Intramuros

Intramuros Travel Blog

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Fort Santiago

It was a gloomy afternoon in December.  All I wanted was some sense of history.  I wanted to know how it was then when i first got into the city and and how it was now after many years. 

The 160-acre Walled City is home to several universities of Manila (Letran, Mapua, Lyceum and PLM).  The famous parian served not only as a passing place for students but a perfect hangout area to while away time.  Some parian location had been converted to canteens selling student lunches and snacks.  The ambience within the area is still pretty much different from outside. 

For 333 years of Spanish presence in the Philippines, their influence are still evident in structural designs of houses, buildings and churches within Intrumuros itself.

San Agustin Church
  Some old streets were still retaining cobbled-stone pavements.   Even some streetnames are still kept to remind us of our past.  A tour within the confines of Intramuros in a 'calesa' (horse-driven carriage) will serve as a delightful experience. 

No one can miss the grandness of Manila Cathedral which is located at the very center of Intramuros while San Agustin Church is the oldest stone church in the Philippines worth a visit.  UNESCO listed it as World Heritage, one of the four Baroque Churches in the Philippines.

But for me, Intramuros has always been a reminder of Fort Santiago.  My first visit was when I was a child. Going there was limited to some kind of an extra curricular school activity.

San Agustin Church
  The details attached to it were hazy.  So when I came back, it was then when I felt the significance of the place as it relates to our time and history of colonial past. 

There is an air of gorriness inside Fort Santiago.  Many people were brutally tortured and executed in this fort.  Another reason it became infamous was the imprisonment of national hero, Jose Rizal.  There, Rizal spent his last days before his execution in 1896 .  

But once again, I was quietly observing inside the museum.  I saw his clothings, sunglasses, books.  I looked at his life-size seated statue imaging how it was during his time of repressed freedom and national idealism.  Before heading out, reading the renowned Mi Ultimo Adios on the wall was sure to give a different kind of chills up to anyone's nationalistic spines.

Fort Entrance
 

Not much has changed since.  You could still see through any Filipino eyes the determination to weather the non-stop,ever-present tough economic times served daily by one administration after another. 

An afternoon spent in Fort Santiago gives a bit of an insight of the Philippine history under Spanish colonial rule and a closer look at patriotism and political convictions, then and now.  

The fortress and whole area surrounding Intramuros, can be visited in a day.

 

 

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Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago
San Agustin Church
San Agustin Church
San Agustin Church
San Agustin Church
Fort Entrance
Fort Entrance
Rizal Shrine
Rizal Shrine
jeepneys
jeepneys
intramuros
intramuros
parian
parian
calesa
calesa
rizal park
rizal park
CCP Complex
CCP Complex
13,330 km (8,283 miles) traveled
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Intramuros
photo by: lanieinthesky