When you think of the best cities to visit in Metro Manila, you think of historical Manila, modern Makati or hip n' cool Taguig. You don't think of places like Pasay, which the aforementioned cities border alongside its northeast portion.
However, Pasay has the distinction of having a strategic location. Aside from being directly beside the Manila Bay (which played a key role in the history of the Philippines), it's also south of Manila, the Philippine capital. Because of this, Pasay flourished as a city, particularly under the American colonial era.
But location isn't the only notable aspect of Pasay City. If you visit this city by the bay, you can also find:
A promenade stretching across Roxas Boulevard, Baywalk Manila (or simply "The Baywalk") is one of the best spots to watch the sun rise and set on Manila Bay. It's also a great place to hang out at night, watch musical performances and colorful festivals in nearby areas, and enjoy the lamps lighting up the entire length of Roxas Boulevard.
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Best known as the venue for graduation and oath-taking ceremonies, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is a huge complex where cultural events are held. Here, you can watch music concerts, dances, plays and other performances worthy of a standing ovation. Stay on top of what's happening at the CCP by following our events tag, or log on to TicketWorld.com for updates.
If you're up for a night-long party, check out the Events section of One Esplanade. A favorite venue for product launches and parties, the Esplanade is famous for being the observation center for the 2005 World Pyro Olympics, as well as the place where 5,300 couples set the 2007 Guinness World Record for the most number of people kissing simultaneously.
Resorts World Manila
Like the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Resorts World Manila is a regular venue for concerts, though schools won't be holding graduation ceremonies here anytime soon. That's because Resorts World is an all-around entertainment venue — meaning it includes casinos and other places that adults wouldn't want impressionable youngsters to visit.
Otherwise, Resorts World is worth a second look. Not only is it right across the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, but it also has a wide array of shopping, dining and clubbing options. Several well-known plays have been staged here, including The Sound of Music, The King and I, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Bituing Walang Ningning (The Stars That Don't Shine) and Annie.
If you like seafood that's literally fresh from the sea, you won't go wrong with Seaside Dampa. Located along Macapagal Boulevard in Libertad, Seaside Dampa (or simply "Dampa") is a haven of restaurants that serve crustaceans, bivalves and every other sea creature you can think of. Some restaurants allow you to choose the "raw material," ensuring that you have control over the quality of your food.
The only downside is the difficulty of commuting to Dampa. You have to (1) take a bus going to Star Mall in Alabang; (2) ride a jeep from Star Mall bound for Sucat, Parañaque; (3) ride a jeep from Sucat bound for Baclaran; and (4) get off along the part of A. Santos Avenue fronting Dampa.
Along with Enchanted Kingdom, Star City is one of the best-known amusement parks in the Mega Manila area. It's been adding new rides and attractions over the years, so it won't be the same as the last time you visited it.
If you're from a wintry country, Star City's Winter Wonderland might be right up your alley. There, you can frolic amidst the freezing landscape, take pictures with cute snowmen, and create warm memories with your family. For more information about Star City, log on to their official website.
SM Mall of Asia
Last, but not the least, is Pasay City's biggest attraction, the SM Mall of Asia. As one of the largest malls in the Philippines and the world, MoA (pronounced "mo-ah") boasts of jaw-dropping statistics like a floor area of 406,962 square meters and an average daily foot traffic of 200,000 people.
Aside from shopping, dining and entertainment options, MoA is also home to the:
- Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. Rivals the Araneta Coliseum as a regular venue for concerts by international artists.
- Mall of Asia Arena. Not to be confused with the Concert Grounds. Regular venue for Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) events.
- Exploreum Science Center. Home to hundreds of interactive and non-interactive science exhibits.
- Ferris Wheel. Self-explanatory.
Despite these attractions, Pasay is a surprisingly underrated destination for tourists. Why not change that by checking out the places above, or letting us in on your thoughts via the comments section below?