Fort Santiago | Manila, Philippines

I hate to say it, but Manila is not my favorite city. It's crowded, it's hot, it's dirty and its confusing. If I didn't have family members in the vicinity, I don't think I would ever go back by choice. Now, I understand why my parents chose to retire in Tagaytay. It's definitely less overwhelming and the weather is a tiny bit cooler. There are some beautiful cities and places in the Philippines, but Manila isn't one of them.

Now I say all this to say, the Intramuros area of Manila? Beautiful. I love seeing historical things. I think growing up in Florida, where it's flat and not much history, I've grown up starving for it. When we went to Fort Santiago, I felt like I was in another place. It felt like a haven in the overwhelming city. I was thankful to be able to take a break from the hustle and bustle that is Manila.