Get to Know the People of Manila: A Look at the Heart and Soul of the Philippines
Manila is a vibrant and lively city in the Philippines that is home to over 21 million people. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from Spain, China, and the United States. The city is known for its bustling markets, street vendors, and historical landmarks. For travelers looking to experience the heart and soul of the Philippines, there is no better place to start than Manila.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the people of Manila, their culture, history, and daily life. We will also highlight the top 10 tourist attractions, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Manila.
Understanding the Culture of Manila
The people of Manila are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. Filipinos are often referred to as “the smiling people” due to their warm and hospitable nature. Visitors to Manila can expect to be greeted with a smile and a warm welcome wherever they go.
The culture of Manila is heavily influenced by its history. The city was colonized by Spain for over 300 years, and this has left a lasting impact on its culture. Visitors will notice the Spanish influence in many of the city’s historical landmarks, including the Intramuros, a walled city that was built during the 16th century.
Another influence on the culture of Manila is the Chinese community. The Chinese have been a part of Manila’s history for over 1,000 years, and their influence can be seen in the city’s cuisine, architecture, and traditions. The city’s Chinatown is a must-visit destination for any visitor to Manila.
Daily Life in Manila
The daily life of Manila is a vibrant tapestry of activities, sights, and sounds. The city is known for its colorful street festivals, such as the Ati-Atihan Festival, which takes place in January and celebrates the city’s patron saint, Santo Niño.
The markets of Manila are a bustling hub of commerce, where vendors sell everything from fresh produce to local handicrafts. Visitors should not miss a visit to the Divisoria market, which is one of the largest outdoor bazaars in the world.
The transportation system in Manila can be a challenge for visitors. The city’s roads are often congested, and the public transportation system can be overwhelming. However, visitors can opt for air-conditioned taxis and hire cars to navigate the city’s streets.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Manila
1. The Intramuros – a historical walled city built during the Spanish colonial period.
2. Rizal Park – a large park located in the heart of Manila that features gardens, monuments, and fountains.
3. San Agustin Church – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines.
4. Manila Ocean Park – a marine park that features over 14,000 marine animals.
5. The National Museum of the Philippines – a museum that showcases the country’s history and culture.
6. The Manila Bay Sunset – a breathtaking view of the sun setting over Manila Bay.
7. The Quiapo Church – a revered shrine that is home to the Black Nazarene, a wooden statue of Jesus Christ.
8. The Philippine Jeepney – a unique mode of transportation that is a symbol of Filipino culture.
9. The Manila Cathedral – a magnificent cathedral that has served as the seat of the Archbishop of Manila since the 16th century.
10. The Manila Chinatown – a bustling and vibrant community that is home to many Chinese restaurants, markets, and shops.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Manila
1. What is the best time to visit Manila?
The best time to visit Manila is between November and February, when the weather is cool and dry.
2. What is the currency in Manila?
The currency in Manila is the Philippine peso.
3. What language do they speak in Manila?
The official language of Manila is Filipino (Tagalog), but many people also speak English.
4. Is Manila safe for tourists?
As with any large city, visitors to Manila should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings. It is best to avoid isolated areas and to stay in tourist areas.
5. What is the dress code in Manila?
The dress code in Manila is generally casual, but visitors should dress appropriately when visiting religious sites.
Manila is a city that is bursting with life, culture, and history. Visitors to Manila can expect to be greeted with a warm welcome and to be immersed in the city’s traditions, sights, and sounds. By understanding the culture and daily life of Manila, visitors can get a true sense of the heart and soul of the Philippines.