This is my view and my opinion based on my own experiences. By no means do I intend to offend anyone, needless to say as a tourist you may have a completely different experience to mine.
I am sorry to say that my time in Manila was less than magical. Although the city is a main hub for the whole country and its home to an international business district; the place itself for me was undesirable.
I got an unsafe vibe from this city from the moment I set foot there, resulting in me not really wanting to leave my hotel.
Maybe it was the way people stared and laughed at us as we walked down the street? Now I’m no stranger to locals staring us at us questionably, I had travelled Asia for over 3 months after all. This time it just felt very different. It was more judgemental than inquisitive.
It could have been that the roads were small and eery. There were lots of small pathways and alleyways that were barely lit, all of which I didn’t want to walk down.
We walked into what we believed was the ‘city centre’ (wondering if it was just the area we stayed that we weren’t a fan of), but I still felt the same feeling.
Maybe it was the fact that my sister told me her friend warned me to be careful as kidnapping is common? Or that I read an article in a magazine about a place called Bank Bar and that the bartender wore a bulletproof vest? Not really really things you want to hear as you embark on the journey to the city.
Maybe I was just paranoid?
One the other hand I loved Cebu City. Although there were obvious similarities as both were in the same country, this city had an uplifting, cultural vibe.
Magellans across, Basilica Menore de Santo Nino and the big Plaza Independancia park were all stops on a lovely day out for us. (Which I’ll post pictures of soon of course)
My verdict.. Cebu is the winner!
Have you been to these cities? Which one did you prefer?