Manila Hidden Gems Few People Experience

Manila may be known for its chaotic traffic and oppressive humidity; however, it also holds some unexpected gems worth discovering! From hidden restaurants to hidden bars tucked behind shelves – these hidden treasures should not be missed!

Discover amazing historical sites and delicious local cuisine on this exclusive walking tour of Manila’s most exciting spots and neighborhoods, such as Intramuros or Chinatown – two areas known for being some of Manila’s best-kept secrets! This article will reveal many hidden gems. London to Manila flights are easily offered by Cathay Pacific. 

Bahay Nakpil-Bautista

House History is as fascinating as its facade: originally owned by Dr. Ariston Bautista of La Liga Filipina along with Juan Luna and other Filipino scholars in Spain. Dr. Ariston married Petrona Nakpil whose two brothers joined Katipunan: Julio as Vice President Supremo (composing patriotic songs during revolution) while Gregoria De Jesus or “Oriang” organized women to aid rebellion efforts.

The house design embodies traditional urban Filipino aesthetic at its finest, featuring stone skirts on both floors of its first storey, wooden frames for the second, sliding windows with ventanillas, and sliding window shutters with ventanillas reminiscent of 1900s Viennese art movement Secession.

House is a large complex with numerous rooms. On the first floor there are comedor, sala, two suites of cuartos connected by sliding Japanese shoji screen doors which open views to street and estaro behind. All rooms are furnished with period pieces including paintings of Oriang; other rooms dedicated to jewelry making businesses.

San Sebastian Basilica

San Sebastian Basilica stands alone as the only church in Asia featuring Gothic Revival architecture, identifiable from a distance by its pointed spires and pointed windows. Built using prefabricated steel after Augustinian Recollect order churches were damaged three times by fires and earthquakes, its stained glass windows are an iconic feature and were purchased from Germany – known for this kind of art form reportedly.

The church interiors are an impressive display of trompe l’oeil art, an artistic technique used to make paintings appear three dimensional. For instance, the ceiling posts were painted to look like wooden pillars supporting an open sky filled with angelic hosts; an exceptional feat of craftsmanship which shows just how far ahead of its time the Philippines was at this point in time.

The Basilica is currently recognized as both a National Historical Landmark and cultural treasure of the country, but over the years has faced multiple challenges such as corrosion. Preservation projects undertaken without proper analysis or repairs based on scientific principles left the structure vulnerable to further deterioration; this project seeks to prevent this by conducting comprehensive analyses and repairs that adhere to scientific principles in order to ensure it will continue being properly preserved for generations to come.

Seng Guan Temple

Philippines capital Manila’s Chinatown is an exciting, bustling enclave packed with attractions for visitors. While most associate it with beauty contests and political rallies, this neighborhood teems with life and should be visited at least once by any traveler.

Seng Guan Temple, one of the largest Buddhist temples in the Philippines, can be found along Narra Street nearby Manila Cultural College and Tutuban Mall. Completed in 1936 and named for Archbishop Seng Guan – who was an avid follower of Buddha – this impressive site enchants visitors.

This three-story temple offers plenty to see and experience, including a second-floor exhibit illustrating Buddha’s life story and several gold-leafed statues depicting him. All Buddhists as well as non-Buddhists alike should visit it!

Temple provides prayer meetings, retreats, meditation courses and other Buddhist activities; assistance during times of disaster or calamity is also offered; they also have a library and bookstore on site as well as two-hour weekly sessions on Sunday afternoon combining sitting/walking meditation with short lectures – ideal for anyone interested in Buddhism – making the Temple accessible to those seeking religious help – though weekday visits would likely be better as weekends can become extremely crowded!

Calvo Building Museum

Calvo Building Museum stands as an icon of pre-war Escolta Street in Manila’s narrow side street that was filled with Art Deco and Art Nouveau structures. Built by Fernando Ocampo in 1938 and on land owned by Angel Calvo and Emiliana Mortera, before World War II this landmark building served as offices for commercial companies like Berg’s Department Store, Lyric Music as well as high class cinematic cinemas Capitol and Lyric Theater.

Today, this building serves as a small museum with a small fee to offer a journey back in time. The long hallway is filled with pieces from days gone by: old photographs of notable socialites and personalities; ticket receipts from boutiques (Syvel’s, Heacock’s and Hamilton Brown), photos of Carnaval de Manila beauty queens as well as newspaper ads featuring imported cars, sporting equipment, shoes, empty bottles with silver spoons inside them as well as newspaper advertisements for imported cars (Imported Cars), sporting equipment (Imported Cars), newspaper ads for imported cars as well as newspapers ads featuring imported cars, sporting equipment shoes shoes empty bottles silver spoons phonographs radio sets etc.); In addition there’s also an OPM library which houses music sheets of songs such as Sa Dakong Silangan” (Ang Maya”) or Awit Ng Pag-Ibig”.

Entrance fees to the museum are P50 per person, and opening times range from Monday through Friday 9 AM until 5 PM and on Saturdays from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM. For more information visit their Facebook page here, and subscribe to their weekly curated content on lifestyle, culture and travel!


Barbara’s is a heritage restaurant offering traditional Filipino fare and cultural performances. They also provide Spanish dishes like paella and tapas – an ideal venue for weddings and banquets!

Barbara may not keep up with her sister in every aspect of life, yet she remains cheerful and eager to find ways to bring joy and make others smile. Barbara longs to be an icon who spreads happiness and heals spiritual wounds among people.

Barbara’s is easily accessible from Plaza San Luis in the heart of the city by bus or taxi; car parking spaces are also conveniently available within this plaza complex. Barbara’s offers appetizers, main courses and desserts; this restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily.

A’ Tado Madre

A’ Tado Madre is a Mexican restaurant situated on East Main Street near Lee County High School and owned by 23-year-old Jahaira Aguirra Ramos, a recent graduate of UNC Wilmington who is both self-taught in culinary skills as well as entrepreneurial acumen.

The Tequila Bar offers traditional and authentic Mexican dishes from its menu, as well as an expansive beverage list including many varieties from Oaxaca, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Michoacan and Puebla states.

A’Tado Madre offers an assortment of cocktails, such as margaritas and mojitos. Their signature house margaritas are created using fresh lime juice mixed with tequila for maximum enjoyment. In addition, A’Tado Madre offers fresh salsas and dips which come complete with tortilla chips as an accompaniment.

The restaurant derives its name from a popular Mexican phrase, “toda madre.” This term, translated to English as “every mother,” can be used to convey enthusiasm about something; its exact meaning depends on context so it’s essential that one understands its intended significance.

Tequila Bar is open seven days a week, providing guests with an ideal place to gather for food or beverages with friends. Their staff is extremely knowledgeable, able to answer any of your queries or assist in selecting the ideal tequila. In addition, tasting sessions allow customers to sample various flavors. Their logo features an stylized version of Jose Guadalupe Posada’s Calavera Catrina work which depicts those trying to adopt European aristocratic traditions in Mexico prior to its revolution.