Saturday, September 27, 2014

Exploring Intramuros, Manila

I have been to Intramuros several times; I've been to San Agustin Church and Museum, Manila Cathedral, Casa de Manila, Fort Santiago and rode the Calesa at night around Intramuros. But there are so many areas in this historical place that I haven't seen. A day in Intramuros is not enough to discover the historical and cultural treasures of this place. Every part of Intramuros has a story to tell.

My brother, his wife and I went to Intramuros one day in June to re-visit it .

Going to Intramuros

From Quirino district in Quezon City we rode a jeep to Quiapo Church (Fare was P18.00) . We alighted infront of the church and rode a jeep with the Pier signboard (Fare was P8.00). We alighted at Plaza Roma on A. Soriano Avenue (formerly called Aduana).

Our tour of Intramuros started at Plaza Roma. At Plaza Roma, we saw the beautiful fountain and the statue of King Charles the IV. Around this area we also saw The Palacio de Gobernador and Ayuntamiento.

From Plaza Roma, we proceeded to the Manila Cathedral. The last time I was at Intramuros the Cathedral was under renovation. This time around the renovation was completed and I was at awe with the beauty and grandeur of this place of worship. This for me is one of the beautiful churches I've been to. My brother, my sister-in-law and I spend a lot of time inside the Manila Cathedral and took many pictures too. I'll make a separate post about the Manila Cathedral.

Instead of going on a walking tour of the Intramuros which was originally planned, we were enticed by a pedicab driver to take his service to tour us around Intramuros for P150.00 per hour. Since there were three of us to split the cost and it was slightly drizzling as well we took the pedicab tour:).

The pedicab driver/tour guide brought us to the Ruins of San Ignacio Church, and pointed along the way where Ateneo de Manila and Adamson University once stood in Intramuros. We then took a stop at Cuartel de Sta Lucia or the PC Artillery and at Victoria 1. We then took a walk at this part of the wall.

The headquarters of the Philippine Constabulary with its Officers'school which became the Philippine Military Academy when it transferred to Baguio.

1 Victoria serves as General Douglas McArthur's headquarters which is opposite the USAFFE

From here we went to Baluarte de San Diego. Baluarte de San Diego was a stone bulwark constructed by the Spaniards to protect Intramuros from invaders. Baluarte San Diego houses the Fort Nuestra Senora de Guia.

Before the construction of Baluarte de San Diego, Governor General Santiago De Vera had the Fort Nuestra Senora de Guia made as a tower to defend Intramuros from Chinese pirates. This three tiers circular walls was later on integrated into the Baluarte de San Diego.

Going up to the Fort of Nuestra Senora de Guia

What was left of the three tier tower of Fort Nuestra Senora de Guia

Fort Nuestra Senora de Guia is an archeological site

During the bombing of Manila in World War II the circular fort was damaged and completely forgotten until it was unearthed in 1992.

Baluarte de San Diego now has a beautiful garden and gazebo. It can be rented for special events. We spent a sizable amount of time here because we had the grand time climbing the fort and looking over the walls, checking the bonsai in the garden and having pictures.

From Baluarte de San Diego we proceeded to Baluarte de San Francisco de Dilao.  Baluarte de San Francisco de Dilao was constructed as to keep the Chinese living outside the wall from entering Intramuros. This part of the wall is opposite the Bayleaf Hotel, Mapua Institute of Technology and the Lyceum of the Philippines. The cannons that can be found here were used against the Japanese invaders. If I was a student at Mapua or at Lyceum, this fort could be an ideal place for me to study. It was spacious and breezy. It would be a perfect place to go to if you and your classmates have to practice a presentation.

Because the weather was crazy that day - drizzling for a few minutes and then the sun would go up and then drizzle again and we spend a lot of our energy looking around the Manila Cathedral, Baluarte de San Diego and Baluarte de San Francisco Dilao, we just sat on the pedicab the rest of the Intramuros trip. If we weren't that drained we would have walked through Puerta del Parian with its Asean Gardens, Revellin del Parian and Baluarte de San Gabriel instead of just passing through it. Oh well there will always be a next time. I'm sure we'll be back in Intramuros.

We asked the pedicab driver to drop us off to Chowking to have our lunch.

After eating at Chowking, we went back to the Manila Cathedral because we couldn't get enough of its beauty.

Then we went to Casa Manila. Casa Manila is a museum that depicts the colonial lifestyle during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. The house was copied from a house in Calle Jaboneros in San Nicolas which is a shopping district across the Pasig River.

The house ground floor was made from adobe while the uppermost floor were made from wood which was the typical for the houses of the well-off during that time.

This type of houses would have the ground floor rented to tenants as shops. Then they have what they call Entresuelo or the between floors where the owner of the house would meet with his workers or clients before they enter the Oficina. They also have Cuartos here or rooms where the extended family members like aunts or uncle stay or these are rooms where the owner sleeps during the day to have his siesta.

Not everyone is invited to the upper floor, only important visitors are allowed to enter the sala. Here at the upper floor you have the Oratorio or the place where they gather to pray, Cuarto Principal, Comedor or dining area, Cocina or the kitchen, Letrina or the Comfort room, Bano or the bathroom and the Azotea where water is collected for laundry, cleaning the house is collected.

No picture taking is allowed inside Casa Manila.

1 comment:

Shahana Shafiuddin said...

Beautiful travel blog... I like the pictures and places. So, that easily can anyone assume how that place is.


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