Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Our last full day in Manila involved exploring more of the city by heading to Chinatown in Manila followed Bonifacio Global City (Market Market) in Taguig
We were able to take a free shuttle from Hyatt City of Dreams to Chinatown. We just walked around to check it all out. It was a bit smaller than Chinatown in New York City; however, there were several shops and restaurants including the famous Filipino fastfood Jolibee.
Bonifacio Global City (Market Market), Taguig
From Chinatown we walked over to a major hotel to catch another Grab (similar to Uber/taxi), as it was easier to find drivers waiting there, as well as people to assist you who either spoke Tagalog or English, as none of us spoke Chinese. We negotiate for a driver to drive us about 45 minutes to an hour away (depending on traffic) to Market Market for about $1000 Pisos ($20 in USD). He was an older gentleman who had been a driver for over 20 years and very proud to be somewhat of a tour guide and advise me in Tagalog the different places along the way, so that I may translate to my husband and teenage son. He could speak English; however, there is a running inside joke, that sometimes thinking and translating to English could be stressful as not to pronounced or say anything wrong and offend foreigners causing "headaches or nosebleeds." (Not really.) When we were told that it could take about an hour to our destination, I politely and jokingly advised our driver in Tagalog to please speak his native tongue and to relax. I would translate to my family, so that he didn't get a nosebleed. He laughed, thanked me, was relieved, and we all had a pleasant ride. He was impressed that even though I was born and raised in the United States that I could speak fluently. He said that my parents did well instilling the Filipino heritage and culture in me, and that I should also do that with my children and grandchildren.
Once we arrived to Bonifacio Global City, it was evident that we were in the financial district and could see where some of the ex-pats were living in guarded communities. We were let off at Market Market, and we wished our friendly driver well. He provided his phone number to us in case we would further need his services in Manila. Market Market is a great open street market and mall. It's a good place to walk around to purchase souvenirs, inexpensive gifts, and traditional Filipino goods. There are many street-type food vendors as well as sit-down restaurants around. Of course being a gardener and prefer fresh fruits and vegetables, I truly enjoyed the open fresh market. We probably could have spent a couple of days shopping there; however, we did make it through the shops and picked up a few things. I only wished that we could have brought home some of those fruits and vegetables which are more flavorful than in the US. I understand that fruits and vegetables have to be picked early before they are ripe, so that they can be importing into our country. Unfortunately in doing so, some of the flavors have yet to be fully developed. And the colors of the produce are gorgeous! If you have the chance to visit Market Market, do it. You will not be disappointed at what you find.