An AzAmazing Evening in Manila

One of my favorite things about cruising with Azamara Club Cruises is their AzAmazing Evenings. This was my third cruise with Azamara and of course my third AzAmazing Evening. They are very well thought out and put together nights of cultural entertainment in an important cultural place for the city it’s held in. For my latest cruise, it was an AzAmazing Evening in Manila, Philippines. It was my favorite one yet!
Manila, Philippines, AzAmazing Evening, Sunrise, Manila Bay
The Azamara Quest arrived early one morning and I caught an amazing sunrise pulling into port at Manila Bay. It was without a doubt the most spectacular way to arrive in Manila, a city known more for horrible traffic than anything else. But on my day around Manila, I was pleasantly surprised to discover some other interesting places to visit.
Fort Santiago, Manila, Philippines
My only prior visit to Manila was ten years ago and I wasn’t too impressed. So I sought to change my opinion on the city by taking a city tour of all the important sites around town.
Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines, flag
The tour started in Rizal Park, which is a nice reprieve from the traffic and craziness of the streets. We were there over a holiday so there were a lot of people out and about and it made it really fun to be there watching the local kids playing and families having picnics below a massive Philippines flag.
San Agustin Church, Manila, Philippines
Next up was San Agustin Church; which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a nice enough church to visit. It won’t blow your mind or anything but it’s nice to see inside it for the beautiful chapel and interesting museum.
Selfie, Filipino kids, Manila, Philippines
For me, the best part happened outside the church with school kids on a field trip. Filipino kids love selfies. In fact, the Philippines were named the most selfied nation or something like that in a recent article!
Lee Abbamonte. selfie, kids, Manila, Philippines
The kids were all taking selfies with us so I insisted on taking one with them as well. I think it came out pretty well and they made my afternoon for sure! Their smiles were infectious and their enthusiasm will stick with me!
Fort Santiago, Manila, Philippines, statues
After a visit to quiet Fort Santiago, where the AzAmazing Evening would be later that night, and Intramuros, we headed out to the American War Cemetery past Millionaires Row and Makati City.
American War Cemetery, Jewish soldier, Manila, Philippines, WWII
This was my fourth continent visiting a US military cemetery and they are always somber but always fills me with pride. What the US and Allied soldiers did in World War II can never be understated. They truly were the greatest generation and should always be treated with respect.
American War Cemetery, Manila, Philippines, WWII
Then it was time for the AzAmazing Evening at Fort Santiago!
AzAmazing Evening, Manila, Philippines, AzAmazing Evening in Manila, travel Asia, jeepney, jeepny
Azamara arranged for Jeepney’s to take some guests over to the celebration although they were much nicer than regular Jeepney’s you’ll see around Manila-trust me on that one!
AzAmazing Evening, Manila, Philippines, AzAmazing Evening in Manila, travel Asia, Jeepney, jeepny, inside
Once at the AzAmazing Evening, it was party time with some awesome Filipino bands and cultural acts in a really cool setting that looked much different and more festive than it did that afternoon!
AzAmazing Evening, Manila, Philippines, AzAmazing Evening in Manila, travel Asia, seating
Azamara really does an excellent job with these AzAmazing Evening productions and that’s exactly what they are-a production and well worth it. Guests remember them long after the cruise. I still remember fondly the AzAmazing Evening I did onboard the Azamara Journey in 2013 at the Opera House in Livorno, Italy-it was fantastic and really the only thing from Livorno I do remember!
AzAmazing Evening, Manila, Philippines, AzAmazing Evening in Manila, travel Asia, Soul Republic, band
Aside from some great acts and great food and local drinks, Azamara nailed it with a big fireworks display midway through the AzAmazing Evening. It was pretty perfect.
fireworks, AzAmazing Evening, Manila, Philippines, AzAmazing Evening in Manila, travel Asia
As time goes by, some of what I saw in Manila may fade from my memory but I will always remember the AzAmazing Evening in Manila. It was fantastic!

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