Manila surprised me. Had always thought it was an old dilapidated city. It must be some movies that had influenced me I guess. No doubt there are some not so nice areas there but then, there are not so nice areas everywhere in this world. There were already signs of a modern bustling city not long after the bus we were traveling in entered Manila only that I did not bother to take note. Thinking back now, I remember some locals stopped at the modern hub of Manila, the Makati Area, I suppose. In the darkness, I could see gleaming skyscrapers but that was just a flash of modern Manila. The bus terminal was somewhat out of town and from there, we had taken a cab to our hotel. The journey seemed long and at one point it was even dark but then, as we approached our hotel, we passed a brightly-lit road by the sea. It was ManilaBayWalk, a place where one can have an idyllic stroll as well as hang around to enjoy the sunset and some free Filipino entertainment. The taxi driver said it was a haven for drug addicts at one time but the capable mayor had turned the place around to become a popular spot in the city.