A known shopper’s mecca, Baclaran can be so much more than just a flea market. Explore how this northern Paranaque district can be a great travel bargain.
Baclaran is a neighborhood district located north of Paranaque City. It is located just at the borders of Paranaque and Pasay City. Baclaran is also known as a major transportation hub and transfer point, given the fact that its geographical location makes it an entry and a departure point from Mega Manila to the neighboring provinces in southern Manila.
Recent real estate development in Pasay makes Baclaran an underrated travel destination. Tourists in the area can stay in 3-star to luxury hotels in the area, but can get every dime of their money’s worth from the tiangges lining up the district’s streets.
Manila International Airport or Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is just 16 minutes away from Baclaran. You can take a daily flight to the airport, and take either a rental car or a car service to any point in Baclaran.
There are shuttle buses available at the airport, which passes Airport Road and stops at a bus hub near Manila Metro Rail Transit EDSA station.
There are a lot of buses and jeepneys coming or going to southern Manila pass through Baclaran or have the district as their end destination. The Manila Light Rail Transit System starts at Baclaran and ends at Monumento in the north.
Walking is always a great alternative to explore the district. However, there are pedicabs, or bicycles attached with a closed sidecar, available for you to take for shorter distances.
Pay a visit to the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Also known as the Redemptorist Church or Baclaran Church, this prominent Catholic National shrine is a homage to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is open 24 hours, so expect a lot of pilgrimage goers at the church.
Coconut Palace (Tanghalang Pilipino), which is located at Roxas Boulevard, would be an interesting stop for you. Used as a government guest house for some of the Philippine’s high-profile visitors, including Brooke Shields, George Hamilton, and Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, pay attention to the property’s architecture and its furnishings.
While you’re there, drop at the National Theater (Tanghalang Pambansa), which hosts plays, film screenings, and exhibits.
You can’t not shop if you are in Baclaran. Don’t be afraid to explore the district, especially the stalls along Taft Avenue. The Baclaran flea market has everything from electronics, clothes, accessories, shoes, and even traditional Chinese medicine.
If you want to still shop but want to have the comforts of a shopping mall, you can also head on to Mall of Asia, which is among the top 15 largest shopping malls in the world.
It also has an amusement park by the Bay Area, where you can check out the breathtaking view of the Manila Bay and get a ride on the largest Ferris wheel in the Philippines.
Eating seafood will never be this exhilarating when you dine at the Seaside dampa along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard. Because it is just a few meters away from Manila Bay, you can be assured that the seafood catch offered at the open-air wet market are fresh (with some still alive). If you’re feeling adventurous, try the live rock crabs, baby sharks, and abalone.
If you want a traditional Filipino fare, check out La Fiesta, the largest casual eat-and-drink-all-you-can Filipino restaurant. Located at the Mall of Asia, it has everything, including known street food like balut (boiled fertilized egg), day-old chicken, and isaw (barbecued pig and/or chicken intestines). Try the grilled tuna belly and the lechon de leche.
If you want something light for a nightcap, head to Sofitel Philippine Plaza on Thursdays Wine and Cheese buffet at Spiral. The restaurant also has an unlimited champagne and sangria day every Saturday from 12 noon to 2PM.
Just 12 minutes away from Baclaran is the Entertainment City, a huge economic consisting of some of the most luxurious entertainment establishments in Mega Manila. If you feel to celebrate the night away with some partying and gambling, check out City of Dreams Manila. It has two international nightclubs named Chaos and Pangea, top-tier, fine-dining restaurants, and a casino enough to transport you to Las Vegas.
Feel like singing the night away? There are a slew of karaoke joints in Baclaran. Try booking a room for you and your friends and choose from their wide variety of songs at Music 21.
If you need a more mellow evening, avail a spa package at Wensha Spa, a 24-hour wellness center a few minutes away. The packages comes with a free buffet, showers, sauna, and spa swimming pool with television.
The Mabuhay Manor, which is just off Harrison and Ortigas streets, provides a Filipino themed hotel experience. Just a 5-minute walk from Baclaran Church, it has an outdoor pool, fitness center, spa services, and a convenient shuttle service to and from the airport.
If you’re tired of the usual hotel stay, The Henry Hotel at FB Harrison Street would be an awesome alternative. This boutique hotel estate can easily charm you off with its lush green surroundings and retro interiors that will make you feel as if you have been warped back in time.
The SM Mall of Asia Complex houses modern real estate projects, of which some of the units are available on lease. The Concierge at Sea Residences can be a travelling family’s home away from home with all the amenities it has for a condo apartment.
When going shopping at a flea market, avoid wearing too much jewelry or bringing in valuables.
Taxis should only charge by the meter plus P40 flagdown rate. Any higher than that should only be at your discretion and not of the taxi driver.
As your hotel’s concierge about their airport shuttle routes. If your next itinerary stop will be passing those routes, ask if you can hitch a ride.