (although some homes in the Philippines choose English as their first language; it depends upon preference). In Binondo, Manila's Chinatown district, Hokkien is widely spoken while Mandarin might also be known as it is taught in Chinese educational institutes.
Manila is crossed by three lines of the Strong Republic Transit System (SRTS), Metro Manila's (partially) integrated railway network: the Yellow and Purple lines, operated by the Light Rail Transit Authority, as well as the Orange Line, operated by the Philippine National Railways.
Metro Manila's main passenger train station is Tutuban in Tondo. The PNR operates the Bicol Express daily night train between Manila and Naga in Camarines Sur, as well as a nighttime commuter service to Biñan in Laguna, which returns to Manila in the early morning.
Several bus routes to points in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces either pass through or converge in Manila. The city has several bus terminals, with the biggest being the Park and Ride Lawton bus terminal along Padre Burgos St., beside the Manila Metropolitan Theater. Provincial bus companies also operate their own terminals which are dispersed throughout the city.
Manila is the hub of the Philippine ferry network, and ferries to most major cities will stop at the Manila South Harbor, the city's main passenger seaport. Several companies operate ferries to Manila from points throughout the Philippines, and cruise ships occasionally stop in Manila throughout the year.
Manila is crossed by three lines of the Strong Republic Transit System (SRTS), Metro Manila's (partially) integrated railway network. The SRTS Yellow and Purple lines, operated by the Light Rail Transit Authority, cross through Manila proper, converging at the intersection of Rizal Avenue and C.M. Recto Avenue. The Yellow Line, also known as LRT Line 1 (LRT-1), serves Malate, Ermita, Quiapo, Binondo and Santa Cruz, while the Purple Line, also known as MRT Line 2 (MRT-2), serves Quiapo, Sampaloc and Santa Mesa. Most tourist sites are along the Yellow Line.
From Tutuban station, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) operates the Commuter Express (Commex), also referred to as the SRTS Orange Line. Forty trains serve the commuter service daily, with the line crossing through Tondo, Sampaloc, Santa Mesa, Paco and San Andres before extending to Metro Manila. There is an interchange with the Yellow Line at Blumentritt station, and with the Purple Line at Santa Mesa station.
Fares on the SRTS are distance-based, with the base fare being ₱12 for the Yellow and Purple Lines, and ₱10 for the Orange Line. Each line has a differing fare structure:
- Yellow Line: ₱12 for the first four stations, ₱15 for more than four stations. A journey on the Yellow Line from Vito Cruz, the first station on the line within the City of Manila, to Abad Santos, the last station within city limits, is ₱15.
- Purple Line: ₱12 for the first three stations, with an increase of ₱1 depending on the number of stations crossed thereafter. A journey on the Purple Line from Recto to V. Mapa (the last station within city limits) is ₱12.
- Orange Line: ₱10 base fare with increases of ₱5 depending on the distance from Tutuban station. Travel on the Orange Line within the City of Manila, from Tutuban to Vito Cruz (not to be confused with the Vito Cruz station on the Yellow Line), as well as points in between, is charged the ₱10 base fare.
Single-journey and ₱100 "stored value" tickets may be purchased at LRT stations. Stored value tickets are valid for six months after first use. The LRT has full fare integration for stored-value tickets: stored-value tickets purchased for use on one line are also valid on the other line. However, this does not extend to single-journey tickets, which are only valid for one line, and the Orange Line, which uses a separate paper-based ticket system.
Be advised that SRTS Blue Line (Metro Rail Transit; MRT-3) stored-value tickets are not valid on the LRT. However, the SRTS Flash Pass, available for ₱250, is valid for LRT journeys: the Flash Pass grants the bearer unlimited use of the LRT and MRT for one week. This, however, is available for purchase only at selected Blue Line stations.
By bus or jeepney
Several city and provincial bus routes either cross through or terminate in Manila. Most buses which serve Manila proper will cross through the Lawton bus terminal, which is conveniently located in front of the Central Terminal LRT station. Routes include points in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan, and bus fares normally begin at ₱10.
Manila city buses are not numbered. However, the bus route is prominently displayed on the side of the bus as well as on the dashboard, listing both the route's endpoints and major points in between which will be served by that particular route. When in doubt, ask the bus conductor if a particular bus will go to a particular destination.
Manila is also served by several jeepney routes, some of which ply the routes previously served by Manila's pre-World War II tram system. The Lawton bus terminal is also a major jeepney terminal, with several jeepneys either crossing through, terminating or originating here. Fares begin at ₱8 for the first four kilometers. Like buses, jeepney routes are not numbered, but the route is prominently displayed on the sides of the jeepney as well as on the dashboard.
The main tourist sites of Manila are located along Manila Bay.
- Baywalk - South of the Luneta is the renovated Baywalk a linear park adjacent to Manila Bay. Restaurants formerly on the actual baywalk have been moved inwards to allow a clear view of Manila's legendary sunsets.
- Bonifacio Shrine - A shrine in honour of Andres Bonifacio who was one of the Filipinos who struggled and fought for freedom for the country against the Spanish forces.
- Chinatown - Manila has one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, where one can find exotic Chinese goods and delicious cuisine.
- Coconut Palace - a residence commissioned and built along the waterfront by First Lady Imelda Marcos for Pope John Paul II's visit in 1981. While open to the public at some point, it is currently (as of June 2011) occupied by the current Vice President and thus no longer open for public visits. You can, however, see the exterior from various angles.
- Intramuros - At the northern end of the Bay lies the remnants of the old walled Spanish settlement of Manila, Intramuros (Spanish for 'within the walls'). Intramuros contains some of the city's most interesting museums, ruins, and churches including the Manila Cathedral, the most important church in the country.
- Mabini Shrine - Apolinario Mabini's former home. Mabini was a Lawyer and fought for Philippine Independence. During the American Occupation, this home became the first intellectual headquarters of the First Philippine Republic.
- Malacañang Palace - Manila is the host of the official residence of the president of the Philippines. While heading your way here, you will see wonderful places. People can roam the garden afterward.
- Manila Hotel - Just outside Intramuros and on the edge of Manila Bay is the beautiful and historic Manila Hotel, a legacy of the American colonial era and the place where General Douglas MacArthur made his home before World War II.
- Plaza San Luis - A commercial complex consisting five house; Casa Manila, Casa Urdaneta, Casa Blanca, Los Hidalgos and El Hogar Filipino. Plaza San Luis showcases Filipino-Hispanic Architecture. Other than Souvenir shops there is a museum in Casa Manila.
- University of Santo Tomas, , , This University is oldest and first University in the whole of Asia and the Philippines. It was used as a camp by the Japanese during their occupation where the imprisoned about 10,000 people even though it only can hold 4,000.
- Manila Metropolitan Theater - The Manila Metropolitan Theatre or MET is an art deco building designed by the Filipino architect Juan M. de Guzman Arellano, and inaugurated on December 10, 1931, with a capacity of 1670. The theater is located on Padre Burgos Avenue, near the Manila Central Post Office.
- Manila Central Post Office - Designed by Filipino architect Juan Marcos de Guzman Arellano, the post office building was built in neoclassical architecture in 1926. It was severely damaged in World War II, and rebuilt in 1946 preserving most of its original design. It is located in the Intramuros district of the city, at the bank of the Pasig River. The front of the building faces the Liwasang Bonifacio plaza (now known as Plaza Lawton).
Manila has seen a drastic improvement in its museum offerings with the recent renovation of old favorites such as the National Museum of the Filipino People and the Ayala Museum. Other must-see museums in the city are the Bahay Chinoy (Chinese House), Casa Manila, San Agustin Museum and the Museum of Filipino Political History, the "Museo Pambata" children's museum'.
- National Museum of the Philippines, P. Burgos Ave, +63-2-5271209 [official website] , Built and opened in the 1900s The museum showcases significant collections from archaeology, arts, cultural properties, zoology, botany and many more.
- Museo Pambata, Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive Manila, Philippines 1000, +63 (2) 523.1797 or 98, 536-0595 [official website] P 100.00 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (August to March) 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (April to July), The Museo Pambata is a children's interactive museum, the first of its kind in the Philippines. Opened in 1994, Museo Pambata is the dream come true of Nina Lim-Yuson, who was inspired by the Boston Children’s Museum to open up a similar facility in Manila.
- Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila, (02) 521-1517 [official website] Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Premiere art museum of Manila, the Met showcases both traditional, hispanic and modern art through its exhibits. Located along Roxas boulevard, across the Manla Yacht club.
- Rizal Park  Right outside the walled city is Rizal Park more widely known as the Luneta. The Luneta is the venue for the best museums of the city, bayside restaurants, an open-air theater featuring free classical music concerts, a planetarium, early morning jogging and tai chi enthusiasts, and the Manila Hotel. It is a popular meeting spot for family picnics and was the site of the execution of Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines.
- Paco Park was actually built as a final resting place for Spanish families residing in Manila. After Jose Rizal's execution, his remains were sent and buried here, which is today commemorated by a monument in the park. It is now a public park with jogging lanes and open air concerts, and is also a popular venue for weddings. It is accessible by taxi and bus, as well as a 10 minute walk from the LRT United Nations Ave. station.
- Arroceros Forest Park Situated in the heart of downtown Manila, Arroceros Forest Park is a 2.2-hectare piece of land behind the old art deco Metropolitan Theater. Arroceros got its name, which means “rice dealers,” from the rice trade along the Pasig riverbank during the early colonial period.
Nature and Wildlife
- Manila Zoo is rather decrepit, and in need of drastic renovations. The Manila Zoo covers an area of 0.055 square kilometers. Accessible via Quirino LRT station.
- Manila Ocean Park is a much better maintained marine wildlife facility which was recently opened in 2008 and is located behind the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park. The 8,000 square metres (86,000 sq ft) oceanarium is larger than the Sentosa Underwater World oceanarium in Singapore, and features a 25 metres (82 ft) underwater acrylic tunnel. Mostly accessible by taxi, but can be walked if you are in the vicinity of Rizal Park.
- San Agustin Church
- Manila Cathedral
- Basilica of San Sebastian - The only all steel church of the Asia, the Europeans were tired of building the church over and over again after fires and earthquakes, they finally decided to build the cathedral in solid steel. The materials were ordered from Europe while the architect is Gustav Eiffel; the architect of the Eiffel tower in France. Its Gothic architecture might make you think you're somewhere in the middle of Europe.
- Parish Church of St. Joseph - See the Las Piñas Bamboo organ here.
A part of the Philippine's bustling capital is a remarkable melting pot of Asian, Oceanic, and Latin cultures, which are thick with history and flavor in tune with most traveler's interests. The best way to get a feel for Manila shopping is to go to a ‘tiangge’, a market of stalls where everything can be bargained. Market! Market!, St. Francis Square, Greenhills Shopping Center and Tiendesitas are examples of such. If you are interested in a Western-type mall, you cannot pass SM Mall of Asia, currently the 4th largest mall in the world. Warning to shopaholics and their spouses: You could spend a day there and still not see every shop or have to time to ice skate. That's right, there is an ice rink as well.
The workforce in Manila covers everything from daily, minimum wage earners to expats being driven in Beemers. Standard working time varies, especially with the proliferation of Call Centers, but the usual working hours are 8AM-5PM. Given that the traffic within the Manila escalates exponentially as the day begins, it's always better to leave early for meetings.
There is also a local saying known as "Filipino Time" wherein it was expected that the attendee would be late by up to one hour. However, this has been significantly reduced through the years, although the bad traffic is usually (and realistically) cited as the main cause for missing one's appointment.
Makati City is the country's main CBD, or Central Business District, and, on every given weekday, it seems that all roads lead here. Multinational firms and big businesses hold offices here.
Ortigas Center, which cuts across the borders of Mandaluyong City, Pasig City and Quezon City, seems to be the alternative CBD, with companies such as the Asian Development Bank headquarters and the World Bank Manila office located in this vicinity.
Street food peddled by ambulant vendors is quite common and can usually be found in places with high amount of pedestrian traffic. Note however that street food in Manila and elsewhere in the Philippines may not be as clean as what you would find in Bangkok or hawker centers in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. There is very little (if any) regulation and hygienic practices of these establishments vary from place to place. The variety of street food available is tremendous however and may reward the truly adventurous traveler. Some notable examples are the following:
- Chicharon - Deep fried pork rinds, usually eaten while having a beer.
- Balut - boiled duck embryo, generally safe to eat as the whole duck egg is intact and well cooked. The sight of the fully formed duckling complete with wings, ribbed feet and beak may not be too easily swallowed by the squeamish however.
- Isaw, Helmet, Adidas and Betamax - grilled chicken (or pork)intestines, head, feet, and blood respectively
- Banana Cue - bananas fried in hot oil coated with caramelized brown sugar and served on a barbecue stick. There is also kamote cue which is sweet potato served the same way.
- Barbecue - the term barbecue in the Philippines usually means bite size pieces of pork marinated,skewered and charcoal grilled. Chicken barbecue (bbq for short) is also common.
- Kwek Kwek and tokneneng - boiled eggs (duck, chicken or quail) covered in an orangey batter and deep fried in hot oil. Usually dipped in vinegar with onions, chili peppers and garlic.
- Silog - Short for sinangag (Garlic fried rice) and itlog (fried egg), silog is one of the most common and popular breakfast dishes in Manila. Typical silogs are identified by their accompanying viand, ie tapsilog (Filipino tapa, which is fried cured beef strips), longsilog (longganisa), bangsilog (bangus, or milkfish), tocilog (tocino, which is sweet cured pork), hotsilog (hotdog, and cornsilog (corned beef).
- Sizzling sisig - A dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver, usually seasoned with kalamansi and chili peppers.
For a taste of street food without the accompanying risk, try out the following establishments:
- Balut Eggspress - serves balut, kwek kwek and one day old chicks, which are quite literally day old chicks marinated and fried in hot oil then eaten whole including the bones. They have a stall in the MRT Ayala Station.
- Nanay Q - serving special pork and chicken BBQ, liempo, grilled fish and shrimps. They also serve special Pinoy dishes such as Beef Caldereta, Menudo, Pinapaitan, Gambas and Sinigang. Sisig is also their specialty. They have branches at Robinsons Pioneer and Edsa Central. You may visit  for more info.
Most sit-down and casual dining restaurants in Manila would fall under the mid-range category. You could generally eat well for under US$10 per person. At some establishments, this price will even allow you to partake of a buffet and eat to your heart's content.
- Terry's Selection, Lower Ground Level, Podium Mall, 18 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong, tel: +63 2 6385725 to 26. Specialties: Tapas.
Manila has most of the usual American fast food chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dairy Queen, Shakey's Pizza, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, TGIF, Italianni's, Outback, and KFC. Jollibee, the Filipino counterpart of McDonald's is very common in Manila. Coffeeshops such as Starbucks and Seattle's Best have also recently become quite common in malls and commercial centers. Meals could be as low as US$2 to 3 in most fast food joints. A typical burger meal with fries and a drink would fall under this range.
Check for hotel listings in the appropriate districts
You can sleep in a Manila Hotel for as cheap as 500 peso per night if you wish. Don't expect many luxuries at this price though!
Manila has a lot of hotels, inns and apartelles. Most of these accommodations can be found within Roxas Boulevard overlooking Manila Bay, or in the districts of Ermita and Malate. Manila's hotel accommodations are 20 to 30 minutes away from the international and domestic airport.
There are many major international hotel chains which have a presence in Metro Manila. Rates are still generally cheaper here compared to the same class of hotels in western cities. A stay in these hotels however, would be considered a luxury by Philippine standards particularly since these rates would represent a month's income for some Filipinos.
Payphones are very common in the city center. The use of mobile phones is also very extensive. To use your mobile phone, it has to be at least a dualband GSM phone. Globe and Smart are the Philippine's largest mobile carriers and they invite you to use them as a roaming partner (inquire from your home carrier if they have Globe and Smart as a roaming partner).
To call anywhere within Metro Manila, simply dial the 7-digit telephone number from a payphone or a landline. If you need to call anywhere else within the Philippines, dial 0 + area code + telephone number. To make an international phone call, dial 00 + country code + area code + telephone number.
Internet cafes have become a common sight in Metro Manila. Most malls would have at least one internet cafe. Most internet cafes provide broadband speeds. Netopia and Pacific Internet are common chains. Netopia also has a branch at the MRT Ayala Station. Cheap overseas calls can be made at Netopia branches via their VOIP service.
Most coffee shops now also have WiFi services available so you can surf the net while sipping a cuppa. Airborneaccess.net and WIZ are the most common WiFi providers. Ask around if usage is free of charge, otherwise, as the case is often, you will have to buy an internet access card at the counter.
Manila is a city where one should exercise caution. A popular scam as of recent days is for someone to approach you and pretend they recognize you. They will say they work at your hotel (such as room service or security) and that they know you from there. They then say it is their day off and since they just happened to bump into you they want to show you something nice that is nearby. They may be very convincing even to experienced travelers. It is always a scam.
Another popular scam in Manila is for a con artist to befriend a tourist and offer to show them around, hang out, etc. After gaining the tourist's trust, the con artist then slips drugs into the tourist's food or drinks. The con artist then leads the drugged, groggy victim to an ATM and watches while he/she enters her pin. The con artist is then free to withdraw all the money from the account.
Get into a car or go anywhere with people only if you know them (even of they say that have helped you at the hotel on a previous occasion). Of course, if you ask them which hotel they will not be able to answer. They are best fended off if you just ignore them. If they persist, say, "Are you going to leave me alone or should I call the police?" That makes them leave quickly.
Theft is common, especially pick pocketing. You should act cautiously as you would in any other poor country, especially considering if you do not look Filipino. Thieves and scam artists are likely to see you as an easy target. Travelers from other Asian nations, especially South East Asians, should have no problem blending in with the crowd, however.
Never wear valuable jewelry or anything else to broadcast your wealth. Displaying that expensive mobile phone or digital camera out in the open is also a good way to attract thieves.
- China, 4896 Pasay Rd, Dasmarinas Village, Makati, +63 2 8443148 [official website] ,
- Greece, 12th Floor, Sage House, 110 Rufino Str.Legaspi Village, Makati City, Manila, +632 817-4444, Emergencies: +639279677637 ,
- Japan, 2627 Roxas Blvd, Pasay City, +63 2 551-5710 [official website] ,
- Russia, 1245 Acacia Road, Dasmariñas Village, Makati, +63 2 817-5406 [official website] Monday – Thursday 08.00-15.15 Friday 08.00-15.00,
- United States, 1201 Roxas Blvd, ACS +632 301-2000 [official website] ,
Around the capital are numerous attractions for people desiring a quick daytrip away from the hustle and bustle of this mega-metropolis.
- Metro Manila (around Manila) is an administrative region where Manila is located. Manila is just one of the cities in this region of over 600km2. Many historical landmarks can be found within this region such as Manila's University of Santo Tomas, Quezon City's Memorial Circle, Pasay's Ninoy Aquino Airport and many other landmarks.
- Tagaytay — is a city located on a ridge overlooking Taal Lake. The spectacular view of the Taal volcano in the middle of the lake, combined with the exquisite cuisine from the numerous ridge-side restaurants has made this a favorite weekend excursion for Manila residents. (roughly 1 hour from Ninoy Aquino International Airport)
- Mount Batulao is a popular trekking destination near Tagaytay, with the same nice views and cool weather, making for a nice dayhike. Other nearby dayhikes include Pico de Loro and Mount Maculot (which has nice views of Taal Lake).
- Mount Pinatubo is a volcanic lake two and a half hours north of Metro Manila. Hiking Mount Pinatubo has become extremely popular and the views of the crater lake are breathtaking. (around 4 hours from Ninoy Aquino Airport)
- Taal — is a heritage town containing many Spanish period homes that were built from the spoils of coffee, sugar and other 19th century export crops. A number of these homes have been turned into heritage museums that allow one to imagine what life was like during those times.
- Antipolo City — Manilans make their annual summertime pilgrimage to the shrine of the Nuestra Senora dela Paz y Buenviaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage) in this hilltop town. Once there, you can partake of the delicacies such as roasted cashew nuts and kalamay (glutinuous rice pudding). The Hinulugang Taktak Falls are nearby and prove a welcome respite to the city's hustle and bustle. On the way up to Antipolo via the Sumulong Highway are restaurants and bars which provide an excellent view of the Metro skyline. (around 1.5 hours from airport)
- Subic Freeport Zone — This former American military base has been converted into an industrial park and ironically, an eco-tourism zone. Within the confines of the freeport one can partake of practically all of the activities that most tourists generally experience in the Philippines: sun-tanning on white sand beaches, bay side dining, studying English, forest canopy walking, wreck diving, casino gaming, survival trekking with native Aeta guides, bar hopping, golfing, getting a massage (one spa even offers synchronized massage with two masseuses) and other spa treatments, outlet shopping, you name it. (around 3.5 hours from airport)
- Baguio — lies further north and up in the mountains of the Cordilleras. With its cool climate and pine trees, Baguio is said to be the summer capital of the Philippines. (around 8 hours from airport)
To Be Updated