By Rommel Bong R. Fuertes Jr.
“I keep coming back to Manila. Simply no place like Manila!”
Now would be the best time to sing along to Hotdog’s famous tune as the city celebrates its 450th founding anniversary.
What better way to celebrate the momentous event than to roam around the noisy, colorful and vibrant city?
The pandemic may have had an effect to your travels, but with proper health measures, face masks, shields, safety protocols and compliance with health regulations, it would be possible to visit these places with your own peace of mind.
The walled city of Intramuros is more than meets the eye.
Other than boasting of aesthetic values, Intra also has landmarks and churches that hold historical stories and value.
The ever so famous Manila Cathedral church can be found at the center of the city, where tourists can snap pictures with their families.
Other than the landmarks, though, Intramuros also has dining places at the seams.
The currently trending La Cathedral Cafe serves seafood dishes such as Seafood in Olive Oil and Seafood Marinara. They also have beef and pasta in their menu like Carbonara, classic Spaghetti and their famous Beef Steak rice meal.
You won’t have to break your wallet either as these meals cost around P150 to P300.
Add to this a view of the majestic Manila Cathedral. Occasionally, they leave their doors open until midnight, giving you a great view of the night sky as well. Just wish it doesn’t rain, of course.
Dining in La Cathedral would be perfect after a day of strolling all around the area. It’s perfect for dates or even a family dinner.
It would almost be a sin not to visit the National Museum on Manila Day after it recently reopened its doors to the public last March,
Located near Ermita, the museum celebrates the rich history of not just Manila, but also the whole country. National Museum is taking measures to accommodate visitors by limiting them to 100 people per session.
The 80-year-old museum exhibits memorabilia from the time the country was discovered, along with famous works from our national heroes.
Over at the other end comes the National Museum of Fine Arts where historical paintings and important pieces of history are shown.
Be prepared, however, as the museum will not entertain walk-in visitors in compliance with the health rules by the IATF. Interested visitors must make reservations at https://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph
Living the country’s Chinese heritage, Binondo also is the place-to-go for foodies around the Metro.
You have to pack your money and come on an empty stomach, though, as there are too many hole in the wall places than one can count.
For a quick snack, try the proven and tested Fried Siopaos over at Ongpin St. But if you want something sweet, visit Cafe Mezzanine which boasts of the delicious Lava Pao, made with salted egg and custard.
If a full meal is what you crave, then you can’t go wrong with Ying Ying Tea House over at Yuchengo St. There, you might try its Roast Duck and Pork Asado, and have an easy time understanding why locals love the place so much.
If you fail to bring your special someone, your family or your friends with you in your Binondo crawl on Manila Day, you can always bring them something special from Eng Bee Tin. Maybe some Hopia and Tikoy would make them feel better!
Set to reopen its doors on June 23 after a hefty renovation process, the Metropolitan Theatre is a place you should check out, even from just the outside.
Manila’s awarding ceremonies will be held at the theatre, which makes visiting on Araw ng Maynila, all the more fitting.
Located along Padre Burgos Avenue, the MET is the only art deco building not just in the Philippines, but also in Asia.
There are no news yet on the number of visitors allowed inside the MET, but it would be quite the treat to take a peak of the newly renovated architecture piece from the outside.
Other than being the “last lung” of Manila, Arroceros Park also has a beautiful scenery and picture worthy escapades.
If you roam Ermita a bit more, you might bump on to the newly refurbished park, and it would be beneficial for you to stay there for a bit.
At day, it exudes fresh air and a sight full of greens. At night, it glows with several lights and aesthetics, thanks to Ordinance No. 8607, a law that aims to preserve Arroceros.
Other than social distancing and following health protocols, also make sure to avoid littering or vandalizing the place as it is considered a violation and might get you fined.
It would be an absolute treat to witness how our “last lung” came to be, and see how it progressed over the years.