My name is Marine Broux and I live in Manila, the Philippines with my two boys, ages five and two. Since living here, I founded Un Tout Petit Monde, a travel-themed educational subscription service for French-speaking families.
Come join us for a typical weekend day here in Manila!
6:30 AM–Time to Wake Up!
Indeed, the sun is already up and bright. It’s quite hot here all year round with temperatures averaging 30° C at least….Not surprisingly, everyone wakes up early ! We enjoy breakfast in our small “lanai,” our house’s covered terrace.
Our house is located in a residential village called Dasmarinas in the city of Makati in Metro Manila, We’re very lucky to live in this residential haven with neighboring private houses and surrounded by nature, trees, and squirrels. We’re thankful to be away from the rest of the city which is very crowded, polluted, and jammed with traffic.
We love strolling around our neighborhood while our five-year-old Hadrien follows us with his bike.
8 AM–A Visit to the Old Town
We actually don’t do this every weekend, but visiting Intramuros, Manila’s historic 16th century Spanish walled district, is a must if you are in Manila. Depending on the traffic, it takes about an hour’s drive from Makati to get there. Metro Manila is huge and the traffic makes driving around very challenging unless you do some careful advance planning. The best time to go is in the morning when it’s cooler.
With small children, one of the most fun ways of touring Intramuros is in a traditional kalesa (horse-drawn carriage). If your kids are big enough, you can opt for an eco-friendly tour on bikes made with durable bamboo called bambikes.
The San Agustin church, dating back to 1604 and its adjacent monastery are a UNESCO World Heritage site well worth visiting.
Manila would not exist without all its malls and stores! It’s a mini-America in terms of products’ availability and international brands or food chains.
With kids, we like going to Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese dim-sum chain. This is a great place to go with kids–the food is delicious and the service is great. This particular branch is situated in BGC, Fort Bonifacio on High Street. If you’re not a Chinese food fan, there are plenty of other restaurants on the same street where you will surely find something to please the whole family. We also enjoy taking a stroll checking out the stores in the neighborhood.
3 PM–Snack Time
Here in the Philippines, they call it merienda, and they eat all day long proper meals or snacks. You will always definitely find a restaurant to suit your taste that’s open.
We always like grabbing an ice cream. But you can also try the traditional Filipino cold dessert Halo-halo in any mall! And for a nice fresh drink, the best is to have calamansi juice (made with a tiny local tiny lime) or mango juice. If you want to avoid a sugar high, be sure to ask the sugar-free version of these drinks.
4 PM–A Splash in the Pool
Whether you live in a house or in a condo, or are staying at a hotel, you might really love the idea of jumping into a pool after a long hot day. Bring goggles and enjoy Manila’s outdoor pools open year round. Also, don’t forget sunblock and UV T shirts as the sun can be very strong around here in the Philippines!
6 PM–Time to Go Home or to a Restaurant
As the sun sets on the early side around 6.30PM, it’s nice to be back home by then.
For us parents, it’s also nice to go out to a restaurant like Nikkei (a Peruvian-Japanese restaurant) in the Rockwell or BGC neighborhoods or to a Spanish tapas bar such as Rambla in Makati. Due to the three-centuries-long Spanish colonization of the Philippines lasting until the late 19th century and concurrent with Mexican immigration, Hispanic culture is very strong here.