Ermita Is For Lovers: 7 Date-Worthy Places in Manila’s Central Civic District

Photo courtesy of Swagman Hotel Manila
Photo courtesy of Swagman Hotel Manila

Ermita, Manila – Even with all the noise, pollution, and overpopulation, the City of Manila in the Philippines can still charm and endear its way into anyone’s heart. Ermita in particular, while primarily known as a financial district, boasts of sites and spots perfect for first dates and romantic encounters:

1. Patio Pilar Ermita

Bring your date to this Castilian-inspired courtyard café that also doubles as an events venue. It features a pair of heritage structures with an appealing blend of the traditional and the trendy. It basically captures what is quintessentially Ermita—an area once graced by the mansions of elite Filipino families in the 1900’s and then later known for its artsy, bohemian flair.


2. Museum of a History of Ideas

Hidden from the hustle and bustle of Ermita, UP Manila’s The Museum Of A History Of Ideas offers a non-typical museum experience. It doesn’t have the usual artifacts or archives. It caters not only to historians but for the curious as well. Prepare to fall in love with stunning interiors and creative expression.

3. Arroceros Forest Park

Also known as ‘Manila’s last lung,’ this urban park built along Pasig River in 1993 now houses at least 60 indigenous tree varieties, 8,000 plants, and 10 bird species. Sadly, the city has failed to maintain the area and there are also reports that it might close soon. Despite all that, Arroceros Forest Park still offers a serene setting for afternoon strolls and sunsets.

4. Cinematheque Centre Manila

‘Netflix and chill’ might be the popular thing to do, but you can never go wrong with tickets to a culturally relevant movie for two. Aside from film screenings, you can also learn about film history, production, and all things related to cinema and film making. There’s also an in-house cafe inside where you can sit down and discuss films with your date afterwards.

5. National Museum of Fine Arts

Juan Luna’s Spoliarium. Nuff said.

6. National Library

Date a person that knows the important of reading books. And the best place to bring/meet one is at the country’s “repository of printed and recorded cultural heritage”.  All you need is a valid ID to get access to all the titles you need. Before your visit, you can also check their Online Public Access Catalog to see if they have what you need. The National Library of the Philippines also offers services for copyright registration.

7. Swagman Hotel Manila

After a day of exploring the different destinations, book a stay at this classy hotel in Ermita, Manila. Aside from cozy rooms and standard services, Swagman Hotel Manila also offers massages, local and international dishes, drinks, and entertainment.