CIOCOLATTA at The Bay Leaf hotel – Muralla Street, Old Manila

Ciocolatta at The Bay Leaf hotel – Muralla Street, Old Manila

“Genius has no country. It blossoms everywhere. Genius is like the light, the air. It is the heritage of all.” ~Dr. Jose Rizal~
 Old Manila will always occupy a special place in my heart. I gird on paying another visit to Manila. And another. Spending my entire life in my home country. I keep coming back to Manila even if my parents decided to stay for good in the province of Laguna before my 10th birthday.

Each visit, makes me yearn for more, there’s much to see and after each encounter, the more I get hungry. Manila is rich in history. Intricacy in Architecture. Stories in every street. Opulence in every detail. Mundane. To elusively preserve it is a must for the new generations benefit and appreciation. Allow me to share a few of these.

We passed by Escolta..
escolta towers
Escolta Towers… Awed by the antique lanterns..
escolta pa din
Tried to capture the Alabaster lamps, then the iron works captured me.. =)

I studied in Manila and it has been my place for more than four years. More because I am an Octoberian. Not because I failed a subject or had troubles but because our batch was the pioneer in our college which started sometime 1989. We were only 4 then. After four years, the students are more than 50 already.

4 years could be quite long to have opportunities combing the whole of Manila. Unfortunately, I only alternately frequents either Harrison plaza and Greenbelt. If there’s a chance, we go as far as Greenhills hoarding bottles of Denenes. The baby scent became a trend then.

So I have this certain hunger to cover the whole of Manila or perhaps the spots where some might say that I will missed half of my life for not seeing them.

I’ve only been to España a few times because my in laws has a house there. A one time visit to Malacanang, I’ve been to Divisoria countless times, and of course – Luneta park, while the rest, were still like strangers to me.

So I grab every opportunity to wonder and wander at its beauty and however old the city is. The beauty can still be traced. One is China town, in Sta Cruz. We recently discovered this place that we could not miss. We found one of the best fresh lumpia in this quaint restaurant –  New Eastern restaurant.

New Eastern Restaurant since 1950..

I think I can consume 2 of them although we were enticed to order Lomi as well. So I only had one lumpia.

Mine is plain, Jen’s is spicy..
Served hot..

During the less than 30 minutes that we stayed there. It was peak the whole time. Either dine in or to go, the queue is endless. Luckily, that small resto can accommodate as much since they have a second floor that probably sits more than 20 persons. The ground floor can sit like 8 persons as there are only 4 sets of 2 seater tables facing the mirrored wall of the restaurant. I am sure the mirror is to make the small place feel or look larger, as it is really very small.

This restaurant is like more than 60 years and counting. According to the people whom I talked to in Sta. Cruz, their flavors hadn’t changed through the years. Well for most restaurants. I guess it’s their secret for a lasting business.

So after feeling heavy, we proceed to Muralla. It is the street near Intramuros and it boasts a lot of antique buildings and lofty frameworks.

In my own eyes, it is a “can’t get enough” feeling of capturing details. It was both fun and interesting to be walking in the streets of Manila.  I have eyed to visit the museums as well. Which allows me to see how they’ve been hundreds of years ago. It gives me a different uplift probably validating the old soul in me.

Allow me to share a few of them:

I think old Manila won’t be complete without the Calesas.
So this is the guy where they get the steet – Espana. Though why his “rebulto” is not in Espana?
The violet bag is packed with hopia from Eng Bee Tin..=)
We’re tempted to go left and visit Intramuros. However, I still have a mission to accomplish.

Culture, heritage, cuisine, and more sets us apart from the other countries. And to preserve history, is definitely one. The clues of years gone by, allowing us to picture how are they then.

And I thought I wouldn’t be able to find the street sign…

I am quite fidgety not seeing the street sign of Muralla. Or else, I have to think of another title for this blog. Good thing, while walking, I saw one from the Walls of Intramuros.

Architectural treasures: The Art Nouveau Arch

Vintage gates..
Vintage doors..
Third arch I can’t pass by without being in it..

I gotta have a photo with it. Ahahaha!

Intricate steel works..

We passed by Letran too. It brought me to this time when students would cheer: “Arriba Letran!”

And we passed by one of the oldest schools in Manila.. Letran…
They preserved it and converted it into a school..

We never thought that we already walked more than 500 kms. until our stomachs said so.

We headed to: Ciocolatta at the Bay leaf hotel.


It was a bit disappointing since they ran out of the famous churros. So we opted to have these:

The fresh lumpia and lomi weren’t enough and we were starving when we reached our destination..

I had caffe latte (iced) and as usual caramel machiatto for Jen to match our pastries:

It has peanut butter in it..
I forgot its’ name..
The guests were mostly students.
The theme looked olden because of these bricks..
Happy tummies! =)

Walking past by these gray-haired spots. I felt richer by history. And so till my next visit.

Manila City hall..

I intend to capture a better shot of the city hall. I had one from Rafaelle while it’s day time. I want one in night mode.

See you again Manila! ❤

Published by


-An only daughter. A mother of a 22 year old son. Passionate with so many things. A lover of life itself. First of which is to write. Then, sing (I specifically love the stage), read, cook, travel & take beautiful pictures (photography) and scrap booking, all of which are my own way of coping with life's challenges. Lately, I have been enjoying quilting and crafting with beaded fabrics. Friends usually associate me with the color violet. I love this color so much! However, I love pink, red, teal, orange, yellow as well! Coffee is my water and my happy food is cheesecake topped w/ blueberries, frozen yogurt, sansrival and cream puff. I mastered fettuccine carbonara because that is one of my favorite food along w/ broccoli with prawns and mushrooms. Of all the International cuisines, Japanese food is on top of my list. Secretly, I love "Stitch" - that grinning indigo pup. =) Seriously, I dream to become a philanthropist (starting off by providing shelter to street children in our country) and a famous author someday. I'm just waiting for God's time for my first book to be published.- It took me years to decide to blog, more so to write and have it out in the open. I started writing even as a child, I just keep them on file. It was my outlet. Approaching the year(s) they say where life begins, or If I may say, the sweeter life. It was a year full of emotions. As I lost both my parents already, the unfathomable sadness prompted me to pour them out in my writings and share them to the world, hoping it might lighten the heaviness of my heart. I live now with my son as a mother and as a daughter (as a friend and a sister), this has made me be ready to finally do what I am meant to do. Even If there's a lot that I wanted to do. This came first, like a first love that occupied a special place in my heart. It's a looong process, tiring, frustrating, exciting. The best part? is the happiness it brings. Even if things around seems all so wrong. It's like having my own place under the sun. My own safe and happy rainbowed world. At times, there's guilt as well, for I strongly believe, writing (like singing) is a talent God has gifted us. We ought to use it and maximize it, in our littlest way, share it to mankind, for His glory. I just had a few distractions over the years and to realize that it is never too late to be who we ought to be, I have this very strong feeling, now is the time. All my life, I have decided on things that made me happy, this is one of those. I may never be a winner of those best blogs that have been awarded to talented writers/ bloggers and I don't mind, there are strikes of being envious, but according to my father, there are two kinds of being envy. There's envy that is negative, it'll hamper you from doing good and there's an envy that makes you happy for others' success, or seeing yourself in their shoes, I think, the kind of envy in me, is the latter. Like celebrities who missed an Oscar, while the film was watched by the whole world, she/he did not mind, it's like knowing what counts best, and it's the capacity to share your talents to anyone who wants to receive it, without asking anything in return. Expressing what's in my heart and mind on every occasion (which happens to be daily) and being happy about it is like a prize already. Happy reading!(--,)

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