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Manila, located on the island of Luzon, is the capital city of over 7000 islands that make up the nation of the Philippines. It is home to the Mall of Asia entertainment complex, which contains over 1,000 shops, a movie theater and an amusement park. St. Agustin Church is also located in Manila. A tour of the church and adjacent museum informs guests about the role of the Philippines in World War II.
Visitors to Manila may wish to stay in the Ortigas Center area where the streets are lined with major shopping malls and places to eat. Public transportation is comprised of independently owned buses and taxis and three train systems: Manila Light Rail Transit System, Manila Metro Rail Transit System and Philippines National Railways. Manila International Airport (MNL) is approximately seven miles from Ortigas Center.
The Aliwan Fiesta is held annually in April. A time of celebration that showcases Filipino culture and heritage through traditional foods, the festival features elaborate parades, street dances and beauty pageants. Each June 12, the Filipinos celebrate Independence Day, a time to celebrate their freedom from 300 years of Spanish rule. December weekends bring the Grand Festival of Lights Parade complete with costumes, music and fireworks. Expect tropical weather conditions with temperatures rarely below 70 degrees year-round.