Manila is the capital of the Philippines, and the country's center of governance, education, religion and finance. One's first impression of Manila may be that of a congested, polluted concrete jungle, but don't let that stop you from exploring this sprawling, bustling and complicated city whose colorful multi-cultural heritage and history, crazy and cutting-edge commercial centers, varied and vibrant nightlife give it a flavor and atmosphere that can charm and captivate when and where one least expects it.
Manila is often described as the only capital city in Asia that’s not exotically Asian. A foreigner will be surprised that a local looks just like any Asian, but wears mostly T-shirt & jeans, or jersey, can relate in English, reads and writes in Roman text, and is not at home with chopsticks. As we now see it, Manila is more modern and western judging from the steel and glass skyscrapers dotting the skyline.
Manila is a city where one should exercise caution. As a slum haven, Manila is one of the most blighted cities in Asia rivaling Calcutta, Bombay, and Dacca. Sufficient to say that it is not convenient to carefree wonder around as one would encounter sidewalks fringed with makeshift shanties that lead to a sudden turn into a labyrinth of squatter neighborhoods. It is very scary if not annoying encountering lolling group of male adult and teenage bystanders, although nowadays, these areas are most likely manned by village watchmen and everyone is more than willing to help and interact with lost strangers.