I was born and raised in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, but moved to Davao City when I was 12 years old because of my father’s work.
When I was living in Manila, I didn’t really travel much because I was a child back then. I remember I only go to my school, church, and my house. If ever I go to the mall, I’m always with my parents or relatives. Usually, we would ride taxis or my dad would drive us to our destination. I know nothing about commuting in Manila and started commuting in Davao because it’s safe.
My friends knew I was from Manila, so whenever they’re planning to visit that city, they’d ask me a bunch of touristy stuff — what jeepney to ride, how to go to a certain tourist spot, how much are the expenses, what tourist spots I would suggest, etc.
I DON’T KNOW. I am a tourist in my hometown.
When I went back to the Philippines from Phuket, Thailand, I stayed in Manila for two weeks before flying back to Davao because I wanted to celebrate my brother’s birthday and to tour around with my best friend who’ll also fly to Manila to process a certain document.
Our itineraries are very touristy. I felt like it was my first time to travel to Manila; it’s like I didn’t live here before.
Day 0 – Manila Arrival
Aibe, my friend, arrived Thursday night, flight from Davao-Manila. We stayed at La Verti Residences at Donada, Pasay City. We booked via Airbnb for P3,103 for two nights. We stayed here because it’s the nearest and most decent Airbnb near the PRC where Aibe will process her Board Certificate. This place is also quite near Manila Ocean Park & Mall of Asia.
Day 1 – Friday
After processing Aibe’s document, we headed to Mall of Asia to visit The Dessert Museum. It’s like we’re 5 years old all over again on this trip. We’re in a sweet candy-land museum where every room has free sweets!
This is my second time coming here. The first time was a bit crowded and I can’t remember what day that was. But the second time is much more fun. We went there on Friday night and we have the whole museum all by ourselves — all 8 rooms of the museum.
At the entrance, you’ll pay their entrance fee of 799 PHP, but if you booked online, you’ll only pay 699 PHP. They’ll put you on a bracelet. Don’t lose this bracelet if you want to claim your free sweets per room!
In room #2, there are two doors to the next room – Naughty, the blue one, and Nice, the pink one. It feels like it’ll lead you to two different rooms, but no, only one same room.
The last room is a souvenir shops. You can buy and claim some photos taken from their official photographer and buy notebooks, magnets, mugs, pillows, a lot more souvenirs!
Make sure to return the bracelet!
Day 2 – Saturday
We woke up early to tour around Manila Ocean Park. I’m not really fond of caging animals for amusement, but Aibe wanted to visit Ocean Park. It’s her childhood dream to come here, so as a best friend, I helped her achieve that childhood desire.
We bought the ticket that has access to all sections in Ocean Park. There are several packages you can avail. Check out their website for more packages.
I’ve already seen most of the animals inside Ocean Park, but the most interesting sections for me were the Sealion Show and the Penguins.
Make sure to bring your alcohol because it feels icky after visiting them even if you didn’t touch them.
We finished the tour at 3:00 PM but there’s one section we weren’t able to visit because there’s a loooong line. Manila Ocean Park is usually one of the destinations for elementary field trips, so there are a long of children, parents, and teachers when we had our tour.
One of the most spontaneous tours was when we visited Intramuros, Manila after the park. It wasn’t in our itinerary but since we finished early and we don’t want to go back to our hotel yet, we went to this place since it’s just a few minutes away from Ocean Park.
Intramuros is one of the oldest facilities in the Philippines. It reflects what the Philippines looks life when the Spaniards took over 300+ years ago. The buildings are very ancient, and a lot of history happened in the area.
We wanted to experience riding a kalesa, so we rented it for 1,000 PHP for the whole Intramuros tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgable about the history and he’s very friendly and offers to take your pictures.
Since a lot of history happened here in Intramuros, there are a lot of museums and preserved artifacts. In some areas, you’re not allowed to take pictures or go in.
If China has their Wall of China, Philippines has the wall in Intramuros. I can feel the chills just a few inches away from the wall because you can see the bullet wholes from the war between Spaniards & Japanese.
Thank you for touring us around, Rambo & Kuya! We enjoyed and learned a lot more of Philippine’s history because of this tour. Make sure to tip them, guys!
After a long day tour, Aibe and I headed back to our Airbnb, washed up & rested for a bit, packed our things, checked out, and moved to our new Airbnb near the airport because Aibe’s going back to Davao tomorrow night.
The location of Staycation 150 Newport is just across NAIA Airport Terminal 3. I loved the place and the locations because it’s very modern, located in a high-end street, and there’s a lot of restaurants around. It’s also just a walking distance to Resorts World Manila.
Day 3 – Sunday
Up again early for our final day tour in Manila! This time we headed to Rizal where we can find Pinto Art Museum. I’ve been seeing minimalist photos from my Facebook friends taken in this museum. It got me curious and wanted to visit.
From our Airbnb in Newport, we booked a grab car to Taft Avenue MRT station. Aibe wanted to experience riding an MRT……. Well, after that she doesn’t want to ride anymore.
From Taft Avenue, we stopped to Shaw Boulevard station where we can ride a taxi from SM Megamall to Pinto Art Museum for 400 PHP.
The location of this Museum is a bit secluded and there’s no public transportation available around. You either have to book a grab car or have your own car transportation.
And like The Dessert Museum, there are different rooms/stations in Pinto Art Museum. What’s interesting is you’ll find a clean, white bed in every area. This museum is owned by a doctor who is passionate about art.
We had our lunch at Cafe Rizal just inside the Museum. It felt like I was having lunch at Greece because the museum design itself is inspired by Greece’s architecture.
After touring around, we headed to Taytay Tiangge, Rizal – a well-known cheap tiangge for all fashionable and trendy clothes! Shopping time before Aibe’s flight back to Davao!
We didn’t take pictures because we were enjoying ourselves and the place is not really safe to take out your gadgets.
Manila is where I was born and raised, but I love living in Davao City. It’s safer and life is really in Davao. But Manila will always be a part of me and will have a special place in my heart.
And one of the reasons is… ang dami mong mapuntahan sa Manila. Lol.