What began as a small tribal settlement in the 1500’s is now a bustling metropolis brimming with urbanity. Manila’s rich history tells a treacherous tale of being once encircled by walls, occupied during World War II, and colonized by the United States. Stepping out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport from one of the many long Manila flights, you’ll be surrounded by a vibrant fusion of past and present. Established in 1976, Metro Manila (a neighboring city quartet of Manila, Kalookan, Pasay, and Quezon City) holds an overabundance of activities for all ages. With all there is to offer, it’s easy to enjoy the city’s vast opportunities for bargain shopping, wild marine life, hybrid culture, blended cuisine, and revered antiquity.
While your cheap flight to Manila may seem prudent and ordinary, it can never compare to a lively jaunt in the city’s most famous method of transportation, called Jeepneys. This ultra affordable (and often brightly colored) mode of travel can suit up to even 18 passengers – but watch your head! Tourists have been known to achieve a bump or two in midst of all the fun.
After smartly saving on your cheap flight to Manila, you won’t need to worry much about holding on to your pesos. There are plenty of ways to have affordable fun for everyone. For approximately 200 pesos (5 USD), the outdoor adventurer can take a dive (or a snorkel, for that matter) in Manila Bay, where the water boasts up to 400 species of marine wildlife. Fortunately, it’s all made easily approachable by its surrounding Rizal Park and Manila Ocean Park’s three-story concourse. For the indoor bargain hunter, look no further than the Mall of Asia on Roxas Boulevard, where you can also enjoy an IMAX Theater and science museum. Another preference, Divisoria Market, is characterized by its bulk items and down-to-here prices. They don’t call it the mall capital of Asia for nothing, so keep that in mind when saving baggage room aboard your flight to Manila.
Much about the city’s history can be learned through the sacred structures of churches. The Manila Cathedral, for instance, was originally built from local materials of nipa and bamboo until it was damaged in the late 1500s by both a fire and a typhoon. While earthquakes and wars have ravaged the foundation of the holy ground, it stands today, much like the city, as a testament to the loyalty of its people. More landmark churches, like Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, and San Sebastian Church, reside near the southern side of the Pasig River.
Just as the Philippines endure both rainy and dry seasons, it also showcases two bold and differing tastes of cuisine. The harmony created by both Chinese and Spanish influences create well-balanced concoctions like sweet and sour Chinese noodles and Spanish embudito. The adaptation of its counterparts is what makes the area so lavishly distinctive.
The native Philippine Tagalog word for “yes” is “Oo.” And that’s all you’ll need to say when booking your cheap flight to Manila.
Hot and humid all year round, you’re bound to get covered in heat as soon as you step off your flight to Manila. Worth preparing for, though, is the rain: Falling 159 days a year, the extreme weather conditions are enough to deter any outward bound person – don’t let it get to you. The tropical climate gets a bad wrap because of its wet season from June to November, but a beautiful dry season makes up for it from December to May.
Best Time to Fly to Manila
Book your flight to Manila based on weather you’d prefer drier, milder weather, or wetter, hotter conditions.
Peak Season: The perfect time to book your cheap flight to Manila is between November and February, the high tropical temperatures drop down, as does the rainfall. The dry season is a perfect time to make day trips and enjoy the weather, but be sure to bring sunscreen: Temperatures stay in the mid 80’s, and the sun’s rays are strong.
Off-peak Season: High humidity takes reign during the summer time, especially on the hills of the Eastern Cordillera and to the eastern side near the mountains. The wet season also brings typhoons and high temperatures, but much fewer tourists. If braving the rain seems like a challenging and exciting way to see the city, then book your flight to Manila between June and October.
Getting around Manila
Since population is such a plaguing issue for the city, do your part for the environment by making sure to use public transportation. Watch out though, these aren’t as easy and ordinary methods as your flight to Manila. Small buses that look like jeeps, called Jeepneys, are used for sharing rides with quite a few people. Taxis, although less common, are better for more private rides. A rail line, connecting Caloocan City and the city of Baclaran, was finished in 1984, and the Philippine National Railways also join the city with northern and southeastern Luzon. Traffic overcrowding is severe, tending to gather at the bridges during rush hours.
Manila Travel Information
- Old Manila: If you’re one for history, check out Rizal Park, named after Dr. Jose Rizal, a national hero of the Philippines. What was once a walled city built during the Spanish colonial period now stands as a united front. See also Fort Santiago, which used to be the headquarters of the military until its ruin in 1945. A more religious site to add to your Manila travel is San Agustin Church, oldest structure in the country, dating back to 1571, or Casa Manila, a 19th century mansion with 16th-19th century furnishings
- Tagaytay: If your flight to Manila wasn’t exactly filled with scenic views, take in the breathtaking sights of coastal villages, rice fields, fruit orchards, and coconut plantations along the countryside of Tagaytay. The Tagaytay Ridge stands 2250 feet above sea level, allowing for once and a lifetime views of the city, and Tagaytay Highlands provides a panoramic view of the Tall Volcano. You won’t regret your quality time with the rugged terrain and the gorgeous mountain climate.
- Pagsanjan Falls: You may have sped right through your long flight to Manila, and if so, a two-hour drive through the southeast section of town won’t feel so lengthy. Small towns surround the outer edges of the city, and as soon as you arrive as Pagsanjan Falls, you can take a boat ride up the river among the beautiful gorges and canyons, inundated with tropical vegetation and waterfalls. Hold on tight, because the river’s “shooting rapids” speed things up on your way downstream.
- Binondo Church: Located on Quentin Paredes Street at Plaza Calderon de la Barca stands the oldest place of Christian worship in the Philippines. Since 1596, this scared ground has been damaged through the likes of earthquakes and other natural disasters. Fortunately, the community funds have kept it going and have allowed for renovations to give the church new life again and again. When you’re done here, China Town is just blocks away, begging to be explored.