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The capital city of the Philippines is a densely-populated city located on the island of Luzon. Having withstood natural disasters and colonial rule, the city has earnt its title of the Pearl of the Orient and stands proud as the embodiment of the resolute determination of the Filipino people. The city is renowned for its rich history, having withstood the Bruneian invasion, the bulk of Spanish colonial activity in the Far East, and later occupation by the United States following the Spanish-American War. The majority of the city was flattened by intense aerial bombardment by the US Air Force in World War II, leaving most of the city's prewar and colonial architecture in history.
However, some old-world gems still remain in the capital. In the heart of Old Manila, you'll find Intramuros, a walled city from the colonial era that is home to the 16th-century San Agustin Church and Fort Santiago, a multi-level citadel that formerly served as a military prison. Beyond this walled city, other notable attractions include Rizal Park, the National Museum of the Philippines, Ocean Park and Manila Cathedral.
Manila today is just as beautifully chaotic as its history. With so much going on within the island, prepare for an experience on all five senses from the moment you step out of the airport - a city that has so much to offer!
Attractions in the city range from colonial architecture and religious sites through to modern theme parks including Ocean Park and and Star City, offering the ideal mix of past and present. For a gastronomical experience, the busy streets are lined with little cafes serving traditional Filipino cuisine, Spanish hot chocolate and buttery ensaymada, or savory brioche - stop by one of many restaurants or cafes and eat your fill!
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Consider timing your visit to coincide with some of the city's exciting events, such as the floral Bulaklakan Festival each New Year's Day, or the Feast of the Black Nazarene in January! In February, the Philippines celebrates Chinese New Year with processions, sumptuous feasts and traditional fireworks - and that's just the first two months of the year!
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Temperature: The average temperature is 29˚C during the summer months and 26˚C during the winter months.
Currency: Philippine peso (PHP)