Out and About

Manila Walking Tour


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I’ve lived in Manila while I was in college. There’s nothing more cultural and hypnotic and tempting as living in Manila. Writers have lived here and wrote about its vulgarity, its beauty (both hidden and explicit) and most importantly, its food.

So, I dragged my sleep deprived self to go on this Old Manila Walking Tour with my family. I was initially skeptical, having lived in Manila previously; I thought there would be nothing new to see. It was my city and I had this belief that I knew her well. She had nothing to hide from me and that I knew her folds and crevices.

I think I have never been so glad to have been so wrong. Apparently, my Manila still had secrets she kept from me.

walkaround Manila Philippines pamphletThe tour starts at the Binondo church, now more popularly known as the San Lorenzo Ruiz church – named after the very first Filipino Catholic Saint. You can go ahead and Google the church but nothing out of the ordinary can be seen. Then again, that’s just my own religious view. Purists may have their own opinion.

So far I was unimpressed. There was nothing about the church and the place that I didn’t already know from my own research and from old school field trips (yes, we do field trips to different churches. It is a predominantly Catholic country after all). Of course, I was being grumpy as the toll of being sleep deprived was starting to bubble its way through my skin. After a talk about history and trivia about the church, we officially started the tour.

Before I go any further, I have to give you the following advice:walkaround Manila Philippines Binondo church

1) Don’t eat anything before you start the tour

I assure you, it will be the biggest regret you will ever have.

2) Wear comfortable clothes and shoes

It’s a walking tour, doink. Don’t forget a hat, just in case it gets hot. I wouldn’t recommend an umbrella as the streets are quite tight and there are a lot of people. It would restrict your movement. Just slather the sun block and wear a hat.

wide choice of local dishes to suit everyone3) Don’t bring too much money

Just enough for you to be able to buy some food or trinkets you’d like to take home with you. You have already paid for the tour and there would be no need to go on a shopping splurge.

4) Be open to new things

Nobody likes a killjoy. Enjoy the tour and keep your opinions to yourself – unless they were happy and good opinions.

5) Have fun

It’s an adventure, for heaven’s sake.

Okay, on to our regularly scheduled program….

There are a lot of reasons why people go on this kind of a tour. For foreign tourists (we had Robert the Brazilian on this one) it’s an opportunity to understand a different culture. For locals, it’s to see a different perspective of our own culture; younger ones discovering things about themselves and their ancestry, older ones reaffirming their cultural beliefs and traditions – it was a meeting of generations and all agreeing on one thing: the love for food. Nobody can say no to food.

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Delicious and well presented foodThere were multiple “food stops” for the trip, all with varying degrees of consumption – light meals, snacks, heavy snacks and dessert! All yummy!! The best part is it’s pretty much an “eat all you can” tour. I think it’s perfect how you can stuff yourself to the brim and then walk it off just to build your appetite for the next food stop.

More gorgeous local dishesOur tour guide, Ivan Dy is such a fun guy! He obviously knows what he’s talking about, he keeps the pace of the tour relatively easy and he keeps us in stitches!

He would always find a way to relate any historic event with food or the consumption of food. Most of the tour guides I’ve met were vapid robotic creatures. Ivan, was thankfully not one of them.

I don’t want to spoil the tour for you by going on and on about every little detail. You have to go through the experience yourself. Trust me, it’s well worth the sleep deprivation and the cost.

The following video shows Ivan, the tour guide giving an introduction to the Manila Walking Tour.

To know more about Old Manila Walking Tours, you can visit their website by visiting their website at www.oldmanilawalks.com or you can call (632) 7113823 / (63-917-329-1622) and look for Ivan or Cherry. The tours run on weekends and starts at 9AM

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51 Comments on Manila Walking Tour

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  3. C.O.B

    I was just talking with my friend about this yesterday at lunch . Don’t remember how we got on the topic actually , they brought it up. I do recall eating a wonderful steak salad with sunflower seeds on it. I digress…

    • Ian Victor

      Oooh…That sounds divine! Steak salad and sunflower seeds! When I was in Hong Kong, I had this gorgeous salad with cream cheese and chives and sunflower seeds. That was also lovely. Thanks for the idea! I might make that tonight.

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  5. Win Superio

    ey Ian! i went on a Manila tour din around mid March,we had it within Intramuros. Our tour guide was Carlos Celdran. Loved the experience. Studied there for 4years in college but didn’t really pay much attention on the architecture and the rich history. The tour was a little pricey,but the experience, i should say was worth it.we’re planning to have a binondo tour as well!

    p.s. love,love,love this site!

    • Ian Victor

      Go for it! The Binondo walking tour is definitely worth the price. Just make sure you wear shorts, loafers and a hat. And make sure to have an empty stomach. LOL!

      and thank you for commenting. Miss you Erwin Superior! LOL!

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  7. Adam Waterman

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

    • Ian Victor

      Hey! Just visit their site or call Ivan up. They can arrange a tour for you and your group. Just know that the tour goes on weekends. Thanks for visiting!

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