Since we were going to the philippines for diving, we started with a few days in Manila, our port of entry to the country.
Our hotel was adjacent to a casino and was in a really pretty building. The breakfast and dinner they had were both fantastic, however they made us go through a metal checker and bag search every single time we got back to the hotel, which was a giant pain in the ass (they claim it was for the security of the casino, but that's a bad excuse IMO).
After arriving, we had a visit of the Google buildings, and went to see the nearby Mind Museum and Ayala Museum:
From the google buildings, we were able to get a few skyline pictures:
The next day we went to see:
National Museum of Fine Arts
Upside Down Museum
Manila Antropology Museum
Manila Ocean Park
then, let's go to random pictures taken in Manila. The US Army sold all their transport jeeps for $1 each when they left the country as a temporary solution for the transport infrastructure that had been destroyed. Sadly, that solution is still in place today, although the vehicles look cool :)
We saw a bunch of museums, most have their own page, but here are a few left over pictures:
cabs can have TV inside to break the boredom of horrible traffic
Arturo and I walked through Luneta Park, between our hotel and the state museums:
from the japanese occupation
How Rizal, the Filipino (manufactured) Hero, was executed
small Chinese garden
On Monday, we were supposed to go to Corregidor Island, but sadly the boat broke down and our tour was cancelled. We ended up substituting this for Hiking Taal Volcano (on its own page).
On Tuesday, we started with the Manila Presidential Museum and Library
On the 3rd and 4th days, we went to Intramuros, the old town contained within the city walls. We started with St Agustin:
Next, we walked to Manila Cathedral and onto Fort Santiago:
Part of the tour was with the walk this way tour, which was given by a local, and quite fun. He gave his colored version of history, which definitely was interesting.
There was a shrine to Rizal, a local marthyr who was shot for campaigning against the Spanish occupation and power of the catholic church. Others claim that he was manufactured as a local hero/marthyr by the Americans during their occupation (in the process they also introduced some dollars that looked surprisingly familiar, a national holiday on July 4th, and some other US "stuff").
We then walked around the city walls back towards the Natural History Museum:
The natural history museum was last inside the city:
Manila Natural History Museum
After the Natural History Museum, we took our luggage, went back to the airport, and visited the Philippines Air Force Aerospace Museum: Philippines Air Force Aerospace Museum
That was it for Manila, after that we were off to Puerto Princesa, a quick 1.5H flight away.