Often overlooked, Manila is a jewel to explore with its Spanish colonial architecture and cobblestone streets in photogenic Intramuros, vast shopping malls and lively night scene, you can be guaranteed to have one of the best weekend getaways from Singapore in this soulful city!

Bonifacio Global City

Fondly known as ‘The Fort’ by Filipino locals, this district iMetroro Manila was nothing more than a construction site 10 years ago. Now, it’s fast becoming the city’s go-to destination for eating, drinking and shopping. Think wide boulevards, a long-stretching shopping mall, greenery and street art aplenty. View over 30 murals in the city before catching a local evening show at the Maybank Arts Centre, which showcases everything from homegrown comedy to the Philippine National Ballet. For Filipino food, check out Manam for a taste of the best comfort food available.

Antidote

Ever been to a jellyfish bar? Well, you can do so when you next visit Manila. Located within I’M Hotel in Manila’s Makati district, this bar is a must-see. You’ll find built-in aquariums throughout the venue, filled with—you guessed it—scores of fluorescent jellyfish. Here, you can try speciality cocktails that are sure to delight you.

Intramuros

Manila’s old city, Intramuros, is a throwback to the country’s colonial Spanish occupation. There are cathedrals, museums and historical sites all throughout the area, which is bound by a centuries-old city wall. There are guides that provide walking tours of the Intramuros district. Take a traditional Calesa ride (horse and cart) or hire a Bamboo bike to tour the old walled town of Intramurous. Uncover the 400 years of Spanish history followed by Filipino revolution, and more recently the crushing effect of WWII in the Pacific. Peek inside a traditional house at Casa Manila and stroll through the fountains at Fort Santiago.

Poblacion

Poblacion is Manila’s rising star and in the last few years it has become a hub for artists, indie coffee shops/co-working spaces, galleries and curiosities. Venture into the narrow backstreets for exotic food tours, child friendly art workshops, contemporary performances, spontaneous nights out and even an Onsen bath. The district also has a burgeoning artisan industry where you can pick up unique souvenirs.

View this post on Instagram

I always admire people who go all out for the things they’re passionate about. One thing I’ve always wanted to do but am too scared to do is go all-out while dancing, pero eto na, gagawin ko na! This is it! Because no matter what happens, kailangan natin #SundinAngPuso natin! 😂😂😂 Push natin ‘yan! – And because @pepsiphilippines is always there to help us go all-out in doing what we’re passionate about, #PepsiPusoFest is happening this May 17 and they have these amazing activities and performances that will truly inspire you to go after the things you love— and I’m picking 5 lucky winners (2 exclusive passes per winner) who will get loads of Pepsi merch + a meet and greet with Daniel Padilla! All you have to do is comment below what you’ve always been passionate about and wanted to try doing (like what dancing is for me!) with #SundinAngPuso and #PepsiPusoFest. – Comments will close on May 11 and will announce the winners here and on IGS on May 12. Greater Manila Area residents only. Good luck guys! 💙

A post shared by Laureen Uy (@laureen) on