There’s no denying it’s a chaotic and unpredictable place to visit. However, Metro Manila is a city that’s easy to fall in love with.
It’s been a converging point for the Philippines’ wide variety of ethnolinguistic groups. Before it became a global cultural melting pot. The result is a multi-faceted metropolis where foreigners are very welcome, and where every corner hides something new.
The district of Quiapo is in the western part of Metro Manila. Mostly known as a gigantic outdoor mall where you can buy just about anything. Due to this, its always crowded even on weekdays. However, braving the crowds of Quiapo is the only way to reach the best halal Muslim food in the city.
For instance, Moud Halal Restaurant is a carinderia, specialises in the traditional cuisine of the Maranao. A Muslim ethnolinguistic group that hails from the southern Philippine Island of Mindanao. This includes herbed chicken roasted to perfection as well as kinilaw, a raw fish delicacy that’s somewhat similar to ceviche. Although, other halal restaurants and establishments are available all over Metro Manila. Quiapo is one of the few known for fantastic halal food at very affordable prices.
The Walled City of Intramuros
What used to be Spain’s military and political centre in Asia now stands as a reminder of a bygone era. Redesigned into a modern tourist destination for anyone with a love for the old world. Intramuros offer various attractions. Marvel at the magnificence of the bronze statues and Spanish architecture of the Manila Cathedral. Visit the spot where Filipino national hero Dr. Jose Rizal spent his last days in Fort Santiago. Rummage through the Intramuros’ antique shops or relax with a cup of barako coffee in one of its gourmet cafes.
Metro Manila also has several casinos that welcomes locals and foreigners alike. Apart from being the gaming hubs of the city. This place often operate as entertainment centres that host all sorts of events and performances in the Filipino capital. Card Player recalls how the 2019 PPPoker Festival went down at the Resorts World Casino in Manila. With veteran Richard Marquez knocking out former WSOP champ Mike Takayama to secure the grand prize. This year, Resorts World’s roster of events includes performances from local music legends as well as Go West 3D Live. A state-of-the-art show by an English duo best known for ’80s pop hits —which Filipinos absolutely love.
There’s also Solaire casino which has its own dedicated theatre for huge performances. Solaire was responsible for bringing acclaimed stand-up comics. Jo Koy and 2019 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor awardee, Dave Chappelle to the Philippines. Following the success, both the Theater at Solaire and Resorts World follow up with more international acts and events.
Come night time, there’s always something to do in nearly every district or city within Metro Manila. Arguably the hottest party spots are in Makati, tucked in a small barangay called Poblacion. This is where you’ll find bars dedicated to Filipino craft beers. Trip-hop obsessed DJs, tequilero experts, as well as a rooftop skate spot that turns into a dance hall at night. Meanwhile, in Quezon City to the north, Taumbayan, a place for local showbiz socialites. Catch 272, which has earned a fair amount of notoriety for featuring the most promising underground artists. Tago Jazz Bar where international jazz musicians play surprise shows. That’s just the tip of electric iceberg in the Metro Manila bar scene.
Manila is the place to be in Southeast Asia and a must see destination. Although if you’re looking for options closer to home check out our best Aalternative city break destinations.