Bay Area

Metro Manila’s Dynamic District

The Bay Area of Manila, also known as the Manila Bay Freeport Zone and Bay City, is growing into the next big thing in the metropolis, for both potential homeowners and businesses.

(photo via BusinessWorld)

Stretching across the cities of Manila and Pasay in the north and Parañaque in the south, private and public transportation going to the Bay Area may pass through Roxas Boulevard, Macapagal Boulevard, the Manila-Cavite Expressway, the Metro Manila Skyway, and the NAIA Expressway. This makes the location accessible to all parts of Metro Manila, as well as nearby provinces to the north and south.

(photo via aseana city)

The Bay Area is home to the sprawling SM Mall of Asia; Aseana City, which is an integrated mixed-use central business district; and Entertainment City, which contains casino resorts City of Dreams Manila, Okada Manila, Resorts World Bayshore, and Solaire Resort and Casino.

(photo via Explora PH)

The development of the Bay Area has spurred massive demand for residential space, particularly in the condominium market. According to real estate research and services firm Colliers International Philippines, developers are staying aggressive in building residential condos in the Bay Area due to the huge gap between demand and supply, despite rising policy rates from the central bank. In fact, Colliers expects the Bay Area to overtake other central business districts, including Makati, by 2021 in terms of completed residential condo units.

Economic Background

(photo via Federal Land)

The Bay Area will rise as an established central business district by the time President Duterte ends his administration, rivaling Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City, said full service real estate firm KMC Savills. An estimated $8 billion of investments are in the pipeline at the Bay Area for reclaimed lands, according to real estate professional services and investment management firm JLL.

The development of the Bay Area is in overdrive due to the influx of Chinese investors, particularly in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations industry. Hand in hand with the Business Process Outsourcing Industry, the demand for office space in the Bay Area is skyrocketing, especially as the location is easily accessible.

The POGO and BPO industries will continue to offer work opportunities for Filipinos, and as more companies in these businesses invest in the Bay Area, there will be more openings for job seekers to explore.

Other work opportunities in the Bay Area will come from the shopping malls, residential condominiums, and other facilities that will soon be rising in line with the planned investments in the area. These establishments will require employees over a wide range of roles and skill sets, drawing heavily from the Filipino workforce.

The growth of job openings in the Bay Area will also be due to the lack of available space in the other central business districts, particularly Makati and BGC. Firms that have chosen to open up shop in the area are also enjoying close proximity to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and ease of access to the country’s capital and the other business districts.

The Bay Area, as of 2018, only offered 673,200 sq.m. of gross leasable area, compared to about 3.3 million sq.m. for the Makati CBD, about 2.2 million sq.m. for BGC, and about 1.7 million sq.m. for the Ortigas CBD, according to a Q4 2018 research report by Colliers. However, the Bay Area is forecast to exhibit the highest growth through 2021, with a 72 percent increase to about 1.2 million sq.m. In comparison, the forecast office space growth for the Makati CBD, BGC, and Ortigas CBD are only 9 percent, 21 percent, and 36 percent, respectively.

There is a significant number of job openings in companies operating in the Bay Area, but the opportunities are expected to further increase over the next few years as industries further develop and more office space opens. This should factor into the future plans of graduating students, especially those who study in schools along Taft Avenue and in the University Belt.

Job seekers planning to live near their place of work must consider the rates of residential properties in the area. This may be less of an issue compared to other business districts though, due to the Bay Area’s accessibility.

Future projects and infrastructure

(photo via DoubleDragon Properties Corp.)

Developments in the Bay Area are not slowing down anytime soon, with many projects set for completion over the coming years. Here are some of the structures that will be rising in the Bay Area.

(photo via Real Living)

IKEA Philippines

IKEA’s first store in the Philippines will cover 65,000 sq.m. within the SM Mall of Asia complex. It will be the largest IKEA store in the world, with an inventory of about 9,000 items, and will also offer online sales and delivery.

The two-level shopping area will actually be the same size as other IKEA stores around the world. However, its overall size will be bigger due to additional facilities such as its warehouse, e-commerce facility, and integrated call center.

IKEA Philippines is set to open its doors in the last quarter of 2020.

(photo via Philippine Star)

New Manila Bay City of Pearl

Talks for the development of the New Manila Bay City of Pearl, which is set to cover reclaimed land of 407 hectares, started in 2017. The project promises to create the world’s largest “smart city,” featuring a central business district alongside residential, retail, entertainment, medical, education, sports, and other facilities.

City of Pearl will be designed as a smart and sustainable city, with the implementation of green initiatives and technology that will generate renewable energy that will power its infrastructure. However, it will take some time before it rises in the Bay Area, as the project’s completion date is set at 2035.

(photo via BusinessMirror)

Solar City

The 148-hectare Solar City urban center is a state-of-the-art, tourism, commercial and residential district that will rise in Manila Bay. The reclamation project will host business centers, residential and commercial properties, and tourism facilities, including an international cruise ship terminal.

The Manila government stand to earn at least Php 50 billion in revenue from Solar City, which is also expected to generate over 500,000 jobs. It will occupy about 3.5 kilometers of the Manila Bay’s shoreline, which will make Solar City the biggest reclamation project between the Manila-Pasay border in the south and Roxas Boulevard in the east.

(photo via Thousand Wonders)

Planned Projects in the Bay Area

Other planned projects on the horizon for the Bay Area include the 1,200-hectare expansion of existing SM Mall of Asia complex, the 419-hectare Horizon Manila reclamation project, and the 318-hectare Manila Waterfront City reclamation project.

All of these are in addition to the residential and commercial establishments that are popping up in the Bay Area. Upscale residential developments will continue to be built, with the demand buoyed by attractive rental yields, relatively lower rates, and the influx of Filipino and foreign workers, overseas investors, and offshore gambling companies, according to Colliers.

Examples of residential properties rising soon in the Bay Area are Federal Land’s Mi Casa by 2023 and additional towers of Six Senses starting 2020; and SMDC’s Sail Residences by 2023 and S Residences by 2020.

Pit Stops in Bay Area

(Photo via Manila Office Space)

Entertainment hubs

(Photo via Intrepid Wanderer)

Solaire Resort & Casino

The first development in PAGCOR’s Entertainment City, Solaire offers lavish and resort-style accommodation and recreation. It also has various dining options, gaming facilities, as well as a state-of-the-art theatre which hosts events featuring world-class entertainment. Solaire also houses some of the most luxurious and designer brands from fashion, fine jewelry, and even gourmet chocolates.

(Photo via Thousand Wonders)

SM Mall of Asia

No other mall in Bay City comes close to SM Mall of Asia, or simply MOA. Being the fourth largest shopping complex in the Philippines, and the fourteenth in the world, MOA embodies SM’s famous catchphrase, “We’ve got it all for you,” as it literally has every brand and restaurant you can think of.

Apart from the wide variety of retail shops, cafes, and restaurants, MOA also has SM By the Bay Amusement Park, situated along Manila Bay, where the 180 ft. tall Ferris wheel called “Mall of Asia Eye” and “The Eye of Asia” is located. Then there’s the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena, an indoor arena which can seat 16,000 people, and up to 20,000 for a full house. Lastly, the SMX Convention Center Manila, the country’s largest privately run exhibition and convention center where large-scale trade events and conventions are held.

(Photo via Agoda)

Okada Manila

Also located in the gaming strip called Entertainment City in the Bay Area, Okada Manila (formerly known as Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment), has casinos which can rival the casinos in Macau. And aside from the five-star luxury accommodation, the same luxury can also be experienced with their amenities which includes a salon, a barbershop, kids club, and “The Fountain”, which spans about 37,464 square meters, making it the largest multicolor dancing fountain in the world. Okada also hosts Cove Manila, the Philippines’ largest indoor beach and nightclub which have hosted various events featuring international personalities and performers.

(Photo via World Casino News)

City of Dreams Manila

A sister to the City of Dreams in Macau, the one in Manila is an integrated resort and casino complex which features 3 luxurious hotels—Nobu Hotel, Nüwa Manila, and Hyatt Regency Manila. City of Dreams Manila is home to The Shops at The Boulevard, a 60,000 to 80,000-square meter shopping mall which features the finest retail brands. There are also many ways to have fun and enjoy at City of Dreams Manila which includes an indoor theme park called DreamPlay, a collaboration with DreamWorks Animation; The Garage VR Zone, which is a gaming hub which doubles as a food park; and K-Golf, an indoor golf simulator which uses the latest in digital simulation technology.

(Photo via Agoda)

Conrad Manila

Managed by Hilton Worldwide, Conrad Manila features a hotel which occupies the top eight floors of the building, and S’ Maison, a retail complex on the first two floors. Conrad Manila is owned by the SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, so the retail spaces are managed by SM Prime Holdings, the same people behind SM Supermalls. S’ Maison hosts a Director’s Club Cinema featuring three theatres, all of which uses La-Z-Boys which can seat up to 38 people. Lastly, Conrad houses the Dessert Museum, an interactive art exhibition, museum, theme park, and candy shop in one.

(Photo via Metrodeal)

Star City

Star City is a 35,000 square meter all-weather amusement park located in the Bay Area. It has at least 30 various rides and attractions. 70 percent of Star City’s facilities are covered and air-conditioned. Some of its famous rides and attractions are the double-decker carousel, Zykloon Loop, Jungle Splash, Snow World, Star Flyer, and the Giant Star Wheel Ferris wheel. Adjacent to Star City are Aliw, and Star Theaters which can seat a total of 4,000. Currently, Aliw Theater is home to Ballet Manila, where renowned Filipino ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde performs.

(Photo via Philippine Star)

World Trade Center Metro Manila

Consisting of over 24,000 square meters of gross floor area, and a member of the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) of New York, the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) is the pioneer in providing the country with a world-class exhibition venue. The World Trade Center have hosted various trade, lifestyle, and musical events. During holidays and summer, World Trade Center Manila is the place to be for thematic bazaars in the metro.

Foodie Spots

(Photo via Sofitel Manila)

Spiral

Spiral lets you experience the taste of the world with various international dishes served in a first-class setting. It has 21 dining ateliers which offer Japanese, French, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, American, and of course, Filipino cuisine. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with gourmet pastries and chocolates served in both Spiral and Spiral 2 Go. Spiral also features La Veranda, where you can dine and enjoy a drink while watching the sun, the moon, and the stars inside a glass-enclosed lounge.

Spiral is located at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

(Photo via Sand Under My Feet)

Paradise Dynasty

A classy and cozy Chinese restaurant that serves delectable and authentic specialties, that’s what Paradise Dynasty is known for. Try their famous Specialty Dynasty Xiao Long Bao which comes in various interesting flavors including Garlic, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Crab Roe, Cheese, Szechuan, and of course, the Classic. Among their bestsellers is the Fried Rice in Shanghai Style, and Braised Pork La Mien. Help yourself to some hot and soothing tea while waiting for your orders to arrive.

(Photo via ABS-CBN News)

Red Lobster

Red Lobster is made famous by their signature Cheddar Bay biscuits, lobster tails from Maine, and their commitment to source the highest and best quality seafood in the world. Their first branch in the country is located at Conrad Manila, and it can seat up to 115 people. Seafood lovers get to enjoy only the freshest. You can even pick your lobster from the tank.

Red Lobster is located at S’ Maison, Conrad Manila

(Photo via Philippine Primer)

Manam

Known for its cozy interiors, savory and reasonably priced traditional Filipino dishes, Manam is among the top choice for purely Filipino Restaurants to dine at. Some of the must-tries include the well-loved Gising-gising, Sinigang na Beef Short Rib & Watermelon—a unique twist to the cult-favorite Sinigang, Patis Wings, Puto Bumbong, and Sisig. Manam also offers its delicacies in three sizes—Small, Medium, or Large. Perfect for every kind of diner.

Manam is located at SM Mall of Asia

(Photo via Spot.ph)

Hawker Chan

Hawker Chan is probably the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant there is. Hailing from Singapore where hawker—which is also known as cooked food—centers are everywhere, Hawker Chan is best known for its signature Soya Chicken Rice. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also very affordable which is why it undoubtedly became a hit ever since it started from a quaint and humble stand which currently continues to rapidly expand across Asia.

Hawker Chan is located at SM Mall of Asia

(Photo via Zomato)

Song Do Won

Perfect for those who crave authentic Korean dishes any time of the day, Song Do Won is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is located at a small Korean town along Macapagal Boulevard. Among the crowd favorite is the Smoked Pork Belly, which isn’t always served in typical Korean grill restaurants. All of the banchan are unlimited, plus they also serve cold tea and iced coffee as dessert, for free.

Song Do Won has branches in HK Sun Plaza and S’ Maison, Conrad Manila

(Photo via Geoffreview)

Ramen Nagi

One of the most popular Japanese Ramen restaurants in Asia is Ramen Nagi, the home of the great boiled ramen. They have four signature Ramen flavors—Butao King, which is the classic flavor; Black King—with squid ink which makes it black; Green King is a mix of pesto, basil, and olive oil; and Red King, their spicy ramen which uses chili oil, and cayenne pepper. Apart from the four signature flavors, Ramen Nagi occasionally offers seasonal flavors such as the Black Garlic King, Shrimp King, and Chicken Paitan King.

Ramen Nagi is located at SM Mall of Asia

(Photo via Vikings Philippines)

Vikings

Vikings is probably the first non-hotel buffet restaurant which features a wide array of dishes hailing from various countries. All branches have a separate function area to accommodate large groups and parties. Similar to the buffet setups at a hotel, Vikings also have a carving station, seafood, Asian and Continental cuisine, beverages, and probably everybody’s favorite—the desserts station.

Vikings is located at SM by the Bay, SM Mall of Asia

Nobu Manila

Nobu is the world’s most recognized Japanese restaurant with locations from most continents—Asia, America, Europe, and even Africa. It is known for its innovative cuisine, and for famous celebrities who love to dine at Nobu, including the Kardashians, Taylor Swift, Bradley Cooper, and even Leonardo DiCaprio. The food is undeniably good, which is why it has garnered a posh clientele and is branded of class and luxury.

Nobu Manila is located at City of Dreams Manila

(Photo via Zomato)

Finestra Italian Steakhouse

Finestra Italian Steakhouse boasts of a grand and classic ambiance. The pasta is guaranteed to be served al dente. While you’re enjoying your pasta and steak, there’s also a live performance to serenade everyone as you indulge yourself in authentic Italian cuisine. Try their truffle risotto, beef carpaccio, and of course, their steak. Pair it with a beverage of your choice—red, sweet, or white wine, champagne—most of which are imported from Italy, France, Spain, and Chile.

Finestra Italian Steakhouse is located at Solaire Resort & Casino

Hospitals

Many consider the Bay Area to be a hub for entertainment and leisure. But the hospitals are worth noting too. In the list of Bay Area hospitals, you can find some of the most reputable hospitals you probably already heard of. If you’re looking for the best place to get a diagnostic or treatment, the Bay Area’s a good place to go.

(Photo via business.inquirer.net)

Philippine General Hospital

The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is a university-run hospital in Manila, managed by the UP College of Medicine. The PGH is committed to “deliver globally-competitive, cost-effective, compassionate and accessible health care to the Filipinos, to provide a world-class education to health professionals, and to generate relevant research that will affect health policies.”

PGH currently houses 14 medical departments within its walls: Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, Emergency, Psychiatry, Family & Community, Medicine Radiology, Medicine Rehabilitation, Medicine Neurosciences, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Orthopedics, and Otorhinolaryngology.

(Photo via myMEDholiday)

Manila Doctors Hospital

Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) is a world-class private tertiary hospital located just 20 minutes away from SM Mall of Asia. MDH is also the first hospital in Manila to be granted accreditation from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and has maintained it since 2005. Aside from ISO, they also acquired accreditation from Accreditation Canada International (ACI), International Hospital Federation, and has become the only hospital in the country to be a reporting member of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). These accreditations would explain their renowned reputation all over the world.

Some of their services include Cardiac Rehabilitation, Corporate Health Services, Hemodialysis, Nuclear Medicine, Pain Management, and a Hearing, Dizziness, Voice, and ORL Endoscopy Center.

(Photo via amcmanila.org)

Adventist Medical Center Manila

Adventist Medical Center is a tertiary hospital located in Pasay City. It aspires to be a “premier wellness and lifestyle medical center” in the country. One of their most notable programs in line with this vision is their Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP), a lifestyle program that helps prevent and reverse the most common diseases that Filipinos experience. This health program helps participants make a significant lifestyle change for better health. Within the first 30 days in the program, participants can readily reduce heart disease, normalize blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and improves sleep.

Some of their other services include Bone Densitometry, Computed Tomography, Blood Transfusion Services, Cytopathology, Neonatology (Pediatric), Nephrology (Pediatric), and Endoscopy.

Adventist Medical Center is also the primary teaching affiliate for Manila Adventist College.

(Photo via commons.wikimedia.org)

San Juan De Dios Education Foundation Inc., Hospital

San Juan de Dios Educational Foundation, Inc. (SJDEFI or SJ, formerly Hospital de San Juan de Dios) is known to be the oldest hospital in the Philippines. It is the first hospital in Asia to be certified by the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS). Because of its top-rated management systems and state of the art facilities, the hospital also obtained the prestigious ISO’s (International Organization for Standardization)

Their health services include Respiratory Care, Physical Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Neurophysiology, Adult Care Services, and Special Care Services.

(Photo via Oyster Hotel Reviews)

Protacio Hospital

Also located in Pasay, Protacio Hospital is a humble hospital with a tradition of excellence. They offer various exceptional medical care services at an affordable price. It was founded by the Protacio Family in 1935, and it has since opened its doors to short consultations and major medical procedures. They also offer Home Care Services for those who would opt to be treated at the comfort of their home. They have a pool of expert physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and caregivers to provide you the best healthcare services at home.

(Photo via Practo)

St Clare’s Medical Center

St. Clare's Medical Center is one of the top hospitals in Makati that provides an array of quality medical services. To top it off, it’s only 20 minutes away from the Mall of Asia area.

St Clare's Medical Center (SCMC) provides a vast range of medical and healthcare services in Internal Medicine, Surgical, Pediatrics, and Gynecology. They have available high-level clinical laboratories and diagnostic X-ray services. SCMC envisions to uplift the community’s physical well being with the goal of having a strong and progressive country through healthy citizenry. Achieving this through ensuring comprehensive, timely, reasonably priced, and outstanding quality healthcare services.

Educational Institutions

When moving into a new area, it’s important to know where the best institutions to entrust your child’s education are. These schools or universities must not only be easily accessible to you and your children, but can assure you that your investment will go into quality education.

(Photo via Adamson University)

Adamson University

Adamson University (AdU) was founded by a Greek Chemist, Dr. George Lucas Adamson, and was originally called the Adamson University of Industrial Chemistry. AdU is notable for its reputation and excellence in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Though they’re reputable for these programs, AdU also offers other courses such as architecture, sciences, pharmacy, business, education, liberal arts, law, graduate school, basic education, and theology courses as it progressed.

(Photo via Medium)

De La Salle University

At the heart of Taft Avenue lies De La Salle University (DLSU), an educational institute run by a French religious congregation called, the De La Salle Brothers. It currently places in the 800-1,000 bracket of the World University Rankings and entered the 201-259 ranking bracket for the Asia-Pacific University Rankings in 2019--making DLSU the second best university in the country.

The university does not only value quality education but the formation of its students as well as seen in the university’s motto is “Religio, Mores, Cultura” or in English, “Religion, Morals, Culture”. DLSU’s support for their performing arts and sports communities also provide more evidence to this statement.

CHED has accredited DLSU with 14 centers of excellence in its academic programs (Accountancy, Biology, Business Administration, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Electronics and Communications Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Industrial Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, and Teacher Education) and 5 centers of development (Computer Engineering, History, Literature, Political Science, and Statistics).

(Photo via Wikipedia)

University of the Philippines Manila

The University of the Philippines Manila campus (UP Manila) is one of the eight branches of the premier University of the Philippines (UP). It’s widely known for its reputation in its health and medical courses. UP Manila has nine (9) degree-granting units and their College of Nursing and Medicine are recognized as Centers of Excellence (COE) by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

(Photo via Arellano University)

Arellano University

Arellano University is a private institution described by its President, Francisco Paulino V. Cayco, as the school for the freedom-loving Filipinos. It envisions to be a model institution of learning where relevant knowledge is acquired and skills are developed in response to the needs of the global community. It boasts of its seven campuses in the country, the main campus being in Sampaloc, Manila. They have two branches in Pasay, namely the Jose Abad Santos Campus and the Apolinario Mabini Campus (Arellano University School of Law).

(Photo via Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila)

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila

The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) is a government funded local university located inside Intramuros, Manila. They are highly recognized as the first tertiary institution in the Philippines to offer tuition-free education as well as the first school to have its name in Filipino. They regard themselves as a Pioneer, a Leader, and a Model institution for higher education in the country. The country’s Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has also cited that PLM is a model for public institutions across the country. PLM has twelve colleges, two professional schools, and seven graduate schools. PLM's guiding principles are "Karunungan, Kaunlaran, Kadakilaan".

(Photo via RMN.ph)

Mapúa University

Mapua University is one of the top Asian universities, its profound performance in producing high caliber graduates paved the way to be the first school in Southeast Asia to obtain accreditation from the United States-based ABET, a premier accreditation institution for college and university programs. Mapua University was founded in 1925 by the first registered architect of the Philippines, Don Tomas Mapúa, a graduate of Cornell University in the United States.

Mapua aims to be one of the top performing schools in the world. Just this year, they have entered the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings for 2019, for their top 500 universities in Asia. It also has the most number of engineering programs namely Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Environmental and Sanitary Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

TRANSPORTATION HUBS

While it’s still ideal to drive your own car (especially if you’re within Entertainment City), commuting to and from the Bay Area is quite easy given the different modes of public transport available.

(photo via spot.ph)

PUV

Perhaps the Mall of Asia is Bay Area’s main transport hub. It has the North and South Transport Terminals, where shuttle vans can take you to different points across Metro Manila and beyond. It’s also easy to book a ride via a ride-sharing app or hail a cab to take you in and around the area. Buses plying the EDSA southbound route stop by Mall of Asia.

Ceres Transport even has a bus terminal in front of Mall of Asia that takes passengers all the way to Batangas Pier.

(photo via bilyonaryo.com.ph)

MRT and LRT

If you’re riding the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT) Blue Line southbound, go down at Taft Avenue Station then ride a bus or a jeep going to Mall of Asia. Go down Buendia Station when you’re using the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1 line; from there you can ride a jeep or an FX going to the Bay Area.

What to do in Bay Area?

(Photo via the ABS-CBN News)

Indulge your sweet tooth

Combine your love for sweets and Instagram-worthy photos at the Dessert Museum, which has 8 dessert-themed rooms. Sample a selection of treats curated according to each room’s theme, and learn more about dessert fun facts. They can also accommodate team building sessions and birthday parties. Entrance fee is P799 for walk-in guests and P699 when you book online.

(Photo via Time Out)

Turn your world upside down

Have you ever imagined how the world would look like if the world turned, well, upside down? The Upside Down Museum will show you things from a different perspective. It features larger than life installations and illusions such as the Leaning House, Floating Corner, Upside Down House, Mirror House, Giant Sneaker – Giant Headset, The World of Comfort, and The Inverted Steel Bridge. Entrance fee is P450 per person; get in for FREE on your actual birth date or birth week.

(Photo via Folding Bike Blog)

Push some pedals

Up your fitness level and plan a bike ride. Wake up extra early and head to Sunset Boulevard behind Mall of Asia for a quick spin or a running session; the route is popular among cyclists, triathletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages. The area’s relatively vehicle-free from 5 AM to 8 AM.

(Photo via DragonBoat.ph)

Take on a new sport

Test your mental toughness and learn more about teamwork when you train with the Manila Dragons Dragonboat Rowing Team, one of the country’s pioneering dragon boat teams. They train Tuesdays and Thursdays.

(Photo via JR Bustamante)

Sail off to Corregidor

This historic island, which was the backdrop of crucial events during World War II, is just an hour and 15 minutes away from Manila. Book a day trip at Sun Cruises Terminal, located at Esplanade Seaside Park. See old batteries, enjoy a light and sound show, soak up the sun by the beach, and pay tribute to our fallen heroes who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

(Photo via TripAdvisor)

Feel like a kid again

Enjoy thrilling rides and other attractions at SM by the Bay. Lower adrenaline levels and dine at Buffet 101, Vikings, and La Fiesta, among others. Another all-year-round option is Star City; it’s known for thrilling rides such as the Star Frisbee, Viking, Star Flyer, and Jungle Smash.

(Photo via ohohlea.PH)

Soak up on local culture

Designed by national artist Leandro Locsin and opened in 1969, the iconic Cultural Center of the Philippines hosts music, dance, theater, visual arts, literary, cinematic and design events that showcase the abundance of local talent. Its nine resident companies, namely, Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theater, Tanghalang Pilipino, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, UST Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Madrigal Singers and the National Music Competition for Young Artists Foundation (NAMCYA) present a regular season of productions, workshops, and outreach performances.

(Photo via Interblock Gaming)

Try your luck

Entertainment City, a gaming and entertainment complex in the Bay Area developed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, is considered as the Las Vegas of the Philippines. Good fortune may be yours at Solaire Resort & Casino (owned by Bloomberry Resorts Corporation), City of Dreams Manila (a joint venture between Melco-Crown and Belle Corporation), and Okada Manila (owned by Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment). Check in for a weekend staycation, too. Check out The Theater at Solaire for upcoming shows: the Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and the Lion King had well-attended runs there.

Opening within the next few years is Westside City Resorts World, a gaming resort under the Resorts World brand of the Genting Group.

(Photo via Are & Madj Adventures)

Satisfy seafood cravings at Dampa

There are other Dampa places but the one along Macapagal Boulevard tops the list. Shop for fish, shrimps, crabs and other seafood favorites at the wet market and have it cooked your way at one of the several “paluto” or cooking places in the area. Aling Tonya’s Seafood Palutuan, for example, whips up mouth-watering crabs in sweet chili sauce and shrimps in butter and garlic sauce.

(Photo via Sofitel Manila)

Indulge in an award-winning buffet

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel is home to Spiral restaurant, which has 21 dining ateliers, or food stations, preparing crowd-pleasing dishes from around the world. Their wine and cheese selection is said to be a must-try.

(Photo via Thousand Wonders)

Explore a Supermall

While malls are a dime a dozen in Manila, Mall of Asia can be considered as a must-see attraction as it’s the 4th largest mall in the Philippines and the 14th largest in the world. It has a land area of 42 hectares and has an average daily foot traffic of 200,000.

(Photo via TripAdvisor)

Go to a live concert

Madonna. Lady Gaga. Ed Sheeran. Maroon 5. If there’s a foreign act performing in the country, they’re probably rocking it at the Mall of Asia Arena. The largest indoor arena in Metro Manila has a seating capacity of 15,000 and a full house capacity of 20,000.

Popular Neighborhoods

(Photo via Our aseana city)

Aseana City

Called the “Sunset Strip” due to its promising location facing Manila Bay, Asena City is a master-planned township development that houses commercial and retail spaces, residences and other business institutions. It is lined with specialty restaurants, national parks, museums, theatres, entertainment districts, and hotels. A short distance away from Manila, Makati, and Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Aseana City is strategically and conveniently located near the LRT Line 1 extension.

(Photo via Footage Framepool)

Asiaworld

Also called Marina District, Asiaworld is a 173-hectare property that contains several residential communities such as the Marina Baytown Village and Burgundy Residential Towers. An extension of the Metro Rail Transit is proposed to have a stop at the area, in line with the Line 1 South Extension Project.

(Photo via Wikipedia)

Malate

Malate serves as one of Manila's centers of commerce and tourism. Derived from the Tagalog word maalat (salty), it used to be a small fishing village during the Spanish colonial period. During the time of the Americans, Malate was reimagined as the exclusive and trendy residential area for American families. It was quickly populated by American expatriates and some old Spanish mestizo families, along with their modern high rise dwellings.

After the Second World War, many parts of Malate were transformed into a commercial district that began to house small hotels, specialty restaurants, and cafes.

At present, Malate is home to many government agencies like the Department of Finance, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and Bureau of Plant Industry. It is famous among tourists for its entertainment and recreational offerings like the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, and a portion of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex.

Private educational institutions are also prominent in Malate. Several educational institutions are located in it: De La Salle University, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, Philippine Christian University, Philippine Women's University, St. Paul University Manila and St. Scholastica's College Manila. Prominent secondary schools in Malate are the Jesus Reigns Christian Academy, Jose Abad Santos Memorial School, and the Malate Catholic School. Doña Aurora Quezon Elementary School is the only public school in the district.

(Photo via Flickr)

Roxas Boulevard

The historical waterfront promenade Roxas Boulevard runs along the shores of Manila Bay. It starts at the Rizal Park, continues into a straight route until it ends on an intersection with NAIA Expressway. It is the location of popular landmarks such as the CCP Complex, Rizal Park along with a host of government buildings, foreign embassies of the United States and Japan, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and Museo Pambata. The Manila Yacht Club is also located along Roxas Boulevard, as well as several hotels like Manila Hotel, Diamond Hotel, Heritage Hotel Manila, and City of Dreams Manila.

Roxas Boulevard is also becoming a popular residential hub, with a string of condominium developments rising along its periphery. SMDC's Breeze Residences, Anchor Land's Admiral Baysuites, Robinsons Residences' The Radiance Manila Bay, and Federal Land's Bayview International Tower are some of the most notable residential communities in the area.