WorldExecutivesDigest.com | There are many reasons why people travel: to relax, to celebrate, to learn, to make memories. Of course, part and parcel of traveling nowadays is taking photos. It’s one of the best and cheapest ways to preserve those memories, after all. Plus, taking photos in and of itself is a lot of fun. It can even challenge your creativity in getting the best shots and angles.
When it comes to taking those Instagrammable shots, you’d marvel at the abundance of picture-perfect locations in the city of Manila. The Philippine capital is steeped in history, evident in the many museums, heritage locations, and various tourist destinations that dot its many districts. There are also modern attractions that further make this city a definite haven for travelers. If you’re the kind of tourist who loves taking the best pictures, visit these places in Manila to level up your Instagram game.
Manila Central Post Office
Before email and social media, the Manila Central Post Office is one of the busiest places in the capital. Obviously, it’s still in operation, but the number of people who use its services have waned considerably. Tourists who love architecture, however, should find every reason to visit. The neoclassical structure boasts Ionic columns that lend your pictures a dramatic touch. Take a photo from a lower angle to showcase the building’s majesty or perhaps frame it against a clear blue sky to make the columns’ pale yellow color pop. Manila Central Post Office is located near the Pasig River, in case you also want sweeping panoramic shots that include the river. The inside also presents a lot of photographic opportunities, like the curved walls and high ceilings.
Travel Tip: Make reservations in hotels near Robinsons Manila. You can just hop on the train or take a jeepney to reach not just the post office but also other nearby tourist destinations. For example, the Manila City Hall is also a great subject for photos.
Escolta is considered the Wall Street of the Philippines during the pre-WWII days. As the center of trading and commerce in that era, it was simply “the place to be.” You can find a few art-deco-style buildings here, as well as a few other iconic landmarks. Take photos of the Burke Building (the first to have an elevator in the Philippines), the Capitol Theatre, the Don Roman Santos Building, and the El Hogar. The last one is particularly famous for its “beaux arts” style, featuring opulent moldings, reliefs, and sculptures. El Hogar is said to be a wedding gift by Antonio Melian to Margarita Zobel de Ayala. Find the lovebirds’ initials on the main staircase and take a photograph!
Travel Tip: Visit the Calvo Museum for more photo ops. The museum has an eclectic collection, featuring not just photos and paintings, but also advertisements and even bottles. For a meal, visit the first Original Savory branch for some mouthwatering Chinese-stlye fried chicken.
National Museum of Natural History
In a city that’s hundreds of years old, the National Museum of Natural History is one of the newest tourist spots. It opened only last 2018, comprising six floors that showcase the Philippines’ diverse ecosystem through photos and paintings, taxidermied specimens, and other exhibitions. There are also fine arts and anthropology collections inside if you’re interested to know more about the Philippines. For photo ops, the most famous spot is the “Tree of Life” in the foyer. The design is inspired by the double helix structure of the human DNA. From the outside, you can also take snapshots of the building’s sweeping facade and the glass dome that can be seen from various angles.
Travel Tip: If you love museums, the National Planetarium, the National Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Museum of Anthropology are all located in the same complex. For more photos, you can also drop by the Rizal Park.
Because the Philippines was under Spanish rule for hundreds of years, it’s easy to find structures that reflect this colonial past. Intramuros, in particular, is full of these sights. Start by touring the gardens, like the Puerta Real Gardens, Baluarte San Diego, Padre Blanco’s Gardens, and Plaza Roma. Then take photos of the gates; there are eight in total: Puerta de Banderas, Puerta de Postigo, Puerta de Sta. Lucia, Puerta Real, Puerta del Parian, Puerta del Almacenes, Puerta de Sto. Domingo, and Puerta de Isabel II. Make sure to climb to the top of the ports to get scenic views of the cityscape, covering not just Manila but also nearby Makati.
Travel Tip: Intramuros has a lot of tourist destinations like Fort Santiago and the San Agustin Church, among many others. You can visit all these spots faster by renting a bike. For a hearty meal, visit Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant in Gen. Luna Street.
Taking impressive photos is not the only reason to travel to Manila or any other place for that matter. After taking some pictures, put down the lens for a while, and just appreciate the sights. Enjoy the place and all the things it has to offer.