Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Travel Tuesday : Old Manila

The Manila Catheral

I can safely  say that I have been to at least 40 countries in my lifetime but I am ashamed to say that I have not traveled around my own country as much as that.  There are sooo many places all over the Philippines that I have yet to explore and discover. I mean, I've already known all along that my country has the most amazing beaches and magnificent nature spots. I always used to think that it is only known for jusst these kinds of spots and that we don't really have any old buildings and palaces and monasteries like other countries do. Last Weekend, my sisters and I decided to hire a car and driver and tour Old Manila, The oldest part of our capital. I was pretty surprised to see that we also had our own kind of old cultural spots that had nothing to do with beaches!

The very first place we visited was China town, Binondo as it's called here. We drove down Ongpin, one of the well known streets. I didn't really take any pictures as we just drove through and only got out once to purchase Hopia, a kind of mongo bean pastry and cake. Anyway, driving down this road I was already amazed. I mean, I felt like I was in Hong Kong or something! It was so fascinating to watch the daily lives of everyone who lived in this part of town! We also drove past several old streets and churches. We then had lunch at Ambos Mundos, one of the oldest restaurants in Manila. They had a huge, pet pig right outside their door! It was really cute! Apparently, it was for good luck.

Pet Pig for goodluck right outside the Ambos Mundos Restaurant

Finally we drove to Intramuros and spent most of our tour here. Intramuros is a walled city that is the oldest district of Manila. We visited the Manila Cathedral which is a beautiful big church. We also visited San Agustin Church, one of the most beautiful churches in the country. The streets along it were all cobbled and they just looked so quaint and pretty. Along those cobbled streets was Casa Manila which was a big old house. We went inside and checked out the house to see how the people (who were probably extremely wealthy in their time) used to live before.

The Manila Cathedral inside the walled city of Intramuros.

Another view of the Manila Cathedral

Manila Cathedral

Buildings surrounding the Cathedral

Details  at the Manila Cathedral

More details.

Inside the beautiful San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church.

San Agustin Church

Right outside Casa Manila

Cobbled Streets inside Intramuros

Casa Manila

Beautiful Courtyard of Casa Manila

Inside the courtyard of Casa Manila


After Intramuros, we visited the National Musuem of Manila. The place was humongous and pretty amazing. I know I sound so ignorant and so not nationalistic when I keep saying this, but seriously all the places we visited kept surprising me and I always had this thought in my head : I can't believe we have something like this in our country! The National Musuem had a very European vibe, was very old fashioned inside with huge rooms and had art deco style architecture. We saw the Spolarium which is the most famous painting in the country by our national artist, Juan Luna.

The Spolarium by Juan Luna

Close-up of the Spolarium

A bust of our national hero, Jose Rizal

Winged Statue right when you go inside.

After the musuem we decided to stop by Paco Park. It is a small chapel that is located inside a park. it looked so pretty and whimsical with all the plants and trellised stone walls! Did you know this place used to be a graveyard?  This place  also happens to be where my sister is getting married this December. 

I am so, so glad that I did this tour of Old Manila. Never again will I underestimate my own country. I can't wait to discover more places around our archipelago and become a local tourist again! 

Wishing everyone a happy Travel Tuesday!

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All photos in this post are personal photos of styleandchocolates.blogspot.com. If you want to use them or borrow them in any way, please contact me first! My email add: celyn_lifeisashoe@yahoo.com. If you can't be bothered to send me an email and still want to use my photos, then please do credit them and link back to this blog. Thanks!


  1. Forty countries?!! That's amazing. Good for you. Your own country is very beautiful. These pictures are lovely.

  2. That's so amazing you've been to so many countries! Great photos you got here :)

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

  3. Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures! Looks like you had a great time!

    It would be great if you could pop over to my blog and maybe leave a comment :)



  4. Nice :)


  5. Such a great building, the architectures are simple amazing !

    Anyway wanna follow each other on GFC & Bloglovin ? Do let me know, I'll follow back.. :)

  6. Oh wow, 40 countries! That's amazing! I've only been to three, and that's including the country I reside in... Oh well. The cathedrals and churches look AMAZING!

    May x • The MaydenBloglovin'

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  8. Very beautiful, love the photos. I would love to visit.

    xx Falasha
    Bite My Fashion ll Instagram ll Bloglovin'

  9. Beautiful photos! And a pet pig for good luck? That's so cool!

    XO Naomi in Wonderland

  10. I actually haven't been here. Parang nasa ibang bansa lang. <3 Love the photos!

    Win any top of your choice from Banggood on my blog!


  11. omg that pet pig is so cute

  12. It's great being a local tourist (plus cheaper travel) the church and surrounding areas look really pretty and peaceful x


  13. The old cobblestones streets are so pretty and the art and architecture is exquisite!

    adorn la femme

  14. Wow.. outstanding pictures.. you are so lucky travel all these countries

  15. very beautiful pictures honey!!! amazinggg
    big hug to you.
    Check it out my new post:

  16. Lindo lugar, belo mesmo
    É esse porco que coisa mais fofa haha

  17. I would like to visit it :)
    pls send me a questions its Q&A on y last post :)
    Have a great week!

  18. This looks so gorgeous! Come and meet our adventures in Paris at Living Paris

  19. Such a great church to visit! :) Very nice place!

    Stay in Style
    Karen @ Lookbook Store Blogspot

  20. Such a beautiful place to show in your blog <333 amazing I want to be there :D

  21. Wow! What an awesome experience! :)