Things 5 things to do in Manila
Rizal Park lies within the heart of Manila’s business and cultural district. The park is dedicated to José Rizal the Philippines national hero, executed for rebellion, in an area now incorporated within the park grounds.
Rizal came to the attention of the Spanish Rulers of the time as a result of his novels. His first, Noli Me Tangere, criticised the colonial system in the Philippines, the church and the government. His second, El Filibusterismo, involved the lead character Simeon, who advocated an armed uprising to bring about change. On 30th December1896 Rizal was executed, by firing squad, having been found guilty of rebellion and association with a revolutionary movement, his remains were buried in an unmarked grave in Paco Cemetry.
Rizal Park has a number of attractions worth a visit including the Butterfly Pavilion, the Planetarium, a landscaped map of the Philippines, Chinese and Japanese Gardens, the chess plaza and the Manila Ocean Park.
Manila Ocean Park is a big attraction within Riza Park and is home to over 10,000 marine species native to the Philippines and South East Asia. Take a ride on the indoor, glass bottomed boats for a close encounter or have a fish spa for a REALLY close encounter (it’s a bit like putting your foot in a bowl of fizzing 7-Up but with the benefit of really soft feet at the end of the experience!). There’s a dedicated ‘Jellies’ Exhibition, allowing you the opportunity to view the stunning colours and varieties without the risk of being stung. Daily shows taking place include the Sea Lion show, the All-Star Bird Show and the Musical Fountain Show.
The latest attraction is the Trails to Antarctica; which includes a 42 metre ice slide, a snow village with -15 degree temperatures and a penguin enclosure, housing Homboldt Penguins.
Manila Ocean Park also has restaurants, a mall, bars a hotel and a spa so it is quite easy to spend a whole day, if not, longer here.
Visit http://www.manilaoceanpark.com/ for the latest exhibitions and promotions
The Metropolitan Museum was established in 1976, initially to exhibit art from across the world, with the intention of broadening understanding and appreciation of other cultures and heritage. Just 10 years later the remit was extended to showcasing Filipino art and culture, and an introduction of bi-lingual notices and materials was initiated.
Visiting exhibitions are often complemented with displays of Filipino art of the same period in time or style. The permanent exhibitions include Philippine Pottery and Gold work from the 8th to 13th Centuries, collected from archaeological excavations and indicating the richness of the country at that time.
The Metropolitan Museum affords the visitor an enlightening opportunity to not only view a varied range of art from across the world but to learn more about the Filipino culture, history and creativity.
The museum is located at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard near Pablo Ocampo Street (formerly Vito Cruz).
Manila Jeepneys – A wonderfully flamboyant sight, although perhaps not the most ecological or ‘green’. The Jeepneys are facing increased regulation and restrictions because of their recognised impact on the environment and there are some moves to remove them from Manila roads or restrict where they can operate.
The Jeepneys have been driven around Manila since the end of the Second World War, when the US Military sold or left behind their jeeps. There are also now a number of independent workshops which produce modern versions of this vehicle, using surplus van and truck parts from Japan. There’s something about the beautiful paint work and chrome that really make these large vehicles stand out amongst the modern car or people carrier.
Jeepney Etiquette. Jeepneys can be ‘flagged down’ in the same way as you would a taxi. As with buses, trains and the tube in the United Kingdom, women and the elderly are seated and should be offered a seat when alighting.
Jeepneys may be manned by two people; the driver and a conductor, or by just the driver. If there is a conductor his role is to set out the route that Jeepney is taking and collect the fares. When there is just a driver the passengers must police themselves and ensure that the correct fare is collected from those alighting, and that this is passed to the driver.
If the vehicle is modern it may well have a buzzer to press when you want the driver to stop; otherwise knock on the roof of the jeepney, tap a coin against the handrail of simply tell the driver to stop; “Para”.
Intramuros is the historical core of Manila; the oldest district and possibly the most visited. The Intramuros was the seat of government during the Spanish Colonial Period and its name, in Latin, means "within the walls". The foundations for this fortification of old Manila were laid in 1590 and building work and modifications continued until 1872, until the walled city covered 160 acres.
Since 1979 the Intramuros Administration (IA) has been gradually restoring the old walls and the city within. Five of the original gates; Isabel II Gate, Parian Gate, Real Gate, Sta. Lucia Gate and the Postigo Gate have either been rebuilt or restored. It is said that the Intramuros is the only district in Manila where old-Spanish influences can still be found and many of the new buildings constructed are done so in keeping with the colonial style.
Places to visit in Intramuros are the two remaining churches; The Manila Cathedral and St. Augustine Church (built in 1599). Another ‘must see’ is Fort Santiago; the seat of the Spanish colonial government and the place where José Rizal was held before being executed.