The busy and densely populated bayside city of Manila is the capital of the Philippines, a rapidly growing tourist hotspot. Manila has a rich colonial past, having been ruled by America, Japan, and Spain at different points in history. Owing to the multiplicity of historical monuments and temples one will find there, it is also often referred to as the ‘Rome of the East’. Revisit this burgeoning Asian metropolis and see it how an outsider, a tourist would, and you never know what you stumble upon in your own city! By Shubhanjana Das

1. Rizal Park

The city’s biggest public park is also the site of national hero and genius Jose Rizal’s execution, and now this place has a statue of the man in the facade of the park. Besides, an Orchidarium, a lagoon with musical fountains, manicured gardens, and statues of important historical figures grace the park. Since entry is open to all without fees, it’s a great place to rewind in the evening or go for a long stroll.

2. Manila Ocean Park

If you have just a day to explore the city of Manila, we suggest you rethink that for the Manila Ocean Park itself will demand that time from your itinerary. With over 14,000 marine animals across 270 animal species makes the oceanarium one of the biggest in the world. The Seal Lion Show, Penguin Show, and the All the Bird Show are only few of the many shows that one can witness here. Who doesn’t want a peek inside the ocean’s mysterious life without the dangers that come with it?

3. Fort Santiago

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The fort is one of the most important historical sites in Manila. Several lives were lost in its prisons during the Spanish Colonial Period and World War II. José Rizal, one of the Philippine national heroes, was imprisoned here before his execution in 1896. The Rizal Shrine museum displays memorabilia of the hero in their collection and the fort features, embedded onto the ground in bronze, his footsteps representing his final walk from his cell to the location of the actual execution. . . . . . . #philippines #manila #internationalbhatkanti #internationaltravel #pardeshwari #destinationphilippines #shotononeplus #bhatkanti #fort #fortsantiago #wanderlust #travellust #travellife #bhatkanticlicks @bhatkanti.clicks

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The Fort Santiago has been the witness of the changes that Manila has gone through right from the Spanish conquest to the World War II, and its walls immortalise the then-Manila with structures on the stone walls of the fort. Also, if you wish to know more about Jose Rizal, this is where you ought to end for no other place will bring you closer to the man; he spent his last days here before the execution.

4. National Museum Complex

Any country with as rich a colonial past as Philippine’s deserves a national museum in its capital, which can put forth in front of the world its hardships, battles, and victories. The National Museum Complex is a place that is close to the Filipinos because of their love for their country’s past and heritage. It has National Art Gallery, Museum of the Filipino People, and the Planetarium.

5. Malacanang Palace

There is no better way to end your day in Manila, after having observed its brilliant and rich history, than to witness the residence of the President, the Malacanang Palace. This 18th century palace, built in the Bahay na Bato and Neoclassical style, is open and free to all. The Presidential Museum and Library offers a deeper insight into the history of the Philippines.

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