Uncover marvellous Manila
Manila, the capital city of Philippines is popularly known as the Pearl of the Orient. Spend a few days in the city and you'll see why. The economic, political and cultural capital of Philippines, Manila is also one of the original Global Cities of the world. The Manila Galleon trade route marks in fact, the first instance of global trade in human history!
And not just this, the city is home to several other culturally and historically significant buildings, sites and landmarks that make for “must-visit” destinations. As a guest of the Heritage Hotel Manila, which has grown to become one of the identities of the city, you will find it easy to include all five destinations in your itinerary, because of the convenient location of the hotel.
So without further ado, here are the places you cannot leave Manila without visiting:
Intramuros – The oldest district of Manila, Intramuros was known as Manila itself before the Spanish came to Philippines. After Spanish colonization, it became the seat of the government and today, it is a popular tourist destination that gives visitors a glimpse of its rich, colonial past. You may also get to hear the term, “The Walled City” for the district, because Intramuros, in Latin, means “within the walls”.
Rizal Shrine – Shrine of the national hero of Philippines, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the Rizal Shrine and park is located along the Manila Bay, the site of World War II. Rizal is also the site of political rallies, struggles and the subsequent fall of the regime of dictator Marcos. But, the park gets its name from Dr. Rizal, who was executed in the park on December 30, 1896, which led to the Philippine Revolution and the nation's freedom from Spanish colonization.
The shrine is located within the larger Fort Santiago, which in turn, is located within the Intramuros. Fort Santiago is the oldest Spanish fortress in Philippines and offers other historically and culturally-significant sights (than Rizal Shrine), including an M4 Sherman Container, WWII artillery, the last footsteps of Dr. Rizal signed on the floor, a museum and more.
Vigan – A UNESCO World Heritage site since December 2, 1999, Vigan preserves the 18th century charm of old Manila, during its Spanish colonization days and is a must visit for the buildings, monuments, shops, eateries and other attractions.
Paco Park – Once a municipal cemetery reserved for the Spanish elite, today's Paco Park is a popular tourist destination with the right dose of history and entertainment. The park features a garden, rich in diverse flora and an amphitheater, among other attractions. If you're in Manila over the weekend, visit the park on a Friday to enjoy “Pack Park Presents” - a weekly celebration featuring Manila's finest musical talents.
Malacanang Palace – The official residence of current Philippine presidents, the palace is located along the Pasig River and offers an exciting mix of architecture, history and culture. When inside the palace, be sure to take note of the grand Entrance Hall, Reception Hall, Heroes Hall, museum, library, the grand staircase, the Malacanang Park, which has a golf course as well and the retreat house, Bahay Pangarap.