In every city here in the Philippines, Christmas is celebrated differently, which gives it its own unique character. Manila, for example, is one city which breathes history in itself. Back in the olden days, this was the center of hustle, bustle, and commerce. The walled city of Intramuros is home to the old churches - the Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church, which preserves pre-colonial Architecture of the old Manila we know. Intramuros was also a fortress, and former home to the oldest university, the University of Sto. Tomas.
The San Agustin Church.
Old World Architecture that you can't get anywhere.
I went to school in the heart of Manila, and even though the center of trade and commerce has been moved elsewhere, Manila still retains its old-world charm.
[image from wikipedia.org]
My campus in UP Manila still has the robust old-world architecture, preserved with the big, heavy doors and pillars.
Perhaps today the busiest part of Manila is the shopping center, Divisoria, where as early as September, people go there for early Christmas shopping and bargain hunts. It's a place where anything and everything could be found at super low prices, and even lower when bought wholesale. Last but not the least, the natural artwork of the Manila Bay Sunset is one that's definitely to be seen.
Definitely Manila is a place where I spent a good deal of my life in. I've had a great number of field trips there. I've attended weddings in Manila Cathedral and Manila Hotel. I was also witness to the Manila Bay Sunset whenever I go home from class. Manila was also the place where I had my first taste of street food, and ended up loving them. At first I was apprehensive to try them, being sheltered and all but after learning how to commute plus familiarizing myself with street food, I begin loving it as well. Grab and go fishballs and cheese sticks was probably enough to get the hunger pangs away before my class.
Street food seemed to be the inspiration I guess, for Manila's entry to Keso De Gallo, a celebration where 100 towns come up with 100 unique dishes and these dishes would be showcased for 100 days to underscore this celebration of Christmas here in the Philippines. For the City of Manila, their entry is Cheese and Garlic Rolls in Tamarind Sauce
Love this town? Are you a true-blue Manilenyo? Or did you try out this dish yourself and ended up loving it? Then go here. Oh, and before going to buy your ingredients, remember to save that box of Kraft Eden Cheese. :)