Visiting Manila

MANILA – A GUIDE.

Manila (/məˈnɪlə/; Filipino: Maynilà, pronounced [majˈnilaʔ] or [majniˈla]), is commonly used to refer to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper or Metropolitan Manila, or as it is more commonly referred to, Metro Manila.  Metro Manila  is the seat of government that’s made up of 16 cities namely:  the City of Manila (the Philippine capital), Quezon City, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig and Valenzuela and the municipality of Pateros. 


HOW DO I GET THERE?

All international flights use one of the three terminals, Terminal 1, Terminal 2 or Centennial Terminal and Terminal 3, of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport that has three terminal.  Selected domestic carriers use Terminal 4. 


HOW’S THE WEATHER?

Manila’s proximity to the equater means that temperatures are generally hot the whole year round, rarely going below 21 °C  or 69.8 °F.


WHAT IS THE CURRENCY IN MANILA?

The Currency is the Philippine Peso.  The best place to exchange currency is at licensed money changers.  Their rates are generally better than banks.  There are plenty of money changers around the city, including malls.  Exchange your currency only at licensed money changers and be sure to count your pesos before leaving the counter.


HOW TO GET AROUND MANILA?

There are various public transportation options available in Manila such as light rail, rapid transit, commuter rail, bus, jeepney, UV Express and taxicab.  The light rail and rapid transit options are the most convenient, however the route is limited and they trains can be packed especially during rush hour.

Taxis are plentiful, especially in main commercial areas.  There are usually designated taxi stands.  However it can be difficult to get a cab during rush hour.  

Ride sharing apps are the most convenient way of getting around.  Grab is the most popular, but you’ll need to download the app on your smartphone.


WHILE IN MANILA

Several hundred years old, the country’s capital city is rich in historical sites and offers shopping, entertainment and restaurants galore. There’s the Mall of Asia, one of the world’s 10 largest shopping malls. The Greenbelt and Glorietta in Makati also teem with multiplex theaters and all kinds of restaurants from Japanese to American to Persian, as well as bars and nightclubs.  All malls are pleasantly air-conditioned.  Remember, as in other major world cities, there’s tipping, usually 10 to 20% (this applies to taxi cabs, too).

Although most Filipinos speak English, it’s good to know a few local expressions:

  • Salamat po (Thank you)
  • Kumusta ka (How are you)
  • Sige (Okay)
  • Halika na (Let’s go)
  • Magkano (How much?)
  • Mahal (Expensive)
  • Sarap (Delicious)
  • Isa pa (One more)