Friday, January 24, 2014
Walled City of Intramuros - "A city within a city"
There is one place in Manila that is very close to my heart and that place is the
Walled City of Intramuros...
I spent my nine years of study inside this walled city. When I was a teenager, during my free time when I had no classes, I used to walk around the walled city and occasionally, watch the sunset while I was lying on my back on the top of its historical walls (I think the place was called "Parian"). Back then, I already knew the historical and cultural significance of this walled city. And never did I get tired of walking in its cobbled stone roads or looking at its enormous and historical structures. Intramuros was my second home away from Batangas.
But after finishing college and law school, it took me years before I went back to this place. Sad to say, I was very much preoccupied with so many things that If I recall it right that from 1999 up to 2014 , I have visited the place for only 4 or 5 times(just to get documents from my alma mater). Imagine, being away for so long in what I consider my second home.
Last January 14, 2014, amidst my busy schedule, finally I was able to go back and reminisce my glorious and wonderful years in Intramuros. I started from Rizal Park and traveled by foot and after 15 minutes, I was able to reach my destination.
There were so many local and foreign tourists that day. My first stop was the Manila Cathedral. I was not able to enter the church since it was under renovation and they say it will be open to the public on the Holy Week of 2014. Anyway, I have seen its interior a couple of times already and after taking some pictures, I decided to go to my next destination which was just a stone's throw the church.
My second stop that day was visiting Fort Santiago. It is a national shrine and historical landmark. A priceless heritage of the Filipino people dating from the 16th century. A must-see place!
Adult - P75.00
Students/Children - P50.00
By sheer accident, after years of idolizing this guy, finally I was given the chance of seeing, hearing and experiencing his tour entitled "Walk This Way" in Intramuros. And the tour guide is no other than the famous Mr. Carlos Celdran!
I love this guy! He is the best tour guide in the Philippines! It happened by accident. I was taking pictures of Fort Santiago and luckily for me, he was just starting his tour inside Fort Santiago and I joined the tour and watched the entire tour! It was one experience I would never forget.
This tour will not be complete without seeing in action Mr. Carlos Celdran. Its a must see tour! You should not dare miss this one.
And while you are inside Fort Santiago, never miss the opportunity of going to the upper deck of Fort Santiago and see Pasig River.
After spending almost least 2 hours inside Fort Santiago, I decided to go to my last stop for the day.
San Agustin Church
Interior of San Agustin Church
From, Fort Santiago, it took me less than 10 minutes before I reached the spot. One of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is a world heritage site and one of the four Baroque churches of the Philippines inscribed in 1993 on the World Heritage List pursuant to the 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural Natural Heritage.
After praying, I decided to go to my alma mater and rekindle my college days in Intramuros.