Manila is the capital city of Philippines and is second largest in the state. The city of Manila is the economic centre and political capital of the state. For tourists Manila is the perfect place due to the fact that many historical sites of national importance are located in this city. Major landmarks of the country which played an important and significant role in the history of the country are situated in Manila. For Philippines, manila is the transportation, education, business and commercial centre. People usually consider Manila as a polluted and congested jungle and not one of the famous islands of Philippines but in fact, Manila is a very fast developing city which has a completely different culture, colorful heritage and distinct nightlife to give u a very different experience altogether.
Get in Manila:
You can reach this wonderful city by air,by road or by a boat. All the six border crossings of Philippines are accessible by sea only and all of them are located in southern direction. Travelling to Manila by boat is one of the most common ways. But the most practical option is to come by air to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which is the largest and most used airport in the country. And if you are coming to the city by a boat, the Manila South Harbor is the main seaport.
The city has many churches and some of them are very attractive and unique. Basilica of San Sebastian is one such example. This church is made up of only steel and is the only steel church on the continent of Asia. This church was made of steel because the Europeans had to build the churches over and over due to the destructions after earthquakes and fires. They decided to use solid steel to prevent destruction of the cathedral. They imported all the raw materials from Europe to build this monument and the architect Gustav Eiffel designed this church who also designed the Eiffel tower of France, England. The architectural style is, therefore, Gothic style and will give you a European look while you are watching this building’s exterior. Most of the churches in the city are Spanish colonial churches. But most of the churches were the showcases of the history before World War II which changed after the Japanese destructions and Battle of Manila (1945) when most of them were destroyed. Some of the remaining churches are San Agustin Church, Santa Cruz Church, Manila Cathedral, San Nicholas Church, etc. Another group of churches is the Iglesia ni Cristo Churches which belongs to the homegrown reformist by the same name. These churches are in better conditions and are all very tall like gothic churches.
Apart from the churches, there is a lot more in Manila to see and to learn. One of the most famous attractions of the city is the Manila Metropolitan Theatre which is known as MET. This is a building of art deco and was designed by the famous architect of Filipino named Juan M. de Guzman Arellano. This theatre was opened in 1931 and has a capacity of 1670 people in the audiences. This building was also renovated under Imelda Marcos. It is located near the Manila Central Post Office of the city and is an amazing sight to visit. The Manila Central Post Office is an architectural piece as well. It was designed by the same architect who designed the theatre. The post office was built in 1926 in the neoclassical style of architecture. It was damaged during the World War II but was rebuilt 20 years later and most of its original design is preserved in the new building.
Where the Presidents live:
The president of Philippines officially resides in the Manila. The host of such residence is the Malacanan Palace which is a very large and grand Palace for a president. There are also a lot of wonderful places on the way. The Palace is surrounded by flowers and gardens which is very beautifully arranged and are all decorated well. The gardens are taken good care of and look amazing on any day at any hour. The present Vice President of the Philippines lives in the Coconut Palace. The Coconut Palace is located at the waterfront and was designed for the residence of Pope John Paul II and built under the orders of First Lady Imelda Marcos. The Pope visited the city in 1981 and this Palace was built for just that one visit. For the public to visit this palace, a certain procedure has to be followed in which you take an appointment.
Manila is not just the churches and the historical monuments and palaces, but also about Museums. The most famous Museum is the National Museum of the Philippines which was built in the 1900s. This museum has collection items of archeology, cultural properties, art, botany, zoology, etc. There were supposed to be three buildings and the entrance was designed keeping that in mind; but only one is present which makes the entrance look a little out of the place. Apart from this, there is a National Art Gallery, the Museum of Philippines History, Bahay Tsinoy (Museum of Chinese), etc.
The city also has a lot of walkways, waterfronts, ferry-rides, parks and a lot of exciting things. Manila is a place to be visited when you need to relax and enjoy.