Manila reminds me of Spain, with a splash of Mexico in between. You can see Spanish and Mexican influences from Clark (where we landed) up 'til you arrive in Manila. I really didn't know what to expect in Manila, as it is not strongly influenced by the Malay culture (like Indonesia and Brunei) and it is not so influenced by the Chinese culture (as per Singapore).
And this is a photo-blog of our trip to Manila, so enjoy the photos peeps!
We arrived at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Makati City (which is about two hours drive away from Manila).
Met our driver, Ronald, just outside the airport.
Dinner with our driver, Ronald. Since there were about 10 of us, we had to rent a van to fit us all. It was difficult to find halal outlets in Manila so we had to just make do with the eateries that we found on Zabihah.com.
Frankly I must admit that the transportation method in Philippine is in a league of its own. Firstly they have the Jeepney, which is a combination between a Jeep and a van (it can fit more than ten people!). Well, innovative people these Pinoys are (Pinoy stands for Philippinos by the way) they actually converts a Jeep into a Jeepney. How do they manage to do that? I seriously don't know. But whatever it is, it's a transportation system that seems to work for them. And I do love the fact that they decorate their Jeepneys in many creative ways thus resulting in a colorful and attractive but bizarre look (if I may say so).
Besides Jeepneys, they also have trishaws (that can fit about five passengers, mind you) which also proves how creative this Pinoys are, they seem to convert motorbikes into trishaws and not only that, there's a multitude of seats to choose from (hence the ability to carry five passengers).
I love the design of the churches there. The churches seems to have similar designs and if you notice they seem to have European influences as well. I saw this church when we were cruising Pasig river. The churches that we have in Kuching are slightly different in design.
This is where we bought our tickets for our river cruise. Well, it's not actually a river cruise per se, it's like a river taxi that takes on passengers along the river.
Waiting for our ferry. As you can see, Pasig river is not the cleanest river.
Us in the ferry.
Kids playing in the river.
As we were cruising down Pasig river, it is very, very apparent that Pinoys love bright splashes of color. These are among the houses that were along the river. If you notice, the Jeepneys are also decorated with bright colors. Which kinda reminds me of Mexican culture, they love their bright colors with their boleros and bright skirts.
Kids swimming in the water of Pasig river.
Me on board the ferry.
Celebrated my birthday at Secret Recipe, Manila.
Ronald's birthday is a few days before mine so we celebrated his too!
Dad wanted to go to the Coconut Palace but unfortunately for us, it was closed to visitors.
Us at the base of Taal Volcano, a small volcano, but an active one *yikes*.
Had the opportunity to visit a theme park in Manila, the Enchanted Kingdom.
Manila is a huge place. It consists of nine different cities (just to prove how huge it is). However as with any cities, there are places where the affluent frequents and there are places where the not-so-affluent resides in. Among those (for the affluent) is Makati City which is a great place to shop at. It has many gigantic shopping places that for shopaholics out there would certainly be a great way to spend the holidays.
Til my next vacation (which is soon, I hope), cheerio!!
xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo
P/s: If you're traveling to Manila via Clark, bear in mind that Clark is about two hours drive away to Manila. You may opt to use a driver (like us) or taxi or a bus to Manila.