Ermita in Manila is a place that use to have 100s of restaurants and bars and was full of , shall we say,ladies of the night and even the day.
The Mayors over many years have tried to make Ermita into something more than a party place for tourists who do not want to see any sites other than ladies. The area is now no longer totally controlled by those sort of customers or places, but several still remain and they still do the same business.
One of the side effects of moving the sex side of Ermita out is that the place has now become so run down and dirty. The foreign visitors are not so apparent and the area suffers from lack of tourism, which is a shame when it is not that far from Manila Bay. Manila Bay was a beautiful place to visit and spend a night at with the bars and comedy clubs. All that has gone now and the Bay is full of people sleeping rough and the smell of sewage. The possibility of swimming anywhere in that vicinity is just not possible.
Living in the area for three years I have found that I cannot walk anywhere. The Rizal Park is near and well kept but is also full of people wanting money from a foreigner so it is not possible to really relax. The area of Ermita has become more dangerous over the last few years with pickpockets and vendors becoming more desperate to make a living. Just walking for ten minutes I counted 30 vendors trying to sell me Viagra and other versions. Trying to sell me some form of American dollars and stolen phones. Trying to sell me necklaces,fake watches and every time I say NO they try harder.
It got so bad once that I was offered Viagra five times in 1 minute that I actually shouted at the last vendor so loud so everyone could hear.
“Yes, yes give me Viagra ..how much is your Viagra? I like to have you sell me Viagra!!”
The vendor ran away and other vendors turned their back on me. I thought they had got the point until I turned around and saw two jeepneys stopped in the road with all the passengers looking at the silly foreigners wanting to buy Viagra. I just held my head in shame and walked off the short distance home and ignored all the other vendors and demand for money from children on the street.