When I visited Manila, Philippines for work in October, I didn’t have much time to explore because of my schedule and the city’s unbelievable traffic. However I was fortunate to visit Fort Santiago and Cathedral Manila, and as my hotel was in the business district, Makati, I shopped in several of Manila’s well-known malls like SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta, Glorietta 5, and Greenbelt.
The highlight of my travels was seeing Fort Santiago, which sits within the walled city, the Intramuros. The Fort offers a wealth of history as it’s purpose changed throughout different time periods. While it was originally constructed during the 1590s by a Spanish Conquistador, it became occupied by the British, and then later seized by the U.S. Army. During WWII, the Japanese repurposed the site as a prison for Americans and Filipinos.
In its current state, the Fort has a park, ruins, and a museum dedicated to the author and national hero, Jose Rizal. Tourists can even intimately wander about the Fort’s historical remains, and overlooks the Pasig River and the Binondo skyline.