Manila in 24 Photos

Manila is the kind of city that hammers home how much work we have to do as a human race; over 4 million people live in the urban slums of Manila. Kids ran up to us with outstretched hands hollering money, and I was taken back to my time in India- except I wasn’t as charmed by Manila itself. This rapidly growing city, suffocated by grime, has been built up at breakneck speeds. We were told not to bother with the public transportation and instead experimented with horrendous traffic and perpetual honking from old Jeepneys. Let me be honest: it’s not the kind of place that I enjoyed strolling around… but we still had a great time.

Many kind, smiling Filipinos offered an excited ‘hello’ as we passed on the street. We sampled chicken intestines and other street food, and I spent a strange, amazing night listening to a punk rock band in a Makati night market… but we’ll get there. Let’s begin in Intramuros, the ‘walled city.’ It’s a beautiful historic center and a redeeming area of Manila.

These 24 photos best capture my Manila experience.

1. Cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial buildings in Intramuros.

Intramuros Manila

2. A focused boy sits in front of a small family shop.

Little boy in Intramuros, Manila

3. Singing in the streets! We watched outdoor karaoke all over Manila.

Karaoke in the streets of Manila

4. Banana Cue- a deep fried banana coated with caramelized brown sugar… best street food ever!

Saba Banana Philippines

5. A lively street in Intramuros.

The Streets of Intramuros

6. Michael and our very persistent and comical tour guide who peddled us around Intramuros. (He wouldn’t take no for an answer!)

Our Tour Guide in Intramuros

7. A view of Ermita, Manila from Baluarte de San Diego.

View of Manila from Baluarte de San Diego

8. The Memorare Manila Monument: a peaceful place to honor the victims of the Battle of Manila in 1945.

Intramuros Manila

9. Mangy, yet precious, street kitty fending for himself.

Street Kitten in Manila

10. Families with balloons walk home from Sunday church service.

streets in Manila

11. A fountain and green space at Baluarte de San Diego.

Fountain at Baluarte de San Diego

12. Girl in red roaming the dilapidated stretch of Arquiza Street.

Streets of Manila

13. Pipe clothesline along the Manila Baywalk.

Clothes Drying in Manila

14. Naked, homeless child peeing on the Manila Baywalk.

Boy Peeing in Manila

15. A fisherman’s fresh catch.

fresh fish in Manila

16. Disparities- living in poverty in front of the Manila Yacht Cub.


17. View from a pedestrian bridge above Roxas Boulevard.

view of Manila

18. Jeepneys, a heavy-duty Mercedes Benz bus, are all over the road in Manila, and they’re always packed with people.

Jeepney Manila

19. Soul food- noodles with chicken spritzed with calamansi.

Pinoy Noodles with Chicken

20. Meats galore- Makati night market street food.

Street Food Manila

21. Care for animal parts on a stick?

Street Food and Meat, Manila Philippines

22. Lechon (suckling pig) sisig with rice street food stall.

Lechon Sisig Philippines

23. Red Horse- a favorite Filipino beer bottled by San Miguel Brewery.

Red Horse Beer Philippines

24. Unexpectedly listening to a great band perform at Makati’s weekend/night market with a fun and rowdy crowd of Filipinos.

(They played hits by: Nirvana, Korn, Evanescence, My Chemical Romance, Drowning Pool, Disturbed. Basically the songs of my awkward teenage years.)

punk concert in Manila

Stellar punk playlists, animal intestines on sticks, and impoverished children urinating in public places…these are all special things. But here’s the truth: Manila is not my cup of tea. I’m glad I tried a sip though.

Is Manila your cup of tea? Tell me why!


  1. Deanna | 21st Mar 16

    Great pictures, Casey!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 22nd Mar 16

      Thank you! 😀

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