Manila (Tagalog: Maynila; pronounced /maɪˈnilaʔ/ in Tagalog, /məˈnɪlə/ mə-NIL-ə in English), officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines and one of the sixteen cities within the Manila metropolitan area. It has been opined that Manila was the original Global City because it was the apex of the first complete world trade, the Manila Galleons. It is also one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world with a population of 20 million people. It is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay on the western side of the island of Luzon. Several cities lie on its border: Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati to the southeast, and Pasay to the south. Read more information here
This trip made us too excited that we were not able to sleep well that night until the time of our boarding by early morning.
After stepping off the plane and out of the Nino Aquino International Airport, we’re both discombobulated as to where we are going and where to stay. No itinerary. No map. No clue. Just a laptop to hopefully save our Manila Trip.
Fronting NAIA Terminal 3 is McDonalds so we hurriedly walked from NAIA to McDonalds to hopefully leech on some WiFi connection, to our dismay, there was no WiFi in this McDonalds branch. So we walked towards E. Palmas Drive and Resort Drive to shake off the early morning jitters. E. Palmas Drive/Resort Drive houses the Beacon Tower, Marriott Hotel, Maxims and Resorts World Manila. Then there was a gift sent from heaven. I saw a “Free WIFI” poster posted on Shakey’s glass door.
As frugal as we were, we could not find any other free Wifi spots nearby so we opted to take a pricey breakfast at Shakey’s. While waiting for our order, Edcel scoured for information on the nearest spots, distance between them and jotted all the details on a tissue paper. We ate to our stomach’s content and headed off.
As it was a Sunday, we walked and stopped by Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, which is also in Resort Drive, to ask for God’s guidance. We then took a jeepney ride going to Baclaran. Both of us are and will never be confident enough to speak Tagalog, so when chances came that we had to speak to the locals like drivers, vendors and others, we had to brutally force each other to speak. Growing up in the Visayas Region for 23 years, our tongues were frozen stiff in speaking Tagalog.
We finally reached Baclaran and as I’ve expected, the place was indeed dirty and crowded. As part of our semi-itinerary, we stopped by the Baclaran Church and attended the mass. After which, we took a long walk from Baclaran Church to SM Mall of Asia (MOA). The vendor that we asked direction from said that MOA is just a short walk from there, so we willingly obliged.
|Colorful Vendor’s Stalls in Baclaran|
|Colorful Vendor’s Stalls in Baclaran|
From where we were,SM Mall of Asia looked really near, but I guess our eyes were just playing with us as we walked, walked, walked and YES, we finally saw the huge globe fronting SM Mall of Asia. After taking some snapshots of the area. we then headed inside MOA.
We roamed around and I was bit disappointed as I was expecting much from MOA. Honestly, I am not impressed on how MOA was constructed/designed. Blame it on my researching skills but I was expecting SM Mall of Asia to be taller than SM Cebu. SM MOA only has 2 floors, with its massiveness relying mostly on the land area it covers. Applying some kindergarten Math, it means that getting from Store A to Store C could mean flexing some calf muscles instead of just doing the usual escalator ride. If only our feet could talk, it would have cried gallons of tears from the abuse it took that early morning. Groceries checked. Lunch done. And so we’re ready to go to take some rest.
The plan was to stay Makati Apartelle, but we have failed to make a reservation beforehand. Luck was not on our side when we called since there were no vacant rooms. So, we again used the power of free WiFi at SM MOA and scoured for information and locations on cheap Manila hotels/apartelles and we found Park Villa Apartelle. It looked neat in the pictures and it was dirt cheap, so Edcel took my phone and contacted Park Villa. Finally! A room reserved! (We may post a personal review of Park Villa Apartelle if “you” readers want one. 🙂 )
At around 12noon, we headed to Park Villa Apartelle which is located in Examiner St, West Ave., Quezon City. Our will still wants to go out and enjoy what Manila had to offer but our eyes and feet were tired so we had to take a much needed rest.
We woke up by 6pm and decided to take a short walk before taking dinner. We walked, chatted, ate street foods, observed, walked, walked and walked. Edcel freaked out when we saw a signages saying Sampaloc, Manila. We did not notice that we have walked From Examiner St, Quezon City to Sampaloc, Manila. We hurriedly asked a local to what jeepney route we had to take to get back to West Avenue, took a jeepney and took dinner near West Avenue.
If you know how to, please calculate the distance we have walked from Examiner St, West Ave., Quezon City to Sampaloc, Manila. Since we bought a laptop with us, we checked out our online community accounts, chatted for a bit and then bid farewell to the night and we went to slumberland to ready ourselves for the next day.
Check out Day 2 of our Manila Adventure here.