Making Memories in Manila
Cheap but awesome family bonding destinations in Manila are great ways to learn of the city’s rich history and culture.
Stuck in the city for a long weekend? Never fear! A number of cheap but awesome family bonding destinations in Manila can help make awesome memories for the family!
The National Museum of the Philippines
A day at a museum takes a whole new meaning with the National Museum of the Philippines. This historical and cultural repository is spread out over four buildings: the National Planetarium, the Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Natural History. Noteworthy exhibits here include the collection from the sunken galleon the San Diego, as well as an extensive gallery on Philippine textiles. The Museum of Fine Arts houses the celebrated Spoliarium by Juan Luna, as well as paintings and sculptures by Amorsolo, Francisco and other masters of Philippine arts. The recently opened Museum of Natural History is a special treat for kids with its interactive exhibits on Philippine ecosystems, which allow visitors to have a virtual experience of traveling through rainforests, coral reefs, and more.
Best of all? Visitors can see all of this for free.
Rizal Park, which is also still called Luneta Park, is designated as the Kilometer Zero of the Philippines. It is also a favorite place for strolling, picnics, or simply taking in the air and the sight of the Manila sunset. Apart from its famous Rizal monument, the park features walkways, jogging paths, and ornamental gardens such as the Chinese and Japanese gardens. The park also has its own orchidarium, and a large relief map of the Philippines. There is no shortage of places to stop and take pictures, or simply sit down with food for a family picnic.
The Rizal Park is also a favorite site for open air concerts and other entertainment from local cultural groups and troupes. Schedules for these may be found in the park’s visitor’s center near the Kalaw entrance.
The walled city of Intramuros is a de rigeur stop for anyone who wants to know the history of Manila. Its bulwarks, which are continually being restored, are favorite spots for photoshoots and sightseeing. Within Intramuros are national treasures such as the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, Fort Santiago and many more. Scattered all throughout the city are monuments bearing testament to Intramuros’ history from its construction during the Spanish colonization to its near destruction during World War 2.
For minimal entrance fees, visitors can tour the museums at Fort Santiago and San Agustin Church to get a glimpse of the culture and times that shaped some of the Philippines’ national heroes, such as Jose Rizal. The Plaza San Luis is also a noted one stop visitor’s center; here is the Casa Manila Museum as well as shops showcasing Filipino handicrafts.
For excellent food, head over to Ristorante dela Mitre, just across San Agustin Church. This small restaurant serves up delicious renditions of Filipino and Spanish favorites, as well as an impressive selection of pastries best enjoyed as an afternoon snack.
Cranium Board Game Lounge and Resto
On rainy days or lazy days, nothing quite beats playing hours and hours of board games. Manila has its very own board game café, Cranium Board Game Lounge and Resto. Located on Leon Guinto Avenue just near De La Salle University and the College of Saint Benilde, Cranium is well stocked with a collection of board games to suit all ages. Visitors can ask for in-house recommendations on what games best suit the number of available players. Aside from gaming, the other thing to do in Cranium is eating. During the lunch hour, one can avail of the unlimited wings + board games deal, something which is sure to leave the whole family full and happy in one go.
Manila can be said to be an oldie but a goodie when it comes to making memories. These classic and not so classic spots in the city are not to be missed when spending time with one’s family. After all, camaraderie and bonding come at no cost except for time and effort.
Aquino, J. (27 Jun 2019). Top 10 Indispensable Intramuros Philippines Stops. TripSavvy. Retrieved from: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/manila/attractions/rizal-park/a/poi-sig/391109/357305
Lonely Planet. (2019). Rizal Park. The Lonely Planet. Retrieved from: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/manila/attractions/rizal-park/a/poi-sig/391109/357305
Trip Advisor (2019). National Museum. Trip Advisor. Retrieved from: https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Attraction_Review-g298573-d310887-Reviews-National_Museum-Manila_Metro_Manila_Luzon.htmlZomato (2019). Cranium Board Game Lounge + resto. Zomato.com. Retrieved from: zomato.com/manila/cranium-board-game-lounge-resto-malate-manila