Metro Manila - Landmarks and Recreational Areas

Landmarks and Recreational Areas

Located in the western portion of Metro Manila in the heart of Manila proper, Rizal Park, also known as the Luneta, is an iconic public promenade. Rizal Park features the Rizal Monument, a statue honoring José Rizal; a gigantic relief map of the Philippines; scenic Chinese and Japanese gardens; and several government offices, such as the Department of Tourism. On the seaside front of Rizal Park are numerous seafood restaurants specializing in Filipino and Asian cuisine. The National Museum of the Filipino People is also found here. It is a complex of two Greco-Roman buildings which house various relics and natural treasures in its galleries. The museum also boasts a large collection of artwork and masterpieces crafted by Filipinos. Part of the museum complex is the first planetarium in Southeast Asia. A newer attraction is the Manila Ocean Park, an oceanarium which opened in March 2008. Located nearby is the Quirino Grandstand, which apart from political campaign gatherings is also a popular staging ground for rallies such as those for various charismatic religious groups.

Near Rizal Park is the 400-year-old former imperial city known as Intramuros. Intramuros, is a walled domain which was once the seat of government during the Spanish Colonial Era and American Period. Among its attractions are Fort Santiago, a timeworn Spanish military fortress; Casa Manila, a Spanish colonial villa which is converted into a house gallery; Manila Cathedral, the official seat of the Archbishop of Manila; San Agustin Church, erected in 1587, the oldest existing church in the Philippines; Intramuros Golf Club, a golf course outside the walls; and the Clam Shell Tent, an exhibition center of the Department of Tourism. Horse-carriages and tourist buses are also some of the attractions. The rest also includes a walk above the walls surrounding Intramuros, government offices, universities and colonial houses. The Quiapo area is home to the famous Quiapo Church and Plaza Miranda, home to the Black Nazarene. It also has the largest Filipino Muslim community outside of the southern Philippines, where the trading-focussed Muslim Town and the Masjid Al-Dahab mosque is situated.

Fort Bonifacio is the location of military detachments, cemeteries, corporate headquarters, and world-class dining and shopping facilities. Other local recreation areas include the Nayong Pilipino (Philippine Village) in Parañaque, Quezon Memorial Circle and Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Center, both in Diliman district of Quezon City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and Bay City, both in Pasay. Meanwhile, the Paco Park, Arroceros Botanical Garden, Manila Zoo, Plaza Rajah Sulayman, Plaza Miranda, new Rizal Avenue Bargain Walkway, the all-steel Gothic San Sebastian Church, the bars and night clubs of Ermita and Malate districts and the Roxas Boulevard Bay Walk which offers a fine view of the Manila Bay sunset and hip dining are in Manila.

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