Adventures and Sports

Experience Manila in 24 hours

Metro Manila

Renzelle Ann Palma
Renzelle Ann Palma | Apr 18, 2013
6:00 am to 7:00am- Start your day with a taste of Manila.

There are a lot of breakfast spots in the Metro but make sure to clear away from the bacon and eggs but instead opt for TAPSILOG. The combination of TAPA (beef), SINANGAG (garlic rice) and ITLOG (egg) with Kapeng Barako is definitely a king’s meal that can get you thru the day. This traditional Filipino breakfast is enjoyed by everyone in the country regardless of the social stature. May it be served from a local carinderia or the room service of your hotel, Tapsilog is Filipino all the way.

7:00 am to 9:00 am- Fitness and the City.

Jog around UP Academic Oval or The Fort in Taguig, maybe join the free Zumba class at the local park or bike around, there is no excuse to not be fit in this city. There is a growing population of modern Filipinos that are becoming more aware of their well being. This is especially prevalent of the fun runs and sporting event that happen almost every week. When planning your itinerary, make sure to research if there will be events as such that you can join in!

9:00 am - 12:00 pm - Historic Manila

Manila is not just bustling traffic and chaotic lifestyle, it once was a metropolis that is a mixture of culture and modernization in one. Intramuros is definitely the place to discover the old Manila. The once walled city is beautifully preserved and with overwhelming history and stories at its helm. Here, you can also see the Ilog Pasig and Fort Santiago that is significant to Jose Rizal’s life. Make sure to not miss the walking tour and ride the kalesa where the kutseros also serve as guides complete with information and in the english language at that.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm - Food, glorious food!

If you are spoiled by your hotels with room service and international menus, why not experience what the locals do? At Seaside and Dampa at Macapagal Avenue is a culinary expedition very familiar with Filipinos. A palengke or local wet market is situated in the vicinity where you get to experience buying your own dry and wet ingredients in a Filipino setting. Interact with the tinderas (vendors) and make sure to haggle for the lowest prices. After the market experience, choose among the numerous restaurants in the area where you can also bargain for the cooking fee. Payment is usually per kilo and will depend on the dish you requested. Make sure to have them cook Filipino dishes such as SINIGANG NA HIPON (sour soup with shrimp), SEAFOOD KARE KARE, BOILED CRABS with suka at bagoong and PINAKBET.

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm - The Multi Talented Pinoys

Filipinos are very fond of music, dances and any form of art. Catch a play or a ballet shown at the Cultural Center of the Philippines where Filipino talent is displayed. Art and photo exhibits are in museums and even in malls. Filipino artisans are now actively participating on bazaars to reach out to the public with their unique craft. Most of the time, you don’t have to look far to see a talented Filipino in the streets of Manila. You just have to keep your eyes and ears open.

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm - Food, glorious food... Food trip style.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is just not enough for the hard working Filipino. A meal that is equally important is the Merienda. It is somewhat essential to Filipinos to have merienda, which mostly means munching on popular Filipino street foods. From Fishballs, Banana Q and Sago’t Gulaman, the selection is just endless. Walk into a popular street in any part of Manila and alas, a vendor with his cart of awesomeness. Another suggested food trip is at Manila’s China town, Binondo. The streets of Ongpin and Yuchengco are famous for vegetable dumplings, fried siopao and heavenly ube hopia.

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm - Sun is down... Spirits are up!

Do not miss the scenic Manila sunset perfectly seen at the Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard. After a full day, this is the perfect spot to get a feel of Manila and what it really is, half of the new and the old and full of the beautiful.

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm - Shopping!

If you are a traveler in the Philippines, one thing is essential: bring a PASALUBONG (local product as a gift) for your loved ones at home. May it be a local pastry or a keychain with the Luneta Park engraved on it, it is customary for Filipinos to bring home pasalubongs from the places they’ve been to. Two of the more famous shopping spots in Manila are Divisoria (cheaper everyday products) and Greenhills (famous for cultured pearls, gadgets, clothes and bags). Make sure to haggle! It’s part of the fun of shopping in the Philippines!

9:00 pm to 10:30 pm - Famished.

With the heavy merienda and almost endless food trip, a late dinner is just perfect for this kind of day. Most of the restaurants in Manila are open until 11pm and some to midnight. If you want to splurge, have a reservation at a buffet restaurant or in one of the high-end hotels. The food and service is excellent. Call ahead and check if there is lechon available in the menu, the roasted pig is not to be missed in a Filipino feast.

10:30 pm to 12:00 am - The Pre-Party Drink

The Filipinos certainly know how to party. We are a country of happy people and cheap alcohol. The Filipino style of having a good time? Have pre-drinks first before going to a bar. Drinking outside along the streets or what we call “tambay sa kanto” is a typical Filipino setting. Why? Because drinks at bars are more expensive so might as well get your pre-party fix where it’s cheaper!

12:00 am to 4:00 am - Call it a night or... Time to Socialize!

You already had a full day, maybe it’s time to retire and have a room massage in your hotel. Or maybe... The Metro is not short of the night life. From the North (Tomas Morato Area,Quezon City) all the way to the South (The Fort, Taguig, Pasay or Alabang), bars and restaurants are everywhere. The peak of the party usually starts at 1 am and will go all the way thru the rest of the night. Make sure to book a cab and avoid driving if you had drinks. Be a responsible drinker and simply have clean fun.

4:00 am to 6:00 am - End it with a taste...

You know you had a great night partying if you end it with another food trip. All that dancing is exhausting and the drinks will eventually wear off so might as well wrap the day up with hot soup such as Bulalo, Goto or Chicken congee at the nearest carinderia or restaurant. A number of 24 hour eateries are around the Metro to cater to employees on night shifts and the party goers. Usually, where there is a famous bar, an eatery is within arm’s reach. Cap the day off with a Filipino classic, and if you still have enough strength in you, catch the sunrise as another 24 hours slowly rises...

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