Quiapo is a district in the bustling, busy and crowded city of Manila. Quiapo gets it name from a floating plant named; "Kiapo" that grew abundantly around that area.
Ask a local about a place that approximately corresponds to Manila's downtown and they will point you out Quiapo. This district alongside nearby Santa Cruz and Binondo are the places nearly corresponding to a downtown for Manila.
Quiapo in this guide differs from the administrative district, which excludes the area's core, centered on Plaza Miranda, Quiapo Church, and Carriedo Street. For the traveller, Quiapo includes all the area bound by Recto Avenue to the north, Rizal Avenue to the west, Estero de San Miguel to the east and southeast, and Pasig River to the south.
Average travellers are easily distracted by the tourist draws once alighting from the LRT-1. Quiapo is more than the scattered bargain markets and Quiapo Church. Eastern Quiapo, the original town, which hugs the boundaries of the University Belt, is the true spirit of the district, with the other draws outside the touristic core west of Quezon Avenue. The real Quiapo is a bit rough, with seedy residential streets, so a trip there is an adventure.
The culture and people of Quiapo are diverse, and the district is a chaotic crossover of East and West. Seeing the people and surroundings will make you feel shocked; a visit to Quiapo may remind you of things on the bazaars of Old Delhi. Around Plaza Miranda and Carriedo are bustling crowds, deafening loudspeakers, and mangled overhead power cables. Crossing Quezon Boulevard leads you to the largest Filipino Muslim community outside Mindanao and the outskirts of the University Belt.
- Several buses and jeepneys serve Quiapo from around metro Manila. Read the sides/front of buses for information
- A taxi from most parts of Manila will be less than ₱200 to the Quiapo church.
- A taxi from the airport will be less than ₱300 (refuse to pay more than that since they try to ripoff foreigners)
- Since Quiapo has a sizeable Muslim population, some taxi drivers and Filipinos will try to tell you that the area is very unsafe. This is not true and is mainly fueled by ignorance.
Take the LRT-1 train to 1 Carriedo station. From the station, walk down Carriedo street to eventually make your way into Quiapo.
- 1 Quiapo Church, Quezon Boulevard. Visit Quiapo Church and see the Black Nazarene, the statue of Jesus of Nazarene is thought to give miracles and blessings.
- Plaza Miranda, Quezon Boulevard. Look around Plaza Miranda which is just outside Quiapo Church, here they sell amulets believed to give you powers and protection from dark forces.
- 2 Golden Dome Mosque. Quiapo is home to a large Muslim Community, this mosque was built in the 1970s in order of Imelda Marcos for the visit of former Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, although his visit was cancelled. It is the biggest mosque in Metro Manila and serves the large Muslim community of Quiapo.
- Ocampo Pagoda (Bilibid Viejo). The Ocampo Pagoda is an example of "Where East meets West" architecture, the pagoda is mixed of European and Oriental architecture and looks like as if a temple in good old China has been invaded by the English and made into a castle. The history is that Don Jose Ocampo wanted and ordered to beautify his garden.
- Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, A. Bautista. Built by Arcadio Arellano in 1914 when Philippine architecture was influenced by Art Nouveau in building houses and buildings, historically it was the home of Dr. Ariston Bautista and his wife Doña Petrona Nakpil along with her brother; Julio Nakpil with his wife, Gregoria De Jesus who was also the widow of Andres Bonifacio; a Filipino leader during the Spanish colonial era. During the World War II it was the home of the Black Nazarene which today is in Quiapo Church.
- Boix House (Behind Bahay Nakpil), A. Bautista. Built during the 1890s of Neo-Renaissance ornamentation.
- Paterno Mansion, Hidalgo St.. Mansion of the Paterno family, of neo-classic details.
- Zamora House
- Padilla House
- Don Jose Sulpicios Orpilla Mansion
- 3 San Sebastian Church (Basílica Menor de San Sebastián).
Have a Manila city tour : It's easy to get lost in Quiapo, having a local guide can save time and it's a good opportunity to learn things
- Victory Lacson Underpass, Quezon Boulevard (Underneath the intersection of Quezon Boulevard, Hidalgo and Arlegui streets, and Plaza Miranda.). An underground air-conditioned mall that was renovated in 2014 to be well lit and safe. There are over a hundred small shops, small eateries and kiosks. There are also multiple ATMs.
- Amulets: Believed to give you powers and protection against dark energy. They're usually sold at a reasonable price, often around ₱20 and above.
- Herbal medicine: Alternative medicine can be found in Plaza Miranda however they aren't approved by the Department of Health (DOH) and most of them might be scams and fakes.
- Statues: Statues either ceramic or wood are best buys as souvenirs, they're sold from ₱100 and above. They often are Santo Niños (Infant Jesus) and saints (santos, statues of holy people such as Virgin Mary and Jesus).
- Army surplus: Items such as uniforms, bags, camping equipment, knives etc. are found in the Big Army Surplus Market. However you might find it hard to pass through customs as it is questionable for purchasing army surplus and sometimes Filipino authorities say that many shops operate illegally without the permission of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
- Flowers and candles: Flowers and candles are sold outside the church, in Plaza Miranda. Candles have significant meanings depending on color; see the signs by the vendors. Sampaguita (jasmine), used to be the national flower of the Philippines, but replaced by the now-endangered waling-waling as the former is not native to the country, are often sold outside the church at a very cheap price; they represents purity of the soul and body and often are hanged around a image's neck as a gift etc.
- Cameras and camera accessories: Hidalgo street offers cheap prices for cameras as well as camera accessories such as tripods, DVDs, CDs, bags, camera lenses etc.
- Prescription eyewear: Paterno Street has a good collection of optician shops producing prescription glasses at a quarter of the price in the West, so, you may consider a side trip here for a new pair of glasses.
- 8Hostel, Isabelle de Hidalgo Condominium 811, Carcer, Hidalgo St (end of alley near the 711), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: Noon. Relatively cheap microrooms in Quiapo. Reception is only open from 7AM to 9PM and after hours checkin is difficult. Dorm beds and 1-2 person private rooms available. ₱850+/private room, ₱399+/dorm bed.
Quiapo is notorious for pickpockets, beggars, and other nuisances, while you may find elsewhere in the city, can be the most prevalent here. Pickpocketing are a constant threat; watch out for wandering hands likely reaching your valuable cellphone or wallet. Put money and important papers on a money belt or use the front pockets instead. Beggars are many enough in this bustling district to irritate you, and more disturbing are street children soliciting money. Adding further to traveller hassles are the numerous peddlers selling fake items, most notably pirated DVDs and fake branded clothes, while prices are temptingly dirty cheap (for example, ₱10 per DVD), can land you on customs issues on your return journey home. Just walk away if they try to accost pedestrians around you.
Tondo, and the busy Divisoria market is just within minutes reach, by electric trike.
|Routes through Quiapo|
|Caloocan ← Santa Cruz ←||S N||→ Ermita → Pasay|
|END ←||E W||→ San Miguel → Cubao|
|Tondo ← Santa Cruz ←||W E||→ San Miguel|
|Ermita ←||S N||→ Santa Cruz → Caloocan|
|Santa Mesa Heights ← Sampaloc ←||N S||→ Manila → Pasay|
|Merges with ← Ermita ←||W E||→ Santa Mesa → Quezon City|