Travelling to Metro Manila, The Philippines (Part 1)

As I was sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight, I recalled back what my mother used to say to me when I was a kid. She used to travel all the time and I was too young to follow her. She would say to me, "You are just like me. I didn't travel until I was in my late 20's. When you grow up, one day, you will have your chance to travel and see the world on your time." 

Well, she was right and I am glad that it was with someone that I love.

Seeing Manila for the first time is an eye opening experience. The moment I stepped out of the Ninoy Aquino Airport, I felt as if I was back at home, in Pudu Raya, Kuala Lumpur. Only difference was that everyone spoke in English and Tagalog. The journey to the hotel was chaotic. The jam was crazy and the routes were narrow. Well, not that narrow than what I expected, but it was certainly one helluva journey to the hotel.

I was actually really worried about their typhoon cases. Apparently, just few weeks before my trip to Manila, they had a typhoon hit. According to the hotel staff, it wasn't that bad and they assured us that we will be safe at the hotel if it does happen. I thank god that we are OK and that nothing happened to us.

Jeepneys! A longish car that look almost like a Hummer but it's not really. Apparently it is a popular ride in The Philippines, almost like taking the mini bus. Most of the jeepneys that I come across are very colourful, or quirky.

So, while I was in the taxi (they don't call it 'cab'), I noticed that this was happening a lot on the streets (pic above). It was common for the locals to walk around or in the middle of the road to sell their goods. It was also common for a homeless people to walk up to cars in the middle of a jam, and knock on the windows to ask for money. I can't help feeling sorry because Manila is a beautiful place even though there is a gap between the lower class and the upper middle class.

I was told to avoid the slums or avoid going out at night altogether. Apparently it isn't safe at all and you wouldn't want to be getting into the wrong crowd or knowing the wrong person.
One of the local bars that we passed by often.
Manila is a colourful city. I noticed how colourful it was just by the sight of their roof tops before the plane landed. It was beautiful! Even on the streets, although it was the slums, but the shops were quirky and creative in its own way, filled with assorted prints. The streets and the people also reminded me a little of Mexico, even though I have never been there before. (Thank you movies)

One of the watercolour paintings in one of the rooms.

We stayed at a hotel called Solaire Resort & Casino, located in Paranaque. I spent the first couple of days exploring the hotel (it is a big hotel). Solaire is a hotel that is filled with fine art paintings and sculptures. Each room is decorated with its own 3-series painting and each is unique on its own. I knew this because we had to room-hop.

Manila is big on art and design. I know this because I also happened to hotel-hop and I noticed that each hotel put a lot of effort in its interior and architecture design. Almost every spot I visited, there is an art exhibition happening. It was amazing!

We visited their famous mall called SM Mall of Asia (MOA) and the place is huge! It is located by the bay, so as you shop, you could smell the sea breeze.
I may sound like a typical tourist here, but really, one of my favourite stores is called Kultura Filipino, a creative that not only offers souvenirs and Filipino merchandise; each product offered by Kultura focuses on the artistry and craftsmanship of Philippines.

Kultura's items ranges from handmade jewellery, apparels, paintings, wooden crafts, home decor, food and beverage and more.

If you love lettering and typograhy, then you will be thrilled to see writings on their cars and trucks. When I was going around town, I noticed cursive hand writings, written with paint on their vehicle. A pretty good job if I might say so myself.

Some places in Manila, especially the mall, have pretty good internet connection. Rest assured you will be able to stay connected with everybody else. We were lucky that the hotel we stayed at had good WiFi, and that allowed me to work on the laptop. I also brought my journal along with me so that I could do a journal entry about my experience.

Stay tune for part 2.

Signing off,

Live Na Buhay! (Live Life)



  1. Look for your next post because I also will travel to Manila soon :D

    1. Hi J-Mei! Thats awesome! When are you going? I am already in the midst of preparing Part 2 and there is also Part 3 too =)

    2. Hi J-Mei! Thats awesome! When are you going? I am already in the midst of preparing Part 2 and there is also Part 3 too =)

    3. I will go at the end of September :)


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