1. Midnight stroll on Roxas Boulevard
Midnight is always a carnival on Manila’s Roxas Boulevard (or Baywalk as it is better known since it runs along Manila Bay) — stand-up comedians in lurid polyester overalls tumble across temporary stages, local bands belt out mushy hip-hop to people sitting at cafés, and vendors sell corn-on-the-cob, cigarettes and guitars.
2. Joyride on a jeepney
The jeepney epitomises Manila — it’s loud, colourful, ramshackle, and always bursting with people. These Willys jeeps (left behind by the Americans at the end of World War II), which were given metal roofs and painted in every possible colour, are by far the most conspicuous of Manila’s many modes of transport. Each is a diorama of the owner’s imagination. They’re cheap and run along most parts of the city.
3. Walk through Intramurous
This Spanish walled city constructed by Miguel Lopez de Legapzi at the mouth of the Pasig river, is where the Spaniards ruled Philippines from. Most of it was destroyed in the Battle of Manila during Word War II, but some old colonial villas still stand.
4. Eat at Kamayan restaurant in Pasay
The buffet at Kamayan restaurant is enormous — every creature of the sea lies sprawled at the counter — from giant clams and mussels to prawns and grouper, and keeping them company are a dozen different preparations of pork and beef.
5. Rollerskate at Rizal Park:Rizal Park, spread over nearly 150 acres, is one of the largest parks in Asia. Once you’re done rollerskating at the giant skating rink, check out the Japanese Garden or the Chinese Garden or join a Tai Chi session.