A Place of Everything and Everything in a Place
What do you know about Metro Manila?
Some will say it is a very small populated place with a lot of schmaltzy narrow alleys. Others find Metro Manila as a very busy business district. A view from my colorless glass says something more as it shows the Metropolitan Manila as - A Place of Everything and Everything in a Place!
If you want to Make Acquaintance, Niche, Independence, Love, and Acquire the best of all faces of life, Manila is the best place to be as it offers a lot and takes a little.
Make your Own Space in one of the Most Populous Places - The Greater Manila Area
Metro Manila is a metropolitan region of the Philippines composed of 16 cities besprinkled with old and new buildings, ancestral and modern houses, churches of different eras, and historical hallmarks. It prides itself as a melting pot of the nation situated on a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas bounded by Laguna de Bay to the south-east and Manila Bay to the west, opening to the South China Sea.
Metro Manila area of almost 12 million people is one of the most populous of the twelve metropolitan areas in the Philippines and one of the most populous in the world. Like any other places, it has not had a facile history. For decades, Metro Manila lives skin to skin with crookedness, corruption, rampant poverty, and economic degradation. Blinded by hope amidst many false starts, the Metropolitan Manila thrives making a sustainable upward trajectory as the Philippines goes up the ladder of the world’s largest economy. The Philippines, particularly Metro Manila is now a preferred destination for many multinational business process outsourcing operations providing a steady stream of income to the country.
Metro Manila is the political, economic, social, cultural, and educational center of the Philippines.  In 2008, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, it ranked as the 40th wealthiest urban agglomeration in the world and the 2nd in Southeast Asia.
Acquaintance with Manileños
Manileños are people who live in and around Metro Manila. They share the same network, ideas, and culture. The national identity of Manileños had been carved, ruled, colored, rejuvenated, achromatized, elevated, and whatnot with the breakneck changes in the society. Their intricate identity has emerged as part of their national DNA.
Metro Manila has never become strange to its people even if it becomes a place that started to exist in the eyes of foreigners. Sometimes the national identity of Manileños can be of extreme vagueness at its best; but that is just because Manila is an amalgam of everything that they actually are. That’s always what Manileños were even before tourists flocked into the country and discovered them and their sanctuary.
Manileños with all other Filipino people can be classified as innately global race. They are distinct but not specific. They are all kinds of people and people of all kinds; not as just citizens of the Philippines but more so as citizens of the world. As the world continues to become increasingly global, Metro Manila and its people will be able to adapt easily to various apotheosis.
Niche of International Business and Trade
Metro Manila is the main hub of trades and businesses in the Philippine archipelago. It is always on the cutting edge of international trade. By the time you enter the country, the first thing you will see is a developed and multifaceted community that was already introduced to modernization and have learned the complex facade of international commerce. Every quick-witted adventurer is aware of the existence and location of Metro Manila.
Makati is the financial and economic hub of the Metropolitan Manila. It is the central business district that hosts many of the Philippines' largest corporations and multinational companies.  Makati has been referred to as the "Financial Capital of the Philippines“and is the home of the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Makati Business Club.
Metro Manila's economy is incommensurable. Various manufacturers produce industrial-related products, foods and beverages, and tobacco products while some local entrepreneurs are processing primary commodities for the country and for exportation. The food-processing industry in Metro Manila is one of the most stable manufacturing sectors in the country.
In this dynamic and globally challenging world, Metro Manila adjusted with the changes and its inhabitants became exceptional cosmopolitan entrepreneurs. Manileños became citizens of the Philippines who had to know their place. Whatever memories they had of what they used to be or used to possess were erased by centuries of servitude, trade, and industries. They were polished by experiences; meticulously, they molded themselves to be an efficient part of modern civilization.
Independence through Extensive Highways
Metro Manila has an extensive system of highways connecting its various cities and municipalities. These interconnected highways are acting as gateways for every city and municipality. They serve as integral factor that unite Manileños as they seek for individual freedom and achieve national development.
Metro Manila is known for its notorious traffic jams. During rush hour, you can be stuck in between bumpers for several hours within just a kilometer drive.  Consequently, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has constructed many projects to decongest traffic such as construction of flyovers (elevated roads), interchanges, loading bays for Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), emergency bays, U-turn slots over various intersections and thoroughfares, and the completion of the comprehensive railway system. It has also been engaged in road widening and has utilized projects for the pedestrians. The agency has also implemented various schemes for motorists such as the Uniform Vehicular Volume Reduction Scheme (UVVRS), more popularly known as "color coding" or “number coding” where vehicles whose plate numbers end in different digits are banned from traveling on different days.
Love for Material World
"Malling" has been a pastime of Filipino specifically Manileños.  You will be surprised that three of the top 10 largest malls in the world are in Metro Manila - SM City North EDSA which is in Quezon City, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, and SM Megamall in Ortigas Center in Mandaluyong. Every day, regardless of time, every mall in the area is jam-packed with people doing shopping galore. Those who do not have budget for shopping still go to malls just to look around. Each pair of eyes you will see in malls betrays their admiration and love to the material wealth that the world can offer.
Traditional Filipino shopping areas, while now go in collision with more modern shopping malls still manage to maintain their presence. Filipino wet markets (palengke), are most prominent within the city, especially in Divisoria. Tiangge or flea markets selling wide range of dry goods, accessories, and electronic are also accustomed in Manila.
Acquired Beauty from Remarkable Past
To imagine Metro Manila’s future, we must journey into its remarkable past.
History is one of the toughest subjects to understand especially when you are not familiar with the place. By default, it is highly complicated. The solution can be made easier if you are to visit historical places.
Through the long-established images and infrastructures of Metro Manila, you will be able to discover and appreciate its existance as its history morphs into your mind like a cartoon series. There is no challenge in producing arresting images while traveling in Metro Manila, no matter how mundane the subjects are.
One of the things I love most about Metro Manila is the incredible amount of details enveloped into its elaborate historical infrastructures. As a person, I am deeply captivated by great historical places and elaborate architectures. Apparently, Metro Manila is blessed with so many gorgeous examples.
Located in the western part of Metro Manila is an iconic public promenade known as Rizal Park. It features the monument of Jose Rizal (the country’s National Hero), gigantic relief map of the Philippines, picturesque view of Chinese and Japanese gardens, and several government offices. Adjacent to Rizal Park are numerous seafood restaurants where you can enjoy Filipino and Asian cuisine to your heart’s content.
The National Museum is also found in Metro Manila. It is an intricate structure of two Greco-Roman buildings that shelter various relics and natural treasures of the country. National Museum shows off a large collection of artworks and masterpieces crafted by Filipino artists. It is also the home of the very first planetarium in Southeast Asia.
Another historical place near Rizal Park is the 400-year-old former imperial city known as Intramuros. It is a walled territory which was once the seat of government during the Spanish Colonial Era and American Period. Many foreigners and locals alike flock to its many well-known attractions: Fort Santiago (an antiquated yet very stylish Spanish military citadel), Casa Manila (a Spanish colonial villa converted into a house gallery), Manila Cathedral (the official seat of the Archbishop of Manila), San Agustin Church (the oldest existing church in the Philippines constructed in the year 1587), and the Intramuros Golf Club (a golf course outside the walls).
Other historical places with elaborate infrastructures located in Metro Manila include Quezon Memorial Circle, Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Center, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Paco Park, Manila Zoo, Plaza Rajah Sulayman, Arroceros Botanical Garden, Rizal Avenue Bargain Walkway, and the all-steel Gothic San Sebastian Church.
If you do not want to go down the memory lane of Metro Manila then just do a little skip and hop; for sure you will find something that will interest you.
If you enjoy marine life, you do not have to go far because a new attraction was created just within the area. Go to Manila Ocean Park, and from there you will see the colorful creatures of vast species underwater. You can also treat yourself in the land of happy thoughts - Seri Fantasy Land (Seriland). If you have more time, walk west of Rizal Park and you will see the Quirino Grandstand. It is a popular staging ground for political campaigns, concerts, and rallies. Meanwhile, if you want to catch the most breathtaking and majestic sunset within the hustle and bustle of the city, head west to Roxas Boulevard adjoining Manila Bay. And to experience the nightlife that Manila can offer, go to bars and nightclubs of Ermita and Malate districts which also offer contemporary dining.
The Quiapo area, home to the famous Quiapo Church and Plaza Miranda has the largest Filipino Muslim community outside of the southern Philippines. Quiapo also contains the Muslim Town of Metro Manila which is centered to capital and labor. It is also the place where the Masjid Al-Dahab, popularly known as the Golden Mosque is located.
The Magical MANILA!
While Manila may have gotten overly touristy over the years, it is a wonderful place to discover and rediscover, again and again. Indeed, Manila has a lot to offer. It is about time that you get a sprinkle of Metro Manila’s pixie dust!
Visit the place.
Feel the magic.
Meet the people.
Be part of the culture.
Travel and Discover.
Keep an eye on Metro Manila.
Join me in my journey as I unveil more of the secrets of the Metro. Before this year ends, I hope to come up with a succinct and helpful travel guide about Metro Manila.