Manila Hotels , Flights and Travel Packages
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The City of Manila (Tagalog : Lungsod ng Maynila) is the cosmopolitan capital of the Philippines located in the west coast of the island of Luzon . Manila is distributed into 16 territorial districts, which are all original towns except one, the Port Area District. All of these original towns except Port Area have their own churches and several of these districts have attained identification in their own right. The eight districts north of the Pasig River are:
Binondo — country's Chinatown before the arrival of Spaniards in 1571 and the city's main center for business, finance, wholesale trade and exotic delicious foods
Quiapo — Hometown of the Black Nazarene and also a place which offers cheap prices on items ranging from electronics to native handicrafts, plus pirated DVD films
Sampaloc — means tamarind fruit is the district wherein the University of Santo Tomas, Asia's oldest university and the famous Dangwa Flower Market is located (near Windsor Inn at Maceda Street).
San Miguel — known as the University Belt District and the location of residence of the Philippine Government, Malacañang Palace
San Nicolas — shares Divisoria Flea Market with other co-district is the hub for the adventurous shoppers that may venture for cheap buys
Santa Cruz — is on the edge of Chinatown, which is the district of usual frenzied mix of commercial and residential premises
Santa Mesa — from the Spanish term Holy Mass, this district marks the first shot of the Filipino-American War
Tondo — the largest, historically 1100 years old, it is one of the first provinces to be established and rebelled against Spain and is now the Southeast Asia's Most Densely Populated District
Ermita — one of the two Tourist Belt (another is the Malate district), it is the former Red District but now with all kinds of bars, nightclubs, cafes and also offers numeorus coin, art and antique shops. It has a lively and diverse nightlife. Ermita is also where the American Embassy is located, also Rizal Park, and Manila Bay Hostel is in the 4th floor of a pre-war building across Museo Pambata children's hospital and beside Miramar Hotel.
Intramuros — taken from the Latin, intra muros, literally "with in the walls", the History Town of the Philippines and considered as Old Manila itself during Spanish times, just beside Ermita
Malate — known as the center of bohemian night life in the city and in the metropolis and beside Ermita
Paco — lies city's historic but mysterious octagonal park cemetery
Pandacan — district home of many of the country's literary and musical geniuses
Port — the country's chief seaport consisting of North and South Port where one can witness the dramatic sunset of Manila Bay
San Andres Bukid — was previously part of Santa Ana, this district has a touch of Moslem culture and has a mosque
Santa Ana— known as Sapa in ancient times, this district is the old capital of Namayan Kingdom which is the precursor of modern Metro Manila
The main tourist sites of Manila are located along Manila Bay. : Below are some of Manila major Landmarks :
Baywalk - South of the Luneta is the renovated Baywalk a linear park adjacent to Manila Bay. This promenade has now been all but shut down by a new mayor as at July 2007, most of the bars and restaurants are just empty shells.
Bonifacio Shrine - A shrine in honour of Andres Bonifacio who was one of the Filipinos who struggled and fought for freedom for the country against the Spanish forces.
Chinatown - Manila has one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, where one can find exotic Chinese goods and delicious cuisine.
Intramuros - At the northern end of the Bay lies the remnants of the old walled Spanish settlement of Manila, Intramuros (Spanish for 'within the walls'). Intramuros contains some of the city's most interesting museums, ruins, and churches including the Manila Cathedral, the most important church in the country.
Mabini Shrine - Apolinario Mabini's former home. Mabini was a Lawyer and fought for Philippine Independence. During the American Occupation, this home became the first intellectual headquarters of the First Philippine Republic.
Malacañang Palace - Manila is the host of the official residence of the president of the Philippines. While heading your way here, you will see wonderful places. People can roam the garden afterward.
Manila Hotel - Just outside Intramuros and on the edge of Manila Bay is the beautiful and historic Manila Hotel, a legacy of the American colonial era and the place where General Douglas MacArthur made his home before World War II.
Plaza San Luis - A commercial complex consisting five house; Casa Manila, Casa Urdaneta, Casa Blanca, Los Hidalgos and El Hogar Filipino. Plaza San Luis showcases Filipino-Hispanic Architecture. Other than Souvenir shops there is a museum in Casa Manila.
Rizal Park - Right outside the walled city is Rizal Park more widely known as the Luneta. The Luneta is the venue for the best museums of the city, bayside restaurants, an open-air theater featuring free classical music concerts, a planetarium, early morning jogging and tai chi enthusiasts, and the Manila Hotel. It is a popular meeting spot for family picnics and was the site of the execution of Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines.
University of Santo Tomas Unibersidad de Santo Tomas (UST) This University is oldest and first University in the whole of Asia and the Philippines. It was used as a camp by the Japanese during their occupation where the imprisoned about 10,000 people even though it only can hold 4,000.
Paco Park - An old cemetery, where Jose Rizal was first buried, the place is now a park, often a venue for concerts, wedding, etc.
Museums in Manila : Manila has seen a drastic improvement in its museum offerings with the recent renovation of old favorites such as the National Museum of the Filipino People and the Ayala Museum. Other must-see museums in the city are the Bahay Chinoy (Chinese House), Casa Manila, San Agustin Museum and the Museum of Filipino Political History, the "Museo Pambata" children's museum'.
National Museum of the Philippines Pambansang Museo, Built and opened in the 1900s The museum showcases significant collections from archaeology, arts, cultural properties, zoology, botany and many more.
Nature and Wildlife : Paco Park was actually built as a final resting place for Spanish families residing in Manila, after Jose Rizal's execution, his remains were sent and buried here. Manila Zoo however is a sad sight, leaving much to be desired, and includes a lone elephant caged in a concrete octagon. The Manila Zoo covers an area of 0.055 square kilometers
San Agustin Church
Basilica of San Sebastian - The only all steel church of the Asia, the Europeans were tired of building the church over and over again after fires and earthquakes, they finally decided to build the cathedral in solid steel. The materials were ordered from Europe while the architect is Gustav Eiffel; the architect of the Eiffel tower in France and the Statue of Liberty. Its Gothic architecture might make you think you're somewhere in the middle of Europe.
Parish Church of St. Joseph .
Around the capital are numerous attractions for people desiring a quick daytrip away from the hustle and bustle of this mega-metropolis.
Metro Manila (around Manila) is an administrative region where Manila is located. Manila is just one of the cities in this region of over 600km2. Many historical landmarks can be found within this region such as Manila's University of Santo Tomas, Quezon City's Memorial Circle, Pasig's Ninoy Aquino Airport and many other landmarks.
Tagaytay — is a city located on a ridge overlooking Taal Lake. The spectacular view of the Taal volcano in the middle of the lake, combined with the exquisite cuisine from the numerous ridge-side restaurants has made this a favorite weekend excursion for Manila residents.
Mount Pinatubo is a volcanic lake two and a half hours north of Metro Manila. Hiking Mount Pinatubo has become extremely popular and the views of the crater lake are breathtaking.
Taal — is a heritage town containing many Spanish period homes that were built from the spoils of coffee, sugar and other 19th century export crops. A number of these homes have been turned into heritage museums that allow one to imagine what life was like during those times.
Antipolo City — Manilans make their annual summertime pilgrimage to the shrine of the Nuestra Senora dela Paz y Buenviaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage) in this hilltop town. Once there, you can partake of the delicacies such as roasted cashew nuts and kalamay (glutinuous rice pudding). The Hinulugang Taktak Falls are nearby and prove a welcome respite to the city's hustle and bustle. On the way up to Antipolo via the Sumulong Highway are restaurants and bars which provide an excellent view of the Metro skyline.
Subic Freeport Zone — This former American military base has been converted into an industrial park and ironically, an eco-tourism zone. Within the confines of the freeport one can partake of practically all of the activities that most tourists generally experience in the Philippines: sun-tanning on white sand beaches, bay side dining, studying English, forest canopy walking, wreck diving, casino gaming, survival trekking with native Aeta guides, bar hopping, golfing, getting a massage (one spa even offers synchronized massage with two masseuses) and other spa treatments, outlet shopping, you name it.
Baguio— lies further north and up in the mountains of the Cordilleras. With its cool climate and pine trees, Baguio is said to be the summer capital of the Philippines.
Manila Flights & Airports : Manila is served by three international terminals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport ( MNL) :
Terminal 1 : serves major international airlines and currently is the main international terminal, serving most international carriers.
Terminal 2 : is exclusively used by Asia's first airline and the Philippines' flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL).
Terminal 3 : newly opened, used by Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines. There are future plans of using Terminal 3 to replace Terminal 1.
Manila Domestic Passenger Terminal : this was Manila's former gateway before the construction of NAIA, currently used by domestic carriers; Zest Air, Interisland Airlines and Southeast Asian Airlines.
PAL usually provides "seamless" transfers between their international and domestic network, which one cannot usually get with other carriers. The airport is served by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, KLM, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Delta Air Lines, AirAsia and many other airlines. The journey between terminals can take between 5-20 minutes in a taxi depending on traffic. Be wary of this if you have a connection between a domestic and international flight. There is also a regular shuttle bus service between the terminals operated by NAIA (every 15 min). Departure tax for all NAIA airports is ₱750 for International, and ₱200 for Domestic. The airport only accepts cash payments. Make sure that you have enough cash to pay the tax when arriving at the airport. If you do not have cash you can use one of the ATMs outside the airport. The airport has two security checks, one to get to the terminal and one for departures. The ATMs are located outside of both security checks. Make sure to use the ATM before getting in .