Manila Neighborhood Guide

Originally known as ‘downtown Manila,’ Sta. Cruz was abuzz with various activities from trading to vaudeville. While still thriving today due to its proximity to Recto, Quiapo and even Binondo, the district’s focal point is the ever-present Sta. Cruz Church.

Perhaps one of the busiest districts in Manila, Sta. Cruz is bounded by some of the most prominent shopping hubs in the metro. Among these are Chinatown, Ongpin Commercial Complex and Carriedo Street. Not to mention its proximity to Quiapo and Divisoria.

Sta. Cruz is experiencing modernization at a fast-paced. However, it stays true to its roots. In fact, the district is one of the few stops of Old Manila day tours that almost always culminate at Intramuros. There are several plazas from Plaza Sta. Cruz to Plaza Goiti, some of which are built as early as the 1760s and endured the wrath of World War II.

A stone’s throw away from Sta. Cruz are business parks, commercial centers, churches and museums such as the National Museum, Museo Pambata and Presidential Museum and Library.

Capitol Theater, an art deco theater in Escolta designed by National Artist Juan Nakpil

Polland Hopia Factory started its operation in 1966 (Left); A typical Chinese store (Upper Right); Chinese lucky charms (Lower Right)

National Museum of the Philippines preserves, restores and safeguards important cultural properties

Manila City Hall's clock tower, the largest tower clock in the Philippines

The entrance of Paco Park leading to St. Pancratius Chapel

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