I got really excited for my first trip, as it was none other than Manila. Michelle from Cebu Pacific Air helped out with all the arrangements of my trip and Kudos to her for doing such a great job! I decided to have my trip at the end of May, where I had Eileen accompany me on this trip
We took an early morning flight, and reached Manila at about 5am in the morning. the customs took pretty long, as there were only 2 counters open and about 4 flights reaching Manila at that time, but well after 20 minutes, we were through, and a joyous sight to see Michelle there welcoming us.
She gave me the 500 USD shopping money by VISA in a form of a Equicom bank prepaid card *woohoo* and we headed straight for the hotel limo. The hotel that Agoda.com booked for us was a 5 star hotel named Dusit Thani Manila in central Manila, Makati. From the moment we stepped into the hotel, everything was as good as can be. Checking in was so personalized, and we felt so welcomed over there
have a look at the hotel:
Dusit Thani Manila
The Koi pond
Eileen & I
Awesome buffet breakfast at the hotel. There was such a big variety!
Cheh Wahh.... I feel so proud to see my name there *and yes thats my Chinese name*
As for the first day, we met up with the Cebu, Visa & Agoda representatives to have a photo op & signing of documents and after that we headed off for the VISA Challenge. With Every VISA Challenge completed, I would get an extra 100 USD spending money *how awesome is that?*
you can read about my VISA Challenge here: http://www.seraphsam.com/2013/05/awesome-dessert-halo-halo.html
Soon it was getting late, and all we could do is head to the malls for some shopping! just imagine. 600 USD to spend, it was heaven to us! We headed for SM Mall Of Asia which is the largest mall in the Philippines. We went shopping all over *okay i guess Eileen did most of it LOL* but well it was a great experience!
As we were there, we tried out some of the local delicacies, and one thing I really wanted to try, ADOBO PORK! we headed for one of the restaurants in SM Mall Of Asia, and tried out some of the awesome food
a Filipino BBQ Pork Dish
The Seaside next to Mall Of Asia
After Mall Of Asia, We headed over to Resorts World. A much Higher class Area as you can see all the branded shops over there. It was really interesting it was so lively over there, as there were performances going on non stop. One of the displays that caught my eye over there, was the DC comics Figurines in all their glory
Just being Superman
and of course, what else would you do at Resorts World? The Casino of course! We went in to try our luck. One thing i loved about their Casino, drinks were on the house, the players and dealers were so friendly, and there was a live show going on from acrobats, to singing and other performances
And of course the best part is, luck was on our side as we won a lil more money for shopping =) *God we're shopaholics
A little winning from the Casino. 3000 pesos!
(equivalent to about 75 USD)
Our shopping from Day 1
Day 1 ended just like that mainly on visiting malls, and as for the 2nd day, Joy from Cebu Pacific Air offered to bring us around town since she was bringing Alfred & Giselle around. How awesome is that? We get to go to all the nice sites and she did it all off her own expense! Thank you Joy!
We started off with going to the Paco Park which contains the remains of Filipino Nationalist, Dr Jose Rizal, and the 3 Martyr Priests, Jose Burgos, Mario Gomez & Jacinto Zamora. I wouldn't go into so much details, but you can check out who they are and what the park is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paco_Park
The entry fee was 20 pesos, and it was a small but beautiful park to see. There was even a small chapel in the middle where it is a famous place for Filipinos to get married.
The walls surrounding the park
How beautiful it is inside
Eileen & I
A closer look of the Chapel
The 3 matyr priests Memorial
Soon after that we headed off for Rizal Park, where everything is there. it was the place where Dr Jose Rizal was executed, the national monument is there, Chinese Gardens, and much more. we took a long walk around the park and it was a great sight to see! plenty of people running around, playing with kites and even some practicing martial arts there
The grandstand near the park
The Philippines flag
The 2 different Buffallo monuments in Philippines
Martial arts practice
some random fixture
Dr Jose Rizal's execution site
Eileen & I at the national monument
Sorbet ice creams for sale
The Manila Hotel near the park *its more than 100 years old
look at how grand the interior of the hotel is
Soon after that, we headed into Intramuros, which is known as the walled city. It was built specifically for the Spanish during the Spanish colonial period. Intramuros means "within the walls" so basically you know its only for the high and mighty of that time.
It is a large city by itself, and there was so much to explore over there! We just drove around looking everywhere, and well it was a real fun time to see how it was built in the earlier days
Lets head to some pictures within Intramuros:
Thats how wide the wall is
Eileen taking her jolly steps
Some old building in Intramuros
The old Philippines Presidents faces
The entrance of Intramuros
Some traditional Filipino houses:
The Manila Cathedral. So sad that it was under renovation works, so we couldn't go in to view it
The Manila Cathedral exterior
Carriage rides which are popular among tourist
We managed to go to the Casa Manila Museum, where it displayed how the Spanish lived at that time. it was about 150 pesos to get in, but sadly photography isn't allowed inside, so i can't show you anything on it
The Casa Manila Museum
Eileen & I *again LOL*
Soon after that, we headed for San Augustin's Church where it is another famous church inside Intramuros. Plenty of weddings are held over there as the interior is just beautiful, and we managed to crash a wedding! *alright they just allowed us in* and the bride was B-E-A-UTIFUL...There is also the San Augustin Museum next to the church, which allowed us to see more historical artifacts of that time
Here are some pictures of San Augustin Church
Check out the detail of it!
The back of the church
The view from the top
The Old Pipe Organ notes
The wedding ceremony starting
The bride walking in
And here are some pictures of the Museum
The Church Bell
I guess thats all for this post, since its sooooo long, I'll be updating soon on more things in Manila! Stay tuned!
Again I wanna thank Cebu Pacific Air, Visa, Agoda for making it happen and also personally thank Michelle and Joy for arranging everything for me!
Read about my other Philippine adventures here: