Sabtu, 18 Juni 2011

Manila - Dining & Leisure

Manila - Dining & Leisure

Ayala Museum
Ayala Center, Makati Ave., Makati City
Tel: +63-2 812-1191
Business hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday
Admission fees: 50 (adult), 25 (student)

Ayala Museum, the only museum in Makati City, boasts a permanent exhibit of 62 exquisite dioramas portraying Philippine history from 30,000 B.C. (life in Cagayan Valley) to the late 20th century (1986 People Power Revolution). The Museum also houses an array of model boats and artifacts, religious relics, and historical paintings and photographs. For art buffs, the reopened Amorsolo Gallery features a collection works by Amorsolo.
Central Bank Money Museum
Central Bank Complex
A. Mabini St., Manila
Tel: +63-2 524-7011
Business hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday
Free Admission

Metropolitan Museum
Central Bank Complex
A. Mabini St., Manila
Tel: +63-2 523-7855; 526-8985; 524-5271
Business hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday
Admission rates (pesos): 50 (adult), 30 (student)

The Central Bank Complex in Manila houses two museums. On the first floor, the Money Museum traces the evolution of Philippine currency from ancient barter rings and gold nuggets, to the "Mickey Mouse money" of the Japanese occupation, and the Bagong Lipunan notes. Commemorative coins and coins from all over the world are also on exhibit. On the upper floor, the Metropolitan Museum is a popular venue of exhibits on international tours, and more regularly carries Baroque to the Modern prints.
Museo Pambata
Roxas Blvd. cor. South Drive, Manila
Tel: +63-2 523-1797
Business hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday
Admission rates (pesos): 50 (adult), 30 (child)
Location: near the U.S. Embassy

Museo Pambata was designed and built specifically for children, encouraging hands-on experience to make the visit more interesting. Among the highlights of the museum are huge and highly detailed replicas of a Philippine church and a Spanish galleon, as well as an electronic exhibits. A science demo, one of the more popular sections of the museum, requires participation.
National Museum
Executive House
P. Burgos St., Manila
Tel: +63-2 527-1175; 527-0290
Business hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday

Valuable archeological treasures such as fossils and bones, and ancient burial jars and fashion accessories are found in the National Museum. Perhaps the most important highlight of the museum is "The Spolarium," the masterpiece of Filipino painter Juan Luna. This painting won first prize in the 1884 National Fine Arts Exposition in Madrid. The museum recently inaugurated a new, permanent, interactive exhibit entitled "History of the Philippines" on the third floor of the old Finance Building.
Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino
Contemporary Art Museum of the Philippines
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Roxas Blvd., Manila
Tel: +63-2 832-3702
Business hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Sunday
Admission rates (pesos): 20 (adult), 10 (student), free entrance to galleries

The Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino contains several tableaus that recreate Filipinos from different regions attending to their particular rituals and activities. It also displays a variety of tribal costumes, crafts, instruments, and materials, all grouped according to the rites and ceremonies in which they were used. The Contemporary Art Museum of the Philippines, in the same building, consists of four art galleries, and carries 500 pieces ranging from paintings to sculptures and prints. Throughout the CCP, works of established and emerging Filipino artists hang on the walls of the hallways.
Lopez Memorial Museum
Ground Flr., Benpres Bldg.
Exchange Road cor. Meralco Ave., Pasig City

Features a large collection of Filipiniana drawings, maps, and paintings, including those of internationally awarded artists Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo.
Philippine Museum of Ethnology
Nayong Pilipino Complex
Tel: +63-2 831-0128
Business hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday
Admission rate: none

Miniature displays of the Philippines, with focus on landmarks and tourist spots.
Intramuros

Intramuros, the old capital of Manila, is a 64-hectare fortress city built in 1571. This city-within-a-city had well-planned streets, plazas, the Governor's Palace and churches, and is home to the historical St. Augustine Church, the oldest stone church in the Philippines, and Manila Cathedral, the fifth. Fort Santiago, the center of power in the Spanish and American regimes, also served as a prison under the Spanish regime. It is also infamous for stories of Filipino prisoners who drowned in the dungeons during the Japanese occupation of World War II.

The war reduced many structures to rubble, remaining in such a state for many years. In 1997, the Department of Tourism initiated steps to make the site one of the top 25 tourist spots of the Philippines. Restoration efforts include American Barracks and Baluarte de Santa Barbara in Fort Santiago, Ecclesiastical Art Museum at San Ignacio Church, museum on architecture and interior design at Santa Lucia barracks, Naval Museum at the Philippine Navy headquarters beside Fort Santiago, and Aduana Building to house the Spanish documents of the National Archives.
Intramuros will also have a mini-tranvia for public transport, a Pasig Riverside park and promenade, riverside cafe, festival market, hawkers paradise, traffic and historical signages, and paved streets.
Intramuros Administration
5/F Palacio del Gobernador
Intramuros, Metro Manila
Tel: +63-2 527-2811; 527-3155

Intramuros Visitors Center
Fort Santiago
Intramuros, Metro Manila
Tel: +63-2 527-2961

Chinatown

The local Chinatown is characterized by cramped streets, shops that sell the strangest merchandise, flashing neon signs at every turn, and the cacophony of a tonal language--not much different really from other Chinatowns worldwide. Despite the seeming chaos, Chinatown is actually an organized community, taking business seriously, yet retaining a strong cultural identity.

The district traverses areas of Santa Cruz and Binondo, and converges on Ongpin St., the center of population and commerce. Exploring requires a keen sense of adventure as the area can be quite overwhelming. Before hitting the streets, visitors can consult the office of a Chinese-Filipino civic association called Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran (or Kaisa) on Quintin Paredes St., where one can be guided on the different aspects of the area.
The range of Chinese food encompasses cheap fare sold on the hawker stalls to grand lauriat banquets in stately restaurants. Wherever you are, don't be shocked to learn that the not-so-secret ingredients in an exotic Chinese dish include cobras, lizards, and sea horses. These exotic stuff, along with herbs and roots, are also sold in traditional drugstores. In all, these items are marketed as healthful and medicinal.
Among the important stops you shouldn't miss are the Wushu Federation on Juan Luna St., where the ancient martial art of kung fu is taught, the Binondo Church and Seng Guan Temple, two establishments representing Filipino-Chinese Catholic and traditional Chinese faith.
Manila American Cemetery
Near the Makati Commercial Center, the American Cemetery is a sanctuary of peace. White marble crosses and Stars of David guard the tombs of 17,206 American and Filipino soldiers who served and died during World War II. Those missing in action are remembered in a circular memorial where their names are listed. The memorial also boasts mosaics depicting scenes from the war, a chapel and an awe-inspiring view.
To get there, cross EDSA at Ayala Avenue and head for McKinley Road. Follow this road through Forbes Park past the Manila Polo and Golf Clubs. Guards manning the entrance of the cemetery will ask for an ID, and to its right is the information center where you can ask for the exact location of any soldier buried in the cemetery.

Historical Churches
Nearly 400 years of Spanish settlement transformed the Philippines into a predominantly Catholic country, shaping a religious culture characterized by churches of all shapes and sizes. Below is a list of historical Spanish-style churches in Metro Manila.
San Agustin Church
Intramuros, Manila
The oldest church in the country, its cornerstone having been laid in 1571, and the only one in Manila to endure earthquakes in the earlier centuries. Houses a baroque pulpit, molave choir stalls, an 18th-century pipe organ, and a museum containing antique religious objects.

Manila Cathedral
Intramuros, Manila
Built in 1581, the Manila Cathedral is guarded by Roman travertine stone statues of St. Rose of Lima (patroness of the Philippines) and St. Andrew the Apostle (patron saint of Manila). The church survived a fire in 1583, earthquake in 1600, and war in 1945.

Malate Church
Roxas Boulevard, Manila
Another survivor of natural calamities and tumultuous historical events, Malate Church now stands amid modern infrastructures. In 1988, it marked its 400th year.

Quiapo Church
Manila
The Spanish-style church stands amid the bustle of folk tradition, commerce, and Catholic devotion. Inside, fervent devotees pray to the Black Nazarene, while outside hawkers sell anything from candles to religious and commercial items.

Binondo Church
Binondo, Manila
Located in the Chinese district, construction of this church began in 1595. Today, statues of the Immaculate Mary and San Lorenzo Ruiz, the only Filipino saint, solemnly guard the altar. A few blocks away is the Santa Cruz church, built in 1608.

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