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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Skip Manila Edit

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Lorrianne Aryenz Valdecantos  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

If you think Manila is just about traffic, pollution, and overcrowded streets, then let us tell about the secret of this city.


Andrei of DSM showing the picture of  Old Manila or Intramuros (Photo by Perry Sumakote)

1. Manila is a survivor.  This is the city that survived many invasions, wars, and destructive earthquakes. This is Manila stripped bare. 

Present in the crevices of the walls of Intramuros, which means ‘within the walls’, is the ghosts of bullets and canyons fired by the enemies. The divots made on the adobe walls are the only defense we had against three big colonizers; the Spanish that colonized us for 333 years, the Americans that swooped in and promised us things they didn’t do, and the Japanese that unleashed hell in their quick stay in the country. 

We may not know what it felt to be helpless against an enemy so big, but now, we can see how Manila stood up to them.


Wall of pictures of Dr. Jose Rizal inside Fort Santiago (Photo by Perry Sumakote)


Walking to the entrance of Fort Santiago (Photo by Perry Sumakote)

2. Manila is a living storyteller. You can fit the entire history of the Philippines inside the walls of Intramuros and even a bigger chunk of it inside the premise of Fort Santiago. Way before the Spanish occupation, the Kingdom of Manila stood there as the start of civilization. 

The Manila Cathedral that we all marvel at was reconstructed eight times, each facade faced the tragedy of fires, bombs, and earthquakes. Manila stood there helpless as we were passed around by Spaniards, Americans, and the Japanese, and now, Manila is ready to tell its story


Inside Fort Santiago (Photo by Perry Sumakote)


Living room of Casa Manila (Photo by Perry Sumakote)

3. Manila is home to Filipino’s faith. When the devastating World War II and the 1945 Battle of Manila blew up, this city was bombed and everything laid flat on the ground in rubbles, except one distinct building. 

The San Agustin Church miraculously stood against the atrocity. The Manila Cathedral also resides inside the wall. When it comes to faith, there is so much Manila can give.


Facade of the Manila Cathedral (Photo by Lorri Valdecantos)


Facade of San Agustin Church (Photo by Lorri Valdecantos)

4. Manila looks forward to the future. Little did we know that in one of the countless statues and parks in Intramuros hides a reminder to everyone. A time capsule located inside the Memorare Manila 1945 monument in Plazuela de Santa Isabel, containing never before seen documents and photographs of the war will be cracked open 100 years after the Battle of Manila. 

Save the date for February 18, 2045. Up until then, Manila is looking forward to keeping the peace of this country from this moment up until the future.


Statue of the Memorare Manila (Photo by Perry Sumakote)


Heritage Houses of Intramuros (Photo by Lorri Valdecantos)

5. Manila is a cradle for the artists. A short drive from Intramuros is the National Museum, the home of the chilling Spoliarium, the masterpiece by Juan Luna that still rings relevancy to this day. It is the first painting you’ll see upon entering the National Museum of Fine Arts

Further, into the museum, visitors will be graced with the marvelous works of world-renowned Filipino artists like Guillermo Tolentino and Botong Francisco among many others. It is a visual history experience through brushstrokes and molded sculptures.


Photo of the Spoliarium with the team (Photo by Perry Sumakote)


Inside the National Museum of Fine Arts 

If you ever think that the concrete jungle of Manila would not give you adrenaline as those other outdoor adventures, then you simply haven’t tried walking for more than three hours and traveling back to 400 years of the Philippine history, with the right kind of people, this experience could be worthwhile. 

Some of the other stops in this walking tour include Mabini's Filipino Restaurant, Batala Bar by Bambike, Barbara's , and many more. 


Kalesa Tour (Photo by Perry Sumakote)

TRYP by Wyndham, Explora.ph, and Don’t Skip Manila began working together with one goal in mind, for people to take notice of Manila. TRYP introduces the campaign ‘Powered by the City'. It provides its guests with easy access by exploring the local culture and going the extra mile. Explora.ph is a Filipino start-up company that is committed to elevate local tourism and make traveling in the Philippines easier by providing easy access in an online digital experience platform. Don’t Skip Manila offers intimate walking tours around and outside Manila.

Experience it for yourself, book the tour here 

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