- We were here: February 2016.
- Number of days: 2.
- My score: I would rate 1/5, which in my opinion is “without interest, it’s OK if you miss it” but let’s face it, you can hardly go to the Philippines without going through Manila, and as long as you have to choose an area of the Capital, we will give Makati a 2/5.
Because except those who enter and leave via Cebu, or those who arrive at Ninoy Aquino airport and have a connection prepared to another domestic destination, others will have to give it a chance, or probably as in my case two, the day you arrive in the country and the day you leave.
After consulting websites reviews and travel blogs and based on my own experience in overpopulated Asian cities like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Kathmandu, I decided that Manila was not of particular interest to me. The majority of tourists go directly to the Ermita neighborhood, in the old Spanish colonial center, full of forts, Christian churches and ruins of buildings from the XVII to XIX centuries in very poor state of conservation. This must be really amazing for an Asian tourist, to find this type of architecture in the Southeast, I would be very impressed if I had a city full of Asian ruins at one end of Europe, but as Spanish, I preferred not to go to see more ruins and Churches similar to those I see every day if that meant having to dive into noise, traffic, pollution and overcrowding.
On the other hand, after 7 hours of night flight from Dubai, we did not feel like doing the connection to Coron immediately, so we thought “let’s give Manila a try”, and having to spend a day, we decided on Makati, the modern neighborhood of the city, full of skyscrapers, shopping centers, wide avenues and above all, with little agglomeration and noise. All this has yet to improve. In Makati there is a curious phenomenon, it may happen that if you look to the right you may think you are in Singapore, and if you look to the left you may seem to be in Kathmandu; contrasts are radical: the main avenues, although with some abandoned half-built skyscrapers, are otherwise wide, new, full of bus stops and trees and shopping malls similar to Western ones, while on the street immediately parallel you can get hit by a swarm of tricycles (Philippine tuk-tuks) crowding and honking, as you walk along an unpaved sidewalk, dodging trash and food stalls. At least it’s curious.
WHAT TO SEE
- ONE DAY ITINERARY
- PROBLEMS AND ANNOYANCES
- ACCOMMODATION AND RESTAURANTS