That day was the last day spent in Manila, and since i planned to spend the New Year’s eve in Manila, i did not make any day trip outside Manila. I went to Okada Manila, Dessert Museum, and spend the New Year’s Countdown at SM Mall of Asia. If you want to see my itinerary on my other days in Manila, click here.
I knew about this place when I googled “best place to spend new year’s eve in Manila”, and Okada Manila appeared along with other casino resorts in Manila (Solaire resort, City of Dream, etc). What attracted me most about this place is the pink-decorated main lobby that ensemble some magical place in middle east.
Okada Manila is a casino resort. I was allowed to get in the hotel although I didn’t play in the casino. Photograph is allowed as long as it is not directed to the Casino entrance, and it is not allowed to take any picture inside the casino area.
The Dessert Museum
Although from seeing google map The dessert museum is relatively close to Okada Manila (and it is), the closer path was closed due to recent construction activities. So, I had to walk around to reach The Dessert Museum from Okada Manila. What it seemed to be closer took about about 45 minute’s walk.
The dessert museum is basically rooms with various exhibition with dessert theme. The entrance fee is PHP 699 if you book online via its official website and PHP 799 if you buy the ticket on the spot. As outlined in its website, maximum exploring time is two hours. Visitors are expected to come 20 minutes before allocated time. When you purchase the ticket online, you can pick the hour (From 10 am to 8 pm) in which you are going to come to the museum.
The room themes in Dessert museum are vary from marshmallow, bananas, milk, candy bars, lollipop, ice cream, doughnut, and many more. What is interesting about it, is that you will get a card when you enter the museum. As you enter each exhibition room, you can present the card and will get a REAL dessert according to the theme of the room you are currently into. The card will be stamped indicating that you have had it. This is to prevent getting more dessert than your quota. If I remember it correctly, you will get 8 free desserts. My favourite is the mango-flavoured ice cream. It is a super fun place, if you are into taking picture instagrammable and have a sweet tooth like I do!
New Year’s Eve Countdown at SM Mall of Asia
All I wanted to have was some nice photographs of fireworks with the background of famous landmark of Manila. But from my research in the internet, not many places in Manila offered that. The only place that is consistently appear in many website as recommended place to spend NYE in Manila is SM Mall of Asia. So I went there for the countdown.
I arrived around 9 pm and immediately headed to SM MOA eye (in the back of SM Mall of Asia), where a large stage was already erected and filled with performance and crazy loud music thumbing the ground. It was hard to find space since they are all packed with campers which probably had already camped for hours since the afternoon. The only spacious area was surprisingly the fenced and guarded area near the stage. It was because the area is for standing only, and people had to undergo security detail and not allowed to bring food, power bank, and camera inside). But, it was the best spot that was not crowded to enjoy the firework.
I stood right outside the fence (Went inside for a while and then went back out) and waited until the countdown begun. From where I stand, the manila eye was not that visible, but the fireworks show was very visible and it was a great 10 minutes performance and beautiful fireworks display.