There is no other place in the world quite as chaotic and endearing as Metropolitan Manila. Encompassing 16 cities, it is one of the 10 most populous areas in Asia. Business travelers stick to Makati, Taguig, Mandaluyong or Pasig, where big companies hold offices in gleaming skyscrapers and the country’s top restaurants, bars, art galleries and malls can be found. The young student population keeps Quezon City’s dining and a live music scene buzzing; while culture and heritage lovers head directly to the capital city of Manila for its museums, centuries-old churches, the historic walled Intramuros and streets of Chinatown. With jampacked alleys and slow moving traffic throughout the day, Metro Manila often confuses first timers, but those who plan ahead and learn to just go with the flow, will be surprised with how much spontaneous fun this metropolis has to offer.
La Mesa Eco Park
There are many ways to get an adrenaline rush at this 33ha public park in Quezon City, one of the metro’s few remaining green lungs. Hit the mountain bike trail, dip into a saltwater pool or go fishing at the lagoon. Or do it like they did here in the 1950s – bring the entire family for an outdoor picnic.