(Disclaimer: In this review, I’m going to use the word ‘walk’ in every way possible, in the acceptable form as noun and verb, but also as adjective and adverb. Microsoft Word tells me that it’s grammatically wrong. So sue me.)
In Street-Bound: Manila on Foot, Mrs. Josefina Manahan asserts that Metro Manila is a walkable metropolis. Yes, despite the dust, noise, heat, speeding vehicles, and carbon monoxide poisoning. And indeed, up to a certain point, I agree with her. So lower your eyebrows for a moment, please.
Like Mrs. Manahan, I do walking tours within Metro Manila too: sometimes with friends, and sometimes alone. But many of these are haphazard travels (especially the ones I do by myself), often without plans and often requiring asking for directions. This in particular is why I find Street-Bound pretty useful. She organized the walks in such a way that next time I can go from one spot to the next in a more systematic manner.
But there are also tours in Mrs. Manahan’s book that I haven’t done, mostly because I didn’t have the time, but also because I wasn’t aware of the potential walkability of the place. For every tour entry, she neatly arranged the information into the following: type of tour, duration, sights, what to wear, background, how to get there, the different sights, and the map of the place. There’s also one or two delightful pictures of what one might expect to see in that tour (the maps and pictures were illustrated wonderfully by one Ms. Joanne de Leon – kudos!).
The best walking tour entry in the book (for me anyway) is the
we did a Quiapo-Binondo walking tour last year.)
Sadly, Street-Bound badly needs to be updated because I believe that some of the tours have become slightly irrelevant. Partly because a lot of tourist spots have deteriorated, disappeared, or changed completely in the past nine years since the book was published (take for example,
So anyway, even if it’s outdated, the book is still pretty handy if you’re going to do walking tours in Metro Manila, just be prepared to be a bit disappointed. It’s probably going to be awesome if they brought it up to date, as well as add more tours. I suggest adding the CCP complex,