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Located behind the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park, Manila Ocean Park is one of the city's most popular family attractions. An oceanarium covering an area of 8,000 square meters (86,000 square feet), this attraction is fun, entertaining and educational for kids and adults of all ages. Among its most popular features are the 25 meter (82 foot) underwater acrylic tunnel that allows visitors to view ocean life first-hand; the Musical Fountain Show that offers a dazzling show of fire, music and lasers; and the Fish Spa, which offers pampering and relaxation. Open 365 days a year, including holidays, this is one of Manila's must-see attractions.
Unique in Asia, this was a European-style medieval fortified city that functioned as the seat of government from 1571 to 1898. The massive walls stretch some 4.5 kilometers, enclosing a 64-hectare area once occupied by palaces, churches, monasteries, schools and wealthy residences ('Intramuros' means 'inside the walls'). Sadly, the whole city was razed to the ground by bombings conducted by American forces when they recaptured Manila from the Japanese in 1945. Today most of the walls, gates and bulwarks have been restored, affording visitors a glimpse into the past.
One of Manila's most famous churches, Quiapo Church gets very crowded every Friday when thousands of devotees come to light a candle in supplication to the Black Nazarene, a life-size image of Christ believed to be miraculous. Around the church is a fascinating gathering of vendors selling candles and curiosities like amulets and folk cures for obscure ailments. The present cream-colored edifice was built after the original Mexican Baroque structure burned to the ground in 1928.
Located in the heart of Metro Manila is Makati City. It is considered by many to be the financial capital of the Philippines. Ayala Avenue, the main artery of the business area, is likened to New York's Wall Street. A bustling cultural, entertainment, and shopping hub, the area is popular to expatriates and tourists. The massive Ayala Center and Glorietta megamall can be found here, as well as many 5-star hotels and restaurants.
An oasis of spanking modernity, the Rockwell Center is graced by sleek residential towers bearing the names of eminent Filipinos - Rizal, Hidalgo, Luna and Amorsolo. Also located on the manicured grounds are two corporate high-rises, the Ateneo Graduate School and a selection of chic eateries. The Power Plant, an international shopping mall, attracts wealthy consumers living in the neighborhood.