Baumgart: Metro Manila

Elisabeth Baumgart

CEBU traffic has trained me well.

I thought I’d be losing my mind while festering in Metro Manila traffic but Cebu’s traffic situation has prepared me for the best, err, worst. I’d normally hear this in reverse, but, since Cebu has been working so well in worsening it’s traffic situation--we’ve become easy training ground in preparing for Metro Manila traffic.

The boyfriend, Rob, wanted to get some Manila experience in him. It may not be everyone’s favorite idea of spending the Christmas holidays, but we love exploring cities and catching some interesting sights and sounds a city has to offer. We’ve been going around the metro, spending about an hour in traffic just traveling to one location-–no matter the distance. Considering that it takes me more than an hour to get to work daily in Cebu, the one-hour travel time in Metro Manila doesn’t bother me much.

I’m surprisingly calmer when it comes braving Metro Manila traffic than Metro Cebu traffic. I’ve been telling friends that, while I am not a fan of Metro Manila traffic, I prefer traffic in Manila more than in Cebu simply because I can explain and predict it more. Whereas, Metro Cebu traffic has seen no improvement over recent years and everything has been pretty downhill.

Braving the Metro Manila traffic has been worth it. We had the best time at Intramuros and got a healthy dose of history from the place. It’s been well organized and managed since the last time I visited years ago and it’s become a perfect place to go back in time and get more personal with our history.

Intramuros is also home of the Destileria Limtuaco Museum, the museum of the country’s longest running distillery--the Destileria Limtuaco. The distillery is best known for its White Castle whiskey and the original herbal Shioktong wine. The museum walks you through the whole distillery process and gives you a thorough tour of its company history and family history. They have a beautiful library of all their alcohol that will impress you.

Not to be missed in the tour is their drink-tasting, where visitors can get six shots of any of their drinks. Since Rob and I got six drinks each, we decided to share each of our drinks and essentially get 12 shots each. It definitely was an excellent museum experience. Well worth the hour’s worth of Manila traffic.

A visit to Metro Manila is always worth it. If you know where you want to go and know where to look, you’ll have the best time. There are always hidden gems in the metro that are definitely worth braving traffic for.