I’m not very fond of taking a trip down memory lane. I mean, I know it’s fun to look back at the good old days, when everything was simple, when technology has not yet taken control of our day-to-day existence. I’m not fond of reminiscing because it makes me miss those days so bad I want to stay in one corner of my room and bawl my eyes out for days gone by.
Seriously though, if you were to ask my 10-year-old self if she’d read history books for pleasure when she gets older, she’d say there was no way in hell. “It is impossible because history is sooo boring.” I’m grown up now, very much different from what I thought I would be. But I am still a student… of life.
Every once in a while I re-visit some places that held no importance to me when I was a young girl pretending to be a female version of Tom Sawyer. Recently, I re-visited the Spanish Colonial Period, in the heart of the Philippines, Manila.
Quiapo Church (The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene)
Probably the most televised Church in the Philippines, that is Quiapo Church. The life-size image of the Black Nazarene has tens of thousands of devotees as it is said to be very miraculous. Filipino devotees from all walks of life, male and female, young and old, gather in and out of this church every 9th of May to celebrate the feast of Jesus Nazareno Nuestro. The devout devotees then participate in the procession of the sacred image.
Known as the oldest district and the heart of Manila. Intramuros, meant “within the walls” in Spanish. Hence it was dubbed as the Walled City, founded by the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in June 12, 1571. Prompted by the constant threat of foreign invaders attacking the city, the walls were constructed.
Intramuros has a lot of interesting sights to offer, and it could take a toll on your feet. If you wanted some comfort and relaxation, ride a pedicab and it will take you straight to the historical sights. If you want to experience old-school transpo, take a callesa. But, I strongly recommend ‘walking around’ the walled city, aside from its health benefits, you could totally get the feels and chills of being in the oldest part of the city.
Note that the pedicab and callesa drivers can also act as tour guides, they sure know the facts and the history of Intramuros.
Interesting Sights Inside Intramuros
- Baluarte de San Gabriel
Notably the most important fortification facing the north side. It was built to keep the Parian of Binondo at bay.
- Educational Institutions inside Intramuros
- The Manila Cathedral
This neo-romanesque cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
- Palacio del Gobernador
Here in this spot once stood the residence of the Governor-General of the Philippines. But it now houses some government offices.
- Ayuntanmiento de Manila
Also known as Casas Consistoriales, the old structure used to function as the Manila City Council. Now it houses the offices of the Bureau of Treasury.
- Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
The official organization of the episcopacy of the Philippine Catholic Church— Wiki
- Plazuela de Santa Isabel
In this square stands the monument dedicated to the non-combantant victims of World War II.
- San Agustin Church and Museum
The oldest stone church in the Philippines. Declared by UNESCO as World Heritage under the Baroque Churches of the Philippines.
9. Casa Manila
The museum exhibits the home and lifestyle of the rich and famous during the Spanish colonial era.
- House Chinese
The museum documents the history, lives and contribution of the Chinese in the Philippine life and history— Wiki
- Fort Santiago
One of the fortifications in Manila. Built in 1571, on the site of the native settlement of Raja Soliman. First was a palisaded fort structure of logs and earth. Destroyed in the attack Limahong info in 1574— Intramuros Admin
National Museum of the Philippines
The National Museum of the Philippines is a government institution serving as an educational, scientific and cultural institutions in preserving the various permanent national collections featuring the ethnographic, anthropological, archaelogical and visual artistry in the Philippines .– Wiki
National Museum houses lots and lots of equally breath-taking masterpieces like, the works of Hidalgo, Manansala and more. Check it out. Seriously.
The last stop for our journey was historical Rizal Park Manila, known to locals as the Luneta. My parents used to take me here as a kid, I remember. I had so many fond memories here, but when malls took over Manila, I seem to have forgotten the beauty of this place.
Darkness had almost fallen when we arrived here, but we were able to take some photos of the famous monument of the national hero Jose Rizal.
So, here we are, the curious wanderers braving the blazing heat of the sun in an attempt to re-discover our roots. To re-learn what happened in the olden days and the people who made such tremendous impacts in our lives. We are hungry students of life, commemorating the historical sights that made the capital city of the Philippines what is it today.
If you have any question, leave them on the comment box below. Happy Travel!