Top 6 historical places in Manila your family will love
One of the coolest things about visiting the Philippines is learning about their long history. Sure, this Southeast Asian giant may be known for its picturesque beaches and world class diving but the chances are you are going to have to pass through Manila at some point which means you can balance out your outdoor adventures with some history.
For those traveling with family, this is great news as the historical places in Manila will do more to impress you than the malls and clubs that the city is also known for.
Here are 6 historical places in Manila your family will love to check out:
1- Malacanang Palace
This gorgeous white palace is situated along the north bank of the Pasig River and is one of the most beautiful colonial structures in the city. The palace is home to the country’s sitting president and is well worth the visit even just for a photo op of the building from the outside. The name is said to have come from the Tagalog phrase “may lakan diyan” which translates to “a rich man lives there.” Tourists can enter and see certain buildings including the Kalayaan Hall, Mabini Hall and the New Executive Building. Strangely, there is also a golf course there.
2- Paco Park
This is one of the more relaxing spots in the city but it also happens to be one of the oldest structures around as it was built in 1820 by Dominicans to bury Spanish elites. Once upon a time the park was used as a cemetery for the upper echelon of Manila society who lived there during Spanish rule. Today, it is a recreational park accessible to the public and throughout the year you can see a host of different live performances.
3- Rizal Park
Rizal is also known amongst locals as Luneta Park and was named after the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal after he was executed there in 1896, leading to the revolt against the Spanish colonists. The park is situated in the middle of the city along Manila bay and makes for the perfect spot to visit with family. Thanks to the gorgeous greenery and gardens, it is a relaxing place for a casual stroll. Head there on a weekend for a picnic with your family.
Perhaps the highlight of historical Manila, Intramuros is the oldest district in the city and one of the most beautiful. Here you will be transcended back to colonial times as you gaze out at the three mile long rock walls that wrap the district. Intramuros was once Manila itself but today, it is a beautiful representation of the Spanish influence which makes the Philippines a truly unique Asian country.
5- Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago is a citadel that was erected in 1571 by the Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and given as a gift to the city of Manila. It is situated within the district of Intramuros and is one of the most visited sites in Manila. The Fort was once used as a power base for the Spaniards and was also where the famed Dr. Rizal (see above) was imprisoned prior to his execution. There is a museum you can visit which showcases a replica of the original cell that Dr. Rizal occupied.
Situated close to the Malacanang palace sits this historic site which takes its name from Enrique Mendiola who was a famed teacher and author. The site is known to be a common place for protests and rallies due to its wide space and its proximity to the presidential palace. Numerous violent protests have occurred here and while it is not the most beautiful area, its historical significance can be felt when you wonder around which makes it well worth a visit.
Do you know of any historical sites in Manila we haven’t covered? If so we would love to hear from you in the comments below.