Manila Musings


As the song from Hotdog goes: “I keep coming back to Manila / Manila, I’m coming home”. I know that just thought of going to Manila can already feel like a drab. But despite all the unwarranted stress that comes with Manila, there are a few places in this city that gets me to come back for more.

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Updated 3 years ago

San Sebastian Basilica

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Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 

The San Sebastian Basilica is the first and only all steel church in the Philippines that adheres to a Neo-Gothic style of architecture. Designed by Genaro Palacios, the basilica has been here for over a hundred years and was able to withstand eleven major earthquakes. However, the basilica needs your help as it is currently in danger of deterioration! If you book a tour with the foundation that’s in the works of conserving this beauty, you get to directly help its restoration efforts as well as see the basilica in a new light.

  • +6327348908
  • 1128 Pasaje del Carmen St, Quiapo, Manila, 1001 Metro Manila, Philippines

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Originally, the cathedral was just a simple parish church in Manila until upon the issuance of a papal bull by Pope Gregory XIII, it became a separate diocese altogether. The Manila Cathedral is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, which is one of the titles for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s also a venue for masses held by popes, Blessed Paul VI and St. John Paul being one of the few. If you’re interested to learn more about the cathedral, you can request for a tour on their website!

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National Museum of Fine Arts

Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas

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Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 

Though the building was actually meant for the different legislative bodies of the government in the early 1900s, it’s now where legendary works reside. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or need a quiet space to sit and ponder, the National Museum is a comforting place to be.

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Bahay Nakpil-Bautista

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Manila, Philippines • Recommendation • 

This heritage house is my #bahaygoals because of its Viennese Secession inspired architecture. The house was first owned by Ariston Bautista and Petrona Nakpil, and soon became home to historical Filipino figures such as Gregoria De Jesus and Julio Nakpil, and future Nakpil generations. As much as I would love to write in detail about how this house came to be, and all the very interesting insights I’ve discovered with every visit, I encourage you, person who is reading this, to visit the house and avail their tours. The house is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:30AM to 4:30PM.

  • +63 917 851 7455
  • 432 A. Bautista, Quiapo, Maynila, 1001 Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines

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Luneta Hotel

2 saves

Manila, Philippines • Memory • 

The hotel’s name comes from the fact that it is simply located across Luneta Park. Designed by Salvador Farre, its architecture is an example of French Renaissance. An interesting thing to note is that they had to renovate the hotel from the inside so as to preserve the exterior, which apparently quite a difficult task!

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4 saves

Manila, Philippines • Memory • 

Casa Tesoro is located in A. Mabini St. in Ermita, Manila. It is a stately home built in 1901, and is said to be one of the oldest Art Deco buildings in the district. They also have an art studio for rent if you want to grab inspiration from the Manila/Malate area!

  • Adriatico Street, Ermita, Metro Manila, Philippines

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About Philippines

The 7,107 islands of the Pearl of the Orient Seas boast of cultures, language, sounds, and sights that are as lively as its people

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