Today, Manila celebrates its 451st Founding Day, also known as Araw ng Maynila. While most Manileños usually enjoy the holiday off, others take the opportunity to explore the city and immerse themselves in the city’s culture.
As the capital city of the Philippines, Manila is home to numerous tourist attractions that cater to everyone’s interests, from a park stroll, a museum visit, or a unique experience. There’s always something to do in Manila.
In the heart of Manila, near the City Hall, lies a spacious garden ideal for quiet walks, outdoor activities, and even as a venue for curated events.
The Mehan Garden, established in 1858 by the Spanish colonial authorities as a botanical garden, was recently renovated under the initiative of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. He emphasized the relevance of the Mehan Garden in Manila’s history and continued to make it accessible to the public.
During some holidays, like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, the Mehan Garden also served as a venue for events that allowed Filipinos to earn a livelihood and boost the local economy.
When it comes to food, Manila has numerous restaurants and kiosks that offer various flavors. One example found along the streets of Sta. Cruz is Ambos Mundo, possibly the oldest Spanish restaurant founded in 1888. It has menu items that range from Spanish to Filipino to Chinese food. The humble restaurant reminisces Manila’s olden days with its authentic flavors from three significant cuisines that shaped local culture while celebrating its current progress through modern interiors.
Recently, however, Manileños are gushing over the reopening of Manila Zoo, a favorite tourism spot that played a hefty role in their childhoods.
After all, it’s not every day that people come across an elephant or a python in person.
Through the revamped zoo, kids and nature enthusiasts can see local and foreign species of fauna. A good portion of the zoo is also dedicated to some local plants to raise awareness and encourage guests to discover more about endemic species in the country.
Celebrating Manila Day goes beyond tasting good food, visiting local tourist spots, and creating new memories within the city. It’s a time for Filipinos, especially Manileños, to remember how far the city has come since its founding. For more than four centuries, Manila grew into a town where its citizens enjoy continuously adapting amenities that advocate inclusive communities, modern technology, and sustainability.
Indeed, Manila is a city with endless possibilities for those who know what they’re looking for.