Tuesday, June 21, 2011

a quick visit to intramuros, manila

this month is one of those times when philippine history is a buzz, in media and almost in everywhere. aside from independence day falling on the 12th day of june, Phl also commemorates the 150th birthday of our national hero, jose rizal on june 19.

but most likely, the significance of these events for me or to a lot of people? is if these would be declared as non-working holidays. p-noy had taken a different perspective from his predecessor and did not move the independence day to the nearest monday, considering that the holiday falls on a sunday this year, which would "supposedly" push for more local tourism as the glorious lady had campaigned. at least p-noy gave in for the special birthday of rizal and declared june 20 as a non-working holiday, in lieu of june 19 which is a sunday.

it's tragic on how you tend to mature with age and get engrossed with too much work and self-centered initiatives, that any nationalistic event would just likely be a fleeting information and its significance is only its most awaited declaration of a non-working holiday.

i hope that visiting one of the most important historical sites in the country will help me step back from that notion.

i have only been to manila a few times and during these times, i usually hit the malls and did other things that were not definitely historical in nature. i've always been interested in intramuros, otherwise known as the walled city which is often overlooked and clearly had gone off on tangent to the bustling city life and the over-crowded capital.

i am so into this walled city that i excitedly included this to my parents' itinerary for manila and i looked forward to finally try it myself. well it turned out, i tried it not only by myself but along with my sister and my cousin. since we arrived in manila early in the morning and our check-in time for our hotel was still at 1pm, we definitely had plenty of time to kill.

Getting to Intramuros from NAIA Terminal 3

By a Yellow Taxi: this is the overly priced taxi aside from the fixed-rate ones. the rate starts at 70Php and additional of 4Php for every 300 meters. since we could not find a metered white taxi that time, we conveniently but hesitantly settled in this yellow ride. we paid a whopping 460Php including a 20Php++ tip which seemed to be mandatory.

By a Shuttle Van and LRT1: there is a shuttle service from NAIA to LRT1 edsa station at a cheap rate of 20Php and i guess the train to central station, the nearest station to intramuros would only be around 15Php.

following the sequence i had in my itinerary, we first went to san agustin church inside intramuros. we hopped on these places by merely walking with heavy loads in tow.

San Agustin Church

inside the church was grand! there was a wedding that time and we were glad that we arrived early or else we could be crashing into someone's wedding!

beside the church is the museum which we brushed aside because of the entrance fee of 100Php/person.

Casa Manila

there's also a museum inside casa manila with a rate of 75Php/adult and lesser rates for children and senior citizens which i forgot. :P

Intramuros Walls

these are the most decent shots we had for the intramuros walls. wished i had really the decent ones. the green green grass outside the walls is for the sport of the rich and famous, golf. as there are trees standing tall along these walls, we saw some people lounging in these walls and there was even one who made the wall as his temporary bed for a nice nap, with the leaves of the trees cooling off the hot midday sun.

Manila Cathedral

Fort Santiago

we could see from the road that inside fort santiago is well rehabilitated but like the previous ones, we let this one go because of the entrance fees of 75Php/adult and 50Php/child or student.

Do you know what happened to the other parts of Intramuros?

hell yeah! graffiti inside intramuros. though my sister was delighted with this artsy find, which i think was meant for another place.

but intramuros is set to rise again. more details here. i just hope it won't lose its essence to commercialism after. 


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