Rediscovering The City | A Manila Jeepney Tour
A week after the guided Postal Heritage Tour which includes a visit inside Manila Post Office and Metropolitan Theater, me together with my office mates went to a tour around Manila. It was once again an opportunity for me to rediscover the forgotten city but this time our main point would be Intramuros.
It’s been a long while since my last step into this place and to tell you honestly I haven’t visited the entirety of this place and had visited the Fort Santiago and Manila Cathedral only. Before I thought Fort Santiago is the whole Intramuros already and I was wrong, this famous tourist attraction is just part of the walled city.
Unlike my usual travels, this trip was a guided one from the Jeepney Tours. The tedious guided tour turns into a lively historical tour as a videoke machine was available inside the jeepney, yey! It was one of my team mates who organized this trip. Kudos for choosing this type of tour.
The tour organizers fetched us in Makati at around 2:30 PM via yellow air-conditioned jeepney. We eventually started the tour when we were all completed. Our guide, Carlos (not Carlos Celdran), discussed about some information about Manila.
Our first stop was the Rizal Park (or also known as Luneta Park). Though it wasn’t totally a part of the walled city, this historical urban park sets an important event to the walled city of Manila, Intramuros. This is where Dr. Jose Rizal was executed on December 30, 1986 which subsequently sparked the fire of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers. The park was officially renamed to Rizal Park in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal and his monument serves as the symbolic central point of the famous park.
By the way, I’ve read from Change.org that there’ll be a construction of huge mid-range condominium complex that will ruin the sight line of Rizal Park. If you and the future generation would wanted to see this same unobstructred sight line of Rizal Park, please sign your petition here as opposed to DMCI’s Torre De Manila.
After a little while we moved on and went inside Intramuros.
Intramuros is the oldest district and historic core of Manila which is nicknamed as the Walled City of Manila. Intramuros is a Latin word which literally means “within the walls”.
The city was located then along Manila Bay and south of the Pasig River entrance before 20th-century reclamations obscured the city from the bay. Guarding the city is Fort Santiago, a citadel located at the mouth of the river. Construction of its thick defensive walls were started by the Spaniards in the late 16th century to protect the seat of the Spanish government from foreign invasions (most notably British and Dutch) and raiding Chinese sea pirates. – wikipedia.com
This is one of the most important historical sites in manila. The Philippines’ national hero, Jose Rizal, was imprisoned here before his execution in 1896.
It’s still the same old site that it used to be from the last time I visited it except for some areas that are now restricted to the public. There were tunnels in the area.
Also Rizal Shrine could be found inside Fort Santiago. A museum which is dedicated to Jose Rizal’s life and works.
More of Fort Santiago…
After touring around this famous site we moved on to our next destination, the Light & Sound Museum.
Light and Sound Museum in Manila
The Light and Sound Museum narrates the Filipino’s search for freedom which is supported by the leadership of Dr. Jose Rizal, and other revolutionary leaders like Rajah Soliman, Lapu-Lapu and Andres Bonifacio.
It is indeed a reawakening of our culture and history.
When the show was about to start, I was preparing my camera to take some shots when our guide restrained me from taking any. Photo and video taking is not allowed. Sungit! But seriously, the guide who toured us during the entire show was not friendly and approachable.
The light and sound show was long. It took us an hour to finish everything. Well it figures since the museum exhibits the history from the battle of Mactan up to the execution of Jose Rizal. A long history to tell.
San Agustin Church
We then went out from the museum and went to San Agustin Church. It was my first time that I’ve been to this church. The church is a Roman Catholic church under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine. It is said to be the oldest church still standing in the Philippines. The church was said to be completed by 1607 and no other surviving building in the country has claimed to pre-date this church.
A wedding has just ended when we went to the church. Subsequently, a mass is about to start.
We are supposed to go the museum but too bad it was already closed that time. After a quick visit to the church we crossed the street and had a peek to one of the famous restaurants in Intramuros, Barbara’s.
No we didn’t had our dinner here, which I wished we had. We went inside and see how the complex looks like inside. The area reminded me of Vigan, old delicate structures.
The tour seems to be short but we were so overwhelmed with history and culture. A tour which truly reawaken us to what and where our country has been. A short trip which doubtlessly gave us an admirable tour to once again rediscover the walled city of Manila, Intramuros.
I know this won’t be the last. Well, there’s still more places to rediscover and things to discover on this walled city of Manila.