Start your morning with a hearty Filipino breakfast. Sample old time favorites such as “longganisa” (sweet sausage), “tocino” (sweet cured pork) or “beef tapa” (cured beef) served with fried eggs and garlic rice. Other popular choices are “champorado” (chocolate flavored rice porridge) and “taho” (soybean custard with caramelized brown sugar syrup). After a hefty meal, stroll down Ayala Avenue and make your way through the gardens of the Ayala Triangle for a little piece of serenity within the vibrant city. Afterwards, visit the nearby Ayala Museum to discover a vast collection of Filipino art and dioramas to learn about the history of the Philippines.
A trip to Intramuros, the old town center of the Spanish colonial period, is highly recommended for an afternoon of leisure. Be enlightened with its architecture and extraordinary Catholic churches and museums. Most notable of which is the San Agustin Church. This monument, first built in 1571, is the only structure in Manila that is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. After exploring the “Walled City”, make your way to the Luneta Park where the monument of the country’s national hero. Dr. Jose Rizal, is located.
As the twilight settles, your thoughts may turn to good food and vibrant fun. Dinner at Barbara’s Restaurant in Intramuros is ideal. Indulge in sumptuous Spanish-Filipino cuisine while enjoying the restaurant’s nostalgic ambiance. Not to be missed is their evening cultural show which starts at 7:30 PM. After an enriching and satisfying dinner, head to Greenbelt at the Ayala Center, Makati. Experience the local night life as you enjoy a round of drinks in one of its upscale bars. For a quieter evening, a cup of coffee at a nearby Café would be a perfect way to cap off your night.
InterContinental Manila is a cultural showcase in Makati, as it is the longest standing hotel chain in the city. Designed by the country's National Artist Architect Leandro Locsin, InterCon, as the locals fondly call us, was conceptualized to accommodate the Pan-American airline crews who were frequenting the country via the old Nielsen Airport, which was then just right next door.
SAN AGUSTIN CHURCH
First built in 1571, it is the oldest known church in the country as well as being the first earthquake-proof building in stone. This makes San Agustin as the only surviving 16th century edifice, and one of the Baroque churches listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Philippine Airlines took to the skies on March 15, 1941, using a Beech Model 18 aircraft amid the specter of a global war. It went on to become Asia's first airline.
AYALA TRIANGLE GARDENS
Flanked by three main thoroughfares of Makati, its 20,000 square meters of lush landscape serves as a refuge and breathing space for city-dwellers with its natural attactions of local flora.
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras are considered to be the "8th wonder of the world" and is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you're not comfortable with long rides, try a chopper.