However I recognize that Jakarta has a vibrant nightlife and convenient priced hotels (traffic jam is unbearable though), Bangkok has a marvellous collection of temples, a lovely Chinatown with delicious streetfood and an charming system of cheap waterways...what about Manila???
Manila, on the other side, has very little to catch the interest of a visitor, I might be wrong, maybe expats living there got accustomed and like it, maybe you need some time to discover its hidden "treasures", however I spent as little time as possible there visiting a few places.
The airport is in a total permanent mess: lost baggage is a regular affair, long rows of angry passengers, delays and cancellation of flights, timetables shown only 30 minutes before the supposed time of departure.
Quezon city is not too bad, has some interesting nightlife on the Tomas Morato with many clubs and bars, it's far from the airport but well connected by the MRT.
Malate some years ago was the red light area of Manila but now is a quiet, area with some small restaurants and an ugly seaside populated by the longest row of clochard I have ever found. I didn't feel in any kind of dangers, they just seemed very poor people, sometimes entire family, often earning little money giving massage. There I and my friend met some nice teenagers listening to good music and keen to chat with us.
Pasay city is a very crowded area conveniently located at 15min from the International departure, it's not too far from the Farmer market and has small alleyways which reminded me Vietnam, nothing special but small food stalls and some friendly people which make it an interesting overlooked part of this metropolis.
Rizal Park has not the beauty nor the charme of Lumpini Park in Bangkok, but it's a lovely way to escape the crowd and the pollution of Manila. It has a small lake, several statues of the national hero J.Rizal and a beautiful Chinese park very relaxing with its Chinese red lantern and cute paths.
Makati is the downtown, the business district, the expensive, clean and false face of Manila, just the opposite of the many shanty town were poor people are obliged to live.