Greetings. This is Nazrul from the Hokkaido Government Representative Office.
After my brief business trip to Brunei, my next destination was Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. I have been to Manila before but it was a few years ago, and I was interested to know how much the city has changed since.
I was surprised to see, upon checking into my hotel, that Manila has changed a lot. I stayed in the Makati City, which is Manila’s central business district, and the area is surprisingly clean. It’s a lot cleaner than the last time I went there, and some parts of the district even reminded me of Singapore!
There are a number of Japanese restaurants in Makati city, and even some Japanese convenience stores. There are many malls as well, and we went to Ayala Center Manila, Greenbelt Mall and SM Mall of Asia, a particularly huge mall by the bay. I spotted many ramen restaurants in the malls, which include Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, a popular ramen chain from Hokkaido. I had my lunch there and quality-wise, it’s the same as back in Singapore, so I was happy to see the quality maintained.
In overall, Makati city has become very modern and more developed compared to several years before. Modern amenities are everywhere, although the traffic can be heavy at times. I was happy to see that it has become much cleaner compared to before, and I hope I travel to other cities in the Philippines very soon.