25 Days of Christmas: Top 10 places in Metro Manila to bring your balikbayan

12:08 PM

It’s that time of the year when the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is akin to bedlam with all those people flying in and out of this country. Most of them are balikbayans and are now back home for:

A. the holidays
B. a wedding
C. a reunion
D. a Patriarch/ Matriarch’s Birthday
E. all of the above

Some of them are beyond happy to be home and be in this seeming cauldron of emotions and energy that is Manila.  They can hardly wait to see what’s new in their beloved city and somehow still couldn’t fathom how they survived all these years beyond its shores. Oh, bless these lovely people!

But there are some who haven’t been home in years and for some unknown reason, in this era of facebook no less, still seem to think that Manila is still stuck in the 1990s.  In their mind, our city remains to be a hellhole of scary gritty streets, incessant power interruptions, and blood-curdling traffic jams. (Okay. So maybe the last one still rings true.)

If you do have the latter -such patriotic-ally inept relatives, I suggest the following itinerary for their seemingly endless-when-are-they-flying-home- holiday.  Show them that our beloved city has fared well since they jumped ship and we who stayed through hell and high water did quite a few things right these past decades. 

1. GREENBELT COMPLEX  
This shiny show piece of the Central Business District is modern and cosmopolitan, clean and green.  It’s the ideal of most commercial districts in the metro (no matter how much they deny it) as it has somehow managed to have international luxury brands and beloved local ones share the same space.

2. SM MALL OF ASIA
SM Mall is a must-see if only for its sheer size.

3. RESORTS WORLD MANILA
The place is all about entertainment –shopping, clubbing, theatre, and casino. And when that relative of yours is tired from all that fun, she can check in at the hotel next door.

4. BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY
It’s the up and coming business district which boasts of gleaming skyscrapers and al fresco shopping/entertainment areas. Oh, and where there are still those wonderful things called intersections (which I personally miss dearly).   

5. DYNAMIC MUSEUMS – Mind Museum, Ayala Museum, and Yuchengco Museum
These are world-class museums which features world-class talents. Be a kind soul and take them to these. It’ll be worth their while.

6. MANILA OCEAN PARK
It is one of the best places along the bay where they can say to ‘Hi’ to the fishies and get to enjoy the famous Manila Bay sunset.

7. MARIKINA CITY
The Shoe capital is a fine example of a Filipino town that got things right. Let them experience it, even for just an afternoon.

8. CUBAO X
Their favorite cobblers are now next door neighbors to the city’s hipsters.

9. ARANETA CENTER CUBAO
Today’s Araneta Center is not the Cubao of their childhood.

10 SATURDAY MARKET ON SALCEDO 
                         Because we have such things around here. 


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