The Walking Tour of Intramuros

Manila Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
buying "taho" from a street vendor

A few months before my trip back home, I'd been reading a blog about a walking tour of Intramuros by Carlos Celdran. The reviews of those who'd taken the tour were positive, I thought I'd give it a try once I get back to the Philippines for the holidays. Despite the fact that I had only a week to spend home, I decided to attend the tour, along with my brother and my nephew.

As we lived quite far from Manila, we woke up real early to get to the meet up place on time. We over estimated the travel time, so we got to Intramuros an hour before the tour. We had time for a breakfast of several cups of taho (soy with caramelized sugar and gelatin), and got to watch a wedding happening at the Manila Cathedral.

my nephew in front of ruins at intramuros

For those not familiar, Intramuros is the oldest district of the city of Manila. The name literally means "within the walls". During the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines, Intramuros was a city in itself, the government, military and church had their headquarters inside. The most powerful people in the country lived and did their business inside this walled city.

So it's not surprising that the oldest Catholic structures are inside Intramuros. The San Agustin Church, which has a beautiful garden, museum and well, the church itself is glorious. If you want to have your wedding here, you need to reserve at least a year in advance.  My other favorite church is the Manila Cathedral. It has beautiful sculptures and a grand altar.

The tour walked us through the history of Manila (and the Philippines) from the Spanish Colonial Period, to the American Period, through World War II, post-war, the Marcos era until the present.

an old building now a government office
I loved how Carlos told the story in a fun way, complete with costume, pictures and music. Even my hard-to-please brother somehow found himself laughing when Carlos pointed out some funny Filipino nuances and attitudes that were a result of 300 years of Spanish rule. My 10-year old nephew's attention was not diverted at all for that whole three hour tour. He found it fun (it's a miracle, isn't it, if a 10-year old would find history fun), because he said he'd only seen Intramuros in his school books.

At the end of that tour, I found myself more appreciative of my country's history. Almost everyday, we hear bad news from the Philippines. But for those three hours, I saw my country through different eyes. And I do hope the foreigners in our group got a better understanding of the Filipino culture.

planisphere says:
a walk with mr celdran - something i always planned of doing everytime i went home but never happened.
Posted on: Jul 31, 2007
travelman727 says:
Great comments! I hope to visit your beautiful homeland in either 2008 or 2009 :-D
Posted on: Jul 28, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
buying taho from a street vendor
buying "taho" from a street vendor
my nephew in front of ruins at int…
my nephew in front of ruins at in…
an old building now a government o…
an old building now a government …
picture with a city guard
picture with a city guard
san agustin churchs ceiling
san agustin church's ceiling
casa manila
casa manila
another historic building inside i…
another historic building inside …
an angel at the manila cathedral
an angel at the manila cathedral
entry to father blancos garden
entry to father blanco's garden
these walls survived world war II …
these walls survived world war II…
with our guide, carlos celdran
with our guide, carlos celdran
a kalesa
a "kalesa"
the manila cathedral from a distan…
the manila cathedral from a dista…
tomb of miguel lopez de legazpi (m…
tomb of miguel lopez de legazpi (…
saing peter at manila cathedral
saing peter at manila cathedral
waiting for the tour to start..
waiting for the tour to start..
tombs inside san agustin church
tombs inside san agustin church
this is where priests do their ser…
this is where priests do their se…
plaza dela fuerza
plaza dela fuerza
wall ruins
wall ruins
Sponsored Links
Manila
photo by: Deats