Monday, February 22, 2010

Seair InFlight Feature: A Manileño's Manila Part 3 with Ivan Man Dy

Owner of tour guide company Old Manila Walks, Ivan Man Dy, was thrown into the spotlight when he stepped into the coveted role of tour guide to international chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain, showing him the culinary hot spots of Binondo's Chinatown.  Dy, a true Manileño, who was born in Manila and lived in the city most of his life, worked as a volunteer museum guide for 10 years before becoming a staunch advocate of cultural and architectural heritage preservation.  He calls himself a "street walker", regularly guiding tourists around the busy thoroughfares of Binondo to the hallowed halls of Malacañang Palace.  For more information on Old Manila Walks, call Dy at +632 7113823 and +63917 3291622 or email

Ivan recommends:
DAMPA SA FARMER'S MARKET - It’s a place for clean market stall food and serves a wide array of the freshest seafood. Airconditioned rooms are available on the second floor and in the evenings live bands entertain diners. Located at the Araneta Center in Cubao; function rooms are open from 7am-2am daily while some stalls such as Andok’s are open 24 hours to accommodate late hour diners and call center workers. For inquiries, call +632/ 913 2803 or 911 3101 local 6877
SALCEDO MARKET - The Saturday market in Salcedo started out five years ago as a venue for selling and buying fresh produce and homemade specialties. Now, it has grown to include food from all over the country and the world. Stalls sell a variety of food stuff from local specialty budbud-kabog (millet rice cake) from Dumaguete, authentic French crepes, to sea salt from the Himalayas. Also sold are fresh seafood, plants, woven crafts.  The Salcedo Market is located along Tordesillas Street, near the Makati Sports Club. It is open every Saturday from 7am-2pm
CHINESE CEMETERY - This is the second oldest cemetery in Manila. Chinese citizens refused burial in Catholic cemeteries during the Spanish colonial period are buried here. Flamboyant tombstones, mausoleums and temples characterize the cemetery. Check out the oldest Chinese temple in Manila, the Chong Hock Tong Temple and the Liat See Tong or Martyrs Hall built in honor of the Chinese community leaders executed by the Japanese during World War II. Try out Dy’s “Mounds, Magnates and Mausoleums!” Chinese Cemetery Walking tour, which tells the story of past Philippine taipans and explains the thinking behind the cemetery’s Chinese architecture.
LA COCINA DE TITA MONING - “It’s tricky to get to but the paella at La Cocina may be the best in the city,” says Dy. La Cocina is located in the San Miguel district, so near Malacañang you have to pass through the Presidential security guards to get there.  And this is the only place in the city where one can dine in a real ancestral home filled with art and memorabilia reliving a lost era. La Cocina is housed in the Legarda Mansion, one of the first art deco houses in Manila known for its lavish parties. La Cocina de Tita Moning is located at 315 San Rafael Street, San Miguel District. Tel: +632/ 734 2141 or 7342146 or visit
GREENHILLS - The refurbished mall sells computers, gadgets and toys at bargain prices. Go out to the tiangges (bazaars) and haggle for a wide range of quality pearls, semi-precious stones and faux jewelry, handicrafts and other quirky home pieces. For quality RTW, PX (imported) goods and clothes at affordable prices, try Shoppesville Arcade. Visit for more details

FILIPINAS HERITAGE LIBRARY - The Filipinas Heritage Library maintains a collection of old and rare manuscripts and documents, some dating back to the Spanish colonial period, plus more than 10,000 contemporary volumes on Philippine history, art, language, religion and the social sciences, over 2,000 rare titles, rare books on microfiche plus an extensive library of slides and photographs.

The library regularly schedules storytelling and reading sessions, creative writing workshops and photography sessions. The library sells hard-to-find Filipiniana books and CDs by Filipino writers and artists. Members enjoy unlimited visits to the library, free WiFi and discounts on products and services. Unique services include Libros Filipinos Online (, an online bookshop dedicated to Philippine books, music and multimedia.  Located at The Nielsen Tower, Makati Avenue, Ayala Triangle, Makati City. Tel: +632/ 892 1801 or visit

UP NEXT: A Manileño's Manila Part 4 with Yael Fernandez of the Mabuhay Guides.  To read the rest of the series, click Part 1 or Part 2 with Carlos Celdran.

Attribution: Article culled from Seair InFlight Magazine February-March 2010 issue • All text and photos by Oggie Ramos • Layout and art direction by Jocas A. See. For subscriptions, call (+632) 8402803 


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