Words by Camille Ong
Graphics by Trina Armedilla
When I first moved to Metro Manila, I had a hard time going to different places because I didn’t know how to commute. Manila was so hectic compared to what I was used to. Good thing my friend taught me how to ride the train. More specifically the LRT Line 2 because it was one of the nearest public transportations available in my area. After that first ride, I started to learn how to commute.
Even though I’m now familiar with all modes of transportation, LRT 2 still holds a special place in my heart. With that, to share what I’ve learned about the train line, I’ve compiled locations you could go to through each station. Load up your beep cards because this guide will make you wanna go out and explore!
11. Recto Station: Binondo
You can easily go from Recto to Binondo if you don’t mind walking. It will take you about 15 minutes or more. If you want to try traditional Chinese food, this is your chance! The dumplings from Dong Bei are a favorite of mine. Aside from the food, you can buy from the Chinese groceries and drug stores in the area. They offer unique products that you won’t find just anywhere. And if you want to experience something different, mark your calendars because what better way to spend Chinese New Year than in the oldest Chinatown in the world!
Other places near Recto: Divisoria, Manila Grand Opera Hotel, Isetann Recto, Odeon Terminal Mall, Quiapo Church
10. Legarda Station: San Sebastian Church
Half a kilometer away from the Legarda station is San Sebastian Church. Known for its neo-gothic style, this basilica has stood the test of time (127 years, in fact). The interior of the place still retains its original style, so what you’ll see inside is the same view the people from 1891 saw. It’s also the only all-metal building in the country and one of the few all-metal churches in the world. Unfortunately, San Sebastian Church is weakening because the metal is in danger of rust. If you want to help restore the basilica, you can book a tour through firstname.lastname@example.org! Walking through San Sebastian will surely make you feel as if you just visited the Spanish era.
Other places near Legarda: University Belt, Malacañang Palace/Museum, Sampaloc Public Market
9. Pureza Station: Mabini Shrine (Museo ni Apolinario Mabini)
This is one of the historical landmarks that you can easily access by riding the LRT 2. A few minutes walk from Pureza station and you can learn more about Apolinario Mabini, known as the Brains of the Philippine Revolution. The shrine is within the campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. You can find Mabini’s house, the one he died in, here and a few of his belongings and memorabilia. There’s also a library where you can read about Mabini or Mabini’s own works!
Other places near Pureza: Puregold Sta. Mesa, Savemore Market, flea markets
8. V. Mapa Station: SM Sta. Mesa
Image: SM City Sta. Mesa Facebook Page
We’ll all need to go to a mall at some point. What used to be called the SM Centerpoint is now SM Sta. Mesa because it borders the area of Sta. Mesa. This mall is the second SM Supermall ever built, but despite its age, it’s still perfect for your go-to needs. V. Mapa is your station if you want to go buy something!
7. J. Ruiz Station: Pinaglabanan Shrine (Museo ng Katipunan)
Image: Museo ng Katipunan Facebook Page
The area where this shrine stands is the site of the first battle of the Katipunan. This battle happened a few days after the Cry of Pugadlawin. Now, this area is a park where you can find the statue of the Spirit of Pinaglabanan and Museo ng Katipunan. You’ll get to know more of the katipuneros who fought in the revolution and even the weapons they used. If you want to learn more about the Philippine Revolution without spending money, this is the place for you! You don’t have to worry about getting bored because this museum makes learning about history fun.
Other places near J. Ruiz: Filoil Flying V Arena, Santuario del Santo Cristo