Monday, April 30, 2007

A Day in Intramuros

* If you are out to find a place to relax but are short in cash, go to Intramuros. From Quiapo Church, take a jeepney bearing the "Pier" sign and you'll find yourself in front of Fort Santiago in no time. (That's for a Php 7.00 fare.) Make sure you pack your lunch to guarantee minimal expenses.

* Prepare yourself for long, rewarding walks. It surely is the best way to see what the Walled City has to offer.

* Your Intramuros experience will be complete only if you share it with people who are special to you.

* And to be able to re-live the Intramuros fun and adventure, take pictures. Lots of pictures!

Pay Php 50.00 for adults or Php 15.00 for students or kids and you're up for an expedition at Fort Santiago

Plaza Moriones and Trellis welcomes the adventurers

Here we reached the official bounds of Fort Santiago, the moat that hugs its facade


Looks like a spot in Europe but it's actually in Manila. The heat is an effective reminder that it definitely is in Manila.

Zoom out and you see the massive entrance to the infamous prison cells for the Indios made especially by Spanish conquistadors

Look up and experience freedom. Look down and feel detained by the remnants of prison cells

This metallic guardia sibil looks harmless now but I bet he wasn't when he was alive!

For Php 20.00 per person you get one Kalesa ride around Plaza Moriones and Trellis.

Beyond the tunnel is a bright light that leads to the Our Lady of Guadalupe chapel.

Your Php 25.00 entitles you one candle for personal intentions like passing the board exam, finding your dream job, being blessed with perfect health, etc. I hope it won't qualify as a modern-day indulgencia.

MEMORARE - MANILA 1945 At one of the side streets of Intramuros is a sculpture that pays tribute to the casualties of war in Manila during its Battle of Liberation (Feb. 3- Mar. 3, 1945)

Old-fashioned picnic is the best way to commune with nature at low cost!

Seize the mats and re-charge for the next stops ahead.

Size does matter. Lapu-lapu, our first noted local hero, seems to say so. (I swear, his monument is scary!)

For the final stop, a snap shot with our National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

I’ve expressed many times how I love Intramuros. It is a warp zone. It is a bend in time and space that I never get tired of visiting and revisiting whenever I can. And somehow every time I’m there, a tiny voice inside my head keeps on repeating, “Primordial sense of belonging! Primordial sense of belonging!” Well, because I really do feel like I was once a part of that place. Plus there’s the fact that I was born in Manila. I take pride in its heart.

It is the first time I went around Intramuros as a voluntary tourist, not as a student on a field trip or as a passerby. I’m lucky to have been in the best of company. My trip to Manila was almost complete and close to perfect. I’d like to thank my fellow adventurers and berks: Leng, Arjane, Joan, Jen and Joy for being part of that special day.

I’m looking forward to more trips with you!

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