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Mesmerizing Manila: Hub of the Philippines

A beautiful metropolis with a vibrant culture.

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In the northern Philippines, tucked away on the east shore of Manila Bay, is an urban haven that mixes the old with the new. It’s is a city whose rich past informs an even richer present. Considered a “global city,” Manila is a center for the arts, science, commerce and tourism – a beautiful metropolis with a vibrant culture and, to my immense relief, some good brew down at the pub.

Mesmerizing Manila: Hub of the Philippines

Manila, or Maynila as the locals call it, is an enormous, ethnically diverse urban center. One of sixteen cities that comprise the National Capital Region called Metropolitan Manila, this isn’t just any old town. Aside from being the capital of the Philippines, it’s also the seat of national government and home to the busiest port in the country and the oldest university in Asia. And did I mention Manila’s the most densely populated city on the planet? Well, it is.

Here are four things that make this city absolutely incredible:

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Sarah enlightens us on a daily basis with the newest trends as (and often before) they transpire. She is the consummate globe trotter. Having traveled to over 70 countries, she earns her living writing, blogging (InsiderDiva.com) and modeling while on the road. In her spare time she gets manicures, suntans on yachts in Greece, shops for even more shoes, and lives in the limelight. She loves photography, elephants, sailboats, bangles and ballet flats.

Reader Discussion: 72 Comments

  1. Jamar Edwards

    I think it’s a beautiful city. “Most densely populated” means it’s very crowded, tho. But I guess that’s where the fun is. Also, from what I learned, Filipinos’ fascination about everything white’s crazy! Filipinos’ seems to be everywhere, too, especially here on the US! All in all, I believe Manila’s an exciting place and their people are fun.

  2. Michelle Norris

    Intramuros is the testimony of the Spanish colonial influence that impacted the Philippines profoundly. It makes Manila different from other cities in Southeast Asia. A fusion of eastern and western culture virtually almost anywhere you look. The only problem in the capital city is the traffic and the beggars living in streets or slums area. You’ll also find waterways clogged with filth and garbage.

  3. Blaise Dalton

    I remembered a fellow student in college who is a Filipina, and she’s so sweet and friendly. She said she grew up and studied in Manila, but was born in the southern regions. I thought they were not that bright, but the way she speaks with confidence and clarity, she is on par with native English speakers. She’s one intelligent girl! (Which explains the scholarship grant she had.) She said that Manila is like the dream city for those who are in the poorer provinces, and many seek opportunity there that makes the city crowded. And, man! Isn’t she a hottie!?

  4. Jennifer Hartmann

    I never thought that the Philippines, and Manila for that matter, has so much more than slums and typhoons and monsoon floods or crazy politicians. The news here about the country is all about disasters and politics that they often bury the beautiful side of this place. This article is very informative and will help or encourage us to learn more about this city and all its cultural and historical richness.

  5. Kelly Bretz

    I have friends in Laguna and their hotsprings are so relaxing. Would choose that over Manila anytime.

  6. Lois Pagan

    I thought I’d feel out of place in this country but I was wrong. Met tons of friends here and I really hope I could stay longer.

  7. Sherry Taylor

    Locals are insanely polite and they don’t really ask you for anything in return. Not only that, when you ask them something, they’re smiling at you and even if you’ve spend more than 10 minutes trying to get the directions right, some of them would even accompany you if they had the time.

  8. Gloria Couch

    Because of work, I had to travel here and stay here for a year and I’ve learned to fall in love with the culture of this country. I think it’s the people that make the experience of staying here.

  9. Florence Permenter

    Traffic here is insane especially in Manila. I also don’t like the fact that the weather here is humid and too hot for my liking. In the end we had to book a place somewhere else so that we can enjoy the Philippines more. Our first stay was in Manila but we went to book a flight to Bohol. It was hot there too because what can you expect in a tropical country, but the breeze was definitely better and the traffic was less. There are tons of historic places here.

  10. Kathleen Straus

    El Nido Palawan is so much better than Manila. Went here twice in the Phils already and I liked the countryside better. Great beaches that are hidden gems.

    • Kay Rose

      Not sure where in Palawan this is but the Underwater River is quite a sight.

    • Maryann Phillips

      Palawan has some of the 7 wonders of the world, right?

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