Beat the Manila Heat

Manila weather is no joke. It could be sunny one day and stormy the next. And because of Manila’s location – right on the equator – temperatures are almost always soaring, regardless of whether the sun is out or not.

But luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to beat the Manila heat.

A Day At the Mall

Asia is known for its malls and Manila is no different. And the most alluring thing about these malls? Free air conditioning.

Many Filipinos spend the day at the mall because there is so much to do. Beyond the plethora of stores and restaurants, many malls also have movie theaters, bowling alleys, and entertainment for every age.

Some of our personal fave malls:

  • Power Plant – lots of parking, and smaller than most Manila malls, meaning it’s a lot easier to traverse
  • Greenbelt 5 – one of the Greenbelt buildings (all of which are a short distance from each other), it’s architecturally stunning with lots of stores and restaurants to choose from
  • Bonifacio High Street – this may be an outdoor strip mall, but head over at night and it becomes a blissful stroll in the fashionable Bonifacio Global City


Halo Halo

While you’re at the mall, look out for Halo Halo – one of the Philippines’ most prized desserts. Halo-halo is the OG sundae, a mixture of ice cream, flan and different tropical toppings. They say it’s the unicorn of desserts. Don’t believe me? Check out this photo.

And if that’s not up your alley, many other Filipino desserts were made to beat the heat. Minatamis na saging are sweetened plantains that can be served cold with ice. Mais con hielo is a dessert made with corn kernels, sugar and milk, then mixed with shaved ice (and a scoop of ice cream if the day is especially scorching).

Find the Closest Pool and Jump In

It’s a seemingly obvious answer, but spending the day at the pool is a quick way to cool down. Many hotels in Manila will have a pool for their guests. Lay by the pool, hang out with friends, or relax and read a good book.

Just don’t forget to pack some sunscreen!

Here are a couple of our fave hotels:

  • The Peninsula Manila – luxurious and relaxing; what more could you ask for?
  • Edsa Shangri-La – a staple Manila Hotel, not to mention it’s a short walk away from the Shangri-La Plaza mall


Take a Trip Out of Town

When push comes to shove, sometimes it’ll just be impossible to escape the heat. And when that’s the case, pack up a car, bring some friends, and head out of the city. Just about an hour and a half drive out of Manila (if there’s no traffic – knock on wood and say a little prayer) lies Tagaytay, a relaxing destination far removed from the hustle and bustle of Manila.

Tagaytay, with its scenic nature, is significantly cooler than the concrete jungle of Manila. You can hike, take a picnic, and explore a Taal Lake – a lake on an island in a lake on an island (it’s like Inception, but with lakes… Lakeception).

Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re looking for a way to stay out of the heat. Now head out and explore everything Manila has to offer!

Filipino Words for the Day:
Saging (n. sah’-ging) – banana. Did you know that the Philippines has dozens of variations of bananas?
Mais (n. mah-ees’) – corn. We have a whole bunch of Spanish words in our national language, Filipino (Tagalog). But we’re grateful for the mais because it’s delicious.